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Title:
METHOD FOR OPERATING A SAFETY SYSTEM FOR MEDIUM OR HIGH VOLTAGE SWITCHGEAR, AND SUCH SAFETY SYSTEM ITSELF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/121431
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to a method for operating a safety system for medium or high voltage switchgear, with the use of infrared detecting or infrared imaging means, wherein in the switchgear or in an inner compartment are at least arranged switching and disconnecting means, busbars and bushings, and infrared sensor means, according to the preamble of claims 1. In order to enhance the reliability of detection of human action radius in a switchgear, the invention is,that the infrared sensor means are operated in such, that image processing and pattern recognition means are operated in time modus, so that moving objects are detectable as in actual moving action, and that they are furthermore identifiable by automatic electronic comparison with image comparison data.

Inventors:
WILDERMUTH, Stephan (Hauptstr. 89, Laudenbach, 69514, DE)
Application Number:
EP2018/085084
Publication Date:
June 27, 2019
Filing Date:
December 14, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ABB SCHWEIZ AG (Brown Boveri Strasse 6, 5400 Baden, 5400, CH)
International Classes:
F16P3/14
Foreign References:
EP1022904A12000-07-26
EP3260851A12017-12-27
DE19653683C11998-06-18
Other References:
DAVIS INSTRUMENTS: "Applying Infrared Thermography to Predictive Maintenance", 18 August 2016 (2016-08-18), XP002782330, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20180621]
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCHMIDT, Karl-Michael (Oberhausener Strasse 33, Ratingen, 40472, DE)
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Claims:
Claims

1. Method for operating a safety system for medium or high voltage

switchgear, with the use of infrared detecting or infrared imaging means, wherein in the switchgear or in an inner compartment are at least arranged switching and disconnecting means, busbars and bushings, and infrared sensor means,

characterized in

that the infrared sensor means are operated in such, that image processing and pattern recognition means are operated in time modus, so that moving objects are detectable as in actual moving action, and that they are furthermore identifiable by automatic electronic comparison with image comparison data. 2. Method according to claim 1 ,

characterized in

that the modus of identification detects automatically, if the moving object is

a) a part of the switchgear itself, for example a moving element of a drive or a lever, or

b) a loose part inside the switchgear or the aforesaid compartment, or c) an entering human operator or parts of him/her,

and that actions for safe operation will be initiated by that automatically, by considering and differing the above mentioned cases a-c.

3. Method according to claim 2,

characterized in

that in case of detecting a human being or parts of it, the switchgear will initiate an alarm, or even trigger an immediate shut down and grounding of the switchgear in order to prevent an accident.

4. Safety system for medium or high voltage switchgear, with the use of infrared detecting or infrared imaging means, wherein in the switchgear or in an inner compartment are at least arranged switching and disconnecting means, busbars and bushings, and infrared sensor means,

characterized in

that the system is provided with infrared sensor means (1 ) inside the operation compartment (10) of the switchgear, by which image processing and pattern recognition means are operated with the aforesaid sensors in time modus, so that moving objects are detectable as in actual moving action, and that they are furthermore identifiable by automatic electronic comparison with image comparison data.

5. Safety system, according to claim 4,

characterized in

that the sensor data are treated in a system controller (20) as such, that the modus of identification detects automatically, if the moving object is a) a part of the switchgear itself, for example a moving element of a drive or a lever, or

b) a loose part inside the switchgear or the aforesaid compartment, or c) an entering human operator or parts of him/her,

and that actions for safe operation will be initiated by that automatically, by considering and differing the above mentioned cases a-c. 6. Safety system, according to claim 4 or 5,

characterized in

that in case of detecting a human being or parts of it, the aforesaid system controller of the switchgear will initiate an alarm, or even trigger an immediate shut down and grounding of the switchgear in order to prevent an accident.

7. Software program product, in order to operate the safety system with the method according to one of the claims 1 to 4, so that the aforesaid method and functionality can be implemented via a volatile software program product into the system controller of the switchgear.

Description:
Method for operating a safety system for medium or high voltage switchgear, and such safety system itself

The invention relates to method of a safety system for medium or high voltage switchgear with the use of infrared detecting or infrared imaging means, and such a safety system itself, according to the preamble of claims 1 and 4 . State of the art

Application of IR (infrared) cameras as such, for detection of human beings is well known, e.g. anonymized presence detection or intruder alarm. Although IR camera systems have been investigated for safety application in the context of industrial robots, practical application suffers from the much unstructured surrounding.

Furthermore, the usage of an IR camera for thermography and hot spot detection of industrial assets is a well-known technique. IR cameras are used for the manual inspection of electrical equipment, e.g. switchgear for time based maintenance. However continuous monitoring (=camera permanently mounted in switchgear) with IR cameras is not done today, mainly because of the high cost of the IR camera.

The usage of IR single point sensors for continuous temperature measurement in electrical switchgear is well known. These sensor systems are directly installed in the switchgear and monitor the temperature at a specific location. These sensors return only a numerical value of the temperature to an operator. Furthermore, the maintenance on medium or high voltage switchgears has to consider aspects on occupational safety for human beings.

Object of the invention

So it is the object of the invention, to enhance the reliability of detection of human action radius in a switchgear.

Invention

For a method for operating a safety system for medium or high voltage switchgear, the aforesaid object is fulfilled in an inventive way, by the features of claim 1.

Further advantageous embodiments are given in the independent claims 2 to 3.

According to a safety system for medium or high voltage switchgear itself, the problem is solved by the features of claim 4.

Further concerning embodiments are given by the further depending claims.

According to a software program product, the invention can be implemented into a switchgear via a software program product, by the features of claim 7.

Basically, the invention according to the method is, that the infrared sensor means are operated in such, that image processing and pattern recognition means are operated in time modus, so that moving objects are detectable as in actual moving action, and that they are furthermore identifiable by automatic electronic comparison with image comparison data. In an advantageous embodiment, the modus of identification detects automatically, if the moving object is

a) a part of the switchgear itself, for example a moving element of a drive or a lever, or

b) a loose part inside the switchgear or the aforesaid compartment, or c) an entering human operator or parts of him/her,

and that actions for safe operation will be initiated by that automatically, by considering and differing the above mentioned cases a to c. In a further advantageous embodiment, in case of detecting a human being or parts of it, the switchgear will initiate an alarm, or even trigger an immediate shut down and grounding of the switchgear in order to prevent an accident. According to a safety system, operated in the aforesaid way, the invention is, that the system is provided with infrared sensor means inside the operation compartment of the switchgear, by which image processing and pattern recognition means are operated with the aforesaid sensors in time modus, so that moving objects are detectable as in actual moving action, and that they are furthermore identifiable by automatic electronic comparison with image comparison data.

In a further advantageous embodiment, the sensor data are treated in a system controller as such, that the modus of identification detects automatically, if the moving object is

a) a part of the switchgear itself, for example a moving element of a drive or a lever, or

b) a loose part inside the switchgear or the aforesaid compartment, or c) an entering human operator or parts of him/her,

and that actions for safe operation will be initiated by that automatically, by considering and differing the above mentioned cases a-c. In a further advantageous embodiment, just in case of detecting a human being or parts of it, the aforesaid system controller of the switchgear will initiate an alarm, or even trigger an immediate shut down and grounding of the switchgear in order to prevent an accident.

By that, at retrofit implementation of this technology into a switchgear is as well possible.

According to a software program product, the invention is, that in order to operate the safety system with the method according to one of the claims 1 to 4, so that the aforesaid method and functionality can be implemented via a volatile software program product into the system controller of the switchgear.

The operation is shown in the figure. An IR camera 1 would be mounted in the medium voltage switchgear

compartment 10, to monitor the temperature of the switchgear components. A typical temperature range for monitoring is 0°C to 150°C. Image processing in a system controller 20 would determine the relevant parts, e.g. bus bar 2.

Alternatively the relevant part of the image could be identified by the service technician during installation of the sensor system. All objects in the field of view of the IR camera are static under normal operating conditions of the switchgear. No movement is expected.

Moving objects 3 could be detected in the image of the camera 1 by image processing and pattern recognition in the system controller 20. Such an event indicates an abnormal situation of the switchgear. For example loose parts could be the cause of such a situation. In the context of this invention, in particular moving human beings or body parts could be detected, e.g. if a person reaches into the switchgear with an arm. This could then lead to an action, e.g. raise an acoustic alarm to warn the person. Such a simple warning would most likely have prevented the above mentioned accidents happened within ABB. If needed the safety system could even trigger a forced shutdown and grounding of the switchgear to avoid an accident.

The IR camera 1 is better suited for this application in comparison to a regular visible light camera as it could operate without external illumination and in low light condition. Furthermore a visible light camera would only address the safety aspect, but would not be suitable for temperature supervision.

Further benefits are, that IR arrays sensors are being currently investigated for temperature monitoring of MV switchgear.

The additional feature of detection of moving objects (be it human beings or other objects) would require no additional sensor hardware. Only software (image processing and pattern recognition) and sufficient computational power would be required. Both would not significantly increase the overall cost of the sensors system.

Therefore an additional safety system could be offered to the end customer in addition to the asset monitoring functionality at virtually no extra cost.

Furthermore, person safety is typically considered highest priority.