We Energies crews to utilize acoustic cameras for power outage prevention this summer

We Energies Employs Acoustic Cameras to Enhance Storm Preparedness and Minimize Outages

As the summer storm season approaches, We Energies is enhancing its efforts to prevent electrical outages. One of the new tools they are incorporating is an acoustic camera. Mary Koutnik, the senior application engineer for We Energies, stated that these cameras have been incredibly beneficial in minimizing outage minutes for customers. The acoustic camera uses over 120 miniature microphones to identify unusual noises in electrical equipment, such as switch fuse units, and can determine the source of the problem.

Koutnik explained that normally equipment should be silent, but when it starts to malfunction, it may emit buzzing sounds. The acoustic camera is a complement to infrared cameras that We Energies crews have been utilizing for years. Infrared cameras detect heat spots on connections, but sometimes sound can alert crews to an issue before heat is produced. By using the acoustic camera, crews can diagnose problems in equipment early, anticipate outages, and make repairs before customers are affected.

Dave Megna, the vice president of field operations, emphasized that this proactive approach will contribute to a more reliable utility service for customers. At present, We Energies crews in the Milwaukee area have one acoustic camera in operation with plans to bring in a second one soon. They aim to test the efficiency of these cameras during the upcoming summer season before integrating them into their standard procedures. The goal is to make use of the latest technology to deliver better service and minimize outages for customers.

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