JCP&L thermographic inspections enhance power line maintenance

As part of its ongoing inspection efforts, Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) is using thermographic cameras to capture infrared images that can detect certain potential problems on wires and other equipment that might not be apparent during regular, visual inspections. By identifying these "hot spots," maintenance and repairs can be conducted prior to a power outage occurring.

To date, thermographic inspections have been completed on more than 160 circuits throughout JCP&L's northern and central New Jersey service areas, with an additional 200 circuits expected to be completed by year-end.

The inspection process features a technician using a box-shaped thermovision camera taking photographs of distribution lines exiting substations and where fuses are located on poles. The images are downloaded to a computer, reviewed, and a work order created, as needed. The infrared technology shows heat on a color scale, with brighter spots indicating potential problems.

"Thermovision inspections save time and money and provide a unique perspective because they detect potential problems not visible to the naked eye," said Tony Hurley, JCP&L vice president of operations. "This is just one of the many maintenance processes and infrastructure enhancements we use to help minimize the number and duration of power outages our customers might experience."

JCP&L conducts infrared inspections on all of its circuits on a four-year cycle. In addition, prior to the summer, JCP&L completed similar infrared inspections on transformers and capacitators located at all of its substations.

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