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HECO’s industrial ultrasound application give us the ability to hear what we couldn’t hear before.

It allows us to locate leaks in air, gas, and vacuum systems; and inspect internal components such as bearings, gearboxes, pumps, and steam traps. Ultrasound is an economical reliability-based method of detection that provides an immediate cost savings to HECO customers by eliminating the need of the continual running of compressors, compressed gases, and steam trap systems.

There are four specific ways HECO can use ultrasound in your facility:

1. Leak detection
When gases leak, they create a turbulent flow that generates sounds that our ultrasonic equipment can detect. Once we detect the sound of a leak, we can use the intensity and directionality of the sound to track down the source — even in a noisy environment.
2. Steam Trap and Valve Inspection
HECO can investigate both steam trap and valve operation in just about any environment. When you consider how many stream traps and individual valves there are in your plant floor, it makes sense that a quick, efficient means of inspection is important.
3. Bearing Inspection and Lubrication
When bearings are about to fail or are under/over lubricated, they emit a sound profile detectable by ultrasound. The ability of HECO to use ultrasound allows us to take care of the problem before it develops any further.
4. Electrical Inspection
Electrical issues have sounds associated with them, too. HECO uses ultrasound to pick up on:

  • Partial discharge or tracking.
  • Arcing.
  • Mechanical vibrations from transformers.
  • Corona.
Low voltage VFDt