Performing infrared thermography inspections has become an integral part of substation maintenance as a tool for prevention of failures. At Doble's 2019 Circuit Breaker Seminar, Ed Kochanek, National Sales Director-Utilities in the Test Division of FLIR, will offer a brief overview of infrared thermography.
During his session, Kochanek will focus on how infrared thermography inspections can detect the common problems in and around substation equipment like disconnect switches, circuit breakers, shunt reactors, and in some cases, current transformers. The presentation will also highlight the effect of infrared camera resolution in identifying potential issues and the repairs required to correct hotspots.
Kochanek holds a Level 1 thermography certification through the Infrared Training Center in Nashua, New Hampshire. He has been with FLIR for more than 20 years working with customers in the utility industry helping them to select the best thermal camera for their application and instructing them on how to get the most from their investment.
Q: How does your current position help you in teaching courses or in presenting your course or session? Also, how does your past experience help you in this role?
A: My current position is National Sales Director-Utilities. I get to meet all types of customers from a variety of utility companies. Each has their own unique needs and I get to pass on the knowledge I find from one utility to another. I also find out what one utility does better than others and I share best practices.
Q: When and why did you decide to go into your particular career field?
A: I started in the infrared industry almost 20 years ago and every day I get to work on something different with someone new. Thermal cameras have been proven to find problems and increase reliability with our customers. It’s a great feeling knowing that my products help our customers achieve their reliability goals.
Q: What is the best thing about your job right now?
A: With thermal, we are always introducing the technology to new users. Currently, we have a new camera that can see natural gas. It is a perfect fit for our generation customers who use natural gas to generate electricity.
Q: What courses/sessions have you presented in the past, and what’s coming up (in addition to what you are featuring in this article)?
A: I have presented on courses that help customer find SF6 gas and how to get the most out of their camera. I have also done courses on thermal applications in substations and how to best determine the temperature of a given problem.
Q: What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your past experience that you want to communicate to students or participants?
A: Thermal imaging has been proven to increase reliability throughout the utility industry. There are cameras for specific applications but there are also thermal cameras that help save your life. Sometimes the best thermal camera you have is the one on you right now.
Q: Why do you think your particular subject is important to the industry? How will it help your students?
A: Thermal imaging provides the quickest return on investment and can save utility companies millions of dollars by finding the problems that are invisible to the naked eye. Our technology is improving every year, and new applications are popping up based on the integration of thermal imaging into testing tools used by our customers. You can also use thermal imaging to work more safely in your environment. Many problems show up thermally prior to exploding, but by using your thermal camera, you can detect these problems before they happen and hurt someone.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I’m an avid golfer and play in a very competitive golf club. It's definitely a complete escape from my career.
Q: Anything else you would like to add about your teaching philosophy or that would add to your profile?
A: I really find joy in introducing the technology to new students and watching them get the most out of the technology.
For more information and to register, visit the Web site.