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Hydro-Quebec gets predictive monitoring technology to optimize maintenance operations

Montreal, QC -- Hydro-Quebec plans to expand its asset monitoring capabilities with the new condition monitoring so...


Montreal, QC — Hydro-Quebec plans to expand its asset monitoring capabilities with the new condition monitoring software obtained from SmartSignal Corp. of Lisle, IL. The utility plans to implement SmartSignal’s Equipment Condition Monitoring (eCM) software solution.

“Hydro-Quebec is known worldwide for its expertise in the areas of hydroelectric generation and high voltage transmission,” said Francois Theoret, head of generation apparatus, Hydro-Quebec. “I believe the proactive asset monitoring capability that eCM delivers suits the nature of our diagnostic decision making services for Just In Time maintenance practices.”

The eCM program delivers insight into the health and performance of key assets. The early warning capability should enable operators to reduce maintenance spending, improve generation availability and increase return-on-assets, said Theoret.

Hydro Quebec is presently upgrading its permanent monitoring system and plans to interface eCM to provide real-time condition based monitoring on selected assets and critical equipment, including alternators, lubrication systems, turbines and other related equipment.

“We are pleased to partner with Hydro-Quebec as their predictive technology needs modernization. SmartSignal’s eCM solution will enable the company to deliver premier customer service,” said Gary Conkright, SmartSignal president and CEO. “Real-time monitoring functionality will assist in optimizing complex MRO operations, inventory and logistical issues that are inherent to equipment operating in remote locations.”

Hydro-Quebec, a major electric utility, serves over 3.4 million customers in a territory of 1.5 million sq km. Its system comprises 54 hydropower stations (ranging from 400 to 5,328 MW), 28 thermal generating stations and one nuclear power station. Hydro-Quebec manages and operates some 500 large dams and has more than 36,000 MW of installed capacity.

Electricity is transmitted from generating stations to load centres by a vast high-voltage transmission system that comprises more than 30,000 km of high voltage and very high voltage lines, both alternating current and direct current, and some 626 transformer substations ranging from 765 kV to 49 kV. The distribution system has over 100,000 km of lines, mostly 25 kV, including about 7,000 km of underground cable.