Powell Industries Acquires Thermal Monitoring Technology

October 20, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

Powell Industries, Inc. announced the completion of an Asset Purchase Agreement with ThermaBrite Technologies Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia. With this agreement, Powell acquires the patent-pending technology for real-time optical fiber based thermal sensors that have application for monitoring of hot spots in electrical power equipment systems. These hot spots typically develop at bus joints and other power connection points and can eventually cause failures, such as insulation breakdown and arc-flash.

The sensors, placed at critical points inside the equipment, relay data via fiber-optic cable to provide greater safety and a more secure signal. The data from the sensors is processed by a sophisticated proprietary controller and is then available to the customer for monitoring and analysis through communications systems, including Powell’s PowlSmart system.

The technology has application for new equipment, as well as retrofit into existing equipment already in the field. The unique solution offers continual monitoring of energized equipment instead of the periodic observation that is presently conducted by most electrical equipment users. The result is the ability to monitor and act upon temperature-related system trends. The adoption of this technology will lead to more reliable system operation and less down time. Powell will work to integrate this new technology into the broader Powell solution, as well as explore additional opportunities for its potential deployment in new product applications.

Powell Industries, Inc., headquartered in Houston, designs, manufactures and packages systems and equipment for the control, distribution and management of electrical energy and other dynamic processes. Powell provides products and services to large industrial customers such as utilities, oil and gas producers, refineries, petrochemical plants, pulp and paper producers, mining operations, commuter railways and other vehicular transportation facilities.