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Digital twin creates failure prognosis
Prediction of remaining operating time of a safety critical relay with real load data and digital twin

Digital twin - simulation in operation

Branch : Electrical engineering/electronicsSpecialist field: Structural mechanics, Electromagnetics, System simulation

Remaining life prognosis of a safety critical relay

Summary

Task

In safety critical applications, specialized types of relays show the failure state securely by restraint-guided contacts based on the physical design and the assigned circuit. To predict component failure before it occurs, a simulation model fed by actual load data shall compute the true state.

Solution

The technique of Reduced Order Modeling condenses the results of a detailed 3D finite element simulation to a so called behavioral model or ROM. These ROMs combine speed and accuracy and get connected to the system simulation within ANSYS TwinBuilder. The physical relay sends sensor data to an IoT platform, which computes wear and remaining life.

Customer benefits

The Digital Twin enables an analysis and prediction of lifetime relevant characteristics, when real sensors can’t really  do the job. A study by  the US Department of Energy has shown an average cost reduction of 25% and a reduced downtime of 70%. In addition, it is the basis for  improved next generation product development and new business models.

Project Details

Task

The life of a relay is strongly dependent on its operating conditions. The magnitude of the switched load, the switching frequency and period and the ambient temperature are typical influencing variables. They determine the power dissipation introduced by the electric arc, the resulting contact temperature and wear. In safety critical applications, specialized types of relays show the failure state securely by restraint-guided contacts based on the physical design and the assigned circuit. To predict component failure before it occurs, a simulation model fed by actual load data  computes the true state. Based on these conditions, this simulation model computes the actual wear of the contacts and the remaining life of the relay system for predictive maintenance.


Customer Benefit

The Digital Twin enables an analysis and prediction of lifetime relevant characteristics, when real sensors can’t really  do the job. The detailed simulation results and the opportunity to get knowledge using virtual sensors – in this case for contact temperature and electric arc energy – are the basis for the real-world wear state and remaining life for each individual product. This focus on real-world data instead of paper specs opens the door for a switch from preventive to predictive maintenance. A study by the US Department of Energy has shown an average cost reduction of 25% and a reduced downtime of 70%. In addition, these detailed operational data are the basis for  improved next generation product development and new business models.


Solution

Simulating the relay in operation requires a model with high performance and truly predictive behavior. The technique of Reduced Order Modeling condenses the results of a detailed 3D finite element simulation to a so called behavioral model or ROM. These ROMs combine speed and accuracy and get connected to 0D/1D elements of the system simulation within Ansys TwinBuilder. The embedded microcontroller of the physical relay gathers sensor data and sends them to an IoT platform data aggregator. This platform feeds the actual sensor data to the system simulation model, which computes wear and remaining life.


Product Area Manager

Products applied in the project