A typical industrial plant or large commercial facility can have thousands of electrical connections that need to be inspected and maintained in order to prevent catastrophic failure before it occurs.
Distribution equipment such as switchboards, panelboards, transformers, bus duct, motor control centers, battery banks, and the components associated with each all require some form of maintenance throughout its service life. Most problems in electrical supply or distribution systems show up as excessive heat and a failure in even the smallest component can cause exponential damage to a company’s bottom line.
Excessive heating in an electrical system can be attributed to:
- Overloaded systems or excessive current in conductors
- Loose, overtightened, dirty or corroded connections
- Component failures
- Wiring mistakes or under-specified components
- Power quality issues like phase unbalance or harmonics
One of quickest and economical ways to help identify these problems without interrupting normal electrical service during normal hours is to scan critical parts of the distribution system with a high resolution infrared camera. Infrared inspections are advantageous to use in situations where electrical equipment cannot be de-energized and taken out of service or where production is affected.
Infrared detection can be accurate, reliable, and expedient to use in a variety of electrical installations. Thermography has been well documented to uncover a multitude of potentially dangerous situations in electrical system.
Proper diagnosis and remedial action of these situations have also helped to prevent numerous major losses. Infrared inspections should be performed by qualified and trained personnel who have an understanding of infrared technology, electrical equipment maintenance, and the safety issues involved with working around energized equipment.