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Electrical Applications

Electrical systems

Thermal imaging cameras are commonly used for inspections of

electrical systems and components in all sizes and shapes.

The multitude of possible applications for thermal imaging cameras

within the range of electrical systems can be divided into two

categories: high voltage and low voltage installations.

High voltage installations

Heat is an important factor in high voltage installations. When electrical

current passes through a resistive element, it generates heat. An

increased resistance results in an increase in heat.

Over time the resistance of electrical connections will increase, due

to loosening and corrosion for instance. The corresponding rise in

temperature can cause components to fail, resulting in unplanned

outages and even injuries. In addition, the energy spent on generating

heat causes unnecessary energy losses. If left unchecked, the heat

can even rise to the point where connections melt and break down; as

a result, fires may break out.

Examples of failures in high-voltage installations that can be detected

with thermal imaging:

• Oxidation of high voltage switches

• Overheated connections •

Incorrectly secured connections

• Insulator defects

These and other issues can be spotted at an early stage with a thermal

imaging camera. A thermal imaging camera will help you to accurately

locate the problem, determine the severity of the problem, and

establish the time frame in which the equipment should be repaired.

A wide view of a substation can quickly show areas where unwanted high

resistance connections exist. No other predictive maintenance technology is

as effective for electrical inspections as thermal imaging.

One of the many advantages of thermal imaging is the ability to perform

inspections while electrical systems are under load. Since thermal imaging

is a non-contact diagnostic method, a thermographer can quickly scan a

particular piece of equipment from a safe distance, leave the hazardous

area, return to his office and analyze the data without ever putting himself

in harm’s way.

Thermal imaging cameras allow you to inspect high voltage installations

from a safe distance, increasing worker safety.

Continuity is very important to utilities since many people rely on their

services. Therefore thermal imaging inspections have become the core of

utility predictive maintenance programs throughout the world.

Thermal imaging cameras are used for inspections of electrical systems and

components in all sizes and shapes and their use is by no means limited to

large high voltage applications alone.

Electrical cabinets and motor control centers are regularly scanned with

a thermal imaging camera. If left unchecked, heat can rise to a point that

connections melt and break down; as a result, fires may break out.

Besides loose connections, electrical systems suffer from load imbalances,

corrosion, and increases in impedance to current. Thermal inspections can

quickly locate hot spots, determine the severity of the problem, and help

establish the time frame in which the equipment should be repaired.

Examples of failures in low voltage equipment that can be detected with

thermal imaging:

• High resistance connections

• Corroded connections

• Internal fuse damage

• Internal circuit breaker faults

• Poor connections and internal damage

These and other issues can be spotted at an early stage with a thermal

imaging camera. This will help to prevent costly damages and to avoid

dangerous situations.

Whether you intend to use thermal imaging cameras for

low voltage inspections in production plants, office facilities,

hospitals, hotels or domestic residences, FLIR Systems has

exactly the right thermal imaging camera for the job.

References: Flir Systems

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