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PCX-InfraredTestingThermal Imaging

What is Thermal Imaging?
An inspection by infrared or thermal scan utilizes a modern non-contact thermal imaging camera to inspect an electrical system.  This is typically performed to provide an annual thermal imaging report to a company’s insurance carrier, or as a part of a preventative maintenance program to look for problem areas which could lead to potential failure.

The image above is a three-phase circuit breaker with three internal connections via wire. This images shows overheating of electrical wires.

A thermal graphic or infrared scan is used to detect higher than normal temperatures within electrical components such as switchgear, circuit breaker panels, and fuses.  Higher than normal temperatures in electrical components is usually a precursor to a potential fault which could lead to unplanned downtime or in more severe cases a potentially dangerous electrical fire.  A thermal imaging camera is an easy method of identifying “hot” spots in electrical components because it is non-contact and an image can be archived for future comparison to determine degradation over time.  Routine inspections of electrical switchboards and/or electrical equipment can help prevent failures that could potentially cause expensive shutdowns of critical processes or manufacturing systems.  Moreover, a scheduled preventative maintenance program will help to manage budgets and reduce the risk of unexpected repair costs.

What can be detected from an Infrared Scan?

  • Hot spots
  • Overloaded circuit breakers
  • Electrical faults
  • Loose connections
  • Harmonics
  • Open circuits