In recent weeks we have purchased our very own Flir Thermal Camera. Thermal imaging has many uses across our industry, mainly in the industrial and commercial sectors, but can also be used in Domestic installations.
Infrared (IR) is electromagnetic radiation, which is invisible to the human eye. Thermography, or Thermal Imaging, is basically using a special camera which can see the heat emitted from this radiation.
Naturally, resistance to electricity, as well as moving parts, cause heat. This is a key element in our industry: The more resistance and heat, the more faults and issues arise.
The use of our Thermal camera can detect things such as high resistance joins, before any breakdown occurs. For Example: A loose lug on a switchboards main switch – this resistive join will cause heat. Routine maintenance using Thermal Imaging can detect this, before the main switch burns out and potentially shuts down the whole plant for x amount of time.
Another example would be looking at the electric motors on a conveyor system – a seized bearing will cause high temperatures that the Thermal camera can detect. If a seized bearing is not fixed, it will eventually completely collapse, which can potentially shut down the whole conveyor system.
Thermal Imaging is an integral part of routine maintenance in this day and age. The cost of an electrician with a Thermal Imaging camera is minute in comparison to a plant shutting down from what could have been a very simple after hours fix.
The main reason breakdowns happen, and issues arise is a failure to complete routine maintenance, or user error (whether that be installation method or general end user wear and tear).
If you are interested in getting some Thermal Imaging and other maintenance works done, please feel free to give us a call. The service includes all images taken, as well as a full report on the images including a rating of how critical the issue is. All reports prepared come with a course of action plan (ie. Potential high resistance join – re termination required as soon as possible). If the issue is that critical, our trained A class electricians can fix them on the spot.
The below images were taken in the main switchboard at a factory in Bayswater where we conduct all maintenance and works. On an average day, this plant is drawing roughly 100amps/phase. As you can see in the pictures, one circuit in particular is drawing quite a heavy load at this point in time, with one conductor in particular looking hotter than the others. After taking this picture, we checked the terminations on the cable which were fine. That particular phase was drawing more current due to a larger load on the machine.