While carrying out an annual fixed wiring test (EICR) at the SAS UK in Marlow, GA Electrical identified some areas of the electrical installation which showed signs of overloading and heat damage. A more thorough investigation was required and a thermal imaging survey was recommended.
Site Services Manager, Cheryl Remsbury said:
“It was during some routine electrical testing that GA Electrical advised us that some of our older distribution equipment was showing signs of heat damage and suggested they carry out a non evasive thermal survey, as much of our equipment could not be isolated easily.
There was the occasional fault and we were keen to see the results of this survey. When the survey was presented to us the results were fantastic and we immediately identified some circuits which required modifications.
We are great believers in preventative maintenance and we know the action we took resolved potential problems, we are delighted with the results.”
The Technical Stuff
Potential Electrical Problems can often be identified by an excessive amount of heat being released by machine components. If undetected these problems can lead to failure. These failures can result in expensive production loss or downtime and in the most extreme case can lead to fire.
Thermal Imaging or Thermography is the process of using a special camera designed to look only for heat using Infra Red (IR) energy waves. Unlike light waves, IR is invisible to the naked eye and therefore so is heat. This makes Thermography an important part of a routine maintenance schedule.
A regular programme of Thermal Imaging as part of routine maintenance can highlight potential problems long before any event. As a result any required repairs can be planned for in terms of both time and budget. In electrical systems Thermal Imaging can find:
- Loose connections
- Phase imbalances
- Blocked or restricted cooling tubes in transformers
- High resistance in fuses and switchgear
Thermal imaging is one of the most valuable diagnostic tools for predictive maintenance.