Condition Monitoring With Infrared Thermography
Thermal Imaging Services Limited is a consultant engineering company specialising
in thermography. Technically qualified staff utilising the very best available thermal imaging technology in conjunction with specifically designed software, will provide you with a detailed report on your plant and equipment with no disruption to the service or operation of equipment.
Thermographic imaging (hot spot detection) is the most cost-effective method in determining faults in all electrical, electronic and mechanical equipment for industrial and commercial businesses.
Infrared thermography is playing an increasingly important role in facility maintenance. This technique of producing pictures called thermograms, from the invisible thermal radiation that objects emit, serves the maintenance engineer in two ways.
It is a non-contact means of identifying electrical and mechanical components that are hotter than they should be - often as indication of areas of impending failure - and it indicates excessive heat loss which is usually a sign of faulty equipment or inadequate insulation.
By detecting potentially serious faults before they have a chance to fail, infrared thermography prevents unexpected stoppages in production and allows you to schedule repairs at a time which is convenient to everyone. A thermographic survey of an electrical switchboard for example will reveal in seconds the location of any component with abnormal temperatures, which may result in a fire or equipment failure. These are commonly known as hot spots.
Cost cutting benefits of the technology include: protecting capital equipment investment, reducing insurance premiums, speeding inspection and diagnosis, checking repair work and saving energy.
Usually involves rotating equipment. Excessive heat can be generated from friction caused by faulty bearings, inadequate lubrication, misalignment, misuse and normal wear.
Thermal imagingʼs value in mechanical inspections is saving time by pinpointing the problem area rather than indicating the cause of over heating. Other inspection methods can then be used to find the cause of the problem.
Will identify problems caused by current/resistance relationships. Generally a hot spot will be generated in an electrical circuit as a result of either a loose, oxidised or corroded connection or a malfunction of the component itself.
Candidates for an infrared electrical survey include overhead transmission lines, substations, transformers, thyristor banks, circuit operating devices, switched, fuses, circuit breakers, control equipment, motors and motor control centres.
The heat generated at the point of increased resistance is conducted away by the adjacent conductor and air. When this occurs the thermogram will show a hot area at the connection and a gradual tapering off of temperature as the distance form the connection increases.
But not all electrical over-heating is a sign of increased resistance. In a 3 phase system, for example, a small change in current flow can result in a considerable amount of heating difference. In this case the overheating will appear to the inspector as a consistent temperature along the length of the conductor.
Whilst electrical and mechanical inspection are two of the most common applications for infrared thermography, thermal imaging techniques can be applied to many other situations such as refractory/insulation, composite materials, steam systems and building and roofing surveys.
The increased temperature on the end of the shaft bearing of this motor indicates excessive friction. Undetected, it could lead to seizure and bring production to a halt.
Thermograms of steam traps are very useful in detecting leakages. If heat is detected downstream from the trap, steam is passing through the trap causing huge energy loss.