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Infrared Electrical Surveys

infraredTESS Electrical Sales & Service, an industry leader in thermographic surveys for construction and marine industries, would like to explain in more detail the benefits of having an infrared electrical survey done on your electrical system.

What is the purpose of an Infrared/ Thermographic Electrical Survey?

A Thermographic Survey is undertaken to detect anomalies in electrical equipment on board, to provide an up-to-date analysis of equipment needing immediate preventative maintenance (corrective actions) and to maximize asset utility by the use of noninvasive thermal infrared inspection method. Simply described, by using sensitive thermal imaging technology, our trained technicians can inspect, analyze and possibly prevent electrical equipment from catastrophic failures before they happen, without harming your expensive equipment.  After completing a thorough inspection of all electrical equipment on board our team will deliver a formal report, rationalizing those concerns and identifying electrical equipment which require further preventative attention. Summarizing findings using the guidelines set out by The Infraspection Institutes Standard for Infrared Inspection of Electrical Systems & Rotating Equipment.


What is Infrared Thermal Imaging?

The human eye can only see a very small portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Thermal energy has a much longer wavelength than visible light, making it completely invisible to the naked eye without the correct equipment. Using Infrared Thermal Imaging , this portion of the spectrum becomes visible, helping us “see” and “measure” thermal energy emitted from an object. The higher the object’s temperature, the greater the IR radiation emitted. Infrared thermography cameras create images of invisible “heat” radiation and provide precise non-contact temperature measurements.

breaker-panel-infraredHow does TESS capture and report infrared imaging?

Infrared images are captured using the FLIR T440bx thermal imaging camera. This non-contact device detects infrared energy (heat) and converts it into an electronic signal, which is then processed to produce a thermal image and/or video. The images captured allow TESS Electric’s technical team to perform temperature calculations. Heat sensed by the FLIR T440bx can be precisely measured, identifying the exact severity of heat-related problems.

  • The FLIR T440bx infrared camera has a resolution of 76,800 pixels with a refresh rate of 30Hz for real time image and film footage capture, permitting photo-quality images in the spectral range of 7.5-13μm. The camera sensitivity is 0.045°C at 30°C permitting accurate non-contact qualitative in situ assessment and quantitative radiometric measurement, with an up-rated temperature sensing range of minus 20 to 650°C with ± 2% accuracy.

What’s the importance? Predictive Maintenance

Temperature is by far the most measured quantity in any marine environment. Monitoring the thermal operating condition of electrical and electro-mechanical equipment is considered to be key to increasing operational reliability and longevity, this is achieved using images captured by a non-invasive infrared thermal camera that aids us in diagnosing potential faults. Nearly Everything that uses or transmits power gets hot before it fails. Cost effective power management is critical to maintaining the reliability of your electrical and mechanical systems.

  • Visual – Thermal image production for interpretation and evaluation are reliant on differences in the levels of emitted radiation, which is accordingly displayed as dark coloration for cooler objects, and conversely lighter coloration for warmer components.
  • Baseline- Equipment operating under regular conditions and indicating a normal operating thermal signature is presented as a normal signature or baseline. Once a baseline is established any thermal variances deviating from the norm can be quickly detected and decisions made for either immediate repair, monitor, or replace at the next opportune time.
  • Delta T – To evaluate the severity of an anomaly, a delta-T or temperature difference criteria are used, which is defined against the ambient temperature, with anomalies being color coded for ease of identification.

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