|Operating Principles of Infrared Thermography|
Every object whose surface temperature is above absolute zero (-273 °C) radiates energy at a wavelength corresponding to its surface temperature. Utilizing our highly sensitive infrared cameras, it is possible to convert this radiated energy into a thermal image of the object being surveyed.
The ThermaCAM PM390 System utilized by Infra-red Analyzers, Inc. consists of an infrared camera with optics transparent only to infrared radiation and a video monitor capable of displaying the thermal image. The camera converts radiated heat energy into an electrical signal which is then displayed on the monitor as a real-time heat image of the object being scanned. This digital thermal image can be captured directly from the camera and processed for CD-ROM, printed report, or analog VHS videotape generation.
In our reports, hard-copy documentation of the survey findings is provided through the use of two different types of images. Color Thermograms (photographs of the infrared image) and Control Photos (conventional digital images of the same scene taken during the inspection) are provided of problem areas uncovered during the inspection. In the thermograms, temperatures are displayed in a spectrum of colors. This chart illustrates the hierarchy of colors used to represent the relative temperature differences of the problems found during the inspection.
Infrared Thermography is an ideal technique for inspecting electrical equipment for defective components or connections. Normal wear, vibration, chemical contamination, corrosion, fatigue, and faulty assembly or installation may lower the conductivity and increase the resistance level of a connection or component. This increase in resistance will cause an increase in the temperature of the connection or component. Excessive heat can be readily noted and the temperature rise measured by the infrared camera. Increased temperatures indicate potential trouble spots which could lead to failure of the component.
An Infrared Electrical Equipment Inspection is performed while the electrical system is under normal load. This non-contact, nondestructive technique causes no disruption to the normal operating routine of the system being inspected. In a plant or commercial building, all of the electrical equipment, including switches, fuses, motor controllers, motors, transformers and drives can be quickly and effectively inspected for defective connections or malfunctioning components. Whenever the infrared inspection locates an over-heating item, its temperature is measured and a priority for the severity of the problem is established. The identification of overheating problems permits early corrective measures to be implemented, thereby increasing safety, preventing costly equipment failures, reducing equipment downtime, and eliminating potential fire hazards.
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