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Importance of Thermography Inspection in Electrical Safety

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Electricity has become an integral part of our everyday life. During power outages, we understand the importance of electricity within a few minutes. In recent times, with the rapid growth of industries and commercial space, we are witnessing an exponential increase in the number of electrical accidents. Such accidents not only cause loss of business but also cause loss of life, brand image, business continuity and loss of confidence amongst the employees in the workplace.


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that 10% of the fires occurring in manufacturing units and industries are related to electrical system failures, such as failure of electrical insulation, terminals, and related components.


What is Thermography?


Thermography is a non destructive test method which is used as predictive maintenance fault finding technique in electrical equipments and helps in identifying potential electrical safety hazards and fire accidents.The technique inspects electrical equipments by obtaining heat distribution pictures and is based on the fact that most components in a system show an increase in temperature when malfunctioning. It helps in detecting hot spots, poor connections, unbalanced loads, deteriorated insulation, or other potential problems in energized electrical components. It allows to immediately see what's wrong in an electrical system. Timely detection of electrical problems helps to avoid fires caused by overloaded circuits or faulty wiring.


Purpose of thermography


Faults in electrical systems are highlighted by hot spots. Hot spots are often the result of increased resistance in a circuit, overloading or insulation failure. Thermography helps in getting results without interrupting operational system.


Electrical breakdowns are inconvenient and costly. Nowadays, maximizing uptime and maintaining the assets is a primary requisite for complex and sophisticated process systems. Even a short term production loss or breakdown could result in business loss. Thermography helps to identify the fault before a breakdown occurs. This gives us the opportunity to solve the problem as part of planned maintenance before it becomes a serious issue.


Thermography is an investment in maintaining safety, productivity and profitability of any business. Value Addition


Thermography -Predictive Maintenance Application offers following benefits;


  • ⦁ Increased Safety
  • ⦁ Inspections can be done under full operational conditions
  • ⦁ Identifies unbalanced loads, Cable overheating and stressed electrical elements
  • ⦁ Reduces the risk of an electrical fire
  • ⦁ Planned maintenance is possible
  • ⦁ No loss of production
  • ⦁ Enhanced equipment life
  • ⦁ Increase in reliability
  • ⦁ Downtime reduction
  • ⦁ Improves system performance
  • ⦁ Determines electrical elements design intent and compliance with relevant standards

REFERENCE STANDARDS


Excessive heat can result in Equipment Failure and Damage, Fire Accidents, Safety Threat to Humans, Burns & Injuries. Hence it is recommended to conduct Thermography Tests periodically as a proactive measure. NFPA 70 B standards recommends Thermography to be a critical part of Electrical Preventive Maintenance Program and prescribes that Thermography should be done annually.


  • ⦁ NFPA 70 B.
  • ⦁ IEC 61439 and
  • ⦁ IS 8623-3.

Some examples of Fault Identification through Thermographic Inspection


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