Jun 16 2015

The Advantages of Using Continuous Infrared Monitoring

Thermal Monitoring in the Past

Thermal inspection has long been recognized internationally as the top method of identifying poor termination, the cause of many power outages. In the past, thermal imaging inspections were typically conducted one or two times a year from outside the enclosure where the equipment was housed. In addition, it could only be used for components that were within a direct line of sight and adjacent to the panel surface. This led to power failures, as well as long and expensive periods of downtime.

When thermal windows were introduced, they did improve the problem somewhat by providing a better view from the camera to the target. However, they were unable to put an end to many of the most important issues, like how to inspect targets that were not within a direct line of sight or the fact that inspections were rarely completed.

The Importance of Continuous Infrared Monitoring

Continuous infrared monitoring puts an end to this problem by providing uninterrupted thermal monitoring of mission critical electrical equipment from within the enclosure, as opposed to intermittent inspections conducted from outside where the equipment is held. As a result, continuous infrared monitoring, such as that offered by Exertherm™, has the ability to detect and identify the specific location of any potential problem before it can result in power failure. In addition, it can be used to gather trends and plan future load distribution.

How Does Exertherm™ Continuous Infrared Monitoring Work?

Small, plastic IR sensors are placed inside the enclosure where they can directly monitor key connections. In addition to these sensors being non-contact, they also require no external power. Cable joints can also be monitored via a patented cable sensor which is strapped to the cable and provides delta T measurements. They are then connected to a data card that has the ability to filter, linearize, and condition the signal from up to 8 various sensors. They collect condition and pass on the data to the host system. This allows for the thermal monitoring of all critical equipment.

Continuous Infrared Monitoring Has the Features You Need to Predict Electrical Power Failure

Trend analysis can be combined with the delta T readings in order to create a thermal map. Then, the thermal map can be used to provide the normal delta T value at any given load. Any variance of the delta T is indicative of a potential problem that needs to be addressed. Generic low and high level alarms are programmed to indicate fault levels regardless of load. You also have the option of adjusting the alarm levels to suit your specific conditions.
Screens give users the opportunity to view sensor readings and alarm status as a group or individually to identify discrepancies between phases and sensor locations. This allows for easy recognition of problems.

Thermal mapping can also be used to justify extended periods of time between invasive maintenance. This helps you avoid downtime, while also saving money. In addition, you can view the degeneration of equipment over a lifetime to help you more accurately plan an equipment replacement program.

All over the world, Exertherm™ is gaining acceptance and being deployed on major products to mitigate key risks in critical power systems. Contact John at Leedy Electric to find out more about how continuous infrared monitoring can save you time and money by preventing costly shutdowns of your electrical power system. Leedy Electric 863-425-2698

About Leedy Electric

Leedy Electric is a state certified electrical contractor and engineering firm, specializing in commercial and industrial construction and arc flash consulting, training and compliance. Leedy Electric has been providing superior service to clients throughout Florida for more than forty years. Over this time we’ve developed a solid reputation as one of the most respected commercial electrical contractors in the region. Whether you need electrical design for an office building under construction in Orlando, or you need Lighting Retrofits in Lakeland, Leedy Electric has the professional staff, the advanced equipment, and the skills to meet all of your demands.

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