Many Property Managers and Facility Managers understand the need for thermal imaging, but some don’t truly understand what the resulting scans mean for the properties they manage .
Thermography enables us to skillfully see what cannot be seen by the naked eye. We can interpret infrared imaging to determine any areas of concern and inevitably prevent havoc. At PME, our electricians are trained and experienced in both qualitative and quantitative thermography, to test your switchboards for any electrical and mechanical concerns, essentially providing you piece of mind, with a detailed diagnosis of your building’s electrical health.
“We can show you if anything is hotter, or colder, than it should be. We can then do something about it for you, before it becomes a very serious problem! Seeing is believing…”
WHAT IS THERMAL IMAGING?
Thermal Imaging is a process of viewing heat, generated from an electrical switchboard. The more power a device draws from a switchboard, or if there is a malfunctioning component in a switchboard, the more heat that is generated and will therefore be detected through a thermal image. Infrared cameras are used to capture the thermo graphic image. In the electrical industry it also call thermoscanning.
THERMAL IMAGING IS A MANDATORY COMPONENT OF YOUR BUILDING’S PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE
When any one of the following areas of concern is present in a switchboard, it can generate excess heat and stress on the board, and left undetected can cause a full or partial power outage to the building that can be very disruptive for your tenants:
• Loose terminals
• Undersized cables
• Faulty fuses or circuit breakers
• Incorrectly fitted components
HOW TO READ A THERMAL IMAGING REPORT
A switchboard’s temperature has to be matched against the ambient room’s temperature in order to be able to identify if and where there’s a potential hazard. If the switchboard’s under too much stress or it is too hot, then the internal elements may ignite, with the results being catastrophic. The darker the colour means the cooler the element or area is. The lighter the colour means the area is warmer and generally under more stress. As seen in the example shown above, ‘purple’ signals COOL and ‘yellow – white’ signals WARM – HOT, in respect to the ambient room temperature.
HOW OFTEN DOES A SWITCHBOARD NEED A THERMAL IMAGING TEST?
Thermal imaging for all your building’s switchboards should be carried out every 12 months and more frequently if environmental conditions are influential. Many insurance companies are now making thermal imaging a condition of policy renewal.
WILL THERE BE DISRUPTION TO MY BUILDING’S POWER SUPPLY DURING A THERMAL IMAGING TEST?
Thermography is a non-destructive defect testing technique, which means there’s no interference to your building’s power supply during a preventative maintenance check. Switchboard thermo scanning is undertaken while the equipment is on-line and running at normal capacity. By monitoring temperatures and thermal patterns this allows for an early detection of possible faults, indicated by a rise in temperature.