A Closer Look at Infrared Therography [ PDF 905 kB ]

Global Risk Communication:
A Closer Look at Infrared Thermography
Infrared Thermography (IR) has been used in industrial and commercial facilities for a few
decades and the practice has been well documented and proven. Global Risk Consultants
(GRC) utilizes Infrared Thermography technology to uncover and identify “invisible”
threats. Our technology can spot these threats and provide recommendations to prevent
future failure.
Detecting, reporting, and acting on these invisible threats can go a long way in preventing
outages, equipment damage, fire, and those losses that occur under the deductible, which
takes in a fair percentage of a locations potential equipment loss exposure. Add in the
possibility of a major Business Interruption due to a power failure, or the potential injury
or loss of life, should the consequences of small occurrences quickly trend to the negative
side, and it is easy to see why insurers and NFPA recommend IR inspections at some set
frequency.
One of the first indications that an object is trending to failure is a change in a readily
observable physical condition - temperature.
Image 1
Electrical connections become loose and the
increase of the flow of electrons to that point
manifests in a change in resistance with a resultant
temperature increase that can be observed with
an infrared imager. Likewise, an increase in friction
on a bearing, belt, or conveyor can quickly be
noted and scheduled for repair.
Image 2
Summary Points:
 Infrared Thermography,
Ultrasonic, and Visual
Inspection are used to
detect and prevent failures.
 IR technology identifies
“invisible threats” by
detecting temperature
increases.
 Ultrasonic technology is
used to detect arcing,
tracking, and partial
discharge.
 Visual inspection should be
implemented consistently
and professionally.
Some examples of Infrared scans are seen here.
The bushing on the main transformer for a data
center is seen with an elevated temperature on
the H-1 main bushing which presents potential
business interruption (Image 1).
 Utilizing all methods
Image 2 shows an overheated motor thermal
signature which could be a bearing or internal
motor problem.
100 Walnut Avenue
provides you with data to
make informed loss control
decisions.
Global Risk Consultants
Suite 501
Clark, New Jersey
07066-1247
Not to be forgotten in the modern property loss prevention arsenal, ultrasonic technology
is used to detect arcing, tracking, and partial discharge in electrical equipment. This is
most often done adjunctive to an IR property loss control inspection of the medium to
higher voltage equipment found in substations, transformers, switchgear, and HV cables.
Since this type of equipment is often positioned in the system to feed other equipment, it
is normally designated as critical path equipment whose failure would disrupt production,
protection, and/or life safety.
Tel: 732-827-4400
Fax: 732-827-4490
E-mail:
contact@globalriskconsultants.com
The visual in Image 3 shows 6.6kV cabling on verge of catastrophic failure due to a
conductor breakdown that was detected ultrasonically. Net loss potential was $800,000
minus the potential of injury at time of phase to phase arc flash. Action was to replace the
damaged conductors and reroute as to not overlap and touch adjoining cabling.
Image 3
Another tried and true weapon in the loss control arsenal is neither new nor expensive,
and that is visual or physical inspection, which if implemented on a consistent and
professional level can be the most productive of the three techniques described. In this
case (Image 4), Tripping batteries and UPS batteries are critical components in any
electrical system and should have a documented visual inspection program. Image 5
shows the high side of a power company transformer that requires cleaning.
Image 4
Image 5
“Another tried and true
weapon in the loss
control arsenal is neither
new nor expensive, and
that is visual or physical
inspection, which if
implemented on a
consistent and
professional level can be
the most productive of
the three techniques
described”
“Those facilities that
engage in a planned
program of visual
inspection and repair of
critical path equipment
put themselves in a
position of strength in
the contest of man over
machine.”
Global Risk Consultants
100 Walnut Avenue
Suite 501
Clark, New Jersey
Those facilities that engage in a planned program of visual inspection and repair of critical
path equipment put themselves in a position of strength in the contest of man over
machine. Utilizing Infrared thermography, ultrasonics, and visual inspections, the Property
Loss Control Professionals at GRC can provide you with the data to make informed loss
control decisions.
07066-1247
Tel: 732-827-4400
Fax: 732-827-4490
E-mail:
contact@globalriskconsultants.com