Avoid Unplanned Outages and Shutdowns with Infrared Thermography

For more than 30 years, utilities and large manufacturers worldwide have depended on infrared thermography to help manage equipment reliability, deliver uninterrupted power, and avoid costly failures and shutdowns. The value of an infrared predictive maintenance program is immense. Many users report immediate payback on their IR camera purchases.
By FLIR Systems November 1, 2001
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FLIR’s ThermaCAM
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Examples of IR at Work

For more than 30 years, utilities and large manufacturers worldwide have depended on infrared thermography to help manage equipment reliability, deliver uninterrupted power, and avoid costly failures and shutdowns. The value of an infrared predictive maintenance program is immense. Many users report immediate payback on their IR camera purchases.

FLIR’s ThermaCAM

More electrical utilities monitor transmission, distribution and power generation systems with FLIR’s hand-held infrared imaging and temperature measurement systems than any other. Readers of PLANT ENGINEERING magazine selected FLIR’s newest infrared camera, the ThermaCAM PM 695 as Product of the Year in 2000. With its thermal and visual imaging capabilities, automatic report generation and precision noncontact temperature measurement, the rugged, handheld PM 695 captures the details needed to detect problems quickly and easily. For inspecting power lines, substations, electrical components, distribution equipment, or generation facilities, ThermaCAM infrared cameras locate problems accurately and safely, prior to failure.

Electrical systems get hot when connections loosen or corrode, and power is not properly transmitted. Because of IR’s noncontact temperature measurement capabilities, you can survey components, equipment and power lines from safe distances, without de-energizing them.

With an IR predictive maintenance program you can:

  • Find, quantify, and document problems caused by faulty components, poor connections, corrosion, contamination, or load imbalances.

  • Check mechanical interfaces made up of networks of insulators, switches, bushings, and buses.

  • Manage electrical grids more efficiently.

  • Avoid unplanned costs associated with emergency outages.

  • Verify new equipment installations.

  • Validate repair work.

  • Postpone previously scheduled maintenance of equipment found to be in good condition.

  • Get easy-to-understand reports that provide data needed to determine what needs corrective action and what is operating normally.

    • ThermaCAM PM infrared cameras easily distinguish between the electrical and mechanical connections that can cause problems and those operating normally. Simple-to-use integrated ThermaCAM Reporter software gives you the answers you need to know what repair action to take and when, saving time and money.

      FLIR has a team of experts eager to discuss your application. Contact us to learn why infrared thermography is the most valuable predictive maintenance technology available. FLIR also hosts free InfraForum seminars throughout North America where you can see demonstrations of infrared cameras and uncover the potential cost savings of an IR predictive maintenance program.

      Call 1-800-GO-INFRA or visit www.flir.com .

      Examples of IR at Work

      At a large public electric utility, a routine thermographic survey indicated one of the output filter capacitors of a station battery charger was considerably cooler than the others. The capacitor was tested and found to have failed. Replacement of the failing capacitor avoided an outage, saving an estimated $500,000.

      During a routine aerial IR survey, a Midwest utility using a ThermaCAM detected a 16 C rise in a transformer above its main tank. Thermal images indicated the transformer’s load tap changer contact had to be replaced due to coking and burning on the contact surfaces. If the problem had gone undetected and the transformer had failed, replacement costs would have exceeded $25,000. An outage would have affected more than 20,000 customers for a minimum of six hours.

      A major US paper manufacturer used IR to check the incoming power at the substation located on the plant property. The maintenance crew discovered a potential fault at the transformer feed. Had there been an actual power loss, the estimated production losses would have cost between $200,000 and $300,000.