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1. The IR thermal camera can reduce the risk of power outages and downtime

Using IR thermal camera when equipment is powered on and during continuous operation can quickly detect potentially dangerous problems, enabling a controlled shutdown before unplanned interruptions in operation. This technology prevents premature failure of equipment, extends its lifespan, and reduces the risk of costly power outages and downtime.

2. IR thermal camera improves electrical preventive maintenance programs

Electrical preventive maintenance programs (data trend forecasting) play a vital role in the proper operation of large electrical systems. If people can spot a potential problem before it becomes serious, it is possible to prevent electrical systems from harming infrastructure and people by implementing controlled shutdown orders, as well as preventing costly equipment failures and downtime. A professional thermal camera is an extremely useful component of this type of EPM program, as it provides a means of detecting such potential problems with minimal intervention.

Of course, as with any diagnostic tool, IR thermal cameras can also lead to a large number of false positives if practitioners make mistakes during the image acquisition and image analysis stages. This is mainly because electrical equipment is always at a reasonably high temperature, so some hot spots are inherent in thermal images. It is important to understand that the mere observation of a hot spot in a thermal image does not necessarily indicate a problem, as many influencing factors can affect the results of an infrared camera scan. Effective use of infrared detection requires a great deal of skill, training, interpretation, and awareness.

The purpose of this article is to highlight the most important of the data collection and interpretation stages of an IR thermal camera and to provide readers with some best practices at each stage. We're also working to provide a checklist of the intricacies that users of the IR thermal camera should be familiar with in order to get the most out of this extremely efficient imaging paradigm. We hope that the information in this paper will help practitioners make accurate judgments about whether observed hotspots are more likely to be caused by anomalies or errors in data collection or diagnosis. Finally, professional thermal cameras combine powerful diagnostic tools with the experience of seasoned practitioners to provide real value for preventive maintenance and help to drastically reduce the frequency of equipment failures in power systems.