Thermographic scanning and switchboard thermoscanning are some of the most sought-after services by facility managers and property owners. Even though people understand the significance of thermal imaging, they still fail to comprehend the impact of the scans on their properties.
Infrared imaging can detect problems or faults in building structures, HVAC systems, electrical installations, and even water pipelines. However, thermographic scanning, especially switchboard thermoscanning, is a specialized task that only trained professionals can perform. Thermographers, electricians, and contractors with proper training and experience in quantitative and qualitative thermography are essential for performing thermographic scanning.
What are Thermographic Scanning and Switchboard Thermoscanning?
Thermographic Scanning – It is detecting temperature variation in electrical components, panels, circuits, and other electrical installations quickly. The primary benefit is that this technique involves contactless measurements and correct readings through infrared cameras.
The infrared camera measures the heat emitted from the electrical surfaces into electrical impulses. These readings are displayed on the camera screen through various colors that demonstrate temperature fluctuations or even variable temperatures. It also shows the hot and cold electrical surfaces that are either not functioning correctly or have developed a critical issue.
Switchboard Scanning – Switchboard scanning refers to the scanning of heat generated from an electrical switchboard. The thermal cameras can easily read the abnormal heat, or even if an electrical component is malfunctioning. To avoid this, the electrical component tries to draw more heat from the switchboard. This heat is captured in the thermal cameras as thermal images.
The main objective of infrared cameras is to demonstrate these abnormal heating in the screen as yellow and blue colors. This process of finding issues in an electrical switchboard is called switchboard scanning.
What is the Importance of Thermographic Scanning and Switchboard Scanning?
Both these methods can detect electrical failures, flaws, or even hot spots, which are often invisible to the naked eye. With time, the electrical installations can develop wear and tear, and usually, they indicate the problem by giving various signs. These signs or the emission of abnormal heat can’t be detected without using tools like infrared cameras.
It’s easier to detect the underlying issue of electrical services, switchboards, circuits with the help of thermographic inspection. Moreover, thermographic scanning and switchboard scanning forms an integral part of regular preventive maintenance. These should be included in every building’s preventive maintenance strategy. Failure to identify the problems can generate excessive heat and stress on the electrical boards or installations. Some of the reason behind rising heat in an electrical installation, including switchboards, are:
- Improper fitting of electrical components
- Undersize cables
- Loose electrical cable connections
- Faulty connections such as fuse and wires
How frequently you need to Scan Electrical Installation and Switchboards?
Well, you’ve to scan electrical installation and switchboards at least once every three months. The only way you can observe a problem in your electrical systems is that when it is not functioning correctly. Sometimes it can also develop internal failures because of various factors. However, electrical malfunctioning can lead to severe consequences, often resulting in substantial monetary losses.
Further, an electrical installation tends to show failure only when it becomes too hot or develops abnormal heating. This is where the role of thermal scanners becomes crucial to detect problems at an early stage before it turns into a major issue. Not only can it lead to complete system failure, but also fire. Eventually, it might explode someday! Thus, you need to perform thermographic scanning at regular intervals to weed out more minor issues, which have the potential of growing into larger ones.
Expert thermographers or electricians with ample training in handling infrared imaging can scan switchboards and other electrical systems.
Thermographic scanning and switchboard scanning of electrical installations can reveal problems like:
- Faulty connections in the circuit system
- Overloading and overheating
- Incorrect switching
- Damaged fuse and wiring system
- Loose power connections
- Circuit imbalance
- Other electrical conditions
Hence, it is better to carry out a thermal inspection of your switchboards at least four times a year. This will allow you to monitor the condition of your electrical systems efficiently. Moreover, it will also save you from investing huge money to buy expensive electrical parts. Additionally, you get the opportunity to fix the problem at an early stage and enjoy an uninterrupted power supply.
Why do you need to include scanning in the Preventive Maintenance Strategy?
Conducting thermographic scanning and switchboard scanning at regular intervals can help you to locate the problem at its initial phase. It also reduces downtime, which is often longer when you use conventional methods of inspection. It also reduces the chances of fire, explosion, or even major issues arising because of the failure of electrical systems. Thermal scanning improves the efficiency of your electrical systems, components, and entire installations efficiently.
Thermographic scanning and switchboard scanning are ideal for ensuring the safety and security of your property and building.
What is the process of scanning?
Thermal scanning is usually carried out when the electrical system and switchboards run at total capacity and under standard load conditions. It is also better to conduct the inspection process when the electrical installation operates at its maximum capacity. Thermal scanning has no use if the electrical equipment is not carrying any current or when it is switched off.
Thermographic scanning and switchboard thermoscanning are successful only when there is a temperature variation in the electrical switchboards or installations. This is why it is necessary to carry out the task while the electrical equipment operates under standard load conditions. However, opening the switchboard covers should be done under the strict guidance of expert electricians.
How to Read the Thermographic Scan Reports?
When the inspection is complete, and the faulty electrical parts are detected, the thermographer will prepare a detailed report. All these scanned images are saved into the infrared camera as digital photos. Digital photos use a reference point to locate the faulty areas, connections, or even equipment failures.
Moreover, the scan report will also showcase the color images and find the possible solution to the problems. Categorization of faults is based upon their priority and importance.