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Testing and Commissioning of Control Panels with Thermal Infrared Imaging

John Herbert, hong kong energy saving expert, BEAM expert
John Herbert

Each building project has a number of electrical control panels, typically switchboards, motor control centres, chiller panels, fan panels, pump panels, equipment control panels, and various other of types of local motor control panels. Smooth operation of these panels is neccessary for the engineering systems to operate uninterrupted.

testing and commissioning electrical panels
Above: Thermal Infrared Scan Reveals overheating hot MCB needing repair

In the past, once these control panels were commissioned and operating, the traditional T&C task was complete.

However, after the panel is live and operating, the latest technology now allows an extra test, using a thermal infrared technology, to scan the live operating panel (under full load), it is a fast check for the switches, contactors, relays, cables, and connectors, immediately identifying any suspect or defect indicated by hot spots on the infrared image.

testing and commissioning electrical panels

It is is accurate, that even minor defects in the cable conductor insulation can be detected (if within the fieid of view).

In practice, it means the technician can "see" the issue, often effect a repair immediately, and then re-check.

control panel thermal infrared test and commissioning
Above: Thermal infrared scan reveals hot spot, defective electrical switch needs replacement

While the electrical panel and circuits are live, and operating a full load, at a safe distance without any physical contact with the conductors, the panel elements can be scanned with our thermal infrared camera to determines the normal temperature of the cables, connections, switches and switchgear in the field of view, providing an instant colour temperature map, any defects appaear as bright hot spots in the image, these can be easily identifed, recorded and fixed.

thermal infrared scan electrical control panels
Above: Thermal Infrared Scan reveals loose electrical cable connection

Kelcroft's infrared inspection identifies any cable corrosion, mechanical damage, or loose connections cause the localised heating with hot spots visible in the infrared spectrum.

Kelcroft's thermal infrared imaging is fast, accurate to 0.01 degC, its the best non-destructive test (NDT) method to pin point potential defects when the panel is live within the field of view.

Call Kelcroft to order a rapid thermal infrared inspection today!

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