Infrared Imaging: Temperature Differentials Tell the Story

By Michael Newbury  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Infrared Imaging: Viewing Modes ExpandPt. 2: Thermal Imagers Play Role in Preventive Maintenance ProgramsPt. 3: Safe Infrared Scanning Starts with Personal Protective EquipmentPt. 4: This PagePt. 5: Infrared Imaging: Beyond Electrical Systems

Thermal imagers display a color map that identifies temperature differentials of equipment invisible to the naked eye. The higher that temperature differential, the more likely it is a potential failure is looming. A slight temperature elevation either indicates an equipment-overload condition or the start of a loose connection. Technicians should review both of these conditions and correct them as soon as possible.

A high temperature differential or bright-red areas on the image indicate a more urgent condition. This situation most likely indicates an advanced problem technicians must review and correct immediately to prevent a catastrophic failure that could leave the facility without power or, worse, cause potential harm to people or property through an explosion or fire.

Infrared imagers might not allow managers or technicians to see through walls, but they can help them become quiet heroes in their facilities. Armed with this technology, they are poised and ready to save time and money, increase productivity and protect the lives of occupants by identifying potential problems in electrical systems early and making repairs before catastrophic events occur.

Michael Newbury— is a principal at Sparling, an electrical engineering and technology consulting firm with offices in Seattle, Portland and San Diego.

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  posted on 3/3/2010   Article Use Policy

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