Thermo Scanning

Source: Infrascan Thermal Imaging -

What Is It? Firstly, the process can be called various names viz:  Thermo-scanning, Thermal Scanning, Thermographic scanning and Thermal Imaging - I think all these names appear at various times in the following article.

Thermal Scanning is a non-invasive diagnostic technique that allows qualified personnel to visualise and quantify changes in the surface temperature of electrical Switchgear. An infrared camera converts infrared radiation (heat) emitted from the surface of electrical equipment into electrical impulses. These impulses are mapped as colours which represent the various temperatures. Thermal Imaging identifies equipment flaws and pinpoints any “hot spots” often invisible to the naked eye.

When parts of electrical systems begin to have problems, they give off heat – usually a sign of electrical resistance or excessive friction. Abnormal temperatures can be easily identified and published. 

How Often Does Plant and Equipment Need to be Scanned?
The way most businesses learn that there is a problem in their electrical system is when it fails. The downtime can be costly and devastating to your business. How often depends really on the type of machinery and the dependence on that machinery/equipment.

Before an electrical component burns up, it heats up. Early detection with Infrared Thermal Scanning detects growing problems before they cause a system failure or fire. Maintenance personnel can correct the problem before the component fails.

Infrared thermography is used to perform inspections on electrical equipment because excess resistance on electrical apparatus indicates electrical faults such as:

  • Loose connections
  • Overloads
  • Imbalanced circuits
  • Faulty Equipment
  • Damaged switches
  • Faulty fuse
  • A wide range of other unwanted electrical conditions.

What are the benefits of Thermal Scanning?
Using Thermal imaging as a vehicle to facilitate early detection of equipment failure will directly benefit businesses as follows:

  • Cost Savings: No other preventative method is as cost effective as thermal scanning. Historically – plants were shut down and EACH electrical termination was individually tested for tightness / joint resistance.
  • Non-destructive Testing: Thermal Scanning can easily identify heat related external anomalies without having to disconnect or destroy any equipment.
  • Building hazard reduction e.g. Reduces the possibility of fire
  • Early detection of potential faults