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By Using Infrared Thermography”
Infrared condition monitoring techniques offer an objective way of assessing the condition of plant equipment. Infrared thermography is a condition monitoring technique used to remotely gather thermal information from any object or area, converting it to a visual image. The equipment is more compact, it is easier to use, it provides better imagery, faster analysis and uses software that allows reports to be written easily. Prices are also continually dropping in order to predict the need for maintenance. Thermography also has the ability to generate information that can be used to improve equipment and enhance operational and process modifications. Temperature is a key variable in virtually any situation and for all processes for example, if we have even the slightest deviation from normal body
temperature we feel sick. In industry, we have plenty of examples too. All this radiation around us can be imaged, measured and stored by an infrared system for analysis, Infrared thermography is the science of the acquisition and analysis of thermal information from non-contact thermal imaging devices. Another where area
thermography can provide significant benefits is in the optimization of
preventive maintenance (PM). Preventive maintenance (PM) tasks are designed to avoid unplanned failures by periodically inspecting, testing and replacing parts. In many Cases, these time-based tasks result in unnecessary work and wasted parts or
materials, satisfactory preventive maintenance inspection can justify deferral or elimination of some tasks, reducing plant manpower requirements and part expenditure.
All electrical components have a tendency to heat up as their physical condition worsens or their electrical properties deteriorate. In 1965 the Swedish Power Board began inspecting approximately 1,50,000 components a year. In 1986 the UK Electrical Generation Board began utilizing infrared thermography for predictive maintenance on transmission lines. However, thermography was revolutionized with the introduction of image type thermovision cameras in the Nineties. As this is a non –contact technique, it is safe and shutdown is not required. It helps to record and documents the thermal characteristics of almost any object that emits infrared radiation. Thermal images can quickly and easily locate abnormal sources of heat, which in electrical systems often indicate potential problems. Portable infrared cameras are used to convert this infrared radiation energy into high resolution thermal images that are displayed on conventional video screens for quantitative and qualitative analysis. Temperature is the single most measured parameter for a condition monitoring exercise. Temperature is simply crucial and having control over it will mean higher quality, better safety and money saved. Thermography spans many subject areas like electrical power generation, transmission, and distribution systems. An Infrared Camera is designed to detect this overheating and interpret it as early warning signs of imminent failure.
Our environment contains many different forms of energy that are propagated through space at the speed of light. These forms of energy are differentiated as a function of their wavelength. Infrared radiation begins just above the visible light spectrum and continues up to wave lengths of one thousand of a meter. Above infrared
are radio waves. All objects above absolute zero in temperature emit infrared radiation .This natural occurrence is caused by thermal agitation of the object’s molecules .Because molecules are composed of electrical charges, the oscillations of the molecules created radiation emitted by an object is directly related to its temperature. The Infrared spectrum is divided In to four common regions. These are 0.75 to 2 micron referred to as near infrared, 2 to 5 microns referred to as short wave Infrared, 8 to 14 microns referred to as long wave Infrared. Radiation in the 5 to 8 micron range is almost completely absorbed by the atmosphere. Infrared Thermography spans many subject areas like electrical power generation, transmission, and distribution systems and various fields like mechanical and medicine fields as follows:
Long wave systems are theoretically more sensitive to low temperature emission, whereas short wave has in theory better capabilities to detect a broader band of higher temperatures. However the short wave region has areas of signal attenuation caused by the absorption of the signal by CO2 H20 and 03. The long wave system is not sensitive to reflections, which are normally a problem for a short wave system. The choice of using a short wave system over a long wave system, or a long wave system over a short wave system, should not be based on theoretical detection but on actual detectability of the particular system.
Basic Thermal Science:
One must know the basic concepts of temperature, heat, heat transfer and direction of heat transfer, to understand infrared thermography. Thermal energy is transferred from one body to another body by any or all of the following mechanisms: 1. Conduction 2. Convection 3. Radiation 4. Evaporation / Condensation with infrared imaging, the sensor or the scanner is only detecting radiated energy. Heat transfer by radiation is achieved by emission and absorption of thermal radiation. All objects will emit and absorb thermal ration at the same time. The net heat transfer is the
difference between what an object absorbs and emits Exitant radiation is all the radiated energy that leaves the surface of an object regardless of its original sources: 1. 2. 3. Emitted, from the object itself Reflected from a source in front of the object Transmitted, from a source behind the object
The target fig -2 has a temperature and an emissivity, which the power of the radiation coming from the target depends upon the radiation power of the other two radiation component does not depend on the target temperature, but on the temperature and emissivity of the reflection and the transmission heat sources, respectively.
How is A Visual Light is Image Created From Infrared energy ?
An infrared imaging device contains one or more detectors that convert energy in the infrared spectrum into an electrical signal. The more energy detected the greater the electrical signal output. The electrical signals are typically formatted into a video signal and displayed on a CRT/LCD. The amplitudes of the electrical signals are then displayed as varying intensities on the CRT/LCD thus creating a contrast in the image in different pallets such as Grey, Iron and Rainbow etc. depending upon the applications,
In thermography, there are many factors apart from the surface temperature of the object s that affect and disturb the temperature measurements for accurate temperature measurements it is crucial to know which those factors are, and how the equipment compensates for them. Before the measured radiation can be transformed into
temperature all other radiation sources have to be compensated for by the equipment so that the measured temperature is a function of the object temperature and not of the distance, emissivity or the internal equipment temperature. If any if the Electrical components deteriorate there is an increase in resistance to the flow of electrical current. With increase in resistance comes the increase in radiant energy output as the component gets heated a thermal imaging system detects this radiant energy. In case of an overloading conductor or imbalance in a three phase system the more current flowing through the line the greater the temperature of that line and the brighter the thermal pattern appears.
Visual v/s Infrared Image:
There are to fundamental differences between looking in the infrared and in the visual. Visual is mainly reflections, while infrared is mainly a combination of object emission and reflection. Visual is color and intensity, while infrared is only intensity. If two objects are at same temperature, the object with higher emissivity radiates more than the object with low emissivity. Hence the first object looks brighter than the second. Emissivity causes the contrast in both the thermal images Though both receive radiation from the surroundings, which is also reflected, but more by the second object with low emissivity and high reflectivity and less by first object with high emissivity and low reflectivity.
Quantitative v/s Qualitative Analysis:
In planning for an infrared inspection is normally looking to obtain the best service for the amount of money spend. Unfortunately, due to many mis-representations by infrared service companies the customers are confused about the “facts of infrared operations” and often pay for meaningless date. This problem is especially prevalent in conducting infrared inspections for the electrical utility industries. Infrared as a technology is not new! In fact, quality infrared systems have been in service for over 30 years and continue to evolve.
Thermal Image Analysis Techniques:
Thermal Gradient - It is a gradual change in temperature over distance. It Indicates presence of conductive heat transfer which is the only mode in opaque solids. Thermal Tuning: It means adjusting the scale of the image in order to optimize contrast. For this level and span controls of the camera are used Isotherm: It replaces certain colors in the scale with a contrasting color. It marks an interval of equal apparent temperature. The feature is used to find out if there is any heat floe e.g. thermal gradient. Palettes: The color palettes of the image assigns different colors to mark specific levels of apparent temperature they can give more or less contrast depending on the colors used in them for electrical installation, generally an iron palette is used which is a low contrast palette.
Factor Affecting the Measurement:
Atmosphere:- Though it is a transmissive object between camera and the target the even some factors affect the measurement they are Distance, Ambient temperature, and Relative humidity. Reflected radiation: - Reflection from nearby objects apparent temperature of these objects that result in radiation that is reflected by the target into the camera is known as reflected apparent temperature. Emissivity: - A low emissivity target will always try to look like the surroundings if the target is hotter than the surroundings it will look colder than it is and if it is colder than the surrounding it will look warmer than it is. It can be said that a low emissivity target tries to camouflage its real temperature to the thermal imager for high emissivity targets apparent t temperature is very close to real temperature.
Calibration: - The calibration of the camera is performed in a lab under controlled environmental conditions with a large number of black body reference sources within emissivity approaching 1.0.
Spatial resolution and target size:- Ideal equipment would of course
measure the same object temperature even when looking at an object that is very small compared to the whole field of view. Relation between Field Of View and Distance (240 Lens)
Electrical Distribution Systems
What Can Be Detected:
Improperly Closed Air Switch
Loose/deteriorated connections Overloads Imbalanced Loads Open Circuits Inductive Heating Harmonics Defective Equipment
locate problems quickly, without interrupting service
Load Imbalance on Bus Duct
drastically reduce costly, unscheduled power outages minimize preventive maintenance time and maximize troubleshooting effectiveness prevent premature failure and extend equipment life
What Can Be Detected:
Uneven Heating Caused by Misalignment
Misalignment of coupled equipment Over/under lubrication of bearings Over/under tension of belted systems Excessive friction Defective Equipment
Defective Pillow Block Bearing
quickly locate misaligned coupled equipment increase equipment reliability and life increase production and efficiency while saving energy increase quality of product minimize downtime by planning the required manpower and materials before shutdown improve worker productivity and morale by correcting potential problems proactively
Overheated Shaft Bearing
Structural Energy Loss
What Can Be Detected:
Q/A Inspection Detects Missing Insulation in New Building
Missing, damaged, or improperly installed insulation Energy losses caused by air infiltration and exfiltration Water infiltration Damaged refractory
help reduce heating and cooling energy costs evaluate thermal performance of retrofits identify areas of latent moisture detect conditions conducive to mold or insect problems provide hardcopy proof of problems
Compromised Refractory in Steel Ladle
Conventional Maintenance Procedures:
Generally a fairly uniform set of maintenance procedures are adopted in many organizations. These include: Visual inspections Cleaning equipment Tightening connections Over current device testing Insulation quality testing
Advantages of Thermographic Approach:
Infrared inspection is non-contact. It uses remote sensing. Firstly, it keeps the user out of danger i.e. away from live electrical components. Secondly, it does not intrude upon or affect the target as well Infrared thermography is two dimensional. We can measure temperature of many
points in the same image and compare them. Thus analysis of image is very effective and simple. Infrared thermography is real time. It allows us to do over fast scanning
Electrical equipment is inspected during operation, so the power doesn’t have to
be interrupted. Reduced inspection costs as large quantities of equipment can be scanned in a labour time and money
short period of times finding the trouble spot quickly, saving over regular trouble shooting.
Faults can be pinpointed before maintenance is carried out, so maintenance
resources are directed where they are most needed and prioritized, resulting in significant labour and cost savings.
Infrared Program :
In order to profit from the benefits of infrared thermography, regardless of the technology chosen, much consideration should be given to establishing an infrared inspection program. One that is properly initiated is guaranteed to provide users with a quick return on investment. Typically this will occur within 3 months of purchasing and using the equipment, but many companies claim receiving a payback the very first day on which they performed an infrared inspection.
The first of several steps in setting up a successful thermography program is:
The interest in this technology is that it promises major advances for infrared focal plane arrays: Excellent pixel uniformity, imaging and sensitivity performance. Large pixel format capability, up to 640 x 480 QWIPs are tunable and can be made responsive from about 3 to 25 microns, can be made for broad band and dual band applications. Can be produced at relatively low cost and in large quantities. Education: The very first step is to find out some more about the products and technology that are available and how they can be used. Go to introductory seminars and conferences.
Request product data sheets and application literature from equipment vendors Browse the internet. This is a little time consuming, but there is a wealth of information on the web. Contract in an independent consultant to assist in the assessment and education process. Hire an experienced infrared service company and learn from their employees while they are performing an inspection in the field.
Hence conventional cleaning and tightening procedures can overlook many problems these overlooked problems as well as those that may have been remedied by the preventive maintenance program will be identified by a competent infrared survey. Infrared thermography is capable to instantly identify all resistive type problem, that are the object of the conventional cleaning and tightening procedures in addition poor connections that are not readily accessible during conventional maintenance can be checked connection contact and calibration problems in thermal overload devices and fuses can be instantly spotted. The most costly component of many preventive maintenance program is equipment cleaning and connection tightening this is appropriate since these procedure are directed towards correcting deficiencies in terminations, joints and contact points the location of most electrical failures also these procedures are highly labour intensive since substantial component disassembly and reassembly is required to access all the major contact points and terminations. Thermo-graphic imaging and infrared temperature measurements have been used extensively by POWERGRID for maintenance related activities. Improvements in the sensitivity and selectivity of infrared imaginary now allow more meaningful observational comparisons of substation equipments the team of thermographers with skills and capabilities have allowed to uncover a number of
impending problems that could have led to catastrophic failure and unscheduled outages. The increased sensitivity of newer designs rejection of unwanted reflections .improvements of specific point resolution and in depth training have contributed to “Infrared Imaging as an Effective Condition Monitoring System ”.
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