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Heat-Scan / Thermal Imaging Electrical Inspections

Heat-Scan / Thermal Imaging
Increased resistance and heat are the primary reasons most electrical components fail. Before electrical components fail, they heat up. Infrared scanning is used to inspect electrical equipment because excess heat is usually the first sign of trouble. Loose connections, imbalanced and or overloaded circuits, defective breakers, damaged switches, faulty fuses, and material defects all lead to equipment failure. Having Mayer Electric perform periodic heat-scan / thermal imaging inspections as an early warning tool for identifying potential electrical equipment / system failure is an important part of maintaining mission critical uptime.

Having your electrical panels and equipment periodically checked by Mayer Electric's trained electrical professionalls utilizing the latest heat-scan / thermal Imaging equipment can generate tremendous cost savings for your company. Every time an electrical panel is accessed, it should be scanned. Anyone authorized to work in an electrical panel or high voltage cabling needs to be trained on the proper use of heat-scan / thermal imaging.

When any hot spots are found or any components are outside of normal operating temperatures, Mayer Electric troubleshoots and remedies the problem.

Heat-Scan / Thermal Imaging Electrical Panels
Electrical switchgear and panels are the lifeblood of a data center. Without it, equipment failure is immediate. Infrared scanning can identify problems prior to failure, allowing you to take proactive steps to prevent costly and sometimes dangerous electrical outages.

If your facility has dual power or utilizing redundant power sources (a.k.a. automatic standby generators), anytime you switch over power from primary to a backup power source infrared scan the switchgear and backup electrical panel boards and branch circuits for excessive heat. Testing while under load will tell you if there has been any degradation in the system components that could lead to future equipment failure and a possible outage.

All electrical panels should be opened to look for hot spots. Loose or week connections between breakers and the main panel bus and other deficiencies including overloaded circuits, load imbalances, harmonic problems and defective electrical components can all contribute to a thermal imaging heat signature.

When Mayer Electric identies a hot spot, the amp draw of that circuit is measured using an amp meter. The load is calculated to determine if the problem is related to excessive load to one or a number of circuits. If the draw is less than 80% of the circuit capacity, we focus our attention on the circuit breaker or wiring connections to the electrical panel. Loose or week connections between a breaker and the main panel bus are checked. We then systematically work through the components (testing and replacing if necessary), and electrical connections (checking for loose connections and tightening if possible) until the problem is isolated and resolved. If the draw is excessive we trace back to the draw source; often times additional equipment been added to the circuit.

Before accessing an electrical panel, power distribution unit or remote power panel, contact Mayer Electric to perform a heat-scan / thermal imaging inspection of the branch circuits and breakers for excessive heat. Even if you find yourself in an electrical panel every week, Heat-scan / thermal imaging can quickly determine if a problem exists. Though it’s unlikely that screws have loosened in the past week, they do loosen up over time.

In data centers it is common for IT to add new servers into an existing rack without telling facilities management, increasing the load on a given 20 amp circuit, pushing that circuit over the NEC guidelines of 80% of amp capacity, if it is a under load, meaning it is energized continuously for three or more hours.

Remember, just because there are outlets in a power strip doesn’t mean there is electrical capacity on the circuit to support the added equipment. Ask before you plug in any new or additional device. Additonal devices can overload a circuit causing hot spots in a circuit panel. We also recommend that you contact Mayer Electric to perform a heat-scan / thermal imaging inspection anytime a branch circuit breaker is installed or replaced. You don’t always have to wait for the circuit to trip or fail to identify a potential problem. A heat-scan / thermal imaging inspection can identify immediately if breakers or wires are properly secured or if the installation dislodged any adjacent wires.

Wrap-up
Mayer Electric heat-scan / thermal Imaging inspections are a safe, non-evasive proactive method of detecting potential failures in your mission critical infrastructure prior to them actually causing an outage. Heat-scan / thermal imaging inspections can be used to identify any number of possible electrical problems in and around the data center including; UPS systems and battery backups, automatic standby generators, transformers and switchgear.

Early detection allows corrective action to be taken before a component fails, minimizing damage to the components and reducing repair cost. Mayer Electric Heat-scan / thermal imaging inspections of electrical components and systems should be part of all preventative maintenance programs and performed on a regularily scheduled basis. The use of Mayer Electric heat-scan / thermal imaging inspections to detect early indications of system failure is a preemptive measure that can minimize equipment breakdown and costly downtime.

Contact our office today to learn more about our Heat-Scan / Thermal Imaging Electrical Inspections.



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