Infrared Thermography

A preventive maintenance program under our guidance can help you protect your electrical distribution system – and even your entire facility.  Our customized solutions will pay for themselves by helping avoid unplanned power outages and electrical fires.

Infrared thermography detects infrared energy emitted from object, converts it to temperature, and displays image of temperature distribution.

Comstock Bros. Electric knows how to distinguish from myth and facts in this area.

MYTH: An infrared electrical inspection may be performed without removing the panel covers of the equipment being inspected. The heat is visible through the cover.

FACT: Infrared heat shares most of the same properties as visible light. Infrared heat will not radiate through a panel or transformer cover just as light will not shine through them. Since moderate temperature rises in most electrical distribution systems are normal, simply viewing the cover surfaces will not suffice. The surface temperature plays a role in what is seen. Wherever safe, covers and obstructions must be removed to expose the actual electrical component for proper inspection.

MYTH: Infrared spot radiometers work as well as infrared imaging systems to perform electrical inspections.

FACT: Spot radiometers, also known as heat guns, by definition, can only view one small spot at a time. Since an electrical panel consists of hundreds of points, viewing them all with a spot radiometer is time and labor intensive. Infrared imaging systems, such as those used by Comstock Bros. Electric, can view an entire panel at once. Additionally, spot radiometers display the average temperature within its viewing range of approximately one square inch, so smaller hot spots are often more difficult to catch and correct.

MYTH: Basic RMS load readings are adequate to ascertain electrical issues or spikes.

FACT: Both true RMS and peak load readings are required to determine harmonic distortion problems.

MYTH: An infrared inspection will interrupt production.

FACT: On the contrary, equipment must be running at normal operating load to find most problems.

IR image

The Myth of Infrared Technology