Doing an Electrical Systems Survey Using Infrared Load Testing

infrared thermography

Industrial and commercial electrical systems, no matter how technologically advanced, have one major problem. On their own, their problems aren’t visible. You will need specialized equipment to constantly keep an eye on the systems and notify you when something goes wrong, or is starting to go wrong.

When electrical systems fail, they don’t do so alone. Industries and office buildings face incredible losses every year because a surge or undiagnosed problem in their system starts causing fluctuations or even crashes the system. These issues often require complete electrical rewiring.

What if you could identify these issues long before they became a major problem? What if you could make sure that the system keeps on running properly, minimize business interruptions, and eliminate fire risk with just one technique?

This technique is known as Infrared Load Testing.

What is Infrared Load Testing for Electrical Systems?

Infrared Load Testing is a process designed to make sure that there is little to no unnecessary resistance within your electrical system. By doing so, the test ensures that the electrical equipment is highly functional and in working condition.

The test is also known as an electrical systems survey, and its goal is to highlight any issues before they become a major problem.

It begins by taking a few images of your electrical system via an infrared camera. It highlights heated areas in red and the rest in a dark hue. Next, the running system is put under pressure. The load is increased slightly to check how much resistance (or heat) the electrical system generates. Higher resistance means more heat, which shows up clearly in the infrared image.

The heat generated should be proportionate to the increase in load. An excessively heated node can be indicative of several things, including a short circuit. The system is then run at normal load levels again to see if it is performing as it should. If systems return to normal, it means that the system can bear excess load as well.

If not, diagnostics are run to help quickly identify the potential issue. If there is too much resistance, you may need an electrical system rewiring.

What Does Infrared Load Testing Test?

The infrared load test can help you check the following equipment in one go:

  • Transformer
  • Substation
  • Feeder pole(s)
  • Distribution system (including the panel)
  • Power supply (s)
  • Capacitor bank(s)
  • Switchboard(s)
  • Motor control center(s)
  • Transfer switch(es)
  • Electrical controls and breaker(s)
  • I-line electrical panel(s)
  • Lighting panels
  • And the wiring system itself

By testing all of this, the survey can:

  1. Find all electrical system problems
  2. Reduce downtime by minimizing or catching major issues
  3. Identifying major and minor issues long before they become a problem
  4. Prevent complete system shutdown
  5. Save the costs of complete electrical rewiring and more.

If you would like to see how an Infrared Load Test can help you save money and time – we suggest you give Skyline Electric experts a quick call. We would love to help you with your commercial and industrial electrical system testing, rewiring, and a range of other large-scale services. Get in touch today, and let’s schedule a strategy session!