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Thermal cameras with target recognition in power distribution facility inspections



Problem


An electrical system can have hundreds of different pieces of equipment from the power generation facilities, high voltage distribution, switchyards, and substations flowing through the end with service transformers, breakers, meters, switchgear, and appliance panels. Electrical unbalance can be caused by several different sources: a power distribution problem, low voltage on one leg in a three-phase electrical circuit, or an insulation resistance breakdown inside the motor windings. Even a small voltage unbalance can cause connections to deteriorate, reducing the amount of voltage supplied where motors and other loads will draw excessive current, deliver lower torque (with associated mechanical stress), and fail sooner. A severe unbalance can blow a fuse, reducing operations down to a single phase. Meanwhile, the unbalanced current will return to neutral, causing the utility to fine the facility for peak power usage.


Solution


Need to simplify your repeated inspection work for huge numbers of assets?


Thermal images are an easy way to identify apparent temperature differences in industrial three-phase electrical circuits, compared to their normal operating conditions. By inspecting the thermal gradients of all three phases side-by-side, technicians can quickly spot performance anomalies on individual legs due to unbalance or overloading. But, large numbers of repeated operations, disorganized recordings, and post-inspection diagnose impact the inspection efficiency significantly, increasing the work intensity of engineers.


Thermal cameras enhanced by FOTRIC NaviTiR with target recognition is a digital product update, which applies to high-frequency inspection scenarios such as scientific research testing, product quality control, and asset inspection, solving users' needs of data management, real-time diagnosis, and quick reporting. NaviTiR builds the user's list of target assets and inspection points, and inspection details into the device library instead of the inefficient mode that one person shoots while the other one records, saving manpower with well-organized inspections and avoiding recording errors.


Ideal product


Enhanced with NaviTiR, FOTRIC 340 professional cameras, as one of the most advanced thermal cameras to date globally, features an excellent resolution of up to 640 x 480, sensitivity low to 30mk, and fast auto-focus, allowing for detecting minute temperature differences as low as 0.03°C for locating heat anomaly in electric cabinets. A detection range of -20° to 1550°C is practical and lens options include not only telephoto and wide angle, but also 7° ultra-telephoto, helping safely locate hidden anomalies from a distance.


320 NaviTiR compact cameras are more easy-to-use, particularly in precise measurement with manual focus. Two lens options of 25° and 49° meet most routine inspection conditions. Compared with similar models, its thermal video recording is unique to capture the whole process of temperature change.


Paired with intelligent NaviTiR, FOTRIC thermal cameras can help you troubleshoot electrical and mechanical systems cost-effectively.


Application case: inspection for a 10KV distribution substation


1. Preparation with establishing the asset list


FOTRIC NaviTiR builds inspection routes, embeds thermal image templates of the target and industry-specific code standards, and then exports them to thermal cameras with built-in NaviTiR. Now, you have a powerful tool for streamlining inspections of multiple assets across a large site or several locations. 


Inspection route list


The inspection target is marked with a white box in the thermal image template


2. On-site inspection with real-time diagnosis improves the inspection flow


The camera stays on tracking the target with a step-by-step guide that links images to inspection assets enhanced by object recognition and matches the diagnostic rules when shooting. The route guides the inspector to collect images and data in a structured manner. During an inspection, the green box appeared on the screen when the thermal camera recognized the target asset in the field.


a. The pole-mount transformer was identified and diagnosed as ‘Normal’ according to embedded industry-specific code standards.







b. The junction box was identified and diagnosed as ‘Severe’ in this inspection.







c. Phase A, B, and C connectors were identified and diagnosed as ‘Normal’.








d. Transformer 2 was identified and diagnosed as ‘Normal’.








e. Transformer 3 was identified and diagnosed as ‘Normal’.







3. Automated data management reduces reporting time


Once the inspection is complete after a few rounds of repeated inspections along the planned inspection points, results can be imported back to the PC via WiFi or USB cable for analysis and reporting. NaviTiR can analyze the data in a logical sequence, display temperature history, and generate reports in only one click.


Temperature history


Inspection report




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About FOTRIC, Inc.


Founded in 2011, FOTRIC is a listed innovation-driven thermography manufacturer focusing on intelligent sensing solutions to defect detection, fire detection, condition monitoring for manufacturing, chemical processing, metallurgy, storage of coal, Li-ion batteries, and waste, electric utilities, oil & gas, buildings, and R&D in over 45 countries. FOTRIC’s vision is to provide more granular data for professionals to make more informed decisions to save more lives and livelihoods.

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