The Advantages, Disadvantages, and Limitations of Generator Thermal Imaging Cameras
Generator thermal imaging is an effective solution for determining the operating condition of your generators. It can help you enhance efficiency, adjust maintenance schedules, and improve safety. However, while effective, there are advantages, disadvantages, and limitations associated with the use of thermal imaging in generator management. Understanding these is crucial for keeping your generator system in good repair, and your operations fully powered.
Thermal Imaging Advantages
Generator thermal imaging is fast and efficient. It is a non-invasive technique that is safe to perform and won’t damage components or the operation of your system. Incorporating thermal imaging into your predictive maintenance regimen helps improve efficiency, reduces downtime, and protects against unplanned outages; which translates to cost-effective, reliable operation. Thermal imaging systems can operate in any light condition and can see through smoke/dust. This makes them effective in practically any operational conditions.
And, it is not expensive to perform generator thermal imaging tests. With the proper training and application of thermal imaging cameras, the data collected is accurate and reliable. This allows generator operators to make informed decisions regarding the condition of their generator and steps required to improve performance and enhance safety.
Thermal Imaging Disadvantages
Quality thermal imaging cameras are not cheap to purchase, and they require considerable training to properly operate. For this reason, many companies choose to outsource this task. This can add to the cost of maintenance, but compared to potential cost savings and the reliability of the data collected, it is a worthwhile investment.
Thermal Imaging Limitations
While accurate, thermal imaging cameras are not precise. Most commercially available thermal imaging systems are rated to provide accuracy within +/- 2%. This makes them less accurate than contact measurement methods. Further, reflections from glass or shiny metal surfaces can significantly diminish the accuracy of thermal imaging cameras. Finally, thermal imaging cameras can encounter significant difficulty providing accurate measurements when measuring areas with erratic temperatures.
Is Generator Thermal Imaging Worth the Investment of Time and Resources?
Absolutely! At Gen-Tech, we strongly recommend incorporating generator thermal imaging tests into your maintenance plans. The benefits far outweigh the disadvantages and limitations. And, so long as the individual performing the test is appropriately trained, they can factor in these limitations while performing testing and interpreting the data collected. In fact, our EGSA certified generator technicians complete extensive training in the use of generator thermal imaging cameras. They can provide accurate assessments that your company can use to improve generator efficiency and operational reliability. Over time, the time and money spent inspecting your system will be far less than the cost savings you can achieve through lower operational costs, reduced maintenance, and prolonged system longevity.
We encourage you to contact Gen-Tech Power Generation Specialists at (800) 625-8324 to learn more about how we use generator thermal imaging to help you improve the safety, reliability, and efficiency of your generators. We are happy to answer your questions and schedule a service appointment to inspect your systems.