What We Look For During Generator Thermal Imaging Inspections

Generator thermal imaging is an efficient and effective method of detecting problems with your generator that affect its performance and the stability of your system. When performed correctly, the information gathered can be used to adjust settings, maintenance schedules, and plans for repairs. At Gen-Tech Power Generation Specialists, we carefully review the data we collect to determine the best ways to keep your generator in prime condition.

Why We Use Generator Thermal Imaging

Small voltage imbalances are sufficient to cause connections to deteriorate and fail. Over time, as the imbalance worsens, it will cause a significant reduction in the voltage supplied. This causes the motors to draw excessive current, produce lower torque, and increase mechanical stresses to the breaking point.

Generator thermal imaging makes it easy to detect these imbalances. By inspecting the electrical panels, drives, disconnects, and controls, we can determine where high temperatures are present and trace this back to the circuit, branch, and load. Thus, the data gathered by the thermal imaging camera serves as a map of sorts that makes it easier for our generator repair technicians to identify the source of the problem and protect your generator from damage by applying the appropriate repair solution.

The Importance of Early Detection

High resistance and excessive current flow are the leading causes of generator failure. These problems will cause significant damage to the generator’s electrical systems. These problems are not always readily apparent, but they do have a telltale signature; increased heat. Infrared cameras analyze the thermal signature produced by high resistance or excessive current flow and can determine whether the heat signature is normal or cause for alarm.

What We Look For

Our EGSA certified generator technicians know that an equal load should produce equal temperatures. Thus, we’re looking for imbalances that are generating more heat than they should. The process requires a steady hand and careful attention to detail because in many cases, the point of imbalance can be tiny and easy to overlook if proper care isn’t taken.

Of course, not every problem we detect is an emergency. However, when the thermal imbalance exceeds 1%, NEMA standards are very specific in stating that the generator should be shut down until the problem is repaired. In fact, operating a generator with an imbalance of 1% or greater poses a significant safety threat that can endanger the health of your employees and the reliability of your power generation systems. Other safety thresholds that require immediate attention include differences of 27°F between similar components and 72° between the component and ambient air temperature.

Are your generators overdue for a thorough inspection? Contact Gen-Tech Power Generation Specialists at (800) 625-8324 to schedule a generator thermal imaging inspection today! We will tell you more about the procedure and schedule a service appointment with one of our EGSA certified technicians.

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