Thermal Imaging is an annual component of our LV Maintenance service, and allows our engineers to identify temperature anomalies that may indicate a loose, over-tightened or corroded connection, or damaged/ under sized wires for the loads they are under.
The way we conduct thermal imaging is changing from 2023. Read below to find out about the new changes we have introduced for our LV maintenance customers, and what your options are for thermal imaging moving forward.
We recognise that thermal imaging is an excellent and cost-effective way of finding potential problem areas before they cause a fault and is often required be insurance companies.
Following a number of HSE notifications of injury and damage caused by thermal imaging when carried out live by the removal of panel covers (See HSE Article), ENWCML will no longer carry out thermal imaging this way, and has now rolled out a new approach that better protects the safety of our engineers and the equipment they are imaging.
Whilst we explore other options below, our preferred thermal imaging solution is the installation of thermal windows, because of their effectiveness and reliability, and the significantly improved safety they afford.
As such ENWCML have worked with a UK panel manufacture, creating a new design of thermal window (also known as an Infrared Window or IR Window), which can be installed to the majority of LV panels.
This initiative is driven by safety improvements and the window is a proven method of conducting safe imaging, installed to the front, back and side of panels at connection points and key areas.
ENWCML have invested in this product to ensure affordability for our customers and, compared to generic thermal windows, the ENWCML product will typically be installed at half the cost of comparable market leading alternatives.
We can install new LV panels with Infrared windows to allow non-intrusive thermal imaging surveys at any site. Equally, where possible, we can retrofit a solution to an existing pane
As noted above, thermal windows are an effective, reliable, and safety-first improvement for thermal imaging, and the option we would like to encourage moving forward. We would like to offer both our existing customers, and new customers, an onsite survey of your LV panel, and provide a quotation to install thermal windows at a convenient time.
We can continue to conduct the thermal imaging to the exterior of the LV panel, utilising a method to calculate the perceived heat within the panel. All customers without thermal windows will automatically be moved to this option for the safety of your equipment and our engineers. However, this is a less accurate method of measurement as individual hotspots are not isolated within the measured data.
If there is no IR window in place, we can conduct the survey for thermal imaging only once the power is isolated to the panel. Our engineers will then remove the panel covers to complete the works in safety. This option will provide reliable measurements, but will result in downtime for all future testing at the site as we can no longer remove panels on live switchgear following the HSE guidelines.