All about Thermographic Imagery

A thermographic camera in front of a house showing a thermograph.

Thermographic imagery is a way of visualising differences in temperatures. It is the same kind of technology utilised in night vision goggles. Recently it has become increasingly useful in the electrical trade for fault identification and in this article we will discuss how it works and why it is useful.

How does Thermographic Imagery work?

Thermographic imagery works because every object with a temperature higher than absolute zero emits infrared radiation. Thermographic cameras can detect some of this infrared electromagnetic radiation, typically in the region of 9,000 – 14,000nm. This detection range is far removed from the visible light spectrum and that means thermographic imaging works in the absence of visual light, hence the use in night vision goggles. For electricians using this technology it means they can inspect behind walls, under floors and through ceilings into dark spaces to identify hot spots. It is particularly useful for analysing live circuits without needing to patch in as it is a passive means of observing whether there is excess heat being generated somewhere in the circuit.

Why might Thermographic Imagery be useful to me?

Thermographic imaging is particularly attuned for identifying electrical faults. Because it can see through thin walls it is also amazingly versatile and fast. Thermographic imaging identifies electrical faults because faults generate excess heat. This is true for connections on a lighting grid or connections heading to appliances or wall sockets. The excess heat may eventually melt the cable insulation and lead to a short circuit that can create a spark. The heat itself though is actually created by stray electricity that can no longer get to where it was being pulled to. That means appliances on the circuit are needing to draw more electricity into the cable to meet their demands because it is not all making it to where it needs to go. This can cost you big money in the long run, particularly if the energy is trying to get to a power hungry appliance like an air conditioner.

Thermographic imagery is particularly useful if you have large circuits you don’t want to turn off, as in a commercial business setting. Using this technology allows the fault to be detected while the power is still on so that if and when the power does need to be disconnected it will be for as short a time as possible.

Contact Dr Sparky Electrical for Fault Inspection and Analysis

Dr Sparky Electrical are professional electricians in the domestic, commercial and industrial spaces. We are skilled in thermographic imaging and can use it to spot faults in your electrical circuits. We also have other testing equipment like voltmeters and harmonics testers to identify other potential problems if you have noticed there is something not quite right in your electrical systems. Give us a call today on 1800 377 727 and let us identify and fix the problem for you. We can also be contacted online.

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