Thermographic imaging is a newer addition to the preventative maintenance arsenal. Thermographic cameras take photos of electronic components in the infrared spectrum. These pictures are basically the heat signature of the subject. Breakers and contactors put out a certain amount of heat when they are energized. As they begin to fail the resistance in the component increases and that causes the component to heat up more than normal. Items that show a higher than normal heat signature in the thermographic photos are beginning to fail. These higher heat signatures cannot be seen with the naked eye. Other tests would involve removing the breaker form the system and megger testing it. That would be a very time consuming and costly project for preventative maintenance. The thermographic scan makes it easy to see possible problem areas so only those areas need further testing or attention.
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