This EPRI report is one in a series of practical guides designed primarily as reference aids for utility personnel working in the field. The subject of this guide is infrared (IR) thermography for inspection of substation equipment, and the guide is intended for both thermographers and engineers.
EPRI’s visual field guides support the inspection and assessment of a wide range of substation and transmission line components and are a valuable tool for field personnel, helping to bridge the gaps between research, engineering, and the field. The IR thermography field guide, first issued in 2006, has been revised to include additional images and information.
In the field of infrared thermography, it takes a skilled user to properly adjust the IR camera and capture meaningful images. In a utility substation environment, it takes an experienced engineer to understand what is normal and abnormal in equipment operation. This guide is designed to assist both the skilled IR thermographer and the experienced engineer in determining which IR images indicate an equipment problem.
Developed to be a reference for personnel working in the field, this guide shows example IR images of equipment running "Normal" and equipment running "Critical." Each section describes how a particular type of equipment runs under normal conditions and what might cause equipment to run in critical condition. The images are used to support the description. By referring to the image and the description, the engineer and/or thermographer will be better prepared to make a decision on the condition of the equipment.
The guide begins by showing the reader what types of substation equipment are likely to have problems, based on a collection of data from EPRI research and utility inspection records. Next, the guide covers the common equipment types, describing what the equipment is, what its normal operation should be, and how to identify common problems using IR thermography. Throughout the guide, photographs are used extensively to depict equipment and provide representative IR images of normal and abnormal operation.
Applications, Value, and Use
This guide helps readers understand what types of equipment are in a substation, what normal operation is, what abnormal operation is, and why the equipment may be operating abnormally. The format of the guide was chosen so that an engineer or thermographer can place it in a pocket to make it easily accessible for reference at any time. Like other titles in the EPRI visual field guide series, this guide is practical in nature and relies heavily on illustrations as well as text to convey important information.