1. Kindly explain why Thermal Imaging is important for Electrical Utilities.
Globally, including India, Electrical Utilities are one of main users of Thermal Imaging Cameras. Whether Generation, Transmission or Distribution- all use and need accurate Thermal Cameras as Electrical utilities face frequent problem of critical installations getting heated up. The moment this heating phenomenon starts, temperature starts rising and FLIR Thermal Imaging cameras play a very important role there. Without touching or taking shut down, these FLIR Thermal Cameras can accurately measure the temperature of these installations from a safe distance.
From nut/bolt on a transmission tower to Transformers to many other critical installations, FLIR products meet and exceed all expectations
2. What are fundamentals behind this technology?
This is a very interesting technology. As a theory, almost all objects around us emit infrared (IR) radiations which our eyes cannot see. See image below- Infrared energy (A) coming from an object is focused by the optics (B) onto an infrared detector (C). The detector sends the information to sensor electronics (D) for image processing. The electronics translate the data coming from the detector into an image (E) that can be viewed in the viewfinder or on a standard video monitor or LCD screen.
Infrared thermography is the art of transforming an infrared image into a radiometric one; every pixel in a radiometric image is actually a temperature measurement.
Final product is a Thermal Image which can tell exact temperature of an object, if right product has been selected for desired application. This makes the thermal imaging camera a perfect tool for predictive maintenance.
3. If we dive deeper into applications, what are different applications which are possible for Electrical utilities?
A very thick book can be written on this question, actually.
Broadly, here is list of Electrical Applications-
a) Checking Transformer health which is critical equipment in any substation
b) Predictive Maintenance of other Critical Installations including
I. Inspection of connectors ( which are everywhere)
II. Inspection of Cables and Joints
III.Inspection of exposed cables
c) Visualisation of SF6 leakage
4. For Electrical Utilities, what’s top end model and what are key features?
FLIR has many products being accepted by Indian electrical Utilities but T series has been very successful due to its very useful design. It has rotatable optics. T6xx and T1 K has 120 Deg rotation and new T8xx has 180 Deg rotation of optical block. Since many Electrical installations which need to be scanned for temperature are above eye level, this design is very useful. Benefit of this design is, operator does not get stress on wrist, shoulder, neck and eyes while using this range even if this is used frequently. The ease of use of this great design can be felt only with experience. I encourage readers of this Interview to book their demo through mail (flir India @ flir.com.hk) or phone +91-11-45603555. We will be happy to show this/any other product at your doorstep.
5. Please throw some light on your qualification and career.
I have 26 years of work experience. My educational qualifications include Degree in Electronics and Communication, Management course
from IIM, Calcutta, Digital Marketing Course from DMI, Ireland. I am taking care of Instruments Sales in Emerging Markets for FLIR.