Prevention of risks associated to high voltage electrical equipment
Electrical equipment may be submitted to more or less intensive internal electrical arcs which can lead to severe burning and even explosion with possible injured people. Besides it is now well established that about 40% of fires originate in electrical equipment.
These facts have promoted preventive maintenance actions. Among them the periodic IR thermographic inspection of the critical areas is an efficient method which is recommended by the Insurance Companies and encourages it through financial advantages.
But the conditions of its application present some difficulties:
- This operation needs that the IR beam emitted in the zone controlled enters into the camera without significant modification and that the equipment must be on representative electrical charge condition. The inspection must then carry out after dismantling the protective panels, allowing direct view of the zones. But this requirement is time consuming and makes the control very dangerous for the inspectors who must on these conditions be specially qualified and wear protective clothes. In case of accident the responsibility of the company inspected may be involved. The duration of the process must include long preparation and refit stages
- Moreover in many countries, the access to high voltage equipment is only permitted if the electrical current is cut off. This regulation imposes to stop the unit which is a serious handicap for operational unit and consequently movements of deactivation / reactivation which are always risky (difficulties for rearming).