UPS systems, emergency generators and fire pumps are some of the most common defenses for facilities. While most facilities perform IR inspections of their electrical distribution systems at least annually, many fail to inspect or incorrectly inspect their emergency equipment.
During a recent Infrared Electrical System Survey, the client made arrangements to put a load onto the emergency equipment. While inspecting the emergency side of the fire pump, two thermal anomalies were identified on the emergency side of the equipment. Based on the thermal findings, two potential problems exist. The left conductor connection shows an increased temperature near the actual connection. The middle conductor shows a “candy cane pattern” typical of a damaged cable or strand within the cable. No thermal anomaly would be detected if load were not put onto the emergency side of the pump.
When performing infrared inspections of emergency systems be sure to:
- Include all Automatic and Manual Transfer Switches. Inspect switches in both normal and emergency positions.
- Inspect UPS system controls, switchgear, battery cells, battery bus and wiring. Battery cell temperatures should be the same between cells with no hot spots on individual cells.
- Have adequate load on the subject emergency circuits. This may be accomplished with normal facility load or by utilizing a load bank.
To help plan your next Infrared Electrical System Survey, download our Suggested Electrical Equipment Checklist