Thermal Imaging

Beyond The Naked Eye

Thermal imaging and reporting can:

  • Safeguard Your Investment
  • Minimise Downtime
  • Reduce the Risk of Fire
  • Increase Energy Efficiency
  • Reduce Insurance Premiums

VES Thermal Imaging Services

Using the latest thermal imaging technology VES Electrical Solutions has the ability to:

Detect Electrical Unbalance and Overloads

Thermal images are an easy way to identify apparent temperature differences in industrial three-phase electrical circuits, compared to their normal operating conditions. By inspecting the thermal gradients of all three phases side-by-side, technicians can quickly spot performance anomalies on individual legs due to unbalance or overloading.

Electrical unbalance can be caused by several different sources: a power delivery problem, low voltage on one leg, or an insulation resistance breakdown inside the motor windings. Even a small voltage unbalance can cause connections to deteriorate, reducing the amount of voltage supplied, while motors and other loads will draw excessive current, deliver lower torque (with associated mechanical stress), and fail sooner.

Inspect Electric Motors

A program to avert costly failures in your facility will benefit from including thermal imaging as a condition-monitoring technique for electric motors. Using a handheld thermal imager, you can capture infrared temperature measurements of a motor’s temperature profile as a two-dimensional image. Thermal images of electric motors reveal their operating conditions as reflected by their surface temperature. Such condition monitoring is important as a way to avert many unexpected motor malfunctions in systems that are critical to commercial and industrial processes.

Identify Loose or Corroded Electrical Connections

Thermal images of electrical systems can indicate the operating condition of the equipment in those systems. In fact, since the beginning of thermography more than four decades or more ago, the principal commercial application for thermal imaging has been electrical system inspection.

The reason thermography is so applicable to the monitoring of electrical systems is that new electrical components begin to deteriorate as soon as they are installed. Whatever the loading on a circuit, vibration, fatigue and age cause the loosening of electrical connections, while environmental conditions can hasten their corroding. Detecting and correcting failing connections before a fault occurs averts fires as well as impending shutdowns that can be critical to your operation.

Carry out Tests and Measurements for Electrical Fire Prevention

Combustion requires both heat and fuel. Designers of electrical equipment are careful to use fire-resistant materials, making the electrical system a poor provider of fuel. The fuel for the fire usually comes from some nearby material, with the electrical system providing the heat required for ignition.

Some of the causes may be:

Poor Connections

Vibration or thermal stress can cause connections in power distribution systems to loosen. Contamination can corrode connections. Both factors increase the resistance of the connection.

Insulation Failure

One of the reasons that electrical fires are less common is that the quality of insulation is better than in the past. But any insulation system will still degrade with age, heat and contamination. The most extreme form of insulation failure is a short circuit.


One of the functions of the ground system is to provide a low impedance path to earth, allowing a lightning strike to pass with as little damage as possible. Surge suppressors rely on a good ground path to operate effectively.


Most of the current that flows in a local electrical system cycles at 50 Hz. Harmonic currents contain higher frequency components that generate heat throughout the system. Harmonic distortion is present in any electrical system that supplies electronic loads like motor drives, computers, control systems or production machines.


If a load draws too much current, the system components upstream of the load have to carry that current. The main protection against overload is the overcurrent protection device which should open.

Wiring Mistakes

The electrical system in commercial and industrial facilities is a dynamic entity. Over time, tenants change, production lines move, and new equipment gets installed. In a time crunch, mistakes are common and although a system may operate just fine for a while, latent problems can be created.

Take Readings From Pumps, Fans and Compressors

Pumps, fans, compressors and other motor-driven rotating equipment are essential commercial and industrial enterprise, from fluid handling systems in petrochemical plants to large air comfort systems in shopping malls.

Many facilities monitor this type of equipment on a regular basis, because often a simple problem like lubrication can be spotted and fixed inexpensively, before the entire unit burns out. Such strategies fall under the general heading of preventative maintenance.

Thermal imaging is especially useful for monitoring rotating equipment, since many impending failures are accompanied by overheating. This predictive technique uses a handheld thermal imager to capture two-dimensional images representing the apparent surface temperatures of equipment.

Identify Leakage Inspections for Controlled Environments

By creating positive or negative pressures within interior envelopes, we can create an environment that makes it very simple to identify thermal losses using thermographic evidence. This evidence can then be used to initiate a strategy to minimise reduce energy consumption, helping the environment and saving you time and money.

Test Motor Control Centres

Thermal Imaging can be used to evaluate the operating condition of the components within motor control centres (MCCs) by comparing their relative temperatures under load. Key components include bus bars, controllers, starters, contactors, relays, fuses, breakers, disconnects, feeders, and transformers.

A typical MCC is a standalone arrangement with one or more combination motor control units for controlling an AC motor in a specific application. Each unit has an external disconnect, branch circuit and motor over-current protection and a magnetic motor starter along with pilot devices located on the panel door.

Carry out Electrical, Insulation and Thermal Measurements of Motors and Drives

Most facilities need to get maximum life out of their motors, because they are expensive to replace in terms of both money and labor. Electrical, insulation resistance and thermal measurement are three tests that can troubleshoot motors, drives, and associated electrical panels and prolong their operational lifetime.

Handheld thermal imagers can collect heat signatures from a range of motors large or small. A thermal imager is good for spot checks, to see if motors and associated panels and controls are operating too hot, and for troubleshooting, to track down the specific failed component at fault.

If you think that thermal imaging can benefit your operation, then our fully trained staff are here to help.

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