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Old 07-04-2019, 09:49 AM   #1
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Default Flir scale looks worse than it is ??

We re-termianted parallel these 6- 750 AL as requested by the customer. We found B phase conductors to be lose. They appeared to have been tightened with a pair of channel locks or something similar as the set screw on the lugs had tool bite marks perpendicular to the threads.
The manager showed us a scan of the terminations. I noticed the scale on the scan in the after pic was 80.5 to 89.9 degrees. It seemed to be a small point spread.
I'll admit that I haven't had much Flir instrument training or have a complete understanding of the readings.
Question:
Does the scale show the max temperature in white or could there be a temperature that exceeds the scale? Could white represent 89.9 degrees and 1,000 degrees as both white??









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Old 07-04-2019, 10:00 AM   #2
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Question:
Does the scale show the max temperature in white or could there be a temperature that exceeds the scale? Could white represent 89.9 degrees and 1,000 degrees as both white??
White is the end of the scale; anything at or above the scale will show white. In other words there's no color hotter than white.

You want to adjust the scale so nothing's off the scale.
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Old 07-04-2019, 10:15 AM   #3
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White is the end of the scale; anything at or above the scale will show white. In other words there's no color hotter than white.

You want to adjust the scale so nothing's off the scale.
I assumed that but, I wasn't sure if the instrument displayed the temperature range or if the operator set the scale.
If he set the scale, we need to change the breaker.
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Old 07-04-2019, 10:22 AM   #4
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There is nothing wrong with ignoring anything in white as there are some hot spots in panels that are of no interest. Its the same as ignoring anything thats black.

For a example
a relay coil may show as hot but thats expected. If you adjust the camera to make the relay red then a small difference in a cable connection becomes harder to see.

This looks like a 5-6 degree difference between phases that would be hard to find with out a camera. If you regularly sweep the gear with a camera this wouldn't be that big of a deal but if you have a contractor do the sweep once a year then this becomes more important as it could get a lot worse over that time period.

The reading in the top left is the max temp the camera is seeing in the square box (even if it off the color scale). That temp is 91.9
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Last edited by gpop; 07-04-2019 at 10:25 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 07-04-2019, 10:35 AM   #5
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In Miami in July, I would think that 90*F is pretty cool.

Are the three phases evenly loaded?
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Old 07-04-2019, 10:49 AM   #6
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In Miami in July, I would think that 90*F is pretty cool.

Are the three phases evenly loaded?

The ambient temperature in the room is 80 degrees.


Its only load is a chiller, the nameplate is 546 amps if we consider it a continuous load. It starts to approach the upper end of the termination ampacity.
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Old 07-04-2019, 11:52 AM   #7
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That's not even a 10C rise, well within specs of everything on the planet.

That Flir is indicating relative temperatures with the colors so don't get too hung up on them. I would though, manually adjust the scale, at least 20F or something, to make sure it was not previously set manually to too low of a scale, just to affirm that 90F is indeed your hottest temp at that location.

Is there something on that leg that's not present on the other legs? It just may be that no matter how much work you do, you're always going to have that one leg 10F hotter than the others.
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:09 PM   #8
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Top notch workmanship right there. How are they parallel when one of the conduits is 2 foot shorter than the other.
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:12 PM   #9
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So as you said you know it's off the scale, you just don't know how far off the scale.

You might scan it again with the scale set right, but to me the IR has served it's purpose, quickly identified a hotspot, to get the actual temperature, why not just directly measure it with an infrared gun? Simple, direct, cheap, little chance for error...
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:14 PM   #10
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That's 90 degrees F, not C. There is a temperature difference, but the range of the scale is so short that even small differences have huge color changes.
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Old 07-04-2019, 04:13 PM   #11
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Top notch workmanship right there. How are they parallel when one of the conduits is 2 foot shorter than the other.
I'm not convinced 100' of 750s and 102' of 750s could have enough resistance to measure much less cause a heat problem.

The maintenance chief mentioned that they found the lugs loose and his guys taped up the burned insulation and tightened the lugs.
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:13 PM   #12
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Whoever did that thermal scan probably does not know what they are doing AKA has no training in thermal imaging. It is a very tricky process to actually undertake.

Also, those pin connectors are most likely a violation of the terminal listing. I bet those terminals are only listed for class B stranded conductors. They are used all the time but that particular type could be called as a violation.
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Old 07-04-2019, 05:56 PM   #13
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Whoever did that thermal scan probably does not know what they are doing AKA has no training in thermal imaging. It is a very tricky process to actually undertake.

Also, those pin connectors are most likely a violation of the terminal listing. I bet those terminals are only listed for class B stranded conductors. They are used all the time but that particular type could be called as a violation.
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:20 PM   #14
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That's not even a 10C rise, well within specs of everything on the planet.



That Flir is indicating relative temperatures with the colors so don't get too hung up on them. I would though, manually adjust the scale, at least 20F or something, to make sure it was not previously set manually to too low of a scale, just to affirm that 90F is indeed your hottest temp at that location.



Is there something on that leg that's not present on the other legs? It just may be that no matter how much work you do, you're always going to have that one leg 10F hotter than the others.
Not true. There are several standards. 2-4 C is the tightest (NETA?). 10-15 C is the loosest (Navsea). You get this information in training. Most say noticeable difference meaning any difference at all. This is where there is a lot subject to interpretation. The key is understanding why they are different and whether or not this is expected like if you have a medium voltage starter with a single phase CPT hanging off 2 phases that is lightly loaded or even offline and the two fuse clips show warmer than the third. Or three bushings on an outdoor transformer that run East-West in afternoon sun. Or any bushings with lots of single phase load. Not that IR scans in the afternoon are a good practice. It's noticeable but is it a defect? No. This is where people that just bug a camera and sell testing but not maintenance should not be doing it, they're unqualified.

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Old 07-04-2019, 06:50 PM   #15
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Some of that information is a bit of a segue from our situation. We knew that the original terminations were not properly torqued and the insulation was burned. To me, it suggests that the amount of heat to melt the cable insulation could possibly damage the breaker.
We are bringing in another breaker to have on hand.
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:56 PM   #16
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Not sure what you're trying to show here. I'm sure those pin connectors are listed, however, the terminal you are placing them in is most likely not listed for a solid "conductor". Keep in mind UL will test anything you pay them to, it is also not illegal to sell a product that can't be installed. Most lugs for that size are rated only for stranded conductor connections because any conductor over 8? AWG is required to be stranded.
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Old 07-04-2019, 08:31 PM   #17
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I've gone through that nonsense with pins before. Now when I know it's gonna be an issue I use the Greaves pins that are have a piece of class B coming out instead of a solid pin.
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Old 07-04-2019, 09:18 PM   #18
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Some of that information is a bit of a segue from our situation. We knew that the original terminations were not properly torqued and the insulation was burned. To me, it suggests that the amount of heat to melt the cable insulation could possibly damage the breaker.
We are bringing in another breaker to have on hand.
Until its tested again in the future you really have no way to know if the problem has been fixed or not.

The picture cuts off before we can see the cable minus tape so we can not tell if the cable was hot for a certain length or if the connector was hot. You have cable to connector, connector to breaker, breaker contacts that can all produce heat and its hard to tell until it gets a little warmer which is the problem.

Im not going to say the insulation was not melted but it was not going to melt when this picture was taken. Half the fun is getting part the information from the managers that hired you.

I also can not believe that someone shut the unit down and applied tape to the cable with out tightening the connection at the same time so you are probably looking at a picture after a repair has already been made.

Ignoring the IR as a red herring the second picture that show a soot mark and a cable that has been moved from the front to middle would have me wondering about the breaker.
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Old 07-05-2019, 06:12 AM   #19
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Until its tested again in the future you really have no way to know if the problem has been fixed or not.

The picture cuts off before we can see the cable minus tape so we can not tell if the cable was hot for a certain length or if the connector was hot. You have cable to connector, connector to breaker, breaker contacts that can all produce heat and its hard to tell until it gets a little warmer which is the problem.

Im not going to say the insulation was not melted but it was not going to melt when this picture was taken. Half the fun is getting part the information from the managers that hired you.

I also can not believe that someone shut the unit down and applied tape to the cable with out tightening the connection at the same time so you are probably looking at a picture after a repair has already been made.

Ignoring the IR as a red herring the second picture that show a soot mark and a cable that has been moved from the front to middle would have me wondering about the breaker.
FWIW, the Flir picture is after we made the repair and the chiller load was on the breaker for about 3 hours.
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Old 07-05-2019, 10:37 AM   #20
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FWIW, the Flir picture is after we made the repair and the chiller load was on the breaker for about 3 hours.
Ok that make way more sense now.
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