Three-dimensional thermal imaging for power equipment monitoring

Wai Lok Chan, A. T.P. So, L. L. Lai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


It is well known that most faults in a power system appear as localized hot spots in their early stage of development and gradually grow into accidents that are not remediable, such as total insulation breakdown or even explosion. Through the detection of hot spots and abnormal rise in working temperature of conductors or insulators, infrared thermography has been one of the most useful tools in identifying potential failures, so that preventive measures can be taken to avoid the occurrence of any hazard. However, this method has not attracted worldwide attention and popularity because it is extremely difficult to visually analyze thermal images of power equipment and, very often, only skilful maintenance engineers are able to make correct judgments based on these images due to a lack of three-dimensional sense. The employment of techniques in virtual reality to produce three-dimensional thermal images is described, so that users are able to manipulate the three-dimensional object on the screen under both geometrical mode and thermal mode. Hot spots can easily be identified as a means of condition-based maintenance. This system can provide vital indications of the equipment's condition, providing warnings of potential problems. This technique is totally noninvasive and it can keep the plant in service throughout the whole period of assessment. Furthermore, this system should also be useful for training maintenance engineers. The whole system (including the hardware set-up and the associated mathematics) is described.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-360
Number of pages6
JournalIEE Proceedings: Generation, Transmission and Distribution
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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