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IR Windows 101 white paper image‘IR Windows 101: The answers to the questions you were afraid to ask’

Posted on: 11th, March 2015

Are you considering using IR Windows? Then you need to download your FREE copy of our ‘IR Windows 101: The answers to the questions you were afraid to ask’ White Paper today.

IR Windows 101 eBook

Are you considering using IR Windows? Then you need to download your FREE copy of our ‘IR Windows 101: The answers to the questions you were afraid to ask’ White Paper today. A decade ago Infrared IR Windows were very much in their infancy, but today things are very different.

Download Now

An infrared (IR) Window, sometimes referred to as a viewport, a sight glass or a thermal window has traditionally been an inert device installed into electrical equipment to enable infrared thermal imagers to view the inside of cabinets safely, without exposing operators to live electrical equipment and dangers such as electric arc-flash.

CorDEX IR Windows 101 White Paper

A decade ago Infrared IR Windows were very much in their infancy, I remember attending trade-shows and having to explain what an IR Window was and why customers needed it. Back then, there was still the false belief held by many that thermal imagers could “see” through panel covers.

Today, things are very different, virtually all thermographers know about the existence of Infrared IR Windows even if they do not fully understand the value they bring. This value is not only in terms of safety it is also greater efficiency. As switchgear safety systems improve, efficiency is increasingly a key driving factor.

IR Windows can be round, square, even little more than a hole, while others are high quality crystal optics. Regardless of the design, they all perform a single simple function; IR Windows allow infrared inspections of live electrical equipment, without removing covers or doors. This is an important benefit to thermographers who are not always electrically trained personnel. With the widespread adoption of NFPA70E, the risk associated with exposure to live electrical equipment and specifically I mean electric arc-flash but also electrocution (which is often overlooked but will kill just as easily), means that live work is not possible.

So, there are two solutions for a company needing to undertake infrared surveys of their electrical equipment;

  • 1. Perform a complete arc-flash hazard analysis, provide appropriate PPE and have a multi-person team remove panel covers for an infrared scan or
  • 2. Install IR Windows.

In many cases, it is the arc-flash hazard analysis that is the driving force behind an IR Window installation as the analysis itself highlights and very graphically demonstrates the dangers associated with live work on a particular circuit and yes, infrared scanning is considered live work!

What is often overlooked is that so called “low voltage” switchgear, typically 415V in the UK and 480V in the US, can actually have a greater level of arc-flash energy than the medium or high voltage systems feeding it!

The purpose of this paper is to provide an unbiased view of IR Windows based on over 10 years’ experience solely in that field. Do I have a personal preference on a particular design methodology? Absolutely, it is obvious by reading this paper, however, I have also attempted to be fair and impartial with my analysis on all options and will leave the reader to make up their own mind based on the information provided.

Okay, all that aside, let’s talk IR Windows!

About the Author:
Tony is a pioneer in the development, sales and marketing of IR Windows. A trained Engineer, Tony began his career designing intrinsically safe fiscal metering systems for the petrochemical industry before moving into automated switchgear design and commissioning destined for telecommunications facilities across Europe.

IR Windows 101 eBook

Are you considering using IR Windows? Then you need to download your FREE copy of our ‘IR Windows 101: The answers to the questions you were afraid to ask’ White Paper today. A decade ago Infrared IR Windows were very much in their infancy, but today things are very different.

Download Now
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