IRISS is proud to launch our next generation intuitive Asset Information Tagging System called E Sentry Connect ™. E Sentry Connect™ utilizes Near Field Communication (NFC) contactless Smart Card technology that allows smart phone and tablet devices with NFC to easily access critical data relating to the equipment being inspected and also save up-to-date inspection data directly to the asset’s E Sentry Connect™ tag via a free Android Application.

By using this intelligent asset management NFC technology within the E Sentry Connect™ tagging system, any industry where Infrared Windows are utilized now have a quick, flexible and reliable way to electronically track and maintain inspection history. This technology is suitable for even the hazardous and hostile environments found on offshore platforms, refineries and petrochemical processing plants. The time taken to recertify, inspect or repair equipment manually with hard copy inspection records, paper work orders and certificates can be reduced significantly using this technology. Intelligent asset tagging also reduces the length of safety checks, saving downtime.

E Sentry Connect cards will now be included as standard on all CAP Series infrared windows and can also be purchased separately and added to any other IR Window system.

Just in time for Independence Day, the NEW E Sentry Connect Intelligent Asset Management Solution offers companies complete independence from antiquated data management systems.  Check out how the E Sentry Connect digitally stores all critical data related to your assets and their inspections on a simple to use NFC tag attached directly to the asset.

The beauty of this product is that the NEW E Sentry Connect utilizes NFC technology and there is a FREE IRISS App to read and write critical data directly to an E Sentry tag.

Free E Sentry App!

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This product can be used by any android based device that utilizes Near Field Communication (NFC).  Inspectors now have access to all of the critical historical inspection information needed to manage the asset by simply reading the tag. Through the cloud based subscription option, inspection routes can be created and assigned, notifications can be received and sent and temperature trends can be analyzed…just to name a few great features!


The struggle to manage and organize your inspections is over!

The NEW product by IRISS, E Sentry Connect, will eliminate paperwork and time.  There is more than one E Sentry Connect Solution…Find out more about the new E Sentry Product line.

Capture your independence from the old to the new today!

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Martin Robinson, CEO of IRISS and developer of the IR Polymer Window explains the importance and necessity of IR Window certifications. The minimum requirements necessary for certifying a product to UL standards are usually sufficient to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the product; is that statement true or false? Well, in the case of an infrared (IR) window this is not necessarily true as specific application details must be factored in before its use can be deemed ‘safe’.

UL is a US based, Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) and worldwide safety consulting and certification company that performs safety testing. UL is the only organization to have a defining standard for infrared windows called UL50V. These devices are basically data collection ports for infrared inspection by thermal imaging camera that are designed to allow electrical inspections to be conducted with the utmost safety when the system is under load. They ensure the electrical enclosure remains in a ‘safe and guarded condition’ so the risk of arc flash or electrocution injury is eliminated.

Consider the bigger picture

Not all infrared windows were created equal. Hence, anyone specifying an IR window needs to dig deeper than the UL 50V standard to be 100% confident in the suitability of the chosen window type. This base line standard simply verifies that the window provides a means for passage of infrared radiation but it also carries an important caveat.

UL50V specifically states ‘meeting the requirements for this standard do not assure the window is suitable for use in any application and that suitability for continued use requires additional evaluation as to the performance characteristics necessary for the installation.’

So, what other certifications should you look for when specifying an infrared window? The following provides more detail in defining the functionality and, more importantly, the safety aspects required before attempting to modify an electrical enclosure in any way.

UL/NEMA 50E:
These are environmental standards which apply to electrical enclosures that are intended to be installed and used in non-hazardous locations. These include enclosures for indoor locations only (NEMA types 1,2,5,12, 12K and 13) and enclosures for both indoor and outdoor locations (NEMA types 3 and 3R). NEMA ratings can be self-certified when the manufacturer has third party tests to support the assigned ratings. More common to Europe are Ingress Protection (IP) ratings that can be mapped to equivalent NEMA enclosure ratings with the fundamental difference that IP ratings must be tested and certified by a third party lab.

UL 508:
These requirements cover industrial control panels intended for general industrial use, operating at 1500V or less. This equipment is intended for installation in ordinary locations, in accordance with ANSI/NFPA 70, where ambient temperatures do not exceed 40°C maximum.

UL 746C:
UL 746C is a standard to test performance of polymeric (plastic) components and identifies the ability of a window to withstand impact or flame, an important consideration in the industrial environment.

UL 1558:
UL 1558 is relevant to viewing panes and IR windows fitted into metal-enclosed, low voltage (< 600V) power circuit breaker switchgear assemblies. The standard requires the impact resistance of an assembly to be tested with the window closed; an essential criteria is that is that a 12.7mm diameter rod should not be able to pass through the window or cover.

IEEE C.37.20.2 section a.3.6:
This standard and test procedure for viewing panes mounted in electrical equipment with ratings above 1kV requires viewing panes to withstand both impact and load tests. Unlike UL this does not give any dispensation for material composition of the IR viewing window or whether or not covers are fitted.

The test is simple. It requires that both sides of the IR viewing window be subjected to impact and load and that neither side can crack, shatter or dislodge. For crystal optic based IR windows, this is a requirement that is impossible to meet.

IEC 62271-200:
This provides a controlled arc flash test for 52kV and below metal-enclosed switch gear. The test is performed at 6kV using a current of 31.5 KA for a duration of 0.5 seconds. The procedure determines the amount of pressure and heat installed components on switchgear can survive and still maintain integrity.

It should be noted that an “arc tested” or “arc resistant” rating can only be given to a completed assembly and not a single component within that assembly. Electrical cabinet designs and dimensions are infinite and we cannot and must not use data from one cabinet design to another design unless they are identical in every way.

This is the reason why components, such as IR windows can never carry a generic arc rating and must be subject to standard industry tests to confirm they meet the mechanical strengths and environment properties for each electrical cabinet or assembly to which they are being fitted.

For information on IR windows that are certified to all standards and have undergone more testing than any other brand visit www.iriss.com or fill out the form below to learn more.

Over the years I have been involved in the infrared industry I have seen some mistakes made and problems missed using spot temperature measurements on IR cameras, luckily these were rectified using the IR software when the reports were written… (would not have been the case had we been using “report by exception” techniques!).

I have always trained my thermographers to use area measurement at all times, in particular the “area max temperature function” this way we ensure that we do everything to make sure we don’t miss anything that may be detrimental during the inspection, and this is more important when inspecting through IR Windows!

There are instances when the use of spot temperature measurement techniques are very effective, especially when trying to compare one item to another in an IR image to see what the temperature difference is, or when trying to correlate one component to another, etc…  However as a rule I have always found it best practice to use the area maximum temperature function whilst conducting electrical surveys using IR cameras.

A typical plant is full of equipment that requires periodic infrared (IR) inspection. The challenge, as any thermographer knows, is getting an accurate indication of equipment health. Properly compensating for the various emissivity values of all the components one encounters on the factory floor is possibly the most critical factor in performing accurate and meaningful inspections. Even slight errors in emissivity compensation can lead to significant errors in temperature and Delta T (difference in temperature) calculations. Electrical cabinets are a good example, as they may contain materials with emissivity values ranging from 0.07 to 0.95.

For some components, it can be difficult to determine the correct emissivity value. In the case of a highly polished component like a bus bar, the actual emissivity may be so low as to make temperature measurement impractical. It is strongly recommended that thermographers understand the surface of the primary targets. Once identified, those surfaces should be treated with a high-emissivity covering so that all targets have a standardized emissivity. Thermographers can apply electrical tape, high-temperature paint (such as grill paint), or high-emissivity labels (like the IR-ID labels from IRISS). When all targets have a standard emissivity, refection issues are minimized and measurement errors from reflected ambient energy are greatly reduced. High-emissivity targets of varying shapes can also provide a useful point-of-reference both for the thermographer and the technician making repairs.

Summary
1.    Emissivity is one of the most important variables a thermographer must understand.
2.    Whenever possible, know the emissivity of your target and compensate for it using the emissivity setting on the camera.
3.    Incorrect emissivity settings can have a significant effect on the accuracy of qualitative and quantitative data (thermograms and temperature calculations).
4.    Using an emissivity value that is higher than the actual emissivity of the target will result in electrical faults appearing cooler than they actually are.
5.    Emissivity errors are not linear, but are exponential in nature (Stephan-Boltzmann’s Law). The exponential nature of the error also means that ?T values (differences in temperature) can be greatly affected by the errors as well.
6.    When installing IR windows it is important to standardize the emissivity of the targets while the switch-gear is open (and de-energized).
7.    Common treatments for target surfaces are: grill paint, electrical tape and IRISS IR-ID labels.

To make your job easier during your next electrical inspection, take a look at IRISS IR-ID Labels. Regardless of experience and skill level, thermographers will improve efficiency with IR-ID Labels since any fault diagnosis is only as reliable as the data collected.

 

The short answer to your question is: No, there is no published ” pressure rating ” for the infrared (IR) window lens. There actually is no specific Standard existing to begin with requiring specific pressure withstand testing or assigned ratings for IR windows. However, IRISS products and lenses are tested against a minimum challenge of 950°Celsius and 25 PSI. In the case of IRISS only, this information does exist and is derived from the stunning results of much more severe testing parameters which our full product lines are subjected to–and this aspect is uniquely so for IRISS alone as our products are the most tested and certified in this industry and product category.

Additionally, the reinforced polymer optic lens design of our IR windows (part of our Electrical Maintenance Safety Device family) are the only IR window lenses on the market actually subjected to and pass the required IEEE Load & Impact testing for ‘Viewing Panes’.  One essence of this testing is the 2lb steel ball drop onto the center of the IR window lens from a specified height.

IEEE C37 20.2.a.3.6: Impact and Load: Viewing panes mounted in medium and high voltage equipment (600 volts to 38kv metal clad and 72kv station type gear) are required to withstand impact and load per IEEE C37.20.2 a.3.6. The standard specifically states that the viewing pane must withstand the impact and load from both sides (inside/outside) and the viewing pane must not “crack, shatter or dislodge.”

IRISS products are directly arc-fault tested by many of the switchgear OEM’s on assorted electrical gear, both arc rated and non-arc rated. They all consider their test formats, protocols, and resulting data to be very guarded intellectual property and they do not provide ‘Test Certificates’ upon completion of testing — it’s either a pass or fail. IRISS has never failed such a test and we consistently exceed the Standards Requirements set forth as well by the various Standards Bodies globally — IEEE, UL, cUL, CSA, LLoyds, ABS, DNV, IP65/NEMA 4, etc. IRISS’ most recent OEM testing was performed by ABB less than 1 year ago — the fault energy level tested to was 63kA-15kV-60Hz-30 Cycles, and we passed easily.

safety-certifications

The typical temperature seen during this type of test is approximately 950°Celsius and the pressure peaks at approximately 25 PSI (depending on the design, could go higher). This is the Temperature and Pressure level resulting from a 63kA, 15kV, 30 cycles arc-fault test in arc resistant switchgear. Further, IRISS reinforced polymer IR optics easily withstand 30 PSI in sealed chamber pressure testing.

The pressure levels in the ISO bus fed pressurized Terminal Boxes in your application will never see any pressures even approaching these levels. Additionally, IRISS actually produces curved IR Inspection and Service Access Panels for mounting specifically onto pressurized and non-pressurized ISO phase bus systems alike.

It’s both relevant and vital to look at the mechanical test requirements for IR windows in the same way as for simply visual viewing windows fitted in switchgear. IRISS is the only manufacturer in this product category that tests its entire line to these much higher IEEE, and other, withstand requirements. As such, the impact, load, flammability and environmental test requirements take on a new meaning — this is why IRISS is the most recognized, certified, and universally approved IR window line globally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many people are not aware that the detector in an infrared camera actually only reads electromagnetic radiation it receives in a specific range of wavelengths. In order to display this in a useful reading the camera makes several calculations in order to convert the actual data to a temperature. The emissivity and transmissivity (sometimes depending on the camera manufacturer) have to be manually entered into the camera’s menuif this value is entered incorrectly the actual temperature will be exponentially different (see Stefan-Boltzmann’s Law) than the displayed temperature. The old saying of “well as long as it is consistently wrong the change will be noted” is not entirely correct either, as the difference between phases will also be exponentially wrong. The error is going to be worse as the temperature rises – if the differential between the measured temperatures is significant then the displayed temperatures could be significantly different!

So that phase imbalance that looks like it is only a couple of degrees different could actually be upwards of 30 degrees! The visual setup of the camera could be the only other way of determining the severity of a potential defect. As anyone who has spent some time looking through a camera will tell you the visual component can be significantly altered (both to make things look better than they are as well as to show “elevated” differentials.) Depending on the level, span and range setup on the camera it would be very easy to miss a severe problem.

cap-b-ir-bus-scan

With this in mind it is easy to see why there are so many infrared problems that aren’t caught. In order to ensure that our customers “See What You’ve Been Missing”, all IRISS polymer based windows utilize the same grade and thickness of polymer, so that if you have correctly setup your camera for one IRISS window you can know without any doubt that it is “calibrated” for all IRISS windows. Our Fixed And Stable Transmission (FAST) is exactly what the name implies – unchanging! The ambient temperature outside, length of time in the field, relative humidity or barometric pressure have no effect on transmission rate and therefore no effect on your readings!

Every infrared camera defines its Field of View (FOV) across a horizontal/vertical axis.

You have two ways to determine the Field of View (FOV) on your camera:

  1. You can calculate the FOV using the formula: 2 x the tangent of ½ the angle x distance
  2. You can measure (and “map out”) the practical FOV with a quick field test to check your math!

The practical FOV test is quick, relatively easy, and in no way requires a scientific calculator!

The practical FOV test is a simple method to determine what can be seen at set distances with your camera, the lens, and IR Windows.

  1. Find a long workbench, counter-top or a 6 foot folding table. Layout a piece of plain paper along the entire length of the table.
  2. Set the camera on the table and mark a “zero” line across the table width. This zero line should be far enough on the table so that the camera cannot accidentally fall off the table. The zero line is where the camera lens touches the line.
  3. Draw a straight line the length of the paper along the center.
  4. Label this line with 6 inch increments marked out from the zero line.
  5. Label the lines from 0 to 36 inches. You can go further if you have a panel depth deeper than 36 inches, but usually 36 inches is sufficient.
  6. Place the camera lens at the zero line with the straight line going down the center of the paper in the middle of the camera lens.

Now, it is time for a coffee break. Not really, you need two heat sources. Some people use coffee cups – good excuse for a break.  You can use any known heat source. Some people use hot plates if they are in a lab, a griddle, or you can purchase inexpensive candle warmers.

  1. Place the two heat sources at a distance from the camera that is typical of the targets you will monitor. For example, if your targets are 18 inches from the panel, then place the two heat sources at the 18 inch mark.
  2. Move one heat source from the center until it appears just inside the edge of the image in the camera display.
  3. Move the other heat source in the opposite direction until it appears just inside the camera display on the other side.

The distance between your two heat sources is the maximum FOV using your camera and lens. At the defined distance.

  1. You can draw a line from each side of the camera lens at the zero line to the heat source on the same side. This gives you the FOV for any distance from the zero line to the heat sources.
  2. If you are using an IR Window, subtract the camera lens diameter from the FOV. Next add the diameter of the IR window. This gives you the Maximum Horizontal Window FOV. For example, you have a FOV of 8 inches, at 18 inches on the center line. The camera lens is 1.75 inches. The camera FOV is then 6.25 inches. If you are using a 4 inch IR Window, then add 4 inches for a total Maximum Horizontal Window FOV of 10.25 inches.

You should repeat the above process with the camera lying on its side to determine the Vertical FOV.

When finished, roll up your map and save it for future reference.

You can create a table for the distances along the center line and the Horizontal and Vertical FOV for different window sizes in your plant.