Electrical Equipment Fault Detection

How to detect electrical equipment faults?  Safely Inspect Electrical Systems with Ultrasound

Electrical failures pose a tremendous safety threat and have the ability to shut down operations entirely

Industrial plants require a lot of power to operate, and much like the machinery required for production, their electrical systems can also fail. When they do, the results pose tremendous threats to production and the safety of everyone within the facility. The same threats are immanent on the power production and distribution side.  

The Importance of Maintaining your Electrical Systems

The implications of a total electrical system failure are far more severe than that of an ordinary mechanical failure. They have the potential to damage equipment, cut power flow and cause downtime for days, seriously injure or kill workers in the immediate vicinity and even impact the surrounding areas power grid. Fortunately, regular ultrasound inspections can help detect faults in electrical systems at their earliest stages and therefore prevent them far before anything catastrophic happens. 

Fault detection

The Dangers of Electrical Arc Flash

The NFPA states that arc flash is “a dangerous condition associated with the release of energy caused by an electric arc. They can cause a series of explosions generating between 5,000-35,000°F / 2,760-19,427 °C.” Subsequently, the power generated from these explosions are enough to seriously injure or kill anyone within the vicinity of the blast.

Detecting electrical faults with equipment, especially arc flash is best done combining both infrared and ultrasound technology. Indeed, both technologies have their strengths when it comes to fault detection, but ultrasound excels at detecting faults long before infrared would be able to.

The Earliest Way of Detecting Electrical Systems Failures

Ultrasound inspection can be performed on both open access and enclosed electrical equipment at any voltage. Electrical apparatuses like switchgear, transformers, insulators or disconnects and splices can all fail but long before they do, the faults can be detected.

Unlike electrical infrared thermography inspection, ultrasound devices can detect discharges in their earliest stages, long before they begin to generate heat.

Fault detection
Fault detection

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Ultrasound and Infrared Cooperate to Find Transformer Failures

    Questions concerning Electrical Fault Detection

The best way to detect electrical faults in equipment, such as arc flashes or corona effects, is to use ultrasound technology devices such as the SDT340, with its associated airborne sensors. Ultrasound equipment, unlike electrical infrared thermography inspection, may detect discharges in their early stages, long before they generate heat.

Total electrical system failures have significantly more serious consequences than simple failures. They have the potential to damage equipment, cut power and cause days of downtime, badly hurt or kill employees in the immediate proximity, and even disrupt the power grid in the surrounding area. Regular ultrasonic inspections, on the other hand, can help detect defects in electrical systems at an early stage, preventing them from becoming disastrous.

At any voltage, both open access and enclosed electrical cabinets can be inspected by using ultrasound technologies such as the SDT340 or the SonaVu™. Switchgear, transformers, insulators, disconnects, and splices are all electrical apparatus that can fail, but the defects can be discovered at early stages.

Ultrasound and Infrared Cooperate to Find Transformer Failures

Choose the Ultrasound Detector that suits your needs:


Detect, Measure and Analyze Ultrasound and Vibration with the SDT340, SDT latest and most advanced Ultrasound Detector.

Build trend graphs that trigger alarms and collect dynamic data for advanced time waveform analysis.


SonaVu™ is a Multi-frequency Ultrasound and Acoustic Imaging Camera

Bring your condition monitoring program into focus.

Ultrasound software

The Ultranalysis® Suite 3 is the most powerful ultrasonic measurement management software ever designed for maintenance professionals.