Identifying faults with electrical boards offshore 


We were requested by an Oil and Gas Operator to conduct a non-intrusive thermal imaging survey on an offshore un-manned platform. The main aim of the workscope was to survey electrical switchboards, distribution boards, control panels, busbars, transformers etc and identify, if any, hotspots that were above the normal operating temperature for the equipment. The risk with electrical components overheating is that they can cause the platform system to trip/shutdown or pose spark potential/fire risk in worse case scenario. The work was carried out while the plant was online using the FLIR T320 thermal imaging camera. 


 All electrical components noted to have “hot spots” or found to be above ambient or operating temperature were recorded in accordance with the BSRIA standard of LV Electrical Installations FMS 5/99 (see table). During the survey it was noted that several components displayed temperatures significantly above ambient and, potentially, operating temperature.

Results & Benefits
  • All results were populated in a table (example left) and rated accordingly using the BSRIA standard. A full report was also issued to the client so they could review the findings and act accordingly. 
  • Following review of the final report the client was able to arrange repair and replacement of the components. The client believed that the survey was of great value as they would not have been able to identify these issues otherwise. As they were able to rectify the issues it reduced the risk of any unplanned shutdowns and outages caused by faulty electrical components which is of great benefit to unmanned platforms and can provide significant cost saving benefits long term. Routine thermography inspections have now been planned on a yearly basis across all of the clients assets.