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Image Processing Methods for Evaluating Infrared Thermographic Image of Electrical Equipments Mohd Shawal Jadin1, Soib Taib1,

Shahid Kabir2, and Mohd Ansor Bin Yusof1 1School of Electrical and Ele ctronic Engineering Universiti Sains Malaysia, Nibong Tebal, P. Pinang 14300, Malaysia 2Collaborative Micro-electronic Design Excellence Centre (CEDEC) Universiti Sains Malaysia, Nibong Tebal, P. Pinang 14300, Malaysia

Abstract| Infrared thermography is well known as one of the eective tools in monitoring the condition of electrical equipments. It has the capability to detect the thermal abnormality in electrical equipments. The recent research in this eld has shown the interest on an automatic diagnosis system. This is due to fast analysis and robust compared to manual inspection. Various techniques have been used to identify and classify the thermal anomalies in the infrared thermographic image of electrical equipments. The common method that normally used in ana- lyzing infrared thermogram can be divided into four steps: image preprocessing, segmentation, classication and decision making. The majority of the techniques were implemented in bottom- up order. Conversely, another approach that is more top-down oriented has been introduced recently. This paper presents the review of image processing methods for both approaches in classifying the level of faults in electrical equipments. Some advantages and disadvantages of both approaches are also discussed. 1. INTRODUCTION In 1800, William Hershel has discovered infrared radiation and it was the rst experiment that showed there were forms of light not visible to the human eye [2, 3]. The infrared wavelength spectrum is ranged from about 1mm down to 750 nm. All objects emit energy proportional to its surface temperature. As infrared energy functions outside the dynamic range of the human eye, special equipment is required to transform the infrared energy to another signal, which can be seen. For this purpose, infrared imagers were developed to see

and measure this heat. Nowadays, various types of IR imager with more advanced and sophisticated features have been developed [4]. The basic concepts of IR imager, commonly known as the thermographic camera, is that it can capture an image of the thermal pattern and measures the emissive power of a surface in an area at various temperature ranges. The digital output image of IRT is called as thermogram. Each pixel of a thermogram has the specic temperature value, and the image's contrast is derived from the dierences in surface temperature. 2. TYPICAL FAULTS AND DIAGNOSIS METHODS Faults in electrical power systems can be classied into a few categories such as poor connection, short circuit, overloading, load imbalance and improper component installation [4{7]. In most cases, poor connections are among the more common problems in transmission and distribution lines of electrical power systems [8]. According to a thermographic survey conducted during the period of 1999{2005 [9], it was found that 48% of the problems were found in conductor connection accessories and bolted connections. This is mainly due to loose connection, corrosion, rust, and non-adequate use of inhibitory grease. On the other hand, 45% of the thermal anomalies appear in disconnector contacts. Most of the anomalies are due to deformations, decient pressure of contact, incorrect alignment of arms, and accumulation of dirt. Only 7% of the problems were found in electrical equipment. By utilizing IRT, the thermal image will clearly indicates the problematic area. There are two methods that are commonly used in diagnosing the conditions of electrical power equipments which are qualitative and quantitative. The qualitative measurement is widely used method by employing the T criteria [1, 12]. It is also known as comparative thermography [3]. When the comparative technique is used appropriately and correctly, the dierences between the two (or more) samples will often be indicative of their condition. Fig. 1 shows the example of hotspot and the reference point. Hot area is the suspected component and the reference must be another similar component which has the same condition. It could be also a similar component in other phases. 1300 PIERS Proceedings, Marrakesh, MOROCCO, March 20{23, 2011 The advantage of this method is that it is a practical method to establish \failure" or \no failure" and the emissivity has only a minor impact on the result [1]. A drawback is that the T criterion does not say anything about whether the equipment's temperature limits are actually exceeded. Furthermore, using the T criteria will not expose systematic failures aecting all three phases [12]. In quantitative measurement, the observation is established by measuring the absolute temperature of electrical equipment

under the same ambient conditions. As the reference temperature has to be measured, it is requires an even greater understanding of the variables inuencing the radiometric measurement, as well as its limitations. It is vital to determine what margin of error is acceptable before beginning an inspection, and to work carefully to stay within those bounds [3]. This will include all the variables such as ambient condition, type of object to be inspected, thermal imager specication as well as thermographer itself. In this case, related data and information must be collected and adjustment should be made accordingly. 3. IMAGE PROCESSING METHODS Research in image processing incorporated with an intelligent system for diagnosing the condition of electrical equipments by evaluating its IRT image is still at the early stages. Only few researches have been done with some dierent techniques. In evaluating the condition of electrical equipment, the image processing methods can be classied into bottom-up and topdown approaches. Generally, the common image processing method that is normally used in an infrared thermogram can be divided into few steps: image preprocessing, segmentation, feature extraction, classication and decision. The straightforward approach is by following the steps one by one in bottom-up order. Conversely, top-down oriented is more problem specic process of identifying the interesting image region. Both methods yield a region of interest (ROI). Decision will be made base on the information extracted and evaluated from these regions. This part will highlight some image processing methods that have been used for diagnosing the IRT image of electrical equipments based on the above- mentioned approaches. 3.1. Bottom-up Approach To identify the hotspot within the IRT image, the simplest way is using the thresholding technique. Thresholding technique has been a common technique for image segmentation due to its intuitive and simple implementation. Based on the gray-level histogram of an image, the target object is separated from the background at a specic threshold, T. A. thresholded image, g(x; y) of an image, f(x; y) is dened as g (x; y) = 1 if f(x; y) T

0 if f(x; y) T (1) The hotspot region can be segmented through selecting a suitable threshold value [13]. For an automatic thresholding technique, Otsu [10] method is widely used in various applications. Chou and Yao [1] have proposed an algorithm for segmenting the hotspot region which was inspired by Otsu method. Morphological image processing was used to extract the hotspot where the maxi- mum gray pixel value determines the maximum temperature of the hotspot region. The reference Figure 1: The hotspot and the reference point. Figure 2: Flowchart. Progress In Electromagnetics Research Symposium Proceedings, Marrakesh, Morocco, Mar. 20{23, 2011 1301 temperature is derived from the average gray values of the object other than the hotspot region. The condition of the electrical equipment is calculated by comparing the hotspot temperature and the reference temperature. In another research, watershed transformation algorithm was successfully used for segmenting the thermogram of lightning arrester [13]. It is extremely noise and non uniform illumination robust procedure. However, the most critical problem with this technique is over-segmentation due to local minima attainment. The morphological gradient was used to eliminate the over-segmentation and produce a smooth edge of the lightning arrester. Instead of using a gray level image, the original image has also been used for image segmentation and feature extraction processes. In this regard, the relevant information around the faulty point

area is selected and all the pixel values outside the faulty area are set to zero [14]. Only fault region of gray level image is extracted using Zernike moment as the input features of support vector machine (SVM). It is also possible to extract features of a thermogram directly from its RGB data. This method is quite straightforward without implementing any applying advance image processing method. Nevertheless, the problem with this technique is high processing time due to the large feature vector to be computed by neural network algorithm [15]. 3.2. Top-down Approach Since the method of IRT evaluation of electrical equipment is using a qualitative measurement, all the similar and identical structures within the thermogram should be grouped together. Detecting a regular structure will be the rst step in segmentation by grouping the repetitive structure. The common steps used in evaluating the thermal anomaly of electrical equipments based on topdown oriented can be summarized by a owchart as shown in Fig. 2. In detecting the electrical equipment's structure, the region of interest (ROI) should be identied rst. For nding the repeated objects or structures, the tasks can be broken down into two separate steps: (i) nding interesting features in the image and describing these using pre-specied descriptors, and (ii) comparing all the features

and look for matches [16, 17]. In nding a repeated pattern in an image, one approach is to identify distinctive features in the image, describe the features, and compare them with each other to nd similar regions within the image. One of the most popular techniques to identify the features is using Scale Invariant Feature Transform (SIFT), which was introduced by David Lowe [18]. This method was implemented by [16, 17] for nding interest region of electrical installation. It rst locates points of interest in a linear scale-space, and then assigns a descriptor vector constructed as local histograms of image gradient orientations around the point. The advantages of SIFT descriptor are invariant to image rotation and scale. Using the concept of feature matching in SIFT algorithm, the repeated object in the thermogram can be detected. The detected objects then segmented before enter the classication process. There are three approaches were used to determine the thermal severity of an electrical equipment. The rst is direct interpretation by identifying the maximum temperature for each region and evaluate the condition based on T criteria. The maximum temperature is determined by nding the highest pixel value within the selected region. Calculating the histogram or histogram distance can also be used for nding the similarity between two objects. In this case, the histogram for each region is computed and compared with other region in order to get the T. Another

method is by analyzing the gradient of the segmented region. One of the advantages of utilizing the gradient analysis is that the source of the hotspot which was occurred in electrical equipment can be identied [16]. 4. CONCLUSIONS Both bottoms-up and top-down approaches were successfully implemented using various techniques in identifying fault in electrical equipment. Since the thermographic images of electrical equipment normally show a very high variation in appearance such as object distance from camera (scale change) and angle (view point change). The most suitable approach is describing the image using local features based on top-down approach, which are more robust to this kind of changes. Generally, local segmentation using top-down oriented has a great advantage over bottom-up approach. However, upgrading technique or introducing a new method could improve the diagnosing method of electrical equipments.