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Service Panels : Parker Meridien Hotel, New York, NY

Infrared Electrical Survey
Parker Meridien Hotel
Investigation: 8/95

Table of Contents

  1. Abstract

  2. Testimonial

  3. Electrical Survey Evaluation

  1. Thermographic Analysis

  2. Electrical Survey Recommendations

  3. Illustrations



One type of infrared survey was conducted on August 23, 1995 at Le Parker Meridien Hotel in New York City. An infrared electric survey on the service panels and elevator control panels within the hotel. The electric survey utilizes infrared imagery to detect overloaded circuits and power lines.

The basic tool of the Abacus Infrared Survey is the Agema Thermovision 450 Infrared Thermal Measurement and Imaging System, using the state of the art Electro-optical scanning mechanism, the new SPRITE infrared detector, video interface and control electronics and microprocessors for video output. The infrared camera converts electromagnetic thermal energy radiated from an object into electronic video signals. These signals are amplified and transmitted to the video processing part of the camera where the signals are further amplified and the resultant image is displayed on the viewfinder. The camera senses the intensity of thermal radiation from a surface, and displays a monochrome image whose density corresponds to the radiation intensity. The radiant energy levels are interpreted as surface temperatures.

Upon request, certain portions of the thermal information obtained during the scan can be videotaped for further analysis. This information is later digitized using the new Data Translations High Resolution Frame Grabber, which digitizes the real-time video signal for further processing by the IRIS Image Processing Computer System. The thermal image signal is broken down into a 16 color temperature scale, and temperatures/colors are assigned to the radiational intensities of the image.


Conducted on the survey date was an electrical systems analysis utilizing the infrared camera to detect overloaded circuit breakers and switches. Connections of electric service panels generate beat when the circuit is in operation. If there is a malfunction in the circuit, the level of heat generated will become elevated. It is this elevated temperature above normal operating or ambient temperatures that the infrared camera detects and records.

The thermal information is recorded on videotape, and later processed into black and White Thermograms only, depicting hot spots as white. Each circuit box and/or control switches were analyzed for ambient surface temperature, then the temperatures were taken of each hot spot using the in-camera temperature measuring devices. The actual temperatures are indicated in the Thermographic Analysis Section of this report.

Each circuit and main panel were examined, however, only those with increased temperatures were recorded for further analysis. Panels without elevated heat are assumed to be functioning normal (at the time of the survey).

Included in the Electrical Survey Section of this report are the following:

Evaluation - Offers information as to the possible causes of problems seen during the survey.

The Infrared Analysis Index - Outlines the findings of the survey.

Thermographic Analysis - Details the findings of the survey, including temperature gradients, illustrated through infrared thermograms.

It is suggested to conduct a second infrared analysis of all circuit boxes and switches six months after the initial survey, in order to obtain thermal data for comparison. Changes in electrical load due to differences in exterior temperatures as well as additional electrical usage, may give different thermal readings, which would be useful in a comparison study.

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The infrared survey of the Parker Meridien Hotel electrical systems was conducted on August 23, 1995, for the purpose of locating circuits with higher temperatures. Panel boxes, elevator switches, and power lines were all examined as instructed by building personnel. Possible problems that may cause increased surface temperatures of circuits include faulty manufacturing breaker, loose connection, loose wire on breaker, or overloaded circuits.

In circuit panel boxes, slight temperature increases of about 2'F to 6'F may indicate a possible deficiency, but not one of immediate concern. These temperature increases may also be normal operational temperatures for the loads being used through indicated circuits. Only through subsequent surveys can these anomaly areas be confirmed problem areas. Temperature gradients exceeding this value and particularly those in excess of IO'F are considered to be moderate to serious deficiencies, and should be attended to as soon as possible.

On elevator selector switches temperatures increases are of a much higher range. This is due to the mechanics and loads of these switches. Anomalies of the elevator switches can appear over 100 degrees higher than ambient.

Departures from normal gradients expected in switch gears and circuits is an indicator of a defect in materials or connections on current carrying positions. Abnormalities such as these are due to installation techniques or long term expected deterioration. Suspect faults can eventually result in general degradation of switchboard components.

It should be noted that the infrared analysis records instantaneous data on energized suspect areas, therefore the "rate" of deterioration cannot be determined. A yearly maintenance program including an infrared study would substantially reduce the risk of low voltage burndowns.

Each switch and circuit box is labeled, and the departure from normal temperatures are indicated in the Thermographic Analysis of this report.

The circuit breaker boxes surveyed that contained circuits with temperature gradients of 15 degrees F and higher may require immediate attention. The circuits should be checked by qualified electricians to determine if the circuits can take the load (amps) being used. They are as follows:

1. Floor 3, Room Service- Circuit BR4A

Floor 25, Panel LP24 Right- Circuit #35

The elevator selector and contactor switches showed departures from ambient temperatures of a much higher degree. The infrared thermographers are not trained in elevator control equipment, therefore, qualified elevator electricians are needed to determine if the temperature increases are normal for this type of switch. Increases from ambient were seen in most of the car contactors, however, a couple contactors showed an increase of over hundred degrees. They are as follows:

1. Penthouse Elevator Control Room- Panel #3-#9 FRI, Car #2 (Photo #6)

2. Penthouse Elevator Control Room- Panel #3-#9 FRI, Car #3

3. Floor 24- Contactor I IA, Car 4 (Photo #8)


This section of the report summarizes the findings of the electric survey, and references the results with the photographs in the next section.


Elevator Selector Rooms:

PH All No infrared beat 1

PH Selector 7s 2 contactor 2

PH Selector 8s I contactor 3

PH Selector I I contactor 4

PH Car 2 3 contactors 5

PH Car 3 3 contactors --

Booster Pump- Cooling Tower 1 anomaly 6

24 Local no infrared heat --

24 Car 4 1 contactor 7

24 Car 5 1 contactor --

24 Car 6 1 contactor 8

23 Main Controls no infrared heat --

3 Room Service I circuit 9

3 Dimmer Panel 3 circuits 10

4 AC6 no infrared heat --

4 Main Disconnect B no infrared heat 11

3 Kitchen Panels no infrared heat --

3 Luggage Rm. Panel no infrared heat --

Garage AC13 Parking 2 circuits 12

Electric Rm. Emergency Exits 1 circuit 13

Electric Rm. Low Rise Elevator 1 circuit 14

Boiler Rm. PPBR #1 3 circuits 15

Boiler Rm. PPBR #2 no infrared heat --

Health Club LPHC "A" 2 circuits 16

Kitchen PPRK #1 5 circuits 17

Kitchen PPRK #3 2 circuits (#13 and #15) 3 degrees --

41 Breaker Panel no infrared beat

40 Breaker Panel no infrared heat

39 No Breaker Panel

38 No Breaker Panel

37 Breaker Panel no infrared heat

37 Main Switch no infrared heat

36 No Breaker Panels

35 No Breaker Panels

34 Breaker Panel no infrared heat

33 Breaker Panels (2) no infrared heat

32 Breaker Panel no infrared heat --

31 Breaker Panel no infrared heat 18

30 Breaker Panel no infrared heat --

29 Breaker Panel no infrared heat

28 Breaker Panel no infrared heat

27 Breaker Panel no infrared heat

26 Breaker Panel no infrared heat --

25 LP24 Right I circuit 19

24 LP23 1 circuit 20

23 Breaker Panel no infrared heat --

22 Breaker Panel no infrared beat

21 Breaker Panel no infrared heat --

20 LP 19 1 circuit 21

19 Breaker Panel no infrared heat --

18 Breaker Panel no infrared heat

17 Breaker Panels no infrared heat

16 Breaker Panel no infrared heat --

15 LR14 2 circuits 22

14 Breaker Panel no infrared heat --

12 LRI2 1 circuit 23

11 Breaker Panel no infrared heat --

10 Breaker Panel no infrared heat

9 Breaker Panel no infrared heat

8 Breaker Panel no infrared heat

7 Breaker Panel no infrared heat

6 Breaker Panel no infrared heat --

5 LP 5 right 7 circuits 24

Note: indicates no thermograms for these locations.


The sets of thermograms depict thermal anomalies seen during the electrical survey. The information supplied on each page is as follows:

1. Building Section
2. Photo Set Number
3. Panel Designation
4. Circuit Number
5. Ambient Temperature
6. Anomaly Temperature
7. Temperature Increase from Ambient
8. Priority Scale

Circuit Numbers listed in this section were confirmed with the infrared camera imagery and identified visually (as marked on the panel boxes).

Priority Scale can be interpreted as the following: All identified anomalies on the circuit boxes and substations require attention in some form or another. The greater the temperature increase, the greater the importance of identifying the cause. Temperature increases seen at 6 degrees F or less, are marked as Priority 3 on the thermogram pages. These circuits may or may not have a problem, as the temperature increases may be normal for those circuits. It is suggested, however to evaluate the circuits for potential problems on all indicated breakers. Temperature increases of 7 degrees to 9 degrees F. are marked as Priority 2, indicating a greater possibility of circuitry problems. Circuits listed with temperature increases of 10 degrees F. and higher, are marked as Priority 1 and should take top priority in electrical service.

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At a minimum, a preventative maintenance program should include the following items:
1. Check and clean wiring connection points.
2. Take an amp reading at each identified circuit or fuse.

Special attention should be made at breakers with temperatures of 10° or more above ambient temperatures. Connections should be tightened and amp readings taken, to be sure the circuit is not overloaded. If an overload is determined, the usage of the circuit should be re-directed.

It should also be noted that burrs of foreign material may prevent the seating and surface conductivity of bolts and washers, etc. Torque tightening may then actually be ineffective although tightening is registered. In view of this possibility and in the interest of true cost effective power continuity, bus bar connections, or circuit breaker pole pieces should be disassembled, cleaned with slow residue solvent and re-silvered. It is highly recommended that all deficiencies as described in this report, be addressed through proper maintenance and repair.

As for the elevator control equipment, qualified technicians should be brought in to determine whether the increases in temperature seen by the infrared camera at contactors and switches are a normal condition.

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Infrared Thermogram 5

Visible Light Photo 5

LOCATION: Penthouse
CIRCUIT #: #3, #9, FRI
TEMP. INCREASE: 44°-117°
ANOMALY TEMP: 140-214° F

Infrared Thermogram 7

Visible Light Photo 7

LOCATION: Floor 24
CIRCUIT #: Contactor #11A

Visible Light Photo 13

Visible Light Photo 13

LOCATION: Floor 25
CIRCUIT #: #35

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September 15,1995

Mr. Jason Fox
The Abacus Group
16 Tyson Place
Bergenfield, New Jersey 07621

Dear Mr. Fox:

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the excellent job your firm, the Abacus Group, provided to Le Parker Meridien Hotel.

The electrical scan was the most thorough professional report I have seen to date. It more than met our expectations and because of the precise nature of the report we were able to identify which circuit breakers and machinery needed immediate attention.

I look forward to working with you again.


Gerard Fiette

Chief Engineer


118 WEST 57rH STREET, NEW YORK, N.Y 10019-3318
TEL: (212) 245-5000 FAX: (212) 307-1776 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Motor Entrance and Parking: 109 West 56th Street


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