Machine Design

Viewport for electrical cabinets

Checking the condition of electrical components inside power cabinets can be dangerous.

Arc flashes coming out of the open cabinets can be 35,000°F and emit deafening blasts (160 dBA). To make the procedure safer, engineers at Mikron Infrared Inc., Oakland, N.J. (, designed the Spyglass viewport and a special fisheye IR lens that attaches to it.

The Viewport uses only a 0.5-in. aperture, so it maintains the integrity and safety rating of the cabinet. The small hole also means the device doesn’t need an expensive IR-transparent window or metal-screen barrier which can skew thermal readings. The Viewport is unaffected by moisture, dirt, UV, and corrosive environments and never needs cleaning, according to the manufacturer. And when used with the plastic-tipped SpyGlass lens, there is no “path to ground” through the camera, keeping operators safe.

The port is UL-rated and approved for installation at the OEM level or as a retrofit in the field. Suitable for low and high-voltage applications from 480 V and up, it can be installed in 20 min or less on cabinets indoors or outdoors.

TAGS: Technologies
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