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Ed Kochanek: Seeing the Invisible

Aug. 18, 2016
Back by popular demand, Kochanek will be presenting a special extended session at the Circuit Breaker Seminar on Monday, Oct. 3. 

Ed Kochanek got into the infrared thermal imaging business 16 years ago because he was intrigued with the technology and how it could help customers see their problems. 

“At FLIR, we help our customers see the invisible,” he said.

Kochanek is director of sales, Eastern Region, for FLIR in the Test Division. He holds a Level 1 thermography certification through the Infrared Training Center in Nashua, New Hampshire. He works with customers in the utility industry, helping them to select the best thermal camera for their application and instructing them on how to get the most from their investment.

Back by popular demand, Kochanek will be presenting a special extended session at the Circuit Breaker Seminar on Monday, Oct. 3.  He will address two main issues in a substation: Obtaining an accurate temperature measurement and how to use a FLIR GF306 camera to detect SF6 gas. He will look at what the effects of emissivity, reflectivity and distance have on temperature measurement; the typical applications in a substation and what to look for that would indicate a problem; and how to use a thermal camera to detect SF6 leak and how to get the most out of that camera.

T&D World asked Kochanek about his experiences with training and lessons he shares with students.

Q: How does your current position help you in teaching courses or in presenting your course or session—and how does your past experience help you in this role?

As Director of Sales I have had over 15 years training customers in the utility industry to use thermal cameras to the best of their ability.   I have worked with many of the world’s largest utility customers showing them how to use the camera in substations, distribution systems and generation plants properly.

Q:  Best thing about your job right now?  

Our technology is so prevalent across all types of industries. Companies and customers are embracing the technology like never before.

Q:  What courses/sessions have you presented in the past?

I teach many training classes on the proper use of the IR camera and accurate temperature measurement.

Q:  What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your past experience that you want to communicate to students or participants?  

Embrace the technology.  It will reward you and your organization by highlighting problems before they happen.

Q:  Why is thermal imaging and SF6 gas detection crucial to the industry?

There is no other technology in the utility industry that gives instant feedback on the health of your systems.  When components go bad they heat up and a thermal camera will see that happening before it fails.

Q:  What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy playing golf at a competitive level.

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