Automatic Fault Diagnosis of Infrared Insulator Images Based on Image Instance Segmentation and Temperature Analysis

Bin Wang, Ming Dong, Ming Ren*, Zhanyu Wu, Chenxi Guo, Tianxin Zhuang, Oliver Pischler, Jiacheng Xie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As an onsite condition monitoring method, an infrared inspection can help to discover and analyze abnormal temperature increases in power equipment. For improving the efficiency of the onsite diagnosis of insulators in substations, this article proposes an automatic diagnosis method using instance segmentation and temperature analysis of infrared insulator images. For developing this method, thousands of infrared images from field inspection databases were collected to establish an annotated data set of insulator images. With the aid of the Mask R-convolutional neural network (CNN), it was possible to extract multiple insulators automatically in the infrared images. Transfer learning, as well as the dynamic learning rate algorithm, were then employed to realize the training process of Mask R-CNN with the annotated image data set. The result of the testing experiment showed that the mean Average Precision (mAP) of the model is 0.77, and the frame per second (FPS) is 5.07, which indicated great identification accuracy and computing speed of the proposed model. Next, function fitting was realized to extract the temperature distribution of each insulator. Finally, to evaluate the condition of each insulator, rules, which are based on the related standards, were established using machine language. This is the first time that the machine could independently realize fault analysis of multiple insulators in the infrared images, which is a great attempt to adapt the development of the Internet of Things and the tendency of predictive maintenance. Moreover, because of the universality of the model algorithm used, automatic infrared fault diagnosis for other power equipment could also be performed in a similar manner, which has significant potential applicability in the area of power equipment diagnosis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8955783
Pages (from-to)5345 - 5355
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Fault diagnosis
  • infrared detection
  • instance segmentation
  • insulator images
  • substation automation
  • temperature fitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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