Thermal Imaging helps to detect, troubleshoot and fix potential problems, prevent damage, power outages and ultimately loss and cost to your business.
In general, electrical equipment reaches excessive temperatures before it fails. These temperatures are not visually evident or picked up by standard testing – however, thermal imaging will make hotspots instantly visible so that remedial action can be taken before it is too late.
How does it work?
Thermal imaging works by using cameras to detect radiation in the long, infra-red range of the electromagnetic spectrum. The images produced are called thermos-grams. Infra-red radiation is emitted by all objects with a temperature above absolute zero, and the amount of radiation emitted by an object will increase with temperature.
Thermal imaging has a long history, but its applications have increased considerably in recent years. For example, maintenance technicians use thermal imaging to locate joints and sections of power lines which are overheating to stop them failing.
Building construction technicians can use thermal imaging to look for heat faults in thermal imaging and use the results to improve heating and air conditioning units’ efficiency. This is becoming increasingly important, as many countries (including the UK) have targets to meet in order to reduce CO2 emissions – therefore a building must be energy efficient and its heat contained properly.
Applications for thermal imaging
Assessments can be made of external and internal areas, using thermal indexing to identify areas of excessive energy loss. Faults found will be grading according to severity, and suggestions can be made as to how to solve the issue.
Precise thermal imaging will look at all electrical equipment to allow for condition monitoring of the equipment. It can also compare data between inspections to check on equipment performance.
Under floor heating is a popular solution nowadays because it is largely invisible. But its efficiency must be monitored, just like every other heating system. Thermal imaging can be used to check the pipes and get an immediate overview of what is going on.
Commercial freezers are another application where thermal imaging is a boon. In general, businesses that need to store large amounts of food at temperatures below freezing choose large, walk-in rooms. That scale of cooling demands a great deal of energy. Most thermal imaging inspections look for heat escaping outwards, but for commercial freezers the idea is to look for heat escaping inwards so that insulation defects can be fixed and costs saved.