Why Do I Need Thermal Imaging?
Why Do I Need Thermal Imaging?
If you are running a facility you are therefore subject to thermal loss, moisture intrusion and furthermore equipment failures. To limit this kind of problem you will be needing regular testing by a thermal engineer such as Spark Safety Solutions.
Thermal imaging is common in utility and industrial buildings and plants. However these days commercial buildings benefit from regular thermography testing too.
Thermal imagers are cameras that are used to find heat loss and moisture intrusion. The thermal camera detects this in seconds with no contact measurements. Then pictures are created to show any problems should they arise.
The thermal camera measures using infrared wavelengths. They measure the thermal signature of any size area from one small electrical box to your entire building.
By converting this data into a visual image that colourises heat we can then detect and identify any thermal variance. These heat signatures cannot be seen by the naked eye. Therefore thermal imaging is imperative and invaluable for spotting any hidden problems.
The way the thermal imaging camera gathers this information is by measuring radiation thermal energy not temperature. The temperature is derived based on the amount of energy detected.
It is best to remember that you cannot manage what you cannot measure. Regular thermal imagery as part of your yearly maintenance can help you can save thousands of dollars and furthermore stop the problems before they start to drain your budget.
Many building and facility managers face costly problems from electrical malfunction, leaking buildings and poor insulation. As a manager it is often hard to keep a check on these areas especially as many are simply hidden from view. Regular investigation by a thermal engineer like Spark Safety Solutions is the very best starting point to keep these problems at bay.
Here is a run down of the ways a thermal inspection can benefit your business:
Spotting Electrical Issues
You need to be sure that your circuit breakers, motors and electrical equipment are working properly. We can take thermal images from a distance. And therefore find issues that could pose a threat or safety issue to workers and customers. Furthermore we can help discover any circuits that are overheating or motor bearings that are about to fail.
Diagnostics in electrical distributions systems are completed quickly and efficiently with our thermal imagers.
We can also detect loose connections. Dirt in the connections will create resistance over time and this causes overheating. Therefore using thermography as a predictive maintenance tool is the best way to catch problems before they blossom into something a lot more serious.
Identify Thermal Performance
One of the easiest problems to detect and often the most common is heat loss. Mostly through walls, HVAC components, windows and doors.
Thermal imaging cameras don’t read air temperature. They measure the impact of the air temperature on the surface. This information can then be used to determine if the air flow is sufficient to disburse heat or cooling in the room. You may discover something such as air infiltration from a window or door. Therefore no matter how appropriate the temperature is coming from vents the room will never have the correct thermal balance.
Another way thermal imagers can be used is during the construction phase of a project too. You can monitor the insulation and ensure the correct amount is being fitted.
We all know that the roof is one of the most valuable assets. Detecting leaks using thermography is a way to track the conditions of the roof. And therefore spot problems before they get worse.
Thermography can help you pinpoint specific issues. Because of this testing it may save you from having to replace an entire roof.
There are myriad reasons to undertake regular thermography testing:
- Catch problems you literally cannot see
- Decrease labour costs
- Keep workers safe
- Reduce insurance premiums
- Reduce power and utility costs
- Also, clear visual information on repairs needed if presenting to company leadership
Your business will be losing money if at anytime your building is compromised. Therefore stop dollars literally flying out of your windows. Thermal imaging helps you to understand exactly what is going on in your building that you couldn’t otherwise see.
Common tests by certified thermographers:
- PCB defects. Check for electrical defects on printed circuit boards (PCB’s).
- Power usage. Quickly see which circuits on a switchboard are consuming the most power.
- Hot or loose connectors. Find defective connections or ‘hot joints’ before they cause long term irreversible damage to equipment or stock.
- Phase supply. Check for unbalanced phase supply (electrical load).
- Underfloor heating. Find out if electric underfloor heating is working properly and/or where a defect has occurred.
- Overheated components. Find overheated substations, transformers and other electrical components.
- Solar panels. Check for electrical defects, micro-fractures or ‘hot spots’ in solar PV panels.
- HVAC maintenance. Check issues with heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment. Such as the coils and compressors on refrigeration and air conditioning systems.
- HVAC performance. Test the level of heat generated by equipment inside a building. For example, in server rooms and around comms racks.
- Pumps and motors. Spot overheated motors before they burn-out.
- Easily monitor bearings and conveyor belts in factories. This will identify any potential issues.
- Welding requires the metal to be heated uniformly to melting temperature. Therefore by looking at the thermal image of a weld, it is possible to see how the temperature varies across and along the weld.
- Motor vehicles. Demonstrate specific vehicle mechanical issues such as overheated bearings, engine parts with uneven temperatures, and exhaust leaks.
- Hydraulic systems. Identify potential failure points within hydraulic systems.
- Pipes & ducts. Identify blockages in ventilation systems and pipe work.
- Non-destructive testing. Infrared non-destructive testing (IR NDT) is a valuable process for detecting voids, delaminations, and water inclusion in composite materials.
- Hydronic heating. Check the performance of in-slab or wall-panel hydronic heating systems.
- Greenhouses. Review issues in commercial greenhouses (eg. plant and flower nurseries)
A line we hear over & over again is ‘How did I ever do my job properly without this regular testing?’
A full report will be provided so you can then take action to fix any problems detected. This will ensure the safety of your staff, customers and assets.
Our passion is to ensure the safety of your team, your premises and ultimately your livelihood. Furthermore integrated with a preventive maintenance service you can rely on.
These testing services gives you the ultimate insight into the health of your building. And furthermore arms you with the intelligence you need to maintain your business in the safest possible manner. All the while avoiding interruptions and damage to your business from the minor to the catastrophic.
Discover exactly how we can help with your regular thermal imaging requirements here. With our simple pricing and 24 hour reporting.
In conclusion, the other important benefits of testing include:
- A safe working environment for your employees and visitors
- Reduced insurance premiums
- Reduced exposure to liability