Using Thermal Imaging Technology for a Wide Range of Uses and Industries
Thermal Imaging Cameras are becoming ever more popular as potential thermographers realise the massive array of uses for thermal imaging in today's modern industries. Although traditionally, they are usually associated with electrical applications, such as looking for hot connections and electrical load faults, thermal imaging cameras are far more versatile than that, and find invaluable uses with building and energy inspectors / assessors, pest control companies, science and research facilities, and medical / veterinary uses. Thermal imaging of horses and other animals to show up joint inflammation and other anomalies is becoming more popular in recent years, especially as the cost of owning a good quality thermal imaging camera is falling.
Electrical equipment and cabling generates heat based on both load (in other words how much current is being drawn by the load) and also based on the amount of resistance, which is nearly always the result of either a bad connection, or failing component. This amount of heat released in an electrical circuit is proportional to the square of the current, so that this heat can easily be measured by using a thermal imaging camera to gain a very precise look at where these potential problems lie before components and equipment fail. For equipment at the end of it's defect liability period (DLP) a thermal imaging camera can be used to spot any potential faults before the equipment is handed over. However, from an application point of view, it is vitally important to have as near to full load as possible when conducting the thermal imaging inspection.
In recent times, there has been a surge in thermal imaging camera enquiries from plumbers and HVAC professionals. Plumbers in particular have realised that a thermal imaging camera can be easy utilised to save hours in seeking out and pinpointing water leaks in buildings. As the water leaks against a wall or floor, the evaporation tends to lower the temperature of the surroundings, and this temperature difference can be isolated and measured with a thermal imaging camera. It is not quite as straightforward as just buying the cheapest thermal imager and pointing it as something. Thermal sensitivity and resolution must be carefully considered.
Building and pest inspectors use thermal imaging cameras extensively to look for termites, pests and building problems, such as insulation leaks, poorly fitting doors and gaps, and energy losses. If the right thermal imaging camera is selected, then the thermographer has a very powerful tool indeed, which guides the inspector to the areas of potential problem. Some pest inspectors have even mentioned that customers will not retain their services if they do not have a thermal imaging camera. While it is not essential by any means, it is another pair of eyes essentially that can see what your own eyes can't. Again thermal sensitivity is important as is resolution.
Other Industries where a Thermal Imaging Camera can be Used Effectively:
Any application where temperature is used to analyse or diagnose a fault or condition can lend itself to thermal imaging. A thermal imaging camera simply calculates the surface temperature of many points (the more resolution the infrared camera has, the more temperature points are measured) and is capable of measuring these temperatures to a high level of sensitivity. This makes a thermal imaging camera deliver a picture or heat map which can be used for effectively diagnosing something based on it's temperature distribution.
Medical and veterinary applications are a growing trend in the world of thermal imaging. This is because certain conditions cause inflammation of tissues, and this inflammation generates increased temperature on the skin surface. A thermal imaging camera with a sufficient level of resolution and thermal sensitivity can easily pick up these areas of inflammation. Although thermal imaging of horses tends to be the premier application by enquiry, it is certainly not restricted to this field.
Solar PV systems generate heat on faulty panels. A thermal imager is capable of pinpointing these areas of higher than normal temperature and narrowing down the problem area, saving the technician time and money.
The HVAC industry is based on temperature and thermal imaging can be effectively employed to spot leaking ducts, air leaks in equipment, faulty seals around refrigeration equipment, energy losses in buildings, system blockages, fouled or dirty coils, faulty compressors, and even problems with air flow and distribution.
Our clients come from a diverse range of industries, with varied applications. Even where you may think there is no use for a thermal imaging camera, you may be surprised. Please feel free to call us if you would like to speak to a specialist who can assist you with application, and product selection.