May • 2014
Infrared Thermal Imaging
Thermal cameras create images by determining the level of infrared energy or heat being emitted from the subject area. The resulting image will display an array of colors corresponding to the different temperatures, with bright red and orange indicating heat and energy and cooler hues of blue and green indicating cooler temperatures.
This technology has significantly advanced energy management efforts in relation to existing mechanical equipment in buildings. Particularly HVAC systems, since they usually represent the largest consumption of energy within a facility.
Since the HVAC system is the greatest energy consumer within the building, a comprehensive thermal scan should start here. A scan of the ducting and registers will expose thermal air patterns and determine whether output is ideal or if there are leaks. Thermal images of fans and blowers detect overheating in bearings and other mechanisms, identifying problems before they create unexpected interruption and increased repair costs.
Facility managers use infrared technology to predict equipment failure, giving them the flexibility to schedule a replacement or repair, rather than experiencing unfortunate equipment downtime.
When motors and generators don't operate properly, they use additional energy and eventually fail. When a scan shows overheating within the entire housing, it could be an indicator of restricted airflow. Overheating in areas associated with windings indicate possible issues with insulation.