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Thread: Thermography

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Thermography

    I was curious if anyone on the website is a professional/certified thermographer or just experienced with using thermal imaging equipment for troubleshooting and/or maintenance.

    My company is considering the purchase of an imager and I am currently researching and putting together an initial business plan for how we could effectively incorporate this into the business.

    My feeling is that a thermal imager can be a very effective tool for troubleshooting problems, performing regular maintenance, and inspecting equipment for problems. I know the most common use is electrical equipment (emergency power systems and generators is one of my specialty areas) but they can also be used for building envelope and mechanical equipment.

    So does anyone have an experience with them? Are they useful? Does anyone have any advise or information that you think I should be aware of?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    7,395
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    have been thinking about buying one as well, but i cannot justify it to myself yet. i know they help find hot spots in switchgear etc, but do they help find hot chicks?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Maryland
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    37
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    There are many uses for the IR camera... PDM is where it's mostly used. As you stated electrical components is what everyone thinks of first. Mechanically you can look for coupling alignments in pumps bearings heating up which will cause the motors running hot, Boilers - making sure your flame is not shooting off to one side by taking a look at the shell.
    There are many uses you can do with this all the way up to Roof scans for leaks. Not sure what you do or what your uses might be .....
    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, IA
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    489
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    Quote Originally Posted by gillmanjr View Post
    I was curious if anyone on the website is a professional/certified thermographer or just experienced with using thermal imaging equipment for troubleshooting and/or maintenance.

    My company is considering the purchase of an imager and I am currently researching and putting together an initial business plan for how we could effectively incorporate this into the business.

    My feeling is that a thermal imager can be a very effective tool for troubleshooting problems, performing regular maintenance, and inspecting equipment for problems. I know the most common use is electrical equipment (emergency power systems and generators is one of my specialty areas) but they can also be used for building envelope and mechanical equipment.

    So does anyone have an experience with them? Are they useful? Does anyone have any advise or information that you think I should be aware of?
    I worked for a hospital chain a while back and we regularly used thermal imaging. The first time we used it we took infrared images with a 35mm camera and because of the time and expense we only used in on the main electrical switchgear. First use it found a hot connection in a splitnut splice. You could see the individual strands of wire inside the insulation.

    In later years we contracted with a professional who had a liquid nitrogen cooled setup and we did all of the electrical panels, roofs, and building envelope. One day and the guy would run thru everything. Usually took us 3 days to pull panels and replace them prior and after his visit.

    Our priority was to perform preventative maintenance to eliminate down time and failures so the cost benefit was worth it even at the high prices we had to pay back then.

    I've experimented with some of the new IR units and they compare favorable with the older much more expensive equipment. I plan on getting one within the next year because the costs have dropped to the point that I believe I can generate enough extra work with the info that it will pay for itself quickly.

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