Solar panel installations are becoming increasingly popular from both a private, commercial and governmental perspective amid a fall in installation costs and a long-term price rise in non-renewable energy sources such as coal, oil and gas. However, solar panels require regular maintenance, which is where thermal imaging can provide an efficient solution to many of the challenges posed.
Cleaning radiators is an important part of maintaining an efficient, reliable central heating system and power flushing provides a speedy, thorough method of clearing out corrosion and other debris from the system. Part L of the UK Building Regulations even requires that systems are cleaned and flushed before adding anti-corrosion chemicals during commissioning whilst the warranty of new boilers often depends on correct cleaning and flushing. Thermal imaging provides a great, quantitative method of checking the performance of a heating system before and after flushing, thereby confirming the efficacy of the flushing process and visualising the results for the customer.
More and more properties now have underfloor heating installed as the most efficient way of providing consistent heat throughout a dwelling or commercial premises. As the pipes are hidden beneath flooring rather than exposed like radiators, one of the best ways of verifying the performance of an underfloor heating system is by using thermal imaging technology. A thermal imaging camera can detect heat patterns through flooring, thereby showing where a system is effective. This is particularly useful when tracing systems in a property, checking newly installed underfloor heating, and detecting problems in existing systems.
The presence of leaks in hot water systems is often first indicated by low boiler pressure or a constant need to top up the boiler, meaning that there is very little clue as to the location of a leak before investigations begin. Identifying hot water pipes throughout a property and finding water leaks can be a time-consuming and labour intensive process when the system is hidden under tiled or concrete flooring. Conventional inspections lead to digging up floors which in turn results in great expenditure in terms of both materials and labour as flooring is lifted and restored. Thermal imaging provides a cost-effective, time-saving solution to these problems.
Last year saw a huge expansion of the Test-Meter range across our electrical, thermal, high voltage, gas and environmental categories with numerous new products from some of the most prominent manufacturers in test and measurement. After careful deliberation, we have picked our top five new releases from 2017:
The FLIR C3 is an excellent thermal camera for all manner of professionals and is currently available with a choice of two great free gifts! The camera’s impressive thermal capabilities are complimented either by a FLIR MR40 Moisture Pen or by a VP52 Voltage Detector. These additional instruments supplement the C3 by forming an excellent package for detecting moisture or for inspecting electrical systems.
World-leading thermography experts FLIR have released a series of new thermal cameras for 2017, each with its own advantages and disadvantages in a range of sectors. Three new higher-spec options are available in the form of the FLIR E75, E85 and E95 Thermal Cameras for Building whilst the FLIR C3 Compact Thermal Camera - an upgrade for the FLIR C2 - is a more budget choice that nevertheless maintains FLIR’s usual high standards when it comes to image clarity, reliability, and build quality.
Infrared thermography has been used for decades by skilled, trained users in a huge range of applications, from structural surveying of buildings through to electromechanical fault diagnosis, from tracking wild animals to clandestine military activities.
Ask any seasoned thermographer and they’ll regale you with tales of expensive, finicky equipment that had to be treated with kid gloves, was bulky and chomped through batteries. It wasn’t long ago that thermographic cameras had their own specialised on-board cooling systems.