Infrared Thermography In Use

The Zilkha Center now has a thermal imaging camera, which can be used to hunt down energy waste. Infrared thermography allows us to see the heat radiated from an object. Just like in the movie “Predator” it can track down a warm body, or identify hot (or cold) spots in buildings and machines. Often these are opportunities for insulation, better controls, or simply turning something off.

An infrared image of a water cooler shows that the cold side spends much of its energy cooling the hot side off, and vice versa.  Not too cool.

An infrared image of a copy machine shows that some of the plastic components are warmer than 120F, and stay that warm whether the machine is in energy-saving “sleep” or not.  It’s a good idea to turn those off at night.

We also used the camera to see a spot of warm ground near the heating plant, and dug up a steam line for closer inspection. It was found that a pipe buried in 1978 has a section of missing insulation, which has been subsequently repaired.

Excavated steam pipe showing section of missing insulation