Friday, May 30, 2008

Infrared camera finds hot Electrical wires

Use of Infrared Cameras can help prevent electrical fires

Electrical fires could be a thing of the past thanks to the efforts of Certified Infrared Thermographers.

American Infrared Consultants Level 2 Thermographers are expert at shooting thermal images of electrical wiring and breaker panels. Their $30,000.00 Flir Infrared cameras can detect infrared radiation coming off a surface, taking 76,800 individual temperature measurements and then converting those measurements to an image.

Most commercial or industrial buildings have undetected problems.

"I haven’t performed an inspection where there were zero problems. Most of these problems have previously been invisible and undetected until we scan with our Flir Infrared cameras. "Most things start heating up before they actually fail. I've been in hospitals and found Level 4 problems."

Level 4 = an acute condition that demands immediate attention — is a rating that indicates wires are exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit or more above an ambient reading.

But a wire even 10 to 18 degrees above normal, deserve further evaluation or in the very least monitoring, says Morris. Many Electricians say
readings 20 degrees above ambient are a concern.

"We offer our commercial customers a sample Thermal-Scan.” “Morris said”. "A majority of the time we find issues that requires at least some attention."

Morris said, identifying and replacing problem wires not only can prevent potential fires, but also can lower utility bills and offer building owners peace of mind.

While the Flir Infrared camera can spot hot wires that are visible, it is limited in revealing problem wires hidden within walls.

In 1980, the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada caught fire, killing 84 people, due to a faulty electrical wiring.

Infrared Thermography can help to prevent just such a catastrophic event.

Infrared Inspection for Facilities Managers

Web Exclusive: Infrared Inspection for facilities managers

Infrared (IR) inspection is a powerful and noninvasive means of monitoring and diagnosing the condition of buildings. An IR camera can identify problems that can be immediately documented with full color thermal pictures and corrected before they become serious. IR gives the facility manager a new tool that not only saves time and money, but also helps to elevate him or her as a true technology professional.

How Infrared Thermography Works
Thermography enables users to see and measure heat. All materials on earth emit heat energy in the infrared portion of the spectrum. Unfortunately, the unaided human eye cannot see in the infrared. Thermal images reveal temperature anomalies that in turn identify potential problems in buildings and their component electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and waterproofing systems.

Today’s lightweight and rugged infrared cameras can measure the temperatures of target objects quite accurately—to within +/- 25° F, and can record infrared images in real time. Points of possible concern show up clearly as hot or cold in relation to their surroundings. Recorded thermal images can be easily inserted into reports and easily distributed, greatly facilitating communications among trades, attorneys, and other professionals and serving as invaluable, rational, evidentiary data in cases involving controversy.

How It’s Being Used

Following are just a few of the ways inspectors are using infrared to detect problem areas in commercial buildings:
•Leaking roofs. Roof leaks can cause costly damage to a building’s contents and discomfort to its inhabitants. An infrared inspection can quickly identify missing or moisture-soaked insulation under a flat roof membrane roof where the insulation needs replacement, permitting the surgical repair of failed areas rather than the much more costly replacement of the entire roof.
•Faulty electrical, mechanical, and HVAC systems and components. Infrared cameras are very effective at detecting overloaded circuits, faulty wiring, and loose electrical connections, which generate heat and can pose serious fire hazards. IR can detect thin spots in furnace heat exchangers and flues, mechanical problems such as worn, under-lubricated pumps, motors, and bearings in fans, compressors, and furnaces, electrical faults, refrigerant leaks and blockages in HVAC components, another source of costly energy waste.
•Construction defects. The increased use of EIFS (Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems) and stone, stucco, brick veneers and siding as facades on commercial buildings invites the possibility of water intrusion if they are not properly installed. IR can detect or verify moisture infiltration in these weatherproofing "barrier" systems, usually the result of insufficient detailing such as inadequate or improperly applied flashing or sealants. In addition, IR can monitor and track moisture migration paths within the wall cavity.
•Energy efficiency. An IR camera can quickly and non-destructively detect areas of missing, moisture-laden, or otherwise damaged insulation in walls, crawlspaces, and attics or around doors, windows, electrical outlets, and other access plates. All of these problems can increase a building’s energy costs by allowing cold air to enter the building and heated air to escape in the winter, and the reverse in the warmer, summer months. IR can also identify poorly or uninsulated pipes, another source of costly heat loss.
•Moisture intrusion and potential mold in walls and ceilings. IR thermal imaging is way faster, noninvasive, and provides evidentiary-quality, intuitively understandable data having a much higher degree of accuracy and reliability than other moisture detection technologies used to trace the source and scope of water damage, and thus potential mold in buildings. Once the IR camera identifies areas with significant thermal differences, a moisture meter can be used to confirm that they represent moisture and not some anomaly, such as air infiltration.
•Post-fire inspections. After fires, IR can quickly locate remnant hot spots, assuring the fire is completely extinguished and provide invaluable data for insurance companies’ Cause and Origin investigations. The clear IR images of normally invisible diagnostic evidence can assist in the planning and execution of the restoration effort and in the settlement process.
•Even termites. Although considered cold-blooded creatures, termites are hosts to bacteria, which help break down and digest cellulose, the main ingredient of the wood they digest. The digestion process generates heat, and when large numbers of termites in nests congregate, a substantial amount of heat is concentrated in one area. As this heat moves through the walls or floor of a building, an IR camera can detect it on the surface.

In addition, infrared can be used to perform energy audits and surveys, indoor air quality investigations and plumbing and radiant floor heating inspections.

Finally, there are many instances where an infrared camera will find problems that the cleaning and restoration professional wasn’t necessarily looking for. Such serendipitous findings can only enhance the contractor’s reputation and standing with his or her client and reinforce the business relationship.

One such find occurred when Four Star Cleaning & Restoration of Fremont, CA was called in to document the water damage for insurance purposes at the site of a serious electrical fire at a garment dying facility. In addition to the wet walls, which had been soaked by the sprinkler system and fire department hoses, Four Star’s IR camera found an unexpected thermal anomaly, an excessive heat source within a closed 32-gallon drum containing sodium hydrosulfite, used in the dying process.

Some water had apparently penetrated the drum to produce poisonous hydrogen sulfide gas and enough heat to cause a potentially explosive condition due to the risk of spontaneous combustion. A hazardous waste hauler was called in, and under the supervision of HAZMAT and local County Health Services, the drum was disposed of.

The Need for Training
Regardless of what an IR camera is used to look for or at, its effectiveness is dependent not only on the contractor’s knowledge and understanding of the component being inspected, but also his or her skill in operating the camera, and understanding of the science involved in the assessment of the thermal evidence. The trained and experienced thermographer knows that not every hot or cold spot represents a problem, but may in fact reflect a component’s normal operation, performance, or location in the structure. Alternatively, a thermal image may actually show heat from sources other than the target that is reflected from or transmitted through the target material. That’s why it’s often said in the industry that: “There are IR camera operators, and then there are thermographers.”

To meet the demand of the building diagnostics market, the Infrared Training Center (ITC), which is the world’s largest thermographer training organization, in conjunction with the Building Science Institute (BSI) has created a curriculum in Building Science. ITC’s three-and-a-half-day Building Science Certification class is the only training course in the U.S. that's ISO-9001 registered. Upon successful completion of the class, students become Certified Building Science Thermographers, so if they work for an ISO-9000 company, they'll have fulfilled their obligation for proper training. ITC also offers a two-day class for supervisors and a one-day class for technicians.

Flir Systems P-660 has GPS!

FLIR Systems ThermaCAM P660 Brings Global Positioning And Remote Capabilities To The Utility Industry And Other Industrial Applications

May 27, 2008

New Features Give Predictive Maintenance Teams Robust Tools for Finding Problems Before Catastrophic Failure

Boston — FLIR Systems, Inc, the global leader in infrared cameras, announced the addition of a new camera to its P-Series line of thermal imaging cameras. The infrared cameras are designed for utility industry and thermography professionals for a wide variety of maintenance applications.

“Utilities and other industries have the challenge of maintaining equipment that is spread over great distances. Having GPS and the ability to monitor problems remotely from safe distances is a significant step in having a truly effective predictive maintenance program,” said David Francoeur, Director of Thermography Marketing, FLIR Systems. “And, having an effective predictive maintenance program means less downtime and minimal impact on the bottom line.”

The new ThermaCAMÆ P660 infrared camera includes a Global Positioning System (GPS) to automatically record the location of equipment. The tagging feature uses GPS Google Earth data to “tag” the infrared images captured. This can be used to determine equipment failure patterns so problems can be avoided in the future.

FLIR also introduces a new remote feature with the P660. Thermographers can extend the use of the P660 to new environments and applications by deploying the handheld Wireless LAN-based remote control and display. The remote can be used to capture and monitor equipment at safe distances. This is particularly useful in high-voltage and other dangerous areas where, for safety reasons, conductive cabling cannot be used to remotely control cameras.

In addition to the new GPS and remote features, the P660 offers a host of robust features for the professional thermographer. The P660 infrared camera includes a high-definition 640 x 480 detector array, powerful thermal sensitivity (<45mk),>

About FLIR Systems
FLIR Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets thermal imagers and infrared camera systems worldwide for a variety of applications. FLIR's thermal imagers are used in such diverse applications as public safety, defense, navigation, electronic news gathering and search and rescue, as well as for electrical inspection, commercial and residential building inspection, indoor air quality and home energy monitoring applications, non-destructive testing, medical science, research and development, and manufacturing process control.

SOURCE: FLIR Systems, Inc

T-200 Has Great Features!


New FLIR T200

The most affordable, feature rich infrared camera available!

When you need a professional level infrared camera at a truly affordable price, take a test drive of the new FLIR T200. See how you can use the latest technologies for predictive maintenance, manufacturing, and in the Utility industry. Request your FREE consultation and expert demo today*.

The FLIR T200 thermal imager is a new addition to the popular T-Series family of infrared cameras for building professionals. It’s jam-packed with many of the features found in higher-model FLIR T-series cameras. The bright 3.5-inch display makes it easy to see temperature differences and radiation emitted from objects—conditions that signal energy waste, building envelope troubles, even electrical system and component failures!

Features include:

• A new and advanced infrared camera detector that delivers sharp images.
• Flexible and interchangeable optics to help you get the proper angle on your work.
• An integral high-resolution visible light camera with target illuminator.
• Picture in Picture Fusion provides a scalable thermal picture inside a visible-light picture.
• Ability to upgrade - Let your camera grow with your business.

With FLIR’s exclusive IR Fusion capability, you combine infrared and visible light detail to easily show hidden trouble. Speed through reporting of trouble spots with the help of FLIR’s QuickReport software. QuickReport includes easy image organization tools and report templates so you can concentrate more on your IR inspection.

What’s more, FLIR is the world’s largest manufacturer of infrared cameras. FLIR offers the best training and unlimited FREE post-sale technical support.

Discover how you can boost your business, save money and energy for your customers or your company, advance your career, and find trouble in buildings before it’s too late.

Arrange a FREE Expert Demo and Consultation!

The FLIR T200 comes with the FLIR name behind it. That means it incorporates FLIR’s 30+ years of experience in thermal imaging. You get superior ergonomics, advanced signal processing, ambient temperature control and a host of other infrared camera and thermal imaging exclusives. FLIR offers the widest selection of IR cameras and thermal imagers, the best post-sale technical support, the world’s largest and most experience thermal imaging training organization – the Infrared Training Center – and award-winning customer service.

T-400 Series is Flir's Newest Infrared Camera

ThermaCAM® T400 The most affordable, feature rich infrared camera available!

The new ThermaCAM® T400 is the most affordable feature rich infrared camera available! The T400 now has FLIR FUSION! FLIR's new FUSION functionality allows for easier identification and interpretation of infrared images. This advanced technology enhanced the value of an infrared image by allowing you to overlay it directly over the corresponding visible image. The functionality combines the benefits of both the infrared image and visual picture at the push of a button. The T400 camera does this in real-time and the overlay function can be easily adjusted to suit any application such as electrical surveys, building diagnostics, and mechanical inspections.

  • Thermal Fusion Functionality
  • Interchangeable Optics
  • 1.3 MegaPixel Visual Camera
  • Automatically Associates the Visual and Thermal JPEG Images
  • Includes FREE QuickReport Software for Analysis & Reporting
  • Compatible with Optional Microsoft Word®-Based ThermaCAM Reporter Software w/Spell Check
  • Removable SD/Memory Card, USB & Video Out
  • In camera Emissivity Tables, 5 Temperature Spots & Delta T Functionality
  • Touch Screen Technology Adds Markers, Draw, Sketches
  • Auto or Manual Focus with 8x Continous Digital Zoom
  • Auto Hot/Cold Spot & Audible/Visual Alarms
  • Large 3.5" Color LCD Display
  • High Thermal Sensitivity for Maximum Temperature Accuracy
  • Voice, Text & Sketch Annotation
  • Built-in LaserLocat IR
  • Optics head & display screen are independently rotatable for optimum viewing
  • Holster for Portability and Easy Access to Camera
  • Target Illuminator and 1.3 Mega Pixel Visual Camera
  • Tiltable Optics Reduces Back and Arm Strain
  • Touch Screen Text/Sketch Functionality