What is the best way to find Arnold Schwarzenegger? – ask the 1980’s hit character ‘predator’; although rudimentary, the extra-terrestrial brute was using a thermal imaging camera in the 1980’s to detect heat signatures and since its invention in 1913 thermal imaging cameras have come a long way.
Thermal imaging cameras are now capable of capturing more data than before and have also significantly decreased in cost meaning that they are regularly available; this coupled with advances in data analysis have enabled thermography to become a more reliable and robust non-destructive testing method.
The question begs; what can be achieved with thermal imaging? Thermal imaging is a form of non-destructive testing that can identify possible defects/faults (anomalies) without the need for more traditional instrusive methods, saving both time and money. A reduction in costs can’t be a bad thing, as one of our customers found out recently when a creature of nature (a rat) gnawed through one of her PVC water pipes located under the floor. The alternative method of finding the leak was to lift all the floor boards and possibly start deconstructing the house to find the leak. The use of thermal imaging to find water leaks can be extremely effective, in this case the leak was found within an hour and only one floorboard had been lifted which meant one very happy lady.
The typical applications of thermography range from inspections of electrical equipment and mechanical plant, building compliance and BREEAM thermal imaging Assessments, leak detection (including pipework, underfloor heating and roofing) and moisture detection.
Specialising in electrical, mechanical and building thermography, Red Current Ltd is one of a few companies that only use surveyors that are fully trained and PCN certified by the British Institute of Non-destructive Testing (BINDT). Our thermal imaging survey approaches and reporting structures meet the requirements expected by Insurance Companies, Safety Auditors, Maintenance/Engineering Managers, Building Control and BREEAM Assessors.
Electrical fires can be devastating; electrical testing can reduce the risk fire with the exception of finding poor connections. Poor connections are hard to identify without intrusive testing by removing the electrical connections and inspecting the terminal/cable and checking tightness. Even this approach may not ensure that the connection is electrically sound. Electrical thermography is the only non-instrusive technique that can identify poor connections, over loaded cables and faulty electrical equipment safely whilst causing no interruption to the normal operation of your business. Below is an image along with a thermogram of an item of equipment supplied from a 63A breaker, there was a high risk of an electrical fire even though the connection was tight in the terminal. Thermography helped to identify this fault saving the client from property damage, down-time and possible harm to health which could lead to a surprise visit from you know who.
Costs associated with buying thermal imaging cameras are often too expensive for individuals or it may only be required for a short time so purchasing a camera would not be cost effective – that is where thermal imaging camera hire can come in. Red Current offers short to long term hire enabling hires at a greatly reduced cost compared to buying the camera.
Although the typical applications are the most widely used, there are some more unusual reasons thermal imaging cameras have been hired from Red Current Ltd including; monitoring of bats flight patterns (don’t expect to find batman with one of these), to find one of the teenage mutant ninja turtles (a little pet turtle), a medical examination of a horse to check on the healing of its leg and finding cats that have gone missing.
For more information on how Thermal Imaging and Red Current can help you with your application, please get in contact. Goodbye for meow, I'll be back.