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thermal imaging condensation

For a specialist painting and building contractor, FLIR thermal imaging has proved particularly helpful in its dealings with property managers and owners. From experience, Martin Meyer knew where to look for heat loss that resulted from missing insulation but convincing the customer that replacement was both necessary and cost effective was another matter. Investment in a FLIR E50bx, however, gave him all the necessary proof.

“Today we make the need for improvement really visible to the customer by taking a free thermal image of the building’s façade,” Martin Meyer explained. “This way we can clearly show the sources of heat loss from badly installed or missing insulation and provide a good estimate of the energy savings that would follow.”

Identification of insulation faults is only one application for the FLIR E50bx.  The main focus for Martin Meyer is interior decoration and an increasingly common problem for his property management customer base, is mildew. Old or badly fitting windows and poor ventilation, as well as bad insulation, can cause condensation to build-up; especially where tenants turn heating off to minimise energy costs.

The FLIR E50bx is suitable for detecting the moisture that can lead to mildew. It is one of the best-value, compact, infrared cameras for the building sector and its accuracy makes surveying and reporting, even from a distance, dependable and precise. For Meyer features such as FLIR’s patented MSX feature, which allows image elements taken by the unit’s in-built digital camera to enhance the thermal image, are particularly appealing.

Another common application for Meyer’s camera is the investigation of underfloor heating systems and it proved particularly useful prior to a recent restoration project. The FLIR E50bx was used to investigate the poor performance of a 20-year-old underfloor heating system in conjunction with a FLIR MR77 non-invasive moisture meter.

“I placed the meter in the room and it automatically transferred the relative temperature and humidity data to the thermal image on the FLIR E50bx,” explained Meyer. “It made it easy for me to locate an area of moisture on the wall that was clearly the source of the problem and show the heating contractor exactly where to open the wall. Sure enough, there was a small leak in the underfloor heating that could then be professionally repaired.”

To evaluate his thermal images, Meyer uses the FLIR Tools software included with his camera as well as the FLIR Reporter software, which allows him to create reports to include his own logo and other pre-settings.

“For us the investment in a thermal imaging camera has definitely paid off,” concluded Meyer. “We are the only painting specialist in our area who can offer these services and it has allowed us to add value to the work we do.”

FLIR Systems specialises in technologies that enhance perception and awareness.  The company brings innovative sensing solutions into daily life through its thermal imaging and visible light imaging technology and systems for measurement, diagnosis, location and advanced threat detection.  Its products improve the way people interact with the world around them, enhance productivity, increase energy efficiency and make the workplace safer.

FLIR Systems has six operating segments – surveillance, instruments, OEM and emerging markets, maritime, security and finally, detection. Of these six, ‘instruments’ is of greatest interest to trade and industry and the second largest segment in the company’s portfolio. This division provides devices that image, measure and assess thermal energy, gases and other environmental elements for industrial, commercial and scientific applications.

These products are manufactured across five production sites, three in the USA and two in Europe; Sweden and Estonia.

A model to suit every application and budget
The options that FLIR Systems provides for measuring temperature and studying thermal performance have never been greater.  Not only does the company offer a huge range of models to suit all thermal application needs but the technology is also affordable and very easy to use.  Thermal cameras now come in various shapes, sizes and degrees of sophistication and FLIR continues to invest heavily in the development of new and complementary technologies to differentiate itself from competitors.

An important milestone in the development of thermal imaging has been the introduction of the FLIR Lepton® core, a micro longwave detector, the size of a mobile SIM.  This has allowed thermal imaging to be repackaged to meet the needs of an even wider audience and, in combination with another new technology called Infrared Guided Measurement – IGM™ – has led to the development of a range of test and measurement meters with imaging capability.

Another important growth area for FLIR thermal imaging is in continuous monitoring to assure quality and safety.  Through its introduction of discrete fixed mounted thermal cameras which are fully compliant industry standard plug-and-play protocols, FLIR Systems has provided industry with infrared machine vision which is instantly ready for quick and easy network installation.

Protecting assets and people from fire is an area for which thermal imaging is least known but, thanks to FLIR Systems’ development, it is now one of the most cost-effective methods available.  Its application flexibility and rapid return on investment present an attractive proposition for any site or safety manager.

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