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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Infrared - Thermal imaging .... Scotland Council using ... and the man behind

Often the cause of loss in a fire claim is attributed to ‘electrical short-circuit’.  Electrical systems – for obvious reasons – are designed to be reliable. Like any complex system, electrical systems require periodic maintenance and inspection to ensure power is supplied to buildings and facilities in a safe and efficient manner.  Prevention is better than cure and for sure all parties – be it Insuring public, brokers, and of course Insurers would be happier if faults could be identified, especially by an non-invasive method …… ‘thermal imaging’ is perhaps the answer – globally some Insurers are extending thermal inspection prior to or at the time of coverage as a ‘value-add service’.   It is stated that with the aid of a thermal imaging inspection, faults can be found, identified and re-mediated at a minimal cost in comparison to equipment failure which can possibly lead to a claim under the Policy.   The technology can identify "hot spots" in wiring, caused by poorly connected cabling, which if undetected, can lead to overheating and potentially a serious fire hazard. Additionally, the service can be utilised to identify leaks, burst pipes, check seals on cold stores and even measure the energy efficiency of buildings.

Frederick William Herschel, [1738-1822] was a Hanoverian-born British astronomer, technical expert, composer. He became famous for his discovery of the planet Uranus, along with two of its major moons, Titania and Oberon, and also discovered two moons of Saturn. He is also known for the twenty-four symphonies, and many other musical pieces, that he composed.

Infrared thermography (IRT), thermal imaging, and thermal video are examples of infrared imaging science. Thermographic cameras detect radiation in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum and produce images of that radiation, called thermograms. Since infrared radiation is emitted by all objects above absolute zero according to the black body radiation law, thermography makes it possible to see one's environment with or without visible illumination. The amount of radiation emitted by an object increases with temperature; therefore, thermography allows one to see variations in temperature. When viewed through a thermal imaging camera, warm objects stand out well against cooler backgrounds; humans and other warm-blooded animals become easily visible against the environment, day or night. As a result, thermography is particularly useful to military and other users of surveillance cameras. Thermal imaging can detect elevated body temperature, one of the signs of the virusH1N1 (Swine influenza).

Thermography has a long history, although its use has increased dramatically with the commercial and industrial applications of the past fifty years. Firefighters use thermography to see through smoke, to find persons, and to localize the base of a fire. Maintenance technicians use thermography to locate overheating joints and sections of power lines, which are a sign of impending failure. Building construction technicians can see thermal signatures that indicate heat leaks in faulty thermal insulation and can use the results to improve the efficiency of heating and air-conditioning units. The appearance and operation of a modern thermographic camera is often similar to a camcorder.
thermal image of a faulty line - photo credit : nachi.org

In a  thermographic camera - a special lens focuses the infrared light emitted by all of the objects in view. The focused light is scanned by a phased array of infrared-detector elements. The detector elements create a very detailed temperature pattern called a thermogram. The thermogram created by the detector elements is translated into electric impulses. The impulses are sent to a signal-processing unit, a circuit board with a dedicated chip that translates the information from the elements into data for the display.  The combination of all the impulses from all of the elements creates the image.
With interest aroused, we for sure would hear more from the experts – as the foregoing was gleaned from some sites without Yours Truly, truly understanding most of the aspects …….but the following article in Daily Mail makes an interesting read :  it is about ‘Wardens using thermal imaging equipment to track dog owners who let their pets poo in the dark’

Council officers in Scotland are turning up the heat on night-time dog walkers who let their pets poop in public spaces – by tracking culprits using thermal imaging equipment. The advanced technology – which is usually used to catch criminals and dangerous drivers - is being deployed by Fife Council because the problem of dog mess in Fife has become a major problem. The thermal cameras will be able to detect the body heat of dogs and their owners - and recently produced poo - from hundreds of yards away. The council officers who will be tasked with handing out fines will also be given stab vests to protect themselves from any violent or aggressive dog owners. However, officers said that not all culprits take kindly to the serving of such notices.   ‘There is no excuse for people turning away, ignoring and failing to pick up their dog’s mess, even if they take one step away from the dog-fouling I would be tempted to fine them because they have no intention of picking it up.’

In between you read about - Frederick William Herschel, the Hanoverian-born British astronomer,  was not only a composer but a discoverer too.  He was the first person to discover the existence of infrared radiation.  In 1800, Herschel was testing filters for the sun so he could observe sun spots. When using a red filter he found there was a lot of heat produced. Herschel discovered infrared radiation in sunlight by passing it through a prism and holding a thermometer just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum. This thermometer was meant to be a control to measure the ambient air temperature in the room.

With regards – S.Sampathkumar

13th May 2014.

3 comments:

  1. Hi, incidently I was attending a major Fire loss in a spinning mill on Sunday, advised them to procure a Thermal imaging scanner sharing that this was implemented in another spinning mill reducing recurrances of fire with proper implementation of periodic checking.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi, incidently I was attending a major Fire loss in a spinning mill on Sunday, advised them to procure a Thermal imaging scanner sharing that this was implemented in another spinning mill reducing recurrances of fire with proper implementation of periodic checking.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, incidently I was attending a major Fire loss in a spinning mill on Sunday, advised them to procure a Thermal imaging scanner sharing that this was implemented in another spinning mill reducing recurrances of fire with proper implementation of periodic checking.

    ReplyDelete