Thermographic Survey Example - Pipes Heat Loss

Heat loss on a hot water system or steam circuit due to poor or missing insulation may reduce the overall efficiency from source to end user by up to 50%.
Thermal imaging can quickly and efficiently identify pipe-work that requires remedial work. Imagine a pipe run with several services running side by side with different sized pipes. Thermal imaging can be used to determine the temperature along each pipe, assess whether there is a breakdown in insulation or whether there's insufficient, missing, or damaged insulation.

A simple visual inspection can determine where there is missing insulation, but only thermal imaging can be used to calculate heat losses.

Heat Loss Example

The insulation on this main steam supply pipe was damaged and cut away.
Re-insulating this pipe-work would cause slight disruption to delivery and production vehicles, so the remedial work was put aside, then forgotten and now neglected.
The losses from this pipe-work alone cost the company 2600 / year.
Even an un-insulated valve or flange makes a huge contribution to heat loss. Normally, work has been carried out on a flange or valve and the fitter has left the insulation jacket on the floor. Refitting this jacket costs very little, but could save you 100's.

It's not only steam that requires good insulation. Chilled water or glycol systems require energy to keep them chilled. If the insulation is inadequate then this will increase the amount of energy used in the chilling process.

This image shows heat loss from a steam system (a)
and heat gain on a chilled glycol system (b). Both wasting energy due to damaged insulation.

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