You can't manage what you don't know is an old adage that applies in all situations andenergy efficiency is no exception. How can I improve the energy performance of a building or plant if I do not know how it works and defects? This is why measurement is not ignored and why it must be done with precise systematic procedures (such as energy diagnosis) that require suitable tools, for example the thermography.
What is the thermography? Technically, it is the instantaneous evaluation of the thermal energy emitted by radiation from a surface. To do a thermography, a thermal imaging camera, which is like a camera equipped with special sensors capable of detecting the surface temperature of bodies and making it readable in a color map.
Technological innovation has made the thermal imaging cameras reliable tools and is making their prices accessible. For a energy diagnosis, which is a matter for qualified professionals, let's talk about thermal imaging cameras from thousands of euros. For analyzes that are at least good you need a thermal imaging camera with a minimum resolution of 160 × 120 pixels.
Obviously, the increase in the number of pixels raises the price of the thermal imaging camera. Generally a 'thermographic image made with a 160 × 120 pixel sensor it provides 19,200 temperature measurements. Depending on the analysis to be carried out, a building or a pipe, it is possible to replace the optics and choose whether to use telephoto or wide-angle lenses.
Returning to the thermography, where is it used? The main applications are in construction, in the electrical and mechanical fields. Speaking of energy saving, the thermography plays an essential role because it allows non-destructive investigations and for this reason it has become an indispensable tool in energy diagnosis of buildings.
In construction, the thermography it allows the analysis of the facades in the winter period to identify the areas of maximum heat dispersion and in the summer period to check plaster detachment. It is also valuable for: analysis and verification of thermal bridges and wall variations; analysis and verification of vertical transparent surfaces; detection of humidity in the walls and water infiltrations.
In the electric field the thermography it is used in various photovoltaic applications (hot-spots, shading, cells, malfunctioning modules, wiring errors…); verification of faulty electrical components; points of false contacts in electrical panels (ohmic resistances); detection of defects on high voltage lines. In mechanics it makes use of thermography for checking overheated mechanical components.