Thermography measures surface temperatures by using infrared video and still cameras. These tools see light that is in the heat spectrum. Images on the video or film record the temperature variations of the equipment, ranging from white for warm regions to black for cooler areas. The resulting images help the auditor determine whether intervention is needed. They also serve as a quality control tool, to ensure that insulation has been installed and operated correctly.
Thermography uses specially designed infrared video or still cameras to make images (called thermograms) that show surface heat variations. This technology has a number of applications. Thermograms of electrical systems can detect abnormally hot electrical connections or components. Thermograms of mechanical systems can detect the heat created by excessive friction. Energy assessors use thermography as a tool to help detect heat losses and air leakage in building envelopes.
Infrared scanning allows energy assessors to check the effectiveness of insulation in a building's construction. The resulting thermograms help assessors determine whether a building needs insulation and where in the building it should go. Because wet insulation conducts heat faster than dry insulation, thermographic scans of roofs can often detect roof leaks.
Australian Thermal Imaging Inspectors ATII are specialised in the following specific aspects of thermography:
detection and interpretation of infrared radiation emitted by power equipment;
assessment of material’s thermal conductivity;
efficiency of thermal-insulation materials and systems;
monitoring thermodynamic performance and characteristics of electric motors, control panels, bus ducts, air handlers, rooftop cooling systems, cooling fans; integrity of liquid holding tanks; motor control centres, switches, switchboards; quality of electric cable terminations; existence of moisture; heat dissipated by cables, heating/cooling ducts and other electromechanical components.