Powerflushing – How well does it work?
Thermal Imaging and Power Flushing Go Hand-in-Hand
The power flushing of radiators is just one part of the many services offered by a Heating Engineer. Due to rising costs, saving energy is a necessity, and offering a service that can show and verify that power flushing saves time and money is of major interest to all potential customers. The question is how can you verify the need for the service and demonstrate the improvements in performance?
Thermal imaging cameras are the answer. This case study shows how they can quickly check a radiators condition / performance to easily identify and diagnose problems or anomalies. With the highly professional software, a report can be easily produced, providing images so the customer can see the problems, in-turn verifying the need for improvements.
Alternative methods of detection used by some engineers include simply touching a radiator to feel for cold areas, or using infrared thermometers with a single or two spot laser sighting, which can only pick up small areas of the radiator, not revealing the whole picture. These methods don’t cut it anymore, and don’t offer the reassurance the customer often seeks. Without a piece of equipment like a thermal imaging camera, the detailed analysis you see here just wouldn’t be possible.
To set the scene, the thermal imaging camera was being used by a local Heating Engineer, on a job, where a domestic dwelling had a problem with their radiators. On arrival, the boiler was switched on and left to heat up. The thermal imaging camera was used to take thermal and digital images of each of the radiators throughout the house to quickly ascertain their condition. The engineer could see in the thermal image the temperature variation at various points of the radiator. In terms of how long the process of analysing each radiator took, it wasn’t long. With the camera and its simple to use buttons and clear options, images were taken and saved within minutes. For the report to be created, it was only another few minutes on a laptop using the Testo IR software, supplied with the camera.
It was quite shocking to see how poorly the radiators were performing. The first images show the radiators displaying a significant amount of cold area (as highlighted by the blue coloured areas) indicating substantial contaminant and sludge within the system. The temperature on the coldest part of one radiator was only 22 °C compared to the average temperature in other areas of approximately 55 °C, which is well below what it should be heating to. The images show how inefficiently the radiators were performing, thereby wasting a lot of the heat produced by the boiler.
The customer was presented with this information and there was no question about it, power flushing was required to get the system performing back to full capability, in-turn improving efficiency and saving them money.
During the course of the power flushing, the engineer used the thermal imaging camera to view each radiator, verifying that the process was achieving its objectives. Once the process was complete the thermal imaging camera was used to assess whether all the contaminant and sludge had been removed, and check the systems performance. The images show that the cold spots had disappeared and the temperature was consistent across the radiator. This verifies that the process of power flushing has improved the radiators performance so they run efficiently, without waste.
It is clear from the results – this is how you get the edge and give your customer added value. A thermal imaging camera will show the conditions of radiators before, during and after the power flushing process and verify the improvements that the process produces. This level of analysis demonstrates professionalism and offers the customer that extra reassurance.
The camera used was a Testo 875-2, with 160 x 120 pixel configuration and <80mK temperature resolution. Affordably priced, the range of Testo thermal imaging cameras are highly suited to the HVAC sector, for tracing heating/hot water pipe work for leaks and blockages as well as checking under floor heating. Find out more at www.testo.co.uk/thermal or call the Technical Sales Team on 01420 544 433.
Posted on March 19, 2012, in Commercial, Deals, flir, hEATING, hvac, Industry, Latest News, Plumbers uk, Testemonials, Thermal Imaging, thermography and tagged Gas Safe, heat spots, heating engineer, infrared, plumber, power flushing, radiator, thermal imaging, Thermography, uk. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.