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Thermal imaging reveals hot air at No 10!

We all know that politicians expel a vast amount of hot air, particularly around election time. This fact has now been proven beyond doubt, by a thermal survey undertaken by ERIKS UK at 10 Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament.

ITV’s TONIGHT programme, ‘Money to Burn’ analysed the energy usage and energy wastage of domestic homes, and was also granted permission to take thermal images of 10 Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament. The results, showed how better insulation helped reduce bills in domestic situations, but also how inefficient older buildings can be… including, ironically, the building housing the Department of Environment and Climate Change.

Duncan Webb, Thermal Imaging expert at ERIKS used the latest Flir thermal imaging camera to record images of both the domestic houses and the large government and municipal buildings. He said: "It is the same equipment and process that we use to analyse the efficiency and health of a wide range of industrial equipment, from electrical power distribution, and power transmission equipment to mechanical devices such as bearings and gearboxes. Excess heat usually tells us that there is a problem; elevated temperatures mean higher resistance in circuits and motors, and higher friction in rotating machinery. Commonly these are spotted when we are working as part of a pro-active maintenance service using predictive maintenance techniques to identify problems early on and fix them in order to reduce downtime.

We also use the cameras to minimise energy loss. For example we can spot faulty insulation in cold refrigerated rooms and similar problems in commercial ovens and kilns. The images showed there is probably scope to improve the insulation at No. 10 as the entire building was giving off quite a strong heat signature, but insulating listed buildings can be tricky to do."

"On the camera, blue is cold, and then the colour changes through yellow, orange and red as it gets hotter, with white showing the hottest areas. Bearing in mind how the domestic buildings we looked at performed much better after some basic insulation work was done, the more recent government buildings appeared to be good candidates for similar work. Having said that the largest heat signature was from the Houses of Parliament, but then again I don’t think Pugin had energy efficiency at the top of his mind when he designed it!"

Thermal imaging plays a key role in ERIKS maintenance know-how, helping to deliver energy saving, efficiency improvements; repair and replacement work, in addition to full thermographic surveys employed on large manufacturing and process sites, where ERIKS is responsible for the efficient running of the entire maintenance aspect of a plant.

ERIKS is pro-actively developing maintenance and engineering systems and strategies to ensure customers are optimising their business processes and activities, improving efficiency and reducing costs. Thermal imaging is used alongside other condition monitoring techniques such as vibration analysis, lubricant analysis, and laser alignment; all key aspects of the general maintenance programs that are available from ERIKS anywhere in UK.

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