How can Infrared Steam Surveys help?

Aerial image showing an infrared steam survey.
IR thermograph showing a leaking steam line (highlighted in red)

While checking the boilers and lines in steam tunnels are jobs best done on the ground, the distribution and condensate return lines that are direct-buried are best surveyed through aerial infrared steam surveys by our infrared thermography experts.

Steam line inspections are one of the easiest applications for aerial infrared thermographers, making steam leak detection a cost-effective method for preventative maintenance even at higher altitudes. Thermal contrast between active steam lines and the surrounding ground is typically enough to pinpoint and document the precise location of flaws in an entire steam system over any given area.

How Does it Work?

Underground steam lines are almost always readily visible from the air with infrared imaging, even when no notable problems exist. Through aerial infrared surveys, we are able to easily detect and pinpoint steam line faults, overheated lines, and line leaks.

Problem areas are generally quite evident, having brighter white infrared signatures that exceed the norm. Steam line faults normally appear as an overheated line or as a large hotspot in the form of a bulge or balloon along the line.

When there is a leak in the line, the whole conduit will visibly heat up with escaping steam. Some leaks may also show up as an overheated manhole or vault cover. Manholes or vaults that contain a steam system control apparatus connected to a faulty line will often heat the covers to warmer-than-normal temperatures.

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