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27 August 2019

Thermal imaging detects insulation defects

Gubba Cold Storage offers its customers cold storage facilities for a wide range of products, from plant seeds to pharmaceuticals. Every product has its own prescribed storage requirements so it is essential that Gubba’s 11 cold storage units maintain an accurate, consistent temperature, 24/7. Not only is this important from a customer service standpoint but also to optimise the cost of operation.

Gubba Cold Storage

For this reason, Gubba has invested in FLIR thermal imaging to prevent any insulation failures or electrical faults compromising temperature regulation and uniformity or increasing energy consumption.

Historically the company did not conduct any preventive maintenance for insulation leaks; they were simply repaired when they became evident. Although the company was swift to act there was always the danger that moisture ingress would disturb the required relative humidity. Also, the moisture would condense and freeze which would ultimately weaken the structure of the unit’s wall and diminish its insulation properties.

A chance meeting with FLIR at an exhibition proved the turning point.

Gubba Cold Storage’s owner, Gubba Prashant, explained: “I soon discovered that it’s possible to scan large areas to look for insulation problems, find moisture beneath the insulation surface and much more. So, we decided to buy one of FLIR’s handheld thermal imaging cameras and we haven’t looked back since.”

The company chose a FLIR entry-level troubleshooting camera and it is now in regular use to spot both insulation defects and electrical problems in their infancy. Engineers can now scan electrical cabinets, components and connections to get an instant picture of potential trouble.

Mr Prashant added: “We use our FLIR camera extensively for safety checks in electrical panels and chiller rooms across various cold storage buildings. When it shows us an electrical cable that is much hotter than its environment, we instantly intervene to prevent the problem becoming serious.”

He confirms: “A significant reduction in energy costs have also resulted from the repairs we have been able to do based on the information from our FLIR camera.”

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