A new applications report from FLIR Systems has detailed how Integral UK, an independent provider of property maintenance services in the UK, has used FLIR thermal imaging technology to reduce facility chiller down-time, thereby reducing inconvenience and ongoing maintenance costs to their clients.

Facility chillers commonly use refrigerant gas to provide cooling and therefore temperature control for large commercial properties. Integral is a maintenance specialist, who regularly maintains those assets on behalf of some of UK’s largest commercial organisations, many of them household names.

New developments in thermal imaging from FLIR have enabled Integral to identify refrigerant gas leaks caused by wear or damage, which went undetected by other maintenance methods. The leaks were found quickly and efficiently using a FLIR GF304 thermal imaging camera.

Traditional methods for refrigerant gas leak detection promote the use of sniffers. Unfortunately, because of the way many facility chillers are designed, accessibility is always a problem and on average maintenance engineers are only able to test around 60% of the installation depending on the chiller design and the pipe runs.

With the FLIR GF304 thermal imaging camera, access is improved allowing for accurate diagnostics within those areas which are normally difficult to access in normal operations. The visual output of the GF304 thermal imaging camera, allows users to clearly see any exit point of the gas, automatically supplying evidence-based reports on gas escapes that remain undetectable from any other source.

Integral UK report that the FLIR GF304 is very versatile and how they are using it both for finding refrigerant gas leaks and for high voltage, low voltage, mechanical and general building inspections. Further, by using the FLIR GF304 as a preventative maintenance tool, Integral has been able to identify potential refrigerant gas escapes before they develop and apply remedial actions. In this way, Integral has been able to improve the reliability of facility chillers and extend the lifecycle of a critical building asset.