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The role of thermal imagers in testing a centrifugal chiller

March 2012

You can use a thermal imager to detect problems at many of the test points in a chiller. Here are a few:

The Fluke Ti125 Thermal Imager in use on a chiller

The Fluke Ti125 Thermal Imager in use on a chiller.

  • Control panel. With a thermal imager you can effectively see issues with low voltage systems in control panels. For example, a thermal imager can detect poor electrical connections or failed components.
  • Compressor. A thermal imager can aid in diagnosing compressor-related problems by detecting temperature differences in various parts of compressors.
  • Motor. A thermal imager can be an invaluable tool for inspecting and maintaining motors. Use one to inspect electrical connections, cooling vents, and bearings.
  • Bearing. Use a thermal imager to detect bearing issues in motors: underlubrication, overlubrication, shaft misalignment, and other general wear conditions.
  • Chilled water supply and chiller water return. The temperature of water supply and water return in chillers is a good indicator of chiller performance. A thermal imager can often give a good picture of these lines, and provide a reasonably accurate temperature measurement as well.

See the diagram showing chiller test points »