Digital Thermographic Cameras Are Power Tools in the Current Energy Conservation Movement PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Monday, 06 July 2009 08:47

Nearly every time there is a discussion of President Obama's economic stimulus plan, the conversation turns to 'Green Jobs.'  A fact Mary Duan points out in her recent U.S. News & World Report article is that "[m]ore than $70 billion of the funds provided by the act will go to energy-related investment, making clean tech the low-hanging fruit of job development." Just how will that money translate into jobs? A large chunk of it will be used to reinsulate and weatherize existing buildings, and individuals knowledgeable in the use of digital thermographic cameras have a key role to play.

Thermal Image of Infrared Energy Conservation InspectionJust how can digital thermographic cameras be used in this effort? First by allowing trained professionals to easily and quickly perform an energy assessment of structures as they currently exist. I highlight the importance of trained professionals because as the Youtube video "Use of Infrared Camera During Energy Efficiency Audit" demonstrates, a fundamental understanding of the technology is required to properly conduct a building inspection.

Even more important than pinpointing problems in one specific structure, is determining which buildings within a given city area are wasting the most energy. In this way, program administrators can direct dollars to those structures where they will realize the greatest gains in energy efficiency. The real value added of digital thermographic cameras, and people trained in their use (Thermography), is that it will allow for a scientific process for improving energy inefficient commercial buildings and homes.

A small team equipped with digital thermographic cameras can assess many structures per day. In this way planners can quickly determine which buildings to focus specific energy conservation solutions to. Without starting the process with a thorough energy assessment, uniform work would be done, regardless of the actual needs of each structure, which will waste money and vastly reduce the net energy savings. The beauty of this type of work is that it cannot be outsourced as the job sites are all around us. Yet, even as that is true, there will still be a wide range of salary opportunities within the field. The person reinsulating an energy inefficient home, will not be getting paid the same wage as the trained operators of digital thermographic cameras, or the support staff distributing and servicing the cameras. As the federal money starts flowing to cities and municipalities this year, it will be important to have the skills necessary to take advantage of the resulting job growth. There are a variety of training programs available through Infrared Camera Inc. You can find out more information by visiting the Infrared Training Institute's website.

 

by Jennifer Larson

 

References:

Duan, Mary. "Obama's Green Light for Green Jobs." U.S. News & World Report. 1 May. 2009, pp. 30-30. NASCSP.

 

 
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