Vancouver Thermal Imaging Program Gets Underway

5 neighborhoods in the City of Vancouver are now using thermal imaging as part of a pilot program to save energy. These neighborhoods include Dunbar Southlands, Riley Park, Victoria Fraserview, Strathcona, and Hastings Sunrise. The program was launched in January 2017 to identify all types of energy inefficiencies in single-family homes. Thermal imaging measures the heat signature of objects and displays it in a visible colour spectrum. This study of thermal imaging is known as thermography. Cold objects are displayed in a dark blue colour, while hot objects are displayed in a bright yellow colour.

Thermal imaging technology has quickly become the most sought after, accurate and ubiquitous way of identifying energy efficiency, gas leaks, faulty electrical cables, water leaks, air-conditioning flaws, security weaknesses, and the like. It provides a visible snapshot or streaming video of inefficiencies, and allows for rapid identification of problem areas. There are multiple health, cost and security benefits to using thermal imaging in this way.

Steep Reduction in GHG Expected by 2020

The City of Vancouver has calculated that 31% of all greenhouse gases come from detached homes, and 55% of greenhouse gases come from buildings. The pilot program, known as the Greenest City Action Plan, has an ambitious undertaking of reducing emissions from buildings by 20% within three years. According to the data, this would reduce 160K tonnes of greenhouse gases per annum. This amounts to 40,000 automobiles on the road. The goal of the pilot program is to increase efficiency and reduce energy usage. According to the University of Calgary, heat loss from some 38K homes cost an average of $4.9 million per annum and some 29,000 tons of carbon dioxide were emitted into the atmosphere. Thermal imaging technology can detect these inefficiencies. But Vancouver is not unique in its use of thermal imaging technology. Several other cities around the world, including Manchester UK, Edinburgh Scotland, Detroit Michigan, and Cambridge USA have also used this technology for cost savings and energy efficiency.

Other Uses of Thermal Imaging Technology

There are scores of applications available for this technology, including defense, home-based security, border security, oil and gas installations, aviation, mobile and so forth. One of the world’s foremost providers of thermal imaging technology has created a range of high-tech thermal imaging cameras with electro-optics and versatile visualization hardware. The products created by Opgal include EyeCGas which is capable of instantly detecting gas leaks at home, at industrial facilities or in vehicles. Outside of the United States, this company is leading the way as the largest producer of thermal imaging cameras in the world.