|A paper was written on this subject years ago. Here is the title and abstract. It is available for purchase from http://www.spie.org/ . Search the Thermosense proceedings.
A case study of applying infrared thermography
to identify a coolant leak in a municipal ice skating rink - Jay R. Wallace, Wallace Thermographics Company, P. 0. Box 8292,Richmond, Virginia 23226
This paper deals with the application of infrared imaging radiometry as a diagnostic inspection tool for locating a concealed leak in the refrigeration system supplying glycol coolant to the arena floor of an ice skating rink in a municipal coliseum facility. Scanning approximately 10 miles of black iron tubing embedded in the arena floor resulted in locating a leak within the supply/return side of the system. A secondary disclosure was a restriction to normal coolant flow in some delivery loops caused by sludge build-up.
Specific inspection procedures were established to enhance temperature differentials suitable for good thermal imaging. One procedure utilized the temperature and pressure of the city water supply; a second the availability of 130F hot water from the facility's boiler system; and a third the building's own internal ambient temperature. Destructive testing and other data collection equipment confirmed the thermographic findings revealing a section of corrosion damaged pipe. Repair and flushing of the system was quickly completed with a minimum of construction costs and inconvenience. No financial losses were
incurred due to the interruption of scheduled revenue events. Probable cause for the shutdown condition was attributed to a flawed installation decision made 15 years earlier during the initial construction stage.
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