In most cases, if only because of their high operating temperatures and their capacity to cause injury or death as a result of some failures, furnaces and boilers should be included in predictive maintenance (PdM) programs that monitor their condition while they operate.
While many people in the power generation industry are familiar with annual infrared thermography surveys as part of PdM, the coal plant in this case study uses a thermal imager year round. There are two differences in their approach.
In energy audits of homes and other buildings, technicians use blower doors in conjunction with thermal imagers. The blowers create positive or negative pressures within interior envelopes, making leaks much more apparent in thermal images.
This document discusses the cost savings of thermal imaging (thermography) PdM, provides guidelines for successfully capturing and analyzing thermographic data and describes how to integrate thermography into a predictive maintenance program.