This week’s answer gives us a short lesson in reading our infrared images.
Answer: If you guessed “Water Tank”, you guessed correctly. Thermography can be a very useful tool in determining tank levels. However, sometimes you are not provided with as clear of an answer as you would assume. Are you really seeing the tank water level? This image was taken on a hot summer day in central Florida. If you look closely, you can see the reflection of the sun in the upper part of the top sphere. It has been up in the sky for a while and things have really been heating up… the water in the tank… the air in the tank… and guess what else? The ground around the tank. Without looking at a different perspective of the tank (perhaps from father away, a different height, or when the ground is cooler… or a different time of transient temperature change during the day or night) it can be difficult to determine if you are seeing a water level or merely a reflection of heat from the ground and sky. (Maybe it’s even a combination of both!) Making a definite call from this one image alone is probably not the best practice in this case.