For district heating networks, practical applications of aerial thermography involve problems usually
neglected in the process of research and methodological development.
This process is usually initiated by first examining physical conditions for the specific application.
Then is developed a method designed for the application. However, there should also be a test of the
thermographic method in practice, including both an operational and economical evaluation of different
stages of the application, suggesting feasible changes of the method and of the operational
Experience from thermographic studies performed in the Scandinavian countries implies that follow-up
studies are necessaiy when introducing high tech methods for practical applications. This kind of
studies gives experience in major problems connected to different operational conditions, and makes it
possible to avoid failures and to optimise the use of the information of the thermographic method.
This paper deals mainly with the evaluation of aerial thermography for district heating networks
The main conclusions are that aerial thermography can contribute to an efficient operation of district
heating systems, and the method is sufficiently developed for commercial use. However, the method could
be improved by ensuring a feedback from the utility to the thermography consultant, so that analysis
and interpretation routines, and presentation of results, may be further adjusted to user requirements.
Also, increasing the knowledge possessed by the consultant and maintenance personnel regarding
technical properties of culvert systems and thermographic methods, would result in more efficient