Ronald D. Lucier, ASNT NDT Level III
Last month I was conducting a Level III class at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV. If you aren’t familiar with the facility it is a wonderful place to conduct meetings. The staff is great, food is overwhelming and the rooms are inexpensive and clean. Plus the hotel has many restaurants, a movie theater, a bowling alley and of course a casino. It has been an ITC favorite for over 10 years.
Lately, though, we have been having issues with the meeting room, specifically the temperature. The past couple times I’ve taught there it has been very cold and students have complained. Now, I like my hotel room cold enough to hang meat, but 63˚F (17.2˚C) is a bit extreme for conducting a meeting unless you are in Antarctica, which we were not.
Once again, we were having the same issues…
I spoke with the Engineering Department but was getting nowhere with a solution and it was still too cold. Now, getting a little frustrated, I mentioned it again to one of the banquet staff who had just refreshed our coffee. He looked around the room and, seeing pretty much all the guys wearing coats, said:
“Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the coffee pots are right beneath the thermostat?”
We all looked. He was right! DUH! How stupid could we be, a room full of professional thermographers!
Before I could grab a thermal image of the arrangement, he had already moved the table, but I did manage to put my T650 into program mode for about 50 minutes and look at the before and after images:
The red cursor shows the position of the thermostat on the wall and you can clearly see where the coffee pots were located. They were heating the thermostat so the HVAC system, thinking that the room was too warm, kept supplying cold air!
Once the coffee pots were removed the wall cooled from 70.3˚F (21.3˚C ) to 67.2˚F (19.6˚C) in about 14 minutes.
After that time the thermostat and wall started to increase in temperature because the room started warming. Ta Da! Problem solved!
Eventually the room stabilized around 68˚F (20˚C) which was fine, but every morning (depending on the waiter) I had to move the coffee pots so we didn’t have a repeat of the issue.
So, what are the underlying lessons here? Many of us go through life oblivious of our surroundings. However, as experienced infrared thermographers we are trained to not do that. We are tasked to look for the simple solution to complex problems and in my classes I stress that most failures have a thermal signature. This one sure did and I didn’t see it. Neither did the sixteen Level III candidates in my class! We all had a good laugh, though. Great food too and, if you ever join us for training there, the filet mignon for lunch is fantastic!