How to choose an Infrared camera

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APPLICATIONS

The thermal imager is mainly used in three areas:

  • monitoring and preventive maintenance in industry (motors, furnaces, etc.)
  • control of electrical systems (overheating of conductors)
  • Building Inspection (control their energy performance, smooth operation of heating systems)

In recent years, applications of an infrared camera have diversified and now affects many other areas. Medicine, food, process control, power generation, control of electronic cards, inspections by drones are some examples of new fields of application for the thermal camera.

Here are examples of applications of an infrared camera.

     
Temperature rise of an electrical conductor
Source: ITC
Example industrial maintenance
Source: ITC
Insulation issue
Source: ITC
Locating a heating circuit in the floor of a house

 

THE SELECTION CRITERIA

Thermal imaging cameras have many features (number of pixels, lens, focusing, temperature range, emissivity setting, visualization modes, thermal sensitivity, field of view, connectivity, pallets, temperature range setting, weight, battery life, ergonomics, etc.).

Among these criteria here is a selection and their explanation to help you choose the most appropriate camera for your application or to your business:


The most importants :


The Horizontal and Vertical Field of View(FOV)

It is the dimension that will take the infrared image relative to the distance between the object and the camera. The field of view is expressed in angle, the more the viewing angle is bigger and better we can see the object in its environment. On some camera models it is possible to change lenses (wide-angle, telephoto, etc.) to adapt the field of view for your use.

The Instantaneous Field of View (IFOV)

This is the smallest element that the camera can detect. The smaller IFOV is, the higher the image resolution is.

The sensor size

As a digital camera, infrared detector is a matrix n * n elements is the total image resolution (pixels). The more the camera has a high number of pixels, the more the picture will be detailed.

The thermal sensitivity (NETD)

It is the ability of the camera to detect a small temperature difference between two pixels. The lower the sensitivity is, the better low temperature changes can be detected and there will be less "noise" on the thermal image.

This is an important criterion for applications where temperature differences on the same image are low, such as control of building insulation. The best cameras achieve NETD lower than 0.02 ° C.

The temperature range

This is the temperature range that can measure the camera, for example from -30 to + 350 ° C. For industrial application you could need a camera measuring up to 2 000 ° C.

The display modes

Some cameras feature a digital camera in addition to the thermal sensor. The interest is to capture the visible image simultaneously with the infrared image in order to locate the location of the shot or highlight certain hot or cold areas on the visible image. The most popular display modes are:

  • the thermal image in the visible image (Picture In Picture)
  • the AutoBlend ™ mode by Fluke: the thermal image with transparency on the visible image
  • the MSX mode by Flir: the contours of the visible image are added to the infrared image
  • the alarm or isothermal modes: the areas above or below a certain temperature are shown on thermal in the visible image
     
Picture In Picture AutoBlend™ by Fluke MSX™ by Flir alarm or isothermal modes

Focusing

As with a regular camera, focusing is important for the sharpness of the thermal image. With an infrared camera, a bad focusing has an impact on the quality of the measurement of temperature and the alignment between the thermal image and the visible image.

Some thermal cameras do not have focus (when high accuracy is not needed), others feature manual or auto focus.

 

OUR OFFER OF THERMAL CAMERAS

Testoon offers thermal imaging cameras of the best brands Flir, Fluke, Chauvin Arnoux, Kimo, Workswell ...

Our advisors can help you choose the best infrared camera for your needs. Do not hesitate to contact us.

 

See our range of thermal cameras >>

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