An Inside Look at Infrared Technology

By Thomas A. Westerkamp  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Maintenance Departments Investing in Infrared TechnologyPt. 2: Infrared Cameras Uncover HVAC, Roofing IssuesPt. 3: Infrared Cameras Detect Dirty, Oxidized Electrical ConnectionsPt. 4: Using CMMS Turns Infrared Imaging Into SavingsPt. 5: Schedule Infrared-Imaging Routes for Effective Preventive MaintenancePt. 6: This Page

Advances in infrared-imaging technology have produced cameras that are smaller, more portable, more flexible, and easier to use. These advances are apparent when taking a closer look at a popular, 1.65-pound infrared camera that sells for about $5,000 and comes with a two-year warranty.

The camera’s typical temperature ranges are as follows:

• surface being read: 14-482 degrees

• ambient operating range: 5-113 degrees

• storage range: minus 4-150 degrees.

The unit’s operating humidity range is 10-90 percent. The view field is 20 degrees by 15 degrees with manual focus control. It has a minimum focus distance of 12 inches and a maximum distance that reaches roof trusses where cable trays and power-distribution systems are located.

With dimensions of 9 inches by 4.7 inches by 4.3 inches, technicians can hold the camera or mount it on a tripod, and AC or lithium-ion rechargeable batteries provide the power.

With 3.5-inch color LCD and LED backlighting, the unit shows real-time images and temperature data with time stamp in four selectable color palettes, including grayscale. Professional users often prefer the grayscale for sharper, more detailed images. Users can select Celsius or Fahrenheit temperature readouts.

The included USB cable, secure digital card, card reader and software CD enable technicians to store up to 1,000 images and generate summary reports. Its resolution is 160 horizontal by 120 vertical pixels, and the screen displays 19,200 separate points of temperature measurement.

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  posted on 11/1/2008   Article Use Policy

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