Flir Infrared Cameras

Published: 05th July 2011
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Infrared thermography, or thermal imaging, has become more and more popular in recent years as infrared cameras become less expensive and more accessible to a wide variety of users. In the past, a relatively basic camera cost tens of thousands of dollars, was gas-cooled, and required sophisticated and expensive software to interpret the images.

Now, an entry level IR camera can be purchased for two or three thousand dollars, is quite compact and easy to use, and includes basic software to adjust, analyze, and interpret the infrared images. Consequently, these cameras have become popular for many different applications.

With rising energy costs, and increased interest and concern for the environment and energy efficiency, one of the most popular uses for thermal imaging cameras is in conducting home energy efficiency audits. In fact, most home energy auditors include an infrared camera as part of their standard tool set.

Infrared is heat energy, and since inferred cameras detect this energy, it's possible to literally see the heat moving through walls. During a home energy audit, users can see areas of missing insulation in a wall, leaky windows, and other gaps in the building envelop integrity.

Another popular application of an IR camera is in detecting faults in electrical systems. Electrical systems often experience degradation in components over time, or loose connections, which increase resistance to electrical current. This greater resistance in turn creates heat, which is visible to an IR camera. Infrared thermographers are able to detect bad fuses, circuit breakers, and faulty connections that both waste energy and are potentially very dangerous. For this reason, insurance companies often require regular infrared audits of electrical systems, or offer a large discount on premiums for doing so.

Infrared cameras are even becoming more and more popular in human medicine, particularly in early breast cancer detection. Before breast cancer develops to the extent a tumor can be detected with a mammogram, small changes and increased blood flow can be detected in the infrared. This method has the added benefice of being totally passive and non-invasive. The infrared camera is also much less expensive than other breast cancer detection equipment.

For those with an immediate need for the unique and penetrating analysis that only an infrared camera can provide, a short-term rental may be an ideal solution. It may be a need for non-destructive testing of an electric motor, an analysis of an electrical system, or accurate leak detection in a wall or ceiling - an infrared camera is an excellent tool.

For those undertaking an infrared thermography certification course, renting an IR camera is a great way to either obtain a camera to use during the course, or to complete a field assignment requirement after the course is complete.

Most Level 1 certification classes require the student complete a field assignment before their certification is complete, but aspiring thermographers who are new to the field are unlikely to have a camera to use for this purpose. A rental can fill this void nicely at a reasonable price.

An infrared camera rental also allows the student or prospective buyer to test drive a particular model before purchasing in order to see if they like the way it feels, the functionality, or whether if will fulfill their particular needs. Considering the often high price of an IR camera, this is an excellent way to get hands on experience with a camera before spending a lot of money.

Whatever the reason for considering the purchase of an camera, consider the benefits of renting before buying. The cost is relatively low, compared to the purchase price, and a rental can be a great way to get a feel for a camera, an thermography in general, without a large expense.

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