Relatively - yes. The sophisticated level of technology and the value of use makes them expensive. One really must look at the economics of purchasing an IR camera. There is a lot of economic merit in using an experienced, qualified full time Thermographer, delivering a quality service with good equipment at a fraction of the cost of purchasing a camera to be used occasionally by relatively inexperienced operators.
Yes. Light as we know it in the visible spectrum has no effect on the infrared images.
Modern cameras in general use uncooled bolometers. A mid range unit will have a bolometer with a matrix of 320 x 240 pixels for a total of 76,800 dots or pixels. Our professional equipment has a matrix of 640 x 480 pixels giving us a total of 307,200 measurement points! Each pixel, which is sensitive to IR, develops a voltage, depending on how much IR reaches it via special lenses. This voltage is then processed via software and colour palettes are overlaid. The colour represented for each pixel is dependent on the voltage the dot produces. The end result is a picture built up of thousands of pixels. The voltage of each pixel is also calibrated to represent a temperature. An IR camera usually has a selection of colour palettes. In principle, digital and video cameras work the same way.
Low resolution thermal imagers have become more common place and do have a use for simple checks. Many inspections however require a good understanding of infrared theory and materials. We have come across many companies who have invested in a thermal imaging camera but it never gets used as staff are not trained, not competent, not confident and do not have the time to carry out a full survey.
Utilising a specialist company is invariable more effective, cheaper and less hassle.
Pixel Thermographics carry out thermal imaging across all industry sectors including:
No. Infrared Thermography is a non-invasive tool, so there is no need to switch any plant room equipment off. In fact, thermography produces the best results when the system under review is either fully operational or under load.