The use of thermal imagers has become possible and economically justified at a large number of objects. In addition, not only strategic or categorized but quite ordinary commercial and private. Healthy competition for the market among thermal imager manufacturers leads to a variety of models and modifications. It is easy for the consumer to get lost when faced with oversupply. To optimize the choice of a thermal imager, we will try to consider all the pros and cons of this device.
Brief information about thermal vision technology
All thermal cameras can be divided into conditional groups according to their areas of application. They are used: in industries, in medicine, for the needs of the army and rescue services, in everyday life, construction, security systems, for monitoring animals, for automating uncrewed vehicles, in cooking, for inspecting electrical appliances and power grids, for stopping the depressurization of closed cooling systems and gas systems, for scientific research and much more. As you can imagine, the scope of application of thermal cameras is becoming more and more every day.
The second criterion by which thermal imagers can be divided is mobility. Many heavy, complex, highly accurate instruments are permanently installed. In addition, the second group, which includes lightweight, compact devices that can be easily carried.
The third sign by which thermal cameras are divided is the temperature ranges in which the devices operate. For example, household thermal imagers operate in the range up to +100 C. For industrial devices, the range is higher; the values can reach +1200 C. For each type of activity, the range will be individual. Moreover, the narrower it is, the higher the measurement accuracy. In some processes, accurate temperature measurement is critical.
Sensitivity is another quality by which thermal cameras can be classified. Some give a measurement accuracy of up to 0.1 degrees Celsius; susceptible ones can distinguish smaller temperature fluctuations.
Devices have varying degrees of error, depending on the task assigned to them. Of course, the most accurate instruments are those chosen for scientific purposes. And less demanding will be household gadgets.
Pros of Thermal Cameras
Let us consider what the advantages of thermal cameras are. This device is universal and can be used in almost any weather conditions and at any time of the day. At night or in low light conditions, the TV does an excellent job, with the task in front of it. Thick fog, smoke, dust, or sandstorm will also not be a hindrance. Glare from the sun, which dazzles the observer’s eyes, will not interfere with the thermal camera: to clearly reproduce the picture. Moreover, in the conditions of reflected light from a snowfield, desert, or surface of the water, the thermal camera has no equal.
The thermal camera sees perfectly through foliage or thin film. The tracking range of objects is significant and will satisfy any need. Sailors to detect oncoming ships actively use the device. Recently, cars have been equipped with it to prevent accidents.
Thermal cameras allow us to look where we physically cannot get or reach. For example, modern thermal cameras allow you to explore the far side of the moon. Previously, astronomers did not even dream of such opportunities.
The device will be indispensable when searching for voids and hidden cavities in walls. The scope of this quality extends from the inspection of construction workers to the search for treasures in the walls of old buildings and the detection of animal moves in the structures of houses.
The gadget is popular with electricians. It allows you to investigate faults, network overload points without opening the walls. Loved by his engineers for quick troubleshooting on power boards. The thermal imager saves time and budget for its users.
It is harmless from a medical point of view. Note that the TV viewer visualizes problems in real-time. It is visual, easy to use, and non-invasive.
Typically, a thermal camera has its own software that allows you to save, analyze and share data. In the case of using a thermal imager in a security camera, we have the ability to distinguish an animal from a person. Large animal from a small one. This property allows you to ensure safety effectively.
We can say that the thermal imager is multifunctional, versatile, simple, and gives a visual representation of the problem. Works over wide temperature ranges and distances. Weatherproof. It allows you to notice the problem at the earliest stages and prevents significant budget spending.
Cons of Thermal Cameras
In our world, all things are of a dual nature. If there are chic pluses, then naturally, there must be minuses. So let us consider what the disadvantages of thermal cameras are.
One of the first, we will mention using a thermal camera in summer, at high temperatures. Stones, sand, concrete walls get very hot and keep the heat for a long time. On the thermogram, they will glow with a warm spectrum of colors, like living objects. This can make it very difficult to locate people in such an overheated area. In fact, it will be difficult to identify objects.
There are ways to hide from the field of view of the thermal camera. To do this, you need to stand behind a glass showcase, a mirror. The camera will not see a person through a wall or thick plastic. The obstacle can be a waterfall or water surface. This disadvantage complicates the work of the police and rescuers.
We will make a separate point that we are observing the picture as a whole without detailed details. We can see a person, determine the height, gender. However, we cannot see the face.
Although the device is widely used for mass thermometry of the population during a pandemic, the research has flaws. It cannot be used for mass simultaneous temperature measurement with great confidence. Measurement errors will require verification by other methods.
A significant disadvantage is the need to calibrate thermal imagers against a test blackbody. When the temperature of the external environment changes, it is necessary to reconfigure the system for the correct display of the data, taking into account the changes.
Some thermal cameras require special examination conditions. In addition, highly accurate instruments used for scientific purposes are static, take up a lot of space, and require qualified maintenance.
As a rule, high-tech models of thermal cameras have a high cost. Nevertheless, we save ourselves from problems at the earliest stages by purchasing this device in the long term. This will naturally lead to savings in the future.
For the correct display of all the advantages and disadvantages of devices, it is necessary to indicate the application’s scope accurately. Gadgets are so different in parameters and properties that it is difficult to combine them into a single harmonious system. However, we hope we have pointed out the most common pros and cons of thermal cameras.
The thermal camera is a unique and unparalleled device that allows you to solve complex problems. The rapid development of technology and the reduction in the cost of production contribute to a constant decrease in the cost of thermal imagers. The change in current models is taking place at an ever-increasing pace. If earlier this process lasted for years and decades, now it can take less than a year. The most expensive modifications are not equal to the most optimal ones. It would be best if you focused solely on your needs, tasks, and individual characteristics. To select the most suitable thermal imager model, we recommend consulting a professional.