What is Thermal Imaging?

Commonly used in a professional capacity, infrared (IR) imaging technology lends its advantages to the military, wildlife experts, fire fighters, the police and airport security, to name but a few. Nowadays, infrared equipment can be used to measure waste energy output in the form of heat. There are many benefits to thermal imaging. Because the images are from a different part of the electromagnetic spectrum (9-14mm) to what we see as ‘visible light’, we can gather more information from an image. Because NIR (near infrared) equipment cameras do not need light waves to operate, infrared can also allow us to ‘see in the dark’, it can also show us accurate heat readouts for the benefit of many professionals, such as doctors wanting to know hot or cold areas of a body or R&D teams wanting to visualise the temperature of the brake pads on a car.

So how does thermal imaging work?

An IR camera shows us heat in the form of visible light, for example, a hot object such as a flame would be translated by the thermal camera to an attributed coloured light (red, for example), while cold materials would show up as a different coloured light (e.g. blue). Everything in between would be shown in varying shades – red, through purple to blue depending on the temperature and calibration of the equipment.

The infrared camera does not need any contact with an object to detect its heat, since the infrared waves travel in the exact same way as light waves, only the length of the wave is longer, and therefore not visible below 500C. Unlike a typical camcorder, an IR camera is fitted with a micro bolometer. The micro bolometer contains an IR absorbent material, used to detect IR waves. Once the waves have passed through the absorbent material, they are reflected back for further absorption and sent via an electrode to a readout circuit that develops the IR waves in to the light waves we see on the final image.

How can thermal imaging work for YOU?

By utilising IR equipment it is possible to save money. By looking at a property we can see any leakages of heat or areas that emit heat radiation. By looking at the images, customers can make an informed decision on what home improvements can best insulate their homes or businesses. For example an image showing heat emanating from the roof may benefit from loft insulation, while an image showing heat escaping from the front door may benefit from double glazed glass or a front porch.

The improvements following a thermal survey can save you money and keep your carbon emissions down to a minimum.

To find out more about the thermal imaging that is provided by Edward P. Carlson and how it could benefit you, visit our website!

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