I believe the marketing strategy will simply change just a bit. Instead of seeing a digital picture than an infrared picture side by side to show people the abilities of Infrared, your going to start seeing a high quality vs a low quality infrared pictures side by side.
Instead of inspectors speaking of how easily a non-IR inspector can miss something, they will just change it to how easily a low quality Home Depot camera can easily miss something.
Spending $1000 bucks on a 125 x 50 resolution camera just seems like it would be adding more liability vs. not promoting the service at all. I guess it’s still better than nothing.
Yesterday afternoon, I was riding with an Energy Efficiency Manager for a Missouri electrical power company to a house where an energy auditor was doing a demonstration of an energy audit. There were about six of us in the van (part of a two-day conference on energy efficiency at a state college) and she asked us if we felt that IR cameras were necessary for an energy audit.
I told her that they were nice “bells and whistles” to impress the person getting the audit, but that they were not “necessary”. The others disagreed with me.
When we arrived at the house, the auditor went through the BPI protocol with everyone and eventually got to his IR camera and showed a few “hot spots”.
“How much did you spend for that camera?” he was asked by someone in the crowd.
“Five thousand dollars,” he replied. “I have to admit that it doesn’t really do much for me in making my recommendations but it goes a long way to impress the client.”
The power company official turned around and winked at me, smiled and nodded.
In addition to using thermography during an energy assessment, you should have a scan done before purchasing a house; even new houses can have defects in their thermal envelopes. You may wish to include a clause in the contract requiring a thermographic scan of the house. A thermographic scan performed by a certified technician is usually accurate enough to use as documentation in court proceedings.
A 125x125 or a 125x50 is not enough information to properly address an answer. Thermal sensitivity, spatial resolution, measurement resolution, temperature range, fixed or adjustable focus, Hz rate, all these things and more are involved to accurately determine what or if a camera can see something.
Can a 1 mega pixel camera take a picture? Sure. Is it a good picture? Depends on what you are wanting to do with it.
The resolution of my b60 is 180x180. Your 125x125 example would have been sufficient to capture the moisture shown on my images. Many other factors are involved other than resolution. My original intent when I purchased the camera was to eventually expand into commercial IR work, which has been at least delayed. Training is critical, regardless of the equipment. I completed Level 1, but have yet to attend Level 2. which I hope to do early next year. Dave Andersen, Jim Seffrin and other more experienced thermographers can give you really good and detailed information on the benefits of IR and the importance of training.
If your doing any weatherization work that is ARRA funded, either audits or retrofits, you had better use a thermal imager for quality control because someone is going to come behind you with one looking for air leaks you missed or couldn’t find with just a blower door.
Being from the “Show Me” state, I’d think Jim would want to show more than “latent” air movement through the house that the blower door provides!?
I believe that Thermal Audits should not be performed without a blower door (of sorts), and that no blower door test is complete without IR scans.
I at least use a Duct Blaster with a window adapter to break the neutral pressure plain of the building (if I can’t make other mechanical equipment do the job). Turning on a few fart fans doesn’t always do it. How will you know this without a Manometer? No one talks about the manometer.
Just knowing how much leakage your building has is not enough information for the client.
How do these guys expect to pass this off and then stand on a Soap Box ranting that TI is just a big expensive toy?
It’s simply an inferiority complex I guess.
If you can’t afford to do the full job, do something else for a living is my opinion.
“Insufficient information” guessing is not what any of us should be doing around here.
Just how can I tell you if it will work or not?!
I have posted scans on several occasions here of comparisons between cameras I have owned. A fuzzy blue spot is not going to give you enough information to do a qualitative analysis of an anomaly (never mind a qualitative one). You need more than one pixel to take a temperature measurement. Low end cameras can’t work on small targets at extended distance (like when you can’t get close to sub-station equipment).
Camera resolution is not the sole factor to consider.
It “just happens” that a higher resolution camera has a greater sensitivity built in (this is no longer true with the flood of low quality cameras showing up out there). I have seen several Hi-Rez Lo-Sen cameras that just don’t cut it as well.
Talk to the Big Guys (you know, the Level III guys that are not qualified to do home inspections). They have many cameras to choose from and will tell you that one camera does not cover all that they do.
I have yet to see a Home Depot camera.
I can only guess that 125 x 125 will be accompanied with other low end parts.
If you guys can’t understand the visual aids I have provided, I fail to see the need to talk about the laws of thermodynamics and IR Theory.
No one says you must have a $87k camera, just make sure you understand the limits of the Home Depot version before you set out selling breast scans to the medical field or on an equine subject that produces hundreds of thousands of dollars standing at stud (per incident)!
BTW: Charlie and I both upgraded our cameras this summer. Not for “bigger is better” toys, but because there are things that make a long day at the industrial - commercial plants easier on the ageing body and improve efficiency of reporting. Ever try to sort out 100 digital and 200 thermal scans and associate them with the equipment and building location so someone can go back and fix it? Mix up one scan and see where it leads you! All those panels start to look very similar once you get back to the office.
OK ,Just asking since I certainly have no need to buy a first time new user camera that has commercial use.
Never recall my father suggesting I would not be happy with my first car unless it was a Lamborghini either though.
Now that they are cheap enough to throw into a tool box next to the moisture meter, I bought an i5.
Still knowing that not all areas that leak at -50 pa will leak at normal pressure…my camera is not definitive in pinpointing the actual source of air loss (which will differ between heating and cooling seasons, anyway). For the next few months where the indoor and outdoor air temps vary by 15 degrees or more, it does help me to determine what might be lacking in the walls and in parts of the ceiling that are not attic accessible. Not a total waste…but far, far from essential, IMO.
We are a Bosch distributor. They know that we are big in thermal imaging and I have heard 0 about this. Bosch has had stationary IR and NIR for quite some time now.
For the most part these companies stay away from test and measurement because they just do not have the back ground. Milwaukee dabbed around in it last year and got crushed and basically laughed out of the market. All these companies have to private label this kind of stuff (import it). The only reason I could see this being reality is because Bosch has a long history of M & A and could have bought a company, but I would know about that.