Hello everyone, I am almost ready to register for the Infrared Certified class here once I get some free time available. I am a Mechanical Engineer for my regular job, and I am hoping to start a side infrared energy auditing busisness on the side for when I have free time during the afternoons and weekends. Here is my Question (I’m sorry it is so long winded):
I purchased a used but like new Wahl HSI3000 Thermal camera. It has a 160 x 120 Sensor and a 150mK resolution. I bought it off eBaY (buy it now) for a steal at $600 (sells for around $3k retail) . The resolution for this camera is decent, but the thermal sensitivity is not quite ideal for all situations. I have the software for this for report generation and image manipulation.
A couple weeks later I bought a Scott Eagle Imager 6 off Ebay for about $600 (I’ve heard it retails for about $18k). This camera was not designed with thermal energy audits in mind, as it is a rugged unit designed for Firefighters to see through smoke and find fire hotspots, victoms, etc. The Sensor on this camera is vastly superior at 320 x 240 and with a superior 80mK or better sensitivity. The drawback with this unit is it doesnt provide numerical temperature information, it doesnt allow the ability to nativly capture pictures (I do have a workaround for this as it has a video out and I have it connected to a pocket DVR and can take stills and Video). It also only has the “White-hot” color pallet. Its also much more heavy and Bulky than the Wahl (weighs probably 10 lbs or so).
Having said all this and using both extensivly, I find using the Eagle Imager much much better for for locating and viewing thermal problem areas. There is no comparison when it comes to the image quality of this.
1.) Im wondering if you guys use the exact temperature numerical data output by the normal thermal imaging inspection cameras?
2.) Should I keep both units and use both if necessary to gather temperature data during an audit?
3.) If the Scott camera is adequate, should I sell the other camera and simpily use a simple IR temperature meter if Im interested in checking out temperatures of hot and cold spots with it.
4.) Do you think giving a DVD movie of the entire Audit (output to the DVR from the Scott Camera) in addition to my generated report would be helpful to give to the customer? possibly an incentive to gain more jobs over a competetor, also seems it would help to orient where the problem areas are in a home as well as better capture areas of interest that may be minor problems that may be missed or skipped with an audit with a traditional camera.
I am interested in what you guys will have to say about these matters as I am a novice. Thank you for any feedback you may be able to provide me with.