Analysis

Understanding cooled and uncooled optical gas imaging

16th May 2019
Alex Lynn

A technical note has been published by FLIR Systems that discusses and compares the advantages of cooled versus uncooled Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) technology for different industrial applications. Historically, OGI cameras have been designed with cooled infrared (IR) detectors that offer several advantages over uncooled detectors, but they often come at a higher cost.

Advancements in the technology of uncooled detectors have allowed the OGI camera manufacturers such as FLIR to design and develop lower cost OGI solutions for a growing range of industrial applications. However, although lower in cost, there are some limitations to OGI cameras with uncooled detectors versus those using cooled detectors.

Before comparing the benefits of the two technologies the authors provide a useful background to the scientific theory of OGI cameras.

The technical note discusses when selecting a camera for your OGI needs, the first factor to consider is ensuring the camera in question can visualise your target gas. Though price is often an important consideration in choosing an OGI camera the article reviews the key advantages of a cooled OGI camera such as increased sensitivity and image quality which may not only impact your ability to visualise small leaks but may also be important when trying to meet regulatory standards.

The authors also discuss that there are advantages to uncooled OGI cameras beyond a lower purchase price including that they also cost less to maintain due to the simplicity in design with no cooler needed, potentially making them more appropriate for continuous, 24/7 operation applications.

To read the full article, click here.

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