Infrared Training Center

Friday, December 3, 2010

InfraMation 2010: A Stand-Out Success Story!

inframation 2010 banner What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? Wrong!

InfraMation 2010 may have ended a few weeks ago, but people are still talking about it. From tweets to message boards, (http://www.infraredtraining.com/community/boards/thread/9924/), the feedback is clear: InfraMation 2010 broke all the records in its 11-year history!

“The numbers speak for themselves …” states David Francoeur, FLIR’s Director of Marketing. “InfraMation attendance jumped 60% compared to last year and 30% over the all-time-record achieved in 2008.”

No doubt this reflects several factors. Chief among them is the strong return-on-investment most companies, both large and small, receive on their infrared cameras and thermal imaging inspection programs.

“At a time when companies hope to reduce energy loss in their building envelope or want to extend the life of capital equipment, there’s really no better tool than an infrared camera,” adds David. “And most people see the value in getting some formal training or attending a conference such as InfraMation.”

This year’s InfraMation boasted an exceptionally wide offering of educational opportunities. Attendees had the advantage of participating in 55 technical presentations and 17 different expert-led workshops – or “IR Clinics.”

One of the exciting events was also hearing the motivational speech from Mike Holmes, host of Holmes on Homes™. His keynote talk was inspirational, and he articulated some age-old maxims:

  • Get the best tools for any job,
  • Be sure your work is always high quality, and
  • Think broadly about how you can add value in your company – and your community.

What does all this have to do with thermal imaging? Everything.

To all of you who attended InfraMation 2010, we thank you. We especially want to thank all the authors, clinic presenters, and the FLIR Marketing staff for their endless hours putting the conference together. We hope to see all of you along with some new faces next year at InfraMation 2011!

Sincerely,

The InfraMation Team

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Online Course - Introduction to IR Camera Operation

ITC Logo TM 3 This course will introduce you to the operation of a generic infrared camera. At the conclusion of this course, you will be able to successfully operate your infrared camera to capture and save meaningful images. This course is a self paced on-demand web course, you can start as soon as you enroll and you can stop and continue where you left off at any time. We will discuss the controls of an IR camera as well as the user interface, and show you how to operate a camera and generic report and analysis software
image8

Course Registration and Information

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Where can I find the Regulations for Airline Transport of IR imagers/equipment?

If you are traveling with your IR camera or other battery-operated equipment to, from or within the USA - and perhaps elsewhere around the world - the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) recent pronouncements about the rules governing the transport of batteries containing Lithium* means you may have to plan a bit more carefully how many rechargeable battery packs you carry with you, and how you carry them.

This rule, which took effect on January 1, 2008, prohibits carriage of spare lithium batteries in checked baggage (suitcases that you hand over to the airline for handling). Portable electronic device with batteries installed can still be checked in.

Spare batteries can be carried in the hand baggage.

*Older cameras that use NIMH (nickel-metal hydride) or NiCad (Nickel Cadmium) batteries are not covered by this rule.

Visit safetravel.dot.gov for more information

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Vented Soffits or Cover-up?

By Kenneth Brown, MD

A homeowner recently requested our services to help her understand why her attic temperatures could remain so high. For some reason she had placed an electronic thermometer in the attic. In late spring when the outside temperature was pleasant, i.e., in the 70's, in her home in Pennsylvania the attic air temperature, 24” below the ridge vent, were 40-50 degrees warmer.

A new roof with 25 year architectural asphalt shingles, in a moderately dark brown had been applied  within the previous 12 months. At that time a new ridge vent was put in place, and the attic already had 2 gable vents, each approximately 16X24 inches and the pitch of the roof was 8X15.  Finally, there were two 6 inch by 16 inch vents in the horizontal soffits at the front and at the back of the house.

Why was the attic not cooler?

Sometimes the IR data is critical and other times it is merely useful, or on occasion just interesting. In this case it was certainly instructive and required no removal of any materials to get to difficult-to-access construction.

Figure 526 is one of the vents in question. Nothing striking about it at first glance. What’s wrong in this photo?

Fig 526
Figure 523 and 525 are both thermograms of the soffits on the rear of the house taken > 4 hours after the sun has no longer been on them. They are close enough to each other that there is no significant cooling from the breeze, and if so, it would have had equal effects. So, why the temperature difference between the two? Note that Fig. 523 appears to have irregular patterns of cooler temperature areas. On removing the vent from the soffit, we noted that someone had cut a large opening with approximately 30 inches space for air flow in the soffit. Such is not the case for the “vent” in figure 525. Rather  the screen-backed "vent" was put in its place after the builder drilled a few holes.

Fig 523 (good ventilation)                     Fig 525 (poor ventilation)

So we go to Figure 535 to see how effective these so-called soffit vents should have been. Note that the golden dots- holes meant to provide ventilation, in reality only provided us with a little entertainment.

Fig 535 (restricted air flow)

So, what did we learn from this exercise? It reminded us that:
        Even if you use a B300, you still have to think.

To get air flow in a closed or semi-closed space such as an attic, there has to be air intake in order for there to be air exhaust. Seems simple, but there are many sites on the web that do not seem to understand it.

Ideally, the ventilation should be designed to provide cooler incoming air through the soffits. If you have incoming air only from gable vents, then it will be short circuited and not pass along the slope of the attic roof, closest to the shingles heated by the sun.

If there are gable vents AND soffit vents AND ridge vents, it may be appropriate to actually block off the gable vents in order to avoid the short circuit in air flow described above. The calculations by which you determine the needed amount of area for the vents for incoming and exhausting air (in square feet or square inches) are determined by the area of the attic “floor” and the pitch of the roof (http://www.1728.com/gradient.htm).

There is more than a small chance that your roofer (much less your builder) may not calculate it herself/himself - the roofer from whom this customer sought help did not and said “we are not engineers- the manufacturer of the vents tells us how many use.” And the proposal was to put one 3 inch diameter vent between each pairs of rafters, front and back; at 7 square inches apiece, and putting 30 in front and 30 in back, this would have provided 420 square inches, far short of the minimum of 576 square inches needed (30ftX40ft)(144 s.i./s.f)/300. Not to mention how they would detract from the appearance of the soffits.

So, without blushing, ask your supplier of your roofing/ventilation services for the basis of the calculations used on your house. You may add years to the life of your roof.

Just as we are now asked to think and be responsible for our health, we have to do so for the homes we live in. Caveat emptor! Get ventilated, not covered up.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Can I Inspect Stud Walls when the Weather is Warm?




"Am I right in thinking that the weather/ delta T are not in my favor for stud wall analysis during the summer?"
 
 

This is a question many new thermographers have. If you think about the heat transfer, the answer is you should be able to get good images from an external wall providing you have sufficient Delta T.  

Right now it is hot outside.  So, if you are observing the exterior wall of an air conditioned residence, you should have a Delta T of 10°C or 18°F or better, if the interior temperature is about 70°F and the exterior is about 88°F or more.  Remember that the air temperature does not necessarily have to be 88°F, if the sun is heating the wall (and has been for a few hours), that will work too. If the building does not have air conditioning and the windows are all open, this would certainly make things more difficult.

Here is an infrared image of an exterior wall taken during a hot day (taken from the interior of the building). Notice the hot studs (vs. the cold studs you would see during the heating season).


You can learn more about this application in the Building IR Basics course.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wire Insulation Temperature Limits

The temperature rating of a wire or cable is generally the maximum safe temperature that the wire can carry full-load power without the cable insulation melting, oxidizing, or self-igniting. A full-load wire does heat up due to the metallic resistance of the wire. The table below illustrates the maximum absolute temperature that different insulation types can withstand.

Note: Electrical equipment should be serviced and inspected only by qualified personnel. No responsibility is assumed by the Infrared Training Center for any consequences arising out of the use of this material. This document is not intended as an instruction manual for untrained persons.

Wire Conductor Ampacity to Temperature Rating
Maximum Operating Temperature (ref. NEC table 310-16)
Insulation Types
Insulation Types
Insulation Types
60°C (140°F)
75°C (167°F)
90°C (194°F)



 TW, UF
 FEPW, RH, RHW,
TBS, SA, SIS, FEP,

THHW, THW, THWN,
FEPB, MI, RHH,

XHHW, USE, ZW
RHW-2, THHN,


THHW, THW-2,


THWN-2, USE-2,


XHH, XHHW,


XHHW-2, ZW-2

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Live IR Imaging of Iceland Volcano

A FLIR A320 infrared camera was shipped to the Icelandic Mila company and is now installed to monitor Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The camera is installed approx. 10 kilometers away.

View live visible and infrared imagery of the volcano at the link below.

LIVE VOLCANO IR VIDEO 

New On Demand FLIR Reporter 8 Course

This course will introduce you to FLIR Systems premier report and analysis software, FLIR Reporter Pro 8.

The FLIR Reporter 8 online course is aimed at infrared camera owners who want to leverage the power of FLIR Reporter software.

Regardless of the type of FLIR infrared camera that you use, FLIR Reporter software is the simplest and quickest way to communicate the critical details of an infrared inspection. The Introduction to Report Writing Course teaches infrared camera owners how to leverage the power of FLIR Reporter software to generate inspection reports and perform detailed infrared image analysis.

By the end of the course students will have an excellent understanding of how to quickly produce a detailed and professional report using FLIR Reporter. Students will also understand how to change critical IR image parameters in the report and how to use the vast array of measurement tools at their disposal. Finally, students will understand how to modify an existing template to meet their specific needs. FLIR Reporter is a powerful tool and, when utilized to its full potential, can optimize the report writing process.

Additional modules will be added to this course over time. Your tuition will allow you to access these modules when they are available at no additional charge.


 Register for the FLIR Reporter Course.

Friday, May 7, 2010

FLIR Home Energy Audit Tools

What tools do Home Energy Auditors and Home Inspectors use? Shopping for the right Home Energy Auditor or Home Inspector can be a timely process. Beyond their certifications and experience, you should also consider the types of tools they use to perform their tasks.

Here’s a video with Tom O’toole of FLIR Systems and Flemming Lund, a certified Energy Auditor & Home Inspector, talking about the tools used in the various phases involved in a home energy audit.

FLIR Home Energy Audit Tools from Optimum Energy on Vimeo.

Monday, April 19, 2010

BuildIR Software Training Course


ITC has just launched the BuildIR Software E-Learning course. This training course covers a basic operational overview of the software, with emphasis on tools that can be used to enhance building surveys.

Click here to enroll for the course.

Monday, March 15, 2010

E Series Basics E-Learning Course


 

 


This course covers general operation for all E Series cameras. This includes the E2, E4, E45, E65, EX300, EX320, B1, B2, B4, BX320, EM, ES, and RoofCAM.


This course will introduce you to the FLIR Systems E Series cameras. This includes information on all the series variants including E2, E4, E45, E65, EX300, EX320, B1, B2, B4, BX320, EM, ES, and RoofCAM. We will discuss the controls of the camera as well as the user interface, and show you how to operate your camera.
Who should take this course: This course is intended for users of FLIR E Series and similar infrared cameras.
Prerequisites: No prior knowledge of thermography is required.
Availability: This course is an on-demand self paced web based training course available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can begin as soon as you enroll.
We highly recommend you take a thermography course after finishing this basics course. We offer the On-Demand Thermography Basics class here, or Level I, Residential Energy Auditing, or Building Science Courses available at http://www.infraredtraining.com/ .

Objectives

  • Get Expert tips on IR camera operation and report generation
  • Locate the controls on your camera
  • See how all the major functions of the camera work
  • Learn how to use QuickReport software including moving images to the computer, adjusting image properties, and producing reports

Expert

Lessons

  1. Welcome and Introduction
  2. FLIR E Series - Controls and Operation
  3. How to Use Quick Report Software
  4. Next Steps
  5. Course Evaluation

Certificates

  1. FLIR E Series Basics

Friday, March 5, 2010

Infrared Thermography in Veterinary Medicine

I have not attended or reviewed this course, but it appears to be a thorough approach to veterinary thermography based on an international ISO standard. - Gary

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

FLIR introduces Bluetooth MeterLink Technology

FLIR demo of the new Bluetooth MeterLink technology that feeds live moisture or amperage readings into the infrared camera and attaches it to the infrared image automatically.

ShowIR PowIR

by Kenneth R Brown, MD

After shopping for a new and hopefully attractive shower head that would meet federal standards for low flow, we chose a very nice name brand model and had it installed. Unfortunately, I had it mounted too high for convenience for my wife, so I promised that I will always return the rotating head which has three optional positions, to the fine spray position that she prefers. I tend to use the pulsing position or the "straight through" position, either of which I had always felt were warmer than the fine spray. While in the beginning my issue was the saving of water, when the plumber was at the house the next time, I explained that the water at 2 feet from the fine spray shower-head was cooler than when from the others. He vigorously defended his position. While I explained to the plumber that I could not vouch that this phenomenon was really as consistent as the inverse square law for light, it sure seemed like a good analogy. Furthermore didn't everyone know that as the water falls in smaller droplets it will get cooler faster that if in a single stream?
Enter the FLIR 300B- I took the plumber to the computer and showed him the three shots of the shower head positions at full pressure and max temperature and he was finally convinced, see them below.
Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
So, back to the thermograms and measurements
Figure 1 is the fine spray, which runs coldest at given setting, and allows 1.475 gpm. Figure 2 is the 'the straight through"' setting and allows 2.12 gpm. Figure 3 is the pulsating shower and allows 3.3gpm. An early model water saver head in the upstairs bath puts out 1.32 gpm, and by the time it reaches my fingertips is it too cool for me to tolerate.
"Install Low-Flow Fixtures
Federal regulations mandate that new showerhead flow rates can't exceed more than 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) at a water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch (psi). New faucet flow rates can't exceed 2.5 gpm at 80 psi or 2.2 gpm at 60 psi. You can purchase some quality, low-flow fixtures for around $10 to $20 a piece and achieve water savings of 25%–60%. "
Conclusions
Bottom line for me is: For a good shower with low flow spray, you need to jack up the temperature to one that scald some people using other flow rates. But if you do not take a long shower, you save a lot of hot water using the spray. If you like the pulsating backrub, it will cost you >2 times as much hot water as the spray.
Finally - the way to save heated water energy is to take an army-navy shower, keep the temperature <= 120 Deg.F at the tap; finally, when showering, let the water remain in the tub, open the bathroom doors and the heat will not all be wasted, but rather it helps to warm and humidify the house!
Ken earns 8 ITC certification renewal credits for this article.
Do you have an opinion on water saving shower heads? Do they really save water (if you take a longer shower to rinse well)? Do they really save energy (higher water temperature and longer shower)? Sound off below. - Editor

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

University of Florida - Thermal Imaging Seminar

Catastrophic injuries in the racing industry, as well as other avenues of equine competition, have recently brought pressure on the veterinary profession to prevent, or diagnose earlier, injuries before they become life-threatening. Injury detection earlier than is available through other modalities makes thermography an excellent tool.

Thermal imaging systems have the capability to detect changes in temperature related to local inflammation and/or blood flow to the tissue. These changes have been shown to occur 2-6 weeks prior to the onset of clinical signs of lameness.

With the use of Thermal Imaging THE possibility exists that these abnormalities can be identified when the tissues are in a state of stress, rather than anatomical disruption.

Intervention at this point provides less costly, and more time efficient options with which to manage the injury to a successful outcome. Conditions effecting the musculoskeletal system, including Saddle Fit analysis are the most common uses, with use to detect neurological, dental, and infectious disease as well. Sessions will also be presented on the use of thermal imaging in Marine Mammals, Wildlife, and Companion Animals.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Equine Thermography - A tail of two horses' courses

I am often asked the question, "I am interested in equine thermography. Where can I get training?" We at the Infrared Training Center, do not offer an equine course. I used to recommend one training organization but now, I can recommend two. Which one you choose depends on what you want to do with your equine thermography practice. I will review the Vetel Diagnostics training and the new EquineIR training.

The Vetel training provides more detailed clinical discussion of case histories and diagnosis. The course is taught by several veterinarians, several of whom are well published. The course is accredited for CEUS toward receiving a thermology technician certification from the Academy of American Thermology. The course includes approximately one half to 3/4 of a day of hands on practice actually inspecting horses. Additionally, thermography applications for animals other than horses are often reviewed. If you are in the veterinary health field and want training on positioning, interpretation, and certification, this course is for you; especially if you have access to a qualified veterinarian for image interpretation. For more information visit Vetel Diagnostics.

The EquineIR course focuses more on the practical and business side of this field for equine "picture takers". This course covers thermography only as applied to horses. Primary emphasis is placed on understanding and practicing inspection protocols on live horses, the wet lab time occupies about 40% of the course time. There is more information on saddle fitting than is presented at the Vetel course. There is also substantial information and templates on how to produce a report, what to charge, and how to market your services at the local and national levels. If the horse owner/trainer wants a complete evaluation, this is available from a qualified veterinarian for an extra fee, through a website. For more information see EquineIR.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What the heck is Emissivity? (Part 2)


Fill up two soda cans with hot water and wrap one in scotch tape. Which one will cool down faster? Obvious, right? Check it out, you might be surprised!




Infrared Training Center

Calculating heat loss from a box or cylinder


A student writes: "I was thinking back to a lab we had at the ITC facility where we used a formula to determine the amount of energy from a cardboard box that had a 60 watt lamp underneath it. Do you have the specifics for that exercise and the formula used to obtain the results? I was wondering if I could use the formula to calculate temperatures under other types of materials (metal enclosures)."

The “watt loss” or “mystery box” lab uses a cardboard cylinder with a light bulb inside. We change the bulb occasionally, using anything from 25 to 75 watts or so. We also use a spaghetti pot as a cylinder.

If you measure the area of the box or cylinder and also measure the average surface temperature, you can calculate the total wattage. This assumes that there is no loss through the bottom. Not quite true, but we insulate the bottom of the cylinder to minimize heat losses. Since we perform this experiment in still air, we assume all natural convection (not forced). The formulas used can be found in any standard heat transfer or engineering handbook. This information and experiment is covered in our Level II and Level III classes.

The purpose of this lab is to simulate an oil filled circuit breaker, or similar device, that is heating up. Any heat losses through the bottom or by wind simply means that the device is actually generating more watts than you have calculated.

Once you calculate the power in watts, if you measure the current you can calculate the internal resistance. For OCB’s this is measured in micro-ohms.

Bob Madding created an application to calculate the wattage and internal resistance. This has been included on the Utility or Resource CD that we pass out in class. He also wrote a paper on this. It was presented at the 2001 InfraMation conference. The proceedings are available at the ITC web store.

Infrared Training Center

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Magic of Infrared: Mechanical Applications


ITC's Rusty Bushee talks about using an Infrared Camera in Mechanical Applications.



The Magic of IR - Transparency


A video from David Brown of the Infrared Training Center explaining transparency in the world of infrared.



What the Heck is Emissivity? (part 1)


Fill two soda cans with hot water and wrap one with scotch tape. Which one will radiate more heat? You might be surprised at the answer! Watch the video to find out why.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

ITC introduces Live Instructor Led Webinars


Webinars are live instructor led seminars conducted via the world-wide web. Participants listen and interact to the webinar through their own computer. All that is needed is a telephone and high speed internet connection.

The Infrared Training Center introductory webinars are designed to give students a straight forward explanation of how Infrared technology fits into a specific application or industry. The sessions are hosted live by an Infrared Training Center instructor and webinar director.

There are three to choose from:  
  
Infrared Training Center

ITC E-Learning Web Portal