The coolest (literally) tool we saw at Milwaukee last week was their thermal imaging camera. We thought infrared laser thermometers were awesome but the thermal imaging camera is a serious piece of high-tech equipment.
Milwaukee gave this tool it’s own presentation as we walked into a room with a wall size projection of a thermal view of the room. They had an HVAC display which we could use to identify the warm and cold areas of ducts and machinery. But our group had more fun looking at the walls and each other. Think of the movie Predator and it’s vision, that’s what this camera shows. It will create a heat map of whatever you point it at, showing the hot areas as read and the cold areas as blue with various other temperatures shades of orange.
It felt very comfortable in our hand and the grip was sized so it would fit small and large hands very easily. The weight was also manageable and the screen was just large enough but not awkward.
Here’s a video of how to use the thermal imager and some various applications.
The thermal imager runs off their M12 cordless platform and features a 14-662°F temperature range, 160×120 px resolution, 3.5″ 640×480 px color LCD display, and saves images to an included SD card via jpeg format. A great feature is that it will save both a regular image and a thermal image at the same time so you can refer to the photo and know exactly what you’re looking at instead of having to decipher a thermal image. It’s also got a nice LED light to help illuminate the area you are looking at but that’s only for us. The thermal imager does not require light to function as it only reads temperatures.
The possibilities for a thermal imaging camera are endless and this will be a must-have for energy audit guys. The thermal imager isn’t cheap at roughly $2,500 but when you need a tool like this, nothing can compare.