Infrared sensor technology – saves energy and warns of fire


© Fraunhofer IMS
The low resolution IR detectors inside the camera can make spatially resolved temperature measurements.

The infrared sensor technology in facilities can be diverted into three fields of application: intelligent air conditioning, thermal facility surveillance and occupant counting. Low resolved IR detectors – approx. 32x32 pixels – which can measure the spatially resolved temperature, are used for these applications. Different from cameras used for the visual spectrum, there is no danger of infringing on privacy rights with these images. Based on microbolometers, the IR detectors capture the emitted radiation passively and use it to derive the temperature. With these abilities, the detectors can regulate the air conditioning of rooms and buildings intelligently and add significantly to energy savings.
These IR detectors can also be used for device monitoring. Before electronic devices and machines become inoperative, their temperature usually rises. This increase in temperature can be detected and recognized by the IR detectors. Fire detection devices that are fitted with an IR sensor can detect a potential fire at an earlier stage simply through the abnormally high temperature in a particular room, whereas smoke detectors rely on smoke that builds up during the course of a fire. This time advantage can reduce the consequences of a fire considerably.