Product News: Optics & Photonics

Infrared Camera detects SF6 greenhouse gas.

Press Release Summary:

Infrared Camera detects SF6 greenhouse gas.

May 01, 2007 - ThermaCAM® GasFindIR-LW infrared camera is able to detect Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6), which is used as insulator in high-voltage equipment by electric utility industry. Powered by camcorder battery, 4.6 lb camera delivers real-time, high-resolution thermal images of gas leaks that can be displayed on TV or recorded digitally. Unit can detect more than 20 other gases, including Acetylchloride, Ethylene, Freon, Propenal, and Tricholorethylene.

FLIR Systems, Inc. - North Billerica, MA

Original Press Release

FLIR Systems' New ThermaCAM® GasfindIR-LW Infrared Camera Can Sense Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6), the "Greenhouse Gas" with an Estimated Atmospheric Lifetime of 3,200 Years

Press release date: Apr 03, 2007

Based on a unique, patent-pending technology, FLIR's GasFindIR-LW is a one-of-a-kind infrared camera designed to help the U.S. Environmental Agency and utility companies to better control Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) emissions in order to preserve the environment now and for future generations. In addition to the "greenhouse gas" SF6, the versatile GasFindIR-LW can also detect more than 20 other gases floating in the atmosphere.

BOSTON, Massachusetts (April 3, 2007) - FLIR Systems, the global leader in infrared cameras, has announced its latest in ground-breaking infrared technology - the ThermaCAM® GasFindIR-LW infrared camera. Based on a first-of-its-kind, patent-pending technology, the GasFindIR-LW can detect Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6), the colorless, odorless, nontoxic, and nonflammable "greenhouse gas" that is used as an insulator in high voltage equipment by the electric utility industry. SF6, although considered to be an excellent dielectric gas, has been targeted for emissions reductions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency because pound for pound, Sulfur Hexafluoride contributes more to the greenhouse effect than any other gas.

In fact, one pound of SF6 has the same global warming impact of 11 tons of CO2. It has 23,900 times the global warming potential of CO2 and has an atmospheric lifetime of 3,200 years. Together, the EPA and many of the major utilities companies are working to find ways to better control SF6 emissions to help to preserve the earth.

FLIR's revolutionary GasFindIR-LW is lightweight, ergonomic, and easy to operate. It weighs only 4.6 pounds and is powered by a camcorder battery. The GasFindIR-LW enables thermographers to find SF6 gas leaks up to hundreds of feet away quickly and easily. Capable of scanning large areas, the GasFindIR-LW delivers real-time, high resolution thermal images of gas leaks that can be displayed on a standard TV or recorded digitally using the latest real time digital recording technology.

"I believe electric utilities are just as anxious to find these problems as the environmental enforcement community. Until now, they have not had the right tool to quickly localize leaks and assess their severity," said Tom Scanlon, Vice President for FLIR Systems. "Utilities now have that tool and can take the corrective actions necessary to quickly decrease their SF6 emissions."

The unique GasFindIR-LW camera can detect more than 20 other gases in addition to SF6 - making it ideal for not only the utility industry, but for other manufacturing companies as well. These gases include: Acetylchloride, Allyl Bromide, Allyl Chloride, Allyl Fluoride, 1,3-Butadiene, Ethylene, Freon 11, Freon 12, Freon 112, Freon 113, Freon 114, Methylsilane, Methyl Vinyl Ketone, Methyl Vinyl Ether, Propenal, Propene, Styrene, Trichloroethylene, Vinyl Chloride, Vinyl Ether, and Vinylidene Fluoride.

FLIR's GasFindIR-LW camera is expected to be in full production by Summer 2007.

About FLIR Systems:

FLIR Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets thermal imagers and infrared camera systems worldwide for a variety of applications. FLIR's thermal imagers are used in such diverse applications as public safety, defense, navigation, electronic news gathering and search and rescue, as well as for electrical inspection, commercial and residential building inspection, indoor air quality and home energy monitoring applications, non-destructive testing, medical science, research and development, and manufacturing process control. For more information on all types of thermal imagers, please call +1-800-464-6372 or visit