Definition of Handheld Thermal Cameras are those which are battery operated, can be carried in hand and used for measuring temeprature on demand. Few examples are HandHeld Thermal Cameras are those used for periodic inspection of electical equipments, or any other equipments which require periodic temperature measurment.
“Online Thermal Cameras” are normally installed at a fixed location independently or in a PT ( pana nd Tilt) enclosure to monitor an area continuously. Few exampels are Online Thermal Cameras are Kiln Monitoring Camera, Flare Stack Monitoring Camera etc.
As Thermal Camera is not widely known and discussed or used like mobile phones, many first time users may not be able to decide what kind of thermal camera one should use to real world problems. Any periodic measurment which requires to be automated with higher accuracy, should use online thermal camera instead of handheld thermal camera. HandHeld thermal camera is always operated by a human as the name suggests.
It might not be easy to decide which kind of thermal camera is better suited for the user. There are some applications where it is no brainer which thermal camera to use, but there are conflicting advantages whether to buy a handheld or online thermal camera. Thermal Camera for Substation Monitoring/Inspection is such application where both Handheld and Online thermal camera is useful.
Equipmets whose temeprature does not change quickly ( takes days to increase or decrease temeperature), handheld thermal camera could be better option than online thermal camera. Online Thermal camera has more components and tend to be more expensive, but it offers lot of analytical data which are helpful in preventive maintenance. Online Thermal Cameras are automated and minimahuman intervention is required.
Handheld Thermal Cameras tend to less expensive than online thermal cameras and easy to use and operate. Now a days, modern HandHeld Thermal Cameras come with various features like WiFI connectivity or USB conenctivity to PCs for downloading measred data for further analysis.