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What types of emissions can OGI cameras track?

April 22, 2023

By: Jared Metcalf

How do OGI cameras track emissions?

Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) cameras utilize infrared sensors to detect a multitude of fugitive gas leaks. They image these leaks using a unique spectral filter method that captures gasses otherwise invisible to the naked eye.

What type of emissions do they track?

Because OGI cameras visualize gas as a lack of infrared energy, they can only image gases that absorb infrared radiation (IR) through the filtered bandpass.

The most common emissions picked up through OGI cameras are Hydrocarbon gasses, such as:

  • Methane
  • Propane
  • Butane
  • Benzene
  • Sulfur Hexafluoride
  • Hundreds of other industrial gasses

What types are they unable to track?

Noble gasses, such as hydrogen, can not be directly imaged because they do not absorb IR through the filtration bandpass. Oxygen and Nitrogen are additional examples of gasses that do not absorb infrared radiation.

Cooled vs Uncooled OGI Cameras

The measurement of wavelengths and temperature sensitivity, mark the critical differences between cooled vs. uncooled OGI cameras.

Cooled cameras measure wavelengths that are both mid-wave (functional region) and longwave (fingerprint region). The cryogenic temperatures required with cooled OGI’s detectors prevent any stray radiation exchanges, allowing for increased sensitivity.

Uncooled cameras function as wide-open detectors, to visualize gasses primarily in the functional range. They have difficulty capturing smaller gas leaks because of their lack of thermal sensitivity.

Cooled OGI cameras better aid in increasing worker safety and meeting regulatory standards such as the EPA’s OOOOa requirements.

How Montrose can help?

As a global leader in OGI technology, we are here to help our customers find the most cost-effective and time-efficient solutions. Our subject matter experts bring forth industry knowledge to help you remain compliant with state and federal regulations.

Reach out today to see how we can be of value to your organization.


What Types of Gases Can You See With an OGI Camera?

Insights from the Field: How OGI Cameras Improve Gas Leak Detection and Environmental Health

Understanding Cooled vs Uncooled Optical Gas Imaging

Jared Metcalf
VP of US OGI Operations
Jared Metcalf has over 20 years of Oil & Gas Industry experience. His extensive experience in providing professional fugitive emission monitoring services across North America and internationally has given him the expertise to help our clients meet their compliance/voluntary requirements. Jared specializes in the design, setup, and implementation of LDAR programs using Optical Gas Imaging.

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