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Basler cameras run hot. Is this really a problem?

The electronic devices used in digital cameras are typically specified to run at up to 70° C (158° F). If the temperature inside of the camera rises above that point, the devices may be damaged or destroyed. This is true for all types of electronic cameras.

An electronic camera usually contains a CCD or CMOS imaging sensor and several types of analog and digital devices. For the analog devices, as their temperature increases, electrical noise in the devices increases noticeably. Digital devices have the same characteristic but with digital signal interpretation, noise is not usually an important factor. The performance of the CCD sensor is also influenced by heat and the image produced by the sensor tends to get noisier as temperature increases.

As you can see, with the potential for component damage and poor performance caused by heat, it makes great sense to keep the components inside of the camera as cool as possible. What can be done to keep the devices inside of a camera cool?

  • Design the camera so that there is good heat flow from the electronic devices to the camera housing. Good heat flow between the components and the housing allows the heat to be dissipated to the atmosphere around the camera rather than being captured inside of the camera. Good heat flow between the components and the housing also helps external cooling devices such as heat sinks, fans and Peltier coolers work better. Basler engineers took great care to design a good energy connection between the components in our cameras and the camera housings. This connection brings the heat to the housing surface so that cooling will be can be more effective.
  • Keep the camera's power consumption low. Power input to the camera must equal power output from the camera (this is known as energy balance). Cameras usually only have two ways for power to exit: through the data connection to the host PC and as heat. So basically, any power that is not used by the digital drivers for data communication will be converted to heat. Basler engineers have carefully selected the electronic devices used in our cameras so that power consumption is at a minimum.
  • Use external cooling. This is something that the camera user can do.

Basler cameras are typically specified to operate with a housing temperature up to 50° C (122° F). If the housing temperature becomes higher, a heat sink, fan, Peltier cooler, or a similar device must be used to cool the camera.