IP Camera For Freezer (0 Degrees Temp)

John,

I am looking for an IP camera, 720P, that can handle a 0 degree freezer. I can send high power POE (at) to the camera or 24V for the heater power.

Any recommentations?

Thanks,

Jon


We've had some Sony PTZ's in industrial warehouse freezers for years and they've held up pretty well.

You may want to consider Mobotix. -24 F with no heater and is POE. I'm not a big Mobotix fan but for your application could be a good option.

I've put dozens of cameras in walk-in coolers and freezers (mostly analog, granted), and never found a need to have a heated housing. As long as the enclosure is sealed and you don't provide a route for warm air ingress via the wiring conduit (seal that baby well!), you shouldn't need to worry about fogging. All electronics generate their own heat that will largely be held in the enclosure; IP cameras run particularly warm already, and PoE cameras even moreso.

Btw, Jon, just to clarify, 0 C or 0 F?

"All electronics generate their own heat that will largely be held in the enclosure; IP cameras run particularly warm already, and PoE cameras even moreso."

I've had similar experiences (primarily with our own cameras).

My guess is that he wouldn't need a true low-temp camera, but *might* need a simple enclosure, depending on the exact camera used.

Regardless of whether a camera will generate enough heat, I'm guessing if you don't use a camera specified for use in low enough temperatures, you're going to end up with warranty issues. I'd honestly be more worried about that than anything else.

Regardless of whether a camera will generate enough heat, I'm guessing if you don't use a camera specified for use in low enough temperatures, you're going to end up with warranty issues. I'd honestly be more worried about that than anything else.

Why would you be worried about warranty issues? I ask because I'm assuming you've dealt with more of these scenarios than I have, so it's genuine curiosity.

Most electronics perfer a cooler environment (pun intended) to a warmer one, so I wouldn't expect any adverse affects from an install in a freezer, as long as it wasn't something like the environment Walt Disney is currently residing in. A typical commercial freezer seems like it might actually be a *good* location in regards to warranty.

Well, you'd definitely want some kind of environmental housing, at least IP65 I would think... whether it's part of the camera (dome or bullet) or a sealed can for a box cam. I've always just used domes (mainly CNBs for the last few years), but I've also seen a predecessor's bullets in several sites.

Most camera manufacturer's have temperature ranges listed for their cameras, both operating and storage. Are you saying most manufacturers would not make an issue of it if the camera is operating outside it's recommended range?

Are you saying most of them would be able to tell?

Are you saying operating a camera outside the manufacturer's recommended range, having it fail, then sending it back for warranty service is ethical?

If they ask for an image shot where the camera has fuzzy lines and you mistankingly send the one with the guy stacking product while wearing a parka it might give them an idea.

Temperature in the freezer is -21 degrees F. Do a dome at 720p? or Wall mounted housing with heater?

-21 F is roughly -30 C.

That is pushing it. Very few cameras spec minimum temperature below -30 C.

-21 F is roughly -30 C.

That is pushing it. Very few cameras spec minimum temperature below -30 C.

Yeah, that's a little less than "0". To save money, maybe you could find a really good 8MP camera, which could replace 4 2MP cameras in 4 freezers ;)

The typical commercial freezer environment would not violate the recommended operating specs for a standard outdoor camera, and even many indoor cameras will operate at 0F happily (based on spec sheets).

Maybe I'll just put the camera on the outside monitoring the front entry. In talking with the customer really, no one in thier right mind hangs out in the freezer for very long. Thanks for all the responses! I'm humbled.

P.S. what's up Mr Karas! Good to see you on IPVM

P.S. what's up Mr Karas! Good to see you on IPVM

:)

Thanks.

In our hospitality venues we place cameras in coolers and freezers quite often.

We almost always use outdoor rated cameras and housings. That said, indoor cameras that are well sealed have never posed a problem and have not failed due to any temperature related issues.

Have used both Axis and Pelco, analog and IP.

That said, on the opposite side of the temperature range, we have placed indoor cameras with indoor housings in environmentally protected outdoor locations with much less success. Most of these deployments have failed due to the camera overheating in the summer (and I am in upstate NYS).

From what I found today the Axis Q1604-E housing can handle some pretty low temps. Using "at" 30W power we should be good.

The only thing now is to get my installers Artic Jackets for the installation.

AXIS Q1602-E/Q1604-E: PoE IEEE 802.3af max. 12.95 W or High
PoE max 25.5 W

AXIS Q1602/Q1604: 0 °C to 50 °C (32 °F to 122 °F);
Humidity 10 - 85% RH (non-condensing)
AXIS Q1602-E/Q1604-E: -30 ºC to 50 ºC (-22 ºF to 122 ºF)
with PoE; down to -40 ºC (-40 ºF) with High PoE
Arctic Temperature Control enables camera start-up at
temperatures as low as -40 ºC (-40 ºF ) with High PoE
Humidity 10 - 100% RH (condensing)

Not just the cameras, but the cabling too. On older installations with analog cameras we've seen the coax cabling become brittle over time due to the cold.

We installed 12 DvTel Quasar 720 vandal domes in a commercial freezer. Temp is a constant -20deg C

Power is via PoE. 1t has been about 12 months and cams have been fine.

Just make sure the dome is completely sealed including cable entry.

Sounds like any camera that is sealed well can perform with no failure in low temps...

I can't believe some marketing genius hasn't come up with the ArctiCam line. All they'd have to do is say they are 'optimized' for extremely low temperature applications, charge 3x the cost of any old camera (Intransa-style), and many integrators would probably buy them.

Marty, it really depends how low one is going. 0C vs -20C vs -40C makes a big difference. Even in this discussion, there seems to be a lumping of various temperatures all in a generic 'low' bucket, whereas in reality the specific min temperature is quite important in determining which products will not work.

As for 'ArctiCam', you just tee'd off a compliment to your #1 partner, Axis. They market a feature called 'Arctic Temperature Control'. I can't find a single marketing page for it, but it is cited in various docs as well as in a number of their product pages.

Axis mentions arctic temperature control in a PTZ datasheet.

I'm not sure how a camera in a freezer is different than a camera in Minnesota during the winter months.

As mentioned before one big issue with freezer installations is most cabling jacketing gets quite brittle after even short periods of exposure to freezing conditions. Another is to put an insulated "weather-stop" in conduits as they leave the refrigerated area to prevent condensation from forming. I learned these lessons many years ago when installing Protectowire and Alarmline fire sprinkler pre-action detection systems in freezer warehouses.

Per Axis there is a toggle switch inside the outdoor rated enclosure that when turned on goes into the artic mode for the lower temp range. Once the switch is made the Poe requirements require 25W high Poe to power the camera and the additional heater power. More to follow when I install the camera as it is for test purposes in the first place.

I'm curious if someone can expand on:

Physically, what are the low-temperature limitations of the components found in an IP camera?

We all know that extreme heat causes imminent failure virtually 100% of the time, but what is it - physically - about extremely low temperatures that would cause actual failure in an IP camera?

Marty - Can't answer your question about what is it physically about an IP camera that can't handle low temps... but I can say, as a user, that a straight IP camera in low temperature (outdoor) situations where the temperature rises and falls causes condensation and ice making in near impossible to acutally see out of the dome.

But I wonder, in a constant low temp (with no risk for condensation) would there be anything physically impacted in an IP camera?

Well, even though it can rise in synch with temperatures, it is the rising and falling of humidity levels that - when the camera is unprotected - leads to condensation on internal components. (i.e. Lake Ontario/Erie give you plenty of moisture - cameras in Phoenix should have far less issues with condensation than yours.) :)

Sans moisture (with proper sealing), I'm curious if the low temps themselves have any impact on the operation of an IP cam.

Heat physically overwhelmes the components themselves. Can extreme lack of heat do something similar?

Sans moisture (with proper sealing), I'm curious if the low temps themselves have any impact on the operation of an IP cam.

Hot surface-mounted components on a sub-sub-zero circuit board will pop like pop-corn because of thermal stress.

So basically a sealed ip66 rated outdoor dome with rated temp range down to 0F should not experience fogging in a 1F cool room or freezer correct?

We have cameras that are certified to very low temperatures and they are very expensive. That is not a walk in the park.

You have to consider how materials expand and contract. Sealings get very hard, glass expands in a different ratio than surrounding metal, lubricants can become stone hard. And then there is cabling.

In a zoom camera module you need to be very cautious about this.

"I'm not sure how a camera in a freezer is different than a camera in Minnesota during the winter months."

IME, the difference is that the freezer is ALWAYS cold. Even in very cold climates, you generally get a few hours a day of at least slightly tolerable weather, plus even a little bit of sun load for heating.

A camera in an outdoor enclosure can stay warm for quite a while throughout the night, so in many cases the internals of the camera may never actually cool down to extreme low temps, or if they do it's only for a few hours early in the morning. So if you have cold-temp sensitive parts (I've seen a few imagers that don't do good in extreme cold), you might only have a couple of hours early each morning where overall camera operation is compromised.

In the freezer it's ALWAYS cold and the camera never warms up.

"I've seen a few imagers that don't do good in extreme cold"

Brian, that is exactly what I'm referring to..... are there other components that are failure-prone due simply to extremely low temperatures? i.e. like space shuttle O-rings, etc.... :)

How far do camera manufacturers like VideoIQ go when testing at really low temps?

Brian,

That's true, aside from when freezers are occaisonally thawed for maintenenace and getting rid of ice buildup. That happens here at the orange juice plants in Florida with the high humidity.

But is this even a factor when a camera manufacturer lists the operating temperatures in their specification? If a camera has "Arctic Temperature Control" where even summer temperaures are around 0 deg. C, shouldn't it work just as well in a constant sub-freezing temperature as long as it does not exceed the camera's specifications? How do they test that?

This may be a a good example of where IPVM could perform some sepcific application tests of manufacturer's cameras.

Condensation is how a water/ vapour saturated environment gets back to equilibrium for a particular temperature. Low temp air has very little water vapour compared to high temperature. If you install a sealed camera with high temperature air trapped inside you will get condensation. Low temp air needs to replace the high temp air or use desicant to remove the moisture after placing in the freezer. If wiring conduit to the back box is a pathway to a source of warm air outside the cold environment you will have issues - try sealing the wiring in the conduit with silicone.

Fogging is my only concern.

Will an IP66 Rated Dome be fine (its specs says it can go to -20*c)

As per my post above in 2013

It's now been around 6 years and all cameras functioning 100%

24/7 at -20degC

Domes have remote mechanical zoom and also 100% functioning

Happy days !!

The cameras outlived the brand.