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Proceedings Paper

Interpretation Of Thermographic Data For The Identification Of Building Heat Loss
Author(s): Richard A Grot
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Paper Abstract

This paper presents a tutorial introduction to the methods used in acquiring and interpreting ground-based thermographic data. It summarizes basic principles used in the anal-ysis of groundbased thermographic data for the detection of building heat losses. The major heat loss mechanisms in buildings which produce the thermal anomalies detectable by infrared scanning systems are described. The paper emphasizes that the analysis of thermographic data is an exercise in pattern recognition and, as such, gives results of a qualitative nature. The thermal patterns of several classes of building defects are presented. Methods for determining from thermographic inspection voids in insulated walls, areas with partial insulation, defective ceiling insulation, fissures and shrinkage in insulation, heat loss around doors and windows, air leakage at wall and floor joints, attic bypasses and thermal bridges, air penetration into interior cavities, and moisture damaged insulation are illustrated by examples of thermograms showing each class of defect. The difficulty of performing thermographic inspection under nonstandard conditions when the building is subjected to a small temperature difference across the building envelope, solar loading on the inspected surface, or transient environmental conditions is discussed. The relative merit of interior and exterior surveys and the effect of environmental conditions, thermal reflections and variation in the surface properties on the interpretation of thermograms are analyzed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 January 1981
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 0254, Thermal Infrared Sensing Applied to Energy Conservation in Building Envelopes: Thermosense III, (27 January 1981); doi: 10.1117/12.959525
Show Author Affiliations
Richard A Grot, National Bureau of Standards (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0254:
Thermal Infrared Sensing Applied to Energy Conservation in Building Envelopes: Thermosense III
Robert P. Madding, Editor(s)

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