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Application program-infrared thermal imager detects energy-related building defects

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Thermal imaging cameras detect energy-related building defects

At present, there are many non-destructive methods and tools that can be used for building energy consumption research, including heat flux measurement, co-heating test, automatic meter reading, air tightness test and calculation simulation. Among construction professionals, infrared thermal imaging technology is increasingly being used for energy-related defect detection in buildings.

An infrared camera is used to detect infrared radiation emitted from the surface of an object and convert it into a readable thermal image. If there are sufficient differences in heat transfer materials between the entire material or building fabric, thermal imaging can be used as a tool to quickly identify building defects without the need for expensive exploratory research that may be physically destroyed. The main advantages of modern thermal imaging cameras include the integration of digital image acquisition functions, non-contact, real-time shooting functions, and the ability to allow multi-point detection in the camera.

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The picture shows the infrared thermal image of Plymouth University campus

Researchers have found that passive building infrared thermal imaging technology is increasingly used for defect detection, which shows that building thermal imaging technology is gradually being demanded and utilized by people in building renovation work. As technology advances and costs decrease, this situation may increase. This work also shows that some passive building infrared thermal imaging methods may only be suitable for detecting a defect, but not for other defects such as water ingress, loss of condensate or loss of ventilation. Especially when viewing the building only from the outside, this may mean that internal defects such as condensation defects may be missed. Defect detection capabilities of various passive building infrared thermal imaging methods are currently being explored. By comparing the heat flow simulation with the observed infrared thermal imaging time series, passive time-lapse thermal imaging technology is used for defect detection in buildings and materials.


Reference materials:

Matthew Fox, David Coley, Steve Goodhew, et al. Thermography methodologies for detecting energy related building defects. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 40:296-310 2014.

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