Toward In-situ Building R-Value Measurement,
COLD REGIONS RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING LAB HANOVER NH
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A technique for measuring the thermal resistance r-value of large areas of building envelope is under development. It employs infrared thermography to locate radiant temperature extremes on a building surface and to provide a map of normalized temperature values for interpolation between locations. Contact thermal sensors thermocouples for temperature and thermopiles for heat flow are used to calculated the r-value at specific locations by summing the output from each sensor until the ratio between temperature difference delta T from inside to outside surface and heat flow converges to a constant value. R-value measurements of a wood frame insulated wall were within 13 of the expected theoretical value. Similar measurements of masonry wall were 31 and 43 less than expected. Experimentation demonstrated that a large delta T was the single most important variable affecting accuracy and speed of convergence. Thermal guards around heat flow sensors were of little value, according to both experimentation and computer simulation. Attempts to match the absorptivity of sensors with their surroundings may have been insufficient to diminish about 10 of the remaining error in measurement. Lateral heat flow and convection may have been significant problems for accuracy in the masonry construction. Currently, an investigator cannot rely on the literature for guidance in assessing the limitations on accuracy for in-situ building r-value measurement.
- Civil Engineering