Thermal Imaging is the use of special equipment that can detect the heat produced by people or things and use it to produce images of them. Thermal imaging is increasingly being used in the construction industry to check the quality of the building fabric. As well as examining the thermal insulation, it can also be used to test for areas of unusual heat loss or gain and cold areas of internal surfaces that might lead to discomfort, condensation and mould growth. This makes it a useful tool for checking quality in new buildings.
This course concentrates on thermal imaging for building fabric insulation. It aims to help people involved in constructing, owning and operating buildings to obtain the thermal imaging they need when they need it and to have a basic understanding of the information that can be obtained from thermal images.
Thermal imaging produces a picture that maps the intensity of IR radiation across the field of view. Because of the relationship between intensity of radiation and temperature, this can be converted to a map of apparent temperature based on a number of assumptions.
The focus here is on The Building Regulations 2010 for use in England, and the supporting guidance document Approved Document L Conservation of fuel and power. Similar regulations exist in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
This course has been organised into six modules as mentioned below which are discussed in detail in the course. At the end of the course the reader will have a good understanding of:
a) What is thermal imaging?
b) The need for thermal imaging
c) Thermal performance of buildings
d) Infrared cameras and thermography
e) Thermographic surveys
f) Supplementary testing
Thermography has become much easier and more accessible as infrared cameras have become smaller, more sophisticated and less costly. But getting good results still requires knowledge and understanding. Success in thermography depends on understanding heat, understanding the camera, understanding what you are looking at and knowing what you are trying to find out. The course briefly explains the functionalities of a conventional and smartphone infrared camera and then discusses thermographic surveys – what types there are, how to carry them out and what they can tell.