Public Lab Research note

This is an attempt to replicate an activity.

Thermal Imaging: Heat Insulation Comparison

by brachium | December 03, 2014 13:05 03 Dec 13:05 | #11426 | #11426

Project Contributors: Mara Berganovsky, Henry Ca, Emily Polhemus

What we used


We used a small box that used to hold pens to hold our Arduino and breadboard. Everything was secure, and it could easily be turned on and off by disconnecting a wire. The Thermal flashlight range was set between 60-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the Thermal image, we used a Pentax K-01 Camera, with an old 18-55mm lens. Aperture 22, with ISO 1600.

What we want to do

We wanted to compare the heating insulation and loss of Asian American Center which is a renovated apartment turned building that was built in 1898, and Behrakis Health Science Center which is a newer building on campus that was built in 2002. There will be two thermal images taken.

Our attempt


At 9:30PM on November 22nd, outside temperature 41 degrees Fahrenheit, ambient temperature 63 degrees Farrenheit, we took a thermal image of the Asian American Center's Multipurpose Room. We found that the overall room was significantly blue, signifying the fact that there was a large amount of heat loss occurring. The only sources of that were warm were the pluggable heaters, which didn't do much to keep the overall room warm, as there was still significant heat loss throughout.


At 6:43PM on November 24th, outside temperature 44 degrees Fahrenheit, ambient temperature 75 degrees Fahrenheit, we took a thermal image of classroom 315 of the Behrakis Health Science Center. There we found that there was a good amount of red throughout the room, showing that the heat insulation was very good. This meant that there was little to no heat loss, with only the heatloss being the windows in which the the area around them were quite green showing that the heat loss was still relatively low.

Analysis and results

So we can see that the Behrakis had far less heat loss than the Asian American Center. This suggests that new buildings on campus would most likely have far better heating insulation to prevent heat loss. However our thermal images were a bit skewed, as the green led light overpowered much of our results when we tried using it. There was a problem with the thermal flashlight that caused the light to separate into two areas. So while it shows that the newer building has better insulation, as to how much is hard to say due to faulty equipment.

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