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IMPROVING SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH THERMAL IMAGING


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Keywords: Energy, sustainability, environment, thermal imaging,
Subject(s): Information Skills, Photography, Civics, Technology, Grammar, Science, Life Science, Writing, Earth Science, Physics, Math
Grades 6 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Green Forest Intermediate School, Green Forest, AR
Planned By: Warren Utsler
Original Author: Warren Utsler, Green Forest
The Green Forest EAST Initiative Program will launch a Greener Home Assessment Program (GHAP) as a public service to our community. GHAP will train student teams to assess the thermal energy preservation qualities of residential and business structures. After GHAP training, student teams will assess residential and commercial buildings in the community. Each team will provide the building’s owner (Client) with written documentation and images of where thermal energy is leaking through doors, windows and eaves; and how energy conservation can be implemented through insulation and sealing techniques. Homeowners will also be left with additional state and federal weatherization programs brochures and forms to aid low-income families.
Scope of Project Objectives
The EAST Program of Green Forest Middle consisting of eight students and a facilitator will launch a Greener Home Assessment Program (GHAP) in our surrounding community. GHAP will train student teams to assess the thermal energy preservation qualities of residential and business structures. After GHAP training, the student teams will assess residential and commercial buildings upon the owners request and enrollment. Each team will provide the building’s owner (Client) with written documentation and images of where thermal energy is leaking through doors, windows and eaves; and how energy conservation and improvements can be implemented through insulation and sealing techniques. Homeowners will also be left with additional state and federal weatherization programs to aid low-income families.
The GHAP teams will also create video and print materials to leave with each client to demonstrate standard HOW-TO techniques for 1) adding weather stripping; 2) insulation and chalking to reduce loss of thermal energy; and 3) reduce heating and cooling cost.
How is energy wasted?
• The average house has 400 cubic feet per minute of leakage in the duct work alone. In simple terms most kitchen trash bags are three cubic feet. Thus, there are about 130 kitchen bags of air leaking out of a house into an attic or crawl space, every MINUTE the heating/cooling unit is running.
• In one out of three homes, the duct work is totally disconnected in at least one place. Thus, homeowners end up paying for energy that gets discharged into space where it is not needed. The home doesn’t get fully heated or cooled. Energy efficient homes do the following:
• Prevent thousands of tons of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere
• Require less need for power-generating plants and less need for drilling for fossil fuels.
• Require less dependency on foreign energy suppliers; America’s oil dependency affects everyone.
The American Energy Administration, as of August 18, 2011, estimates that the average home uses 900 KW per month, with energy loss ranging from twenty-forty percent depending on location and time of year.
In the first year of our program estimates thirty-five structures will be assessed from November 2011 thru April 2012, the most opportune months for GHAP evaluation. The FLIR Thermal Camera will be used to document the data, with IPad to store and transmit the data. The FLIR app for the Ipad will enhance data collection and images. Plotters and printers will be used create documentation and images for the clients to use for making structure improvements. The facilitators and team leaders will conclude the first year by gathering building assessments and publishing the results of energy savings of community participants. Statistics and results will be shared online and in the media. Thermal imaging techniques will be featured and demonstrated at the EAST National Conference. We anticipate Greener Home Assessment Program (GHAP) to extend into the future as an EAST sustainability public service for our communities.
Comments
We have received a grant for the Thermal imagining camera and now need additional video equipment, a laptop to complete the home energy video and dvd we will create.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Science, Math, Spread sheets, Cost analysis, Integrating technologies, etc.
Follow-Up
During the school day students will analyze district buildings and after school community member homes and businesses. Yearly on going activity
Materials: Wildlife, Camera/Video Accessories
Other Items: 1 Digital point and shoot still camera, $100.00 each, total of $100.00
1 Blue Screen and stand, $145.00 each, total of $145.00
1 DVD 50 set, $35.00 each, total of $35.00
1 Tripod, $85.00 each, total of $85.00
1 HP laptop, $375.00 each, total of $375.00