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Smart Way of Saving Energy

by Laurent GUERBY Sat Jan 27th, 2007 at 05:46:33 PM EST

What's this for?



From AFP (in french), these pictures are thermal images taken from a plane and then used by the french city of Reims to spot poor building thermal insulation and inform their owner about relevant technologies and possible tax breaks in the french context.

Looks like to me a cheap and efficient way to change citizen perception of energy, global warming and what can they do about it by themselves (and probably save money).

I'm curious wether it was tried in other countries, any suggestion?

The energy big picture

Energy is used for:

  • heating/cooling at home and work
  • transportation
  • industrial processes (eg: aluminium, computer farms)

Energy may be transported (usually as electricty) or transformed for storage, this imply:

  • energy transportation losses (electricity grid, heat pipes, moving wood around)
  • energy transformation losses (hydrogen generation, fuel generation process)

Energy sources are either:

  • renewable (eg: wood, wind, water)
  • nuclear
  • non renewable (coal, gas, oil)

Non renewable are also used for:

  • agriculture (fertilizers)
  • materials (plastics)

I don't have numbers handy, but I hope ET'ers will help put numbers in those categories. Here we're talking about heating/cooling and probably a bit of energy transportation.

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i've wondered about this for a while...it does seem a brilliant way to go about graphically showing people how wasteful their uninsulated houses can be.

hmmm, i wonder if the same thermal imaging could be used to calculate crowd size from the sky?

i always found it irritating how peace marches are underestimated in the media, for transparently political reasons.

bit OT, sorry.

thanks for this!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Jan 27th, 2007 at 07:54:55 PM EST
I don't think estimating crowds is a hard problem. I'm surprised that no one wrote software where you put a video of a camera fixing a particular place where everyone has to go through during the marches and just output a count of people. Then anyone could put up such a video on youtube and we'd have an unbiased estimate.

Main problem on house insulation is information and having the right tax incentives. Often the tax incentives are there but citizens just don't know about it, and indeed the thermal imaging solves a lot of things in a cheap and fun way!

by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jan 28th, 2007 at 07:07:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think that this is seen as a very real possibility by the powers that be. It is noticable that the traffic camera system that covers central London has those cameras that cover the routes of any protests, down for maintenance during any large scale protest marches.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jan 28th, 2007 at 08:49:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Any reference for this "downing" of secutiry camera?
by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jan 28th, 2007 at 11:40:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here you go

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sun Jan 28th, 2007 at 01:37:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am sure I have seen this concept before, but not sure where.  Will do some searching.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears
by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sun Jan 28th, 2007 at 12:17:24 PM EST
See these examples:

http://www.hortonlevi.co.uk/thermal_imaging/default.htm

http://www.thermal-imaging-survey.co.uk/archive/aerial-survey.htm


I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sun Jan 28th, 2007 at 12:23:16 PM EST
I wonder if there was an evaluation of the gain after the campaign...
by Laurent GUERBY on Sun Jan 28th, 2007 at 01:54:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Couldn't find anything on the company web site.  You'd think if something even remotely fantastic came out of a survey they would be all over it for their adverts.  Maybe it's just too new for results reporting, especially for city sized projects.  

I've seen thermal imaging used for this purpose before elsewhere.  I just haven't found the site.

It's a good idea though.  I think very large facilities could save a ton of energy costs.  Can you imagine factories and the like?

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sun Jan 28th, 2007 at 10:24:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
May be state could just tax those red/white spots to get people moving :).

Old Oil Drum post that gives some global numbers:

http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/11/27/0432/3533

by Laurent GUERBY on Mon Jan 29th, 2007 at 02:07:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have tried to work with local communities to use thermal images to help target which homes / buildings should receive (free) home energy audits. Haven't gotten any takers yet.

Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart. NOW!!!
by a siegel (siegeadATgmailIGNORETHISdotPLEASEcom) on Sun Jan 28th, 2007 at 05:37:01 PM EST


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