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Backpack Creates Thermal Maps

Linda Hardesty

Energy Manage Berkeley LabThe Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is developing a portable system to generate indoor thermal maps. Using cameras and laser scanners mounted on a backpack, the portable Rapid Building Energy Modeler (RAPMOD) indoor mapping system creates a 3D visualization of walls, windows, floors, and other parts of buildings. Then, a computer model predicts how much energy the building should use.

Data needed for energy modeling and simulation can be captured in a single walk-through by a relatively unskilled operator, according to Berkeley Lab. The resulting 3-D model and accompanying data are then imported into DOE’s EnergyPlus or another energy simulation tool. This enables energy service companies, architects, engineering firms, and utilities to rapidly assess problem areas, identify energy-efficiency opportunities and occupant comfort levels.

In field tests conducted at The Beverly Hills Hotel and Woodland Marriott Hotel, RAPMOD completed indoor mapping in two days, rather than the three months it had taken previously using manual scanning.

Berkeley Lab is collaborating with the University of California, Berkeley and Baumann Consulting on the project.



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