Infrared Thermometer Measures Solar Heating

February 25th, 2013 by scottgpeer

I purchased a Black & Decker TLD100 Thermal Leak Detector for under $30, and it has proven to be a good tool for measuring hot and cold spots in the house. The manufacturer says: “infrared thermometer detects wall surface temperature to spot hidden energy leaks.” In addition to finding leaks such as missing insulation, it can also measure solar warming of walls and other surfaces. It is common for a well insulated wall in the sun to be a few degrees warmer than one in the shade.

The infrared thermometer can also measure the effectiveness of passive solar techniques. In an attempt to capture solar heat in the winter, I modified some metal vertical blinds that came with white gloss paint. I sprayed over one side of some louvers with flat black solar paint to capture heat from the sun to warm the room. In the afternoon, with the sun shining on the blinds and the inside temperature at 70F, I took measurements of the blinds. The white louvers had warmed to 99F, but the black ones had warmed to 113F! So now the blinds can be turned one way to capture more solar heat and the other way to reflect more.


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