Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Spotting Energy Leaks

PostedJanuary 11, 2015

Download File (mp3)

Anchor Lead: In this cold weather, the last thing you want is for your house to leak heat. A new technology can pinpoint problems in houses as it passes through a neighborhood.

Randy Atkins: Heat emits infrared light. We can’t see it, but Sanjay Sarma, a mechanical engineering professor at M-I-T, is using cameras that can.

Sanjay Sarma: We have an infrared camera on a vehicle and, like Google street view, it drives around and looks at buildings and can determine where heat is leaking from.

Randy Atkins: The cameras are connected to complex software that notes locations, fine-tunes the moving images, and recognizes objects unrelated to a house.

Sanjay Sarma: You’ve got to make sure that you’re actually measuring the heat flux from the house and not from a car.

Randy Atkins: Sarma hopes such mass screening will not only help homeowners seal leaks but reduce carbon emissions and help the environment too. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.