ThermCERT - Thermal and Carbon Efficiency Reporting Tool.
Lee, Steve
Stevenson Astrosat, UNITED KINGDOM

There is a global drive to reduce carbon thermal emissions and many schemes have been created to provide incentives for adoption and investment in thermal efficiency technologies or plans whilst we work towards longer-term sustainable energy. These include, carbon credits, trading and taxation strategies adopted by many governments worldwide. The thermal technology exists to reduce emissions but systems to deploy these in our communities are still in an early stage. There are many challenges and cross industry innovation is paramount.

Thermal wastage in buildings plays a large role in carbon inefficiencies and a lot of our governments' environmental policies are directed toward the building and urban regeneration sectors. Both in terms of driving investment in upgrades to existing buildings or towards ensuring new building projects are planning to be thermally efficient.

Conducting energy audits over large areas within a city is vital and our community leaders and building owners need to know where to look for "worst offenders" who need to work on their emissions. There is a need for a full cost effective and openly efficient method to do this which combines ground- air and space data options.

Once thermal projects are started, an independent tool is vital to track the progress of a project over its lifetime and beyond. This is even more vital where justified and pivotal financial incentives or carbon trading underpin the investments. Indeed a small minority of projects get funding but do not use that funding to it's maximum, if at all, the buildings can still be inefficient and this is very damaging to the entire carbon efficiency model. It holds our communities back from mass adoption. In other cases a municipality or community is missing out on maximum carbon credit value due to low quality, infrequent measurements throughout a project.

The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) standard has been a very successful "currency" for thermal efficiency measurement. EPCs are localised, expensive, infrequent and tend to work only for smaller scale buildings. A vehicle or hand-held city-wide scan to target "worst offenders" would be very expensive and speculative and often stop a community or builder form considering investment.

These challenges are targeted by ThermCERT.

ThermCERT will generate repeated EPC by using thermal cameras on satellites, designed primarily to monitor our Earth for global warming and emergencies. An initial scan over a large area using NASA and ESA instruments will show the worst offenders. Advanced spectrographic techniques will show, in great detail, buildings with bad roof materials - vital for reducing the urban heat island in hot cilmates. Indeed this would also allow for community EPC, i.e. what's this city's overall thermal footprint.

If an area is selected for a thermal efficiency investment we can use the satellite archive and near real time repeat scans to help measure the time sensitive and continued carbon value of that housing area or building; leading to optimum carbon adoption and maximum use of our desire to support global lower carbon footprints.

We aim to present the findings of initial pilot tests of ThermCERT which was awarded the 2012 GMES/DLR environmental challenge award.

We will show the processes under development, pilot results from initial tests and how we aim to link various data points from space segments to ground and UAV IR scans.