AEE Intec, AIT and Siemens launch inaugural thermographic aerial survey flight 

• Pilot project in Gleisdorf: 3D aerial images for efficient and targeted refurbishment

• Software simulates effects of different optimisation steps and calculates the most effective combination of measures for problem areas in the city

• Target: 20% less energy loss and 20% reduction in CO2 emissions by the end of 2015

Instead of surveying energy and heat losses of individual buildings in isolation, in Gleisdorf a whole urban district has been thermographically analysed for the first time. This facilitates comprehensive and efficient refurbishment. Within the HOTSPOTS project, Siemens researchers from Graz have developed a new technology for detecting energy losses in entire city neighbourhoods. The image processing software works with aerial photographs taken from drones or hot air balloons. The software creates a three-dimensional model that makes energy losses visible. In collaboration with the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT), the AEE Institute for Sustainable Technologies and Stadtwerke Gleisdorf, the researchers are seeking out designated “Critical Spots”, i.e. buildings or building complexes which have particularly great potential for improvement. The project is funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) under the “City of the Future” program.

“Our objective is to develop a decision-making tool, which allows energy efficiency measures to be selected interactively. It simulates effects of different optimisation steps and calculates the optimum combinations of measures for the problem areas of the city,” explains project manager, Claudia Windisch, from the research department of Siemens. City developers can therefore select structural improvement measures on a traceable and (measurable) data-driven basis. The risk of ad hoc decisions or bad investments is drastically reduced.

“On the initiative of the utility suppliers Feistritzwerke-STEWEAG and Stadtwerke Gleisdorf, through consultation with the municipal authority and the participation of the inhabitants, it is intended to save 20 percent of energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 2015″ explained Walter Schiefer, Managing Director of Feistritzwerke.

Identifying problem areas quickly
In Gleisdorf the data base is first generated: Full coverage, thermographic images of buildings or urban districts are captured using hot air balloons equipped with thermographic imaging cameras. All pictures and data will be handled in accordance with legal requirements. Individual images are already providing a first indication of heat losses. With software further developed by Siemens, this data is converted into a 3D model of the city. This allows individual buildings and smaller urban districts to be reconstructed in three dimensions and linked to thermal information. “We will collect the first data in February 2015, with the assistance of hot air balloons, and use this for the selection of refurbishment measures. In the following winter, we will compare the data and determine the added value that the project has brought to the stakeholders,” reported Windisch.

Better air quality and energy efficiency
After an evaluation of the extensive 3D model, a three-dimensional air-gas layer model is also intended to provide information about the air quality and possible causes of air pollution in the urban district analysed. The data collection for this is carried out with drones, due to the lower altitude and higher level of detail. By identifying critical points in the urban area early and thermally refurbishing them, not only is the quality of life improved, but also the value of the property. It is also possible to avoid fines for exceeding air quality limits or nitrogen oxide emissions. Residents benefit from improved air quality, a more pleasant living environment and reduced energy costs. In turn the city utilities can supply more buildings with the existing infrastructure or reduce the dimensions of the supply infrastructure.

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Source: Siemens AG / 21.01.2015
The original news report at can be found HERE.