Local community centre hosts thermal imaging demonstration event in Forest of Dean


Supported by the AURORA project, Forest Community Energy volunteers are developing a thermal imaging engagement project centred around a local community centre – the Sling & District Recreation Club (or Sling club). Here’s what they’ve been up to recently.

On a wet and windy December night, a thermal imaging demonstration event was held at the Sling club. Cwm Arian Renewable Energy (CARE), a community energy organisation based in Wales, were invited to demonstrate how they conduct air tightness and thermal imaging surveys and how they use the results to advice people on energy saving measures.

Testing the thermal imaging cameras | Credits: Forest of Dean District Council

Following a presentation by CARE, air tightness fans roared into life, working to extract air from the building. All while attendees dashed around armed with iPads connected to thermal imaging cameras, meticulously scrutinizing every nook and cranny for heat loss.

An air tightness fan | Credits: Centre for Sustainable Energy

The event was a great success, with the 12 people who attended reporting that it helped them to understand how this technology can highlight simple and budget friendly solutions to heat loss in buildings. The images that were taken uncovered numerous fixable issues impacting the building. It pinpointed a multitude of gaps around windows, easily fixed with draughtproofing measures. The cameras also identified cold spots where insulation had been removed around light fittings. The budget-friendly fix? Loft insulation light covers that cost just £6. These simple solutions won’t just keep the club’s heating bills down; they will help to create a more comfortable environment for the club members.

Cold spot highlighted by camera, caused by removal of insulation around a light fitting | Credits: FLIR Camera, Cwm Arian Renewable Energy

“I have a much better appreciation of the possibility of cheap mitigation measures after the event” – Event attendee

Looking ahead to 2024, Forest Community Energy will be trialling a thermal imaging loan service, following a similar model to North Somerset Council’s library loan service. Simple-to-use Flir cameras, purchased by the AURORA project, will be hosted, and loaned out for free by the Sling Club to empower residents to better understand their homes and reduce excessive energy expenses. Forest Community Energy hopes to extend this service throughout the Forest of Dean, to create a region-wide impact in the near future.

Thermal imaging camera loan service flyer | Credits: Centre for Sustainable Energy
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