Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

Validation of data analysis routines for a thermal probe apparatus using numerical data sets


validation, thermal probe, analysis routines, transient simulation


Most thermal properties of construction materials used in the analysis of building performance have been measured under laboratory conditions, using a guarded hot box or hot plate apparatus. As a consequence, these properties seldom reflect the impact of actual conditions (especially moisture content) on the values of thermal conductivity and diffusivity. Hence there is a need to develop techniques that take into account local conditions, and measure building material properties in situ. One option available is the use of a thermal probe. The thermal probe technique is based on creating a line source in a material sample and measuring the temperature rise in the sample in reaction to heat being applied. Obviously the data analysis routines used to calculate thermal conductivity and diffusivity based on the temperature rise observed are crucial to the success of the technique. This work has used transient thermal simulation of a model representing a line source in an infinite material sample to generate a set of numerical data sets to validate analysis routines in conjunction with an experimental thermal probe apparatus. Findings show that by careful application of these routines, a close agreement with simulation input values can be achieved, with errors of less than one percent. This validates the analysis routines and provides a deeper appreciation of the theoretical behaviour of a thermal probe.


Tsinghua University Press