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Heat loss/gain within a home

  1. Nov 20, 2012 #1
    I am planning on calculating the heat loss and heat gain of a terraced house.

    The data I have collected so far are the footprints of the house, with the size of windows and walls, roof and floors and the materials of which these are made. I know the rear of the house faces S-SE and its approximate location in Sheffield.

    I would like to represent the heat loss and heat gain of the house in a spreadsheet however I am quite a novice when it comes to Excel.

    I would also like to collect some data of outside temperature, wind direction and speed, and sun intensity over a year long period. I would ideally like this data over hourly intervals as the houses heating is controlled by a varying thermostat throughout the day and night.

    Any suggestions as to where I can find this data (preferrably at no cost) and any hints and tips you can offer me? Anything will be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    The data is the easy part. The government publishes typical hourly weather data including solar insolation information for lots of locations. The data is available for download here: http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/old_data/nsrdb/1991-2005/tmy3/

    Calculating the heat gain/loss of a house is pretty difficult with a spreadsheet. Typically, a specially designed piece of software is used. One example with a partially functional demo: http://www.elitesoft.com/web/homepage/elite_demonstration_limits.html#chvacw
  4. Nov 20, 2012 #3

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    An alternative:

    Electric utilities in many US states offer energy audits. An audit can help you determine where heat loss/gain occurs. In New Mexico PNM offers these audits. The data provided gives you estimated R values for your windows, doors, etc. of your house. And looks for "leaky" places and points them out.

    There is a consumer hit list generated -- things to do to improve problem areas, based on data from the audit. Generally most audits turn up the same sorts of problems. One tech told me he found a wall in a newer home that had no insulation, no Tyvek, nothing but sheathing and some paneling -- it kind of glowed in infared on a cold day. I do not know if PNM still uses the infared camera or not.

    This audit feature may be available for you to use.
  5. Nov 22, 2012 #4
    Thanks for your help but I should probably have mentioned i'm in the UK. Would help if we didnt both have a city named Sheffield. Any ideas on where to get the data for the UK?
  6. Nov 22, 2012 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Oops, no sorry -- I can try some googling for you, but that's about all I can do.
  7. Nov 22, 2012 #6
    The best website iv found is http://www.wunderground.com/weather...YO14&day=22&year=2012&month=11&graphspan=year
    Its the best one iv found so far and even shows most of the data i need over a daily period for a year :) although to see the hourly data i need to click on each individual day. It will take me forever to collect the data for all 365 days, copying and pasting into excel. Is there a way I can import all the data without having to click on every single link?
  8. Nov 22, 2012 #7
    Typical Yorkshireman. Just put another quid in the meter.
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