Bi-directional Photogoniometer for the Assessment of the Luminous Properties of Fenestration Systems

Most energy saving applications of advanced fenestration systems (solar blinds, novel types of glazing and daylight redirecting devices) require a precise knowledge of their directional light transmission features. These photometric properties can be described by a Bi-directional Transmission Distribution Function (BTDF) whose experimental assessment requires appropriate equipment. A novel bi-directional transmission photogoniometer, based on digital imaging techniques, was designed and set up for that purpose. The apparatus takes advantage of a modern video image capturing device (CCD digital camera) as well as of powerful image analysis software (pattern recognition) to considerably reduce the scanning time of a BTDF measurement, in comparison to existing devices that use a conventional approach (mobile photometer). A detailed calibration and validation procedure was used to obtain optimal experimental accuracy for the device during the assessment of BTDF data. It included a spectral, a photometric and a geometrical calibration of the digital video system, as well as several additional corrections, leading to an overall relative accuracy better than 11% for BTDF data. A special effort was made to improve the user-friendliness of BTDF measurement by facilitating the data acquisition and treatment (definition of a data acquisition and electronic data format) and by offering different possibilities of BTDF visualisation (hemispherical representation, axonometric view of photometric solids, C-planes). Overall, the photometric equipment was used to assess the BTDFs of more than 20 novel fenestration products of the industrial partner of the project (Baumann-Hüppe Storen AG). The experimental data produced was successfully used by the company to optimise the visual and energy saving performance of their products, which confirms the adequacy of the novel bi-directional photogoniometer for practical building applications.

CTI Project No. 3661.2, LESO-PB, EPFL
Scientific Report

 Record created 2005-01-12, last modified 2018-03-17

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