Benefits of Insulation
Substantial quantities of heat energy are wasted daily in industrial plants nationwide because of underinsulated, undermaintained or uninsulated heated and cooled surfaces. Properly designed and installed insulation systems will immediately reduce the need for energy. Benefits to industry include enormous cost savings, improved productivity, and enhanced environmental quality.
By reducing heat loss or gain, insulation can help maintain process temperature to a pre-determined value or within a predetermined range. The insulation thickness must be sufficient to limit the heat transfer in a dynamic system or limit the temperature change, with time, in a static system. The need to provide time for owners to take remedial action in emergency situations in the event of loss of electrical power, or heat sources is a major reason for this action in a static systems.
Specifying sufficient insulation thickness with an effective vapor retarder system is the most effective means of providing a system for controlling condensation on the membrane surface and within the insulation system on cold piping, ducts, chillers and roof drains. Sufficient insulation thickness is needed to keep the surface temperature of the membrane above the highest possible design dewpoint temperature of the ambient air so condensation does not form on the surface. The effective vapor retarder system is needed to restrict moisture migration into the system through the facing, joints, seams, penetrations, hangers, and supports. By controlling condensation, the system designer may control the potential for:
- Degrading system service life and performance.
- Mold growth and the potential for health problems resulting from water condensate.
- Corrosion of pipes, valves and fittings caused by water collected and contained within insulation system.
Thermal insulation is one of the most effective means of protecting workers from second and third degree burns resulting from skin contact for more than 5 seconds with surfaces of hot piping and equipment operating at temperatures above 136.4°F (ASTM C 1055). Insulation reduces the surface temperature of piping or equipment to a safer level, resulting in increased worker safety and the avoidance of worker downtime due to injury.
Used in combination with other materials, insulation helps provide fire protection in:
- Firestop systems designed to provide an effective barrier against the spread of flame, smoke, and gases at penetrations of fire resistance rated assemblies by ducts, pipes, and cable.
- Grease- and air-duct fireproofing.
- Electrical and communications conduit and cable protection.
Insulation materials can be used in the design of an assembly having a high sound transmission loss to be installed between the source and the surrounding area. Sometimes, insulations with high sound absorption characteristics may be used on the source side of an enclosure to help lower the exposure to people to noise in areas immediately around the noise source by absorption and thereby contribute to the reduction of the noise level on the other side of the enclosure.
Most mechanical insulation systems in commercial construction are not generally visible to the occupants of the building. The common exceptions to this are found in mechanical equipment rooms where the heating equipment, cooling equipment, and the associated piping is visible to the personnel who work or otherwise must access these areas. It is common practice to require a finished and neat appearance for insulation surfaces that are visible within the building envelope. These surfaces may also be painted or covered for a more acceptable appearance in the case of hospitals, schools, supermarkets, restaurants and even in industrial facilities in food processing, and computer component manufacturing where visible to the occupants.
Greenhouse Gas Reduction
Thermal insulation for mechanical systems provides immediate reductions in CO2 , NOx and greenhouse gas emissions to the outdoor environment in flue or stack emissions by reducing fuel consumption required at the combustion sites because less heat is gained or lost by the system.
Ludeman's insulation installation on this hot storage tank will help maintain proper operating temperatures as well as provide enormous energy savings.
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