Take a look at the economic benefits of insulation
European Industrial Insulation Association (EiiF) has found that most industrial insulation systems are implemented on the basis of the following aspects:
- Operating aspects and securing of production processes
- Prevention of condensation in cold installations
- Occupational safety and protection of personnel
- Maximum permissible heat loss
These are, of course, important aspects as well, but it could be assumed that companies would also be interested in the economic benefits of good insulation. Insulation improves energy efficiency and, in addition to reducing industrial emissions, has a significant impact on industrial energy costs and the amount of carbon tax payable.
How to find the most cost-effective insulation solution?
When calculating the savings potential of industrial insulation systems, the price of energy, the service life and the service life of the industrial plant must be taken into account.
When the goal is to design an insulation system that brings economic benefits over the entire life cycle of the plant, it is first necessary to calculate which insulation thickness is the most cost-effective.
The German VDI 2055 guideline presented in the EiiF research report defines the most economical insulation thickness as: the thickness of the insulation layer at which the total sum of the investment in the insulation system and the cost of the remaining heat loss are at the minimum considering the expected lifetime of the system.
The cost-effective insulation thickness varies for each application, but the following information is required to determine it:
- Investment costs Kinv, which include materials, installations and the expenditure for interest and maintenance
- Heat loss costs Kq during expected service time n.
In addition, the economic insulation thickness depends on the
- medium temperature
- thermal conductivity of the insulation material
- annual operation time
- expected service time (lifecycle)
- heat price.
By considering the above, the savings provided by insulation can be maximized. More specifically, investing in an economical insulation system produces the best results and the most savings in energy costs.
How much savings can be achieved through insulation?
The cost savings that can be achieved vary depending on the application. As a general rule, however, the longer the annual operational and service lifetimes of a plant and the higher the energy prices, the greater the economic benefits of insulation.
The greatest savings potential of technical insulation lies in non-insulated components. In them, investing in an economically viable insulation thickness reduces overall costs, but at the same time payback times remain short. According to an EiiF study of around 2,500 sites, the payback period for isolating uninsulated equipment and repairing damaged insulation systems averaged two years and sometimes even just a few months.
In addition to short payback periods, another aspect that is often overlooked is the impact of uninsulated systems on production costs. In many industrial processes, temperatures are very high – up to 600 degrees and more – so the system requires a lot of energy. High temperatures lead to very high heat losses in uninsulated equipment, which increases the energy consumption of the entire system.
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