TIPCHECK auditing in practice

Discover the content and conclusions of the TIPCHECK audit, which assesses the potential for energy savings, through our example site. Small effort, great benefits!

The content of TIPCHECK is customized

We’ve talked a lot in recent months about the TIPCHECK audit, for which we qualified in the fall of 2021. So maybe you’ve already heard about its benefits, but if you haven’t, let’s take a little review:

  • TIPCHECK is an objective method for assessing the potential for energy savings, developed by the EiiF.
  • Its purpose is to find out how much savings can be made by insulating an industrial site.
  • The goal is to identify the components with the highest energy saving potential and the most profitable payback times.

We have already completed our first official TIPCHECK audits. In this article, we’ll introduce one of them and hopefully get even more open to what TIPCHECK is all about in practice.

The audited site is quite small, so the content of the audit was also limited compared to a typical industrial site. However, the principles and content of TIPCHECK are well illustrated by the example. TIPCHECK audits can generally be performed to the extent agreed and deemed necessary with the client.

Non-insulated pipes in the heat distribution room

In this TIPCHECK audit, we defined the energy saving potential for uninsulated pipes of the heat distribution room. We limited the audit to pipes above 60°C inside the heat distribution room.

In addition to the assessment made at the beginning of the project, we re-measured the surface temperatures after the insulation work and determined the actual energy savings of the insulated pipes. The insulation work itself was carried out by an external contractor.

We estimated the potential savings at the site over one year as the technical insulation is improved as follows:

  • Component 1 – District heating pipe: 4 m Ø 48 mm, uninsulated → insulated with stone wool 50 mm
  • Component 2 – Hot water pipe: 5 m Ø 42 mm, uninsulated → insulated with stone wool 40 mm
  • Component 3 – Heating pipe: 6 m Ø 35 mm, uninsulated → insulated with stone wool 40 mm

We made the first measurements on uninsulated pipes. We determined the current energy losses for uninsulated pipes and calculated the theoretical energy losses for the pipes with the selected insulation strengths. We used the measured surface temperatures for the determination and the TIPCHECK Calculator software for the calculation.

The second measurement was performed after the pipes had already been insulated. At this point, we determined the actual energy losses for the insulated pipes, using the temperatures measured from the surface of the insulation.

We used the following instruments to help with the measurements:

  • SKF-TKTL 21, portable multifunction thermometer with type K contact temperature sensor
  • Hultafors roll measure, 3 m
  • TBI Insulation App
  • TIPCHECK Calculator, v2.0.0.14

What conclusions did we draw from the results?

To compare uninsulated pipes and insulated pipes, we performed heat loss calculations based on annual service life (8760 h), surface temperatures, and insulation thicknesses used. From the calculations we found out the following:

  • The potential for energy savings in one year is 9.12 MWh or € 730, assuming that the price of energy remains at € 0.08 / kWh throughout the year.
  • CO2 emissions will decrease by 1.84 tonnes during the year.

When we compare the measurement results obtained after the insulation of the pipes and the calculation based on them with the estimate just obtained, we see that the results correspond well to each other.

We measured the surface temperatures after the insulation work from several different locations. They were about two degrees higher where the warm tubes ran close together, because the surface temperature of ​​the tubes was affected by heat radiation from adjacent tubes. The situation was also affected by the fact that the valves were not insulated at all at the site, which means that the surface temperatures of the pipes near them have a large effect of heat radiation. Therefore, the lowest measurement result has been used as the surface temperature of the measured pipes.

We measured surface temperatures at several different points to be able to ensure the uniformity of the insulation. Measurements were made at both angles and t-joints. The surface temperatures were at the same level as the straight pipes, from which we can say that the insulation work was done with high quality.

At this site, we did not look at the payback period for the insulation at all, as the situation was improved with a relatively small investment. The larger the site is, the more important the payback period is in illustrating the profitability of investing in insulation.

Hopefully this example helped you outline what we do in a TIPCHECK audit and what it could offer your company as well.

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