The new version of the software has been verified by the independent Research Institute for Thermal Insulation [Forschungsinstitut für Wärmeschutz] as conforming to the procedures for calculating thermal insulation factors laid down in the VDI Guideline 2055 Part 1. The insulation can be designed precisely for the particular application in question. "It takes longer for the preparation and input but the advantage is that you then have an insulation system that has been individually worked out and optimized in respect of insulation thickness and minimized heat loss," says Reichinger.
The TCO Angle
The type of insulation product that is used depends very much on the particular application: Flexible elastomeric foam, foam glass, in situ polyurethane foam, microporous insulation materials and traditional mineral products are all choices that are available. Mineral wool is used very frequently and has a proven track record for high-temperature production and supply pipes. The pipe sections, lamella mats and wired mats are not flammable, hydrophobic, can be installed quickly and — in most cases — easily and are cheap to procure.
But before installing any product, there first needs to be an awareness — particularly among SMEs – of the kind of potential savings that are possible, says Thomas Frank. Frank is the managing director of insulation technology supplier Bohle Isoliertechnik and his recommended reading material on the subject is the brochure entitled "Dämmung von Anlagen in Industrie und Gewerbe" [Insulation of Industrial and Production Plants] issued by the German construction industry association and Dena. He knows what he is talking about, as Bohle has held framework agreements with major chemical companies for decades now and has experience in a wide range of fields of application.
When investing in insulation is on the agenda, experts warn against using rapid payback as the sole decision-making criterion — since in some cases this will result in false economies. Ortlieb warns companies against basing their decisions solely on payback period: "In terms of sustainability, an approach based on payback periods is the wrong one. Likewise, the standard practice of replacing defective insulation with the same thing is unwise." The only objective approach when considering efficiency measures is to take into account the total costs over the scheduled service life. This identifies the insulation thickness that will achieve the minimum overall cost based on a VDI 2055-compliant calculation of the cost-effective insulation thickness.
When such forward-looking action is taken, these inconspicuous insulation systems improve energy efficiency in the long term and at the same time help to save respectable sums of money. In these times of mandatory energy management certification and increasing costs for energy and CO2 offset certificates, the question of whether or not to insulate should never really arise.