This blog aims to highlight the various different kinds of thermal pipe insulation, and highlight their particular strengths and weaknesses.
Choosing the right product for your application helps to avoid wasting money, and understanding more about what you are doing helps you to avoid making mistakes.
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SLACK EFFICIENCY TARGET WILL FAIL TO SECURE EUROPE’S ENERGY FUTURE
Claus Bugge Garn, VP and energy efficiency expert, at ROCKWOOL International A/S: “Europe’s energy future is at a crossroads. It might seem obvious that Europe would desire more economic growth and jobs, lower energy imports and costs, less energy poverty, and even less CO2. Energy efficiency can deliver all that cost effectively, but when it comes to actions and to setting the ambition level for 2030 then now is the last-minute call for political leadership.”
In just two weeks, the European Council of Ministers will decide on its 2030 energy savings target. The European Parliament has already voted in favour of a binding 40% energy savings target for 2030. But this summer, the European Commission proposed to lower the energy savings target to just 30%, yet even the European Commission’s own impact assessment has shown that an even higher energy savings target can deliver many more benefits; including energy security, reduction of energy import dependency, more jobs and greater GDP growth.
Claus Bugge Garn says: “There is overwhelming evidence that Europe can reduce its energy consumption cost effectively by 40% by 2030, but most of this potential is left unrealised. I strongly urge more governments to insist on securing Europe’s energy future. A meagre 30% target is less economical and will provide fewer jobs and less energy security than a 40% target.”
Today, buildings are the biggest energy consumer using around 40% of the energy in the EU, but 2/3 of this energy could be saved cost effectively. By doubling the rate of energy efficient building modernisations to 3% per year the energy consumption in buildings could be reduced by 80% by 2050.
Claus Bugge Garn, VP and energy efficiency expert, at ROCKWOOL International A/SClaus Bugge Garn: “This may seem afar, but we are building our future today and there is no time to waste. Market barriers are preventing it from happening by itself. A binding target of 40% energy savings by 2030 must be set and met if we are to keep the leading position that Europe has had on energy efficiency in the past. Now is the time for politicians to kick start an era of ambitious yet achievable energy saving measures that benefit the European economy and the quality of life for its citizens. If we miss this critical opportunity to drive energy savings in the coming decade, our energy security will become even worse, billions of euros will be go up in smoke, and job creation will remain slack and inadequate.” About the conference ‘Securing Europe’s Energy Future’
Next up in the series we are doing on pipe insulation is "flexible foams"; a category that includes polyethylene and expanded nitrile rubber.
Polyethylene Pipe Insulation Climaflex pipe insulation is the UK's leading brand for polyethylene pipe insulation. This is the grey foam that most people are familiar with, the kind you would traditionally find in garden centres for example. Polyethylene is the cheapest, widely available product in the market. People very often wrongly assume cheap means poor quality, this is not the case with a brand such as Climaflex. It has a thermal conductivity of 0.034 W/m.K at 0°C which is broadly equal to that of any other flexible foam, and it also has a much higher "μ factor" than other foams, making it more resistant to moisture ingress. These facotrs make it ideal for use around the home, being easy to work with and providing good insulation. The material can be purchased in 1m and 2m lengths, and is available in wall thicknesse…
Our Beginners Guide series of blogs will look at the common areas of pipe insulation lagging that you will want to look at when choosing your product. This guide will be of most interest to the DIY installers, but some of our later guides will cover more complex products and areas of application.
One of the things we get asked about a lot is what the dimensions quoted for pipe insulation actually mean. You will always see three measurements quoted when describing pipe insulation; Wall Thickness, Bore Size and Length.
In the below diagram, A is the "Bore" and B is the "Wall".
Wall thickness is very simply how much insulation you have; so for example if you have 13mm Wall pipe insulation, then that means you have 13mm of insulation on either side of your pipe. This thickness is very often one of the most important part of your decision; too thin and you might not get the results you are looking for but too thick and it might not fit between your pipe and the wall.
With the cold weather approaching we thought it would be a good idea to touch on how best to protect your pipes from frost this winter.
When dealing with frost protection on pipes inside a building your aim with insulating them is to delay the onset of freezing for as long as possible; it is not possible to guarantee a pipe will not freeze by insulation alone. The better the insulation, and the thicker the insulation, the longer you will give yourself. Under normal circumstances you aim to give yourself about 8-10 hours protection against sub zero temperatures. With pipes inside a home this is usually long enough to be sure the pipes will not freeze.
Ice formation inside the pipes will lead to an increase in pressure. As the water tries to flow this pressure will increase, and eventually will lead to the pipes bursting. A burst pipe can cause a lot of problems, not least of which is a lot of damage to your property and a lot of expense incurred.