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Measuring Valve Insulation Heat Savings

luisk Member Posts: 1
I want to

insulate a large number of valves and accessories in a steam distribution

system at a dairy plant (piping is already insulated), but the customer wants

to be able to measure or get an idea of the savings that will be obtained from

the project. Due to varying conditions (production, ambient, fuel properties)

it is hard to see the savings reflected in the fuel bill, so we want to suggest

the following test. Place a steam flow meter (totalizer) in the steam pipe

leading to a group of machines (say pasteurizers) and measure kg steam/liter

milk over a period of time. Then insulate all valves/accessories (including

steam traps) downstream from the meter and measure the same parameter again.

Specific steam consumption should be lower. Could this test give a proof

that savings can be achieved? Can I also measure the amount of condensate in

the circuit under evaluation? For the same duty (liters of milk) the condensate should be reduced after insulating the valves

due to reduced heat losses.

Thanks for

the help.


  • crash2009
    crash2009 Member Posts: 1,484
    edited November 2010

    The US Department of energy has already spent money on testing.  Here are the results.  I was surprised to see that using their example, they saved $525 per valve.  You need to do the math as it pertains to your project.  I would be interested in reading (here) your results.
  • Owen
    Owen Member Posts: 147
    edited November 2010

    I'd like to know why one can't just use R-11 paper faced fiberglass batts wrapped around pipe & fittings and secured with cord or whatever. The shaped stuff is spendy. I've got a school with no insulation whatever on any of the boiler room steam piping and plan to do just that as an experiment. (I tend seven school boilers.) I hope to use two 15 1/2" batts with the paper flanges stapled together at the seams on 6" mains. Am I mistaken that this would work, be cheap and is better than nothing?
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,182
    edited November 2010

    Your right about the preformed stuff being expensive.

    I've seen people use fiberglass to insulate piping and it seems to work ok. In your case there might be a concern with loose fibers getting outside the boiler room. Other than that, why not.

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • haaljo
    haaljo Member Posts: 112
    I have mucho fiberglass wrapped around 15 feet

    main in unoccupied basement of my 20 year old addition. It still doing a good job. At a school, I'm not so sure. Better check with inspector so you don't get called on it during annual inspection (at least here in Massachusetts). Might have to wrap it with an appropriate material. It's a good idea what you are thinking about doing.

    I like your style.
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