Efficient air-conditioning systems comply with BS 5422
Flexible insulation is a ubiquitous fixture on just about every air-conditioning pipe worldwide but its critical role in preventing condensation and saving energy is often misunderstood while key standards like BS 5422:2009 are overlooked entirely.
BS 5422:2009 is a standard that provides guidelines to consultants on how to write a specification for pipe insulation. It provides advice on what thickness of insulation should be installed on air-conditioning pipes.
By their very nature, air-conditioning pipes carry refrigerant at below ambient temperatures to create a cooling effect indoors. These cold pipes are subject to experiencing condensation that can ultimately lead to corrosion but pipe insulation prevents this by controlling surface temperatures.
On air-conditioning pipes insulation must always be installed for this purpose – even if the energy powering the system were ‘free’ and derived from entirely renewable sources.
Kaiflex, as a flexible closed cell, is among the best insulation materials for preventing condensation on air-conditioning pipes. Thickness requirements may vary but condensation can often be averted with the use of as little as 9 or 13 mm.
Reduce your energy burden
Space cooling is far more energy intensive than heating. Reducing this energy burden is a major task for any air-conditioning consultant who must calculate exactly how much cooling is required to correctly size an air-conditioning unit.
Parasitic heat gain to the distribution pipework is not generally considered a major source of energy loss from an air-conditioning system – especially since all pipes must be insulated to prevent condensation and this naturally reduces the heat gain. Some systems can, however, still experience significant energy loss from the pipes if care hasn’t been taken during the design phase.
Comply with BS 5422:2009
For air-conditioning pipes BS 5422:2009 begins, as you’d expect, by specifying a thickness of insulation to prevent condensation. The standard approaches energy saving by looking at the overall energy use of the air-conditioning system and assessing how much of this energy use can be attributed to heat gain to the pipes.
If, as is normally the case, the parasitic heat gain to the insulated pipes represents less than 5% of the total heat load of the system then the thickness of insulation applied already satisfies BS 5422:2009 requirements for energy saving purposes. When this isn’t the case BS 5422:2009 simply requires that the thickness of insulation should be increase until the parasitic heat gains are less than 5%.
For more advice on support on ensuring compliance with BS 5422:2009 please contact our technical service team.