Potential energy savings from technical insulation in industrial applications

It is well documented that upgrading heating systems lowers energy costs while also contributing substantially towards achievement of the European Union’s energy and climate targets.

We have already explained how, and by what means, cost reductions can be realised in public and private buildings in our report entitled  "Up to 80 Per Cent Energy Savings through Renovation – Modern Building Services and Insulation Make It Possible". But does this hold true for industry as well? And, if it does, how can highly energy-intensive industrial enterprises likewise actively contribute to the energy transition and save energy costs?

Energy efficiency is good, but rare

Based on experience gained through its “Energy Efficiency Initiative”, the German Energy Agency (DENA) has come to the conclusion that substantial heat losses are something that numerous companies simply take for granted. According to one survey, only one out of four companies invests in energy-efficient insulation of its production facilities, something that, according to the DENA, can reduce heat losses by about 30 per cent. This finding is supported by a Europe-wide study conducted by the European Industrial Insulation Foundation (EiiF), according to which up to ten per cent of components in European industrial plants have damaged insulation or even lack insulation altogether. The conclusion: indicators such as cost-effectiveness or maximum energy efficiency are often completely ignored when it comes to selecting insulation systems.

Simple measure, big effect

Even small measures to optimise technical insulation can give companies a decisive competitive advantage. Particular attention should be given to insulating thermal bridges (such as valves or pipe supports), as these are responsible for a disproportionate share of heat losses.

Kaiflex EPDMplus was developed specifically for use on pipelines that transport higher-temperature fluids or are exposed to fluctuating temperatures. It is used wherever there is a need to effectively shield against heat. Thanks to its excellent thermal conductivity of λ ≤0.038 W/(m·K) at 0°C, energy losses and costs are minimised and system performance is increased. The elastomeric insulation material reliably covers a constant temperature range of from –65°C to +150°C along with brief spikes up to +170°C, and it is flexible, robust, and very easily and quickly processed. Kaiflex EPDMplus is therefore the preferred choice for insulating:

tanks, containers, pipes

  • cryogenic pipelines, units and fittings
  • solar, steam and fluid pipelines

units, fittings

  • cryogenic units and fittings
  • equipment and fittings that are subjected to high temperatures

Potential energy savings in figures

The potential savings that are available to industry are enormous. And this is true across industries. A study conducted by the EiiF has shown that, with the use of economical insulation solutions in industry, 480 pJ of energy and 37 Mt of CO2 can be saved per year. Industrial enterprises could reduce their fuel consumption and emissions by more than four per cent—and a reduction in energy consumption can give companies a clear competitive advantage.

You can learn more about how Kaiflex insulating materials can help lower industrial production costs in our service special “Saving hard cash with Kaiflex”.

Below we have assembled for you a selection of reports that show how targeted insulation of industrial plants results in significant cost reductions.