why insulate? – insulation energy appraisal program
- Evaluates the Thermal Performance of Insulated Versus Uninsulated Piping and Equipment in Your Facility
- Translates Btu Losses into Actual Dollars
- Calculates Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Insulation is a seriously under-utilized, but proven technology solution that can save energy, reduce fuel costs and a facility’s impact on the environment. The role of insulation in energy efficiency and environmental preservation is clear. Every time a system is insulated it improves the energy efficiency of a facility and reduces the level of emissions of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. From an economical point of view, thermal insulation simply makes good business sense. A properly selected, specified and installed thermal insulation system can, in many cases, provide an excellent return on investment through cost savings.
The Insulation Energy Appraisal Program is a major industry initiative designed to give facility/energy managers a better understanding of the true dollar and performance value of an insulated system. Developed by the National Insulation Association (NIA), the program is a tool that quantifies the amount of energy and actual dollars a facility is losing with its current in-place insulation system — and demonstrates how a more efficient system can:
- Save hundreds of thousands of Btu.
- Improve process control and efficiency.
- Reduce fuel costs.
- Contribute to a cleaner environment through the reduction of emissions into the atmosphere.
HOW DOES AN APPRAISAL WORK?
Through visual inspection, interviews and analysis, an appraiser conducts a thorough evaluation of your facility’s existing in-place insulation systems. The thermal performance of insulated piping and equipment will be compared to that of any uninsulated, or underinsulated, piping and equipment in your facility. Based on the analysis findings, the appraiser will document the actual Btu/dollars/emissions you are saving/losing with your current system and the potential savings and reductions in emission levels possible with an insulation upgrade. Your final customized report will identify recommendations based on analysis findings and will calculate the potential return on investment through insulation optimization.
APPRAISERS ARE CERTIFIED
All certified appraisers are professionals. They receive intensive training through the fully accredited Insulation Energy Appraisal Program sponsored by NIA. They can provide you with an accurate appraisal of your current insulation systems and recommend the steps necessary to make improvements.
THE APPRAISAL PROCESS
The appraisal is a five-step process and may take two to four hours or longer, depending on the size of a facility and the scope of the appraisal.
1. Meet with Facility/Energy Manager The first step is an interview and discussion with the facility/energy manager and other engineering staff who know the facility well. This will determine the scope of the appraisal, the scope of a facility’s energy usage and energy distribution systems, and the cost to operate. The appraiser will also want to review the facility layout, facility drawings (if available), and determine the major sources of energy serving the facility.
2. Walk-Through of Facility Very often this step of the process takes place on a follow-up visit. During a walk-through, the appraiser will measure and document all applicable pipes, ducts and equipment including both insulated and uninsulated sections.
3. Customized Software Calculates Data Once the appraiser has completed all documentation, he or she returns to the office and enters accumulated data into the 3E Plus® computer program. This program was developed by the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association to put an actual dollar value to Btu losses, and calculate greenhouse gas emissions such as CO2, NOx and Carbon Equivalent (CE).
4. Final Report Based on the calculations derived from the 3E Plus® computer program, a full, customized report is generated which documents:
- The fuel cost savings with your current insulation systems and your potential savings with an insulation upgrade.
- The environmental impact in terms of reduced combustion product gases (CO2, NOx and other greenhouse gases) resulting from increased energy savings and reduced fuel consumption.
- The amount of energy (Btu) loss or gain from uninsulated surfaces in your facility.
- The amount of energy (Btu) loss or gain from insulated surfaces in your facility.
- The amount of Btu or energy loss or gain from a pipe or vessel if the pipe or vessel is insulated to the most thermally efficient, yet cost effective, thickness determined by the 3E Plus® computer program used in the appraisal.
5. Presentation of Report Within a brief period of time, the appraiser will present a customized report to the facility/energy manager. All financial savings information as well as energy and environmental data will be thoroughly explained at that time. The appraiser may identify recommendations based on analysis findings and discuss the potential return on investment from an insulation upgrade. If requested, the appraiser can provide a professional estimate regarding any insulation recommendations.
An Insulation Energy Appraisal Looks At:
- Pipe & equipment sizes and location.
- Piping and equipment geometries.
- Types of installed insulation.
- Installed jacketing materials.
- Ambient temperature.
- Process temperatures.
- Wind velocity.
- Design relative humidity values.
- Annual number of hours of operation.
- Scheduled down times.
- Different thicknesses of insulation.
- Energy sources.
- Efficiency of each energy unit.
- Type of energy used.
- Cost of energy.
- Current insulation thicknesses.
- Process & instrument drawings, if available.
- Insulation specifications.