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Michaela Brade
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Properties of a Insulation Nonwoven

In times of rising electricity and energy prices energy efficiency has become an important topic, not only in private but also in the industry. One way to increase the energy efficiency of a plant is insulation. With the use of economic insulation methods energy dissipation can be avoided und the energy consumption and costs can be significantly reduce. It is possible to isolate pipeline as  well as components which should hold their temperature whether cold or hot. The dimensioning of insulation for effective insulation can be calculated with FEM simulation.


The insulation of a pipe at key points can help to save costs. In a research project the aim was to  improve the efficiency of the isolation. This is done by the introduction of a thermoelectric material in the insulating nonwoven.  Electricity can be generated on the temperature gradient. If the influence of the isolation values can be kept at a low level.


To solve this complex task different simulation with various hole spacings  were carried out and then the changes in insulation properties were analyzed.  The starting point was the calculation of the insulating properties of the nonwoven without holes.


In Figure 1 you can see the temperature profile of the insulation nonwoven without holes. In this specific case a warm pipe should be isolated. Looking at the profile, it is clear that nonwoven is well insulating. A kind of the shell model where the temperature is reduced further and further from the inside outwards is developed. . In response to the surrounding temperature, the nonwoven temperature for this layer thickness is approximately 45 K. In Figure 2, holes were made in the nonwoven and filled with a thermo-electric material. In order to produce as much energy in the material, the temperature difference between outside and inside must be as high as possible. Therefore the minimal distance of the holes  to keep the temperature difference has to be found. In Figure 2 it can be seen that the thermo-electrical material conduct the temperature very well.  At the areas without holes the temperature gradient is still recognizable. However, a similarly good insulation like  in the variant without holes is only achieved at the edge.

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