rom refrigerators to light bulbs – the energy consumption of a broad range of devices is carefully regulated. While consumers have become accustomed to energy labels, such statutory standards have been missing for industrial plants. This is despite the fact that significant savings can be achieved with simple means, as demonstrated by a current project from Bilfinger Industrial Services Schweiz AG: To detect heat loss at a wood-fired heating plant in Schattdorf in the Canton Uri, specialists from Bilfinger are applying the so-called TIPCHECK procedure (Technical Insulation Performance Check) which carefully examines insulation on the plant components and lays out a path to greater sustainability.
TIPCHECK can do much more than merely examine existing insulation for damage and defects. The focus is primarily on so-called “hot spots” – uninsulated components like flanges, fittings and wall mounts. These are areas where heat - and energy - are lost. At the Swiss heating plant, heat loss from the steam collectors, the feedwater tank, fittings and other plant components is first determined with thermal imaging cameras and contact thermometers. Using the results of the review as a foundation, specific measures to improve the insulation can subsequently be undertaken.
In the course of a follow-up measurement that was recently conducted, the positive effects of the measures was confirmed: The annual energy savings amounted to 180,000 kilowatt hours For the company that operates the heating plant this means savings in the amount of 18,000 Swiss francs. It was also possible to reduce annual CO2 emissions at the plant by six tons. An effective contribution to climate protection has thus been made with the TIPCHECK procedure.