Turbines are heat engines used for many purposes, from heating to mechanical work in pumps and compressors to power generation or other industries. For safety and efficiency reasons, turbine insulation is a necessity. So what is insulation? What is the material used for insulation? Reasons to apply insulation solution? We will answer these questions in the following article.
Overview of turbine insulation: Concepts, benefits, and materials used
Turbine insulation is essential to ensure turbines in industrial systems always operate perfectly and safely. However, each system will have a different structure, installation, operation characteristics that require other insulation techniques. To understand the right insulation solution, let’s find more about the concept and benefits of implementing turbine system insulation.
1. What is turbine insulation? Importance of implementing turbine system insulation
Before learning what turbine insulation is, you need to understand the concept of insulation better. Insulation is a technical term commonly used in mechanical engineering, refrigeration, or construction to keep heat lost. The heat here can be hot or cold, depending on the purpose of use.Meanwhile, the turbine is a sizable heat-generating tool in industries. Therefore, an insulation solution to ensure user safety and avoid heat loss is no longer necessary but has become a mandatory requirement. Moreover, it also helps to optimize the performance and energy efficiency of the turbine system.The requirements for turbine insulation will vary and depend on the user’s purpose. Since then, each system will also tend to use different insulation materials to ensure its suitability and effectiveness. So specifically, in addition to avoiding heat loss, what benefits does turbine system insulation bring to industries? Find out in the next section.
2. The benefits of turbine insulation for system operations and productivity
Gas turbines are an indispensable component in many industries and sectors. Accordingly, their safe and continuous operation has a decisive influence on the profitability and productivity of the entire system as well as increasing energy efficiency. The implementation of turbine insulation is equally essential when it brings many significant benefits such as:
- Insulation creates a solid protective layer, ensuring safety for workers when working near or touching the turbine system. As mentioned above, it generates a massive amount of heat and easily causes severe burns without insulation solution.
- Effectively reduce heat loss, thereby reducing system costs and energy. Regardless of the size of a small turbine, leaving it unprotected can result in significant heat loss and lead to high costs. Small turbines capable of covering 50 square feet of the surface when heated, at the unrecommended temperature point of 750°F waste more than 180,000 BTUs per hour and more than 1,500 MMBTUs per year. Simply put, an individual turbine will cost a plant up to $9,500 per year in wasted energy.
- Turbine insulation helps increase system uptime and reduce maintenance costs by limiting problems or damage caused by heat, mechanical or electrical on the system during operation.
From the above benefits, we can see that turbine insulation ensures the safety and continuity of the system and creates long-term, optimal benefits in terms of maintenance costs and operational productivity motion.Let’s find in detail modern thermal coating technology – the perfect solution in anti-corrosion and turbine insulation, extending the life of buildings and systems.
3. Types of materials used for turbine insulation, which one is suited for your turbine?
Currently, on the market, there are many common materials used in turbine insulation. Each of these insulation materials has its characteristics. The use of insulation materials should be considered and selected to suit the system’s characteristics and specific purposes and wishes. Here are the five most popular types of insulation today:
Fiberglass is the most common insulation used in turbine insulation today. It is formed by weaving fine glass fibers into an insulating material capable of minimizing heat transfer. The main disadvantage of this material is how dangerous it is to handle. Since fiberglass is made from finely woven silicon, glass powder and tiny glass fragments will form during processing. These substances can harm eyes, lungs, and even skin if proper safety equipment is not worn. However, when the appropriate safety equipment is used, fiberglass installations can be easily accomplished without incident.
b. Mineral wool
Mineral wool can be purchased as batts or as a bulk material. However, it is not combustible. Most mineral wool does not have the elements to make it fire-resistant, so it is rarely used in extreme temperature conditions. When used in combination with other forms of fireproof insulation, mineral wool becomes an effective solution for insulating large areas against fire.
c. Silicone Fabric
This is one of the most aesthetically pleasing fire retardant fabrics, commonly used in turbine insulation. In addition to its high heat resistance, it also has excellent chemical resistance and flame resistance.
Cellulosic insulation is perhaps one of the most environmentally-friendly forms of insulation. Cellulose is made from recycled cardboard, paper, and other similar materials in bulk. Due to the material’s dense nature, cellulose does not contain oxygen, which minimizes the damage that a fire can cause. Therefore, it is also an effective form of fireproof insulation. However, this material also has certain downsides, such as causing allergies to newspaper dust in some people. In addition, it isn’t easy to find technicians skilled in using this type of insulation compared to fiberglass. However, cellulose is a cheap and effective means of insulation.
e. Polyurethane foam
Although not the most common insulator in turbine insulation, polyurethane foam is an excellent form of insulation. Today, polyurethane foam uses chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)-free gas as the blowing agent. This helps reduce the amount of damage to the ozone layer. In addition, we can spray low-density foams into areas without insulation. Another advantage of this type of insulation is its resistance to fire. Another advantage of this type of insulation is its resistance to fire.There are many forms of insulation available, each with its own set of properties. Only by thoroughly researching each type can you discover which one is right for your particular needs. Problems and inconveniences in industries are gradually being improved markedly by essential inventions. In particular, turbine insulation materials are an indispensable solution to address the risks and limitations in gas turbine systems and improve the system’s performance and energy efficiency.As a trusted partner in many projects, VIVABLAST provides turbine insulation services requiring skilled technicians and best-fit substitute materials. VIVABLAST can guarantee excellent insulation results by using sustainable and eco-friendly resources by focusing on quality, safety, and time.