Improving Insulation at Old Dominion University

With insufficient insulation, chilled-water pipes at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., were suffering from high temperatures and high relative humidity. Water from condensation was dripping from the pipes, forming rust, staining the floors and ceilings and causing mold and mildew growth. To resolve the situation, a retrofit was in order.

12/01/2002


With insufficient insulation, chilled-water pipes at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., were suffering from high temperatures and high relative humidity. Water from condensation was dripping from the pipes, forming rust, staining the floors and ceilings and causing mold and mildew growth.

To resolve the situation, a retrofit was in order. In this case, insulation—designed specifically for chilled-water pipe applications—was installed in several of the mechanical rooms at one of the university's housing facilities—Powhatan Apartments, home to 384 upperclassmen.

The project has been a true test of the product's capabilities, as the insulation had to endure very harsh conditions: 90°F temperatures and 80% humidity, with little to no airflow to the area, and chilled water coming in at 39°F to 40°F, and returning at 54°F.

About 15 months later, reports Carol Ballard, assistant director of housing services for the university's facilities management department, "The insulation is working fine. I don't see any indication of leaks. Everything looks good."

More than just insulation

Also of note is the fact that the insulation was installed when the chilled water was running and the pipes were wet, thereby minimizing interference with normal operations.

What's also unique about the product is that it does more than just insulate, according to Phil Davenport, manager of insulation contracting at C.E. Thurston & Sons, the firm that installed the piping insulation.

"Most insulation doesn't do anything but insulate. With this insulation, if moisture gets in, it has a way to come out through gravity and evaporation. There is kind of a cycle to it," says Davenport.

The contractor also notes that the product has a nice appearance. "It has a unique polymer jacket and has a good 'memory' where it bounces back if you bump up against it. Also, if you get it dirty, you can clean it very easily."





No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Combined heat and power; Assessing replacement of electrical systems; Energy codes and lighting; Salary Survey; Fan efficiency
Commissioning lighting control systems; 2016 Commissioning Giants; Design high-efficiency hot water systems for hospitals; Evaluating condensation and condensate
Solving HVAC challenges; Thermal comfort criteria; Liquid-immersion cooling; Specifying VRF systems; 2016 Product of the Year winners
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing Arc Flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
click me