Future district heating will require a more efficient distribution, which in turn will require lower heat losses in district heating networks. Today, especially polyurethane insulation is used in the heating pipes that are dropped into the ground. The aim of our research is to identify other materials that have better insulation performance. There are several new materials on the market, such as aerogels which insulates about twice as good as conventional polyurethane. Another product that might be interesting is vacuum insulated panels (VIP), which is increasingly used as insulation in the floor and ceiling of including passive.
Improved insulation of heating pipes can provide benefits in several ways. Primarily, it can obviously reduce the heat loss, but it may also be possible to utilize a more efficient insulation to reduce the outer dimensions of the tubes. This may for example provide significant benefits when building heating network. It is not enough to find an insulation material that has good thermal properties, but it should also meet other technical requirements, including mechanical properties.
The project is carried out at the Divison of Building Technology, research group Building Physics.