Section J

Industry seeks solution on pipework insulation

Checks executed by a specialist refrigeration piping contractor have verified negligible electricity rewards from working with greater R-benefit – and thicker – insulation on refrigeration pipework for AC methods. As a outcome, field stakeholders are now contacting for a revision of the suitable portion of the Nationwide Design Code (NCC) to address the issues affiliated with the excessive insulation.

At the moment, to comply with NCC 2019 clause J5.8(a), refrigeration pipework necessitates a layer of insulation up to R1.7 – up to 38mm thick. This has a range of implications such as:

  • Amplified labour costs – up to a few workers are necessary to set the insulation in place, and it can take three situations as extensive as setting up thinner insulation
  • Injury to lesser diameter tube when placing the thicker insulation in area
  • The have to have for nearer pipe guidance intervals to carry additional pounds and avoid companies from sagging
  • Hearth ranking considerations
  • Room constraints in ceilings and about gear
  • Greater embodied energy expected to generate, retail outlet and transport the thicker insulation.

All of this is mirrored in inflated undertaking charges. It is approximated that agreement price for clients is increased by as significantly as 35 for every cent.

Questions have been raised when the insulation specifications were initial introduced in NCC 2019, but till now, there has been no conclusive knowledge about their success. To present sector with that knowledge, Ventrix commissioned Vipac Engineers and Researchers to conduct comparison screening concerning unique insulation dimensions masking the interconnecting pipework of an AC procedure. The tests ended up intended with input from a assortment of marketplace stakeholders, and carried out in a NATA-qualified facility in standard accordance with AS/NZS 3823.1.1:2012 and Resolve 2019.

They provided a 7.1kW substantial-wall split program with a variable velocity compressor and a 50m pipe run in a balanced ambient calorimeter chamber utilizing 38mm, 32mm, 25mm, 19mm, 13mm and no insulation in each heating and cooling modes. They calculated the influence of the unique insulation thicknesses on power efficiency, capacity and ability enter.

In cooling manner, the reduction in electrical power effectiveness ratio (EER) concerning 38mm insulation and 13mm insulation was observed to be .42 per cent.

In heating mode, the reduction in coefficient of performance (COP) among 38mm insulation and 13mm insulation was identified to be .72 for every cent.

Concerning all sizes of insulation in both of those heating and cooling, the variations were being nicely in margins of error.

“These benefits talk for themselves and ideally will be utilised to confidently to shift the necessity to sensible parameters,” suggests Ventrix owner Andrew Markopoulos.

Provided the substantial expenditures – environmental and financial – of working with thicker insulation, and the minimal improvement in general performance, there have been renewed calls to revise the provision.

The NCC can be revised during the common update course of action, but the subsequent version will not be adopted until eventually 2025.

A further possibility would be for practitioners to use the exam facts to build overall performance remedies. But for scaled-down jobs, the charge of accomplishing this would be prohibitive.

A last risk would be for an out-of-cycle alter to the code. Field bodies are currently communicating with the Australian Developing Codes Board (ABCB) to investigate this option.

In conditions of how this will influence business, Markopoulos states: “While this exam has developed results that plainly back again numerous overall performance options in this space and establish the require to assessment the latest NCC, I’m hoping the group at the ABCB can use this case in point to justify funding to make it possible for them to carry out additional screening, in which they as very well as business feel it necessary to aid fortify the Australian making code.”

Far more information and facts on the take a look at effects is out there directly from Andrew Markopoulos.

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Paul Bannister awarded James Harrison Medal

AIRAH has named Paul Bannister, F.AIRAH, as the 2021 winner of the James Harrison Medal for noteworthy achievements in the Australian HVAC&R sector.

About his career, Bannister has concentrated on improving strength efficiency in structures, in particular energy related to HVAC.

Bannister was seriously associated in the advancement of the Australian Creating Greenhouse Ranking Procedure, which grew to come to be NABERS. This went on to come to be a accomplishment tale of the created atmosphere – in excess of the earlier two a long time it has saved $1 billion in power expenses for users, and averted 7 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. Now, 78 for every cent of all Australia’s business office room is rated with NABERS.

For the 2019 update of Segment J (Energy Efficiency) of the National Design Code, Bannister led a crew of 20 staff to undertake the big project. It resulted in sizeable enhancements in the power-performance demands for new professional properties.

In 1999, Bannister founded Exergy, an strength administration consultancy that grew to a lot more than 30 staff around the next 15 many years. He currently serves as director of innovation at DeltaQ.

“It’s a wonderful honour and genuinely rather out of the blue!” states Bannister. “It is seriously good to get recognition for what I hope has been a significant and beneficial input to the sector.

“I am exceptionally lucky that I have been equipped to make a occupation out of anything I sense passionate about: earning the earth a better spot. This passion has saved me heading as a result of thick and slim and continues to be the detail that keeps me coming back again for extra.”

The James Harrison Medal is the greatest honour AIRAH can bestow on an individual. Bannister will accept the medal at the AIRAH Awards 2021 ceremony, scheduled for February 17, 2022, in Sydney.

For more data about the AIRAH Awards, and to sign up, click below.

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