Pipe heat loss

Pipes that distribute a heating medium lose some heat to the surroundings. This heat loss causes undesired cooling of the medium in the pipes.

Pipes that distribute a heating medium lose some heat to the surroundings. This heat loss causes undesired cooling of the medium in the pipes. The heat loss may be acceptable if the pipes are placed within a heated space. However, this form of heat transfer is undesirable, as it cannot be regulated and may not be required for most of the year.

Heat loss from pipes can be minimised by insulation and by adjusting the medium temperature in relation to the outdoor temperature. The amount of insulation required depends on the water temperature and annual operating hours of the pipes.

Heat loss can also occur when circulating very cold media. In such situations, the pipes are insulated to prevent the media from being heated by the surroundings, and to prevent condensate or frost forming on the external pipe surface.

District heating distribution pipes lose a considerable amount of heat. The loss can be up to 20–25 % of a district heating systems total heat load, which can severely affect the profitability of the system.





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