Cosmoplast slashes energy wastage

The sheer pace of social development in the Middle East is putting increased emphasis on the efficiency of district cooling systems.

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By  Eudore Chand Published  December 1, 2003

The sheer pace of social development in the Middle East is putting increased emphasis on the efficiency of district cooling systems. Ensuring enough cooling capabilities for the large social and commercial communities living and working together in this hot desert climate is driving up energy costs. And district energy systems, designed to distribute cold water from a remotely located plant facility, lack cost effective technical and material resources to meet the challenge. That’s according to Jim Dymock, general manager of Cosmoplast, who spies a solution for this threat in the guise of pre-insulated pipes. “Traditionally, steel pipes have been the medium in conventional district heating and cooling systems,” explains Dymock. “With the recent advent of advanced plastics like High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) materials and pre insulation processes utilising Polyurethane (PU) foams, the concept of using steel pipes in district cooling systems have undergone a sea change. HDPE materials… provide better characteristics on physical and material properties with regard to heat conduction and insulation when compared to the previously used steel pipes. The world over, well established district cooling system installers have already shown the conviction to convert to plastic piping systems. [Plastic] is the primary choice of medium in a modern district cooling system.” HDPE pipe deployment in Gulf-based district cooling systems would seem to offer many significant advantages over steel. The installation of a district cooling system involves trenching and laying a wide network of pipes over substantial areas. A chemical flushing agent can be used to counter this, but it is a laborious and potentially harmful process, adding both to installation complexity and cost. In addition, corrosive deposits that build up on the walls of steel pipes will gradually increase flow resistance and reduce system efficiency. Continuous maintenance will escalate the operating costs, where HDPE pipes boast a life expectancy of over 50 years with no anticipated growth of internal detritus.

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