he thermal efficiency of a district heating scheme in Glasgow is being optimised thanks to the use of pre-insulated polybutylene pipe from Flexenergy.
The pipe technology was selected to minimise the thermal losses of heated water being transported to a new housing development at the Ibroxholm Oval and because the material meant key elements of the network could be prefabricated offsite.
Flexenergy supplied 500 metres of polybutylene pipe for the project, which comprises 65 apartments available for rent, with elbows and T-pieces prefabricated at the company’s Scotland base using electrofusion jointing to reduce the network installation time onsite. Bespoke building entry risers were also supplied, along with V-Flex valves which allow sections of the network to be isolated for maintenance. The valve system can also facilitate extension of the district heating scheme in the future, if needed.
Flexenergy’s pipe provides a high pressure, temperature and moisture resistant solution for district heating schemes, thanks to its polybutylene pipes and the unique closed cellular structure of the polyethylene foam insulating the pipe. It is the only pre-insulated plastic pipe in the UK that can be fully welded, securing the integrity of the network while minimising heat losses. It also uses recyclable materials.
Jamie Stephen, Managing Director of CHAPS (GB) Ltd, the mechanical contractor for the Glasgow project, commented:
“From the first point of contact with Flexenergy, then during the tender process and creating the network, we knew that this pipe technology was the correct product for this project; the pipe could be electrofusion welded, there was no cumbersome tooling and the large coil availability were all key factors in our choice, as well as the offsite support with sizing and design. Our onsite resources were able to collaborate with our sister civil engineering business, Deans Civil Engineering, to get the pipe installed within tight time frames as access became available in each area."
“We will certainly look to utilise the same system on future projects.”