Message Board Thread - "Chiller Pipes: Condensation."

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Chiller Pipes: Condensation. manuel-thermoimagen 8/14/2009
Hi there.

well, now, i bring here a condensation issue. would like to hear from expertise.

situation is the images shows. brand new instalation is showing condensation profile at pipes insulation. supervisor says that some inside areas personal sometimes feels how dripping fall out over their heads.

i now this is a big problem. would like to know how this scenario has to be repaired. technician will need to remove all the piping insulation and install brand new one???..

regards
 
Re:Chiller Pipes: Condensation. Bob Berry 8/14/2009
I'm not sure that I agree with your conclusion that this is simply condensation. I would think it is a leak, or an insulation problem. The condensation you are getting on the outside is due to a local section of the surface being colder (below dewpoint). The condensation is likely to be a symptom, not a cause. Strip the insulation off and have a look at it.
 
Re:Chiller Pipes: Condensation. ron lucier 9/8/2009
It is indeed condensation and not a leak. You can go into virtually any machine space with chillers and find this. By definition the supplied chilled water will be below the dew point and any moisture in the air contacting this surface will condense. The best way to fix this is to strip off all this type of insulation and replace it with sprayed on neoprene insulation. If you allow any air to contact this cold surface water will condense!

Also, sample the insulation and you will find mold!
 
Re:Chiller Pipes: Condensation. Scott Wood Associates 10/11/2009
Based on what I've seen in mechanical rooms I concur with Ron. In high humid areas I see this problem more often. Even in new building I’ve seen the issue which can be reduced by “sealing” to cold chiller line as Ron mentioned with a spray on vapor barrier material. We sometimes forget that there are three modes of heat transfer (radiation, conduction and convection). Vapor movement or air movement through the insulation or around it at breaks in the insulation result in condensation and build up of moisture within the insulation, increasing the conduction from the warmer room to the cold pipe, showing the patterning as in your thermogram. The image is showing 10 or more degree C difference not achievable by evaporative cooling alone.
 
Re:Chiller Pipes: Condensation. fazlye 2/23/2010
hi bob, i definitely agree with both ron and scott, this is a condensation. the best thing is that you stripped oof the current insulation and install a new one, a sprayed on insulation. and dont be surprise to see more of this in your pant ropom, its a common problem in a plant room having chilled water pipe.

All the best
 
Re:Chiller Pipes: Condensation. insulator 9/21/2010
I have been involved in mechanical insulation for 30 years and i have never heard of anyone spraying a foam on piping inside a mechanical room. You can purchase preformed foams such as urethane, styrofoam, and foamglass made to fit the pipe and fittings. In the midwest most chilled water piping is insulated with fiberglass. The mechanical contractor installing the pipe should use support systems that do not penetrate the jacket or vapor barrier. Pipe insulation thickness is determined by max anticipated dewpoint in the piping or equipment location. I've insulated liquid natural gas ( -290) with 3 layers of uethane/ metal jacket. It works. Your image points out that once the fiberglass fails and starts to get wet it loses its insulation value. The dark area of the image is probably the water.
 
Re:Chiller Pipes: Condensation. StecGuy 10/14/2010
This is only one option to assist in remedy, but could help prevent any deterioration that would occur with the pipe over time. I ran into this company on a project i was on in a perishables warehouse.

http://insuldry.com/
 
Re:Chiller Pipes: Condensation. message boards 3/29/2011
What did you set your e at?
 
Re:Chiller Pipes: Condensation. Researcher 11/10/2011
insulator wrote:
been involved in mechanical insulation for 30 years and i have never heard of anyone spraying a foam on piping inside a mechanical room. You can purchase preformed foams such as urethane, styrofoam, and foamglass made to fit the pipe and fittings. In the midwest most chilled water piping is insulated with fiberglass. The mechanical contractor installing the pipe should use support systems that do not penetrate the jacket or vapor barrier. Pipe insulation thickness is determined by max anticipated dewpoint in the piping or equipment location. I've insulated liquid natural gas ( -290) with 3 layers of uethane/ metal jacket. It works. Your image points out that once the fiberglass fails and starts to get wet it loses its insulation value. The dark area of the image is probably the water.
I live in a 1964 built high-rise and we have a big overhead installed chiller pipe condensation problem resulting in leaks causing damages below. We are worried about any mold or healthy safety hazards and wold like to know how best to approach the repairs on these chiller pipe insulations.

I enclose a collage photo of these problem pipes.

Thank you in advance for any help you can give in form of suggestions.

With friendly regards, Chris
 


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