Energy consultancy firm Ecofys extrapolated these heat losses to obtain a value that is representative of German industry as a whole. Ecofys estimates that domestic production sites could save 106 petajoules (or 22 billion kilowatt-hours) of heating energy every year if their operators were to thermally insulate all uninsulated plant components and repair damaged insulation. While these measures would cost around €180 million, they could save the companies €750 million in energy costs every year.
Dr. Jens Storre, who works as a chemist at ContiTech Elastomer-Beschichtungen GmbH in Northeim (Lower Saxony, Germany), explains why fittings and similar built-in parts are often still uninsulated despite such considerable savings potential. “It must be possible to operate these plant components after they’ve been insulated and they must remain accessible for maintenance and repair work. In addition, they usually have such complex designs that thermal insulation with conventional materials is only possible with great effort, if at all.” Dr. Storre is responsible for the research and development of elastomer sheets at ContiTech. He was involved in developing the flexible Conti® Thermo-Protect insulation system.