Using Thermal Insulation in Hydroelectric Plants

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HYDROPOWER: WHY USE THERMAL INSULATION IN HYDROELECTRIC PLANTS?
Thermal insulation is a means of stopping heat transfer from one object to another. It is usually used to decrease levels of heat transfer via conduction, requiring objects to be in direct contact, and can also be used to prevent heat transfer via radiation. Thermal conductivity of materials determines the rate of heat transfer between objects. Ceramics and metals which have high thermal conductivities are frequently employed for heat transfer applications such as elements for industrial ovens and furnaces.

What is Hydropower?
Hydropower is a well-established means of generating energy. Twenty percent of the world’s electricity comes from hydroelectric plants and this number is likely to increase as there is a push towards renewable energy solutions.

Hydroelectric plants generate power by water flowing over turbines and causing them to spin magnets inside a generator. This results in a conversion of kinetic energy to electrical energy and the level of power which is proportionate to the volume of water that passes over the turbines as well as the difference in height between the water source and outflow.

Hydroelectric power plants are categorized into different bands by the amount of energy they can  produce. Large power plants produce between a few hundred MWs up to 10GW, small plants can produce up to 10MW, micro plants can produce up to 100KW and pico plants can only produce under 5KW.

A key advantage of hydroelectric power is that it can be harnessed extremely quickly if necessary and is one of the only ways of storing large amounts of electrical energy for peak demand. This is accomplished by storing large quantities of water in a reservoir behind a dam with a hydroelectric power plant beneath.

Using Industrial Insulation in Hydroelectric Plants
In all hydroelectric plants, industrial insulation is extremely important as it aids the steam generating boilers in maintaining temperature levels. Hydroelectric plants are made up of mechanical piping which spans miles, moving materials from point a to point b. It is very important for these pipes to have industrial insulation to sustain temperature levels throughout the electricity generation process.

Selecting the appropriate industrial insulation is of critical importance in such extreme, high-temperature environments. The industrial insulation is also important to prevent corrosion under insulation (CUI), weathering, workplace injuries or fatalities. Industrial insulation also minimizes the levels of noise on the plant floor and helps create energy efficiency in the systems which minimizes waste.

Hydroelectric power plants require the most cost-effective and thermally efficient industrial insulation materials which can last up to 20 years or more.

At Mid-Mountain we have a large range of thermal insulation products, which you can read more about in our blog post on how thermal insulation is used. Alternatively, contact us today for more details.

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Mid-Mountain Materials
Mid-Mountain Materials, Inc is an insulation manufacturer providing heat resistant fabrics and thermal insulation that provide environmental protection, emissions control, and energy conservation.
We use a wide range of different materials for our heat-resistant fabrics to ensure we can provide a cost-effective solution for many different applications, including aerospace, robotics, and welding. 
Our products can provide thermal insulation at temperatures of up to 5000oF, and can also provide protection against chemicals, molten splash, and abrasion.