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Insulation Gets More Sustainable
Every five to seven years, the Mayo Plant in North Carolina
inspects welds on the plant’s high-temperature piping.
That means taking off the calcium silicate insulation that
covers 1,100 feet of piping to inspect welds – making sure
the piping will continue to operate safely.
Ben Carter, high-energy piping engineer, noticed a problem
over subsequent outages. The traditional calcium silicate
insulation crumbled when removed, preventing it from being
used again. So after seeing dozens of industrial dumpsters
haul away old insulation, he started thinking.
“There had to be a better way,” he said. “We were sending
too much to the landfill.”
Carter’s idea was to use a new blanket-type material for
the piping insulation. Piping located inside the plant used a
similar product, but it was necessary to modify the installation
for piping that was located outdoors. The selected product
worked just as well as the old material – was 15 percent less
expensive and could be reused after removal. No waste …
no dumpsters heading to the landfill.
So far, the concept is working well. The coal-fired plant
will continue to test the material for the next two years. If
successful, the Mayo Plant will share the technique with other
Duke Energy plants.
The end result could be a less expensive and more
sustainable way to install insulation at power plants.