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New Calculator Added to Mechanical Insulation Design Guide

A new calculator has been introduced in the Mechanical Insulation Design Guide (MIDG): the Simple Payback, Rate of Return, and Emissions Calculator. The spreadsheet calculator is an aid to understanding the relationships between energy, economics, and emissions for insulated systems for above and below ambient service conditions.

The calculator estimates the heat flow through a vertical flat steel surface (typical of the sides of a large steel tank containing a heated or cooled fluid). Information concerning a hypothetical insulation system (e.g. the area, operating temperature, ambient temperature and wind speed, thermal conductivity and surface emittance of a proposed insulation system, etc) may be input by the user. Calculated results are given over a range of insulation thicknesses and include:

  1. surface temperature
  2. heat flow
  3. annual cost of fuel
  4. payback period
  5. annualized rate of return
  6. annual CO2 emissions.

The calculator was developed for MIDG by the National Insulation Association (www.insulation.org) for illustrative purposes and makes a number of simplifying assumptions. Other geometries and more complex insulation systems may be analyzed using software such as the 3E Plus® program developed by the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA), available at www.pipeinsulation.org.


NIA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the contractors, distributors, laminators, fabricators, and manufacturers that provide thermal insulation, insulation accessories, and components to the commercial, mechanical, and industrial markets throughout the nation. Since 1953, the northern Virginia?based association has been the voice of the insulation industry and is dedicated to keeping the commercial and industrial insulation industry up to date on the latest industry trends and technologies. For more information about NIA, please visit www.insulation.org.

The MIDG was developed by the National Institute of Building Sciences to provide a comprehensive source of information on the performance, use, testing, and standardization of mechanical insulation in buildings and industrial facilities. The MIDG is continually being improved and updated. For more information, visit www.wbdg.org/midg.


This press release dates from January 2009.




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