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Tagliatela College of Engineering
EAS112 – Methods of Engineering Analysis
TO: EAS 112 Students March 27, 2013
FROM: Dr. Collura, EAS112 Instructor
Subject: Project 2, Optimum Pipe Insulation
A long pipe is to be installed to transport steam from a boiler to another part of the plant. Insulation is
needed on the pipe for both safety and economic reasons. You are to develop a spreadsheet to
calculate the surface temperature of the insulated pipe and to model the heat loss to the surrounding
air as a function of the thickness of insulation on the outside of the pipe. Your model should allow for
variation in the key parameters to explore the effect of various changes. Using data generated by your
model, select the best insulation thickness to maximize the present value of net savings in comparison
to an un-insulated pipe. Provide appropriate plots and data tables to support your decision and to show
the financial penalty for using a different insulation thickness.
Heat Loss Calculation
The steam pipe is to be made from schedule 40 steel with a diameter in the range of 2 to 3.5 inches
(nominal pipe size). The pipe will be encased in fiberglass insulation with an aluminum sheet cladding to
protect from weather. Heat loss for this case can be modeled using a combination of convection and
conduction heat transfer rate equations. Heat from the steam is transferred to the inside wall of the
pipe by forced convection, then through each of three layers by conduction (pipe wall, insulation,
cladding) and finally from the outside of the cladding to the surrounding air by natural convection. The
governing equations are shown below to calculate heat transferred per unit length of pipe:
QS = rate of heat lost by
steam to inside pipe
Q1, Q2, Q3 = rates of
heat transferred
through pipe wall,
insulation, aluminum
cladding, respectively
QA=rate of heat lost to air

A a A A
S s s s
Q h r T T C T T
r r
k T T Q
r r
k T T Q
r r
k T T Q
Q h r T T C T T
4 4 5 4
4 3 4
4 3
3 3 4
3 2 3
3 2
2 2 3
2 1 2
2 1
1 1 2
1 1 1 1
– per meter length of steam pipe
Heat Transfer Rate for Each Layer
r1 r2
r3 r4
View of pipe looking along axis
Steel Pipe
The heat transfer rate equations include constants for the thermal conductivity of the materials and
heat transfer coefficients for the convective situations. Values for these will be fixed for the analysis.
The temperatures of the steam and the air will be fixed values, but the temperatures at each surface will
be dependent on the thickness of insulation and size of the pipe. The subscripts used for the
temperatures correspond to radial distances from the center of the pipe. The radii values will be fixed
for a particular case of pipe size and insulation thickness, but will be varied as part of the optimization
work. The intermediate temperatures, to be found by simultaneous solution of the equation set, are:
T1 = temperature of the inside wall of the pipe, at distance r1 from the pipe center axis
T2 = temperature of the outside pipe wall and the inside of the insulation, distance r2
T3=temperature of the outside of the insulation and inside of the aluminum cladding, distance r3
T4 = temperature of the outside surface of the cladding, exposed to the air, at distance r4
Average steady-state conditions will be used for the analysis of each case, thus the rate of heat lost from
the steam must equal the rate of heat transferred through each layer and ultimately the rate of heat lost
from the outside cladding to the air. Thus four linear equations can be obtained by setting QA = Q1,
Q1=Q2, etc. The resulting equations can be solved using matrix techniques to find the unknown
temperatures. Any one of the heat rate equations can then be used to find the heat loss rate. The
constants (h’s , k’s, ʌ and numbers) and the parameters (radii values) become the coefficients, and are
shown in the equations above as C1 through C4. For a given case, these will be easily calculated. Terms
containing the steam and air temperature are also constants (shift to the right side of equation). For
example, setting QS = Q1 and Q1 = Q2 results in the following:
Similar equations result from setting Q2 = Q3 and Q3 = QA.
Your spreadsheet should have a data section for setting the pipe diameter and insulation thickness along
with values for the constants, such as steam and air temperatures, thermal conductivity values, cost
information, etc. Develop the model such that entry of a pipe diameter and an insulation thickness
results in determination of the 4 temperatures and the rate of heat loss for the full pipe length.
Analysis of Insulation Thickness
Using your model, determine the optimum insulation thickness for different pipe diameters to achieve a
maximum net present value of savings. Savings here is defined as the dollar value of energy NOT lost as
a result of the insulation. To calculate this you must first determine the heat that would be lost if the
pipe was not insulated. Simply subtract the heat loss for a particular insulation thickness from the bare
pipe heat loss to determine the energy savings. The cost to insulate the pipe includes both the material
cost and the installation labor. A net installed cost is found by multiplying the material cost by an

Steady -State Heat Flow Rearranged for Matrix Solution :
1 2 2 1 2 3 2 3 2 1 2 3 2 3 3
1 1 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 2 1
installation factor to account for labor and other installation expenses. Data is provided at the end of
this memo for physical properties, cost information etc.
Optimization work requires an objective to be maximized or minimized. In this project the “objective
function” is the present value of savings over a 5 year period using a specific interest rate with monthly
compounding. The installed cost of insulating the pipe occurs at time zero (present) and is negative, so
this is subtracted from the present value of 5 years of savings. Varying the insulation thickness will
affect this value, so you can determine if there is an optimum which maximizes the present value. You
should also be aware of safety concerns associated with a long run of steam pipe. In particular you
should assure that the outside surface temperature is no higher than 50o
Report Requirements
At present, the diameter of the steam pipe has not determined, but it will be between 2 and 3 ½ inch
schedule 40 steel pipe. Dimensions for standard steel pipe are available in the literature and should be
used in this project. After creating the spreadsheet model, you should run simulations for cases in
which you vary the insulation thickness from 0.1 to 6.0 cm. Prepare plots showing surface temperature,
installed cost, annual savings and net present value as a function of insulation thickness. Create other
plots as you deem necessary to justify your design decisions regarding the insulation thickness. A full
analysis of this type should be performed for one pipe diameter. In addition, you should determine the
optimum thickness and required thickness to achieve an acceptable surface temperature for all pipe
sizes in the range given above. Note that nominal pipe sizes in this range are incremented in ½ inch
steps. For each pipe size, recommend an insulation thickness.
Your memo should give an overview of the project, discuss your approach, present results and discuss
methods used and assumptions made. Tables and plots should appear in the memo to with explanation
to make your points. Your concluding paragraph should include a discussion of what you learned in
doing the project. Your spreadsheet should, of course, be well-documented and well-organized to show
clearly how the work was done. The spreadsheet should include the following features:
x List of pipe diameters using the data validation methods
x Retrieval of dimensions for pipes from a table keyed to the selected pipe size (use Vlookup)
x Scroll bar to set the insulation thickness
x Use of Solver to vary thickness to maximize present value of net savings
x Check box to select either scroll bar or Solver for varying the insulation thickness
x Use of a button to run solver
x A Sub to copy key results to a table, attached to another button
x Any additional functional features you wish to include to make the simulation tool more useful
The project is due Wednesday, April 17, 2013, with a paper submission of the memo and attached
printout of the spreadsheet. The spreadsheet should also be submitted via Blackboard. Required data
is found on the next page.
Input data for use in project
Properties of pipe, insulation and outer cladding material Financial Analysis Parameters
Item Material k, thermal
conductivity density cost *Install
W/m-C kg/m3 $/kg $/$ $/kWh percent years
Pipe steel 43 7800 NA 5 $0.04 3.0% 5
insulation fiber glass 0.055 64.1 30 Per
Outer Layer aluminum 206 2700 40 0.25% 60
0.5 mm thick
* Installed cost = (total material cost) x installation factor
Heat Transfer Coefficients

Other Parameters
From steam
to inside
pipe wall
outside pipe
cladding to
hS hA C C Meter
50 5 150 10 50
Properties of Standard Steel Pipe
40 Pipe Diameters Wall
Pipe OD, cm ID, cm cm
2 6.033 5.25 o.39
2.5 7.303 6.271 0.52
3 8.89 7.792 0.55
3.5 10.16 9.012 0.57

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