Experimental evaluation of gas filled plenum (GFP) insulation for ducts

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Description

Forced-air heating and cooling system ducts are often located outside conditioned space in US houses. For these systems to perform efficiently it is important that these ducts be well insulated. Common practice is to use a glass fiber wrap around the ducts--either field applied or more commonly, integrated into a flexible duct. Most duct insulation has an R-value of 4.2, with R6 and R8 ducts also occasionally used. With glass fiber insulation being about R4 per inch (RSI 0.28/cm), this adds 2 to 4 inches (50 to 100 mm) to the duct diameter. Some building codes are now requiring these ... continued below

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14 pages

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Walker, Iain S. & Guillot, Cyril January 26, 2003.

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Description

Forced-air heating and cooling system ducts are often located outside conditioned space in US houses. For these systems to perform efficiently it is important that these ducts be well insulated. Common practice is to use a glass fiber wrap around the ducts--either field applied or more commonly, integrated into a flexible duct. Most duct insulation has an R-value of 4.2, with R6 and R8 ducts also occasionally used. With glass fiber insulation being about R4 per inch (RSI 0.28/cm), this adds 2 to 4 inches (50 to 100 mm) to the duct diameter. Some building codes are now requiring these higher insulation levels, for example, the EPA requires the use of R6 ducts, and International Energy Conservation Code (BOCA 2003) requires R8 ducts. The difficulty with adding insulation to ducts is the increase in diameter of the ducts that makes them expensive to transport because they take up a large volume and are difficult to install in the confined spaces available for ducts in houses. The objective of this study was to evaluate Gas Filled Plenum (GFP) technology as an alternative duct insulation. GFP ducts have the potential to provide greater insulation levels than existing ducts (for a given thickness of insulation or size of duct) and provide cost savings in transportation. These transportation cost savings are based on the idea of shipping the GFP ducts empty and inflating them on-site. To evaluate this technology for ducts we constructed a prototype duct and determined both its flow and heat transfer resistance in LBNL's duct testing laboratories. The GFP technology works by encapsulating a gas (usually air--but other noble gases such as Argon or Krypton can provide significant increases in thermal resistance with increased cost) in a metalized film jacket. A honeycomb structure is used to keep individual gas pockets small to minimize convection heat transfer. A metallic finish (usually aluminum) minimizes radiation heat transfer between the surfaces.

Physical Description

14 pages

Notes

OSTI as DE00809307

Source

  • Other Information: PBD: 26 Jan 2003

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  • Report No.: LBNL--52084
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • DOI: 10.2172/809307 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 809307
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc738783

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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Creation Date

  • January 26, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

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  • April 4, 2016, 12:55 p.m.

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Walker, Iain S. & Guillot, Cyril. Experimental evaluation of gas filled plenum (GFP) insulation for ducts, report, January 26, 2003; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc738783/: accessed November 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.