Mad River Distillers ferments, distills, and bottles whiskey, brandy and rum in Warren, VT, with tasting rooms in Burlington and Waitsfield. A local business, Mad River Distillers was started in 2011 on a 150-year- old farm in Warren, VT. They source many of their ingredients locally and sustainably and use Vermont ingredients whenever available.
NCMI approached the distillery about saving energy through the insulation of steam and condensate piping.
NCMI looked into the returns of insulating all of the facility’s piping as part of the Energy Appraisal and facility walkthrough. The Energy Appraisal process includes thermal imaging of the existing systems, which illuminate the areas of greatest heat loss, and allow NCMI to calculate the areas with the most need and calculate the systems with the greatest return on investment.
Ultimately, the steam and condensate piping systems were insulated, based on the potential energy savings and cost to insulate, as well as the needs of each system. Part of assessing the needs of a facility include personnel safety, to ensure a safe environment for employees working around the steam piping.
In the boiler room, NCMI insulated the steam and condensate piping, as well as the condensate tank itself. Proper insulation can improve the thermal-cycle efficiency of the steam system, as it improves the steam quality, conserves energy by reducing heat loss, and controls the surface temperatures for personnel safety and protection.
Fiberglass insulation with all surface jacketing (ASJ) was applied, ranging from 1 ½” to ½” thick in size, based on the spacing allowed by existing walls and other piping.
In the distillery, the same fiberglass insulation was installed, but with a .020 PVC jacketing. This additional jacketing protects the insulation itself, and waterproofs the insulation for easy maintenance. The PVC jacketing fully covers the fiberglass materials, which is necessary in a food-grade environment.
Now, Mad Rivers Distillers has an insulated system that will last for years to come. The insulation and jacketing will pay for itself with energy savings over a short period of time, and reduce harmful emissions from the boiler while providing personnel with a safe working environment.