Knauf Insulation has set sustainable development – which includes environmental protection and a commitment to provide the most energy-efficient products and solutions – as one of its main priorities. It is therefore no coincidence that part of the company’s revenues are re-invested into advanced research and development; and now specifically into the construction of a new line for the manufacture of superinsulators – vacuum insulated panels (VIP's) – which boast some of the lowest thermal conductivity values on the market.

What exactly are VIP’s – vacuum insulated panels?

Vacuum insulated panels are comprised of a glass fibre core hermetically enclosed in a special thin multilayer foil. During the manufacturing process all of the air is pumped out of the panel. According to this manufacturing procedure gases and moisture are not able to penetrate and enter the panel. At the same time this design enables the panel to attain a minimal thermal conductivity value below 0,003 W/mK.

VIP's have been recognized and available on the market for more than 20 years. Initially vacuum insulated panels were used as insulators in aerospace technology and for various military applications. Due to increasingly demanding energy efficiency values and features, their application was gradually extended to serve other areas as well. VIP’s represent one of the most efficient insulation solutions available on the market, as their name "superinsulation" so accurately implies.

Key benefits / advantages of vacuum insulated panels:

  • extraordinarily low thermal conductivity (˂ 3 mW/mK) ensures thermal insulation in applications up to 10 times more efficient compared to traditional materials and technologies;
  • extremely thin insulation layers (10-25 mm) increase internal refrigerator storage volumes;
  • superinsulating properties are guaranteed for a period of up to 15 years;
  • sustainable insulation solution: Knauf Insulation vacuum insulated panels are the only panels produced in Europe with both RAL and EUCEB certificates.

VIP applications

Changing people’s minds and mindsets about efficient energy use, reinforcing the awareness that primary energy sources are limited, and that energy production brings with it unwanted side effects that are, to a large extent, harmful to the environment requires serious efforts. Such concerns have moved manufacturers of various applications in which insulation plays an important role, to concentrate efforts and resources toward developing alternative, more energy efficient and sustainable materials.

Vacuum insulated panels are primarily intended for applications where energy savingsare paramount, while at the same time ensuring both optimum temperature conditions and increased internal storage volumes of various applications; they are intended for use in applications that consume particularly high amounts of energy – as insulation for refrigerators and freezers. 

Refrigerators and freezers employing this type of insulation are classified as Energy Class A+++, which means they consume 60 percent less energy than the same refrigerator model classified as Class A. Through its entire service life, a typical combined energy-efficient refrigerator (230 litres of cooling space and 86 litres of freezer space), classified as Energy Class A+++, can save the user up to 800 EUR compared to a similar Energy Class A model, depending on the price of electricity in a given market.

Other applications:

  • insulation of refrigerated trucks and other refrigerated transport systems; 
  • insulation of medical and pharmaceutical refrigerators used for the distribution and storage of temperature-sensitive medicines and pharmaceutical products;
  • insulation of vending machines and cold storage units.

Knauf Insulation vacuum insulated panels will be sold under the brand name Knauf Insulation UltraSpaceTM.

By initiating the manufacture of vacuum insulated panels Knauf Insulation once again demonstrates its commitment to innovative insulation solutions that respond to the challenges of the future. At the same time, Knauf Insulation shows both its character and determination to firmly adhere to certain basic principles, i.e. to act in accordance with the guidelines and framework of sustainable development. By launching a new product range on the European market the common European energy policy too, which is aimed at reducing primary energy consumption by 20%, is that much closer to becoming a reality.

For more info please contact: uros.cotelj@knaufinsulation.com

Best regards

Knauf Insulation OEM Solutions 

Anonymous Anonymous (not verified)

Company news

Illange (FR) rock mineral wool plant

Knauf Insulation's new plant in France opens for business

The new site, which meets the highest standards of sustainable best practice and has created 123 new jobs, will provide an estimated annual economic benefit to the region of €20 million and produce 110,000 tonnes of Rock Mineral Wool every year — enough insulation to renovate 25,000 homes a year.

Jean-Claude Carlin, Group CEO of Knauf Insulation said: “Demand for our rock mineral wool solutions is increasing significantly across Europe and particularly in France where there is a commitment to renovate 500,000 homes every year to tackle fuel poverty, slash energy use and reduce the country’s carbon footprint and stringent new regulations for fire safety.”

“We are looking forward to being able to introduce our new range of solutions to our customers. The new plant will also reduce our carbon footprint and help to recalibrate our production from our facilities in Central and Eastern Europe, significantly improving our customer service levels”.  

Environmental commitment

Mark Leverton, Knauf Insulation’s Managing Director Western Europe, said: “From the outset we announced our ambition to create a reference plant for our group, not only in terms of our innovations but also in terms of our approach to the environment and the wellbeing of our new colleagues.”

The plant is in the process of being certified by the independent sustainable auditing schemes HQE and OsmoZ and Knauf Insulation is working with local environmental association AICINI to transform 7.5 hectares of the site into a wild meadow for plants, birds and insects. A 3,500m2 Urbanscape Green Roof has also been installed across the plant buildings.

Economic benefits

Mark said: “In addition to the 123 new jobs at the plant, we expect to create between 300 and 400 indirect jobs through contractors and local services.”

“The €110 million investment has put the plant in the top 10 of investments in France this year and has directly benefited the region with local businesses carrying out the majority of the work. We estimate the annual indirect impact on the eastern Moselle region will be around €20 million a year.”

Power of people

The majority of the new employees are from the local region. The plant also hosts the largest number of female operators and engineers in the group. Ages of the new employees range from 19 to 57 and all offer a variety of experience.

Alain Rysman, Plant Manager said: “The Moselle region has a long history of industrial excellence so finding skilled people has not been a challenge. The region has been impacted by economic challenges and unemployment over the last couple of decades so there has been an enormous amount of interest in the project. This site shows that an industrial region can rebound and offer more than factory closures.”

23.10.2019

Knauf Insulation the recipient of grant in scope of public tender

Knauf Insulation the recipient of grant in scope of public tender by Ministry for Economic Development and Technology in Slovenia, “Incentives for Research and Development Projects 2”

The objective of the public tender is to promote research, development and innovation activities in companies and consortia in the field of innovative R&D projects aiming to develop new or improved products, processes or services in the priority areas of Slovenia’s Smart Specialization Strategy.

Competing project: Development of sustainable, energy-efficient and high-tech insulation materials for food preparation systems – VIIM (collaboration of Knauf Insulation, d.o.o., Škofja Loka, and FPM Černigoj d.o.o., Ajdovščina)

Primary objective of competing RRI project:

  • Innovative product development – energy-efficient needle punched felt produced from natural mineral fibres for kitchen ovens that will help kitchen oven producers in the manufacturing of energy class A ovens under the new Commission Regulation (EU) No. 66/2014, and available to the market at a competitive price. Furthermore, the new material will constitute a high added value for us as the producer (i.e. energy efficiency, low material costs and eco-friendly production).

  • The product will exhibit the following characteristics:

    • Volumetric weight of insulation material: 50–150kg/m3

    • Specific heat capacity (Cp): 0.84kJ/kg.K

    • Thermal conductivity (λ) at high temperatures: <0.06W/m.K

The newly developed material/innovation will improve and strengthen our position in the kitchen oven insulation material production sector.

Total grant awarded: €493,204.42

 

The investment is financed by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund.

More information on the European cohesion policy in Slovenia available at www.eu-skladi.si

 

11.09.2019
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