The international heating systems manufacturer Viessmann, Germany, now uses
Basotect to insulate its solar collectors. The light, flame-retardant melamine
resin foam produced by BASF is
fitted to the side walls and the rear of flat-plate collectors. Flat-plate
collectors capture solar radiation and convert it into heat. Basotect shows good
insulation properties over a long period, even when exposed to high
temperatures. It positively influences the air exchange in the collector at
different climatic conditions. And in contrast to conventional insulation
materials, the BASF melamine resin foam can be cut into different forms.
BASF specialty foam in solar collectors from the heating technology company Viessmann.
A Viessmann solar combi-system with Basotect flat-plate collector insulation
was pronounced test winner by the German consumer organization "Stiftung
Warentest" in March 2009, with a rating of "good".
Long-term heat management
For collectors to absorb as much sunlight as possible throughout their entire
service life, durable and heat-retardant materials are necessary. Basotect
releases practically no volatile substances that could obstruct solar radiation,
e.g. as fogging behind the glass panels of the collectors, and hence reduce the
efficiency of the solar system. Because of its good thermal conductivity of
<0.035 W/m*K and the intelligent shaping of the insulating pieces, Basotect
is able to achieve the same insulating performance as mineral wool, but with
less material usage. Basotect makes collector installation easier: It is
flexible, fiber-free, and can easily be cut to the contours required.
"With the BASF specialty foam, we have found a material that improves the
quality of our flat-plate collectors and, at the same time, makes it easier for
us to manufacture them," says Sigurd von Wenzler, project leader for solar
technology at Viessmann. "Compared to the previous standards, we have further
increased the efficiency of our new generation of collectors, thanks to
Basotect. This means that we are able to offer our customers systems that are of
greater interest from an economic point of view."
Energy savings with flat-plate collectors
Flat-plate collectors consist principally of a safety glass panel, an
absorber (usually a selectively coated metal sheet) and metal piping, through
which an antifreeze fluid flows. When sunlight shines through the glass panel
onto the absorber, the absorber transforms the radiation into heat and delivers
it to the fluid in the pipes. From there, the heat is transported into the hot
water circuit of the house. If the solar collector system is complemented by a
heating supplement, house owners can save up to 30 percent of the annual cost of
conventional fuel for the heating of the house.
Basotect, the jack-of-all-trades
Thanks to its favorable combination of different properties - it is
temperature-resistant and flame-retardant, lightweight, flexible,
sound-absorbing and thermally insulating - Basotect is used to acoustically and
thermally insulate buildings, cars and trains. The thermoset foam is available
in several grades for various applications. For example, it protects the
sensitive satellites that the Ariane 5 launcher delivers into space. It is used
in Beijing's Olympic swimming stadium as acoustic damping in a new type of
suspended structure, and it will soon be found in the planes by the American
aircraft manufacturer Boeing.