PerSys Group and Blizzard Protection System's Reflexcell™ Insulation Saves BP Over a Significant Amount on Energy

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A revolutionary insulating material, designed by Blizzard Protection Systems, a division of PerSys Group, to save the lives of mountaineers and military casualties has cut energy costs by a significant amount in a single year at an oil and gas plant in Scotland.

Reflexcell™ material has been used to solve the problem of overheating in two liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) pipes, each 2.5 km (1.5 miles) long and 200mm (8”) in diameter, carrying propane and butane across the site.

In 2010 BP approached Blizzard Protection Systems, a division of PerSys Group, looking for an innovative, temporary solution to a problem with their pipeline in Scotland. At BP’s request, Blizzard developed and delivered custom-made Reflexcell™ lagging panels in under three weeks.

Liquefied propane gas (LPG) must be kept relatively cool during transport, so refrigeration units are installed at both ends of the pipes. At the locations in Scotland, problems were reported on warm summer days. When sunlight directly hit the pipes it caused the temperature to rise by as much as 10 degrees Celsius from one end of the pipes to the other. Under these conditions the refrigeration units were unable to cope, and the only way to keep temperatures within the required range was to reduce the flow rate through the pipes.

BP approached Blizzard Protection Systems in 2010, looking for an innovative, temporary solution to this problem. At their request, Blizzard developed and delivered custom-made Reflexcell™ lagging panels in under three weeks.

Additionally, one of BP’s fears was that conventional permanent lagging might lead to water ingress and consequent corrosion of the pipes. Using the Reflexcell™ panels protected against the corrosion and water ingress.

Personnel fit the 1.45m x 2.4m Reflexcell™ panels with hook and loop fastening rapidly enabling BP to restore gas flows and significantly reduce the energy needed for cooling. In the first year significant savings were made.

Blizzard Protection Systems manufactures Reflexcell™, a three-layered material that automatically expands to form insulating air pockets as well as reflect heat. This material has a cellular construction to trap warm air, elasticity, which draws the material to the body, or in this case the piping, reducing cold spaces and heat loss by convection, and finally, a silvered surface to block heat loss by radiation. It is also completely waterproof and windproof.

Blizzard Protection System’s Reflexcell™ material has been used to solve the problem of overheating in two liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) pipes, each 2.5 km (1.5 miles) long and 200mm (8”) in diameter, carrying propane and butane across the site.

Blizzard managing director and Reflexcell™ inventor Derek Ryden said: “Our material proved ideal for this application because it has the insulating performance of a sleeping bag, yet is very light, strong, easy to handle and fix into place securely. We would be very interested in looking at other industrial uses where insulation is an issue.”

In its infancy, Blizzard Protection was a small-scale manufacturer of outdoor thermal survival products. It has now grown to be the market leader in the field of thermal survival. Used in militaries and emergency services worldwide, Blizzard is also a standard for the outdoor market. Blizzard products represent a step change in the way both civilian and military trauma cases should be treated. The unique Reflexcell™ material is incorporated into all Blizzard Survival products in military, medical, emergency preparedness and outdoor applications globally. In 2009, Blizzard was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation. The company is based in Bethesda, North Wales, on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park; a mountainous region that offers truly challenging weather conditions and proving ground. Research and Development and all manufacturing are centered at this location.

PerSys Group specializes in bringing life-saving innovations to market. We seek the highest quality of innovative technologies and products to meet medical challenges. PerSys Group markets and distributes a variety of specialized medical and emergency medical products to military, law enforcement, homeland security, EMS, and wilderness medicine agencies as well as worldwide government agencies. The company has been active in the medical field since the mid 90’s, responding to a growing demand for life-saving products. Aided by our close relationship with medics, training facilities and decision makers, we were able to successfully market several life-saving innovations, which have become the standard in the US military and other leading organizations.

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Ilana Ellison
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