District Energy

Build Robust and Resilient Steam Distribution and District Heating Systems with Pyrogel®

Municipalities, hospitals, and university campuses depend on their energy distribution networks for mission-critical activities. Failure is not an option, and that is why campuses entrust Pyrogel® to protect their personnel and steam network’s performance.

Delivering high-quality steam to their customers is a chief concern for many system operators. Traditional thermal insulation materials often force them to develop labor-intensive maintenance and inspection programs to keep their systems running. Pyrogel is engineered to thrive in a steam distribution network’s harsh environment, with frequent exposure to water and high temperatures. Incumbent insulations, such as mineral wool and calcium silicate, tend to self-remove when a vault floods. Pyrogel, on the other hand, remains in place and performs and protects like it did when it was first installed.


  • Reduce Maintenance & Operational Costs

    A flooded vault or trench does not doom Pyrogel to the floor of the vault or the trash bin. Pyrogel can be removed for inspections and reused, eliminating the need to replace material after each maintenance event.

  • Improve Steam Quality

    Campuses such as Duke University have found that Pyrogel helped them recover stable steam capacity, so they no longer had to invest in additional (n+1) capital equipment that would spend most of its time idle.

  • Ease of Installation

    Pyrogel pony rolls are a grab-and-go format, allowing a single operator to throw a roll in the back of a truck and head straight to the installation site. Precut fittings are also available to simplify installation on complex geometry such as elbows.

  • Enhance Safety in Confined Spaces

    The ultrathin format of Pyrogel insulation takes up less space overall, increasing operator safety in these tight spaces without sacrificing performance. 2” (50mm) of Pyrogel XTE meets ASHRAE 90.1 heat loss standards, while other insulations require ≥5” (≥127mm) of material.

Project Profiles

Pyrogel® Protects Steam Network, Recovering Capacity and Avoiding the Need for Additional Steam Generation

Duke University’s steam distribution network suffered from severe performance issues each time it rained. Beyond the challenges of daily operation, the university was in the process of constructing a state-of-the-art medical center and would have to expand its steam network to support this new infrastructure. Optimizing the existing system with Pyrogel XTE to recuperate enough capacity that further expansion wasn’t even needed.

The Result – By insulating only a few vaults, the university was able to avoid spending $4 million on a new boiler.