Don't insulate, Nansulate, says Florida cleantech company

Thermal testing. Courtesy Industrial Nanotech.Energy costs are now serious business for industries, office managers, and home owners across the world.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor

Thermal testing. Courtesy Industrial Nanotech.

Energy costs are now serious business for industries, office managers, and home owners across the world. Buildings account for over half of the energy use in the U.S. and a fair portion of that is for heating and cooling. A measure of how serious: many American homes built as recently as the early 1970s originally contained no insulation. Now most local governments require insulation and energy conservation.

Here's a cleantech product that offers a new way to save energy and a bonus: it's way geeky. What could be better than nanotech, energy conservation and a patented formula? We've got all that right here.

The product's called Nansulate and it's made by Naples, Florida-based Industrial Nanotech. It is not a traditional insulation material like foam or fiberglass that comes in sheets, rolls or air-filled layers. This is a thin layer of spray-on material that uses nano-particles.

Here's an explanation published by a publication aimed at home building: ""I spoke with Stuart Burchill, CEO and developer of Nansulate. He explained that the technology works becanse of a material called Hydro-NM-Oxide which he explained is 'the worst conductor of heat and cold of any material.' The paint-like coating is loaded with tiny particles of this substance, and when it cures heat and cool are largely prevented from moving through the coating.There is also something called the Knudsen effect (for you engineers) that further slows the transmission of heat and cold. All of this is the result of a relatively new field of science called nanotechnology or the science of using tiny particles to do big things."

Here's another useful link on how Nansulate works. This site was put together by a retailer selling Nansulate here in the U.S. The manufacturer also recently had a major breakthrough internationally. Compared to the U.S. with its laissez-faire attitude, the European Union is very regulation heavy environmentally. The EU is also energy-concerned as energy prices there are much higher than in the U.S. Energy conservation efforts are more highly evolved. The EU just recently approved Nansulate for use across the builidng industry there.

Nansulate's makers claim it's far more efficient in blocking heat movement than other insulation products. In one example they cited, Nansulate reduced heating bills by over 40% in a traditional home in New England. The application of Nansulate is not complex, it's spray-painted on using standard equipment. It goes onto a variety of surfaces from water heaters to roofing, and in most cases does not need any primer or difficult surface preparation. Nansulate also provides coverage of lead-containing paint, and is mold-resistant.

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