Freezing pipes that were taking water from the Dumgoyne Hills just north of Glasgow had hindered the production of high quality, unique Scotch malt whisky at the Glengoyne Distillery. Advanced technology pipework has helped to solve the problem. The company installed polybutylene pipe, which was specified with integral trace heating element. When combined with polyolefine insulation, this helps to keep the water flowing at even the lowest temperatures. In all, some 120 metres of the pipework was installed at the distillery, both above and below ground. The distillery had suffered occasional but repeated interruptions in water supply during the sometimes freezing conditions of the Scottish winter, with water channelled to the production facility via a cast iron pipe. Robbie Hughes, who is Glengoyne Distillery’s group distillation manager, took the decision to replace the 120m pipe with a single run of polybutylene pipe that included trace heating to ensure continuity of water supply during winter months. The 40mm and 32mm polybutylene pipe was a like- for like-size replacement of the previous pipe, and it was laid in a new excavation above and below the ground. Where the pipe was buried, the trench depth varied from 800mm (in traffic-loaded areas) to 500mm for non-traffic surfaces. Once the trench was excavated, pipe installation was completed in approximately three hours – this was including the connection to the site’s internal water-supply system. THERMAL INSULATION [caption id="attachment_14922" align="alignright" width="1936"] The new pipe system in Glengoyne[/caption] The water pipe itself is contained within a flexible but strong polyolefine foam and high-density polyethylene outer casing for improved thermal insulation, lighter weight and impact protection. The trace heating runs the entire length of the pipe, and is controlled via a surface thermostat that is mounted externally to the distillery building via a 240V/50HZ electrical connection. The distillery sets the operational temperature parameters locally. “Previously, this exposed position made the water supply prone to freezing,” explained Robbie Hughes, “but the new pipework and the replacement of an old cast-iron pipe fixed the problem.” The pipe uses the TRACECO® line of self-regulating heating tapes. The heating power from the heating element increases or decreases and depends on the ambient or surface temperature. Variable power prevents any problems with overheating. The Flexalen 600 pipe technology utilised in Glengoyne Distillery recently received WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme) approval, enabling every product within the range to be specified for potable water schemes. The system installed at the distillery was designed and installed by Flexenergy, which supplies polybutylene pipe to heating, hot-water systems and chilled-water systems across a wide variety of renewable and sustainable energy technologies, including solar, biomass combined heat and power, geothermal, district and community heating.