Pioneering Drying System Makes Energy Savings of Over 50 Per Cent
An innovative energy-saving drying system for the manufacturing industry has been developed by the University of Hertfordshire and Secomak.
The Total Drying solution is the result of a government funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to which University of Hertfordshire graduate in Aerospace Systems, David Palmer has brought his skills in Computational Fluid Dynamics, project management and project planning to deliver a drying process which is modelled on the energy expenditure of a hybrid car.
The Total Drying solution is a drying tunnel with three parts. This incorporates innovative compressed air drying of specific areas such as under the crown cap of a bottle or suction removal of water from containers or products. The blower driven stage uses a drying panel configuration to dry as efficiently and quietly as possible with full control. Finally, a controlled humidity atmosphere takes the product to the final stage without condensation reforming on the surfaces.
Control of all systems provides intelligent stop/start when containers are present and moving. This saves around 30 per cent of the energy and the matching of the speed of the electrical blower to the water saturation takes this value to over 50 per cent savings.
‘The big advantage of this system is that the machine is equipped with sensors which sense when product needs to be dried, rather than the dryer working all the time,’ said David. ‘This works in a similar way to energy-saving systems in hybrid vehicles and means that the energy consumption of our machine is directly proportional to the throughput of the product.’
The University of Hertfordshire’s KTP with Secomak, the industry leader in air movement technologies, is coming to a close, after a highly innovative twenty-seven months together.
The University, the UK’s leading business facing university, has built strong links with Secomak over the years and is proud to have provided them many revolutionary technological achievements.
The University’s innovative input for Secomak was noticed by businesses all over the world when it was displayed at the most highly esteemed food and drink exhibition in the world Drinktec Munich, last September.
The KTP between the University of Hertfordshire and Secomak was also pivotal in recognising the energy-saving properties of another collaborated product-the Tornado, at last year’s Starpack Awards. The water removal system received special recognition in the Machinery of Excellence category for its impressive 30 per cent energy-saving efficiency.