Tempco Blog articles

Cooling water distribution circuit optimization project

As a follow up to our past august’s intervention for the complete regenaration of heat exchangers for a customer that manufactures plastics for the manufacturing sector, the company contacted us again asking for a re-engineering and update of their cooling plant for the production lines.

The messy growth on the facility during the years has generated indeed a series of great issues within the cooling water distribution circuit.

Tempco distribuzione acqua raffreddamento

utenze acqua raffreddamento granulo plastica

 

After a preliminary study, the customer accepted the proposal we’ve deployed in modular steps, divided by areas of problems. The aim is not to generate production downtimes, thus implementing the intervention in a non invasive way in order to ensure operations continuity. The intervention schedule will therefore follow these three steps:

  1. Intervention to solve water distribution problems
  2. Once the water will be properly supplied to all of the utilities, analysis of temperatures required and fulfillment of them, in order to implement wherever is necessary new cooling solutions or proceeding with a boosting of the existing ones
  3. Energy efficiency increase of existing utilities

 

Tempco impianto raffreddamento plastica

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Chocolate pattern on plates of heat exchangers

Let’s talk about Chocolate pattern, which in our sector means talking about plate heat exchangers. One of the mostly asked questions we receive is what is the best configuration of the connections distribution on plate heat exchangers.

Plate heat exchangers of latest generation have for the majority parallel connections, which means primary fluid on the right and secondary fluid on the left, or viceversa. Since a few years ago there were also exchangers with crossed connections. We are then very often asked if crossed connections, on the perspective of the distribution of the fluid within the plate, is not better than parallel ones.

In fact it can be natural to think crossed connections are better than parallel ones, when looking at the design of a plate and at how plate heat exchangers do work. Just because, especially with large sized plates and maybe with lower flow rates of the fluids, the distribution doesn’t happen on the overall thermal transfer surface of the plate but only on the side where connections are.

Clearly, having crossed connections it doesn’t happen, because the fluid gets automatically distributed upon the whole surface of the plate.

This kind of implication has been studied indeed, leading to the famous Chocolate pattern design. Looking carefully to photographs of the triangular area between the nozzles, it is possible to observe a very peculiar design that reminds the one of chocolate bars, from which it gets its name. This system has been designed and engineered in order to allow a uniform distribution of the fluid upon the whole surface of the plate.

Looking with further attention, one can see that the channels that distribute the fluid upon the whole width of the plate have differentiated passage sections. This allows to foster the correct distribution of the fluid upon the whole width of the thermal transfer surface. And finally, see also how this kind of distribution design is equally applied to small size plates.

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Enhancing Industry, temperature and automation – Infographic

The growing adoption of robotic automation systems within the industrial sector increases the efficiency in production processes. The Tempco Infographic we are presenting here showcases a reached value of 62,75 billion of dollars in 2020 for the worldwide robotics market, with an interesting growth trend for collaborative robots, or cobots, which enable the safe interaction without protection fences between humans and robots in any kind of industrial application.

The concept of efficiency in the enhancement path of industry is a cornerstone here, establishing a strong connection between the world of industrial automation and Tempco, committed in the development of solutions for temperature control in industrial processes aimed to implement energy efficiency approaches and savings on energy consumption.

The implementation of robots and automated systems increases the efficiency of production processes, enabling a more smart and efficient employ of resources, evolving at the same time working methods and human skills, placing operators at the core of the Industry 4.0 transformation. Energy, and thermal energy in particular, is therefore one of the most precious resources to safeguard, by adopting waste reduction approaches but also leveraging energy recovery.

Cooling, heating and thermoregulation are strongly linked to the robots sector, where a number of Tempco solutions provide the temperature control and hydraulic oil cooling in order to ensure excellent operational conditions of actuators and motion control devices of robots and automation systems along the production lines.

In a growing market of robotics, which lead to a constant improving of efficiency toward a more smart and sustainable industrial production built upon a more responsible employ of energy.

Info_enhancing-industry

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After cooler and jackets cooling in power generation engines

Following the administration last year of the Covrad company, a historical manufacturer of cooling systems and heat transfer equipment based in Coventry, UK, recently in Tempo we have received several requests from manufacturers that are looking for similar solutions to those once supplied by the British company.

Tempco engine cooling Covrad

In particular, the company used to provide thermal modules to be combined with power generation groups for cooling of jackets and after coolers, radiators, heat exchangers, engine cooling modules and remote cooling kits in a near-to monopoly regime of the market.

Since a few months now, in Tempco we are therefore working to develop similar solutions to those that Covrad provided since last year, opening the opportunity to offer systems aimed for this kind of application. Three first projects are already being defined, in an advanced engineering step in order to further optimize the construction and quotation of the solutions.

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TCOIL dimple jacket exchangers for contact cooling of batteries

Another interesting use of TCOIL dimple jacket exchangers, of which we often talk about for immersion cooling applications, is using them for contact cooling applications, as if they were a jacket. A very interesting characteristic of TCOIL exchangers is in fact the capacity to be shaped to fit the shape of the equipment to be thermoregulated.

It is then possible to use TCOIL dimple jacket exchangers for application on the outside of equipments employed in the chemical industry, such as mixers and reactors, or generally on the outside of tanks or furthermore on the outside of electric batteries. The metal sheets of the plates of a TCOIL exchanger are in fact easily made into a cylindrical shape, to fit the shape of cylindrical objects to be cooled or heated. Otherwise, it is also possible to use flat plates to cover the external surface of a machinery.

 

In order to increase the thermal transfer efficiency of a TCOIL exchanger in contact cooling applications, it is therefore necessary to have a flat sheet on the side at direct contact with the equipment. This is achieved using metal sheets having different thickness. When inflating the plates of the TCOIL exchanger, only the external sheet with lower thickness will blow up, taking the typical dimpled look of a TCOIL exchanger, while the internal side with greater thickness, aimed for direct contact with the object to be cooled or heated, will remain flat.

A further trick to increase even more the thermal transfer rate in TCOIL exchangers contact cooling applications is to rub a thermal conductive paste on the flat side aimed for direct contact with the outside of the equipment to be thermoregulated.

This kind of contact cooling application of TCOIL dimple jacket exchangers is triggering a high interest for employ in electric battery cooling, as well as for cooling of electrical and electronics machinery that clearly cannot be cooled using a direct flow of cold water.

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Software custom for automotive radiators test bench cooling

We’ve been recently involved in a very peculiar and complicated project for a temperature regulation unit aimed to an automotive test bench for radiators and fans, which required quite a huge deployment of resources. It is enough to say that the whole development and commissioning took 18 months.

The unit works using water/anti-freeze solution in a temperature range between 20° C and 130° C. The power capacity of the system is 240 kW, with an adjustable flow rate between 10 and 200 lt/min, with cooling capacity of 120 kW.

Raffreddamento Banco prova radiatori

 

The complexity of the plant is in the fact that it can work at 130° C, thus with pressurized water. And the customer need to avoid leakages of non-freezing solution inside the tunnel test during the substitution of parts. Therefore we’ve had to install a system with quick connections on the mounting/dismantling section of the tested parts. The substitution is made prior the complete draining of both the radiator and the related pipes, using actuated valves and logic managed through a PLC.

Each time a radiator has to be replaced, the plant gets cooled, de-pressurized and secured for the operators, in order to proceed with the draining of the pipes connected with the radiator.

When mounting a new part for the testing procedure, the plant has to be re-filled and pressurized, always through logic, automated valves and pressure transducers.

Centralina raffreddamento test radiatori copia

 

The overall plant is managed by a dedicated software developed in close collaboration by Tempco and the customer, leveraging both expertise in respective fields of activity. Code writing and the test procedures of the PLC alone took several days.

How to determine the thermal duty in anodic oxidation cooling

As anticipated at the end of our previous video about construction materials of heat exchangers employed in anodic oxidation, this follow-up video explains how to determine the thermal duty in anodizing plants cooling.

The evaluation of the thermal duty to be dissipated is fundamental in order to properly size both heat exchangers and chillers and other cooling systems employed to achieve cooling and thermostatation of the anodic oxidation bath.

Anodic oxidation is an electro-galvanic event, which means it involves a direct current at a certain voltage that passes through the anodizing bath. The evaluation of the amount of kW to be dissipated is therefore easy to do, being it directly proportional to the current employed to achieve the anodic oxidation and the voltage of it.

Temperature levels of the galvanic bath then vary depending on the kind of anodic oxidation. In case of hard anodic oxidation plants, the required temperatures are quite low, between 10° C and 15° C. Traditional anodic oxidation processes require instead temperatures between 20° C and 25° C.

Cooling at these temperatures, unless huge amounts of artesian well water at temperatures of 10-12° C are available, leave not too many options. Chillers and refrigerating groups are indeed required, even because the secondary circuit of the exchanger must be fed with water at a temperature of 10-15° C, depending on the type of anodic oxidation.

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Cooling for the Gran Sasso Laboratories in nuclear physics

Among our customers in Tempco, in addition to the CERN in Geneva with the supply of a cooling system for the testing of IGBT equipments, we’ve also had the pleasure to collaborate with the LNGS-INFN Gran Sasso Laboratories in nuclear physics.

LNGS fisica nucleare Gran Sasso

Once again, the provided solution consists in a cooling system, in this case complete with a temperature control module. Quite important for this prestigious commission was the flexibility and the rapidity during the deployment and the commissioning of the system to the customer, which is actually involved in a series of activities requiring a very high precision levels of temperature control.
Eventually, in just 10 days we’ve then been able to supply the integrated solution.

raffreddamento laboratorio fisica nucleare

Special materials in anodic oxidation bath cooling

Anodic oxidation, or anodizing, is a treatment employed for aluminium, a material that is very light, strong and quite resistant to corrosion. Among the many applications of aluminium, one of the best known is its use for extruded parts in windows. Here, the exposition to external atmospheric agents can degrade the look of the material, damaging it over time.

In order to make aluminium resistant to corrosion, the material thus undergoes a treatment in anodic oxidation baths, which generates a sort of chemical coating that makes it resistant to atmospheric agents corrosion. This is achieved using electro-chemical or electro-galvanic baths, where a direct current passes through. Thanks to an electrolytic process, a hard layer of anodic oxidation is deposited on the external surface of the aluminium.

 

There are different types of anodic oxidation processes, and the field of expertise in Tempco is to ensure the cooling of these baths. Indeed, the direct current that passes through them generates heating, and the temperature of the baths must be maintained at a temperature of approximately 20-25° C, depending on the kind of anodic oxidation process involved.

The application is simple, but there is a problem: usually, these baths don’t contain water, but a solution of sulphuric acid, in a low concentration of about 20%, depending on the type of anodic oxidation process. Cooling can then be achieved using chillers or main water with heat exchangers.

But heat exchangers have to be manufactured using special materials, in order to ensure resistance to corrosion by sulphuric acid. Therefore, for the cooling of anodic oxidation baths we supply traditional plate heat exchangers using materials such as titanium or high alloy stainless steel. We also employe immersion TCOIL dimple jacket exchangers, still being manufactured using high alloy stainless steel.

Cooling in anodic oxidation is also challenging on another prospect, which is the evaluation of the thermal duty of these exchangers. We will soon dedicate another video to this theme.

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Sustainable and smart forge cooling

We’ve successfully deployed an energy efficiency improvement project for a customer in the mechanical and engineering components sector. The customer employs a cooling plant for the forge and the thermal treatments equipped with evaporative towers and pumps.

Tempco raffreddamento forgiatura

The forge cooling plant includes in particular 4 pumps of 75 kw each, 4 pumps of 30 kw each and four evaporative towers of 22 kw each. The energy efficiency improvement intervention involved the implementation of inverters on the 75 kw pumps, which are managed by a pressure gauge that allows to contain the power consumption based on a reduced demand of water within the utilities.

Inverters have been implemented as well on the engines of evaporative towers, managed by the measurement of water temperature. The system allows to adapt and reduce the power consumption based on the thermal energy required and the ambient conditions.

Tempco inverter raffreddamento forgiatura

 

Finally, the overall management of the system is ensured with a PLC , using a management software developed and engineered by Tempco in order to make the management very flexible, tailored to meet the high demanding process quality requirements of the customer.

Tempco efficienza raffreddamento forgiatura

Tempco raffreddamento sostenibile forgiatura

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