Tempco Blog articles

Rise in energy prices and heating, switching from gas to electrification

The energy crisis, the rising of energy prices and the issues in gas supply from East caused by geopolitical problems of the conflict in Ukraine, are pushing companies towards electrification in their heating tasks in production processes. These issues are indeed increasing the prices for energy production, and therefore of heat.

The switch we are witnessing is from gas heating to electrical heating, as in Tempco we are receiving daily requests of this kind. This involves especially companies that have a self-production of electrical energy, coming from renewables such as photovoltaic. And in particular for big enterprises that have huge centralized systems that provide steam and high temperature diathermic oil for heating of production processes.

In fact, these companies are switching from this type of units to smaller units electrically heated. In the past, in Italy the cost of electrical energy was higher than gas, but actually the situation has turned, making this kind of choice preferable and more convenient, especially as said in case of self-production of power from renewables.

In addition, these kind of units allow to implement solutions using static relays or thyristors, thus allowing the adjustment of power consumption to the real request of heating in the production plant, limiting power consumption where is really needed. It is then possible to employ smaller units dedicated to heating of smaller parts of the plant, refining the energy consumption by heating only the process where it is necessary, instead of having a unique centralized heater serving all of the utilities at once.

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Refrigerators, PLC and inverter in precious metals refinery

Refinery and treatment of precious metals involve several critical points along the production process, which includes casting, melting and separation. Cooling systems are essential assets in the refinery industry, ensuring the right temperature regulation of the furnace and along the different steps of the refining process.

For a customer operating in the refinery industry of precious metals, Tempco has supplied a special plant served by refrigerators, that provide the cooling energy required for the thermoregulation of the production process. A pumping circuit, equipped with control of temperatures and flow rates using a PLC with operator panel and inverter for energy saving, conveys the cooling fluid to the different utilities within the refining plant.

Raffinazione metalli preziosi Tempco sistema raffreddamento

The cooling solution contributes to achieve the energy efficiency and sustainable production levels reached by the customer, that also widely employs solutions for automation, supervision and control of the production process.

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Cooling, chiller and heat exchangers in hybrid yachts

Electrification, electric engines and hybrid powertrain are, along with alternative and renewable energies, some of the most hot trends that are not only affecting the automotive sector, but having in fact a huge impact with a growing interest for electrification and hybrid solutions in the maritime sector, for hybrid yachts and ships.

There are indeed yachts that combine the traditional endothermic engine, powered by diesel fuels, with an electric engine. On ships, the endothermic engine doesn’t drive directly the propellers, but provide power to power generators that power electric engines controlled by an inverter, that finally make the propeller move.

Hybrid yachts and ships are thus an innovative and green alternative solution, using electric energy stored in batteries in order to power these electric drives. Clearly, all of these electric engines, power inverters and electrical equipments generate great amounts of heat that must be dissipated. And the amounts of heat involved are way greater than those to cope with in the automotive sector, where a simple radiator can provide the cooling of the equipments.

Special ad hoc cooling systems are thus deployed in order to dissipate the large amounts of heat generated on hybrid yachts, such as exchangers that are installed under the boat, called keel cooler, that directly employ sea water to achieve the thermal duty required. But there are several cruising situations where sea water has too high temperatures, and thus auxiliary chillers are installed onboard to generate refrigerated water. The cooled water then serves typically plate heat exchangers, that finally provide the cooling of the electric engines, power inverters and all the different electric equipments employed on hybrid yachts.

Data center, investments double globally with stronger focus on ESG issues

Last year the number of investments in data center globally had a strong growth, with a number of transactions that reached 117 units in 2021, scoring an annual increase of 64%, and doubling the value of investments up to USD 59,9 billion. These are the results of a report by the DLA Piper International law firm, titled ‘The meteoric rise of the data centre: key drivers behind the global demand’. This extraordinary growth is expected to continue, as in the first half of 2022 there have been already 41 transactions worth USD 21,3 billion, which doubles the USD 10,6 billion total of the same period in 2021.

Even more interesting on the perspective of Tempco is the growing focus that investors, debt providers and developers have on energy security and ESG issues related to data center infrastructures. The global growth of data centers is clearly driven by the increasing demand for cloud services, and by the rise of IoT and artificial intelligence applications, with also the incoming rollout of 5G connectivity and the dawn of Metaverse. At the same time, the regulatory scrutiny and intervention in ESG have been increasing, with initiatives such as the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact and metrics like PUE (Power usage effectiveness) more and more weighing on requirements for data centers around the world.

Crescita investimenti data center temi ESG sostenibilità DLA Piper

In this context, almost all respondents (94%) said that scrutiny and diligence surrounding ESG issues increased when making data center investment and/or development decisions in the past 24 months, and 99% of them anticipate a further increase in the next 24 months. More than a third (35%) of developers/operators said that they divested at least one data center in the past two years due to concerns related to ESG. The survey also shows that net zero carbon emissions are firmly on the agenda for a majority of respondents, as 68% of equity investors and 60% each of both debt providers and developers/operators said that the data center in which they had most recently invested either has a target to achieve net zero emissions by 2030 or it had already achieved this. Finally, energy and ESG factors are top drivers when it comes to generating a premium for data center investments: 70% of developers/operators and 75% of both debt providers and equity investors said they would be glad to pay a premium to invest in or finance a site with very good to excellent ESG and sustainability credentials.

As in topics we have already treated in the past, sustainability and energy saving in data center notably refers to the switch from air cooling systems of IT equipments and electronics to liquid cooling solutions, taking all of the advantages provided by immersion cooling in data centers. This represents in fact a shift gears for data centers, towards a more sustainable and green future for IT computing infrastructurea with a lower environmental impact. There are indeed several advantages offered by liquid cooling of data centers equipment, starting with the possibility to employ cooling fluids at higher temperatures thanks to the higher heat dissipation rate of liquid compared to air. Great energy savings are then also due to the elimination of fans and compressors in chillers, and furthermore allowing the implementation of free cooling systems.

DLA Piper crescita investimenti data center fattori ESGInvestimenti data center raffreddamento a liquido ESG

Chocolate chips and cooling

Good start of September and welcome back from summer vacation! And there’s no better way to have a sweet come back than speaking about chocolate, don’t you think? In particular, have you ever wondered how chocolate chips and flakes are made? Once again, it’s an interesting food production cycle that involves temperature regulation tasks.

To produce chocolate chips, indeed, and in fact for every kind of food product that is made in flakes or chips, the warm product is laid out on a conveyor belt made in stainless steel, or in another kind of material which is suitable for food contact. The product is then cooled from the bottom of the conveyor using cold water jets, and therefore solidifies.

The conveyor belt has a defined length in order to achieve the complete cooling of the product. At the end of the conveyor, a sort of scraping blade lifts and scrape off the product from the belt, finally creating chips and flakes. An interesting, simple and brilliant process, which once again requires a cooling application task.

Service, efficiency, heat exchangers and… Enjoy August!

August is going to kick off the Summer vacations, and this year more than ever we’ve had incredibly high temperatures. It quickly makes thinking about how climatic conditions affect the efficiency and operations of industrial equipments aimed at regulating the temperature in production processes. And hence how it’s important to plan a proper maintenance and service program ensuring that everything works at its maximum thermal efficiency.

Plate heat exchangers are in particular the most simple and most efficient solutions among thermal machines, as long as periodic service and checks on their operating conditions are provided. Recently, we did an intervention on a plant of a customer, where the exchanger was having a severe loss in its thermal performance, it was in fact not able to heat at all.

The customer called us, and when we opened the exchanger guess what we’ve found? In fact, a sort of ‘waffle’ made of limescale and carbonates, that clearly was isolating the plates of the exchanger preventing the thermal transfer. Also, the stress on gaskets was very high. Therefore, we’ve washed and re-gasketed the plate heat exchanger, and for the future it will be also mandatory a proper treatment of the water employed within the customer’s plant.

Tempco manutenzioe scambiatori vacanze estate 2022

Tempco estate 2022 manutenzione scamnbiatori di calore a piastre

 

It is thus fundamental to make sure that temperature regulating equipment, heat exchangers but not only, are in perfect working conditions and fully functional. In order to be ready for the re-start in September at their full efficiency, after a well earned Summer break.

And with this in mind, Tempco wishes everyone a Great August and Good Summer Holidays!

 

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Temperature regulation in chocolate conching

There are several applications in the food industry among Tempco’s references, and here we’re going to focus on the conching phase in chocolate production. Chocolate conching is a fundamental step within chocolate processing, and fundamental as well is the extreme precision in temperature regulation.

Conching of chocolate is indeed an early treatment of the product aimed at making ingredients and particles of chocolate the most fine possible, to obtain that sensation of intense pleasure when tasting a chocolate bar, a praline or a chocolate candy. The operation involves different separated phases, the first one consisting in bringing the conche machine at the proper temperature required for chocolate processing. Then the conching starts, and this is an operation that produces friction, with generation of heat.

At this point the second step begins, with a thermoregulating unit that provide cooling in order to maintain a constant temperature as required by the proper chocolate processing. If indeed the temperature of chocolate rises too much, organoleptic characteristics of the chocolate can be compromised, but otherwise if the temperature gets too low, the cocoa butter within chocolate tends to solidify and therefore the chocolate processing won’t be properly done.

 

Temperature regulation is usually achieved by a thermoregulating unit equipped with two heat exchangers, a first one fed by vapor or hot water for the heating cycle and a second one using refrigerated or cold water for the cooling task. Switching valves provide the respective intervention of the exchangers, depending on what the process requires. The overall system is controlled by the PLC of the conche, that depending on the actual production step determines if cold or hot water is needed within the jacket of the conching machine.

Energy saving, heat pumps and immersion heat exchangers on the Como Lake

The context is amazing and full of suggestion as we’re talking about a beautiful period Villa looking on the water’s edge of the Como Lake. But interesting as well is the application of TCOIL immersion heat exchangers that Tempco has provided. This is in fact an application strictly related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainability in conditioning.

To achieve the cooling of water serving heat pumps, employed for the climatic regulation of Villa Savoja, enchanted real estate on the Como Lake designed in 1857 by the engineer Giovanni Savoja, we have provided electropolished TCOIL heat exchangers intended for direct immersion in the waters of the lake, within an overall renovation project that maintained the original architecture but fostering new modern concepts of sustainability and environmental footprint. The application leverages the natural thermal energy of the lake water, implementing energy saving in the cooling of water serving the heat pumps at the Villa real estate.

Tempco scambiatori immersione TCOIL pompe di calore villa Lago di Como

 

In Tempco there are several similar applications and references deployed in this interesting field, that combines the high flexibility of dimple jacket heat exchangers with the requirements of emissions reduction and intelligent consumption of energy and resources. A kind of application that has been provided as well in a sea environment, with special executions and a proper selection of constructive materials to stand the presence of chloride in the water of the Loano seaport.

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Interactive 3D model of thermoregulating units TREG in mono fluid cooling

Tempco TREG HCST thermoregulating units are suitable for mono fluid thermoregulation with high precision levels and high flexibility thanks to the employ of a single thermoregulating-fluid.

We invite you to discover the interactive 3D model available at the product page on our Tempco website that allows to explore the construction of the thermoregulating unit (a couple of screenshots are pictured below), zooming to see it in detail and also rotating the plant as you like to have a 360° vision of the solution, choosing both cooling cycle or heating cycle mode.

In the animated video of the thermoregulating unit below, the fluid employed is water which is regulated at the temperature required by the application, often reactors employed in pharmaceutical and chemical production, in all the different production steps involved.

 

Using the same kind of cooling fluid, by thermoregulating it within the circuit achieving the exact temperature level required every time by the different production steps, it is no more necessary to empty and washing the circuit every time as required when different thermoregulating fluids are employed to achieve the several temperature levels needed.

The SFC – Standard Custom Flexibility approach in Tempco finally allows to fully customize the thermoregulating units to meet specific requirements of clients, further increasing thermal efficiency, the reliability of the plant and achieving smart energy consumption.

Tempco modello 3D interattivo TREG raffreddamento

Tempco modello 3D interattivo TREG raffreddamento termoregolazione

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Immersion liquid cooling in data center and HPC

Supermicro, a global leader in high performance, green computing server technology for application in data center, cloud computing, AI, 5G and edge computing, deployed a proof-of-concept project showing the advantages offered by immersion liquid cooling in dielectric fluids of electronic equipments. Supermicro collaborated with 3M, Intel, Kaori and Samsung measuring not only the higher energy efficiency of liquid cooling systems, with lower energy consumption, but also the costs savings related to the software runtime license fee of EDA software (electronic design automation) employed in the semiconductor industry.

Immersion liquid cooling, a topic we have already treated several times in the past with the use of TCOIL dimple jacket exchangers, first of all increases the sustainability in data center management, improving energy efficiency of the cooling system. Indeed, using a liquid as cooling media instead of air allows a more close contact between the particles of the fluid and the object to be cooled, increasing the thermal transfer coefficient. It is therefore possible to employ cooling fluids at cooler temperatures, also leveraging on free cooling systems and obtaining an important energy saving cutting costs related to air conditioning and chillers.

In addition, the tested liquid cooling solution also led to a reduction of overall utility costs in high performance computing tasks required by software EDA, where the licensing costs often depends on the number of cores and clock speed required (clock speed indicates the number of on-off cycles (transitioning from 1 to 0) of a transistor in a second, measured in GHz). Higher clock speeds also mean higher rates of TDP (thermal design point), which is the maximum amount of heat generated by a chip that has to dissipated to ensure correct functioning of the component.

Tempco raffreddamento a liquido data center HPC

The overall software licensing cost can therefore be lowered reducing the number of cores and increasing the clock speeds, maintaining the same computing performance level. But it involves an increased amount of heat that the cooling system has to dissipate, where traditional air-cooling systems start meeting their limits. While it can easily be managed by immersion liquid cooling systems, increasing at the same time energy efficiency with lower energy consumption.

The proof-of-concept system developed by Supermicro with 3M, Intel, Kaori and Samsung uses in fact immersion liquid cooling of different kind of Intel and Samsung electronic devices in a cooling tank with plate heat exchangers filled with 3M Fluorinert Electronic Liquid FC-40, a dielectric liquid that demonstrated excellent compatibility with the electronic devices employed.

Tests showed then an important reduction of power consumption obtained with immersion liquid cooling of electronics, even with high performance CPUs and in extreme environments without air conditioning. Allowing the reduction of the number of cores with increased clock speeds, thus showing that immersion liquid cooling can be a green and high efficient solution also enabling lower utility costs, suitable for increasing power computing capacities required by data centers fostering the development of new technologies in the electronic design field, AI and analytics.

Immersion liquid cooling demo Supermicro Intel Samsung data center

Source: Supermicro

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