Page 8 - European Energy Innovation - Autumn 2016 publication
P. 8

8 Autumn 2016 European Energy Innovation

Coolers and their problems;
capacity, noise, energy
consumption, plot space,
pollution and cross-winds

Polluted bundle  In air-cooled coolers, the                  But suppose there were some as yet
Clean bundle     ambient air is used to cool (part           unknown solutions that might yield
                 of a) process. That is why coolers          unprecedented benefits?! And suppose
                 are always positioned outside.              you could take them just that little bit
                 However, this also makes them               further?!
                 more sensitive to factors that
                 affect their capacity, such as              SITUATION
                 cross-winds, pollution by dust              In Gunzenhausen, Germany, there is
                 and pollen, and air pollution (see          a rendering factory that is situated in
                 photograph no. 1). Furthermore,             a beautiful location between woods,
                 because they are situated                   farms and a B-road intersection - the
                 outside, the noise of the fans              perfect recipe for polluted bundles, as
                 result in coolers often being one           shown in photograph no. 1. This bundle
                 of the greatest causes of noise in          obviously needs cleaning, and the most
                 a process. Besides that, they take          obvious way to do that would be to use
                 up a lot of space and consume               water. However, if you don’t choose
                 a lot of energy. This article               the right method (high-pressure water
                 proposes a number of solutions              or foam on the inside of the machine),
                 for these three problems and                there is a good chance that you’ll only
                 even for all three problems at the          manage to clean the first row and not
                 same time.                                  the rows behind. Added to that, the fins
                                                             often get sprayed flat, and this actually
                 CAPACITY PROBLEMS DUE TO                    reduces heat transfer. Other solutions
                 POLLUTION                                   are also possible, but many of them
                 Pollution of the bundles is a well-         require the equipment to be switched
                 known problem that occurs everywhere        off as it cannot be cleaned while the
                 where bundles are located close to          fans are still running. This could cost
                 trees, roads, agricultural land and cities  you a lot.
                 - in other words, practically everywhere
                 on land. And what if your bundle looks      ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION
                 like the one in photograph no. 1?!          The alternative is dry cleaning, which
                 You’ve probably long-since resigned         is ideal for induced and forced draft
                 yourself to the fact that your cooling      cooling bundles. A special (non-toxic,
                 capacity is limited or that it has become   biologically degradable) powder is
                 a bottleneck in your process, yet you       sprayed on the bundles using low
                 need to find a solution fast because        air pressure (5-6 bar), and in effect
                 you have very little cooling capacity       this blows the dirt off the fins. With
                 left! There are solutions, but they’re      this method, you no longer need to
                 often temporary or they only clean          walk over the bundles, the fins remain
                 the bundles on the outside (because         undamaged, all the rows of fins are
                 deep cleaning is difficult), which means    actually cleaned, and, if you use
                 that your cooling capacity will still not   induced draft, you don’t even have to
                 be optimal and is likely to deteriorate     switch off the fans. In the rendering
                 again in the course of time anyway.         factory in Gunzenhausen, the bundles

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