In this issue of Process Cooling, we look for ways to improve industrial refrigeration system efficiency as well as at filtration systems suited for raw water intakes, adiabatic cooling and a case history about how brazed heat exchangers helped optimize a chiller design for laser cooling.
One of the most transformative technologies in the last quarter-century has to be the advent of the internet and the subsequent development of the Internet of Things. Adding computing devices to everyday objects at first seemed a marvel and now is taken for granted. As software developers push the envelope in the consumer realm, companies focused on serving industrial processors continue to harness smart technologies to transform how plants are run. Solutions to integrate legacy control systems with cloud-based smart controls mean that the Industrial Internet of Things is connecting ever more of your plant. And, they are allowing you to measure, manage and optimize operations via insights gathered from the deluge of processing data provided by the internet-enabled control systems. One early barrier to taking advantage of such systems — that is, the cost to rewire and rework existing connection networks — has been overcome as control manufacturers have developed software to integrate older controls into the IIoT systems.
Adding plant intelligence and using the insights gleaned from the data allow facilities to optimize operations. How facilities using industrial refrigeration can do so — along with other tips to improve refrigeration system operation — is the focus of an article by David Jametsky of Danfoss. Jametsky offers suggestions that can help achieve energy savings and extend equipment life.
Optimizing the operation of raw water filtration systems is the focus of an article by Del Williams of Acme Engineering. In facilities that rely on raw water from rivers, lakes and coastlines for their cooling system, Williams notes that often, organic, aquatic or other solids such as trash and weeds can be present. Water cooling systems designed for relatively clean cooling water streams may clog in the presence of such debris. Selecting a filtration system with the cooling water characteristics in mind can help avoid plugging and fouling that can lead to unscheduled downtime or excessive maintenance.
Often used in HVAC systems for spot cooling, adiabatic cooling has a place in process cooling operations as well, says Mike Kaler of Mestex, a division of Mestek. By modifying the direct evaporative cooling system to provide for more precise temperature and humidity control, says Kaler, adiabatic cooling can achieve levels of temperature control comparable to mechanical cooling systems. Kaler explains his view on why adiabatic process cooling is particularly suited for processes that produce high levels of heat.
Finally, a case history by Sumer Evans of Swep North America Inc. and Sean Weera of Glen Dimplex Thermal Solutions explores how two manufacturers worked together to develop a cooling system for laser-cutting equipment. Cooling is used with lasers to achieve precise temperature control — a critical characteristic in maintaining the cutting beam accuracy. As a result, chiller reliability is paramount to avoid laser downtime. The two companies worked together to tailor a system incorporating brazed plate heat exchangers into the portable chillers.
Linda Becker, Associate Publisher and Editor