Improvements in the performance of production cycles go through new solutions or the optimisation of existing solutions.
The online EcoClean management and control system meets the need to reduce energy consumption and avoid power losses in centralised pneumatic cleaning systems, commonly called “Supero”.
Centralised pneumatic cleaning plants are very widespread in industries that use and handle powdery and grain products.
They ensure effective cleaning of the departments and of the machines, also concerning the elimination of contamination in the production changes, so much so that they have become a fundamental component. They are often used below their potential due to plant strictness and staff carelessness.
Eco Clean prevents carelessness and makes plants flexible, allows energy savings of up to 60%, decreases power losses and improves work organisation.
A typical system comprises a high-pressure extraction unit (various types: volumetric blowers, with side channels, multi-stage and two-stage), bag filter for high pressure with specific dischargers and a piping network distributed in departments with air intake valves that close automatically.
The number of intakes is variable depending on the size of the departments and type of processing and the installed power ranges average from 22 to 75 kW.
These plants often have several critical issues:
- sometimes they are switched on when needed or at the start of a shift and are often not turned off after use;
- normally the number of sockets used at the same time is lower than that of the sockets installed (usually four sockets); nevertheless, the power absorbed remains almost constant while the power of the single extractors decreases (in a system with four sockets with two connected sockets the power is reduced by about 15%);
- operators may leave plugs in, often in not very visible areas, with the consequent waste of energy and reduced efficiency.
The plant modification we propose achieve the following improvements:
- the plant remains in stand-by mode until a plug is inserted.
- the plant shuts down automatically when none of the sockets are occupied.
- the flow rate of the extractor and electricity consumption are automatically adjusted to the number of sockets connected (with two out of four connected, consumption is reduced by around 55%)
- the plant shuts down automatically or when the operator is alerted by an alarm when a plug is left in after a set time limit, which can be set on each socket.
- the time of use, date and quantity of time limit overruns for each individual socket are recorded.
- the instantaneous, daily and monthly electricity consumption parameters are recorded and displayed.
- All information is stored in a data collection network and can be sent to remote devices such as tablets, smartphones and PCs.
Plant modification on existing plants is implemented through the following interventions:
- Replacement of the current sockets with a new version equipped with a sensor capable of detecting the engagement of a socket (exclusive e4 engineering).
- Wiring of socket presence sensors at the central unit that may be, depending on the layout, completely wired or grouped to islands that are in communication to the central unit with a data network or in radiofrequency.
- Inclusion of a frequency inverter (specific digital inverter for the type of machine to be controlled) to vary the extractor speed, controlled by the central processing unit equipped with PLC with touchscreen user interface, ports for data collection and recording on various bus and USBs
The achieved energy saving results vary according to the existing plant situation, the network extension, the habits and “energy sensitivity” of the staff and users.
Energy savings usually range from 40% to over 60%, with return on investment from 8 months up to maximum 20 months, with the majority of cases attesting to 12 months, net of price increases and achievement of any white certificates.
With Eco Clean, a plant with 4 contemporary sockets and 30 total sockets, with a 45-kW extractor installed, used on 2 daily shifts, energy savings of
70.000 kWh/year can be achieved.