Meat Processing Plant Cuts Energy Consumption by 43% with DuCool's System

(June 16, 2009) - The TönniesFleisch plant in Rheda-Wiedenbrück, Germany has reduced the cost of cooling and dehumidification by 43% by installing DuCool's DuHandling desiccant dehumidification and cooling systems. The DuHandling system utilizes cold and hot water that are available in the plant from other processes to deliver dry and cool air as required. The plant is saving annually over $231,000 (165,000) in electricity costs while improving working conditions, reducing safety hazards and prolonging equipment lifespan. The high energy savings are providing TonniesFleisch a very short return on investment period of 1.5 years.

TönniesFleisch produces quality meat at three modern locations in Central Europe and employs over 5,000 people. The company recently added a new wing to its plant in Rheda-Wiedenbruck. The new wing contains a washing and cleaning system that creates a high level of humidity. The result was hazardous and uncomfortable working conditions as well as corrosion to equipment, causing repeated maintenance issues. TönniesFleisch engineers determined that reducing the humidity to reasonable levels required a continuous supply of 30,000 cubic meters per hour (17,657 cubic feet per minute) of air at 16oC (61oF) and 40% relative humidity (RH).

The traditional approach would have been to install a conventional air conditioning system for cooling and dehumidification. In order to reach the required humidity level, it would have been necessary to cool the air to about 3oC (37oF). The air would then have had to be reheated to 16oC (61oF) to provide comfortable working conditions. This approach would have wasted considerable amounts of energy.

DuCool recommended that the customer install six of its DuHandling units that provide cooling and dehumidification together with one small post-treatment air handling unit (AHU). The AHU is much smaller than would be needed for a conventional solution and it operates at a higher temperature. DuHandling systems utilize waste heat to generate efficient cooling and dehumidification. Cool water for the cooling process can be taken from any convenient source such as a cooling tower, geothermal well, river, etc.

The DuCool system maintains the required air conditions year-round with energy savings of 43% compared to a conventional air conditioning solution.
An additional important benefit of the DuHandling system is the significant improvement to the indoor air quality. The DuHandling unit removes approximately 91% of the airborne microorganisms and 80% of particles larger than 5 microns in a single pass. This capability is advantageous for many applications such as food processing, hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry, laboratory clean rooms, electronic chip manufacturing and many other applications that require clean air.

Another installation of DuCool systems in the meat processing industry is found at the Europlast Kunstdarme plant in Germany which manufactures edible sausage casings. The casings are washed in hot water so in the summer the temperature in the plant previously reached 30oC (86oF) with 85% RH. Europlast installed a DuCool DuTreat unit to treat the area where the casings are washed. DuTreat is a desiccant cooling and dehumidification system that uses an embedded compressor to heat and cool the desiccant solution and provide cooling and dehumidification. The DuTreat product line is typically used where renewable energy or waste heat and cool water are not available.

The DuCool unit dehumidifies the space, prevents growth of mold and mildew and maintains the required conditions of, 22oC (71.6oF) and 50% relative humidity. The energy used in this application is approximately 40% less than would be required by a conventional air conditioning system.

About DuCool

DuCool's systems cool, heat, dehumidify, disinfect and clean the air while providing independent control of temperature and humidity. DuCool's solutions are powered by renewable energy sources such as: solar panels, geothermal water and waste heat from multiple sources, providing considerable savings to commercial and industrial users. DuCool systems utilize a patented liquid desiccant process for dehumidification and air conditioning that is considerably more efficient and effective than other conventional heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) solutions. DuCool systems can be configured as a standalone solution or they can be coupled with existing conventional systems to provide a superior hybrid application.

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