Monday 16th May 2022
Energy analysis of processe
s becomes an indispensable tool to reduce production costs while maintaining quality and efficiency at the highest levels. Too high energy costs are now incompatible with the survival of the company itself and have a negative impact on the environment.
Painting plants have always required large amount of electricity and fuel to achieve optimal performances. Therefore, they are an important sector on which we can intervene to contain energy consumption.
In the painting phase, during flashing and preparation, in which air recirculation is not allowed, the treated air is completely exhausted, to ensure a healthy environment respecting current legislation.
A lot has been done over time, both at the level of the painting product (reducing drying time and baking at a low temperature) and at the level of optimization of the painting cycle (reduction of intermediate times, low temperature phases, reduction of the air flow) but it is possible to intervene even more to reduce energy costs thanks to innovative technologies.
The first technology that can be used for energy efficiency is the installation of the inverter
. The use of this component allows to reduce up to 50% the energy and thermic consumption in the preparatory phases of the application of the paint (preparation of the support, displacement of the parts, preparation of the painting product) and to manage the phases without spraying (preparation, baking and cooling ) with low-speed ventilation (up to 25%) reducing consumption.
An automated air flow control system with the flowswitch device further maximizes energy savings, thanks to the automatic switch of air flow from high to low speed, removing the manual control of the painter, so that he can concentrate exclusively on his work.
During the painting phase, 100% of the air inside the spraybooth is extracted, as required by current legislation. This volume of air had previously been heated from the external ambient temperature to 20/21 ºC according to the set values. This means that the energy used to heat the air is completely dissipated outside, resulting in waste of energy and environmental thermal pollution.
The solution of this situation is the installation of a plate heat exchanger system
that recovers the heat exhausted by transferring it to the air input, reducing the energy requirement
of the burner.
This system has an efficiency variable between 40 and 70%
to get, in specific cases, up to 90%. The system will be sized according to the usable space, air flow and the available budget.
The new legislation regarding painting booths (EN 16985) contemplate the possibility of partial ventilation, concentrating the air flow only in the area where the spraying is taking place.
Blowtherm has developed the system of partialization called Ultra Air Speed
, which allows to obtain an air velocity of 0,3 m/s as per regulations, gathering the flow to the area where the painter is located.
This technology, combined with a laser detection system of the position of the operator, allows to work using up to 50% less air flow even during painting and reducing the demand for thermal energy. All managed automatically without the intervention of the painter.
Continuing in the perspective of energy savings, Blowtherm has developed the new Ultra HE high efficiency units. This range of fan units use a completely new ventilation system that require less power engines while maintaining the same air flow rate
as the equivalent standard version.
The regulations are respected through the high air flow, while reducing electricity consumption.
The maximization of savings is achieved by combining all these technologies. The Blowtherm modular system allows the different components to work in perfect sync, even with retrofit kits, ensuring maximum savings and allowing constant upgrades in terms of performance and eco-efficiency.
More and more companies are investing in new technologies to produce energy from renewable sources. Among the most widespread there are photovoltaic or solar panel, heat pumps, geothermal plants, cogeneration, wind turbines and biomass plants. These applications increasingly benefit from tax incentives, making autonomous energy production increasingly affordable and reducing operating costs.
Renewable sources do not always guarantee a constant production of energy. For example, solar panels produce energy in a variable way during the day or depending on the season.
Is it possible to use renewable energy in painting plants? Blowtherm has developed a new Hybrid concept of a fan unit, consisting of two heating sources. On one side there is a traditional gas burner, on the other a preheating battery that uses the energy produced on site and allows to employ the surplus produced through an accumulator. If renewable energy is not enough, the burner compensates for the missing thermal energy and maintains the performance of a traditional group.
This new generation of fan units have many advantages:
reduction of power requirements and, therefore, of energy consumption
automated power management through the PLC control panel
the most cost-effective fuel choice
access to tax incentives
reduction of environmental impact
to use the surplus of the self-produced energy with on-site exchange, avoiding the sale to the supply companies at minimum prices and the subsequent repurchase at a higher price when necessary
Each situation must be evaluated according to the required powers, the types of installation, the painting process and access to incentives.
With a wide range of innovative solutions, Blowtherm uses its experience and expertise to design systems with proven layouts tailored to the customer. To increase efficiency and productivity by saving energy.