Lee Shields details how new additions to a conveying range are generating energy savings for customers
When it comes to dilute and dense phase conveying, designing effective systems that move material more efficiently and safely is at the core of the technology developments at Schenck Process. Therefore, the company recently entered a partnership with Lontra to use its LP2 blower, which features the firm’s innovative Blade Compressor technology. Schenck Process will be using the blower in conjunction with its Enhanced Dilute Phase Pneumatic Conveying (EDIP) system for trials and customer testing at its Test & Innovation Centre in Doncaster, UK. The facility has also installed its E-Finity technology – an exciting prospect for users of dense phase conveyors, particularly in the chemical, food and pet food industries.
Shaking Up Conveying
Dense phase conveying is an energy-efficient method of transporting abrasive or fragile materials through pipelines at very low and stable velocities to minimise product degradation and equipment wear. The airflow allows the material to build on the bottom of the pipe to form a slug. Porous product will allow air through the build-up to convey at low velocities.
This method is particularly well suited for food, pet food and chemical products. Traditional methods use compressed air supplied at a higher pressure in conjunction with a pressure vessel to discharge the material into the pipeline. Continuous dense phase systems use low-pressure components, such as blowers and rotary valves. They are less common due to the unstable nature of air leakage through the valve caused by increased pressure in the pipeline. This leads to critical failure and line blockages.
Overcoming this problem, the E-Finity system is a continuous dense phase system that provides gentle and energy-efficient conveying of granular and pelleted products. It controls the air volume and velocity traveling down the pipe. Precise pressure monitoring dictates how the control valve manages the airflow through the pipeline, compensating for any leakage or changes in temperature. It allows the pressured air to be consistent and appropriate to convey the material. Continuous calculations take in a myriad of factors to ensure optimal efficiency.
Optimising Conveying Performance
Dilute phase pneumatic conveying works through the suspension of materials and transporting the elevated particles using air or another gas. The product enters the pipe with a moving air stream that operates at high velocity and low pressure. This system is ideally suited for non-friable and non-abrasive materials and can convey a wide range of sizes, shapes and densities. Generally, these systems have lower capital costs and are often supplied as component parts. As a result, many systems are overdesigned and suffer from suboptimal performance.
Schenck Process developed its EDIP controller to augment dilute phase pneumatic conveying performance by minimising the speed of the blower under all operating conditions. Typically, the dilute phase will consider the max-speed conditions for the blower, such as the highest rate and longest distance, to ensure there is always enough air in the pipeline. However, the EDIP controller can take in information about the system, such as line size and conveying pressure, to set the blower at the ideal speed. The algorithm adjusts for a tangible conveying velocity that the user can program. This optimisation delivers energy savings of around 20% with the added benefits of lower material degradation and reduced equipment wear.
A Perfect Match For Energy-Saving Efficiency
Schenck Process can offer impressive energy savings for dilute phase conveying, which have been made even better through partnering with Lontra. By using the Lontra LP2 blower with the EDIP technology, Schenck Process can demonstrate the most efficient lean phase pneumatic conveying technology, saving 30% on energy compared to traditional methods.
With its Blade Compressor technology, the LP2 delivers oil-free air with the highest efficiency and reliability, boasting 34% electricity savings, based on independent testing. Using IoT hardware from Beckhoff Automation and a high-efficiency variable speed drive (VSD) from its partner Yaskawa, the LP2 maintains optimal performance over various speeds with its permanent magnet technology.
The Schenck Process Test & Innovation Centre will use the amalgamated system to test conveying distances of up to 250m on 100mm and 125mm pipes, at rates of up to 15 tonnes per hour. Customers will be able to test their materials to demonstrate the potential of this energy-saving technology for their specific process. Testing will feature comparisons on parameters such as feed rate, loss in weight at the hopper, pressure monitoring and measuring power consumption.
The company has further plans to develop other technologies for reducing dilute phase conveying energy consumption. Its Test & Innovation Centre is set up to demonstrate to customers how they can optimise their conveying parameters and systems to reduce their energy consumption. Involvement from the customer can be through remote digital technologies, or even via a direct visit if they wish to participate.
Lee Shileds is with Schenck Process