Process innovation at Achema

Online Editor

This year's Achema comes at exactly the right time for Piller Blowers & Compressors from Germany. "We will introduce a new product to the market. The VapoMaxX is a compressor that we have developed specifically for steam regeneration and mechanical vapor compression processes," says Dr Steffen Kuberczyk at Piller. "The VapoMaxX combines the advantages of our high-performance blowers with the advanced performance of compressor technology for the first time."

With the VapoMaxX, the energy from the previously unused waste heat released at the end of a production process is used to ultimately provide steam with a higher pressure and a significantly higher temperature for processes. "On the way to a resource-efficient production, we are contributing to a substantial increase in energy efficiency, decreasing primary energy costs and significant CO2 savings in industrial heat pump applications in the process industry," explains managing director Christoph Böhnisch. With an eight-stage VapoMaxX system, for example, Piller increased the temperature from 80 to 211 °C and the pressure from 0.47 bar to 19.6 bar in a recent project. A mass flow of around 42 tons of steam per hour is handled. In this case, the savings in primary energy are eight million Euros per year and the CO2 reduction is 10,650 tons per year. The VapoMaxX is designed for applications with a maximum mass flow of 57,000 kg/h, up to 20 bar pressure and temperatures up to 215°C.

Piller has combined the advantages of high-performance blowers and the advanced performance of compressor technology into a design that allows very flexible installation and arrangement options for single- and multi-stage VapoMaxX systems. Systems with one or more VapoMaxX can be installed in existing racks, even at higher heights. “The system is therefore particularly well suited for brownfield projects, the retrofitting of existing plants. But we also release valuable space on the ground when building new plants,” Kuberczyk points out. In this way, the company can serve individual customer requirements with regards to temperature and pressure rises and adapt the system design to the conditions at the customer's production plant.

In addition to the described performance data and the associated cost reductions for primary energy as well as the reduction of CO2 emissions, the new solution brings another decisive advantage: it is optimised for very short maintenance and service times. On the one hand, all components are easily accessible, on the other hand, the drivetrain has been designed in such a way that it can be retracted on a skid. "Maintenance and any repairs that may occur are done fast, since after pulling out the entire drive train, access to the impeller is free in a shortest time possible,” says Kuberczyk. "The disassembly of piping and subsequent leak tests after reconnection are not necessary." Therefore, neither additional cranes nor large teams are required for maintenance and service. Ultimately, this ensures short downtimes in production.

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