Cooling water systems upgrade attracts funding

Cormack Packaging

Monday, 07 April, 2014

In October 2012, Cormack Packaging commenced a systematic replacement of its manufacturing plant process cooling water systems.

Like many manufacturers, Cormack had relied on two process water systems to supply cooling water to the injection moulding plant: ambient temperature water sourced and delivered from a series of old inefficient cooling towers, and chilled water sourced and delivered from a remote single centralised chiller.

These traditional methods of generating process cooling water have several inherent inefficiencies and risks. Cooling towers cool by evaporation, therefore generating considerable water loses, and by design are breeding pits for Legionella bacteria. As such, all cooling towers require high levels of chemical treatment and must be registered and regularly inspected by local authorities.

Centralised chiller systems are generally inefficient because only one process water temperature can be delivered to the entire plant, and large pumping capacity is required whether all or only some of the plant is in operation.

Cormack undertook a thorough evaluation of the inefficiencies of its process cooling water systems and determined that replacing this old equipment with new, fully closed loop Frigel cooling equipment would generate sufficient energy savings to obtain a funding grant for the equipment from the AusIndustry Clean Technology Investment Program.

The new process cooling water systems were procured from Frigel Asia, a company specialising in the manufacture of adiabatic closed loop coolers and compact process water refrigeration units.

The system is composed of an adiabatic cooling unit which replaces the old cooling towers. This EDK unit operates like a giant car radiator, taking warm process water from the plant and passing it through a series of closed heat exchangers where the heat is drawn from the water by variable speed fans. There is no evaporation or loss of water like in old cooling towers.

Replacing the old centralised chiller are compact, individual chillers which are installed on each individual piece of plant equipment. These compact individual chillers gain efficiency as they can be switched off when individual items of plant are not running production. These chillers are also cooled by the EDK system.

The entire process cooling system is closed loop, preventing water loss and reducing chemical consumption. Risk of Legionella bacteria is eliminated and energy savings are gained due to the flexibility and nature of design.

Having installed the new systems, Cormack is now enjoying the benefits.

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