Pneumatic Conveying UK offer an optimisation service, which involves visiting the users site and critically analysing the operation of the conveying systems. As it stands approximately 90% of systems are not as well optimised as they could be. This could take the form of product throughput or energy consumption. For example, most people use lean phase conveying systems for their relative ease to set up and operate. However, whilst lean phase systems may be easy to get to an operational point they are difficult to get them operating efficiently. Most systems will operate the air mover in excess of the required minimum flow rate. This is just one example of common flaws in pneumatic conveying system design and operation.
At Pneumatic Conveying UK we have a team of researchers dedicated to researching how to operate systems efficiently. One of our researchers focuses closely on the design and operation of pneumatic conveying systems with the main objective being to save the end user on operation costs.
Capital vs Operational Cost
A lean phase system moving 3Te/hr of product would typically use a small roots type blower with a duty power of 15kW. The capital cost of the blower package itself may cost £5,500.00 to purchase.
Energy companies charge approximately 10p/kWh for industrial usage. If this blower package was to operate 8 hours a day, 5 days a week for a total of 2,000 hours a year then the operational cost of the blower unit will be £3,000/year. Within 2 years of the blower package being on site the operating cost will have eclipsed the capital cost of the blower.
These blower packages can operate over 30 years in service if they are looked after. Before the end of the blowers life the product can cost up to £90,000 (over 16x the capital cost of the blower).
If due diligence is done at specification stage of the project then even 2kw difference on operation can save the end user a huge sum in operational costs.
Case Study – Wood Chip Conveying
The example above is based on a relatively small conveying system. However, Pneumatic Conveying UK has been to sites in Europe where they convey wood chip at rates of 250Te/hr. For this duty they consume up to 350kW to move the mass flow of air required for conveying. This was costing the company over €150,000 a year in operating costs (twice the capital cost of the blower unit).
With careful investigation into there operating procedures it was clear to our team that the unit was operating faster than necessary. By carefully setting the speed for optimum energy saving the team where able to save the customer 100kW. This translates into saving the customer close to €45,000 a year in operational costs.
Pneumatic Conveying UK utilises a wide range of tools and experience to ensure that your system is designed with efficiency in mind. These include:
- Pneumatic Conveying Test Facilities
- Material Characterisation
- Computational Fluid Dynamics
- Analytical Predictions
- A wealth of experience
We are also willing to work closely with the customer and other third parties to ensure the system can run as effectively as is possible without negatively impacting on throughput.