Maximising efficiency

Advancements in heat recovery, refrigerant dryers, and intelligent network control

Complementing their PET compressor range, Boge is launching three new product lines. Using its heat recovery technology, 94% of energy can be reclaimed, according to the company, whilst their sustainable refrigerant dryers ensure constant dew points. Finally, Boge’s Airtelligence Provis 3 offers intelligent network control.

Heat recovery regenerates 94% of the energy used

Heat recovery means reusing the energy used to generate the compressed air. Instead of being lost as undirected ambient heat, the energy generated is used to heat storage and operating areas or for heating water or oils. Concrete application areas include the treatment of drinking water, service water, heating water and process water. The latter is used for industrial washing processes, for example in recycling companies to clean plastic and synthetic materials as well as in laundrettes. Components can be used to recover heat in both oil-injection cooled and oil-free screw compressors.

For users, heat recovery is a profitable model: Up to 94% of the energy used can be recovered. At the same time, the energy for cooling processes within the compressor is reduced as the heat generated is conducted away and used elsewhere. The investment in heat recovery components pays for itself within a few months, depending on the application, says Boge. The option of heat recovery is included in all new compressors of the company as standard. Older systems – including those of other manufacturers – can be retrofitted within a day.

Refrigerant dryers for sustainable, reliable operations

No compressor without a refrigerant dryer – dry compressed air is required for almost any situation. In addition to the existing DS-2 series, Boge has launched a new range of products. All the models in the new DT series ensure a constant dew point of 3 °C at a free air delivery of between 0.4 and 14 m³/min. With this strategy, the compressed air system is claimed to ensure maximum delivery capability for its customers. As with the DS-2 series, the DT series refrigerant dryers all come with an “all-in-one” aluminium heat exchanger operated in a reverse flow process and containing a proven air/air heat exchanger, evaporator and condensate drain. Boge says that both models use the environmentally friendly and future-proof R 513 A refrigerant, with low global warming potential, as standard, making all the models compliant with Regulation EU 517/2014 on fluorinated greenhouse gases. The refrigerant circuit is hermetically sealed, rendering a leakage test by certified refrigeration engineer unnecessary.

The hot gas/bypass valve present in all models keeps the pressure dew point at a constant 3 °C, even in changing environmental conditions. As hot air is injected below a specific temperature, there is no danger of ice forming in the evaporator. And, in addition, the refrigerant dryer’s condensers are amply dimensioned, delivering reliable operation even for compressed air at an inlet temperature of 70 °C. The large fan is mounted directly on the condenser and is intended to ensure maximum cooling air flow, which in turn has a positive effect on the pressure dew point. As a result, the refrigerant dryer is robust and continues to operate even under challenging circumstances.

All models are claimed to be low-consumption. As the Boge CCD ten condensate drain used in the dryer has electronic level adjustment, any condensate that might form can be drained off without any pressure losses once a defined level has been reached. The DT 52 to DT 140 models offer additional savings potential: if the dew point is reached in partial-load operation, the control unit automatically switches off the compressor. The condensate in the heat exchanger then cools the compressed air until the dew point once again reaches the target value. Only once this happens does the cooling compressor come back on.

The refrigerant dryer’s control system permits continuous monitoring of the pressure and temperature thanks to a series of sensors. Unlike with the DS-2 series where a pressure switch disconnects the system in case of an emergency, in these new devices, the sensors take over the job. The pressure dew point can be quickly checked with the help of the LED status light. The new refrigerant dryers also come with a Modbus RTU/ RS 485 interface as standard, allowing the user to detect alarm thresholds and display other relevant parameters. This data is then easy to forward onto an interlocking control device or master display.

Managing numbers of components and networks

Controlling an unlimited number of compressors, enabling seamless communication, and accessing data from anywhere: the requirements for modern compressed air management are high. The goal is uncomplicated operation coupled with maximum energy efficiency. To meet this challenge, the company introduced a new intelligent network control system. The Airtelligence Provis 3 has been developed to transform the operation of compressed air systems, as it can proactively and consumption-dependently manage an unlimited number of compressors, accessory components, and entire compressed air networks.

Thanks to a new Modbus Interface Module, the control system is backward-compatible with other control systems and third-party manufacturers. To ensure communication between products of different manufacturers and various device types in the future, Boge’s control system supports the open data format OPC UA. Additionally, Ethernet as a communication standard allows multiple participants to communicate simultaneously, integrating even remotely located stations. This can be done using the existing IT infrastructure of the user.

The Airtelligence Provis 3 is delivered as a plug-and-play complete solution to the user. The 15.6-inch display with intuitive touch control shows the compressor detail view, profile view, and pressure history. A fully integrated, powerful industrial PC is provided as standard. However, users can also access it from tablets or smartphones because the comprehensive and clear visualisation is web-based. It displays consumption patterns and status values almost in real-time. A new feature is energy reporting according to the DIN EN ISO 50001 standard. For efficient energy management, users can track the energy consumption and associated costs of operating the compressors at any time.

Regarding energy costs, a typical challenge in designing a compressed air system is handling different compressed air demands leading to load and idle times. The unintentional consequence of unfavourable system configurations can be energy-intensive over-compression. This is where the control algorithms of the Airtelligence Provis 3 come into play. They automatically select the optimal combination of compressors and additional components, shaping their interaction proactively and consumption-dependently. Over-compression is thus avoided, and operation during load and idle times is optimised.

Additional modules tailor the system to the customer’s needs. The pro-FU option allows users to operate multiple frequency-controlled compressors with the same percentage of utilisation. Additionally, users can opt for the Airlogic 3 software module, which controls supply air, recirculating air, and exhaust air flaps, as well as peripheral components. In If-Then scenarios, it opens and closes flaps based on pre-defined, status- or temperature-dependent commands, avoiding energy losses. Both options further enhance the efficiency and flexibility of the entire system.

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