Thomas Bartmann, Sales Director & Julia Romero, Corporate Marketing and Communications
The traditional chillers, with their ability to provide cooling for industrial processes and applications, have been playing an important role in process-driven manufacturing. On the flip side, these chillers have emerged as one of the major reasons for the three current biggest challenges. To elaborate, constant process cooling requires considerable energy, and this, in turn, adds to the operating cost. Moreover, chillers, which are based on halocarbon or synthetic refrigerants, contribute to the increase in CO2 and fluorinated gases (F-gases), harming the environment further. Adding to the woes, they cause leakage and maintenance issues.
The pressing question, therefore, arises: “How can businesses involved in process manufacturing navigate their way toward a sustainable future?"
German-firm Efficient Energy GmbH has come up with an antidote to these complex issues. Efficient Energy offers eChiller—a proprietary refrigeration system driven by Bluezero, a technology that uses water (R718) as a refrigerant. The BlueZero technology makes water as a refrigerant possible and transforms the increasingly regulated and environmentally harmful refrigeration and air conditioning technology into a CO2-neutral life cycle assessment.
Thomas Bartmann, Sales Director of Efficient Energy, says, “In 2015, the European Union implemented the F-Gas regulation which massively restricts, and in some cases, prohibits the use of refrigerants with high global warming potential. Our Bluezero technology complies with all the current environmental and safety regulations pertaining to the operation and maintenance of refrigeration units.”
The eChiller works on a mechanism that involves direct evaporation, compression, condensation, and expansion of water in a closed-loop cycle.
As a result, it can save up to 80 percent of energy compared to conventional cooling systems. Unlike other solutions, the refrigeration process in eChiller takes place in a vacuum at low pressures between 10—150 mbar and in a temperature range of 12—45 degrees Celsius. This makes it possible to achieve significant energy savings through free cooling, smooth transition between the operation modes, and closed cooling circuit operating in a vacuum, avoiding high pressure.
What differentiates eChiller in the market is the unlimited sustainability and secure investment in a future-proof refrigeration solution. Moreover, water is a safety refrigerant, non-toxic, non-flammable and clean. The solution is easy and safe to integrate into the existing production environment due to the reduced form factor. “The solution is based on free cooling; therefore, as the temperature outside falls, we can sidestep the additional mechanical cooling. Thus, we can enable the production environment to operate in a highly energy-efficient manner,” adds Julia Romero, Corporate Marketing and Communications at Efficient Energy.
In the tire and rubber industry, specifically, there is a need for a chilled water temperature of 15 degrees Celsius and above during production. eChiller’s preferred temperature range of 15—24 degrees Celsius makes it optimum for applications such as process cooling during the manufacturing of sidewall and tread, bead winding, extrusion, mill rolls, cap strips, and belt strips.
To highlight the efficacy of eChiller, the story of Gardena, a specialist in extrusion for hoses, serves as the perfect example. Gardena needed a chiller for chilled water production in the temperature range between 16—20 degrees Celsius with a cooling capacity of 30kW. Furthermore, the client also wanted the installation to be as close as possible to the extruder. Efficient Energy’s eChiller ticked all these boxes. The eChiller has been delivering ROI since day one of its implementation, meeting all of the client’s project requirements as well as ecological and economic goals.
Beyond process industries, the eChiller can be broadly implemented in data centers, thanks to its agile and flexible nature. Efficient Energy continues to expand its product portfolio to offer more cooling capacity in different applications. Currently, the company is developing a new product that can offer up to 300kW cooling capacity.
“Our young, multicultural, and motivated team comprises experts with excellent technical backgrounds, many of them with a long experience in the refrigeration industry. This helps us drive forward with greater vigor,” concludes Bartmann.