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AHORRO DE ENERGIA EN TUNELES DE CONGELAMIENTO

AHORRO DE ENERGIA EN TUNELES DE CONGELAMIENTO

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Published by dtrinidad
Paper donde se muestra el ahorro de energia en tuneles de congelamiento estaticos por rafagas de aire, usando variadores de frecuencia.
Paper donde se muestra el ahorro de energia en tuneles de congelamiento estaticos por rafagas de aire, usando variadores de frecuencia.

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Published by: dtrinidad on Mar 27, 2009
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12/07/2012

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CONSERVING ENERGY IN BLAST FREEZERSUSING VARIABLE FREQUENCY DRIVES
Edward KolbeProfessor EmeritusOregon/Alaska Sea GrantQingyue LingResearch Assistant ProfessorFood Innovation CenterOregon State UniversityPortlandGreg WheelerDirectorIndustrial Assessment CenterABSTRACTA stationary blast freezer processing 22-lb cartonsof sardines in 19,000 pound lots was modified toimprove efficiency and to conserve energy. Baffleswere first added to produce uniform air flow.Maximum measured freeze times of 12.6 hours fell to10.5 hours; total electrical energy savings wasestimated to be 12%. A Variable Frequency Drive(VFD) was then installed to slow evaporator fansduring the freeze cycle. In one example run whenfans were slowed to 75% speed after an initialfreezing period, freezing times then increased byabout an hour while overall energy consumed fell byan additional 10%. Based on the effect of the VFDalone and $0.05/kWh power in this case, payback period would be in the range of 850 freezing cycles.Mathematical models, calibrated by measurements,analyzed further design and fan control options.Further improvements in freezing efficiency werepredicted.INTRODUCTIONStationary blast freezers, when well-designed, canuniformly batch-freeze food products at a rate thatpreserves quality and keeps pace with production.They can also be the major power-user in theoperation, a financial concern as energy costsescalate. This project demonstrated mechanisms toimprove performance in a production blast freezercell. Application of a Variable Frequency Drive(VFD) to control evaporator fan speed showed thepotential for additional energy conservation byslowing fans as freezing proceeded.Food products in stationary batch freezerstypically have freezing times of several hours.Partway into the cycle, when surface layers arefrozen, a diminishing heat flow rate is increasinglycontrolled by the internal conduction resistance – thatis, the Biot number becomes large. As this occurs,we can reduce fan speed and so, air velocity, withonly a minor effect on freezing time. Air velocitywill vary directly with fan speed; but power drivingthe fan varies with (fan speed)
3
. So a minor slowingof fans can effect a major decrease in fan power andresulting heat. During the summer of 2002, weperformed experiments on a production freezer, oneof 12 operated by Columbia Colstor Co., Woodland,WA and leased to Pacific Seafood Group forfreezing of 22-lb cartons of sardines (
Sardinopssagax
).The work was supported by the National SeaGrant program with contribution both from ColumbiaColstor and the local Utility, Cowlitz PUD.Objectives were to:- Demonstrate measures to maximize performance inan existing stationary freezer;- Demonstrate the use of a VFD to conserve energyin a production freezer;- Develop analyses to simulate and optimize freezerperformance under conditions not tested.BASELINE CONDITIONS AND PRACTICESBlast CellTwelve cells in the plant, configured in a line,were said to be identical, with the exception of two inwhich false ceilings had been installed. Figure 1shows one of these two cells, subsequently used forour controlled experiments. Air flowed from right toleft through racks loaded with product. Horizontalfloor width between curbs in the air-flow direction,was 90”; length between the steel 10” angle-iron cartstops which fold down to protect doors at each end of the cell, was 24-1/2’. The height of the initial ceiling(shown) was 84”.Each cell held 12 racks of product, wheeled intothe room with electric pallet jacks. Base dimensionsof the racks were 42” x 48” with the formerdimension lying in the air-flow direction. Overallheight when loaded was 74-1/2”. A drop-downplastic curtain slung from the air-supply-side ceilingcontacted the upper row of cartons, limiting air flowbetween the top row of cartons and the ceiling. For
 
 
the 22-lb sardine cartons used, the loading capacity of the cell was 19,200 lb [(12 racks) x (12 rows/rack) x(6 cartons/row) x (22-lb/carton)]. An upper ceilingplatform in each cell supported a 3-fan evaporatorunit. A vent in the upper wall of each cell enabledpressure-equalization (preventing damage to wallsand ceiling) when the room temperature initially fell.These vents were said to be undersized, thus start-upguidelines called for fans to come to full-speed over aperiod to exceed 15 minutes (1).Figure 1. Blast air in the original (unbaffled) cellflows from right-to-left; air by-passes over the topand around the near and far ends.Evaporator UnitOne Frigidcoil unit (York International) in eachcell used ammonia refrigerant in a liquid overfeedmode, with a design-pumping ratio of around 4.Three axial-flow fans (Airfoil Impellors, Inc.)supplied a total no-load flow rate specified as 84,280cfm. This might fall by 25% in a fully loaded room.Fan motors were nominal 7-1/2 HP inverter-dutymodels manufactured by Baldor.Refrigeration SystemAn engine room dedicated to freezing operationshad a total capacity intended to meet the needs of 12blast freezer cells, 12 vertical plate freezers, and twotunnel freezers, operated at various sequences. Thistwo-stage ammonia system operated under thefollowing typical conditions:- Low-stage: 14” Hg vacuum (-50
°
F);- Intermediate stage controlled to 14 psig (-2.5
°
F)and fluctuating some with load (increasing withhigher load);- High-stage operates between 157 and 167 psig(87
°
and 91
°
F).An automatic monitoring and control system,installed by TechniSystems Inc. (2), enabledoptimized performance of the refrigeration system, aswell as continual monitoring of all components. Allparameters were routinely recorded at 15 minuteintervals and stored in memory.A separate computer screen designed for ourexperiment monitored and recorded the following at1 minute intervals, storing in a separate file:- Temperature of air entering the evaporator;- Temperature of air leaving the evaporator anddownstream fans;- Saturated refrigerant suction temperature;- Status (open vs. closed) of the liquid refrigerantsupply valve;- Speed of fans;- Electrical power drawn by fan motors;- Time since last room defrost.This screen also enabled one to control fan speed bycontrolling frequency of the VFD that would beinstalled for later experiments. Electric powerreadings resulted from a Veris Industries power meterinstalled on the three-phase power supply to theVFD.The overall performance of this system – installedin 2001 -- was monitored by Cascade EnergyEngineering (3) who estimated the following: a) Forlow loads in the off-season, performance wasrecorded as 6.43 kW/TR (tons of refrigeration). Thisincluded electric power (kW) driving compressors,condensers, and ammonia recirculation pumps. b)During the 2400 hour sardine season (7/1-10/8,2001), this figure was 2.73 kW/TR. By the time of our 2002 tests, the refrigeration system had changed,adding a booster compressor with economizer.The ProductThis project concentrated on a single product:corrugated cartons holding 22 lb of whole sardines.Outer dimensions were 3-1/4” x 13” x 20-1/4”.There were small holes in the sides, plus six 3”-diameter holes in the top. However, air was unableto penetrate because of a plastic wrap used to line thebox. The approximate 5/32” corrugated cardboardwall acted as an insulator, keeping nominal freezingtimes fairly high, 12-15 hr.OperationIn a typical freeze cycle, workers loaded the blastcell with product using electric pallet jacks. Onceloaded, the operator closed both doors and started therefrigeration sequence using a key which opens aliquid-line solenoid valve to admit liquid to theevaporator; the fans started automatically by timersoon after.
 
 
To prevent an initial over-load of the refrigerationmachinery (and unnecessary start-up of extracompressors), the start-up sequence actually took place over a 1-hour period as follows (4): Anoperator manually started the cycle with the turn of akey located at the loading door. This opened a valvesupplying liquid ammonia to the evaporator coils. Afew minutes later, the center (of three) fan switchedon to full speed; one half-hour later, the center fanswitched off as the two outer fans switched on to fullspeed; one half-hour after that, the center fanswitched on. If a loading door were to be openedduring the freeze cycle, the liquid line automaticallyclosed and the fans shut down. The one-hour startsequence would begin again when the door is thenclosed. [Note that one problem with this startsequence is that idle fans began to rotate in reverse.Sudden start-up then caused a high spike in thestarting current, risking motor burnout]Although thermal load in the cell was highest atthe start of the freeze cycle, balanced use of freezerunits enabled air and evaporator temperatures to dropquickly. One initial experiment recorded conditionswhen freezing cartons of chicken parts. Althoughfreezing time was about 24 hours, suctiontemperature fell to a near-steady value of -30
°
Falmost immediately. [The refrigeration wasoperating on a single stage at the time]. Supply airfell to -20
°
F within an hour, then declined slowly toabout -30
°
F.Another early experiment with sardines (coded bydate: 0710) and application of the full, two-stagerefrigeration capacity, showed suction temperaturedropping immediately to about -48
°
F; supply air fellquickly within the first hour to around -35
°
F, thenslowly decreased to -40
°
over the freezing period.The completion of freezing was routinely confirmedby pulling a carton or two from areas of the freezer inwhich poorest freezing rates might be expected. Theworker could then drill a hole and measure coretemperature with a stem thermometer. Longestmeasured freezing time in the original cell usingslightly thicker cartons was about 15 hours.Every few cycles, production schedule permitting,the operator would initiate a manual defrost whichsent hot gas through the coils for about 30-40minutes, while fans are switched off. On occasion,the room itself would need to be cleared of built-upice, particularly on the floor. This was accomplishedby running fans at full speed (doors closed,refrigerant flow off) for a few hours.METHODS AND MATERIALSInstrumentationThe first project activity was to select and installinstrumentation needed to measure freezerperformance and results of various modifications tobe made to structure and operation.AirflowA project objective was to modify flow pathsin an attempt to achieve maximum velocities withthe highest uniformity through the pack. Tomeasure velocities under different configurationsand fan speeds, we used a hand-held anemometerwith a digital readout and measurement range of 60-7830 fpm (feet per minute; Extech PocketThermo Anemometer). An attached streamer (apiece of cassette-tape) enabled the operator tonote the air velocity direction and ensure a correctorientation of the impellor. Calibration conductedin a wind tunnel at the University of Portlandshowed readings to agree within 1%.The procedure for measuring velocity profileswas to position the operator in the blast-cell withdoors closed, downstream of the pack, prior toopening the refrigeration valve. We thus assumedthe operator’s body was sufficiently small(compared to the space) that it would not affectthe flow stream. It can be shown that temperaturehas very little effect on the volumetric flow rateor velocity profile.Temperature MeasurementThese experiments employed two methods of continuous temperature measurement. In thefirst, product temperatures resulted from a seriesof 14 Type-T thermocouples (AWG 20; SpecialLimit of Error, +0.5
°
C) connected to a 14-channeltemperature data logger (Databook/260 by Iotech)and a laptop PC. These sensed temperatures of air and of sardine cartons, typically near the core,at 1-minute intervals over the course of eachfreezing cycle. Deployment of thesethermocouples with 12’ leads had to be fast toavoid disrupting the loading/unloading of the cell.Thus two circuit strips and embedded sockets(Omega Model RSJ-T-R, round-hole panel jack)were “permanently” mounted to the ceiling: 7 onthe supply air side; 7 on the return air side.Bundled thermocouple wires from these socketsexited the room at the lower corner of one of thedoors and terminated in a locked cabinet,immediately outside the room. This setupremained undamaged and workable throughoutthe experiment period. Moisture entering these

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