TLT-Turbo MVR Range Makes Strides in Food and Beverage Industry

In November 2018, TLT-Turbo completed the installation of a Medium Flow range MVR Turbo Fan at the Frischli factory in Rehburg-Loccum, Germany. The fan has been running at Frischli for almost 3 years, providing reliable, silent performance without any need to maintain the fan bearing, making it an ideal use case for demonstrating TLT-Turbo’s capabilities in the food and beverage industry.

TLT-Turbo has been gathering data from the Frischli facility on the performance of the fan since 2018 and will continue to do so in order to compile a case study demonstrating the cost savings for Frischli and listing the ways in which their production has benefited from the use of the TLT-Turbo MVR fan. This will support the efforts of the MVR department’s sales drive as it will provide clear evidence of the ways in which TLT-Turbo is redefining mechanical vapor recompression in the food and beverage industry.

“Our Medium Flow MVR range is ideally suited to facilities such as the one at Frischli’s headquarters,” says Mario Schmidt, Head of Business Segment Vapor Fans. “The higher efficiencies delivered by these fans makes us more competitive in the small to medium mass flows market where many potential clients in dairy, food and beverage or pharmaceutical production are positioned.”

For over 120 years, Frischli, an owner-managed company has been producing dairy products that meet the highest requirements of quality, sustainability, and taste. The company’s headquarters are located in Rehburg-Loccum near Hanover where they produce a range of products including long-life milk, powdered milk and cream. Milk drinks such as cocoa, powdered milk, puddings and yogurt as well as a wide range of dairy products for gastronomy and catering are also produced.

The relationship between Frischli and TLT-Turbo is likely to become a long-standing relationship as the two companies share a focus on driving on innovation. Frischli is one of the most modern and efficient dairies in Germany. This, according to Schmidt, is one of the reasons that they were so quick to adopt the new MVR technology of the TLT-Turbo range.

“A clear demonstration that we share a mutual belief in innovation and technological advancements in food production equipment, is the fact that Frischli has also agreed to be a reference client for TLT-Turbo. This means that we will be able to visit the premises with potential clients to show them the MVR fan in action,” Schmidt reveals.

He also notes that they were delighted with the fan’s features, particularly when it comes to maintenance. Frischli has a number of MVR fans installed at their factory from another supplier. When the time came to conduct annual maintenance of all the fans running at the facility, the advanced technology of the TLT-Turbo MVR range became apparent.

“As part of the annual maintenance of the other MVR fans, our technicians asked me if they should include the TLT-Turbo MVR in the maintenance schedule. They were very surprised to learn that this MVR fan does not require maintenance. Only the seal rings should be replaced if there are leaks and a grease cartridge should be screwed on for the motor. This saves a lot of time and money,” says Henrike Kaluza, Project Manager at Frischli.

She goes on to elaborate on the time and costs savings that can be achieved with the TLT-Turbo MVR fan. “The regular maintenance of the other two MVR fans we are running costs between 8,500 to 9,000 Euro per year, or around roughly 4,500 Euro per fan”. As the TLT-Turbo fan does not need this kind of maintenance for at least ten years, the savings are measured at a total value of 45,000 Euro per fan for this period. It saves production time too, as the eventual maintenance on the TLT-Turbo fan does not require a full day of downtime.

The fact that the TLT-Turbo MVR fans do not require an oil change is highly valuable to operators in the dairy, food and beverage and pharmaceutical industries. “In a clean environment, not having to introduce chemicals such as oil to the environment when maintaining crucial equipment is highly valuable. In addition, this makes our fans kinder to the environment as well. Other fans on the market consume around 40 to 60 liters of oil per year or 400 to 600 liters over 10 years whereas our fans consume 60 to 120 gram of grease over a ten year period,” explains Schmidt.

Kaluza also provided positive feedback regarding the TLT-Turbo fan’s performance. “The efficiency of the fan is an improvement on the model that it replaced. The realized savings of electrical costs are at 8,700 Euro per year and without the allowances from our combined heat and power plant, the savings would even be around 12,000 Euro per year”.

“Considering these improvements and adding the other advantages of the machine, such as the low noise level or the absence of oil, we are very satisfied with the TLT-Turbo fan and we are very glad to have chosen it,” Kaluza concludes.

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Corrosion in Power Plants

 

Energy technology is undergoing global transformation. Rapidly expanding renewable energy and other, more volatile power generation plants require significantly higher flexibility of conventional plants. This has resulted in a number of new challenges for ventilation equipment, including:

  • An increased number of start and stop operations
  • Fewer full-load hours
  • Increased partial load operation
  • Lower exhaust gas temperatures due to residual heat utilization
  • Smaller gap to acid dew point  

These factors cause an increased load on the systems which carries increased risk of corrosion during operation. This favors dew point corrosion, which can lead to total failure of fans and system components.

TLT-Turbo offers you a tailor-made solution for your plant by implementing effective corrosion protection measures to maintain uptime of your fans.

Efficient Protection against Corrosion

TLT-Turbo Corrosion Protection for fans includes two key actions: Preventing corrosion where possible and protecting components where corrosion cannot be prevented.

Avoiding corrosive conditions:
  • Preventing or reducing leakage of sealing air
  • Heating of fan components
  • Optimization of insulation
Use of corrosion resistant materials:
  • Weather resistant steel
  • Polymers and polymeric coatings
  • Stainless steel
  • Ni-based coatings or base materials

In order to select the measures suitable to preventing and addressing corrosion on fans operating at your facility, TLT-Turbo conducts an individual corrosion risk assessment. This assessment is based on your operational and environmental conditions.

TLT-Turbo provides further support by conducting an analysis of your specific operating conditions, e.g. on a dew point measurement based on a plant inspection.

Contact TLT-Turbo to discuss your corrosion protection needs and to find the right service package to suit your on-going requirements.

Optimal Protection against Corrosion for Existing Plants

TLT-Turbo conducts corrosion risk assessments and implements suitable preventative measures when designing and manufacturing new fans. These measures can also be carried out when retrofitting existing plants or as part of preventative maintenance during a scheduled shutdown.

Contact your service representative or the TLT-Turbo Service Department for more information on conducting a tailored risk assessment at your facility.

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TLT-Turbo Optimizes Air Flow at European Power Plant Based on CFD

In TLT-Turbo’s 145-year long history of developing centrifugal and axial fans, every fan has always been carefully evaluated through extensive testing before being deemed fit for application. These tests were greatly enhanced when computational testing became available. More recently, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation has greatly enhanced not only TLT-Turbo’s ability to conduct thorough product testing but has also created opportunities for developing new and improved fan types.

According to Sabine Groh, Product Manager for industry fans at TLT-Turbo in Bad Hersfeld, Germany, every TLT-Turbo fan type once was carefully evaluated and aerodynamically measured in aerodynamic test stands before being released for application in the customer’s operating environment. “The arrival of stronger computer performance has allowed us to utilize CFD simulation which has had a massive effect on our ability to develop new products and to improve existing fan types.”

Groh explains that CFD has numerous advantages, all of which have become integral to TLT-Turbo’s product development. One of the greatest advantages is that CFD has enhanced the understanding of flow phenomena more efficiently than empirical testing. By using CFD it is possible to zoom in and out of any area within the simulated geometry to determine most advantageous or disadvantageous parts or geometries. With examination options such as vectorplot, a detailed analysis of the direction within the flow is possible. Similarly, using streamlineplot or velocityplot provides a detailed view of irregularities or aerodynamic phenomena.

“This analysis helps us understand the parts or geometries that cause flow separations and turbulence which allows us to address these in our product design. We can use the CFD simulations for the development or improvement of different fan types, blade geometries or spiral casing for centrifugal fans,” says Groh.

Additionally, TLT-Turbo uses CFD to understand problems in the flow of a given customer application that might result in a loss of pressure, efficiency or untypical wear of parts exposed to the flow. This equips TLT-Turbo with the knowledge needed to carry out retrofitting and product enhancements to ensure improved future performance (see flow optimization use case below).

Flow Optimization Case Study

At a European power plant, a centrifugal fan was controlled by an inlet vane control. During operation, the blades of the vane were rattling after a while and needed repair. After replacement, the same blades were showing the same failure after some operation time. Figure 1 below shows the blade of the inlet vane control dismounted of the socket.

Figure 1: blade shaft of inlet vane control with too much clearance in the socket

It was assumed that the flow was not homogeneous before it reached the inlet vane control blade, and the use of air guiding plates was considered to correct the flow. Through the use of CFD, this pattern could be more deeply investigated resulting in a superior solution.   

Groh unpacks the process and explains how a better solution was found using CFD: “Each CFD requires four process steps. The first step is the creation of the 3D model of the geometry to be analyzed. The second step is discretization. This involves creating a three dimensional computational mesh in the model for the volume in which the medium flows. The third step is defining the boundary conditions for the simulation and as the fourth step, the simulation of the flow can be performed.”

In this specific instance, the ductwork ahead of the malfunctioning inlet vane control, the blades of the closure unit itself and the suction box behind the closure unit were all rendered in 3D models. Figure 2 below shows the geometry that was analyzed in detail in the computer model. The ductwork upstream and downstream was included to ensure the stability of the calculation in the simulation.

Figure 2: Scope of detailed simulation in the plant

After meshing of the 3D model, a simulation was performed to determine the direction of the stream in the ducting ahead the inlet vane control in more detail. Figure 3 below shows the result of the simulation.

Figure 3: direction of the stream in the ductwork ahead of the inlet vane control

The simulation showed that a separation of the stream led to turbulence in the flow ahead of the closure unit. With the validated conclusions of the simulation, TLT-Turbo was able to investigate different proposed solutions to remedy the problem. Figure 4 below shows the streamline plots of these different solutions.

Figure 4: Comparison of different countermeasures against the turbulence

The conclusion was that a combination of two countermeasures in the ducting would be the most advantageous solution. So ahead of the closure unit, TLT-Turbo installed a suction nozzle that helped guide the incoming flow into the duct (see blue colored suction nozzle in Figure 5 below).

Behind the closure unit, TLT-Turbo also welded a split plate (blue colored plate in Figure 5) into the suction box to help guide the stream further into the inlet vane control ahead of the centrifugal fan.

Figure 5: implemented solution to solve the problem with the inlet vane control

In Conclusion

The use of CFD has become an essential tool to TLT-Turbo for the development of new and more efficient fan types and blades. Instead of building numerous test models for each proposed blade or impeller type with subsequent aerodynamic model testing, different geometries can be compared in the CFD simulation directly. However, the value of CFD doesn´t end there. Increasingly, TLT-Turbo is also using CFD for aerodynamic optimization of flow in customer operating environments.  That includes solving aerodynamic problems such as the example above, and for reducing wear, pressure loss or in general creating a more homogenous flow of the gas or air in the plant to maximize efficiency. Finally, the success of performance improvements as a result of replacing a fan in an existing casing, can be verified.

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Pursuing Air Flow Perfection: 90 Years of Wind Tunnel Innovation

TLT-Turbo have a long-standing tradition of supplying wind tunnels especially for the motor vehicle and aerospace industry. TLT-Turbo were among the first to focus on aero-acoustic wind tunnel fans. As a supplier for some of the world’s most prominent car manufacturers, TLT-Turbo aims to become renowned as a global leader in wind tunnel fans and systems through continual innovation and a deeply ingrained passion for performance.

The development of wind tunnel production at TLT-Turbo started with their ancestral company, Dinglerwerke, who built their first wind tunnel back in 1936. Decades later, the company now known as TLT-Turbo, would be responsible for some of the world’s most notable wind tunnel installations. “From the start we set out to establish a tradition of being pioneers and innovators in this field of ventilation as we recognized the significance of these systems for vehicle testing,” says Volker Szemskat, Vice President of TLT-Turbo.

TLT-Turbo’s first wind tunnel installation for the motor vehicle industry was built in 1940 for FKFS (Research Institute of Automotive Engineering and Vehicle Engines) in Stuttgart. It was a low speed wind tunnel designed for wind speeds of up to 72 m/s. This wind tunnel was later taken over by Daimler.

Testing vehicles in wind tunnels started with projects such as Peugeot’s passing a car through the Eiffel Wind Tunnel at the rue Boileau, in Paris in 1914. The goal was to gain information on how to modify the shape of models to decrease aerodynamic drag. Since then these types of tests have advanced significantly and today, they are becoming more and more relevant as a means of testing for reducing pollutant and noise emissions. “Even the smallest gain in the aerodynamic drag leads to a decrease in consumption of fuel,” Szemskat explains.

In total, over the past 90 years, TLT-Turbo have supplied around 70 wind tunnels and test stands, of which about 30 were delivered for the automotive industry. This includes more than 70 customized fans ranging from 100 kW to 88.000 kW with diameters from 1 to 15 meters. Among these are some of the most notable facilities in the world – such as the ONERA (French Aerospace Center) Transonic Wind Tunnel S1 in Modane, France, being installed in 1949, with a 2-stage counter-rotating fan measuring 15 m in diameter with a drive power of 88.000 kW. This colossal fan remains to this day the largest wind tunnel fan in the world being in continuous operation since 1952.

Another example of the longevity of TLT-Turbo’s fans is the wind tunnel installed for Volkswagen in 1965. Its 9-meter diameter fan has been in operation in operation for over 50 years.

“The combination of our experience, with the field-proven performance and long operational life spans of these fans has made us a trusted supplier across the globe,” says Szemskat.

(Above) Diffuser section of a TLT-Turbo Aero-acoustic Wind Tunnel Fan

This status has been well maintained over the years with clients including Volkswagen, Ferrari, Ford and Audi coming back to TLT-Turbo for repeat orders.

TLT-Turbo’s 145 years of experience in ventilation design and supply has contributed to the innovations and new methods they have been able to apply to their wind tunnel designs. In 2010, TLT-Turbo supplied a fan for an aero-acoustic wind tunnel for the DLR (German Aerospace Center) which features a special blade and guide vane design for particularly low noise generation as well as composite material for the fan blades. Since then, this innovation has been applied to most of their automotive wind tunnel fans.

“Most often the development of innovations in the application of wind tunnels is guided by the needs of a particular client or the project itself. We need to think on our feet to come up with new approaches to solving challenges that arise as a project unfolds. This then informs future designs and installations and ensures that our offering is constantly evolving.”

Some of TLT-Turbo’s latest field-driven innovations include the application of their ‘Cut-off’ and ‘Lean/Sweep’ design that they have applied to their low speed aero-acoustic fan design to reduce blade tone and broadband noise. “We have also been working with the use of composite materials which has allowed us to apply 3D-geometry on the guide vanes which increases efficiency and overall performance,” Szemskat says.

The use of composite materials is also being applied in their current projects for the CAERi and CATARC automotive research institutes in China. These projects are currently in installation and commissioning phase.

For the past 12 twelve years, TLT-Turbo have changed their focus to the centerpiece of wind tunnels; the fan. “In the past, TLT-Turbo supplied turn-key wind tunnel solutions. From 2007, this offering changed to focus solely on the fan itself as the key component of a wind tunnel system. Our clients still benefit from our extensive experience and expertise in complete wind tunnel systems. This allows us to provide a tailored solution because we understand how the separate components interact with each other,” Szemskat reports.

(Above) TLT-Turbo now focuses solely on the fan itself as the key component of a wind tunnel system

“This gives us greater scope for customization. Every fan and its project planning is adapted to its specific installation. Stand-alone drive systems with local operation, control and monitoring systems and their connection to the parent digital control system also form part of our portfolio. Our experience with the supply and installation of turn-key wind tunnels means that we are able to recognize the significance of specific wind tunnel features to the design of the fan.”

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