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Fan motor upgrade cuts energy costs by 50%

At British Sugar, Cantley, UK, 1,350 tonnes of sugar are produced every day. After the sugar crystals are washed, dried and cooled, they are conveyed to six concrete storage silos, with a total bulk capacity of 60,000 tonnes. To control the climate around the conveyor belts and in the silos, securing and maintaining a high product quality, British Sugar is operating 7 Munters dehumidifiers type MX and MXT.

Looking for energy savings

Constantly having attention on measures to reduce energy consumption and to protect the environment, British Sugar has set up a number of ambitious goals on savings.
Production processes have already been evaluated and optimised, time had come to dig deeper into other possible savings.

Munters UK Service Team was consulted to identify possible energy saving options related to the dehumidifying systems.
Munters suggested an upgrade of the process air fan including the 3kW AC fan motor. Together with British Sugar it was decided to do a pilot project, upgrading one dehumidifier type MXT2800.

Energy savings beyond 50%

The EC (Electronic Commutator) fan is a permanent magnet motor that has an electronically controlled stator field, compared with the voltage induced stator field of an AC induction motor.

The EC motor allows proportional control over a 0-100% range with no induction present. This can be via a pressure transducer or manual potentiometer control, either 0-10vdc or 4-20mA. Replacing the old and original fan with a 3kW motor for an EC fan upgrade; British Sugar is offered the same air volume and static pressure with only 1.6kW power consumption!

Flexible discharge options

The EC fan is very versatile for installation and designed with removable feet, that allows for vertical discharge as well as the standard horizontal discharge. This allows for more possibilities especially in tight installations.

ROI less than 2 years

The upgrading involves removal of original square box design fan, ductwork modification, mounting of EC fan assembly, modification of the original process fan switchgear, removal of a process fan contactor and fitting of a potentiometer.
Depending on the accessibility of the dehumidifier, the upgrade process amounts to approximately one day of labour. At British Sugar the dehumidifiers are in operation 8,500 hours per year. Based on a price for electricity of 8.5p per kWH, the ROI (return of investment) is less than 2 years, including all costs for parts and labour.
The success of this pilot project will be followed up by upgrading the other 6 Munters dehumidifiers in operation at British Sugar.

Further energy saving options

For an even higher energy efficiency of a Munters dehumidifier, an energy recovery purge on the desiccant rotor (wheel) has been developed. The purge option comes both as a pre-installed feature or as a retrofit to exisiting MX dehumidifiers.Recovering heat from the rotor regeneration process through multiple methods; the energy needed for regeneration is reduced by up to 30%.

The principle of MX Energy Recovery Purge

The heart of the Munters dehumidifier is the desiccant rotor which rotates slowly between two primary airstreams, process and reactivation. In the process airstream water vapour is removed as it passes through the desiccant rotor. This dehumidified air is then delivered to eg.a production area.

The rotor then rotates into the reactivation sector where a heated airstream is passed through the rotor. The desiccant rotor releases the water vapour to this airstream. This moisture laden airstream is then exhausted outdoors.

The majority of the energy required for the desiccant process is used in heating the reactivation airstream.
The unique Energy Recovery Purge system acts as an energy recovery system, collecting waste heat off the hottest section of the desiccant rotor and using it to help with the regeneration process. This reduces the energy required for reactivation by up to 30%, while lowering the discharge temperature of the process air, decreasing energy costs for post cooling.

Consult our Munters Service for an Energy audit, enabling us to provide you with thorough calculations on possible energy savings.

Read more about Munters Global Services and how we can help you optimise your equipment:
Munters Global Services

Quick facts

  • Energy consumption reduced by 50%
  • Return on investment (ROI) of less than 2 years
  • Green Tech energy efficient fan motor
  • Flexible fan motor design allows for horizontal or vertical discharge
  • Download case as pdf

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