The National : APRIL MAY JUNE 2016
THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL DRYCLEANER & LAUNDERER APRIL MAY JUNE 2016 31 be huge! But basically, this is what is happening in your plant. You are heating the steam using electricity or gas and then transferring it to your press. If you insulate the press head then less heat will escape and the boiler won’t need to produce as much steam, thereby saving you energy and $$$. This same theory applies to pipes (steam and condensate), iron hoses, press bucks and any other hot surface that is steam heated. Lag them! At left is a picture of two drums. These were connected to two Horscroft press heads. One press head was uninsulated and the other was insulated with refectory board and specialised metalized fabric. We added food dye to the water so we could easily see the levels. The blue drum is the condensate from the insulated press head and the red drum is the condensate from the uninsulated press head. We ran the experiment for approximately 5 hours. As you can see from the picture, the insulated head produced less than half of the condensate as the uninsulated head. This is a direct translation to energy usage. So in this case, the insulated head used less than half the energy as the uninsulated head. Over a period of 12 months this can add up to a substantial amount of energy and cost. How do steam systems work? Steam is not overly compli- cated. It is simply water that is hotter than 100°C (under normal atmospheric condi- tions). If it cools down then it creates condensate, or water. Condensate is not desirable in most laundries or dry cleaners as it “spits water” when using live steam, and can create “cold patches” on hot head equip- ment, to name just two of the problems. You cannot simply turn steam on and off. To keep a press or ironer hot you need to have steam cycling through the machine, which is relatively simple. The machine will usually have a pressure chamber that can withstand the pressurised steam. There will be an outlet at a low point in the chamber. As the steam inside the pressure chamber cools it creates condensate (water) and will naturally run to the lowest point. Here you will find a steam trap. There are many different types of steam traps but all are there for the same reason: to let water out and keep the steam inside the pressure chamber. If the pressure chamber is not insulated and is exposed to normal air, then it will cool faster and so produce more condensate. It will in turn be replaced with more steam, and so your energy costs increase. Heat loss does not only affect steam heated machinery. Another example is gas fired dryers. A traditional gas fired dryer has plain metal panels and single glass doors. In this case there is heat escaping from the dryer through these uninsulated areas. On new dryers such as the Girbau ED series or Fagor Green Evolution PLUS series the panels are insu- lated and the doors have double glass. This additional insulation combined with other features sees a reduc- tion in energy of up to 30% over traditional models. You may find that the savings in energy cover the repayments of the dryer. Besides the reduction in energy costs from using well insulated equipment and services there are other great benefits, which include: • More comfortable environment for you and your staff • Less fatigue and therefore a potential for increased production • Minimising the chance of burns and lowering the chance of work place injuries n Examples of Lagging on a boiler is the silver insulation wadding wrapped around pipes, seen at top left and right of picture.
NATIONAL NOV DEC 2015
JULY - AUGUST 2016