The heating, cooling or drying of free-flowing bulk goods during the processing stage is one of the most important steps to ensuring a high-quality, high-return final product. Vertical plate-based heat exchange technology provided by the global experts at Solex Thermal Science offers customers a bulk solids solution that provides consistently even temperatures without cross-contamination while using less energy, less space, produces near-zero emissions and requires fewer repairs and maintenance.
Over the past 30 years, Solex has installed more than 800 advanced heat exchangers in more than 50 countries worldwide. Proven applications include:
• Minerals and Sands
• And more . . .
Whether as a final or intermediate process step, Solex’s vertical plate-based heat exchange technology enables precise control of both the moisture content and temperature of customers’ products for further processing or storage, packaging and transport.
The technology relies on conduction to indirectly heat, cool or dry the product as It passes between a series of stainless-steel pillow plates that contain a heat exchange medium such as water or thermal oil. A mass flow discharge device controls the rate of flow through the unit and ensures a first-in, first-out sequence. As gravity is the mechanism that slowly moves the bed of material, the result is a product with a stable and uniform final temperature. Because the heat exchange medium flows counter-currently inside the plates, it never touches the product and thereby avoids both product contamination and attrition.
Complex thermal modeling calculations that guarantee precise discharge temperature control and further ensures optimal product temperature.
By relying on conduction instead of convection (e.g. air cooling) to heat, cool or dry bulk solids, Solex technology eliminates the use of high-energy consumption chillers, fans and other components, and thereby reduces energy consumption by up to 90% when compared with conventional fluid beds and rotary drums. For example, a traditional fluid bed cooler uses between four to 5 kW.h/tonne, while the Solex heat exchanger uses 0.4 kW.h/tonne.
In addition, the counter-current flow of the heat exchange medium within the stainless-steel plates allows for greater thermal efficiency and, as a result, more effective heating, cooling or drying.
Solex technology allows for the capture and re-use of low-grade energy that is otherwise wasted or not economical to recover. By offering a much larger heat transfer surface area compared to traditional technologies in a compact design, the Solex heat exchanger can accommodate the utilization of low-grade waste heat including steam, condensate or hot water.
To prevent condensation from occurring during the cooling of the bulk solids, small amounts of purge air are injected if necessary. This absorbs excess moisture, which would other cause unwanted caking.
The vertical configuration gives the heat exchanger a small installation footprint, allowing it to be easily integrated into a new plant or retrofitted into existing operations. The equipment is ideal for capacity increases and streamlining facility processes. Each heat exchanger is sized and configured to meet the specified cooling or heating load, energy source (steam or water), operational requirements and dimensional needs of an installation.
Solex technology is designed to operate without moving parts, offering simple installation, virtually zero maintenance and years of reliable operation. The custom design and easy access to the heat transfer areas and individual plates for cleaning or replacement reduces downtime and lowers overall maintenance expenses.
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