The main focus of these modernization efforts is to upgrade the plants to new innovative technologies that can allow the company to greatly reduce water consumption which is the main contributor to high energy costs and, most importantly, an increasing environmental impact. To this end, the company has recently developed two programs to help steer it in the right direction. Firstly, the Drop the C program aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% and use as much as 70% renewable energy by 2030, and secondly, the Every Drop program supports watershed health in areas where the company operates.
Currently, one of the company’s Brazilian bottling plants relies heavily on water because it uses liquid ring pumps for their bottle filler process. Liquid ring pumps use water with a seal to create vacuum, which is then used to evacuate oxygen from the bottle before it is filled. When the pumps are not performing consistently, CO2 is used to help replace the oxygen present in the bottle. This presents a few problems for the company:
1. An increase in energy costs linked to a high water consumption. In addition to consuming over 4000L of water per hour, their current liquid ring pumps used 37Kw of electricity per hour.
2. Lack of cooling circuit which creates inconsistent pump performance because of a high variation in water temperature; a common occurrence in tropical regions with high ambient temperature variations.
3. High CO2 usage to compensate for the vacuum deficit brought on by inconsistent pump performance, thus greatly increasing emissions.
4. The always present possibility of product contamination through impurities collected by the water used in the process.
5. At the end of the process, the water used is simply discarded placing the plant’s environmental record at the opposite end of the company’s projected renewable energy goals.
Replacing liquid ring pump technology with dry screw vacuum pumps in a new dry air, virtually water-less system.
To satisfy our customer’s demands, Elmo Rietschle’s engineers implemented two Dry VSI300 screw vacuum pumps equipped with an efficient 9Kw WEG motor for each pump with a total 18Kw and a closed liquid cooling system that reuses the water and recirculates it where needed. It is important to clarify that the water circulates only in the jacket so for heat exchange the water does not make any contact with the screws, very similar a car engine cooling system.
A double stage condensate separator equipped with a filter with stainless steel components and an automatic drain were also employed to protect the pump from water and beer residues. The components were connected to a state-of-the-art micro-processed electrical panel with a 7-inch coloured touch HMI, two frequency converters (one for each pump) for on demand vacuum control thanks to the proportional integral derivative (PID) flow and pressure control. The entire package was mounted on a metallic base with a small footprint for easy implementation into existing systems.
The newly realized dry vacuum system performed brilliantly from the get go, and presented great results immediately for the bottling plant. It must also be highlighted that this new configuration driven by Elmo Rietschle’s VSI300 screw vacuum pumps offers the plant the following potential
+ SAVINGS OF UP TO 27 MILLION LITERS PER YEAR
+ SAVINGS OF UP TO 74% IN ELECTRICITY USAGE PER YEAR
In addition, the new vacuum system can power 2 bottling lines at a steady 200 mbar (abs) to minimize CO2 emissions, as well as provide a contaminant free environment.
Representatives of the bottling plant found that Elmo Rietschle’s solution exceeded their expectations by offering them significant energy savings, and virtually eliminating water usage in the plant. With sights already set on modernizing additional bottling plants, the company hopes that Elmo Rietschle’s dry vacuum system can help them achieve their lofty goals of greatly reducing their impact on the environment in Brazil as well as globally.