Open discussions not manufacture specific
On my last visit there, operationally they were doing great. Energy wise, they are still in the 1800 btu range.
Which is not remarkable as others ave stated.
I have visited over 8 low steam or no steam laundries in the US and in Europe, and as in vehicles, at this pont in time the best mix of performance and practicality is a hybrid plant. Thermal gas ironers mixed with tunnels that use wwhr and steam generation for primary wash heating. I am aware of three plants in north America that use this approach and report 1250 btu/#. And they are simple to operate and maintain.
The point is not "steam less " but " less steam". There is another hybrid plant coming online in California next month, which is metering every item possible and I am certain they will be in this btu range and prove where and when energy is used most. I am certain that is the correct approach at this point in time.
The point is not "steam less " but " less steam". [quote]
I see this design concept a little differently.
I believe that there are two stated reasons for boilerless laundries:
1) Regulation avoidance
2) Energy savings
Using less steam does not, or may, not help with 1) regulation avoidance
and 2) does not, or may not, help with energy savings; as seen with this facility still using over 1800 BTU's per pound.
I do not know of any steamless facility that operates at lower energy usage than a well designed and managed steam laundry. Therefore, I am beginning to think that the value of a steamless plant is limited to regulatory avoidance.
I agree. The stated 1,800 BTU per pound shipped is too high. There are many healthcare facilities that are in the 1,500 - 1,600 BTU range and have the 'traditional' steam boilers. Many of those have cut a good portion of their overall steam needs by installing gas-fired thermal heated ironers, but still use steam to suppliment the washroom for active heating. The myth that 'superhot' water is the answer only means that whoever 'states' that, does not know the accurate facts.
Energy is entirely the objective without compromise to productivity. Yes I was around in 1988-89 for the first round of Thermal fluid plants that targeted energy but mainly the elimination of operating license requirements for engineers – so I understand the issue. Regulation issues vary from place to place, but i will say there will be a growing trend to see how to mitigate the use of 250-350hp high pressure steam boilers due to CFC emissions, licensing etc….
In California Metro areas low nox 9 ppm burners are required on any new boiler above 50 hp. Yes that would include closed loop 200 degree hot water systems that have a firing rate above 2 million BTU. These closed system hot water heat exchangers are not the answer. We just went thru that process.
Smaller boilers come under a different regulatory review in most areas and if they are used as open systems (steam generators) as I have seen in Europe, then they can fall under a different operating/licensing requirement. But again this has to be looked at from location to location. There are proven designs for process water and heat recovery that achieve approach temps of 15-20 dF, which greatly reduces sparge steam requirements in tunnels. This is the trend.
“Less Steam” plant design is about localized energy use or point of use energy management. When you need steam - turn it on. If you need the ironer on - turn it on - if not turn it off. The day of keeping the whole plant fired for a swing shift even when only one tunnel was working or two ironers were running can be addressed with this type of plant design.
And it opens the question on how and when is it economical to convert or retrofit existing plants to “less steam design”. I have just completed studies on two plants and funding was approved for retrofit on one of them based on energy alone. It was close, but as energy rises and textiles change there can be exceptional process advantages to this approach.
Regulatory avoidance can be a major factor in capital investment and operational cost.
I stand corrected - was too fast on the keyboard. I agree - Both are equally important in the equation in determing the "less steam" design consideration. The annual cost for high pressure system compliance/inspections and on site licenced personnel can be hundreds of thousands of dollars per year - depending on the size of your plant and the number of shifts you run. The cost to build a "less steam" plant can be less as well. Eliminate the large boiler and steam header & return for your ironers can save tens of thousands on mechanical installation and capital costs.
Where/when has a steamless plant out performed a well designed and managed steam heated laundry?
I like the idea of a steamless facility, WDW has done a great job; Bay Area Laundry did a great job others have done very well, but I have not seen any prove that they are more energy efficient.
More for me to learn!
Does anybody have additional information (facts!) on the real BTU per pound shipped on the recently (2 - 3 years old) installed steamless laundry plants. With some time under their belts now, numbers should be holding at a steady rate.
It appears that the 'latest concept design' of steamless has slowed down, does that mean it is not what it was professed to be???
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