The increase in temperatures poses a significant challenge for industrial production facilities. The heat generated by furnaces, machinery, and physical work can make working conditions unbearable. This leads to decreased productivity, a higher risk of heat-related illnesses, and even equipment damage. In the continuous search for efficient and sustainable solutions for industrial production, evaporative air cooling emerges as a promising option.
In summary, this method utilizes the natural energy of water to cool the air and maintain an optimal temperature in industrial environments. Unlike conventional air conditioning systems that heavily rely on electricity, evaporative cooling uses less energy and can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative.
However, evaporative air cooling was not as widely adopted as a solution until a few decades ago. Now, many European companies are considering its potential to improve extreme working conditions, especially in cases where a conventional air conditioning system would be costly or impractical.
How does evaporative air cooling work?
Evaporative air cooling, also known as evaporative cooling, is based on a proven physical principle: when water evaporates, it absorbs heat from the surrounding environment. That’s why a wet cloth on the forehead can help you cool down on a hot day.
This principle is utilized through the use of evaporative coolers, which promote water evaporation and generate a flow of cool fresh air. Essentially, the system consists of an evaporative cooler that uses a combination of water and air to lower the temperature of the industrial environment. A fan draws in hot and dry air and passes it through wet pads that absorb water from a reservoir. As the water evaporates, it absorbs heat from the air, cooling it down. The cool air then circulates throughout the facility, providing a comfortable working environment for employees. In summary, the process occurs as follows:
- Water is evenly distributed over a cooling medium, such as cellulose panels or cooling pads.
- Simultaneously, hot air from the industrial environment passes through the water-saturated cooling medium.
- The hot air causes the water to evaporate, extracting heat from the air and reducing its temperature.
- Finally, the cooled air is pushed into the production space, providing a cooler and more comfortable environment.
Advantages of evaporative air cooling in industrial production
This cooling approach offers several significant advantages in industrial production. Some of the most notable ones include:
- Energy efficiency. Evaporative cooling requires less energy compared to conventional air conditioning systems, resulting in lower electricity consumption. It’s worth noting that energy accounts for approximately 5.7% to 8.4% of operating costs for industries producing basic chemicals, iron, steel, synthetic fibers, and paper. By harnessing the natural energy of water, this method can significantly reduce such costs.
- Reduced carbon footprint. As mentioned, evaporative air cooling uses less electrical energy and doesn’t rely on harmful chemical refrigerants. Therefore, it has a much lower environmental impact in terms of carbon emissions and contribution to global warming. Undoubtedly, it is a more sustainable option for organizations seeking to align their processes with corporate social responsibility policies.
- Flexibility and adaptability. On the other hand, evaporative cooling systems can be designed and adapted to meet the specific needs of each industry and production environment. They are highly flexible and can be integrated into a wide range of industrial applications, such as factories, warehouses, data centers, and workspaces.
- Improved comfort and productivity. Evaporative cooling provides natural cooling and improved air quality in industrial environments. By maintaining cooler and more comfortable temperatures, it creates a pleasant working atmosphere, which can enhance employee well-being and increase work productivity.
- Ease of maintenance. Evaporative cooling systems are relatively simple in design and require minimal maintenance compared to conventional air conditioning systems.
Applications of evaporative air cooling in industrial production
- Factories and production plants. Evaporative air cooling is applicable in various industries precisely because they often have large and, in many cases, extreme conditions. From manufacturers of metal, plastic, and chemical products to automotive assemblers or electronic component and equipment manufacturers, textile production, and more. By maintaining controlled temperatures in production areas, it is possible to improve working conditions and ensure product quality.
- Warehouses and logistics. Warehouses and distribution centers can also benefit from evaporative cooling to maintain suitable temperatures in their facilities. This is especially important in environments where temperature-sensitive products such as food and pharmaceuticals are stored.
- Data centers. Data centers generate high heat loads due to the large number of computer equipment. Therefore, evaporative cooling can be an efficient solution to cool these environments and ensure optimal system operation while reducing energy costs associated with traditional cooling methods.
- Workspaces and offices. Evaporative cooling can also be used in work areas and offices within industrial facilities. It provides a more cost-effective and sustainable alternative to conventional air conditioning, creating cool and comfortable environments for employees.
- Greenhouses and agriculture. In the agricultural industry, evaporative cooling is used in greenhouses to maintain optimal temperature and humidity conditions. This promotes plant growth and improves agricultural productivity in warm and dry climates.
The iDrop adiabatic coolers and condensers from Intersam apply evaporative cooling
At Intersam, we have extensive knowledge of and apply the principle of evaporative cooling in our IDV and IDW air coolers and ICW and ICWH condensers. All of these units belong to our iDrop series of adiabatic systems. These units work by cooling ambient air through evaporative pads, reaching up to 95% relative humidity. As a result, they provide air temperature similar to the wet bulb thermometer. Once the air is cooled and saturated, the condenser or air cooler coils are cooled. The fluid then passes through the cellulose panels, resulting in air circulating at a very low temperature.
Based on this, the iDrop series systems from Intersam consist of:
- High-performance condenser coils made of 5/8″ copper tubes with a thickness of 0.4mm. They can also be manufactured with 5/8″ AISI 304L stainless steel tubes, with a thickness of 0.8mm. They are equipped with ALMG, copper, or aluminum fins with a corrugated design and a 2.1mm fin spacing. The fins are finished with Bronz-Glow or Epoxy treatments.
- 910mm diameter fans with 400V / 50Hz three-phase motors. They have external rotors with IP-54 double-speed protection and low power consumption to comply with ErP regulations. The air coolers are equipped with EC motors from ZIEHL-ABEGG or EBM, both prestigious German manufacturers with extensive experience and state-of-the-art technology in their components. These helical fans have highly resistant protective grilles.
- Evaporative pads from the renowned brand Munters, known for their durability, easy cleaning, and simple maintenance.
Are you interested in incorporating evaporative air cooling for your company? Contact us! At Intersam, we will assist you with your project anywhere in Spain or the world!