Jul 06, 2012
Steam thermocompressor to save costs for KZN sugar millBack
Natal|Applied Vacuum|Central America|Germany|South Africa|Gas Compressor|Pressure Energy|Steam Jet Equipment Manufacturer|Velocity Energy|Geoff Levy|Lael Levy
© Reuse this
Applied Vacuum was approached by the sugar mill to supply an alternative to the MVR, which often broke down. The mill needed technology that would not only use high-pressure steam to compress low-pressure steam, but also keep it running uninterruptedly.
“The sugar industry generates steam for its plants, either by burning coal or by using bagasse. As coal is expensive, these plants generally use bagasse, but if it is in short supply or the bagasse runs out, they have to use coal,” says Applied Vacuum MD Geoff Levy.
He mentions that, although the steam jet thermocompressor ejector is not as efficient as the MVR it has replaced, it offers greater operating reliability.
“The installation of the thermocompressors are more of a cost-saving exercise, as the mill is now burning less coal, which is an expensive input material,” says Geoff Levy.
Applied Vacuum project manager Lael Levy points out that he has discussed the advantages of the steam jet ejectors and their cost advantages with KwaZulu-Natal sugar mills and refineries.
In addition to steam jet ejectors, liquid ring pumps are also used in the sugar industry.
A liquid ring pump is a rotating positive displacement pump and is typically used as a vacuum pump but can also be used as a gas compressor. Its function is similar to that of a rotary vane pump. The difference is that the vanes are an integral part of the rotor and churn a rotating ring of liquid to form the compression chamber seal.
It is an inherently low-friction design, with the rotor being the only moving part. Sliding friction is limited to the shaft seals.
By contrast, a steam jet ejector is a type of pump that uses the Venturi effect of a converging-diverging nozzle to convert the pressure energy of a motive fluid into velocity energy.
It then creates a low-pressure zone that draws and entrains a suction fluid. After passing through the throat of the injector, the mixed fluid expands. The velocity is reduced, which recompresses the mixed fluids by converting velocity energy back into pressure energy.
“Liquid ring pumps are more efficient on paper. They use less energy than steam pumps but the cost of repairing one liquid pump every year is the same as buying a brand-new steam jet ejector,” says Geoff Levy.
“This is a well-proven technology and we’re the only people in the country who produce it. “In Germany, there are only two companies producing this technology and, in the whole world, there might be 30 or 40,” he adds.
Applied Vacuum has produced equipment for various sectors in South Africa and has expanded into the sugar industry to promote the use of steam jet ejectors, which are used in most sugar producing countries in North, South and Central America. Steam ejectors have become items of choice in other countries because they require minimal maintenance.
In addition to the steam jet ejector, the company has also provided other equipment for the sugar mill industry. It has designed and manufactured a line of steam desuperheaters, including the steam atomising type, which has a large turndown capability.
This is used as the driving force to create a fine spray with the cooling water to maximise the surface contact area between the steam and water, thereby increasing the rate of water evaporation.
Another Applied Vacuum product is the steam-injection heater nozzle, which has been successfully used in sugar remelting tanks.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Other Sugar Growers, Millers and Refiners News
The Department of Health (DoH) is considering introducing a sugar tax to encourage South Africans to consume less sugar, says DoH head of non-communicable diseases Melvyn Freeman. Freeman’s comments follow the publication of the World Health Organisation’s latest...
Growth technologies for sugar cane namely Plene Evolve and Plene PB, which were successfully launched in Brazil, in December, help sugar growers to increase yields and plant quality sugar cane by providing healthy young plants with an assurance of genetic purity,...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...