Tempco Blog articles

Renewables and energy saving in free coolers and evaporative towers

Back to renewables and energy saving in applications involving second level energy, in other words thermal energy. After the video on refrigerating groups, another field offering important and interesting opportunities in terms of energy saving are free coolers and evaporative towers.

These are cooling systems employed in case of industrial production processes requiring cooled water at temperatures above 30-35° C. With such temperature levels it is possible to avoid the employ of refrigerating groups, and thus eliminating the energy consumption related to compressors and the complicated refrigeration circuit, the use of freon and so on.

Using free coolers, or dry coolers, and cooling towers, every saving can be therefore implemented fans equipped with EC motors, with electronic control and inverters. A sensing probe measures indeed the temperature of the water, and based on a predefined set-point it provides the adjustment of the power required to dissipate the right amount of energy to achieve the cooling task.

In the past, the costs of EC motors and inverters were too high to justify the investment cost. Alternative energy saving solutions were thus employed, such as using multi-fans installments with stepped functioning, partializing the number of functioning fans and limiting the power consumption based on the real demand.

Nowadays, the costs of EC motors allow a very interesting ROI. The solution is indeed more and more often required by our customers, and gladly embraced because it allows the obtain not only significant and effective energy savings, but also a reduction in maintenance costs. It’s clear indeed that the wear of a fan working for six or even nine months per year at a lower speed will be much less than the wear of a fan working at 100% of its capacity.

EC motors and inverter technologies are very much consolidated in the market today, and can thus be widely employed in industrial applications but also in conditioning, plants that have to work 365 days per year. Clearly, if a system works only during the summer, the ROI will probably be longer. But the opportunity is worth to be evaluated anyway, because during the night hours the temperature decreases, leading the an increased efficiency of the exchanger and requiring a less amount of air. So that energy saving can be achieved too.

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Energy saving with dry cooler for pharmaceutical packaging

We’ve talked recently about the customized thermoregulating solution we have deployed for a customer that manufacturers plastic containers for the packaging of pharmaceutical products. For the same customer, we have studied a further technological upgrade applied to the presses employed for plastic moulding.

This is in fact an intervention aimed to implement energy saving in the production of plastic packaging for the pharma industry. The customer produces containers and plastic bottles for the pharma and cosmetic sector, requiring very high quality standards in the production lines in order to ensure excellent characteristics of transparency and material stability.

energy saving presse stampaggio pharma

The study for an energy saving solution in this kind of production line led us to focus on the temperature of the diathermic oil, which has to be maintained at a temperature of approx. 40° C. Therefore the intervention we did involved the substitution of old refrigerating groups, high power consuming machines, with more efficient and economic dry-coolers. This solutions involved in particular the substitution of shell and tube exchangers, that were previously employed on the moulding presses, with an equal quantity of brazed plate heat exchangers. These kind of exchangers allow indeed a very high degree of temperature cross, enabling to maintain the temperature of the oil at 40/42° C employing a cooling solution (water/antifreeze) at 35/37° C.

The test completed during the past summer on the first example line of machines gave a positive result. The customer has now decided to budget the same energy saving intervention on the entire moulding line.

Tempco scambiatori saldobrasati packaging pharma

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Energy saving with inverters in refrigerating groups

Following a roadmap to renewables and energy saving, on the pace traced by our latest Tempco Infographic, I would like to talk about how energy saving can be specifically applied in all of the different thermal machines. Starting with refrigerating groups.

I remember when first attempts started on the market to employ inverters in order to adjust the speed of compressors on refrigerating groups. Inverters are largely employed to regulate speed on electric drives, adjusting the power absorption based on the season conditions. It’s clear indeed that during the summer season, when ambient temperature is higher, a refrigerating group needs the maximum power in order to achieve the refrigeration task required. While during the winter season it requires less amounts of power, due to a series of reasons such as the increased efficiency of the condensation system and the fact that water comes from the production process at lower temperatures.

The study to implement energy saving on refrigerating groups aimed then at adjusting the speed of fans on condensers using EC motors, with electronic control, through inverters. This allows the regulation of the speed of fans based on ambient temperature levels.

The same kind of adjustment was then possible on compressors. Let’s make an example to explain why: when sizing a refrigerating group employed to regulate the temperature of pharmaceutical reactors, the plant must be engineered to provide the maximum capacity required to achieve the cooling task. But there will be also a series of intermediate steps not requiring the maximum design refrigerating capacity, but maybe only at 50% or 30.


In the past it was used to employ multi-compressor plants, with step-compressors, using all of the compressors, or only 2 on 4, or one on 4 for example. The solution allowed to obtain a good energy saving, clearly using a step-approach. Which means, having a four-compressors plant, the possibility to have a 100% capacity, or at 75, 50, 25 or 0%.

A further improvement was to install a collecting tank in order to accumulate refrigerated water to satisfy peaks and hollows on the thermal work diagram. An optimal regulation, that can be furthermore improved.

The improvement consists in the employ of an inverter, which allows to adjust the speeed of the compressor in order to have the correct amount of power at the exact right moment when it’s needed. Which represents the very perfect condition. I remember that the first attempts to install inverters on compressors failed, because these were volumetric piston compressors that when powered by the inverter kept stuck.

The problem has been solved with the adoption of scroll-type compressors, that can be used with inverters. Taking a huge step forward in energy saving applied to refrigerating groups. There are also other possibilities to further enhance energy saving, such as using inverters also on pumps to regulate the pressure, but let’s discuss it in a next video.

Temperature regulation for flaking and lamination in food and pharma

In Tempco we are currently working on two new projects for temperature regulation for an important manufacturer of plants aimed to process food and pharmaceutical products. A first part of the plant is dedicated to the cooling of stainless steel conveyor belts that provide the transportation and lamination of the products, forwarding them to the final flaking process.

The other part of the project is dedicated to heating the product. The product gets spread out along the conveyor belt in order to obtain flakes or tablets from the layer, at the end of the cooling step explained above here.

Tempco centralina termoregolazione prodotti alimentari

As often required by food and pharma applications, these are also highly personalized plants that require a previous accurate study of the piping, enabling the integration in the existing machinery at customer’s facility. In addition, there is also the study of the flow and the thermal and hydraulic requirements of the production process. Overall, the plant is constructed in stainless steel, enhancing our basic standard machines with a customized execution to meet the installation needs of the customer.

The typical configuration includes a chiller condensed with water or air, for the production of refrigerated water serving multiple utilities:

The thermoregulation unit ensures to keep at constant temperature levels equipments such as:

  • Pipings for product distribution
  • Conveyor belts distribution system
  • Heating process’ components

Centralina termoregolazione Tempco scagliettatura

Tempco centralina termoregolazione industria alimentare

Tempco centralina termoregolazione pharma alimentare

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Renewables and second level energy to fight climate change

Referring to the latest Infographic on renewables published in our dedicated section of the Tempco website, and in the same days of discussions about the Climate Change at UN COP26, I would like to talk a bit about renewable energy. We all know what renewable energies are, these are alternative sources enabling to obtain electric energy from natural elements. These are green energies such as hydroelectric, photovoltaic and geothermal, in substitution of carbon fossil fuels such as oil and coal.

It is interesting to see from the Infographic that renewables have a strong growth trend worldwide, with a solid growth also in Italy where the forecast is by +30% for the next year. But this is also interesting that Countries like China, one of the biggest energy consumers, is also switching to this kind of energy.

Depending on the geographical characteristics and traditions of each area, the kind of renewables mostly employed varies, for example hydroelectric has a huge share in Italy while wind power is widely developed in other Countries.

What renewables have to do with Tempco? That’s easily said: as I often explain, I like to define thermal energy as a second or third level kind of energy. That’s why it is an indirect type of energy, because in order to obtain thermal energy, or to absorb it – and so cooling or heating – we need a primary source of electric power, and therefore a source to generate electricity to power compressors, pumps, fans, resistors and so on.

That’s why is very interesting to understand what the future scenarios of renewables is gonna be, and we very interested in it. Since the design and engineering step of our machines we pay indeed very much attention to the energy consumption. That’s why systems allowing to adapt the power consumption are more and more employed, aimed to ensure the right thermal level using the minimum amount of power required at a certain moment.

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Thermoregulating units for reactors in the USA

We’ve shipped during the last weeks some machinery aimed for the thermoregulation of reactors, employed for chemical industry applications in the refining of precious metals. The customer was in particular looking for three thermoregulating units for pressurized water in a temperature range of -10° C and +140° C. The units have heating section with electrical resistors (4*25 KW each) and cooling circuit with a plate heat exchanger and control modulating valve.

The units are served by three air-condensed chillers, working at temperature down to -15° C. The special TREG units are equipped with control and management panel. Heaters are managed through static relays and are equipped with a remote control panel enabling remote control by the operators from the field.

Tempco centraline termoregolazione reattori

These thermoregulating units have been designed for installation in the USA, and therefore being fully equipped with UL compliant components. The customer contacted us thanks to our expertise in this kind of solutions, already having 30 similar machines installed for another Italian customer.

The new order for application in a chemical process showcases very well the ability and flexibility of Tempco in customizing thermoregulating units based on the kind of process and site of installation worldwide. In this case, the three thermoregulating units for installation within the United States have piping completely realized with pipes and materials compliant to ASME regulation, with GTAW welding, qualified welders, WPS and qualified processes issued according to ASME Section IX. The expansion tank and safety valves have been realized compliant to ASME VIII – U STAMP.

Tempco centraline termoregolazione TREG

Following this commission, the customer also required a new machine with different requirements, Atex compliant and for a special project in the pharma sector. for the production of a fragrance ingredient commonly used in cosmetic products.

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How is made a mechanical seal?

How are made mechanical seals, and how do they work in pumps? When I first started working as a technician, I was wondering how it was possible for a mechanical seal to avoid leakages of fluids on a rotating shaft. This is in fact the purpose of a mechanical seal, to avoid the leakage of liquids on a rotating part, functioning as a seal where there is a rotor that gets water under pressure.

And so, how is made a mechanical seal? A mechanical seal is basically made by two parts, one fixed and one rotating. The fixed part is mounted on the main body pump, it achieves sealing through an O-ring and has a grinded and very smoothed surface that gets in direct contact with the mobile part.

The rotating mobile part is mounted on the shaft, and so this is integral with it. Also in this case, sealing is achieved with an O-ring, so a classical seal, on the shaft side. The seal between the two parts is ensured by the contact between the surfaces that are so very much smooth that avoid any fluid’s leakage, being it both water or oil.

Mechanical seals can be made in different materials, depending on the kind of fluid to be pumped and also on the temperature levels involved. Based on the type of fluid treated, and with increasing temperatures for example with oil and aggressive fluids, the constructive materials of the seal must ensure the proper resistance.

The materials undergo a very high friction: in fact, a two pole pump works at 2.900-3.000 rpm, generating a very high rubbing between the two parts. That’s why mechanical seals are usually cooled by the fluid itself or, in more extreme applications, by fluxing systems aimed to maintain temperatures at affordable levels.

The fluxing of the seals is not only necessary to maintain temperatures at acceptable levels, but also to create a lubrication layer, let’s call it like this, between the two surfaces. With the rotating speeds involved, and being the surfaces so much smooth, without a proper lubrication the two surfaces could seize up indeed, and therefore get ruined and causing a leakage in the seal.

Finally, during the substitution of a mechanical seal, always remember to change also the seal on the main body of the pump.

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Sustainable refrigeration with asymmetric brazed plate exchangers

Sustainability and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are very actual topics among suppliers of solutions for the refrigeration sector. The new B series of brazed plate exchangers have been designed especially to offer a green solution aimed to reduce the environmental impact of refrigeration applications.

In addition to the measures aimed to replace the kind of refrigerants employed, the constructors of refrigeration equipment are indeed very committed in reducing the amount of gas within the machines. The B series brazed plate exchangers have a patented asymmetric plate design which optimizes the efficiency requiring much less refrigerant, with lower water pressure drop under the same working condition compared to different series.

B series brazed plate exchangers are also compatible with natural refrigerants and alternative refrigerant fluids R290, R32 and R454B with low GWP (Global Warming Potential), pursuing the target to cut CO2 emissions and reduce the environmental impact of the refrigeration sector.

Tempco refrigeration brazed plate exchangers B series


The series offers the following advantages:

  • Reduction up to 44% of refrigerant
  • Reduction up to 25% of water pressure drop
  • Increase up to 19% of water flow rate

A similar approach is also employed in modern air condensed machinery, that more and more are realized using a micro channel design.

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New Tempco Infographics, renewables for energy engineering

The new Tempco Infographic is dedicated to the growing market of renewables in Italy and worldwide. Following our previous infographics, focused on Process innovation with digitalization and Industry 4.0 and Enhancing industry thanks to automation and robotics, let’s now take a look on Energy which is the pumping core and moving power of all manufacturing processes.

The challenges of the climate change force the industry to find ways to empower sustainability for a responsible development, respectful of the environment. Energy is a central element in the climate strategy for every industrial sector, starting with the way energy is employed. Energy consumption must be more and more intelligent and efficient, reducing the amount of energy required by industrial production in every application field. Tempco is committed to deploy thermal energy recovery solutions and to increase energy efficiency in cooling, heating and thermoregulating applications in industrial processes.

But energy saving is not enough: at the beginning of the value chain of power generation, the kind itself of energy which is produced and consumed must change. Power generation from renewable sources must increase, in order to reduce and substitute fossil fuels which are the cause of greenhouse gas emissions. Tempco also supports the renewables market by designing and engineering solutions for thermal energy management and production efficiency.

Indeed, an effective sustainable growth is strictly depending on the increase of renewables in the global energy mix, including hydroelectric, solar, wind and bioenergy. Renewables are in fact the unique key for the success of current trends such as mobility electrification and energy efficiency in industrial processes.

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Pipings and industrial plants, be aware of ice!

The season is still being warm, but as usual during this period of the year is a good thing to talk about water and freeze in cooling equipments. As we all know, water is a peculiar fluid, which has a different behavior compared to other common fluids: when it freezes, water decreases its density, therefore expanding.

It happens because when water solidifies, ice particles acquire an hexagonal shape forming a precise geometrical configuration, which decreases density while increasing the volume. That’s the reason why ice floats over water at liquid state.

This phenomenon of volume increase its quite curious, but it can also be very dangerous for pipings and industrial plants, tanks or containers with fixed volumes. When water freezes and expands, they break. There are several cases of heat exchangers broken by frozen water.

How to prevent troubles? Clearly adding glycol to the water in industrial plants installed outdoor, that can reach extremely cold temperatures during the winter season. Or when fluids in the plant are cooled by a chiller at low temperatures near zero or below 0° C.

The concentration of the glycol depends on the level temperature to be reached, or the ambient temperature forecasted during the coldest time of the year. During maintenance intervention it is then crucial to periodically check the concentration of the glycol in the water, using dedicated equipments called densimeters, which also happen to be cheap devices. These allow to verify that the glycol concentration in the water is suitable for the level of temperatures involved.

Be very careful and aware, because ice breaks everything!


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