Tempco Blog articles

Questions are NEVER silly, on the contrary…

Very often customers in Tempco have something to ask, and start saying ‘I have a question, but it might be silly… I’m not sure if I can ask you this question, but…’

Well, questions are NEVER silly, irrelevant or useless. On the contrary, questions are very useful in order to better identify the kind of thermal energy management problem we need to solve for the customer. It happens to all of us, when we’re not skilled into a certain domain, and we can speak with an expert in that field we will likely ask something that to him could be taken for granted, or the answer to our question is something that he could be taking for granted. But clearly if we don’t know anything about that topic, we need informations to understand or try to understand it at our best, and by the way giving him some informations that can help him solve our own problem.

That is exactly what happens in Tempco with our customers, when they present us a problem involving cooling, heating or thermoregulation within their production process. Especially while meeting new customers, we do a very in depth interrogatory, asking really a lot of informations, some even redundant. But this is crucial in order to cross all of the data to have double check and validations, being able to clearly understand the terms of his thermal energy management problem. Which is, for example, how much is the amount of thermal energy to dissipate, the temperature level he wants to achieve or which are the production goals he is set to.

Questions are thus NEVER silly, on the contrary they are very useful. Better then to flush a little at the beginning, than to fade later!



Stay updated on the latest applications of thermal energy management by subscribing our monthly Tempco Newsletter – Solid Temperature.

Heat exchangers and temperature in olive paste kneading

This time we leave emergent and grounbreaking applications to concentrate on a more traditional one, but still very much interesting. And in fact we’re going to talk about olive oil, and in particular of the importance of temperature regulation and control during the kneading process of olive paste. Heat exchangers have a crucial role here, aimed at heating the olive paste at the correct temperature the most rapidly as possible, and then maintaining it at the optimal temperature level.

Kneading, or also called malaxing, is a fundamental step to determine the final quality of an extra virgin olive oil, its taste and organoleptic properties. This is a production step that follows the grinding and crushing process, and during kneading the olive past is processed in a machine called malaxer that provides a continuous and slow stirring of the olive paste making it more homogeneous, facilitating the separation of oil from water.

In order to increase the thermal transfer efficiency of heat exchangers employed within the kneading process, for a customer we have made a research about the cooling/heating task of olive paste during the production process. While at it, we found a very interesting technical article by Giulia Angeloni, a researcher of the Department DAGRI at the University of Florence, that goes in depth with technical details of the thermal transfer process. The goals of the research were to help coalescence of small oil droplets within the olive paste creating bigger droplets, thus facilitating the separation process, while at the same time preserving the organoleptic properties of the final product.

Tempco scambiatori gramolatura pasta olive olio

The study shows that the correct temperature is a crucial factor to facilitate coalescence, dimishing the viscosity of olive paste and at the same time stimulating the enzymatic activity. Anyway, the temperature during kneading must be kept under 40° C, because higher temperatures lead to changes in the rheology of the dough, which is the way it reacts to external forces, diminishing the yield of the oil and water separation process. Furthermore, the different enzymes involved by the biochemical processes triggered during the mixing phase require different optimal temperatures: the study shows that polar phenolic compounds are increasingly released by the olive paste as long as temperature increases from 25° C up to 30° C, while when the limit of 30° C is exceeded there is a sudden decrease in their concentration.

Beyond 30° C there is also a decrease of volatile compounds, such as C6 and C5, which are responsible for the fruity aroma and quality of the olive oil. Fostering, at temperatures over 30° C, the release of C>6 compounds that cause sensorial defects of the extra virgin olive oil.

Stay updated on the latest applications of thermal energy management by subscribing our monthly Tempco Newsletter – Solid Temperature.

Water and oil, thermoregulation and… French fries

An interesting subject of which I talk about in this new video refers to the startup and commissioning of thermoregulating units and plants working with diathermic oil. From time to time we are involved in the startup of this kind of plants, and… have you ever did French fries? What it got to do with it, you may ask, but this is very related if you think about what happens when a water drops into hot boiling oil. The effect is devastating and really damaging.

Let’s then imagine what can happen in a thermoregulating plant that works using high temperature diathermic oil, if it gets accidentally washed with water, or simply if there is remaining humidity inside the plant. There will be huge issues, and usually we can solve these problems during the startup phase because there is suddenly the sensation that something isn’t working properly… due to the fact that there is smoke coming out of the expansion tank, followed by some sort of murmur and grumbling noises and also by the leaking of hot oil in the expansion tank itself.

It is thus mandatory to be very careful, as we write in all our manuals and recommend as well our customers: where there is oil, NEVER put water.



Stay updated on the latest applications of thermal energy management by subscribing our monthly Tempco Newsletter – Solid Temperature.

Dry cooling in harsh environment for cement factory production

Supply of a dry cooler system aimed at cooling a water/antifreeze solution employed in cooling of slewing rings for the loading and unloading process in a cement factory. Following the revamping we did last year of a first plant, the customer is now furnishing all of the new plants with our Tempco dry coolers equipped with axial fans, in special execution for harsh environments that characterizes production in a cement factory.

Tempco dry cooler cementificio raffreddamento ralle

Tempco dry cooler cementificio

Each cooler is supplied to the customer complete with control panel e related water circulating pump. In order to ensure full operations continuity, the systems has been designed with a redundant set up, with at least 50% of additional fans based on the number of equipments required in normal working conditions.

Tempco dry cooler raffreddamento cementificio

Tempco dry cooler ventilatori assiali raffreddamento cementificio

Stay updated on the latest applications of thermal energy management by subscribing our monthly Tempco Newsletter – Solid Temperature.

Hydrogen fuel cells cooling applications

Brazed plate heat exchangers and hydrogen applications. We have published a few weeks ago a video on hydrogen applications in fuel cells for green electric power generation from renewable sources. In fact, these are applications mostly deployed within the transport sector and mobility in general.

There are many kind of heat exchangers, and these plate heat exchangers in particular are special brazed plate exchangers especially designed for the cooling of fuel cells. These are in fact brazed plate exchangers made with special materials and brazing, making them resistant to very high temperatures involved in fuel cells applications, up to 900° C, but as well compliant with use of deionized water.

Stay updated on the latest applications of thermal energy management by subscribing our monthly Tempco Newsletter – Solid Temperature.

New references in renewables for Tempco

The month of February dedicated to Renewables in Tempco is coming to its conclusion, and we’re glad to present you four new success cases that we’ve added to the section References – Renewable Energies of our website. These are in fact four new applications that involve renewable energy in different ways, and we hope you will find these inspiring and to trigger the deployment of further technologies and solutions aimed at lowering the carbon footprint and increasing the sustainable use of energy.

We invite you then to discover these four new applications, including the employ of CO2 in refrigeration thanks to special high pressure resistant brazed plate exchangers; the significant energy savings achieved in industrial laundries using TCOIL immersion exchangers; hydrogen applications with fuel cells, which involve heat exchangers in a series of main processes, especially for the transports sector; and finally power generation from wave energy thanks to gyroscopic wave energy converters that require accurate temperature control systems using heat exchangers, with titanium construction to stand the contact with sea water.

Tempco renewables references exchangers hydrogen fuel cells

Stay updated on the latest applications of thermal energy management by subscribing our monthly Tempco Newsletter – Solid Temperature.

Renewables, geothermal heat pumps and TCOIL exchangers

Following the theme of renewables, let’s talk about heat pumps and geothermal energy, in combination with TCOIL immersion heat exchangers.

Geothermal energy and the development of geothermal heat pumps are very interesting subjects. Geothermal energy makes indeed available large quantities of renewable energy at a very low cost. Clearly, we’re speaking about second level energy, meaning heat and thermal energy.

Heat pumps are more and more adopted in HVAC applications and in thermoregulation of industrial sites and residential areas. Heat pumps offer a very interesting energy efficiency, and in combination with geothermal energy this is even increased, achieving remarkable energy savings.

In the field of activity of Tempco, we’ve already deployed a series of applications with geothermal heat pumps thanks to TCOIL immersion heat exchangers. These applications involve the immersion of TCOIL heat exchangers in cold water basins, such as lakes, seaports, rivers or canals, in order to dissipate or absorb thermal energy from the fluid in which they are immersed. In addition, the payback of these solutions has shortened very much, due to the increase in energy costs.

In this field we’ve already developed applications in industrial laundries, residential applications, industrial applications and in data centers.

Hydrogen, fuel cells and heat exchangers in renewables

Let’s get in the heart of our month of February dedicated to Renewables in Tempco talking about hydrogen and fuel cells. These are themes becoming very popular, especially for automotive applications in sustainable mobility and green transition in transports. There are indeed many studies on the matter, aimed at deploying fuel cell technology as a valid alternative to actual electric vehicles and to traditional fossil fuel motors.

These are systems for power generation from a renewable and clean source, hydrogen, that can be employed to power electric motors. Applications are different, from cars and buses and every kind of transport vehicles, and also on ships, with significant implications in terms of engineering and plant design.

A full cell system involves indeed a series of thermal transfer tasks, for heating, cooling and energy recovery. The challenge here are the very high temperatures involved in this kind of thermal cycle. It’s then necessary to develop special heat exchangers able to cope with the high temperature levels that are generated in some parts of the cycle. Plate heat exchangers, once again, are the ideal solution in automotive applications of fuel cells thanks to their efficiency and compact shape, ensuring high thermal transfer rates in the narrow installment spaces available.

We’re speaking in particular of special plate heat exchangers that can work with maximum temperatures approximately of 900° C, and in fact a special brazed plate exchangers technology exists which is suitable for this kind of applications. There are thus several implications in these kind of thermal cycles, some of them are even simple and working at quite standard conditions. Heat exchangers for fuel cells also work with deionized water, and so there are implications in terms of materials compatibility, for example AISI 316 is required and resistance to high acidity of water. Especially designed exchangers are therefore required, designed and suited for applications with hydrogen and fuel cells.


Stay updated on the latest applications of thermal energy management by subscribing our monthly Tempco Newsletter – Solid Temperature.

Sustainability and heat exchangers, a whole month dedicated to Renewables

Energy and renewables are themes of growing importance, and becoming more and more actual and relevant. This is very clear looking at the amount and genres of new applications that Tempco has developed in the last few years in the field of renewables, a great number of different solutions rapidly and constantly increasing.

Due to the relevance of the subject, we’ve decided to dedicate the entire month of February to the theme of Renewable energy. Over the next weeks we will go in depth with some applications of heat exchangers employed in solutions that deploy the potential of renewable sources, such as the geothermal energy with TCOIL dimple jacket exchangers and heat pumps or heat exchangers in innovative systems for energy recovery from waves. Up to our special C Series brazed plate exchangers for high pressure and temperatures levels especially intended for applications in innovative CO2 refrigeration systems and the emerging hydrogen industry with fuel cells for sustainable mobility.

Tempco scambiatori di calore rinnovabili

In addition, we are enriching our References section in the Tempco website as well as the contents available in the Resources area, with the case studies and Manuals dedicated to technologies especially deployed for renewables applications.

Let’s then have great February, fully powered by Renewables!

Stay updated on the latest applications of thermal energy management by subscribing our monthly Tempco Newsletter – Solid Temperature.

Heat pumps a key technology for decarbonization

We want to talk again about heat pumps on the wave of a very complete and interesting white paper made by Thomas Nowak, Secretary General of the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA). The document develops in depth the full potential of heat pumps technology for decarbonization and the deployment of renewable energy. Let’s thus introduce the theme of Renewables, which will be the special focus of our Tempco Blog through the entire month of February 2023.

Heat pumps are machines able to supply both heating and cooling as well to produce hot water for residential, commercial and industrial applications. The paper (based on 2015 data but still gives a valid idea) estimates that 50,3% of energy demand in Europe is related to heating and cooling applications. In particular, energy demand for space heating and process industry heating accounts for 85% of the overall demand. And it is mainly fulfilled by fuel sources, gas in first place.

Heat pumps technology decarbonization EHPA pompe di calore

The working principle of a heat pump is a thermodynamic cycle powered by electric energy which allows to provide heating and cooling in parallel. Most part of heat pump technologies are based on a electric gas compression cycle. In case the electric energy that powers the compression cycle in sourced by renewables, the heat pump technology becomes totally green and 100% sustainable. The sustainability can even be pushed further with the substitution of traditional refrigerants and technical gas, high GWP and polluting, with new gases with low GWP, such as CO2 (R744) which is already employed in innovative CO2 refrigerating groups.

The basis of the compression cycle in a heat pump is the classic and already well known, but let’s summarize it: it consists of 5 components, an evaporator, which is a liquid to gas heat exchanger, a compressor, a condenser, I.e. a gas to liquid heat exchanger, an expansion valve and a transfer fluid (the refrigerant).

A heat pump, in order to achieve heating or cooling, can then employ renewable energy coming from air, water or ground (geothermal energy), as explained at pages 21-22, to realize applications such as those developed by Tempco at the Marina di Loano seaport and using immersion exchangers on the Como Lake.

Heat pumps technology decarbonization EHPA pompe di calore ciclo compressione

The white paper also offers an interesting estimate of the energy balance of a heat pump: typical heat pumps require indeed one unit of electricity – mostly required to power the compression cycle – in addition to 2-4 units of renewable energy or waste energy coming from another process, to provide 3-5 units of heat output and 2-4 units of cooling. With the further development of the related technology, heat pumps energy efficiency will even further increase. The majority of heat pumps applications can provide heating at 30-55° C, and hot water at 55° C to 65° C. The latter can be increased by deploying CO2 heat pumps, which in addition of being an alternative gas to traditional refrigerants will also increase the overall efficiency of heat pumps. The future challenge is then, in CO2 heat pumps and as well as for CO2 refrigeration, to design and develop special components able to withstand the high temperatures and high pressures involved with CO2 applications.

Finally, is also very appealing the prospect on the feasibility of a future configuration of heat pumps combined with a thermal storage tank and a battery, that will allow heat pump based systems to normalize the demand curve on power grids by providing load shaping and load shifting services, thus making smart grids more flexible, reliable and stable and at the same time increasing the level of independency of heat pumps.

Stay updated on the latest applications of thermal energy management by subscribing our monthly Tempco Newsletter – Solid Temperature.