Geelen Counterflow has installed its first electric counterflow dryer at the Cargill-Ewos Aquafeed plant in Bergneset, just above the Arctic Circle in Norway. This will significantly save energy and also CO2 emissions.
Energy consumption for drying will be reduced by 75% (15,000 MWh per year), and CO2 emissions from drying (previously 3,000 tons per year) will be eliminated as gas burners have been replaced with electric heat pumps powered by renewable electricity, the company says.
This is the first electric dryer to be commissioned after eight years of brainstorming, design, engineering and pilot testing. This dryer in Norway is also the largest counterflow dryer in the world, with 15 drying decks, according to Geelen. Two more electric countercurrent dryers are scheduled to start up in South Korea and China in the coming months.
In early April, the heat recovery system and heat pumps were successfully commissioned, allowing the gas burners to be shut down. This made Cargill-Ewo's Bergneset the world's first zero-emission feed mill. The gas burners remain in place for redundancy.
The four high-temperature heat pumps were manufactured by Combitherm of Germany using a new type of screw compressor from Bitzer, Germany. The working fluid is non-flammable, has an ozone depletion potential (ODP) of 0 and an ultra-low global warming potential (GWP) of 1.
Jan Helge Forde, Capital Excellence Lead, Cargill Aqua Nutrition: "Thanks to the good cooperation with the suppliers and the project organization, we have now been operating the Geelen countercurrent dryer with electricity since the beginning of April. All gas burners have been turned off. The energy recovery system and heat pumps allow us to reduce energy consumption by 75% and eliminate all CO2 and NOx emissions. We will be able to reduce CO2 emissions by 3,000 tons per year."
Sander Geelen, CEO of Geelen Counterflow: "Heat recovery and high temperature heat pumps are now a proven alternative to gas burners for drying extruded feed or food. After the first month of monitoring, we can now say that according to our calculations, the system operates with a COP (Coefficient Of Performance) of about 4. This means that only 1 kWh of electricity is needed in the heat pumps to supply 4 kWh of heat to the dryer. The other 3 kWh are recovered from the warm, moist air leaving the dryer, saving 75% of the energy compared to drying with gas. At the same time, water is recovered, odor emissions are reduced, and thanks to the renewable electricity, all CO2 and NOx emissions have been eliminated."
More information at Victam/VIV, booth 1-226.