Vegetable farm solves condensation problem without the need for costly dewpoint supression

Published 19 November 2013 in
Vegetable farm solves condensation problem without the need for costly dewpoint supression

Energy efficient high performance alternative to water separation and filtration technologies proves a success in North Scale, Lincoln.

G H Chennells Ltd run a privately owned farm based in North Scale, Lincoln. The company farms a total of 3.5k acres and grows a diverse range of vegetables, including potatoes, carrots, onions and sugar beet. The farm operates in a truly harsh environment with temperatures dropping well below zero during the winter period.

The farm has a workshop where most of the repair work is carried out to their fleet of tractors, trailers and cropping machines, plus a remotely located packing line situated approximately 100 metres from the compressor across the farm yard.

Compressed air is fed from the workshop to the packing line through underground airlines. The extra cold environment and the long distance between the source of the compressed air and the point of use results in a drop in dewpoint temperature. This was resulting in a huge condensate problem and frequent wearing of hand tools and pneumatic components in the line; in addition to the line freezing in extremely low temperatures. G H Chennells Ltd were experiencing such large amounts of liquid water in their workshop airlines and vegetable grading machines, that Workshop Manager, Mathew Jordan, needed to create an environment where he could sure of getting dry air without the need for investment in costly dewpoint suppression technology.

Mathew did his research and discovered the compressed air water removal product, Dropout, which is available through Sheffield-based pneumatics expert PCL. Deciding this would be a more worthwhile investment, he asked for a demonstration. On witnessing just how dry the compressed air was downstream of Dropout, Mathew immediately ordered and installed two units – one in the workshop at the compressor end, and the other at point of use in the farm’s packing line.

Mathew said: “The results are astonishing. The Dropout PDO600A units were installed in March 2013 during probably the coldest winter ever, and we left our water trap in line to monitor for visible water condensate in the system.”

“Since then we have had no water condensate in the system, and zero related breakdowns in either the packing line or our workshop. This includes the feed to our plasma cutting machine, air tools, and compressed air equipment.”

“I am amazed just how good this product is. As well as achieving dry air and eliminating costly down time and pneumatic failures, we have extended the life of our air tools and are now able to clean and reuse air filters on our plant, saving us additional unnecessary cost.”

“I would have no hesitation in recommending Dropout as a smart, cost effective solution to condensate removal, and even as an alternative to refrigerant dryer technology.”

Andrew Bird, MD at Dropout Europe Ltd, said: “Even those investing in multiple technologies such as refrigerant dryers, water separators, filter with staged efficiencies and coalescing filter have no guarantee that the air consumed at point of use will be dry. In fact many sellers claim that with a refrigerant dryer you still fundamentally have a wet system. Dropout provides a more efficient and cost effective solution to drying compressed air, and requires zero maintenance, consumes zero power, no consumables, no harmful CFC gases, and is available in a variety of flow rates to suit individual applications.”

“We feel that we may have finally found a credible alternative to conventional dryers.”

Dropout is sold into installations which include, petrochemical, health, agriculture, automotive and general manufacturing. Full specifications can be downloaded here.

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