Counter-current screw for heating liquid

Subsidy makes faster development of groundbreaking innovation possible 

In the development of a new type of screw heat exchanger for liquids we have literally thought in the reverse direction. In this new screw heat exchanger the screw is in fact used to delay the movement of the product instead of conveying it. To develop this reverse innovation faster we received subsidy of 30 thousand Euros from the Foundation Stichting Metal Valley.

Under the trade name Celsius we already have wide experience with the construction of screw heat exchangers. These are used for cooling, heating and drying powders and granules. We are now investigating whether a screw can also play an important part in a heating process with liquid.

Slowing down product with a vertical screw
“We were being asked increasingly often whether we could also heat liquids and so we starting thinking about this”, says Eric de Jong, Manager of Operations. The outcome is a vertically installed screw where the liquid is sprayed in from the bottom at around 10 bar. A shaftless screw rotates against the pressure to slow down the liquid. Fitted around the screw is a twin-walled tube through which heated oil or water flows. In this way the temperature in the screw can be regulated.

Reverse shaft affects residence time
The operator sets how much resistance the screw gives and affects how long the liquid remains in the screw. So it can be very accurately determined how warm the product is when it comes out of the screw. “We are the first to experiment with this technique in this way”, says De Jong.

Counter-current screw attracts praise
The first tests with this ‘rebel going against the flow’ are very promising. “A two metre high test machine has been used for one client who processes frozen fruit, for example, smoothies. The client is so satisfied that he wants another screw heat exchanger like this”, explains De Jong.

De Jong expects that there will be a big demand for this unique screw heat exchanger not only in the food industry, but also in recycling (for example for sludge processing) and the chemical industry.

Good cooperation with Kapp
We have developed this heat exchanger with Kapp Nederland B.V. from Dordrecht, a trading and engineering firm specialising in industrial heat exchangers in the process industry. Kapp Nederland is very satisfied with the cooperation in the development of this innovative product and is looking to present this type of heat exchanger in its market.

Innovation already noticed in the press
This first has not gone unnoticed. Following the subsidy that we received to develop this machine faster, the Brabants Dagblad recently wrote an article about it. In this article our director Perry Verberne explained that the plan was already there, but that the project had been left on the shelf because it still had to be made. “With the subsidy we were able to continue.”

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