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Energy Savings in Food Processing Dehumidification
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Food processors have the unique responsibility of maintaining environmental, process and sanitation standards for government and consumers. Usually the food plant is a large facility with many sources of contamination, all of which must be controlled. Condensation is a significant source of problems and on critical surfaces is not tolerated by the USDA. This challenges the Engineer to provide an energy efficient system to prevent condensation in our hot and humid climate. The problem is intensified because the building is frequently operating below the ambient dew point. Dally sanitation wash-downs are a further contributor to condensation, and failure to control condensation may result in product contamination and rejection, plant shutdown, loss of labor and, in extreme cases, litigation. Past solutions have included excess ammonia refrigeration tonnage, high ventilation rates prescribed by the USDA - often inadequate for this climate - or chemical dehumidification, which is energy intensive and often mechanically unreliable. For a decade, the authors have utilized sensible exchangers to enhance latent transfer for moisture removal in supermarkets, breweries, and HVAC applications. The correct application of these techniques results in improved moisture removal and significant energy savings. Presented here will be the results of a dehumidification test in a low temperature food processing application.
Turney, R. L.; Young, F. J. (1994). Energy Savings in Food Processing Dehumidification. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from