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Evaporative Cooling in Food Industry

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#1 ianz

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 02:41 PM

Greetings!

 

Need your help guys!

 

We are a food manufacturing facility, processing a low risk and high care food (BRC zoning). 

 

We are planning to install Air Handling Unit (AHU) in our facility and basically. Air Conditioning (AC) was the first choice. This includes filter (HEPA) system.

 

Our another plant in-charge Engineering Head suggested to consider Evaporative cooling due to cost consideration and energy efficiency - currently they are using this technology.

 

We started to do homework, to look for food industries who had experience in Evaporative cooling system.

 

Can anybody share their experience/ suggestion, if there are?

 

From a food safety perspective, will there be a risk if we opt for Evaporative cooling?

 

Please enlighten us!

 

Thanks,

 

Ianz



#2 gfdoucette07

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 03:51 PM

In a previous life as a sanitation manager we used one of these in a hard cheese manufacturing facility. It was a self contained unit that was filled with water and then fan dispersed the air through the falling film of water, I believe this is what your looking at.

 

Our issue was mold and low level coliform build up.  We ran it 24 hours a day and refilled using potable water.  After trying a few other things we chlorinated the water (~50-80 ppm if I remember correctly) and had to completely drain daily and change the filter weekly and that kept it at bay.  We did weekly swabs and air plates throughout the use to make sure we didn't see changes. 

 

AC and evaporative cooling will no function the same, AC will provide much better cooling but yes $ goes up.  Evap. coolers cover about 7-10 meters from the unit and raise the humidity significantly and drop temp about 5.5 degrees C vs current temp.

 

Hope I confused you more

 

G



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#3 fgjuadi

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 03:54 PM

It's better in places with low humidity. Agreed with GF, mold is a the biggest issue we saw. 


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#4 MWidra

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Posted 19 February 2015 - 08:05 PM

Don't forget the risk of Legionnaires' Disease for your workers.  The important thing, for all these issues, would be a solid program of cleaning and monitoring, something that you would not need to do for regular AC.  What will cost more, the cost of the electricity for the AC or the cost of the cleaning and monitoring?  Only you can answer that, but it's a factor to put into the cost effectiveness study.

 

https://www.osha.gov...naires/faq.html

 

Martha


"...everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."  Viktor E. Frankl

 

"Life's like a movie, write your own ending."  The Muppets


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#5 ianz

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Posted 21 February 2015 - 02:25 AM

Thanks guys for all the information.
Update: we met with eng'g & operating pips yesterday and following were the plan:
1.Try evap cooling in a smaller process room - pilot testing.
2. Conduct monitoring, validation and assessment (all your concerns were noted).
3. Benchmark to other facilities (with AC vs. Evap cooling) and conduct analysis.


Edited by ianz, 21 February 2015 - 02:26 AM.


#6 Ian_K

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 02:33 PM

I am looking for some information on room temperature control using evaporative cooling system. Well I am not an Engineer but a QA trying to achieve desirable room temperature.

 

Our central cooling system supply cool air to multiple rooms within a same building. These rooms do not start operation at the same time and perhaps some of the days do not need to on the AHU units for cold air though.

 

Our target is to achieve 25 degree celcius. Currently the room temperature hoovering around 25 - 26 degree C when achieve equilibrum.

 

Can anyone advice what can we do to achieve a safe 23 - 24 degree C ? We do perform regular cleaning to AHU filters.

 

Thank you :smile:  



#7 MWidra

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Posted 15 October 2015 - 03:52 PM

From a food safety perspective, it would be better to have an indirect system (where the air going into the building is cooled by air that has been cooled by water dripping through it) than a direct system (where the air going into the building is cooled by evaporating water that drips through it.)  That water dripping through an airstream is a source of contamination.  It's not just a case of changing filters, it's a case of monitoring the quality of the water that is flowing through the airstream.

 

You probably should consult an HVAC engineer to best design a system that can be properly maintained and monitored.

 

Martha


"...everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."  Viktor E. Frankl

 

"Life's like a movie, write your own ending."  The Muppets


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