The Government has announced that it will be reducing support for industry with soaring energy prices continuing what can be done?
Now more than ever, companies within the UK woodworking industry need to use their own resources to overcome the energy crisis in 2023.
Chris Franklin, Managing Director at Ranheat Engineering Ltd, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of Industrial wood-waste burning equipment. Continues his series of articles exclusively for Panel and Joinery production. This edition he looks at industrial wood fired heaters as well as boilers.
The best way to save money on energy is to use less in the first place. But within our industry there exists special requirements for making things from wood and wood-based products.
Over the last decades there has been increased use of man-made boards as opposed to natural timber. But man-made boards come with low moisture contents and therefore can be hydroscopic. i.e., they can absorb moisture from the atmosphere so need to be stored dry.
Once made into an item that item needs to be kept dry and protected from inherent moisture present in the atmosphere particularly in the winter months. Higher external ambient winter temperatures do not mean that the air is dry, so heating within a wood-working factory is needed.
Our industry also has other special needs when wood or wood-based products are cut or machined fine dusts are produced, so the workforce needs protecting from these fine dusts, so a safe working environment is provided.
So, to meet COSHH regulations effective dust extraction systems from the wood working machinery is needed. This causes large amounts of air movement within the factory. The extraction system draws the air to a central filter to separate the wood-waste from the transport air.
Having got this wood-fuel to a central point there are two ways that the fuel can be turned into useful heat, an air to air heat exchanger (Warm Air Heater) or an air to water heat exchanger (Boiler)
All Ranheat boilers and warm air heaters are based on multitube heat exchangers with the hot flue gasses passing down the centre of the tubes and then the tubes having the heat extracted by surrounding them with water (Boiler based System) or with air (Warm air System)
The more tubes and the more passes down the tubes the more heat that is extracted from the hot combustion gasses and the higher the efficiency of the heat exchangers. Ranheat apply the same technology to both types of heat exchangers, boiler or warm air.
So, which is best? Generally speaking, both Ranheat types run with flue temperatures below 180oC. As the heat exchanger tubes get dirty then the flue temperature rises, a sure indication that the tubes need cleaning.
Automated tube cleaning systems using compressed air can be included on most models greatly reducing the number of times the unit has to be off for cleaning.
Ranheat’s 6 figure investment in a new CNC plasma cutter in 2022 ensures that the tube nests for both Warm Air and Boilers are quickly and accurately cut. Keeping the work in-house reduces manufacturing costs.
The lates Esprit CNC plasma cutter is the third such machine that Ranheat have purchased since 1990, this one is able to cut 25mm plate and takes a 3,000mm x 1,500mm sheet of steel.
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