Chillers & Coolers – Breakthrough of Optical Refrigeration

  • August 1, 2013

Optical refrigeration has reached a new stage in which semiconductors can be substantially cooled by laser light. This process could become practical for cooling electronics and optoelectronics, possibly leading to athermal lasers. Read the article from Laser Focus World.

Related ChemTec Products: LPH & MAO

ChemTec’s line of flow monitors and flow meters offer the accuracy, dependability and durability required by cooling towers and chillers. Designed to sense high & low flow conditions, ChemTec’s monitors & meters can be used in both manual and programmable linear controllers.  The LPH flow monitor is economical, compact and customizable to meet application demands. ChemTec’s MAO flow meter offers superior performance output.

To learn more about ChemTec’s LPH & MAO Series, please contact us.

Chemtec LPH-125-A Non-Adjustable Liquid / Gas Flow Monitor

LPH-125-A

 

Chemtec MAO-125-T Flow Meter

MAO-125-T

Chemtec MAO-500-T Flow Meter
MAO-500-T

Paint Booth Technology: Great Finishes Start Here

  • July 13, 2013

Global Finishing Solutions is the world’s leading manufacturer of paint booths, spray booths, and finishing systems for industrial coating and finishing, automotive body shops, aerospace finishing, and many more — and they use ChemTec’s flow switches —Visit their website to find out other industries they are involved in!

Related ChemTec Product: HPEFV Series

Chem Tec’s 500-BP Series is one of our adjustable flow monitors for gas & liquid applications. Flow actuation points can be increased or decreased manually in the field.

500-BP Series High Pressure Adjustable Flow Monitor

Click Here to learn more about HPEFV Series.

Compressed Natural Gas Stations: Fueling the American Dream

  • July 5, 2013

CNG Stations are popping up all over the country. View an interactive map showing where these Compressed Natural Gas Stations – which use ChemTec EFVs – are being built!

Related ChemTec Product: HPEFV

Shown below, ChemTec’s HP-EFV-750-S in a CNG filling station; installed on the line between the supply line and vehicle.

Chemtec HP-EFV-750-S High Pressure Excess Flow Valve in a CNG Filling Station

Visit Our Catalog to learn more about excess flow valves, or discuss alternative fuel applications in our Distributor Zone.

Efficient AODD Pump Operation

  • July 2, 2013

Eliminating dry running can save money and protect equipment

Every year, air operated double diaphragm (AODD) pump users spend thousands on electricity, replacement parts and labor because they dry run their pumps. Unlike many other types of pumps, AODD pumps can run dry (run without being fully primed) without immediate damage. Therefore, they are useful in applications such as sumps and tank transfers in which the liquid may unexpectedly run out.

Routinely relying on an AODD pump’s ability to run dry, however, can incur substantial costs—including energy loss, increased maintenance and lost compressor capacity. This article details these costs, the prevalence of dry-running pumps and solutions for running a greener and more cost-effective operation.

The Cost of Dry Running an AODD Pump
When a pump runs dry, 100 percent of the consumed air is wasted. Although lost energy from wasted air is the most obvious cost, additional maintenance, downtime and lost compressor capacity are also significant.

A simple method to estimate the cost of a dry-running pump is to multiply the percentage of time that the pump runs dry by the total operating cost.

As seen in Table 1, the yearly dry-running costs can exceed the cost of the original pump. Furthermore, the air and maintenance costs are often much higher, as a dry-running pump can operate two to three times faster than it does when under load. This means more air usage and faster wear and tear on the pump.

The cost of dry running an AODD pump

Table 1. The cost of dry running an AODD pump

While the direct pump and compressed air costs are substantial, the associated costs can be just as high. A few 70 standard cubic feet per minute (scfm) “leaks” in an air system represent a significant drain on a compressor, requiring plant engineers to consider increasing the overall system pressure, or increasing the size and number of compressors. Frequent and unexpected pump failures can also lead to product loss and production downtime, both of which can match the air and maintenance costs.

The Prevalence of Dry-Running AODD Pumps
Despite the high cost of dry-running pumps, the practice is a common occurrence in many factories. Some typical causes and observations seen at several factories are described in this section.

Operators Leave Pumps Running
A chemical factory needed to rebuild one to two pumps every month. Given the number of pumps that the factory had and the amount of time the pumps needed to be in use, only one to two rebuilds per year should have been required. The parts cost per rebuild was $300 to $500 plus labor, and the maintenance bills were adding up quickly.

Operators unintentionally left the pumps running throughout the weekend. Because the plant’s energy or maintenance bill was not included on performance reviews, the operators had little incentive to remember to turn off the pumps.

The same pattern is repeated in other factories. Another example is a large paint factory at which workers use pumps to empty large tanks. Again, operators would turn the pump on, get distracted by other tasks and forget to turn them off.

Failed or Missing Level Sensors
Because AODD pumps are often used in “dirty” situations—outside or in waste sumps in factory floors—debris or corrosion frequently cause level sensors to fail. Non-contact types are susceptible to debris or being dislodged as well.

In many of the observed factories, sumps had level sensors that were bypassed because they were not reliable enough. In these cases, the sump pumps operated 24 hours per day, despite the sump filling only occasionally. By equipping two of their pumps with monitoring equipment, the operators discovered that a 2-inch pump was only pumping liquid 32.8 percent of the time, and a 1-inch pump only 7.3 percent of the time. More than half of their energy and maintenance bill was being used to needlessly pump air.

Whether the cause is operator error, a failed level sensor or simply installing a pump to run non-stop when unnecessarily, dry-running AODD pumps appear to be a common occurrence.

Solutions
Although dry-running pumps can be costly, several solutions, ranging from inexpensive procedure changes to sensor-based control solutions, can reduce costs substantially. Most of these solutions will show a return on investment within six months to one year, depending on the frequency of dry running.

Solutions can be divided into three categories: procedural changes, level sensing sensors and switches, and air monitoring controllers.

Procedural Changes
If personnel are informed of the true cost of dry-running pumps, including the resulting increase in maintenance, they can work individually to avoid leaving pumps running unnecessarily. Adding dry-running observations to maintenance records can help diagnose the root cause of pumps that require frequent rebuilding. Routinely checking sump level sensors for correct operation can also help to avoid long stretches of dry-running operation.

The main issue with this solution is that it relies on human intervention to ensure proper pump operation.

Level Sensors and Switches
A myriad of level sensors and controllers can be used to turn pumps off when they are not needed. Inexpensive, simple float-trigger switches indicate when a tank or sump level is too high or low, turning the pump on or off as required. Because floats can easily become obstructed by debris, many float-less types—such as capacitive (both contact and non-contact), radar and ultrasonic—are other options.

When considering level sensors, end users should evaluate the whole system cost because many sensors require an additional solenoid and, in some cases, a separate programmable logic controller (PLC). Installation requirements for all the separate components should also be taken into account. Unfortunately, since many level sensing solutions are in contact with the pumping liquid, they suffer from corrosion or clogging. Even non-contact sensors can be blocked by debris or dislodged.

Air monitoring controllers monitor the pump through the air line without contacting the pumped fluid.

Figure 1. Air monitoring controllers monitor the pump through the air line without contacting the pumped fluid.

Air Monitoring Controllers
Another category of controllers that avoids the problems of level detection devices is air monitoring controllers. Air monitoring controllers work similarly to load-monitoring controllers on electric motors, turning the pump off when the air input indicates that the pump is running dry.

Some controllers in this category rely only on mechanical switches, while others use electronic controls. The mechanical controllers typically detect a change in pressure or flow to determine when a pump is running dry. Because a dry-running pump faces little to no resistance, it operates faster and uses more air than when transferring liquid.

While mechanical controllers have the benefit of operating without power, they can be unreliable when plant conditions change, such as the input or pump discharge pressure.

Air monitoring controllers with electronics can employ more sophisticated logic to compensate for changing environments, and also better detect when a pump is truly running dry.

Some of these solutions use pressure sensors to listen to the pump like a stethoscope to detect the individual stroke rate, which typically changes much more than the air input rate.

Ignoring short-term changes (false positives), restarting on timers and interfacing with PLCs are other benefits.

AODD pump in a factory transfer application with an air monitoring controller.

Image 1. AODD pump in a factory transfer application with an air monitoring controller.

Conclusion
Dry-running AODD pumps are a costly problem that can easily go unnoticed, wasting significant energy, money and maintenance resources. Since many people are unaware of the high cost, dry-running pumps are a common occurrence in many factories. Fortunately, many solutions are available that provide a fast return on investment, ranging from simple maintenance procedural changes to controllers that automatically turn off pumps when they are not needed.

Written by: Scott Driscoll
Originally Published May 1, 2013 on Pump-Zone.com

Related ChemTec Product

ChemTec’s LCA Series is an in line, field adjustable flow monitor for liquid flow to detects loss of flow or signal no-flow conditions.
Chemtec LCA Series Adjustable Flow Monitor

Click Here to download the product Spec Sheet.

Introducing New Manufacturing Software

  • June 1, 2013

In May, we announced the implementation of our new manufacturing software. This month, we would like to highlight some changes the new software presents.

Order Acknowledgements:

  • Part Numbers will appear different. Please follow the HOW TO ORDER format found in our product catalog or online on each product spec sheet.
  • Serial Numbers will appear different.
  • Factory Preset specifications can be found in the product description area.
  • Order acknowledgements and invoices are emailed from admin@chemtec.com
  • This admin email box is now unmonitored; please do not respond to any emails coming from this address.
  • Contact Shannon Kantor for acknowledgments and  Kelly Donoghue for invoicing questions or concerns.

It is important that you update us with your office contact information; review the information on your order acknowledgments, and make us aware of any incorrect information.

If you have not yet done so already, please email or fax Kelly Donoghue with your 2013 Resale Tax Certificate as soon as possible. Reminders will be added to Order Acknowledgments if we have not yet received yours.

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) – EFV and LCA Application

  • May 12, 2013

Background

The use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for fleet and personal vehicles is on the rise. As a result, there is an increased demand for the construction of more fueling stations. Structural and operational safety guidelines are stringent, requiring stations to implement precautionary safety measures.

Company News – May

  • May 3, 2013

Sales Order Numbers Change
As we continue the transition to our new manufacturing software, you will notice our sales order numbers have changed from six digits to three digits. Should you have any questions or concerns, please give us a call!

Sales Opportunity: UV Disinfection Systems

  • May 1, 2013

UV Disinfection Systems are an effective way to destroy super bugs in hospitals. Systems use either pulse xenon or mercury vapor lamps. Hospitals prefer xenon as it is a safe, harmless, inert gas while mercury is highly toxic if released.

UV disinfection is used in:

  • Municipal water treatment systems
  • Air ducts in buildings
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Food & beverage processing
  • Sterile medical device packaging
  • Research laboratories
  • Paint curing, and a multitude of other applications

ChemTec’s flow monitors, flow meters & excess flow valves can be found in UV disinfection systems in two places: monitoring of xenon gas and monitoring the coolant/cooling liquid in closed loop system.

Product Spotlight: Excess Flow Valves

  • April 1, 2013

ChemTec’s excess flow valves are perfect for a variety of industries. Below are some examples.

Industry Example 1: Semiconductor Fabrication

Example of a semiconductor

Example of a semiconductor

Applications include:

  • Installed in-line on hydrogen gas feeder lines; responsible for supplying hydrogen gas into the plant, delivering hydrogen to multiple areas within the plant.

Product Details: Ultra-high purity, electro-polished to 10 RA finish, manual reset excess flow valve with welded ¾” VCR fittings*, electric switch conduit, CE and ATEX mark. *The welded VCR fitting option is of great benefit to the customer providing easy removal and replacement for cleaning without damaging the unit.

 

Industry Example 2: Alternative Fuel

Chemtec's HP-EFV-750-S Excess Flow Valve in a CNG Filling Station

HP-EFV-750-S in a CNG filling station; installed on the line between the supply line and vehicle.

Applications include:

  • Natural Gas Vehicles
  • CNG Fueling Stations
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cells

 

Industry Example 3: Hydrogen Generators

ChemTec’s EFV-250-B Custom Unit for a Hydrogen Generator

ChemTec’s EFV-250-B (also available in 316 SS) custom unit for hydrogen generator OEM; installed at the base of cell phone towers

 

Applications include:

  • CNG (compressed natural gas) filling stations
  • Housed within NGV’s (natural gas vehicles)
  • Hydrogen generators in cell phone towers

 

Industry Option 4: Food & Beverage

Applications include:

  • Packaging Equipment – bursts of nitrogen are used during the sealing stage in both dry and liquid packaging processes. Used in Cap feeding; Sealing; Bottling/Kegging/Canning
  • Cryogenics – used for dry goods packaging; dispensing of nitrogen for product freshness and bag sealing.
  • Specialty Gas distribution lines – used to monitor the dispensing of gases (CO2 or nitrogen) for beverage grade beer & soda consumption
  • Liquid Nitrogen dosing systems – for peanut packaging and wine bottling
  • Liquid Filling Systems – signal flow/no flow condition of liquids and monitor the amount dispensed prevents over/under fill.
  • Process Technology – CIP (clean in place) & SIP (sterilization in place) systems; UV Systems for disinfection; Recirculating chillers
  • Filtration – signal flow/no flow condition and monitor liquids; monitor prevents pump burn-out; can signal notice of filter maintenance. Used in Batch processing; Brewing process; CO2 reclamation; Filling; Pasteurizing; Reverse osmosis (removing chlorine and fluorine from water before brewing process)
  • Beverage Pumps – signal flow/no flow condition; monitor liquids; prevention of pump burn-out.

 

Industry Option 5: Marine

Applications include:

  • Reverse Osmosis Desalination – Installed to protect pumps, monitor flow, signals flow/no-flow conditions for quality; monitors operating pressures and fresh water flush upon shutdown. Units are available in materials suitable for use on seawater such as Monel 400, to resist corrosion, and 316SS which is suitable for all potable water applications.

 

Industry Example 6: Gas Utilities

  • Application: Natural Gas lines
  • Line size: 1” diameter or less is a common line size for most residential and commercial lines (i.e. homes, apartments, townhomes, condos, restaurants, plants & factories).
  • Placement: Installed in-line, between the main “T” and the home; where the line pressure is not less than 10psig.

Customized Excess Flow Valves for Any Application

The excess flow valve shown below has been customized with automatic tube welds and VCR fittings for an OEM of hydrogen gas delivery systems.  Installed in an ultra-high purity application, ease of installation and removal without causing damage was of utmost importance with this design.

Chemtec EFV-250-12 FVCR Excess Flow Valve

EFV-250-12 FVCR

Below, the EFV-750-S MRS is customized with tube stubbs and flanges.

EFV-750-S Manual Reset Series, customized with tube stubbs and flanges

EFV-750-S MRS FP

R&D Highlight: FS Series

  • March 15, 2013

Chemtec Custom FS Series Non-Adjustable Flow Monitor

FS Series – custom unit with barb fittings (PVC; Teflon wetted parts)

Installation: Horizontal
Industry: Semiconductor
Media: Deionized water

Product Customization: 
Customer requires a non-adjustable flow monitor to signal flow/no-flow of deionized water in semiconductor processing equipment. Standard FS Series operates vertical inlet facing down, however the application requires the unit to be installed horizontally. ChemTec customized the FS to meet the customer’s needs.

For FS Series application & industry questions, please contact us.

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