European Organisation for Astronomical Research (ESO).
Paranal Observatorium, Chile
Precision cooling even in earthquake zones. In the middle of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, four 22-watt lasers generate artificial guide stars. The purpose of these is to compensate for optical blurs caused by the Earth’s atmosphere and ensure that the telescope receives sharp images as a result.
Challenge / The laser sources need a compact, low-vibration cooling system that is neutral to external temperatures, requires as little maintenance as possible, and is equipped with leakage monitoring in case of an emergency. In this part of South America, earthquake and frost protection is also essential.
Solution / A cooling system that is so safe and low-maintenance that it can run unattended for two years. This is a huge advantage in an area far away from main traffic routes – and is made possible by factors including a special insulating material that does not swell, even at over 2500 metres. The low-vibration design prevents failures in the event of an earthquake, as the refrigerant pump and fan benefit from speed control to compensate for resonance vibrations on site.
System benefit / Precise cooling: the internal temperature of the equipment deviates from the ambient temperature by no more than +/-1 K.
Using heat and cold with true efficiency.
Silberhorn, near Regensburg
In the summer of 2016, the innovative, medium-sized Silberhorn Group started building its third company location – designed for its Sheet Metal Technology division – on a greenfield site. In September 2017, work began on 5500 m² of production space and 250 m² of office space near Regensburg.
Challenge / To implement an energy-saving and sustainable concept for the production site in Brunn (sheet metal production). The project focused on achieving a marked reduction in CO2 emissions and a noticeable fall in energy costs, while at the same time providing precise, continuous cooling of the production process.
Solution / The Riedel energy-saving solution has been in operation since November 2017. It not only offers 100% redundancy in the cooling system, but also covers the entire heat consumption via the waste heat generated. Perfectly coordinated individual devices: Each year the Riedel hydraulic unit, along with its integration into the central building management system, saves around 360,000 kWh of electricity and 364 tonnes of CO2 (compared to a patchwork solution without waste heat recovery).
System benefit / DThis sustainable solution has also received a state subsidy amounting to 30% of the total investment cost in the Riedel solution. This means that the custom-built complete solution for cooling, heating and domestic hot water preparation will pay for itself after just 1.38 years.
Cooling for medical technology.
Radiologie am Raschplatz, Hanover
One of Europe’s most modern medical centres / Known for its high technical standards for CT, MRT and X-ray imaging. The place to go for cases requiring extremely precise diagnostic images. During the last modernisation, one of the most innovative magnetic resonance tomography devices (MRT) was put into operation.
Challenge / The key components of a superconducting MRT system (gradient amplifier, solenoid coils and helium compressor) must be precisely cooled, as this is essential to obtaining the sharp MRT images that are needed in this application. Keeping the entire cooling chain running reliably is always the top priority. Quiet operation is another important factor.
Solution / The planning engineers opted for a chiller from the MC series. Chillers of this type operate extremely quietly and fulfil the requirements for modern cooling solutions with refrigeration capacities between 40 and 75 kW. Various options create the possibility of devices in the style of a modular system. Remote control panels facilitate system control, energy-saving modules lower operating costs and system safety is increased with the installation of an emergency water supply module or filter kit.
A third of energy consumption is saved.
Automotive supplier, Germany
Plasma temperatures of around 600°C occur at the plant of an automotive supplier when engine components are being coated with a special PVD film. This is what creates the extremely high-quality components on which many large companies rely.
Challenge / In recent years, production has grown significantly due to increasing demand – and with it the need for cooling. The existing systems were still working, but used vast amounts of energy.
Solution / The correct temperature is now always guaranteed by two PC2241 (process cooling) and one PC2001 (air-conditioning) units from Riedel, each of which is combined with water-bearing free coolers. Process cooling and air-conditioning have been separated as they require different flow temperatures. The new cooling system has been moved outside and is controlled centrally via a control centre.
System benefit / Annual power consumption for production and air-conditioning has been reduced by 1.2 million kWh.
MRT diagnostics with the MC chiller.
Magnetic resonance tomography is able to deliver fascinating insights into the human body – provided that the equipment is cooled safely and with precision. Even the smallest temperature deviations can result in distorted images. At the Radiologisch-Nuklearmedizinisches Zentrum, a facility for radiological nuclear medicine in Lauf an der Pegnitz, Germany, Riedel refrigeration technology ensures reliable operation every single day.
Challenge / Generating strong magnetic fields requires particularly powerful solenoids, known as superconducting solenoids, which must be cooled to minus 269°C (4 K above absolute zero). Precision work of this nature requires an enormous amount of technology, with purchase costs ranging between 1.5 and 2 million euros – an investment that has to pay for itself as quickly as possible.
Solution / The Riedel MC chiller with an additional free cooler module on the roof ensures an efficient and reliable cooling supply. The ultimate goal is to avoid temperature fluctuations. At outside temperatures below 6°C, the free cooler uses the surrounding air as an additional source of cooling capacity. This results in lower power consumption. Total electricity costs per year have seen a reduction of as much as 5000 euros, and CO2 emissions have fallen too.
Networked cooling for TRUMPF.
The trend: Industry 4.0 / Networking autonomous machines is all the rage. Industrial processes and systems can be connected across industries and communicate with one another. This technology requires new approaches and new interfaces.
The pioneer / TRUMPF is the global leader for machine tools, lasers and electronics for industrial applications. The huge machines at its Stuttgart plant – and in the factories of TRUMPF customers around the world – are learning how to “speak” to one another. High-performance lasers and machine tools autonomously perform system analyses and sound the alarm at an early stage before problems occur. The individual modules and components have the capacity to think, helping to optimise the production process in a fully automated and intelligent manner. Efforts to network the machines fully are expected to yield a productivity gain of 30 percent within five years.
The partner: networked cooling / In order for networking to be productive, it needs the input of reliable partners. Machine tools (and integrated lasers in particular) produce heat and require continuous and precise cooling to run smoothly. For more than 30 years, GDD has been supplying global market leader TRUMPF with powerful and reliable cooling units. In the future, it will be possible to connect the GDTS cooling units to all the other relevant components in the network in which they operate. This means that it will also be possible to integrate the units into TRUMPF remote services, enabling remote access and all the advantages that this brings with it.
After an operating period of one year, for example, it may also be feasible to have the cooling module order replacements for its wear parts as a preventive measure – fully automatically. The parts could then be replaced in good time to prevent the possibility of extended, costly machine downtime. Thanks to the support provided by the Riedel experts, this means that TRUMPF is ideally equipped to face the future.