A major German car manufacturer decided to minimise the environmental impact of its vehicle production process by using a heat transfer fluid produced by an environmentally-friendly process in the main cooling circuit that cools the test chamber facility for its vehicles.
After searching for an appropriate, sustainable product, the manufacturer chose a fluid made from natural raw materials: Thermera® R, a heat transfer fluid from Climalife.
With specific requirements, the manufacturer contacted SIEGLE + EPPLE GmbH & Co. KG, a specialist in ventilation and climate control for over 94 years, based in Stuttgart, Germany. SIEGLE + EPPLE offer unique custom solutions and can completely redesign facilities and buildings. The company offers a variety of services that are easily adapted to their client’s needs. With two factories and seven branches in Germany, the family-owned business SIEGLE + EPPLE is built on the principles of sustainable development, durability, and flexibility.
When the facility was designed, the teams focused on cold energy transmission, which requires a lot of energy. The facility includes primary and secondary circuits. The secondary closed circuit is used for free cooling the test chamber to outside temperatures of 9°C (at which point the refrigeration machines become inactive). During the summer when temperatures are higher, the refrigeration machines in use are cooled by the secondary circuit.
The new refrigeration facility is made up primarily of 6 cooling units in a closed circuit which, with the heat exchanger set to 32/27°C (entry/exit) and a rate of 350 m³/h each, produce approximately 1,500 kW of energy. Three main 1000 m³/h pumps help Thermera R® circulate in stainless steel piping with a nominal diameter (DN) of 500. These pipes supply three plate heat exchangers capable of providing 4,500 kW per unit.
The facility has a volume of 63,000 litres. The main difficulty was filling the facility, which is 30m high, using tankers. To tackle that challenge, they connected 14 high-pressure hoses, each 6 meters long, to a pump with a discharge pressure of around 7 bar. It took 1.5 days to fill the facility.
When the facility was full, the team once again checked the antifreeze and pumped the fluid through the circuit several times with the main pumps in order to remove any air that might be present. Since it was put into operation in August 2015, the facility has been functioning perfectly.
Thanks to both the physical characteristics and the environmentally-friendly nature of the betaine-based Thermera® heat transfer fluid, all the requirements and wishes of the car manufacturer were met.
Solution: Thermera®, betaine-based heat transfer fluid
The non-toxic product, which is derived from sugar beet, has excellent corrosion-resistant properties. It is environmentally friendly and does not have to be diluted. Two ready-to-use versions are available: Thermera® R (-35 °C) and Thermera® AC (-15°C).
Because Thermera® provides excellent thermal and microbiological stability and requires few inhibitors, its lifetime capability is just as good or even better than that of some traditional fluids.
For the car manufacturer, Thermera® R coolant is an ideal solution since it unites production and environmentalism and improves their environmental footprint.