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Effectiveness of On-line Magnetic Filteration System on Vapor Absorption Machines : A Case Study of Sanatan Textiles, Silvassa

Introduction

Sanatan Textiles, based in Silvassa, commissioned their chiller model SS80ACUCH /01 in February 2012. The chiller performed trouble-free for 5 years till 2017. It faced a significant challenge in 2017 when an external practical issue caused the evaporator tube to fail, resulting in the loss of 500 kgs of lithium bromide. After replenishing the lost absorbent, the chiller continued to function trouble-free for three more years. However, after this period, the lithium bromide started to turn black, and the machine experienced crystallization issues three times. To address these concerns and prevent further failures, Sanatan Textiles agreed to a solution proposed by the Elixir technical team viz: installing an online magnetic filter and considering the replacement of the absorbent pump.

Chiller History and Previous Incident

The SS80ACUCH /01 chiller was installed in February 2012 at Sanatan Textiles’ facility in Silvassa. For the first five years, the chiller performed without any major issues, demonstrating its reliability and efficiency. In 2017, however, a significant challenge arose when an external issue with the chilled water (CHW) system caused the evaporator tube to fail. This failure led to the loss of 500 kgs of lithium bromide, a critical component in the chiller’s absorption process. Lithium bromide acts as the absorbent in vapor absorption machines, playing a vital role in the absorption refrigeration cycle. The immediate response involved replenishing the lost absorbent with 500 kgs of fresh lithium bromide, which restored the chiller’s operation.

Trouble-Free Operation and Subsequent Crystallization

Following the 2017 incident, the chiller operated trouble-free for the next three years. However, the lithium bromide began to turn black, indicating potential impurities in the system. This discoloration was a precursor to crystallization issues that plagued the chiller, occurring three times in quick succession. Crystallization within the chiller system poses a significant threat to its performance and overall efficiency. Crystals can obstruct the flow of the absorbent, reduce heat transfer efficiency, and ultimately lead to system downtime and increased maintenance costs.

Proposed Solutions for Enhanced Performance

To address the crystallization problems and enhance the chiller’s performance, Elixir’s technical team, in consultation with Thermax Product Experts, proposed a two-fold solution: installing an online magnetic filter and considering the replacement of the absorbent pump.

Installation of an Online Magnetic Filter: An online magnetic filter is designed to continuously remove impurities and debris from the chiller’s system. By capturing these contaminants before they can cause damage, the filter helps maintain the purity of the lithium bromide solution and reduces the risk of crystallization. This proactive filtration method ensures smoother and more reliable operation of the chiller.

Replacement of the Absorbent Pump: Given the chiller’s age and the cumulative wear on its components, the absorbent pump’s efficiency needed evaluation. Replacing the old pump with a new, more efficient model would ensure proper circulation of the lithium bromide solution, further reducing the likelihood of crystallization and improving overall system performance.

Customer Agreement and Collaboration

Understanding the potential benefits of these solutions, the technical team at Sanatan Textiles, led by Mr. V.V. Reddy, agreed to proceed with the installation of the online magnetic filter. This decision underscored the company’s commitment to improving their chiller’s performance and reducing maintenance-related issues. The collaboration between Sanatan Textiles and Elixir’s technical team highlighted the importance of proactive maintenance and advanced filtration technologies in maintaining optimal chiller performance.

Actions Taken

Installation of Online Magnetic Filter:

Elixir implemented the proposed solution by installing an online magnetic filter in the chiller system. This filter was designed to continuously remove impurities and debris, thereby reducing the risk of crystallization and enhancing overall chiller performance.

Regular Cleaning of the Filter:

To ensure the filter’s effectiveness, the maintenance team at Sanatan Textiles diligently cleaned the online magnetic filter at regular intervals. The first cleaning was performed 15 days after installation, followed by a second cleaning 15 days later. This regular maintenance regimen ensured that the filter remained free from accumulated debris, maximizing its efficiency.

Monitoring Lithium Bromide Samples

To gauge the impact of the online magnetic filter on the chiller’s performance, Elixir monitored the condition of lithium bromide samples before and after the installation of the filter. This monitoring provided valuable insights into the filter’s effectiveness in maintaining the purity of the absorbent solution and preventing crystallization.

Results and Benefits

The actions taken yielded significant improvements in the chiller’s performance, demonstrating the effectiveness of the online magnetic filter in addressing crystallization issues.

1. Reduced Crystallization Incidents

Following the installation of the online magnetic filter, the chiller experienced a marked reduction in crystallization incidents. By continuously removing impurities and debris, the filter helped maintain the purity of the lithium bromide solution, preventing the formation of disruptive crystals.

2. Improved Chiller Efficiency

With fewer crystallization issues and a cleaner system, the overall efficiency of the chiller improved. Reduced downtime due to maintenance and repairs contributed to enhanced productivity and cost savings for Sanatan Textiles. The chiller operated more reliably, providing consistent cooling performance.

3. Sustainable Performance

The regular cleaning and monitoring of the filter ensured its sustained effectiveness. This proactive approach to maintenance helped maintain the chiller’s improved performance over an extended period. By preventing the build-up of impurities, the filter contributed to the long-term reliability of the chiller system.

Conclusion

The case of Sanatan Textiles illustrates the critical role that advanced filtration technologies and proactive maintenance play in optimizing the performance of vapor absorption machines. The implementation of the online magnetic filter proved to be a highly successful solution, mitigating crystallization issues and enhancing overall chiller efficiency. This success story underscores the value of investing in modern filtration systems and maintaining a proactive maintenance schedule.

The online magnetic filtration system has become an indispensable component of Sanatan Textiles’ chiller model SS80ACUCH /01. By ensuring the purity of the lithium bromide solution and preventing crystallization, the filter has significantly improved the chiller’s reliability and performance. The collaboration between Sanatan Textiles and Elixir’s technical team highlights the importance of expert consultation and innovative solutions in addressing complex operational challenges.

In conclusion, the effectiveness of the online magnetic filtration system on vapor absorption machines is evident in the improved performance and reduced maintenance issues experienced by Sanatan Textiles. This case study exemplifies the benefits of adopting advanced filtration technologies and underscores the importance of ongoing maintenance in achieving operational excellence. By investing in such solutions, businesses can enhance the longevity and efficiency of their equipment, ensuring sustained productivity and cost savings.

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