Saturday 24 July 2010

Alternative Methods Cut 60% off Energy Needs: Conservation of Energy

A combination of alternative energy and computational modelling developed by CSIRO in collaboration with Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) and the Australian Prune Industry Association has cut energy requirements by 60 per cent in some areas of food processing.

This is how the ever rising need for energy can be halted and reversed. In most process industries (and in the home) there are always alternative ways of doing things. We are not talking about alternative energy we are talking alternative strategies. My pet favorite is air conditioning. The hotter the country the more need for air con - BUT, solar thermal assisted air con works really well in hotter locations. And it uses over 50% less electricity than 'traditional' air con systems.

But the Prune Industry Advisory Committee Chair Malcolm Taylor said reducing the cost of the dehydration process was of major interest.
"We were very interested in working with HAL and CSIRO to improve the cost efficiency of dehydration as it is a major proportion of total production costs," Mr Taylor said.
"Through this research, we expect companies will see major savings in energy, money and green house gas emissions as well as increases in throughput."

CSIRO’s Dr Henry Sabarez said that through experimental investigations at laboratory and commercial scale, assessment of operational practices pluscomputer modelling of dehydration tunnel design and performance, significant increases in energy efficiency and throughput had been made. 

"In addition, further energy savings are likely with retrofitting of both heat recovery and solar-based heating systems in existing dehydrators," Dr Sabarez said.

"Working with the prune industry has shown the real bottom-line benefits that are possible from this approach. Other parts of the food processing industry, and indeed other processing industries, will also benefit."

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