Energy-Recovery System Saves Costs In Hot-Water Shower Sterilizers

December 15, 2014

Equipment and Processing Report

Schoeller-Bleckmann Medizintechnik (SBM), a Bosch Packaging Technology company, developed an energy-saving concept that reduces costs for both heating and cooling.

Schoeller-Bleckmann Medizintechnik (SBM), a Bosch Packaging Technology company, developed an energy-saving concept that reduces both heating and cooling energy. The system works with hot-water shower sterilizers from SBM and also with sterilizers from third-party providers.

SBM's hot-water shower sterilizers are designed to sterilize liquids in completely sealed containers. The advantage of this process is short overall cycle times suited for products that are temperature-sensitive. An individual adjustable counter-pressure prevents the container from breaking or distorting during the entire cycle.

The self-contained, independent system consists of a multilayer storage tank, which is divided into several temperature zones and piped to the sterilizer via a heat exchanger. The water temperature in the permanently filled storage tank increases from bottom to top. Separation planes prevent the temperature zones from mixing too quickly. The stored energy is used for both heating and cooling of the sterilizer.

The water temperature of the sterilization phase is usually 121 °C. During cooling, the hot process water flows through the heat exchanger, where it is cooled by cold water from the storage tank. The water in the storage tank thereby absorbs energy from the sterilizer and heats up again. By using existing cold water from the multilayer storage, manufacturers can reduce the amount of additional, costly cooling medium. An intelligent control system enables the energy to be stored in the storage tank’s different temperature zones. After the sterilizer has been reloaded, the energy in the multilayer storage can be re-used to heat the process water to 121 °C.

A continuous repetition of these process steps reduces the required amounts of heating and cooling media. As a result, up to 40% of the initial heating energy can be saved. An additional heating exchanger integrated in the storage tank can save up to 60% of cooling energy.

Source: Bosch Packaging Technology