|The 9th annual Gas Energy Management Awards (sponsored by Phoenix Supply and Invest NI) were held recently in Belfast. The aim of these awards is to celebrate the steps being taken by the local business community to be more energy efficient, and in doing so save money and the environment.
Among the winners of the Energy Conservation Award were the Ministry of Defence at Kinnegar Barracks, Holywood, Co. Down. They operate a major logistics facility incorporating vehicle maintenance and storage facilities. Vehicles and equipment entering long term storage require a low humidity environment to inhibit corrosion and prevent fungal growth. Following the initial conversion of the main heating system from oil to gas work continued to improve the environment and reduce costs. Humidity experts Munters supplied desiccant dehumidifiers, through local contractors BL Refrigeration and consultants White Young Green, complete with a Heat Recovery System, which were installed in two of the large vehicle sheds.
The Heat Recovery System saves energy in two ways. It collects waste heat off the hottest section of the desiccant wheel and uses it to help with the regeneration. This reduces the energy required for reactivation whilst also reducing the discharge temperature of the process air, resulting in lower energy costs for post cooling (if required).
As a result of installing the desiccant dehumidifiers equipment can be stored for lengthy periods of time while remaining available for immediate deployment. The operating time for the heating system has been significantly shortened and the carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced by 1,000,000kg per annum.
Desiccant dehumidification is a much more energy efficient form of humidity control and condensation prevention for stored goods, as typically it uses two thirds less energy than heating a building.
The Munters Principle - how it works
The system is designed around the desiccant drying rotor, which is the moisture absorbing component at the heart of the dehumidifier. Air to be dehumidified is drawn into the plant room and then through the rotor in the desiccant dehumidifier, where moisture is absorbed and the resulting dry air is delivered back to the cables. Simultaneously a separate air flow is heated and drawn through the remaining sector of the rotor. This air removes the moisture from the rotor and is discharged to the atmosphere.