Dust Collectors in Freezing Temperatures
If your factory has central dust collection in a location where temperatures could reach below freezing or even if it just gets very cold, chances are you know all about what happens when filter bags freeze. If you have a pulse jet dust collection system, you have more than just the bags to worry about too. According to Griffin Filters LLC,
Freezing temperatures, snow and ice can do a job on your [dust collector’s] diaphragm valves and header assembly and the combination of colder temperatures and moisture can seriously harm the valves. - Griffin Filter
The consequences of having frozen valves/bags or ice/moisture build up in your fan, silos, or housing can be anywhere from just an extra nuisance maintenance personnel have to deal with during winter months, to increased operating costs or significant downtime while making major repairs or replacements.
During winter months, it is standard practice to increase periodic maintenance of your dust collection system and you should keep accurate logs to ensure all preventative measures are always being completed to avoid unnecessary issues popping up. One measure some factories implement is leaving their dust collection systems running during all hours of the day/night even if no production is taking place. By constantly running, even if the ambient temperature does drop below freezing, chances of anything freezing up inside of your dust collection system are minimal. Of course, if you’re an automated factory that runs 24/7, maybe doing this doesn’t really have much of an impact on you, but if you have only 1 or 2 shifts of production, needing to run your dust collection system when no production is happening can have a serious impact on your operating costs and your bottom line. And that’s where Ecogate’s Winter Mode Sensor Kit comes in handy.
What is the Winter Mode Sensor Kit?
Ecogate’s Winter Mode Sensor Kit is one of the newer features available with a greenBOX Master control system (software version 17.0.7 or higher). The Automatic Winter Mode feature on the greenBOX uses two temperature sensors to read ambient air temperature - one near the dust collector (filters), and one inside of the ducting to avoid freezing issues. The greenBOX will activate Winter Mode if either sensor reads below a temperature set by the user during setup or if one of the sensors has malfunctioned. Once Winter Mode activates, the greenBOX Master kicks on the dust collector’s fan at a low operating speed, which can be set by the user, but not at 100% full speed like a conventional system would run all through the night.
Savings from Automatic Winter Mode
Using the Automatic Winter Mode feature on your greenBOX Master system instead of leaving your dust collection system on at full capacity all day long equals savings in two ways.
The dust collector doesn’t need to be running 24/7 anymore during winter months. Not only will your greenBOX Master power down your dust collection system at the end of the final shift when the last workstation becomes inactive, but it will also automatically kickstart the fan IF temperatures ever drop below the set temperature during the night. For example, if your set temperature is 39 F (4°C) and one night it only reaches 45 F (7°C), then your dust collector will sleep through the entire night and you will save 100% on all of that electricity that you would have otherwise consumed on a conventional system.
Even when temperatures drop below the set value, your greenBOX will kick start the fan at a much slower operating speed than normal production. So although your fan may be running through the night to avoid freezing, because of the fan law, running your fan at a lower operating speed, for example, just 30 Hz instead of 60 Hz at full capacity, you will save over 80% on your electricity consumption. Pretty amazing right?!
At a list price of $1,095 to add the Winter Mode Sensor Kit to your existing or new greenBOX Master package, I’d say that’s a steal for one less thing for your maintenance team to worry about AND all those additional savings.
To see how these savings look in action, check out this blog post, where we break down a live Ecogate system with a Winter Mode Kit sensor installed.
If you want to find out more information on our Winter Mode Sensor Kit or have any other questions about Ecogate, please feel free to reach out.
Author: Daniela Petrescu