In most cases our water evaporators are used to remove unwanted residues and provide a return-supply of clean water. However, we are seeing more and more cases where our machines are being used in production and manufacture of goods, by instead removing unwanted water, such as in the production of sea salt.
Recently Solutex have installed a WT250-HPS at a UK manufacturer of high quality sea salt. This machine evaporates and discharges 250 litres/hour of clean water. For this customer the unit was set to run for 14.5 hours, loading and then concentrating and continuously topping up the salt water inside the boiler until the end of the cycle.
Over this time period the machine is loaded with approximately 3,500 litres of sea water, containing 3.5% salt (NaCl). This is concentrated down to 550 litres containing approximately 120kg of salt (or ~21.8%).
Once the 14.5 hrs is completed, the batch of concentrated brine is discharged to a storage tank ready for the next stage of the process – creating the sea salt flakes – and a new batch is automatically begun.
Our evaporators are able to achieve all of this in an energy efficient and economical way. The water is heated under a vacuum, reducing the boiling point to just 30-35ºC. Instead of using electrical elements, the water is heated using a Freon heat-pump circuit and, once the water is evaporated as steam, is then condensed back to liquid form using the same – now cooled – Freon to further reduce energy usage. The whole system uses approximately 0.18kWh/litre. That equates to 30.42 gCO2/litre (at time of writing UK Electricity was being supplied on average at 169g/kWh, https://carbonintensity.org.uk/). For comparison, a kettle uses the same amount of energy just to heat one litre of water (assuming a 90% efficient kettle), this of course does not include; energy required to load water, vaporise it to steam, then condense it back to liquid and then pumping it out.
The investment in equipment has provided this customer with the ultimate flexibility, to suit demand, as well providing a very consistent brine output that allows for rapid salt generation. This has helped them maximise output, fulfil a growing order book and allow for expansion.