A Swift Remedy for an Underperforming Heat Exchanger in Critical Drying System

At Turnbull & Scott we always welcome calls from customers and try to assist them as effectively as we can. Recently, we were able to resolve an issue at Standhill Farm, a highly innovative and diversified farming operation located almost on our doorstep, just outside Hawick in the Scottish Borders. 

Operated by the Shanks family since 1951, Standhill was originally geared towards dairy production but in recent years it has diversified to amazing degrees. Today in addition to producing milk it is involved in large scale tomato production in a whopping four-acre glasshouse, and green electricity generation via a turbine-generator set-up that uses cow slurry derived methane gas as fuel.

To heat the four-acre glasshouse, two wood chip fuelled biomass boilers are used to produce hot water. The wood is locally sourced, and chipped and dried before being fed to the boilers. To dry the wood chip some hot water from the biomass boilers is diverted to a large 365kW water-to-air heat exchanger where heat is transferred from the hot water to the air for drying. This is a vital component in the process, critical to Standhill’s operations, but it was found to be seriously underperforming delivering only 160kW of heat instead of the target 365kW.

This is where we were able to come in and see what we could do to resolve the issue. Our team determined the heat exchanger needed to be removed from its housing and drained for a thorough examination. It was quickly determined that heat transfer was being inhibited by dust and small particle debris on the heat exchanger tubes and surrounding ductwork. The team set to work with a power washer, noting no structural damage while cleaning, resolved the problem and re-installed the heat exchanger within a couple of hours.

Turnbull & Scott were glad to support this local, innovative, and highly sustainable business. If you have underperforming water-to-air heat exchangers in your drying operations and need assistance, get in touch with us by clicking on the button below.