Bosch patented energy recovery concept provides cost savings for hot water shower sterilisers

Hot water shower sterilisers are used in the pharma industry for the sterilisation of liquids in 100% sealed containers

Thanks to the new patented energy recovery concept for hot water shower sterilisers from the Bosch subsidiary Schoeller-Bleckmann Medizintechnik (SBM), users achieve energy savings of up to 40% in heating, and 60% in cooling

With a new patented energy recovery concept for hot water shower sterilisers, Bosch Packaging Technology enables users to achieve significant energy savings in heating and cooling during the sterilisation process.

The concept was developed by Schoeller-Bleckmann Medizintechnik (SBM), a Bosch Packaging Technology company.

SBM's hot water shower sterilisers are used in the pharma industry for the sterilisation of liquids in 100% sealed containers, such as vials.

Bosch says the advantages of this process are short overall cycle times, particularly for temperature-sensitive products. An individual adjustable counter pressure prevents the container from breaking or distorting during the entire cycle. The process includes filling with water, heating, sterilising and cooling.

'By using the new energy recovery concept from SBM, pharmaceutical companies can significantly reduce the amount of heating and cooling energy, and can flexibly use it with several sterilisers,' the company says.

The concept not only works with SBM's hot water shower sterilisers, but also with sterilisers from third party providers.

By using the new energy recovery concept from SBM, pharmaceutical companies can significantly reduce the amount of heating and cooling energy

The self-contained, independent system consists of a multilayer storage tank, which is divided into several temperature zones and piped to the steriliser 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 steriliser.

The water temperature of the sterilisation 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 steriliser, and heats up again. By using existing cold water from the multilayer storage, manufacturers can reduce the amount of additional and costly, cooling medium. An intelligent control system enables the energy to be stored in the storage tank’s different temperature zones. After the steriliser 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 significantly reduces the required amounts of heating and cooling media. As a result, up to 40% of the initial heating energy can be saved. Thanks to an additional heating exchanger integrated in the storage tank, the saving potential amounts to 60% for cooling energy.

'Apart from the saving potential in heating and cooling, a lower amount of overall media consumption also leads to smaller tank sizes,' says Isa Alkan, Head of Sales at SBM.

A lower amount of overall media consumption also leads to smaller tank sizes

'With these savings, companies can contribute to environmental protection and optimise their “green” image.'

Fully automated controls enable operators to control and configure the energy recovery concept. Furthermore, an operator control device, designed by SBM, ensures that the energy recovery concept can be activated and deactivated at any time, independently from the steriliser’s controls.

If a customer requires simultaneous usage with several sterilisers, additional heat exchangers can be piped to the stationary storage tank.

SBM also offers a retrofit package for existing machines, consisting of engineering, delivery, installation, start-up, documentation and qualification according to current pharmaceutical standards.

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