Finite Element Methods can simulate a thermal convective flow of air. These air flows are for example used in chemical companies to create a insulative cover over a bath. Controlled air flows are used for this. They reduce evaporation and prevents hazardous gases to escape from the liquid. The company ‘To Improve’ also uses this to reduce evaporation in its galvanic baths. The goal was to reduce this evaporation above galvanic baths with a temperature of 80 C, and save on energy expenses. The reduction of the evaporation of the baths is also based on working conditions legislation. Simulate the air flows with a patented jet of To Improve.
CFD simulation of galvanic air cushion.
Physixfactor assessed the air flow patterns and the wind speeds above the warm bath for a standard system and the To Improve system. FEM simulations of the evaporation and the expected concentration of vapour gave a higher concentration directly above the bath with the To Improve system. A higher concentration of vapour directly above the bath causes less evaporation, while a lower exhaust rate prevents the vapour from spreading to the surroundings. The assessment of several variables (discharge velocities, discharge angle) led to further optimisation of the push-pull system.
Fem simulation of energy saving
The simulations resulted into settings that were tested in practice. The effects that were shown by the simulation, were confirmed by the test at the factory. These settings gave energy savings of more than 25%, and the evaporation and mixing of surrounding air diminished with this percentage as well. As an additional benefit the ventilation system could be put in a lower setting, so the energy savings were doubled!