Hot time in the summer

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Most of North America has been in a heat wave for the past week or so, which has been great for those lucky people who have been on vacation during this time. It is a fantastic time to have the choice on how you want to keep cool, or if you prefer enjoy that heat outside hopefully with a cool place to duck into if needed. But for industry, these times can be the hardest on both employees and equipment. Most plants do not have air conditioning, so large fans and plenty of water is normal, but other methods have been used to keep everybody hydrated. In our plant, the afternoon shift gets the worst conditions, solar gain peaks at that time period, and after the sun sets, cooling finally starts to happen.

At other plants, like a majority of our customers, those conditions are harder with equipment like extrusion press, heating aluminum billet up to 1000 F°, die ovens and aging ovens all add to the heat. These pieces of equipment run continuously so relief within the plant can be difficult. Some locations also have paint lines where ovens are used to bake the paint onto the extrusions, another heat source.

Now only if we could find a way to store this heat, and use it when that mercury drops below freezing, but I maybe only dreaming of course (or maybe not). Heat pumps have been available for a while to recover heat from the ground, but storage is the question. Can we find a way to store this heat, without losing it over the cooler months, and then extract it when needed?

Technology has developed solar panels to use the sun to our advantage; can we do the same for heat storage?

Any suggestions?

– Neil Chappell
Albarrie Head Office

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One Response to “Hot time in the summer”

  1. NZ Heat pump Says:

    I love heat pumps. They are indeed a life saver. Not every one can go out on a vacation every time just to escape the heat, luckily, we can all have heat pumps and they are very efficient.

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