Energy Efficient Drying Systems for the Dried Cured Meat Industry
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Production of dry-cured meat requires large amounts of energy. To reduce the running costs in the dry-cured meat industry, which are closely related to the energy needs, eight energy systems for drying of meat were simulated and compared. Realistic drying conditions, 13 degrees Celsius and 68 % humidity, were applied. The best performing system was a system using a CO2 heat pump, dehumidifying as little of the drying air as possible, above the freezing point. The second best was similar, except an ammonia heat pump was used, with glycol circuits for heat transfer. Heat pump drying resulted in improvements from 70 to 92 % compared to an existing solution with cooling and electrical heating. Utilization of excess heat could improve this further, and had a large impact. Dewatering as little of air as possible and avoiding extra temperature differences with glycol were other important factors. A system compressing the air to allow condensation at higher temperatures performed worse than the existing solution, but was simple and avoided the use of a heat pump. An attempt to model an adsorber was not completed, but a preliminary result, close to an estimation based on the rated power, resulted in savings of 60 %. However, if surplus heat could be utilized, the best heat pump system required about 85 % less energy than the adsorber. At the applied conditions, the adsorber seemed to be less efficient than heat pump systems.