JBT has introduced a technological break-through for static 1800mm Steam Water Spray (SWS) retorts, the Low Energy Suction System (LESS), which can deliver significant energy savings for food processors by reducing retort water volume by up to 45%. The bolt-on solution, which can be added to existing and new JBT retorts, saves on energy by decreasing heating and cooling costs per process through the use and re-use of a much more limited volume of water. In fact, most companies would expect to receive a return-on-investment within two years based purely on energy savings.
According to Rick Wilson, JBT’s Global Product Line Director for Retort & Rotary, the system is based around the concept of less being more. “In a static retort, the water transfers the energy to the product – if you can cut that water volume by half and run multiple cycles per day it saves a tremendous amount of energy heating and cooling the water over the life of the retort,” Wilson explains.
The system utilizes a special distributed suction that circulates the water inside the retort while maintaining a high enough level to avoid complications, such as pump cavitation.
“With less water to heat and cool, you not only save steam, but you also save on boiler chemicals, the amount of condensate you have to put down the drain, and less cooling water is needed on the cooling side,” says Wilson. “If you have a cooling tower, you have to run that less, so it saves on energy for cooling all of that water.”
Wilson estimates that a return-on-investment on the system can be realized within a year and a half to two years based on energy savings, meaning the solution is a “no-brainer” for many companies.
“Our intention is to retrofit LESS onto existing 1800mm retorts,” he adds. “We have hundreds of retorts out there we can retrofit and also new opportunities. We have sold four in the US and three in Asia so far, so LESS is now starting take off.”