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We are excited to share the latest results from the first full-scale, commercial vacuum pan that has been fitted with the Dimple Tube Technology. This confirms the anticipated performance as recorded during trials, with the dimple tubes installed in a commercially operated, real world, environment.

The performance data was collected over two months of sugar factory operations, during the same time of year (April and May) in 2022 and 2023 to compare performance of a vacuum pan with plain tubes to the same vacuum pan with Dimple Tubes. In total, over 525 separate vacuum pan cycles were analysed and compared.

Despite an extremely low purity start to the 2023 season, the vacuum pan in question still significantly outperformed the previous year’s results with plain tubes. As purities began to normalise the same vacuum pan cycle time was an average of 32.6% faster than in 2022, with weekly average vacuum pan cycle times of between 29% and 36% faster over a five-week period.

These results were obtained at the same process parameters over the two seasons with slightly improved crystal growth rate and quality achieved during the 2023 season.

Summarising this technology and the opportunity that it provides sugar factories and refineries:

  •  Extensive performance data analyses show an average cycle time improvement of 32.6% in a real-world application, confirming the pilot plant trial results of 30%
  •  Implementation costs are significantly lower, ≈50% of alternative options
  •  Implementation and disruption to operations is significantly reduced
  •  Some tubes have been in operation for four years, stop day and off-crop inspections have confirmed no fouling has been experienced during this period. This includes other applications on a high-grade refinery vacuum pan.

We are excited about the opportunity that this technology provides our clients to improve vacuum pan capacity and the potential for energy efficiency applications. If you are experiencing vacuum pan capacity constraints, please contact us for further information and a quotation.