A cheese company in Ohio foresaw the need to upgrade its whey processing equipment in order to accommodate an increase in whey volumes that would result from a plant expansion. The cheese company approached Caloris for assistance with this whey plant upgrade.
With whey supply coming from two different plant locations in the cheese company’s operations, Caloris designed a system that would be able to handle the whey streams from both plants separately or at any mixed ratio desired. The new system also had to be able to handle streams that were supplied either hot or cold.
Caloris offered a new MVR evaporator system utilizing turbofan technology to achieve the desired water evaporation, with a system design that offers significant operating flexibility and minimizes maintenance requirements. MVR turbofans generate heating vapors by compression of the water vapors evaporated from the product. Energy consumption is minimized by utilizing a highly efficient MVR turbofan driven by electrical power to achieve the water evaporation duty. A nominal quantity of steam is required for preheating and pasteurization of the incoming feed product, to promote venting of non-condensable gases from the evaporator system, and otherwise as necessary to maintain an overall evaporator system energy balance that is positive.
The preheating system was designed to automatically adjust as needed for varying feed volumes and temperatures. Also, the evaporator system is capable of producing 43%TS whey concentrate that discharges “hot” to minimize lactose crystallization during transport, or 32%TS whey concentrate that discharges “cold” utilizing flash cooling to minimize demand on the plant coolant utility.
To optimize building height requirements, the evaporator system was designed using relatively short calandria tubes, requiring use of product recirculation within each of the product passes to ensure thorough wetting of the heat transfer tubes at all times. This use of recirculated product flow offers the advantage of effective system operation at turndown capacity without risk of premature heat transfer surface fouling. Even with this generous recirculation of product within each pass of the evaporator, all product passes operate with a relatively modest volume of product in the lower product sump, resulting in a reasonably short overall product residence time within the evaporator system and relatively quick displacement of whey solids from the system during rinses.
Since being put into operation, the facility’s operators have reported they are extremely satisfied with the performance of the new evaporator versus their old evaporation system.
The enhanced performance of the new system is due to the use of new turbofan technology, as compared to the more restrictive high-speed MVR compressor that this new evaporator replaced. For more information on how this updated technology can enhance productivity, efficiency and safety in your operation, visit our blog or download our white paper, “MVR Evaporator Upgrades: High-Speed Compressor & Turbofan Replacements for Improved Reliability and Performance.”