Removal of coolant emulsion from door profile forming process.
SolvAir were approached by Rail Operators on the East Coast of England looking for an Air Knife System solution that would work with a washing system to improve the quality and reliability of their trains across four seasons of weather. The Operators wanted in particular to minimise disruption when temperatures dropped below freezing, as for example this could result in door seals freezing.
“The overall performance of our system, and its exceptional energy efficiency, surpassed even SolvAir’s expectations!”
The Rail Operators were considering proposals for a new train/carriage washing system. Existing washing systems had encountered problems that they felt needed addressing. These included water staining on windows, door seals freezing during cold winter periods, and trains leaving the washing system still wet.
A drying system was therefore needed, as this would ensure that trains and carriages leave the washing station in a clean and completely dry state.
The drying system would also need to be low maintenance – cleaning areas are unmanned, and so the drying system would need to operate automatically, be able to run in all types of weather, as well as being highly energy-efficient – both to keep costs down and due to a limited electrical power supply at the location.
On reviewing the requirements of the project, our engineers immediately considered a system divided into two sections, as this would avoid any mechanical or electrical connections having to be made overhead or below ground – which carry risks of accidental damage.
SolvAir designed and supplied a powerful blow-off system, positioned at the exit point of train carriage washing stations, that is able to fully remove water from the surface of passing trains and carriages.
The air devices had to be a safe distance away from the train. So we opted for a series of fixed position SV10 nozzles with a full 250mm clearance. SV10 nozzles are more effective when working at longer distances from surfaces, as opposed to linear air knives that are more effective at a maximum distance around 100mm.
Our system placed the nozzles in the optimum position – an angled arrangement to remove the water from the carriage, starting from top to bottom. The final manifold had 26 nozzles spaced positioned and configured to optimally cover a huge 3000mm span.
Providing the air to the nozzle manifolds was 2 AT1200 15kW High-Speed centrifugal blowers. Each blower is contained within a robust enclosure protecting it from the elements. The AT1200 is an industry-leading, highly efficient centrifugal blower, specifically aimed at Air Knife drying and blow-off applications. The simple design includes an electric motor and high-speed turbocharger connected by a belt drive. It is low maintenance, and annual servicing is limited to a drive belt and air inlet filter only. The reliability of the blower is backed up by our unmatched 3-year warranty.
The end solution was a compact yet powerful drying system that boasted exceptional energy efficiency.
The videos above show the system in action. Even with substantial amounts of water on the surface of the train as it exits the wash station, our system effectively removes moisture using the powerful airstream from its series of Air Nozzles. Trains departing the system are cleaned and dried without risk of icing and/or water staining.
As well as this, the compact design and layout of the system means that it is easily located in existing train washing set-ups. It’s pipework and mountings, fixed in position, are all constructed from stainless steel and galvanised steel meaning it is able to operate in a wide range of weather conditions, and with 24/7 operation.
The overall performance of our system, and its exceptional energy efficiency, surpassed even SolvAir’s expectations!
This was a first of its kind design and installation for SolvAir, and we built on our industry expertise and knowledge to create an effective system which surpassed all aspects of the criteria set by the client.
Moving forward, the potential for compact, low maintenance, all-weather, powerful drying systems within the transport industry is enormous!