Ro-Flo’s have been employed in power plant condenser service for many decades. They have been employed to increase steam turbine efficiency through back pressure relief. To minimize corrosion and fouling issues (due to biological growth), Ro-Flo’s remove dissolved gases, such as carbon dioxide and oxygen.
Vegetable Chilling with Vacuum Cooling
Imperial Valley Lettuce Farm uses Ro-Flo’s to extend the shelf life and safety of produce. Following field picking and crating, skids of produce are loaded into rail car sized vessels that are either stationary at processing centers or truck mounted for mobile field side work. These vessels clean and disinfect the goods with a spray and rinse system. Following that, Ro-Flo compressors kick in and begin to pull a deep vacuum (26 inches of Hg vacuum) on the vessel. As the vacuum deepens, the remaining water on the produce vaporizes. Reducing the vessel pressure cools the produce down to 33-34 °F, via the latent heat of vaporization. In about 30 minutes, tons of produce are left safe, chilled and dried, dramatically increasing shelf life.
Ro-Flo’s hard cast components and aramid fiber (similar to Kevlar®) reinforced phenolic blades have become the preferred compressor choice for this service. The water saturated disinfectant stream is hard on components and has caused premature cylinder wear on other rotary vane supplier’s machines. Further, carbon fiber blades are not compatible with the process and delaminate quickly (in fact, edge delamination of carbon blades has been noted in as little as ten hours of service).
Cost is king in food processing, and Ro-Flo’s reliability and ease of repair are well regarded. Up time is as critical in the produce fields as it is in any market and Ro-Flo’s up time track record is excellent.