The R&D team at Solar Atmospheres has developed a new hot zone design concept to reduce vacuum furnace power losses (kw) by up to 50%. Energy loss has long been a concern among vacuum furnace engineers and solutions to this problem have been extremely slow in coming to market, states Solar.
This innovation was based on thermal loss calculations paired with extensive laboratory vacuum furnace testing. The improved hot zone will be more energy-efficient in the same insulation dimensions and without compromising vacuum performance. Although initial costs are somewhat higher, payback with reduced energy costs is expected within the first year of operation with significant savings to occur in the following years.
To test-drive the design and make a direct comparison to current hot zones, Solar Atmospheres is rebuilding a mid-size production vacuum furnace hot zone in its corporate headquarters, Souderton, PA, USA. Very careful power measurements will be obtained with a Fluke Model 1735, true RMS, power computer and with fixed hot zone thermocouples placed within the new hot zone insulation system at soaking temperatures of 1600F, 1800F, 2000F, 2200F, 2400F, 2600F and 2800F to prove out the design. Testing will begin in early 2012 so results “proving out” this design will be released in the near future.
Visit www.solaratm.com for more information.
Edited by: Paul Whittaker, Editor ipmd.net, [email protected]