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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    186

    Condensation and the USDA equals trouble

    We have a plant where they process pigs. When the carcasses come off of the kill floor they go into a "hot box". This is where they all are all hanging and they are cooled from mid 90's down to 40 ish before they are moved to the next room.

    Well as you can guess this hot moist air in that cool box is causing the bottom side of the evaporator pans to condensate. Once that steam rises and hits the bottom of that cold drain pan then the nightmare begins.

    The USDA does not allow any drops of condensation to drip on the hanging piggies. This is an older plant and unfortunately the coils are mounted above the railing instead of off to the side like newer plants.

    The customer is tired of getting written up for this and it has been going on for some time. Other facilities I know of actually wipe down the pans a few times a day with a pole and a rag.

    Airflow airflow airflow. We have tried blowing a large amount of air across the bottoms of these pans and it has helped but not cured.

    Anybody else fighting this battle?
    Only Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    2,361
    Insulate the condensate pans.
    Inslall an insulated backup condensate pan under the problem pans to collect the drips.
    Both of the above...belt and suspenders.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
    Mark Twain
    More at: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/education/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    186
    I considered the back up pan but as far as insulation goes they will not allow that. Since the room is continuously washed down they consider insulation a bacteria breeding ground.

    I hear ya though.


    There are 8 coils in this large room. I am also afraid that the back up pan might get some puddles of condensation inside of it that will be at 40 degrees and then make the secondary pan cold enough to condensate on the bottom side of that also.

    This is the nightmare I am living. It can be solved with a blank check written to me from the customer and I would just move the coils to the perimeter of the room but for some reason he is hesitant haha
    Only Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    2,361
    Is exposed, closed cell armaflex insulation allowable? If so,use that outside of the secondary pan. IF not, put a protective layer of metal over the insulation to protect it. If the insulation is in a metal "sandwich", it should be acceptable. Make a sample for written approval before proceeding.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
    Mark Twain
    More at: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/education/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Dry as a bone Tucson
    Posts
    4,208

    Dew point

    Can you raise the dew point of the pans by adding some heat tape to them?
    Some Talk, Some Do
    "keeping condensing pressures low and evaporator pressures high"
    Comfort is my goal
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,748
    Quote Originally Posted by ACFIXR View Post
    Can you raise the dew point of the pans by adding some heat tape to them?
    Precisely. Grocery stores do it all the time with mullion heaters.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Edna Bay, Alaska Highest concentration of black bears in the US
    Posts
    623
    Quote Originally Posted by ACFIXR View Post
    Can you raise the dew point of the pans by adding some heat tape to them?
    In fact aren't there kits for that? looks like a DF heater that lays in the bottom of the pan?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Edna Bay, Alaska Highest concentration of black bears in the US
    Posts
    623
    Now that I think about it, that is part of the DF system. I don't know why it couldn't be wired in series with the fans as long as the wattage wasn't too great.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    732
    Our company works in many meat processing plants. Secondary pans are the usual solution to a drippage problem. You would think that pools of water or steady drippage would cause the pan itself to sweat but it almost never happens. Of course, best practice is a pan with a generous slope to the drain so there is no chance of puddling.

    Adding a pan heater is problematic since it must be washdown proof. I worked maintenance in a processing plant and the same electrical problems would happen again and again due to the 600 PSI pressure used for washdown. We would cover critical electrical stuff before washdown and that high pressure would still find a way in sometimes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Edna Bay, Alaska Highest concentration of black bears in the US
    Posts
    623
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr.phil View Post
    Now that I think about it, that is part of the DF system. I don't know why it couldn't be wired in series with the fans as long as the wattage wasn't too great.
    I meant parallel.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Central California
    Posts
    186
    Quote Originally Posted by fxb80 View Post

    Adding a pan heater is problematic since it must be washdown proof. I worked maintenance in a processing plant and the same electrical problems would happen again and again due to the 600 PSI pressure used for washdown. We would cover critical electrical stuff before washdown and that high pressure would still find a way in sometimes.
    I couldn't agree with you more. I have a hard enough time trying to explain to these guys that the high pressure water mixed with steam does not need to be blasted at the evAp motors. I always lose the battle due to the language barrier. They lose at least a few motors a month.

    Secondary drip pans it is. There is enough room up there I think I can get some good fall on the pan
    Only Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Monmouth Junction-NJ-USA
    Posts
    5,996
    How about matching up the same unit with one for a freezeer and ordering drain pan heater that goes in the fan coil?
    Not sure but maybe you could adjust the wattage with resistor to keep it where the condensation does not form on pan. , Orrrrrrrrrrrrrrr if it is a 240v heater and you connect it to the 120v fan circuit you will put out half the watts.
    If you really know how it works, you have an execellent chance of fixin' er up!

    Tomorrow is promised to no one...

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