Press Releases


January 27, 2011

Kurita Develops New Water Processing Technology to Save Energy in Refrigeration Systems Used in Factories and Office Buildings

Kurita Water Industries Ltd. (Head Office: Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, President: Hiroshi Saito) has developed a new "hybrid" cooling water treatment technology, which will help save energy in refrigeration systems installed in factories and office buildings by preventing the sliming and scaling of the systems.

By adopting this hybrid treatment technology, a constant concentration of active ingredients can be maintained in the cooling water treatment chemicals, which will lead to the effective protection from the sliming and scaling of refrigeration systems, preventing decrease in their thermal efficiency. The reduction of energy loss caused by sliming and scaling will result in an up to 10% increase in energy saving of the refrigeration system.

As part of measures to expand its water treatment chemicals business, Kurita will promote the use of this hybrid technology across a range of industries, including the electronics, automobile and food industries, targeting customers who need to reduce their CO2 emissions and utility cost by saving energy in refrigeration systems installed at their facilities.

1. Outline of the New "Hybrid" Treatment Technology

In recent years, an increasing number of customers have been striving to reduce energy loss caused by the decrease in the thermal efficiency of the refrigeration systems used for air conditioning and production equipment, with a view to reducing CO2 emissions at their factories and office buildings. For example at a large electronics plant, the operation cost of the refrigeration system could account for 20 to 30% of total energy costs, and there is strong demand for a technology able to maintain the original performance of the system.

As a general approach to maintaining the thermal efficiency of refrigeration systems, water treatment chemicals for the prevention of sliming and scaling* are added to the cooling water flowing inside the system. However, the active ingredients of the chemicals preventing the generation of slime and scale are consumed over time, resulting in the decreased performance of the chemicals. Such decrease (inability to maintain original performance) posed a technical challenge.

The hybrid treatment technology that Kurita has developed combines the following three elements to achieve the stable treatment of cooling water: (1) cooling water treatment chemicals with a higher sliming and scaling prevention performance; (2) technology to revitalize the active ingredients preventing sliming (automatic control of the concentration of the active ingredients); (3) technology to monitor and measure the thermal efficiency and other key performance indicators of the refrigeration system. The three technologies and elements are specified below.

  • *Slime: Contaminant formed by microbes such as underwater bacteria and algae
    Scale: Calcium or silica solid precipitated from water

(1) Cooling water treatment chemicals Towerclean HB-300 and Kurisour Multi HB-305

These cooling water treatment chemicals prevent sliming, scaling and corrosion more effectively than conventional products. In particular, they are highly effective in preventing the generation of slime. They remove bacteria and microorganisms floating in the cooling water flowing inside a refrigeration system and effectively remove the slime attached to the system.

(2) Technology to revitalize the active ingredients (automatic control of the concentration the active ingredients)

Kurita has developed a new technology to automatically control the concentration of the active ingredients contained in Towerclean HB-300 and Kurisour Multi HB-305. Specifically, a constant concentration of the active ingredients is maintained by adding a chemical agent that revitalizes (reactivates) the active ingredients and recovers their performance. The application of this technology will help maintain the effectiveness of the cooling water treatment chemicals in a stable manner.

(3) Technology to monitor the effect of water treatment

A remote monitoring system to check the quality of cooling water and the input amount of chemicals is combined with a technology to monitor the thermal efficiency and sliming and scaling of the refrigeration system, which enables verification of the effect of water treatment on the energy saving of the system.

2. Effect of Introduction (Benefits to Customers)

(1) Achievement of higher energy saving

By preventing the sliming and scaling of a refrigeration system to maintain its thermal efficiency, the energy saving of the system can be increased by up to 10%, which will in turn lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions. For example, at a large electronics factory in Japan (with a refrigeration ability of about 9,000 refrigeration tons), emissions of CO2 were reduced by 1,000 tons or more due to a decrease in the energy loss of the refrigeration system.

(2) Reduction in the maintenance cost of refrigeration systems

Compared with conventional treatment technologies, the hybrid treatment technology helps reduce the maintenance frequency of a refrigeration system (e.g. for cleaning), thereby helping to reduce its maintenance and operation costs.

(3) Maintenance of a hygienic environment

Through the more effective prevention of sliming, the environment in the cooling water can be kept clean to prevent it from becoming hospitable to Legionella bacteria.