Industrial drying is attributed a share of 12-25 % of national industrial energy consumption. Drying and dehydration are among the most energy-intensive and widespread processes in industry and are currently based predominantly on fossil fuels. The research project EDDY focuses on optimising industrial drying in the agricultural commodity and food industries. The concept combines newly developed low-cost sensors for inline process analysis with advanced numerical models to enable energy-efficient drying processes. The energy demand for drying and dehydration can thus be reduced by about 60 %.
„Leading through information! EDDY gives us insight into the drying process and thus into the data basis for process optimisation. Our concept is transferable to a wide range of industrial drying processes and sectors.“
During the project the following targets will be aspired:
Inline monitoring of product moisture in drying processes with novel, compact and cost-effective optical IR sensor technology that enables real-time control
Optimised operating strategies based on numerical models and monitoring data (increase productivity, reduce CO₂ emissions and operating costs, ensure high product quality independent of external factors), designing measures to further increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources (e.g. heat pumps).)
EDDY’s heart is an innovative, compact and cost-effective optical infrared (IR) sensor. Conventional humidity sensors (e.g. hygrometers, psychrometers) can only measure the humidity and not the product to be dried. Therefore, a new sensor based on IR spectroscopy is being developed to detect the moisture of the product itself. Although IR spectroscopy is already well established in process analytics, IR spectrometers for drying processes are currently too expensive and not robust enough. In the framework of EDDY a low-cost IR moisture sensor is being developed that is robust, reliable and stable over the long term. It is used in drying processes at the industrial partners AGRANA Stärke GmbH and Fischer Brot GmbH.