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Hennecke developed highly efficient foaming process for insulating Daikin’s new hot water tank

Photo by Hennecke GmbH

In modern house technology, going without a hot water tank is unthinkable. With state-of-the-art devices, contractors and heating modernizers can provide hot water with great energy efficiency. Thanks to high-quality insulation, hot water tanks impress with very low heat loss. To further reduce this heat loss, Daikin Europe from Oostende in Belgium recently achieved insulation of its hot water tanks with the help of polyurethane and a Hennecke production plant, which was perfectly adapted to the high requirements of the customer.

The energy efficiency of its product range is a top priority for Daikin. Even proven processes are therefore the focus of constant optimization. At K Trade Fair, the heating and climate specialist came to Hennecke with the idea of foaming the insulation of the hot water tank for its new generation Altherma floor-standing heat pump system with polyurethane. The insulation of the previous generation was carried out by an assembly of styrofoam half shells. To design the process as efficiently as possible, Hennecke developed an innovative mold carrier concept in collaboration with the customer. It enables a highly efficient foaming process, thus realizing perfectly insulated hot water tanks without thermal bridges.

In the new mold carrier plant, the hot water tank is foamed upside down. It is inserted outside of the mold between the upper and lower mold. The plastic upper tank cover is in the lower mold, because this material has a lower thermal conductivity which additionally improves the reaction process. The upper mold uses magnetic force to hold the steel floor along with connections and base joints. Then the lower mold moves up electromotive via a spindle drive and clamps the tank between the floor and cover. Instead of applying a release agent in the mold, a tube made of plastic film is pulled over the tank which separates the mold and polyurethane during the foaming process. The complete omission of release agent not only makes the process safer but also more environmentally friendly. The clamping device then moves the tank horizontally into the open mold. This is likewise realized via an electromotive spindle drive. The mold is closed and then locked via pneumatic cylinder. The arising internal mold pressure is thus diverted uniformly in the closed mold. The fluid reaction mixture then enters the film tube from the top by means of the manually guided type MT22 mixed. After the foam has finished expanding and has cured, the mold opens and the clamping device drives the hot water tank completely out of the mold for easy removal. The bottom and cover are then firmly connected to the hot water tank by the polyurethane foam, thus ensuring stability along with optimal insulation.

A TOPLINE high-pressure metering machine of size 650/650 assumes the metering task in the plant network. The metering unit is designed for processing the environmentally friendly blowing agent HFO. The plant also has an automatic formulation adjustment for various product sizes. Hennecke’s new IBC station is responsible for the optimal conditioning of the raw materials. In Daikin’s case, the IBC containers are not only used as transport containers but also as storage containers at the same time. This effectively reduces costs for raw material storage.

Daikin produces this type of hot water tank in sizes of 180 and 230 liters. Because the two variants are different lengths but have the same diameter, the plant can produce both sizes with little changeover work on the mold. To foam around the smaller tank, the lower mold extends higher for clamping. When foaming is finished, mechanics install the Daikin heat pump module and attach the exterior sheet metal cladding. After that, the unit is ready for packaging. Daikin plans the production of about 25,000 devices per year with the new plant technology.

For more information, please visit http://www.hennecke.com.