International. Trumpf, a manufacturer of industrial machines, developed a sustainable cooling solution for laser cutting machines. Conventional refrigeration systems use fluorinated gases, also known as F gases, as a refrigerant. In contrast, the brand's Eco Cooler uses pure water as a coolant.
As a result, it uses up to 80 percent less energy for cooling and completely dispenses with harmful substances. The company ensures that the solution is unique in the sheet metal industry.
"Sustainability increasingly offers a key competitive advantage, especially given rising energy costs," says Stephan Mayer, CEO of Trumpf. "To ensure their operations remain viable, sheet metal processors should switch to climate- and environmentally friendly technologies. The Eco Cooler will help our customers save energy and reduce the use of harmful substances in production. We see an opportunity here to improve the environmental footprint of the industry as a whole and reduce costs at the same time."
The Eco Cooler was developed by Trumpf in collaboration with Efficient Energy. Following the EuroBLECH trade fair, this new solution will be available for Trumpf laser cutting machines from the 1000 to 5000 series.
First use of water as a coolant
Trumpf and Efficient Energy managed to develop a water-based cooling solution as a mass production system for use in sheet metal processing. The Eco Cooler takes advantage of the excellent cooling properties of water and works as follows: water flows into heat-generating components such as laser diodes, optics, drives and control cabinets. Once these components are cooled, the water returns to the Eco Cooler, where it is cooled by a heat exchanger in an innovative process involving evaporation, compression and condensation. "The Eco Cooler works like a heat pump," explains Andreas Hultsch, Trumpf's project manager. "It allows users to control the temperature of components that generate heat during laser processing and also regulate volume flow rates."
Lower costs, better environmental protection
With Eco Cooler, on average, carbon emissions are reduced by 15 metric tons per year, which equates to savings of around €10,000. F-gas dispensing eliminates refrigerant costs and reduces another 12 metric tons of carbon. The solution is ideal for all sheet metal processors who want to make their operations more sustainable and also more economical, from newcomers to industry to smart factory operators. In many countries around the world, state funds are available for companies looking to make this transition. Depending on the machine's capacity utilization and the level of government support, the Eco Cooler can be amortized in three years.