Heat Exchange Group beats the competition to win another British Sugar contract

In the UK, sugar beet is grown in East Anglia and the East Midlands and is processed at British Sugar’s four advanced manufacturing plants which mean that sugar beet rarely travels more than 28 miles from field to factory. Heat Exchange Group has previously worked at the company’s Cantley and Wissington sites and recently completed the first part of a project to replace two economisers at the Newark plant.

British Sugar has run the original economisers at Newark since 1974, which, as well as their modification in 1989, had been designed and manufactured by Green’s, now part of Heat Exchange Group. The design of the original economisers had been tailored for oil firing and comprised Steel H finned tubes.

The economisers needed to be replaced due to their condition. This also opened an opportunity to evaluate possible design changes. Specifically British Sugar was looking for Heat Exchange Group to investigate performance with reduced water inlet temperatures while maintaining other operating parameters. And also, possible increased performance whilst keeping water and flue gas sides pressure losses similar to or below the current levels. And there was also a need to keep the same footprint for the new equipment.

Furthermore, earlier change of the boiler fuel from heavy fuel oil to natural gas (with a view to move to biogas in the future) has prompted consideration of different types of heating surface.

Heat Exchange Group’s design and engineering teams initially looked at like-for-like replacement economisers and then explored various design options, varying water inlet temperatures and configurations and assessed the results.

As a result, British Sugar selected our design with helical (spiral) fin heating surface which will provide performance similar to the existing economisers, but occupying less space (reduced height).

The approved design was then manufactured in Heat Exchange Group’s Wakefield factory comprising a comprehensive solution consisting of flue gas inlet duct, flue gas outlet duct, flue gas side expansion joints, inlet/outlet and by-pass dampers, canopy above the economisers and water inlet and outlet pipe.

Each element was subjected to Heat Exchange Group’s rigorous inspection and testing regime before it was shipped to Newark for installation by the company’s installation team.

Mark Bretton, a Project Engineer at British Sugar said: “The investigations that Heat Exchange Group’s team presented were extremely thorough and we have been very impressed both with the quality of their workmanship and the quality of their onsite team who worked hard to minimise disruption to our operations.”