Try out our
interactive drying simulator (new window) to understand the way exact humidity measurements can lead to more efficient energy use and higher yields.
When it comes to drying of food, for example, most experts agree that it is important to dry it enough to avoid microbial growth and to keep the product safe. On the other hand, minimizing the drying process will save you on energy and costs, as seen in the drying simulator. The key is to increase the input volume or the humidity levels just enough to minimize energy usage but not too little so that the end-product quality does not suffer.
Therefore, finding the optimal conditions and being able to keep them stable is the key to lower cost and energy efficient manufacturing.
As to what levels to set, this will depend on the product attributes, such as the desired aw value of the end-product. Since the optimal input volume varies based on the product you’re drying, a universal drying theory does not exist. It is basically up to the manufacturer to define the optimal exhaust air relative humidity or dew point levels. But in the drying phases, regardless of the level desired, knowing the values of parameters like sticky point, adsorption isotherm and glass transition point (Tg) and keeping the conditions stable with accurate and stable HUMICAP sensor measurement technology (pdf) is essential and a key methodology for developing more cost and energy effective manufacturing processes.