I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this, but I watch TV reruns from the 70s to wind down before going to sleep. Lately, I've been enjoying episodes of “The Price Is Right” on PlutoTV. You wouldn’t think a nearly 50-year-old game show would be all that entertaining, but the show’s winning format — still in use on new episodes airing weekdays on CBS — holds the same charms then and now: funny but harmless host, attractive models displaying prizes and merchandise, seemingly easy games of chance. Though I can’t guess the pricing on these old shows with any degree of accuracy, that part of the game isn’t what keeps me watching the reruns anyway. I tune in to see an America I almost don’t recognize at times even though I lived through it.
Did we really once think leather-padded wine-barrel furniture was the height of luxury, a prize to be coveted? Or gold- or silver-plated tea services, enormous brass beds and even more enormous home appliances with outsized analog controls? And Johnny Olson describes “A new car!” with fabulous options like an AM/FM radio, tinted windows and power brakes on every episode.
While certainly, no process heating technologies are on display, it’s possible to imagine the state-of-the-art equipment that was used to create the prizes seen. Some of the then-novel technologies have become industry-standard approaches. At the same time, the technologies seem hopelessly dated: The Internet is years in the future, as is the rise of cloud computing, remote equipment monitoring, intelligent controls and data analytics, to name a few.
Yet the state-of-the-art is always evolving. Even today's modern insights will someday seem as dated as mantle-clock aquariums and transistor radios. (When’s the last time you thought of power-assisted brakes as an upgrade?) This evolution is on display in this issue of Process Heating, in an article about heat transfer fluids and high temperature pumps. For decades, 750°F was generally accepted as the upper temperature limit for thermal fluid heating applications. Yet, silicone oils now offer the possibility of significantly exceeding that 750°F limit, as Rainer Landowski of Dickow Pump Co. Inc. notes in his article. Equipment used with these fluids, including high temperature pumps, must be equally capable of performing at these temperature. Landowski offers his perspective on the state thermal pump technology.
Elsewhere in this issue, Brian Kelly of Honeywell Thermal Solutions explores how advancements in burner designs, firing and control techniques and connectivity can yield cost savings, greater productivity, enhanced product quality with fewer rejects, and reduced downtime. Christopher Brunn of Komline-Sanderson explains how vibrating fluid-bed dryer technology can be used to process pastes, cakes, powders and granules with direct heat transfer in a highly controllable manner. Also, Patrick Radish of Dürr Megtec looks at the process, coil configuration, performance and efficiency of a condensing solvent recovery system for lithium ion battery manufacturing.