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When Pine Valley Ranch, a Spencerville, Ohio-based egg-breaking facility, was looking for an energy-efficient way to wash 600 cases of eggs an hour, it turned to Consolidated Hunter, a local heating contractor, and Pickrel Brothers, a leading provider of industrial heating supplies to help present options. Their recommendation? Install six Weil-McLain SlimFit 750 commercial high-efficiency hot water boilers.
“We’re an egg-breaking plant,” said Evan Fleck, an owner of Pine Valley Ranch. “Our eggs come straight from the barn and are immediately washed. Then they are broken, separated and chilled. Once this is done, they are loaded into liquid tankers and shipped to be pasteurized. Every step of the process is important, especially the washing of the eggs. We need plenty of hot water for that, as well as for other daily operations.”
The 4.5 million BTU/hour Pine Valley heating system supports seven individual heating zones. The first three zones are dedicated to the egg washing machines and supported with 750 BTU/hour boilers. The fourth and fifth zones support the clean-in-place equipment (990,000 BTU/hour heat exchangers) while the two remaining zones are for the indirect fired water heater and the on-site plant mixing station.
“Every zone is critical to ensuring a high-quality, efficient production process,” said Fleck. “We have more than 900,000 chickens at this facility and they produce a lot of eggs. The Weil-McLain boiler systems provides a consistent source of hot water to accommodate this large number.”
SlimFit boilers have been serving the heating industry since 2009 with rugged, cast horizontal heat exchanger sections that provide thermal efficiencies up to 95.8 percent (SlimFit 1000 and 1500 models). The boilers feature a low pressure drop design, with large water passageways to accommodate a wide range of commercial installations, including retrofit and replacement applications with older water systems.
The larger SlimFit 1000-2000 models feature a narrow “door-fit” profile and integrated roller casters for improved installation maneuverability in confined spaces and weight-restricted areas, saving contractors time and money. Other standard features include a composite condensate tray for heat exchanger longevity, customizable control mounting location (front or side) and leveling legs, which mitigate the need for a concrete service pad.
Control features include a setup wizard that guides the installer through the start-up process and 10 preset typical heating operation conditions. The SlimFit also features zone stacking up to 24 programmable zones without the need for additional external panels and 0-10 VDC analog output signal for easy integration with a lag boiler in a hybrid system.
“We really appreciate how the Weil-McLain boiler-system enhances our operation,” said Fleck. “The equipment was installed when the facility was built so they’ve been part of our production process from the beginning. Running a plant of this size always presents challenges, but our hot water needs are not one of them.”