Distilled water is sufficient for the Eco Cooler to cool the laser machine. A further advantage: it uses up to 80 percent less energy than conventional cooling systems. This is because it works like a heat pump: In a closed circuit, the water cools the heat-generating components of the laser system, such as laser diodes, optics, drives and electrical cabinets. The heated water flows back into the Eco Cooler, where it cools down again through evaporation, compression and condensation. The Free Cooling option saves up to 30 percent more energy. For this purpose, a water-air heat exchanger is set up outside the building. This exchanger uses the ambient temperature for cooling. If it is below 17 degrees Celsius, it cools completely without the evaporator in the interior space. If the outside temperatures are higher, the evaporator starts automatically. With the use of free cooling, users can receive funding from the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA). The environmentally friendly cooling solution has been available for TRUMPF laser cutting machines in the 1000 to 5000 series since EuroBLECH 2022. With the Eco Cooler, TRUMPF supports its customers in aligning their production to reduce energy and pollutants, thereby improving the environmental footprint of the entire industry and saving costs at the same time.
In March 2021, the TRUMPF technicians arrived at the Krämer facility and exchanged the previous chiller for the new Eco Cooler. "We kept the old chiller as a backup in case something didn't work during the test phase," recalls Martin Krämer. But it was never used: The retrofit and start-up of the devices went smoothly and after minimal installation time the new chiller went into operation – and has been cooling without fail ever since. It saves Krämer 5.4 tons of CO2 emissions and more than 13,500 kilowatt hours of electricity every year. "Given the current energy prices, the plus in terms of sustainability is also an economic advantage," says Krämer. "And since we no longer use coolant, the risk to the environment is also much lower. If a hose leaks, only water will leak out." The free cooling option has proven particularly effective at the Krämer facility. Martin Krämer explains: "The external chiller is extremely effective for us. It stands in a corner that is always shaded, even in summer. That's why we have an extremely high free-cooling percentage of over 60 percent of the usage time."