add remove How microwave technology works
Microwaves are electromagnetic waves with a frequency shorter than radio waves, but longer than infrared waves. A typical household microwave oven operates with a frequency of 2.45 GHz.
Liquids and foods can be heated up with microwaves because molecules react to them.
Typically, in microwave technology, we make use of the electric components of microwaves in combination with the electric components (ions, dipoles) of a material to create movement on a micro-scale level. This movement causes friction between the molecules and will result in heat development and a fast temperature rise of the material.
Microwaves make use of the materials’ own so-called dielectric properties. Since the dielectric properties of materials vary, the reaction speed and intensity will vary from one material to the next.
add remove The use of microwave technology in industrial processing
Microwave technology isn’t just suitable for warming up meals—it can also be used to heat up materials at scale. In fact: all processes that require heating up or drying of materials could potentially benefit from microwave technology.
Examples of industrial processes that can benefit from u-wave technology are:
• (Freeze) Drying
• Pasteurization, sterilization and decontamination of fluids
• Curing coatings
• And many more!
For many industrial processes, microwave technology is the fastest and most efficient way to transfer heat in industrial processing. And with our expertise we managed to optimize the process even further.
We built these four generations of microwaves, each building on the other and making the process more efficient and sustainable:
1. Uses only microwaves to heat the incoming materials
2. Heat from the transformers is used to preheat materials while in the cavity
3. Hot and/or moist air from the cavity is reused to preheat the incoming air
With this hybrid heat recovery setup, we achieve an increase in efficiency of 100% and drastically reduce energy loss.
add remove Microwave technology vs traditional heating methods
Traditional heating methods need to transfer energy to a heat transport medium (air/steam) first, which then heats up the material to be treated. Via surface heating, the products will warm up. But microwaves can warm up materials directly by causing friction within the material and generating heat from within. This is called volumetric heating.
This makes energy transfer much more efficient. Volumetric radiative heat transfer can also prevent crust formation and can enhance product quality. And as microwaves only interact with certain materials, they are reflected by other surfaces, accumulate, and get absorbed by every part of the material—heating it up fast and evenly.
As a result, microwave technology offers the following benefits:
• Faster heating
• Even heating without overdrying
• No system heat-up time
• Low OPEX
• Short drying times
• Compact systems that require less floor space
• External source
• Limited energy transfer, slow
• Efficiency 20 – 40%
• Loss ~ A material
• T core ≤ Tdesired << T surf (crust formation) – Loss of heat sensitive components
• The material is the source
• Energy transfer is very quick
• Efficiency 80 – 100%
• Loss ~ A material
• T product = T desired (no crust formation)
Microwave drying process
add remove Microwave technology and CO₂ emissions
Because microwave technology applies heat directly it does not require a boiler house and eliminates on-site CO₂, NO₂, and SO₂ emissions.
Comparison of system level
Want to learn more about microwaves?
Sign up for one of our MEAM Training Days to learn the fundamentals of microwave technology and how you can start applying it in practice.