Top tips for an energy efficient brewery
Install a heat recovery systemBoiling is probably the most energy-intensive element of your brewing process. Depending on the type of boiler you are using you may be able to recover some of the heat which is wasted during the process. A heat capture system, normally fitted close to a steam outlet, can be used to recover some of the escaping heat. This heat can then be reused for different purposes such as cleaning or heating.
InsulateInsulation is one of the cheapest but most effective ways of reducing waste. It is one of the efficiency savings with the shortest repayment time, meaning that the initial costs are recouped in just a few short years. You should seek to insulate your factory, particularly in areas where lots of heat is escaping, for example underneath doors and in the roof. You should also insulate any ‘hot’ lines. This includes condensate return lines, hot water lines and steam lines. If these lines are too hot to touch, then they should be insulated with pipe lagging.
Automation efficienciesThe biggest difference between commercial and hobbyist brewing is probably the degree of automation involved. When making beer in big volumes it is crucial to have some element of factory automation; it’s simply not viable to be lugging barrels around and hand-bottling all your precious brew. One of the biggest steps you will take is installing a pump system to move liquids around various stages of the brewing process. Make sure you have a suitably powerful and energy efficient pump and consider installing VFD or other motion controls to regulate flow more efficiently. The same goes for things like bottling equipment. Fitting a motion control to this type of machine will help you reduce speed during down periods and moderate energy consumption.
Alternative wort boiling technologyThere have been several investigations conducted into the use of energy efficient technology in brewing. One such investigation from the Carbon Trust identified different wort boiling methods as an efficiency possibility. A wort stripping column is a relatively new piece of equipment which has large energy saving potential and apparently can improve the final quality of the beer as well. In the brewing process, the stripping tower would come between the wort cooler and the settling tank where it would remove any ‘volatiles’ from the wort. With a maximum evaporation rate of two percent, the energy usage is markedly reduced, especially for breweries which operate at a higher ‘boil-off’ point.
Get help from an expertThese are good first steps which, if implemented correctly, can help you make significant energy savings. To further ease some of the pressure on your bottom line and help ensure the future health of your business, talk to an expert today. Utility Helpline offer a number of different consultancy services suitable for all types of business. For a free energy bill health check contact a member of the team today on 0800 043 0423.
Published by Utility Helpline on (modified )
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