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Matt Brewing Cuts Steam Use, Energy Costs

The company behind Saranac brand beers has installed a steam pressure management system that has reduced steam use by about a third, while saving water and cutting costs.

The Matt Brewing Company consulted with sales engineers R.L. Stone Co. about the new instrumentation, which includes an ABB Swirl flowmeter, an ABB ControlMaster CM10 flow computer and an ABB ControlMaster CM30 single-loop controller, reports Sustainable Plant.

Steam cost is one of the most important energy variables in Matt Brewing’s process at its Utica, N.Y., site. These three instruments combined allow operators to use steam at the optimum mass flow rate based on the volume of wort – the liquid “soup” a beer is brewed from – that is being put in a brew kettle.

As a result of the new system the brewery has cut average pressures required to brew from 24 psi to 12 psi. The system also saves 1,200 gallons of water per brew cycle and saves the brewery an estimated $630 a day. The payback time for the instrumentation is about three to four months, Matt Brewing says.

Green thinking is a trend among breweries, including smaller, local beer makers.

Craft brewery New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colo., is tied to that city’s smart grid, meaning that an engine and solar array the brewery owns can pump power back to the grid at times of peak demand. In 2010, it started using 50 percent recycled clear cold beverage cups for beer it sells at some events.

It is commonplace in Colorado’s Front Range – the self-styled “Napa Valley of craft beer” – for craft breweries, such as Renegade Brewing Company, to send products used in the brew process to local farms to use as animal feed.

Larger breweries are also getting in on the sustainability act. In September last year, Energy Edge Technologies Corporation announced it had reduced energy consumption at a Yuengling brewery in Tampa, Fla., by over 14 percent.

The efficiency analysis and subsequent refit also improved light quality and increased transformer capacity by 13 percent. The project has an estimated 18-month return on investment, according to Energy Edge.

The Tampa brewery is one of two run by Yuengling, America’s oldest operating beer company.

In May last year, Anheuser-Busch announced the installation of a solar array on the roof of its Newark, N.J., brewery. The array now generates more than 523,000 kW hours of electricity a year.

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