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Making your winery energy efficient

Supplier: Hurll Nu-Way
10 October, 2014

Australia's leading winery owners care about energy efficient wine making as they need to cut on costs to compete both locally and internationally.

Winery owners are also mindful about the environment and understand the real threats to their nature- and weather- dependant business. Preserving energy gives them green credentials which can improve their image.

Australian wineries have fantastic support, such as the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) giving recommendations on improving efficiency in wine making. Great tools are available to help them reach their goals such as Winery Energy Saver Toolkit (WEST), created by South Australian Wine Industry Association.

So how do you cut down on energy costs in certain areas to help create more energy efficient wineries? The main areas are:

  • Refrigeration and tank storage
  • Pumping
  • Compressed air
  • Hot water
  • HVAC and lighting

There are also knowledgeable consultants and suppliers of equipment helping wineries invest wisely, achieving quick return on investment and getting tangible results. There are great outcomes already achieved by some wine makers thanks to installation of solar thermal systems and cuts on energy for refrigeration.

We would like to highlight some equipment that will allow achieving further improvements in energy efficiency in the wine making industry.

Condensing boilers for hot water

An average winery uses 5000-10000 litres of hot water a day, with water heated up to 85-90°C for sterilising purposes, or up to 65°C for barrel and tank cleaning, or up to 40°C for gentle warming of the product.

Condensing boilers recover the heat lost by water vapour in the flue gas, which saves on fuel consumption. Replacing a 15-year old boiler to a condensing one will cut on natural gas or LPG costs by 25-30 per cent. Saint Roch condensing boilers have 90 per cent to 96 per cent efficiency depending on the operating temperatures, which is 15-30 per cent higher than conventional boilers.

Thanks to the premix burner, which guarantees maximum mixing of gas and air for combustion, emissions of NOx and CO are 80-90 per cent less compared to conventional boilers (NOx < 20 ppm, CO < 35 ppm). Integrated control system allows users adjust such parameters as temperature as per their requirements. Condensing boilers can be combined with solar power, making hot water even cheaper.

Tank heating

For rapid heating of water in a tank, immersion tank heating can be a good option, both for CIP and for bottle washing  purposes. Lanemark immersion tube tank heating systems are highly cost effective in operation, promising over 85 per cent efficiency even with an LPG operated burners, as no heat is lost in pipes.

Pumps

There is a pump that warrants high product recovery, saving both the product and energy – it's an eccentric disc pump from Mouvex. This positive displacement pump has low linear speed and high volumetric efficiency which allows it to act as a metering device, precisely measuring equal volumes of product for bottling or packaging. Mouvex pump improves the quality of the product, allowing transfer of wine material without smashing the seeds. This pump is used in wineries for product transfer from storage tanks to tangential filters, or to bottling tanks.

Compressors

Winery Energy Saver Tool Kit gives highly valuable recommendations on managing compressed air energy consumption.  If you seek replacement, we would suggest paying attention at Hitachi screw compressors, combining excellent energy savings with low environmental impact and low running costs. These air compressors consume less oil, are quiet and reliable. 

Air knives

One of the best ways to cut on the compressed air costs is not to use compressed air for certain operations, for example, for drying bottles prior to labelling. The solution here would be blower operated air knives, saving up to 85 per cent in running costs compared to compressed air knives. They are easy to install and require minimum maintenance. Air knives can be used not only for bottle drying but also for fruit drying.

Cogeneration via anaerobic digestion

During the vintage season, wine industry generates big volumes of acidic wastewaters which are best treated with anaerobic digestion. The sludge placed in the anaerobic reactor produces biogas, which can be captured in order to generate both heat and power, or use it for hot water generation via condensing boiler. Modern methods of mixing allow increasing biogas yield making the project financially attractive. During non-vintage season, other liquid wastes or waste solids can be used to add to the sludge.

The size of the winery, its location, and presence of accompanying businesses, current technologies and fuel availability determine the best solutions and the most suitable equipment for the particular enterprise.

Hurll Nu-Way have extensive knowledge in creating energy efficient wineries, small steps lead to tangible results in saving energy and cutting on manufacturing costs.