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P-35. EquiTherm energy recovery system additional energy-saving potential in a state-of-the-art brewhouse

Presenter: Alexander Lenz, Krones AG, Werk Steinecker, Freising, Germany.

In terms of energy management, wort production constitutes the section of the process that requires the most primary energy in the form of heat. This is where design-enhanced energy management deploys a new energy recovery system. Besides the familiar energy recovery system between the lautered-wort heater and the wort boiler, an additional energy recovery system in the brewhouse will cut thermal energy consumption still further. For this purpose, during wort cooling high-temperature energy is removed from the wort. This heat is used to heat the mash in an almost entirely recuperative process. In conjunction with the ShakesBeer mash kettle, primary energy savings of more than 25% can be achieved in the brewing process. A 200,000-hL brewery, for example, can save over 250,000 kWh of thermal energy a year. In addition, significant quantities of water and refrigeration energy are saved. The investment will pay for itself after 3 or 4 years. To install the EquiTherm system in the brewhouse, only a few changes are necessary. First of all the ShakesBeer EcoPlus has to be installed because only with the optimized pillow plates is the heat flow large enough to reach the heating rates. Also, whether the energy storage tank is big enough has to be checked, and furthermore, the wort cooler has to be extended or replaced by a more efficient one. The new wort cooler has up to 3 zones. In the first zone the high-temperature energy is removed from the wort. The second zone is for warm water production, and the last zone works with glycol or ice water to cool down the wort to fermentation temperature. The first EquiTherm system is running in Löbau, Germany. The installation of the system was done during the peak season within 6 days. Since the installation and optimization has been done, the brewery is saving more than 30% of primary energy.

As the team manager for the Technology Center Brewhouse, Alexander Lenz is responsible for the technology of the brewing of the Krones Processing Division and for the commissioning and acceptance tests of all of its plants. In 2005, after he had finished his studies on brewing technologies at Doemens, he started his career at Krones in the Technology Department at the Steinecker plant in Freising, Germany, as a commissioning engineer. In 2010 he became team manager of the Technology-Brewhouse Department in the Processing Division of Krones AG.