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P-69. Optimizing brewing production with modular on-demand boiler systems

Presenter: Jason P. Smith, Miura North America, Inc., Atlanta, GA

Boilers account for nearly half of industrial energy consumption and represent one of the most energy-intensive systems in the brewing industry. Breweries must manage production cycles that include highly variable heating loads that coincide with intermittent brewing, pasteurization, and CIP processes. Boiler energy management in brewery applications can often be constrained by the performance limitations of conventional, large-mass boilers that often exhibit overshoot and lag when operating in response to load swings resulting in a “tail wagging the dog” situation whereby the operation of the utility is driven by the capabilities of the boiler rather than by following sound energy management best practices. Tapping into years of experience with Japan’s most well-known breweries, Miura has learned many lessons from lean manufacturing (“kaizen”) principles that can be translated to the U.S. brewing industry to address waste related to overproduction via a “just in time” approach to process heating utilizing on-demand boiler systems, eliminating excessive energy consumption related to boiler idling, and stand-by losses during periods of reduced process loads. Much like tank-less/instantaneous water heaters in residential applications, compact on-demand boiler systems offer increased energy efficiency (approximately 20–30%) adapted to larger industrial applications. Given the large amount of energy consumed and the sharp minute-to-minute variations in process steam demands in the brewing industry, on-demand steam generation can play a significant role in reducing utility costs per unit of production, achieving the primary goal—more beer, fewer BTUs. These technology advances offer breweries significant benefits in their utility-side management, including reduced boiler footprint for optimized space utilization of utility versus production equipment; optimized energy management of variable loads during production; optimized back-up capacity with built-in N+1 via modular design; flexibility to grow utility capacity with production via modular design; optimized staff utilization via on-demand operation and system automation; optimized boiler system O&M via plug-and-play design; optimized safe operation due to minimal water content design; and reduced environmental impact from harmful emissions.

Jason Smith has a background in architecture and engineering with more than 15 years of experience with the design and construction of high-performance “green” buildings and more than 8 years of experience as an LEED Accredited Professional integrating sustainable design solutions into facilities that address energy efficiency and contribute to reducing their environmental impact. Jason is celebrating four years with Miura North America directing energy and environmental initiatives with a focus on energy efficiency advocacy and education in the area of thermal energy systems. Jason currently chairs the Energy Efficiency Deployment Subcommittee of the Department of Energy’s ITP Steam Systems Best Practices Steering Committee and is an active member of the following organizations devoted to energy efficiency and sustainability: ESC, ACEEE, ASE, IDEA, APPA, ASHE, AEE, and USGBC. Jason is an active member of MBAA, having provided technical presentations for several MBAA Districts across the United States and Canada, as well as having presented at the 2012 World Brewing Congress.

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