How are Australia’s wineries becoming energy efficient?

Winery industry in Australia is the 4th largest in the world contributing more than $40 billion to the Australian economy. To continue competing for both the local and the international market, the wineries would need to lower their cost by becoming energy efficient and increase their profit by earning green credentials for environmentally sustaining.

The Australian Wine Research Institute helps wineries by researching ways to improve the efficiency in winemaking. The Winery Energy Saver Toolkit (WEST), is a document that guides wineries on how to reduce energy cost. According to them, 90% of winery energy consumptions are from the use of

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

Of which, refrigeration, tank storage, hot water, and steam uses up to 80% of the total winery energy consumption. Experienced consultants and innovative suppliers are helping wineries invest wisely to achieve quick return on investment such as the installation of solar thermal systems and cuts on energy for refrigeration.

Enumerated below are other technologies that are continuously improving the energy efficiency of our winery 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 sterilizing purposes, or up to 65°C for a barrel and tank cleaning, or up to 40°C for a 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 with a condensing one will cut on Natural Gas or LPG costs by 25-30%. Saint Roch condensing boilers have 90% to 96% efficiency depending on the operating temperatures, which is 15-30% 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% less compared to conventional boilers (NOx < 20 ppm, CO < 35 ppm). The integrated control system allows users to 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% efficiency even with an LPG operated burners, as no heat is lost in pipes.

Pumps

An eccentric disc pump from Mouvex is an investment that wineries love. This technology not only saves their energy costs, but it also helps improve the quality of their product.

Mouvex can proficiently transfer wine contents without smashing the seeds. This pump is used in wineries for product transfer from storage tanks to tangential filters, or to bottling tanks. 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.

Air knives

Using compressed air for operations like drying bottles prior to labeling consumes a lot of energy and is not ideal. One of the cost-effective solutions would be using a blower operated air knives that use 85% lesser energy than compressed air knives. Additionally, blower operated air knives are easier to install and require minimum maintenance. Air knives can also be used 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 to generate both heat and power. This could be used for hot water generation via condensing boiler.

If this option is considered, then other mixing methods can be used allowing an increase in biogas yield which would maximise the recycled energy reducing the cost significantly. During the non-vintage season, other liquid wastes or waste solids can be used to add to the sludge.

Each of the listed technology is customised to the need of every winery. Factors such as the winery size, location, winemaking process, current technologies and fuel availability would be taken into consideration as we determine the best solutions and the most suitable equipment for you. HNW is committed to helping you choose the practical steps needed to be more energy efficient and environmentally sustaining winery business. Contact our experts today and ask for a free advice!

 

Further Reading:

http://www.winebiz.com.au/gwm/backissues/view.asp?view=249

http://www.ghd.com/PDF/Wastewater%20Treatment%20for%20Wineries.pdf

http://www.awri.com.au/wp-content/uploads/renewable_energy_fact_sheet.pdf

 

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