Low energy consumption is in focus when Alfa Laval – a global solution provider for the brewery and beverage industry – develop machinery and design customised solutions for brewery process blocks. Choosing the right separator, heat exchanger and pumps can offer significant energy savings.

Most breweries, large global as well as small local, are looking to increase energy efficiency and have set ambitious targets for reducing their energy consumption. Alfa Laval’s brewery specialists work in many directions to help customers reach these goals.

“When we design new process blocks as well as retrofits or upgrades, e.g. to expand brewing capacity, we work closely with customers and draw on our experience from other projects to identify low energy solutions,” says Juan Jurado, Competence Center Manager Filtration & Separation at Alfa Laval. “For retrofits, we often see good opportunities to save energy and costs, especially through the application of new efficient separators, plate heat exchanger recovery systems replacing old shell and tube types plus accurate and proper pumps, where the acquisition is based on real operational expeditures criteria and not just investment cost. Replacing old machinery with new, much more energy efficient ones can generate significant energy savings – and very fast return on investment.”

When it comes to heat exchangers, it is crucial to choose the right type and size for each particular application to ensure an efficient operation minimising energy costs. Alfa Laval possesses a high level of competence and wealth of experience in heat exchanger design and optimisation based on specific process requirements, whether for new breweries, upgrades, or in connection with e.g. capacity increase.

When developing new or improving existing products within its core technologies – heat transfer, separation and fluid handling – energy efficiency and cost savings are always at the top of mind.

An excellent example is the BREW 2001 eDrive, Alfa Laval’s high-capacity solids-ejecting separator for pre-clarification, green beer and hot wort separation. According to Juan Jurado, the new eDrive separator offers better performance, energy savings and a much longer service free life.

“The secret is the unique, patented direct drive system, which transmits power directly between the drive shaft and the centrifuge bowl,” reveals Juan Jurado. “As the required drive is much smaller, power and energy losses are reduced. In addition, the low number of wear parts ensures long maintenance intervals and trouble-free operation. And the bottom feed allows much better clarification performance and reduces shear forces significantly.”

Since its launch, the BREW 2001 eDrive separator has been chosen by numerous breweries globally – from Argentina to China. “Customers actually report better result than we had first expected,” says Juan Jurado. “Energy savings vary from 30 to 50 percent, with highest values for the eDrive model with fully hermetic design and zero oxygen pick-up”.

The small footprint of the compact BREW 2001 eDrive separator also saves both installation costs and space – up to 40 percent compared to its predessesor. It can also be equipped with Cosmos online condition monitoring, safeguarding the best possible system uptime and availability.

In breweries as well as in many other processing industries, pumps can account for up to 20 percent of the energy consumption. Alfa Laval pumping technologies also help tackle this issue by offering a wide range of energy saving pumps. Experience shows that e.g. correctly sized pumps can reduce energy efficiency, costs and CO2 emissions significantly. In fact, it is possible to achieve up to 50 percent energy savings by selecting the right pump for each application.