Mechanical Pressure Powered Condensate Pumps Provide Energy Savings at Canada’s Oldest Brewery Company.
Molson’s, Canada’s oldest brewery, since 1786, and North America’s oldest beer brand has brewing methods rooted in a tradition of quality. The Molson’s Vancouver British Columbia plant has received many inter-company awards for the efficiency of their plant operations. When a project was identified to reduce the flash steam losses from the brewing kettles, Scott Gordon, Molson’s Chief Engineer contacted Andrew Reynolds. Eliminate flash steam losses without affecting the brewing process.
The original design employed float and thermostatic steam traps that returned condensate via an overhead return line to a vented condensate transfer tank. This produced flash steam losses. Between brews and during certain recipe runs, jackets of the brew kettles would be flooded with condensate affecting heat transfer.
The solution was condensate pump packages for each kettle. By closing the condensate return system, flash steam losses were eliminated. The kettle condensate is now transferred directly to the dome of the DA tank. The design also insured that all condensate is removed immediately from the brew kettles under all process conditions.
The results are the pressure-powered pumps are saving Molson’s money by reducing flash steam losses. An added benefit is increased output from the kettles. By reducing brew times, more output from the same kettles are being realized.
Scott Gordon reports, “The numbers are still coming in. We have achieved energy savings by eliminating flash steam losses. Our brew kettles are operating more efficiently. It has been a very successful project.”
Did You Know?
Use a Vent Condenser to Recover Flash Steam Energy
When the pressure of saturated condensate is reduced, a portion of the liquid “flashes” to low-pressure steam. Depending on the pressures involved, the flash steam contains approximately 10% to 40% of the energy content of the original condensate. In most cases, including condensate receivers and deaerators, the flashing steam is vented and its energy content lost. However, a heat exchanger can be placed in the vent to recover this energy.