Refrigeration specialist consultancy and energy management company Star Technical Solutions examined the health of fast-growing Scottish craft beer company BrewDog’s refrigeration system and analysed spare capacity for potential expansion plans.
The growing global popularity of US-style boldly flavoured craft beers saw BrewDog enlisting the help of Star Technical Solutions (STS) to determine the brewery’s current plant operation ahead of the construction of their new £20m brewery in Ellon. In order to plan for the impact of the increased production, STS checked the refrigeration load and spare capacity of the existing refrigeration equipment.
Niall Murphie of BrewDog says, “Our expansion, especially over the past 5 years, has been rapid and we’ve needed to ensure our equipment is ready to meet demand. We commissioned Star Technical Solutions to measure operation and performance of our existing chillers so that we could gain a better insight into refrigeration load and spare refrigeration capacity ahead of increasing production.”
The refrigeration consultants identified the key parameters that required monitoring and installed the equipment. Once live data was collected, an analysis was carried out to show the load profile, plant efficiency and plant capacity.
In addition, recommendations were made in the final report to allow BrewDog to increase plant efficiency and capacity. These included modifying control of the condenser fans to allow energy savings at low ambient and a buffer tank to remove load spikes and reduce the number of compressor starts per hour.
BrewDog was given access to the live data via a web portal and provided with tools developed by STS to help them automatically analyse the data, which will allow the brewery to monitor plant load as the new brewery emerges online, and will help BrewDog predict when additional refrigeration equipment will be required.
John Clark, consultant at Star Technical Solutions, said, “The work we carried out with BrewDog is a great example of how we can give businesses the information they need to make informed decisions regarding plant operation and expansion. By monitoring the compressors and refrigerant pressures we were able to determine the capacity load profile and efficiency and offer recommendations regarding production increase.”
BrewDog is Scotland’s largest independent brewery and is growing at a fast rate. In 2013, they produced 53,500 HL of beer and operated 13 bars. In 2014, they increased production to 90,000 HL and doubled their bars to 26. This year, the business has been valued at £306m.