Energy-efficient boilers work miracles for Saint Arnold Brewing CompanyDecember 4, 2014 REDWIRE is news you can use from leading suppliers. Powered by FRASERS.
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Saint Arnold Brewing Company co-founder Brock Wagner knew that his growing craft brewery's move to a 104,000-square-foot building in Houston would require a new steam boiler system. Saint Arnold's original fire-tube boiler was struggling to produce enough steam to meet the company's increasing heating and sterilization needs, so finding a new steam-generation source was essential.
Wagner asked other craft brewers what they used, and he spoke to two major local hospitals. All told him about the Miura ultra-low NOX modular on-demand steam solution. Based on the positive feedback, Wagner purchased Miura LX-200 and LX-50 steam boilers, and reported a fuel savings of 50 per cent on every barrel of beer Saint Arnold brewed after two years.
”Saint Arnold brews six year-round and five seasonal beers, which are distributed in Texas and Louisiana. Even though our new 127-barrel brew house is four times larger, our new Miura LX-200 is able to handle many more duties at much higher efficiency and less cost,” Wagner says.
The company’s natural gas bills are greatly reduced, though Wagner didn’t have specific numbers at the time of the interview, but he said the company was brewing twice as much beer for the same amount of natural gas that the old boiler required.
Miura boilers employ a unique ”once-through” fin-tube design that heats a smaller volume of water more efficiently than other boilers. This, combined with built-in precision microprocessor-control technology, conserves fuel and saves an average of 20 per cent annually on energy costs over other boiler designs for typical installations. Miura's fin-tube design also enables its boilers to generate full steam from a cold start in five minutes or less.
”We use a batch process, so there are long periods when our steam requirements dip,” Wagner explains. ”With Miura it takes no time at all for the boilers to turn on, fire up, and be at pressure. And they're only firing when we actually need them. We save the LX-50 for when we're doing smaller operations, and for standby. Our old system had to be turned on far ahead of when it was needed because it took so long to build up pressure. And then once we started pulling on it, it often struggled to keep up.”
Another major benefit of the energy-conserving fin-tube design and precision control of Miura boilers, as compared to conventional models, is their reduced output levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx), as well as carbon dioxide. Miura boilers achieve low-NOx performance by reducing the temperature of the boiler's flame, which in turn reduces the amount of excited nitrogen atoms available to bond with oxygen to form nitrogen oxides. As a result of this, NOx emissions are reduced to around one-quarter of what traditional fire-tube boilers emit.
”We are constantly seeking ways to reduce our carbon footprint and be more efficient,” Wagner says. ”A big benefit of the microprocessor control of our Miura boilers is that they are constantly optimizing how they run, which reduces the amount of natural gas they burn and, in turn, saves us money. To me, being green is always good, but really what drives people to want to be green and conserve is the economic impact of it. I think that's the best and the most sustainable situation — when conservation and economic forces work together.”