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Replacement of a Chiller On a Pilot Plant for Brewer

Turnkey project for a direct chiller replacement turned into installation of a more efficient and cost effective modular chiller system for a large brewing company

450kw chiller frequently tripping out on pilot plant

The company, a multinational alcoholic beverages manufacturer, is the world’s largest producer of spirits and one of the major producers of beers, with offices in 6 continents. The company had a pilot plant that is used as an R&D facility. In food & beverage manufacturing plants it is not usual for companies to develop a pilot plant just like this company had. This is effectively an R&D facility for trialling new systems and processes before they are rolled out to the full production facility.

The company’s existing pilot plant had a 450kW chiller, which was servicing two brewing tanks of 1hectolitre (hl) and 10hl capacities. The chiller had to reduce the temperature on the liquid from the tanks to a specified temperature within a defined time period. However, the chiller was frequently tripping out at high temperatures while adjusting between the two tanks of different sizes.

Feasibility study offers more energy efficient and cost effective solution

Malone Group were engaged by the company on a turnkey project to design, build, validate and manage the safety aspects of replacing the 450kW chiller in the pilot plant. The User Requirement Specification was seeking a direct replacement for the current chiller. However, the project team encouraged the customer to invest in a feasibility study to investigate if a direct replacement represented the right approach for this plant. This proved to be a hugely valuable additional step in the project for the customer coming at a minimal added cost. As a result of the feasibility study, the team identified an opportunity to reduce the size of the chiller to a 150kW modulated chiller which offered much more flexibility in managing the load between the two tanks. It was vastly more energy efficient than the current system and involved a reduced capital outlay.

Further inefficiencies identified to maximise energy savings

As part of the delivery phase of the project, the team identified further inefficiencies in the older system, including single pipe runs (dead legs). Consequently, pipework runs were redesigned to provide more flexibility and futureproof the system. In addition, a robust filtration system was installed to remove the impurities within the original ageing pipeline installations, some of which dated back over 50 years.

As a result of Malone Group’s role in this key project on the pilot plant, the customer achieved a much more energy efficient future-proofed solution to chilling, at a greatly reduced capital expenditure. The customer greatly valued the additional step of a short feasibility study that lead to greater cost savings and long term efficiencies.