September 2021

38 | Plant & Works Engineering Sep tember 2021 Energy & Environmental Management Focus on: Boilers, Burners & Controls have been very difficult to achieve with steam.” Beyond the control and flexibility, there are many other factors that have had a positive impact on Rebellion Beer Company, as Gloyens explains: “A steam boiler is essentially a pressure vessel and regulations state that pressurised systems must undergo an annual insurance inspection. This inspection would often take the steam boiler offline and mean our brewing processes were down for a day or more, with disruption from the downtime potentially being felt for several days after. Additionally, with even the best water treatment programme in place, steam at pressure can be very corrosive, leading to problems with steam traps, flanges and pipework, which we always seemed to be maintaining and was always therefore another potential for process downtime. “With thermal being more of a closed loop system, we’ve not experienced the same issues with leaking gaskets, flanges, etc., making the whole installation not only look but also feel so much more reliable than steam.” In putting a figure on the annual cost savings of maintaining a steam system – including servicing, water treatment, chemical dosing, etc. – compared to thermal fluid, Mark Gloyens estimates that the thermal fluid system is much lower and could be at least half that of the previous steam boiler installation. And six years on, Gloyens estimates that the savings made compared to maintaining the old steam system – and despite the thermal fluid installation being a more expensive capital outlay initially – has certainly contributed significantly to the return on investment, with the investment now fully paid for. Expanding on the flexibilities of the thermal fluid system, Gloyens has also announced that Rebellion is about to tap into the existing brewhouse line to create a small-batch development brewery and yeast propagation plant on the site. “It’s been such an easy expansion to achieve. We’ve just been able to tap into the existing thermal fluid line and use the system for another duty without impacting on everything else.” says Mark. The new development line is capable of brewing five hectolitre (500 litre) batches and will enable development or commercial batches – such as strong beers or one-off batches that may not appeal to the wider consumer – to be processed without having to invest in a full 4000 litre brew. Summarising, Mark Gloyens says that whenever he’s asked if Rebellion is happy with the thermal fluid installation from Fulton, he simply tells them to come and take a look because it speaks for itself. “It’s just a neat, compact installation that’s relatively maintenance free and extremely flexible”. And when asked about his advice to anyone considering a new brewhouse or complete overhaul of existing plant; and perhaps sitting on the fence when it comes to considering steam versus thermal? He explains: “You obviously need to consult the experts as we did when we approached Fulton over six years ago. They were completely unbiased because they manufacture both steam and thermal fluid solutions. “But for Rebellion Beer Company, a thermal fluid solution was a no brainer. It’s more cost- effective, more reliable, relatively maintenance free and a much neater, more compact system that still provides the quality of heating needed for brewing. It’s just a better way of doing it.” QUALITY INNOVATION RELIABILITY Precision engineered to offer leading performance, durability, accuracy, strength & cost ef昀ciency. C.K Tools, the brand for process and maintenance professionals... C28A00153_Plant&Works_1/4Page-Sept21.indd 1 19/07/2021 10:42