Compressor Energy Recovery Project

Compressors & N2 Generation
Commerical / Industrial
Food Processing & Manufacturing

Key Results:

37% energy savings for compressor

£1800 reduction in heating costs per annum

£150 cost savings per month

36 months payback period for the system


About the brewery

A household name in the Brewing Industry based on the North Cornwall Coast. This brewery has a mission to make quality beer by bringing together the best of brewing heritage, merging simple craftsmanship with complex knowledge.

Excessive energy consumption, excessive energy waste

Compressed air is an integral component of several brewery operations, including bottling, labeling, filling and washing. More than 80% of a compressor’s life cycle cost is due to its energy consumption. Even small improvements in compressor efficiency can translate to significant energy savings for a brewery. 

Most of this energy – up to 94% – is converted into heat. This heat energy is simply wasted, lost into the atmosphere via the cooling system and radiation. To a business, this is literally burning money. Recapturing this energy and putting it to use elsewhere is an opportunity to reduce the brewery’s carbon footprint alongside its energy costs. 

The brewery spotted an opportunity to reduce their costs and make their process more environmentally friendly by switching to a more energy efficient compressor. Matching demand to output is the ideal in terms of efficiency, but operational demands can fluctuate wildly. Too small a compressor and there is no room for system expansion in the future, while too large can cause unnecessary redundancy and energy consumption. 


Why Drew & Co?

Local and national reputation for quality
With 30 years of experience across the South West, Drew & Co were a clear choice for a Cornwall-based brewery. Our specialist compressed air division and long-standing partnership with compressor market leader, Atlas Copco, spoke to the highest technical ability and attention to detail.

Experts in complete compressed air systems
With our extensive history and project delivery record, the brewery knew they could count on us to provide an end-to-end solution, from design to install to fine-tuning.

Partnership with market-leading compressor manufacturer
Atlas Copco as a company is known for its consistent innovation in energy efficiency, energy recovery and reduction of CO2 emissions, without compromising the total life cycle cost of a solution. The brewery could trust that all components of a compressed air system would meet the highest level of quality standards.

The Solution

Using the expertise gained from our partnership as a distributor for Atlas Copco our engineering team designed and installed a total system incorporating a new 37kW Variable Speed Drive compressor with an integrated energy recovery pack.

The compressor digital control panel displays the energy that is being recovered by the system and indicates energy recovery of 78 mW hours in 12 months with a cost saving of £ 7,814.00 available in ER.

Variable speed drive compressor to meet fluctuating operational demands
Firstly the existing system demand was logged over a standard production period to establish the required system capacity. Our engineers selected the most appropriate size compressor, selecting from the latest highly energy efficient range from Atlas Copco. The new compressor constantly varies production to match demand, so a larger compressor can be fitted to allow for system expansion without increasing energy consumption.

Wasted heat energy recovered and reused for cask washing
The recovery of the wasted heat was achieved by connecting a hot water storage vessel, with an indirect heating coil, to the compressor cooling system. The cooling system connection is made via a plate heat exchanger and the conventional cooling system is retained and controlled automatically by the compressor.

The hot water storage vessel was then connected to provide pre heated hot water to the plants cask washing process which reduced the load and consequent energy consumption of the gas boiler system. In the first year after turning the heat recovery on, Sharp’s saved an average of 210kg of steam, equating to ~754MJ of heat energy. At the current price of oil, that would be a saving of around £1,800 per year for standard production schedules of 5 days a week.

Independent operation for heating and cooling
Both systems were fitted with automatic controls and can operate independently – neither the compressor cooling system nor the cash washing process are ever compromised.