Black Flannel brews up energy efficiency

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Chris Kesler and the Black Flannel Brewing Company(link is external) team are committed to starting a business that lives the team’s sustainable values(link is external). The team opened the brewery-distillery-brewpub at The Essex Experience(link is external) in early July 2020. They want to minimize the impact on the planet and commit to sustainability from day one. But economic sustainability is equally important. They want to create a business that can become a fixture of the community.Chief brewer Dan Sartwell watched his former employer, 14th(link is external) Star Brewing, save thousands of dollars each year through efficiency investments(link is external).“Brewing is an energy- and water-intensive process. If we commit to economic and environmental sustainability, we have to look at the energy we are using to make our beer.”The team reached out to Efficiency Vermont to understand how they could meet their twin sustainability goals. Efficiency Vermont brought in the VGS efficiency team(link is external) to look at how Black Flannel could also save on natural gas.Good beer needs a good chillerIn high quality beer making, the wort (the mix that will eventually turn into delicious beer) must be cooled from boiling before it can be fermented. One of the biggest energy users and operating expenses for a brewery is the chiller.  Brewery chillers are cooling units that utilize glycol to extract excess heat from a brewing process and dissipate it in a heat exchanger or refrigeration system. Typically, a chiller runs all day every day to keep the brewing process going. Many brewers use oversized, inefficient chiller systems that are based on rough sizing estimates to provide the cooling power necessary.We referred them to a few Vermont based suppliers of high efficiency chiller systems, and they chose a system designed by Huntington-based Dodge Engineering & Controls (DEI)(link is external). The model uses high-efficiency components and innovative controls to efficiently cool the beer. DEI’s detailed analysis revealed that Black Flannel could be served by a smaller system than they’d originally thought. The smaller chiller can even handle the brewery’s three walk-in coolers. Dick Soule Refrigeration, from Enosburg(link is external), integrated the chiller with the coolers to complete the highly efficient cooling system.Finally, to keep the team informed and accountable, they installed meters. With the meters they will be able to see the electric use and efficiency of the chiller system. This will help them identify maintenance issues quickly and share their findings with others in the brewing industry.All told, the new system is estimated to save Black Flannel $11,243/year in energy costs.Now we’re cooking with gasVGS(link is external) immediately saw an opportunity in the brewpub’s kitchen. They recommended a highly efficient kitchen hood with demand control ventilation(link is external). It only runs when particulates in the air reach a certain level, saving energy while maintaining air quality. VGS and Efficiency Vermont combined their incentives, since the hood will save on bothnatural gas and electricity. Together, Black Flannel offset more than 50% of the upfront cost of the new equipment.Other upgrades included efficient natural gas deep fryers that use 50-70% less fryer oil due to low idling energy. That also means less labor time spent cleaning and re-filling the fryers, and more time cooking tasty food. The fryers joined an efficient oven, broiler, prewash system and dish washers, and natural gas hot water heater to bring the whole kitchen to top-tier efficiency.“Black Flannel was engaged in this process from day one,” said Mike Gifford, Commercial Efficiency Innovation Lead at VGS. “They maximized their savings because they took the time to ask the right questions early and often. Following this model, we look forward to helping other breweries and restaurants do the same.”These efficiency investments will save Black Flannel over $9,600 on natural gas each year.Efficiency from the bottom upBlack Flannel’s business design has efficiency baked in. A distillery requires a lot of the same equipment and process as a brewery, for grain-based alcohols. By basing both out of the same business, Black Flannel only needed one system to create the mashes for the brewery and the distillery. This cuts their energy use for the processes in half.In fact, there’s not much about the equipment and processes the Black Flannel team invested in that isn’t efficient. Variable frequency drives (VFDs)(link is external) on their pumps will allow them to run only as much as needed. Dimmable(link is external) LED lights with motion-sensors(link is external) have been installed throughout the facility. They’ll turn on only when needed and provide welcoming light with LEDs that have a much longer lifespan than other lighting choices.Even the location supports the mission. Peter Edelman owns The Essex Experience. In 2018, he worked with Encore Renewable Energy to make the complex 100% solar powered.(link is external) He’s eager to help his tenants reduce their carbon footprint, including helping Black Flannel weatherize the business before they moved in.“Black Flannel will be one of the most energy efficient brewers and restaurants in the state,” said Pat Haller, Senior Energy Consultant at Efficiency Vermont. “That wouldn’t have happened without their engagement from day one and their willingness to work in collaboration to find innovative solutions at every level of their business.”In all, these improvements will help Black Flannel save almost $24,000 each year on energy costs.Ready for businessDue to the on-going COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants, Black Flannel’s opening in July wasn’t exactly what they initially planned. They have more seating outdoors and space for social distancing. Their kitchen is focusing on take-out. They’ve also decided to can more beers than they had originally planned to.But Kesler, Sartwell, and the rest of the team were excited to turn the efficient machines on and put them to their intended use.“There are some really good breweries in Vermont. We plan to be among some of the best,” shares Kesler with a modest chuckle. “But we’re also aiming to create a unique experience for our customers to help them learn more about beer and the process of making it. I’m excited about sharing our passion and our love for brewing and tasting beer with other people.”Sartwell echoes the sentiment. “It’s going to be a really cool place to hang out and have a beer. I can’t wait to sit at the bar with all of our guests and enjoy talking beer with them.”Project Partners:VGS (South Burlington)The Essex Experience (Essex)Dodge Engineering and Controls, Inc (DEI) (Huntington)Dick Soule Refrigeration (Enosburg Falls)Nevtec LTD (Newport)Avonda Air Systems (South Burlington)Duncan Wisniewski Architecture (Burlington)Kittredge Restaurant Equipment (Williston)JA Morrissey, Inc. (Williston)Cummings Electric (South Burlington)PitcoJ&M FluidicsThis story originally appeared as a blog post on is external)last_img read more

The Risks Associated With ‘Productivity Pills’ Outweigh the Benefits

first_imgThe New York Times:A few years ago Adderall was touted as a “smart pill.” But after research showed little or no improvement in cognition under its influence, Adderall is now gaining a reputation as a “productivity pill.” That is probably a better characterization of its effects, based on research I’ve done with Dr. Irena Ilieva of Weill Cornell Medical Center. Users feel more engaged in the task at hand, more energetic and less sleepy. These can be important benefits, as the United States military has known since World War II.Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Sempra, TransCanada to build $2.1 billion Mexico gas pipeline

first_imgU.S.-based LNG player Sempra Energy said it has been awarded a transportation contract by the Comision Federal de Electricidad to build, own and operate a $2.1 billion natural gas pipeline in Mexico.The contract has been awarded trough Infraestructura Marina del Golfo (IMG), a joint venture between Sempra’s Mexican unit Infraestructura Energética Nova, and TransCanada Corporation,The 42-inch diameter South Texas-Tuxpan pipeline will have a capacity of 2.6 billion cubic feet per day and an anticipated in-service date of late 2018. It will be approximately 497-mile (800 kilometer) long, according to Sempra.The pipeline will transport natural gas from a point near Brownsville, Texas, to Tuxpan, Veracruz, and it will provide natural gas to new and existing CFE power plants that currently use fuel oil. The project is contracted by CFE under a 25-year capacity contract denominated in U.S. dollars.IMG will be responsible for implementing the project, including permitting, acquiring land and rights of way, engineering, procurement, construction, financing, operation and maintenance. Infraestructura Energética Nova holds a 40 percent ownership of IMG’s joint venture.last_img read more

OIA looks to India

first_imgGandhi JJ, OIA’s senior operations executive in Chennai, explained that although the company has had a presence in the area through its network of partnerships for many years, increasing demand has led it to establish its own branch office.”The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects economic growth in India to exceed 6 percent in 2016,” added OIA’s managing director for Asia Pacific, Peter Wong. “Growth in Chennai has been led by the automotive, technology and textile sectors.”Sujit Nair has been named branch manager of the new office. www.oiaglobal.comlast_img read more

Report: Jordan McRae, Mo Williams Being Shopped by Cavs

first_img Related Topics Matt Medley According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the Cavaliers are shopping Jordan McRae and Mo Williams to other teams around the league for potential trades.Windhorst writes:“The Cleveland Cavaliers are in impasse with guard Mo Williams and it has left them scouring the league for a trade partner so they don’t have to swallow millions, sources told is owed $2.2 million for this season and he did not report to training camp. The Cavs, who were caught off guard by the decision, have not had meaningful discussions with Williams on a buyout agreement.If the Cavs waive Williams now to create a roster spot, Williams would receive his full salary and the Cavs would have to pay the full tax amount. Currently, the Cavs are projected to have a $32 million tax bill.Needing both a roster spot and a backup point guard, the Cavs are in a squeeze as the regular season opener looms. They are looking to attach guard Jordan McRae to Williams in trades, sources said. The team openly showcased McRae during the preseason.”This is not a huge surprise, given the report that the Cavs were in talks to acquire a backup point guard, but now it only confirms what was alluded to in that report.The bottom line is that the Cavs do not want to eat the salary of Williams’ contract, as he will not be on the court again anytime soon and is possibly done playing professional basketball.McRae is one of the few pieces that the Cavs could afford to part with, who would garner a significant return to bring a legitimate backup point guard to Cleveland.Windhorst’s report did not mention the Cavs are shopping Iman Shumpert, but he is another name to keep an eye on, as the team scrambles to find Kyrie Irving’s backup.center_img Matt Medley is co-editor at NEO Sports Insiders, covers the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians and high school sports in Northeast Ohio.Follow @MedleyHoops on Twitter for live updates from games.last_img read more