In a recent article published in Breweries and Beverage Industries Magazine, Invinity’s Fred Hartshorn shared the results of a business case modeling exercise where we looked at the impact of installation solar panels and one of Invinity’s vanadium flow batteries at a mid-sized UK brewery with annual energy bills of £140,000.
The result? A 20 year savings of over £2.8 million and project ROI of 2.1.
On average, it takes 15-20 kWh of electrical power to brew one barrel of beer at a typical price of around 14p/kWh. For smaller breweries, this electricity cost will be even greater as they can’t gain access to the cheaper tariffs available to the larger players. These prices are also set to rise in the years to come according to UK government data.
By its very nature, the operation of a brewery is extremely well suited to benefit from clean energy solutions like this. Energy usage in breweries varies depending on size, location, and product, but brewing, fermenting, filtering and packaging beer are all very energy intensive processes.
Vanadium flow batteries are well-suited to the brewing sector as, unlike the dominant technology, lithium-ion, they don’t degrade, so don’t need to be replaced often, even when used heavily. They are also non-flammable and can store and discharge energy for longer, to flatten the peaks in demand over the course of the day.
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