The pandemic has been challenging for many small brewers. Although draft beer sales in the US were down more than 40% in 2020, the number of craft breweries increased to an all-time high of 8,764. The popularity of these smaller breweries shows their resilience to weathering the worst of economic conditions. Although each brewery has a unique brewing style and operation, they all require the use of steam to brew. Proper boiler operation and maintenance is important to ensure an uninterrupted steam supply during brews. However, due to how small breweries operate, effectively managing oxygen corrosion can be very challenging.
Water treatment makes good economic sense. An effective water treatment program helps maximize the life, efficiency, reliability, and safety of boiler and cooling systems and minimizes total operating costs. Water treatment only represents a small percentage of the costs associated with operating a boiler or cooling system. However, this small percentage dramatically influences the total operating costs (fuel, water, maintenance, and labor).
Transferring heat into a process or rejecting excess heat from your facility is critical to keeping your facility up and running. Failure to transfer heat effectively to and from your equipment and processes may lead to increased operating costs, downtime, unscheduled maintenance, and reduced equipment life. Heat always flows from higher temperature to lower temperature in one of three ways: conduction, convection, and radiation.
Modern boiler plants are increasingly focused on energy efficiency, reducing their physical footprint, as well as minimizing capital and installation costs. Companies are striving to keep their total cost of operation as low as possible to remain competitive in the global economy. One of the challenges is having a steam supply that can handle large variations in demand. If the boiler is too small to handle peak demands, the plant cannot operate as designed. If the boiler is sized to handle short bursts of steam, the boiler may be oversized and have higher energy input versus output due to lower efficiencies at lower loads.
One Water Treater’s Perspective
Covid-19 has rapidly altered the daily life of Americans in a way that few other events have and industrial water treatment professionals are no exception. Field service representatives have had to deal with new access restrictions at customer sites, corporate engineering staff are working from home and learning how to remotely diagnose problems and support field staff, supply chains have been strained, and shipping has dealt with massive increases in volume. All of these challenges have caused companies to take a step back and look introspectively at their business model and see what changes they can make to become more nimble and efficient. What does this mean for the future of industrial water treatment?