Thermography team helps Coors fine tune its energy efficiency

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The new ERIKS UK thermography department based in Tyseley, Birmingham has achieved a notable success in offering the Coors brewery in Burton the potential to save up to £60K annually in energy costs.

Always looking for ways to further refine its energy efficiency Coors worked with ERIKS Electro Mechanical Services and initiated a survey, using thermal imaging which traditionally it has used for condition monitoring, to study the heat and energy loss from other diverse areas of its facility.

Taking two days, the survey cost Coors less than £1k and was conducted using a FLIR ThermaCAM P640 and encompassed boiler houses, overhead pipe work, tank houses, brew house, powder rooms and outside areas across the No1 brewery. Duncan Webb, Thermography Business Development Manager, comments: "Our work with Coors offers a great example of the capability of the thermography department. We assess the integrity of a customer´s building. We look at their pipe work, heating systems, cooling equipment, windows, roofs, lagging, floors and spot areas of inefficiency. We then offer hard figures which show directly the costs incurred by different types of heat loss and present the customer with recommendations, a budget quotation for repair work, and offer a follow-up survey to confirm that the work has solved the relevant problems."
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Once the survey was complete a simple to understand report was generated for Coors´ energy manager, that gave digital photographs alongside thermographic images highlighting šhot spots´. Alongside this, ERIKS Electro Mechanical Services also provided an easy to use power loss calculation, the total power loss is a combination of the loss through convection and radiation. The power emitted from a pipe is calculated and as the price of electricity per KW/h for Coors is known then the cost to heat the surrounding air can be determined. This report highlighted an enormous range of potential savings for the brewery from £288 per annum for a minor loss up to £21k per annum for some outside pipework. The report identified potential savings of around £60k although to achieve this saving the brewery would have to invest in some repair work all of which can be done through ERIKS Electro Mechanical Services. As a result of the thermographic survey several steam leaks were also identified which were not taken account of in the total power loss calculations. As even a Ľ inch hole can cost over £200 per week eliminating these types of leak could provide further savings which are not included in main report.

The use of the thermal surveying to identify energy saving opportunities is another novel use of thermographic technology which is fully supported by Coors. Coors Energy manager commented that, "Expanding the use of thermal imaging on the site through the ERIKS Electro Mechanical Services project is just another example of how we are embracing best practice at Coors. Because of the non-invasive nature of the technology the survey was carried out quickly and with no disruption to the site or production. The potential areas which the report has highlighted will, once the changes are implemented, represent a significant energy saving for us which is important for our CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) position, and our business and our financial bottom line."

As well as investing in equipment, ERIKS UK has also invested in the training of its staff and it now has access to 30 thermographic technicians, located throughout the UK, that are qualified to conduct thermographic surveys at a customers site. Acting as a valuable resource to customers amid the fluctuating ecological landscape ERIKS UK can even help in dealing with The Carbon Trust and offer expert advice on how best customers can approach using Energy Saving Loans.

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