|Miura LX-100 On-Demand Steam Boiler Delivers Economy and Ecology for Highland Brewing Company|
Space-Saving Design, Microprocessor-Controlled Precision Operation, and Advanced Monitoring and Diagnostic Features Also Cited As Efficiency-Boosting Advantages for a Growing Craft Brewery
The largest craft brewer in North Carolina, Asheville’s Highland Brewing Company has grown considerably since it began operation as a basement start-up using retrofitted dairy equipment in 1994. Today Highland occupies a large, efficient brewery that produces an array of popular ales anticipated to exceed 25,000 barrels this year. Integral to Highland's expansion was its recent choice of a gas-fired LX-100 boiler from Miura, the world leader in ultra-low NOx modular on-demand steam solutions. As Director of Operations Kevin Wheeler explains, there are multiple reasons why the Miura LX-100 is an excellent ingredient in Highland's formula for achieving a combination of improved operational efficiencies, fuel economy, and environmental sustainability.
"When we decided to increase our brewing capacity we spoke to other craft brewers and learned of Miura's great reputation," Wheeler recalls. "Miura met our needs in terms of energy savings, on-demand steam, low emissions, and a smaller footprint."
Microprocessor-controlled for precision operation, Miura boilers save an average of 20 percent annually on fuel costs over other boilers for typical installations. This savings is due to Miura's unique "once-through" fin-tube design, which conserves fuel, water, and physical space. Even with a smaller footprint, however, Miura's exclusive design produces BHP outputs comparable to much larger units. Utilizing its unique "floating header" design, Miura's boilers are engineered to go from a cold start to full steam in less than five minutes. This on-demand steam-generation feature enables users to precisely match load fluctuations as they occur, instead of consuming energy while idling a boiler in stand-by.
"We use our LX-100 to heat our brewing water (known as 'hot liquor'), we use it on our keg line for heat/steam/sanitation, and we use it for our boil and our mash in the brewing process," Wheeler says. "Sometimes we need lots of steam; other times we don't. A conventional-style boiler would need to run constantly to maintain its peak output level. With the Miura LX-100, however, we can shut it off all weekend, blow it down, drain it out, and save gas. On Monday morning we turn it on and have full steam by the time we walk over to the brew house."
A Strong Environmental Commitment
Wheeler notes that the Miura LX-100's low NOx/low CO2 output is directly in line with the company's strong commitment to environmental sustainability. "We are just an hour from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and acid rain is a huge concern for us here," he says. "We like to 'walk-the-walk' as well as 'talk-the-talk' about being environmentally responsible, and our Miura boiler helps us do that. This means a lot to us as a company, and we have found that a strong environmental commitment also makes good economic sense. We have saved on our gas bill dramatically with our Miura boiler. In the year and a half since we've had it installed it has probably already paid for itself in energy savings. We've been able to increase production by a third while reducing our energy costs to less than what they were prior to installing this boiler. The Miura LX-100 has been a great asset for us and I would recommend it to anyone."
Monitoring, Diagnostics, and Control
"The monitoring and computer control capabilities of the Miura LX-100 were another important selling point," Wheeler states. "Currently we're just using the BL Micro Controller interface on the boiler, which is very helpful. We may, however, someday want direct monitoring from Miura's Atlanta headquarters utilizing the Miura On-line Maintenance ['MOM'] service. As Highland grows we may also want to install a second Miura boiler and use Miura's MI [multiple installation] controller to link the two together. Even though our boiler room is small, we could put two Miura LX-100s in the same footprint as one conventional 70HP conventional-style boiler."
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