• Why did we decide to put in solar panels? We have been relying on a boiler to generate our hot water in the brewery. This boiler uses paraffin to generate steam which then heats up the water in our jacketed hot liquor tank. This process is a major contributor to our brewery's overall greenhouse gas emissions and we wanted to reduce our reliance on hot water produced by the boiler.
• What are they used for? Our panels are flat plate solar collectors that heat water directly using solar energy. They don't generate electricity. We are able to take our filtered water supply which arrives in the hot liquor tank at around 20 degrees C and use the solar collectors to raise that temperature to 60 degrees or more. This means that we don't need to use the paraffin boiler to heat water for at least 40 degrees of the increase.
• What are the benefits to breweries moving onto renewables? Does it pay itself off? In addition to the reduction in GHG emissions, the solar water heating system will result in medium to long term savings for the brewery as a result of less spending on paraffin. Given that the system has only been up and running it's a bit early to know exactly what the savings are, but we will keep everyone posted in the coming months.
• Why is this important to us? Drifter Brewing Company is very aware of the obligation that all businesses and individuals have to future generations when it comes to leaving behind a healthy planet. The continual reduction of our environmental impact is one of the cornerstones of Drifter's long term plans.