Summer 2014 Forum    

Brewing Up Energy Savings

June 6, 2014
Widmer Brewery, Portland

 The Oregon APEM 2014 Summer Forum, Brewing up Energy Savings, was hosted at the Widmer Brewery.  The day was kicked off with an introduction from Kurt Widmer who discussed the history of the brewery. Widmer sustainability efforts focus on reducing energy, water and resource consumption. Energy reduction was achieved through equipment upgrades and employee awareness.

The second speaker, Rob Del Mar from Oregon Department of Energy, provided insight into the practicality of solar thermal projects.  Solar thermal systems are often viable when photovoltaic systems are not. The brewing process requires significant heat input and solar thermal systems are a good way to preheat city water prior to the water entering the brewing process. Several local breweries already utilize solar thermal heating in their facilities. The presentation also included a demonstration of online monitoring for solar thermal systems. As with any energy system, monitoring can result in additional efficiency and savings.

After a short networking break Tom Hudson from PCC presented on the benefits of refrigeration controls. New controls are being developed that will allow walk-in refrigeration systems to cool spaces more efficiently. Mr. Hudson also spoke about some work he is involved in that utilizes the refrigeration control technology to help save bee populations from the mite epidemic that is currently causing colony collapse.  

Paul Kuck from Ecova shared his experiences with efficiency projects for commercial kitchens. There are several resources that facilities can utilize for energy efficient design in commercial kitchens including the Food Service Technology Center. The Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE) and Energy Star have certification programs for foodservice technologies.

After lunch the Student Project of the Year award was presented to Stephen MacDonald, Chazrick Branson, and Daniel Shaw for their Energy Northwest Hydrolysis Plant Design Project. The Oregon State University-Cascades students provided a brief presentation explaining the project and answering questions from the audience.

David Yudkin, Co-owner of Hot Lips Pizza, and Howard Bales, Principle Technologist at Old Growth Systems, provided two case studies of efficiency projects at Hot Lips restaurants and bottling process. The summer forum concluded with a tour of the Widmer brewery.


Robert Del Mar, Oregon DOE

Thomas Hudson, Portland Community College

Paul Kuck, Ecova

Student Project of the Year Presentation: Chazrick Branson, Daniel Shaw, Stephen MacDondald