Case Study: Preventing Boiler Shutdown at BrewDog Brewery in Columbus, OH
How Does Getting Water in a Steam System Effect Brewery Production?
With today’s fast-growing brewing industry, keeping up with demand and competitors is vital, meaning extended shutdowns are not an option. A steam boiler shut down for a brewery halts production and can be very costly with not only lost revenue but in repairs. Steam boilers play an important part in the brewing process. From producing steam for cleaning and sanitation to using steam to heat the kettle, not having consistent steam production can create many problems.
BrewDog is an international brewery based out of Scotland, with a North American headquarters located in central OH. They were having boiler shutdowns caused by excess water getting into their steam system. This excess water creates a problem in boiler systems known as carry-over, where the water and the minerals in that water will form deposits throughout the steam system causing overheating, and other issues leading to shutdowns.
What Causes a Steam System to Have Carry-Over?
After verifying the chemical treatment program was operating properly, Chardon analyzed the mechanical side of the system. Our service technician noticed that the boiler feedwater pump wasn’t shutting off, which meant it would continuously pump water throughout the system. This was causing the excess water to cause the carry-over issues in the steam system, and thus stopping production. Even after turning off the On/Off switch to the pump, the feedwater would stay running and would not shut off.
Inspecting further, Chardon found that the motor starter for the pumped had failed, and the switch was unable to turn off. This meant the electrical circuit on the pump was closed bypassing the On/Off switch, keeping the feedwater to continue pumping into the system.
What Was the Solution?
Once the problem was identified, the solution was simple: get the feedwater pump to properly start and stop in line with the rest of the system. This was done with the following steps:
- Shut down power to all the pumps and unwire the motor starter of the feedwater pump
- Replace the broken starter with a new motor starter
- Valve off the feedwater pump and open the valves to the backup pump
After this, Brewdog’s system was back up and running, Chardon noticed a steam regulator had also failed as a result of the earlier carry-over. This pressure-reducing valve (PRV) needed to be replaced as well to ensure the system would be operating as designed and at full capacity.
The Importance of Preventing Water Buildup in the Steam System?
Brewdog was fully functional and no longer had production shutdowns following these repairs. With the necessity of clean steam throughout the brewing process, steam boiler operation is crucial. Through Chardon’s mechanical expertise and on-site problem solving, we were able to prevent multiple shutdowns in production for Brewdog.
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"The employees are all very knowledgeable and easy to contact. The service representatives actually show up in a service vehicle and are very thorough. Many water treatment companies do not offer this type of service. We receive regular reports with details regarding the condition of our equipment and recommendations for corrective actions."
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About Chardon Labs
Chardon Laboratories is an employee-owned, ISO Certified Service Company specializing in Guaranteed Water Side Solutions for all your industrial and commercial water treatment needs. Since 1965, Chardon has led the Water Management Industry providing customized treatment programs for cooling towers, boilers and loop systems with guaranteed results.