SolarBrew Solar Brewing the Future

The objective of the project is to demonstrate the technical and economical feasibility of
large-scale solar thermal system integration in the brewing industry for the first time.
Brewing and malting processes are especially suitable to be supplied by solar thermal
systems since basically all required processes are in the temperature range between 50°C
and 100°C. This is also the temperature range were flat-plate or evacuated tube collectors
have good efficiencies. In order to gain experience with novel medium temperature
collectors optimised for temperatures in the range of 80 to 120 °C the project is going
to apply flat plate collectors and novel advanced medium temperature collectors.
For the involved brewing and solar thermal industry it is important to gain real-scale
experience with solar thermal supply of different key-processes of breweries and malting
plants in order to be able to transfer this knowledge to all other breweries, malting plants
and other food industry sectors with comparable processes.
For this reason three large-scale solar thermal systems are going to be applied at
three different sites: in one drying process of a malting plant, at one mashing
process of a brewery and one pasteurizing process of a brewery.
The total installed capacity of the three plants is going to be 5.08 MWth, corresponding to
7,270 m² of collector area.
Besides the different processes also different climatic zones were chosen for the solar
thermal systems in order to evaluate the performance of the plants under different solar
radiation conditions.
The objective is to have good examples and best practices for the beverage sector
which can act as the basis for the large-scale market deployment of the huge potential
of the solar thermal source in the whole beverage sector and further in the whole food
Special efforts are going to be devoted to an integrated approach combining energy
efficiency measures in the brewing and malting processes itself and advanced solar
integration concepts, which are adapted to the special requirements of these processes.
Special requirements of the type and size of solar thermal systems relate to stagnation
behaviour, collector field hydraulics and an intelligent heat storage management in
combination with the related batch processes.
Within the field of energy efficiency, focus of the work will be an optimization of the process
system level (so called „system approach”), like the realization of new heat exchangers and
the optimized hot water management for the storage system. In one brewery the whole hot
water household will be improved by recovery of energy in condensate streams.
Furthermore new technology approaches, like the improvement of the heat exchange rate
for the energy supply, are going to be realised. Examples for such technology optimization
measures are the retrofit of the mash tun with an internal heat exchanger for hot water
supply (instead of steam supply) and the additional installation of hot water heat
exchangers for the energy supply of the pasteurizers. All energy efficiency measures will
increase the solar thermal contribution of the overall thermal energy supply.
The project will test and validate the complete integration of solar thermal systems in
the heat management processes.


  • Projektnummer
  • Koordinator
  • Projektleitung
    Ewald Selvicka, office@aee.at
  • Förderprogramm
  • Dauer
    02.2012 - 01.2016
  • Budget
    113.613 €