In Balloon Hotel Radešín, Vysočina region, Czech Republic a Smart brewery has been officially opened. Since April the Balloon Brewery Radešín worked in testing mode, since June the 1st in real production mode.
Balloon Brewery Radešín is a fully automated brewery built completely on our technology, using UniPi controllers and our official software platform, Mervis. That means it works without any human intervention at all. And that’s one of the main motives for automation – basically zero for the personell costs. The whole operation of the Smart brewery could be done by one person at all!
“Computer technologies are commonly used in breweries. The main difference is that while in other breweries usually dominates the human factor and the stuff enter commands into the computer, in our brewery brain of the operation is the computer and it assign tasks to people” says Adam Škorpík, UniPi.technology sales director.
Owner (thanks to the web interface) has remote access to the brewery practically from everywhere. Values from the sensors are periodically stored to the database in the cloud. By the detailed analysis it is possible to optimalize the brewing process very effectively. However, the main advantage is, that it is much simpler to exactly repeat the whole process, so the next batch would have exactly the same properties. In a fact, this is one of the biggest problems in small breweries. The benefit is the perfect overview of consumed raw materials, what makes planning and ordering much easier.
This is a big advantage for Baloon Brewery, as there are 11 different kinds of beer brewed (starting from Czech classics 11° light lager called Samuel, to the 15° Indian Pale Ale). The maximum annual production capacity of the brewery is 2000 hectoliters, so it belongs into minibreweries.
“Smart system in Balloon Hotel ensures also reuse of the energy not only in brewery, but in the whole building. For example, heat generated during the brewing process is transferred into central heating system and it is used also for heating the water for the showers.” further explains Adam Škorpík.
Better then heating the water with every batch of beer and then throwing it away, the heat is repeatedly used. The Balloon Hotel was already automated with UniPi before the construction of brewery even started and thanks to that, substantial savings on costs was achieved. Automation makes the brewing much more cheaper while the whole process is simpler then ever.
At Balloon Hotel Radešín 7 UniPi controllers are installed. Three of them are used for brewery regulation. Each part of the brewery is equiped with all the necessary sensor technology which include digital thermometers, barometers, electrometers or ultrasonic flowmeters. Among the switching elements belongs three-way valves, pumps, coolers, opening/closing cooling circuits, heating the brewhouse and also lights in all rooms. The whole object contains more than 150 data points, which are periodically read and obtained data are stored in the database.
Digital inputs on UniPi are used for addition of the impulses from the flowmeters (they are sending signal with every spin). Digital inputs are also used for reading data from light switches.
The beer from the brewhouse goes to the one of the 14 storage tanks (fermenting/storage cylindrical-conical tanks – CCT) in the vault, where it ferments. Each tank has two cooling circuits – at the top and at the bottom. This allows to regulate the fermentation with maximum acuracy. Frequency converters regulate the speed of the pumps (Mervis controls them via the Modbus protocol). The heat drained during the cooling process is further used for heating of the potable water for the hotel.
The whole smart solution is done with Mervis software platform. Altough the idea of complicated programming might be deterrent for many planners, it shouldn’t be so hard with Mervis. It uses an intuitive style of programming and furthermore it is in accordance with IEC 61131-3 standard for PLCs. While the construction of the brewery took 6 moths, the programming itself took only 1 week.
Altough the Smart Brewery Radesin is a challenging project, where it is necessary to consider many details, connection and automatization with the smart technology was definately worth it. The costs for UniPi and for all other automatization technology made only 5% from the total costs of brewery construction. Thanks to this use of the modern technology the brewery has smart control with great energy savings and, what’s important, the brewing process was considerably simplified. Cheers!