Innovative Renewable Energy Solutions in Malting: The Simpsons Malt Project
- An enquiry was received from Simpsons Malt, a renowned supplier of high-quality malts who we have long supported, and for whom we have become a Trusted. ™ supplier. They shared with us their ambitious plans to meet their sustainability goals, ultimately achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 across their malting sites.
- Their plans involved commissioning a low-carbon Energy Centre at the Tweed Valley Maltings site in Berwick. This setup aims to save 25,000 tonnes of carbon annually, translating to an approximate 80% reduction in carbon emissions at the UK's largest malting site.
- Traditionally in the UK malt is dried in kilns fed with a hot air stream. The air is heated to required temperatures using a series of gas fired burners. This plan includes the implementation of a pioneering 12MW electric boiler powered by 'curtailed' wind energy alongside three 6MW biomass boilers, utilizing locally sourced, low-grade woodchip replacing the gas consumption of the burners.
- In this groundbreaking initiative, the high voltage electric boilers will be powered by wind energy which traditionally would have been switched off during excess wind generation, addressing the issue of renewable energy wastage in the UK's energy grid.
- The challenge for Turnbull & Scott is to help Simpsons Malt redesign the air intake stream to allow 80% of the heat required to be delivered in the form of low-pressure hot water from the Energy Centre, rather than the traditional gas burners.
- We quickly mobilized to assist Simpsons in developing an innovative malt drying solution that fitted with their plan to electrify the industrial air heating process and harness the renewable wind energy efficiently.
- Our specialist design team at our Edinburgh Design Hub undertook thermal modelling to determine the size and geometry of the heat exchangers which would be required for the upgraded malting kilns.
- We planned to use custom designed LPHW heating coils for the malting kilns which would be crucial in enhancing the traditional kilning stage of the malting process.
- A concern expressed by the client was that any alteration to the airflow could impact on the drying process of the product. It was vital that we understand the impact of the heat exchangers on the air side pressure drop.
- Working collaboratively with the client, project funders, and EPC’s design teams, we reviewed CFD analysis on airflow and pressure drops to hone the Heat Exchanger geometry to optimise airflow and thermal performance.
- To guarantee the performance of the heat exchangers, we constructed a wind tunnel and produced prototype heat exchangers to test and validate the pressure drop performances.
- Renowned for the design and manufacture of highly durable industrial coils, we will be supplying our unique plate-fin coils with steel-encased tube header design, incorporating the taper ferrule joint.
- We are successfully delivering 30 custom-designed LPHW plate-fin air heating coils for the malting kilns.
- These coils aim to ensure the integrity at high temperatures and pressures, overcoming the challenge of traditional return bends known for their fragility.
- Our products will be delivered to site for the customers by May 2024, contributing significantly to the project’s goal of blending traditional and modern technology to reduce carbon emissions substantially.
"This collaboration with Turnbull & Scott marks a significant stride towards our carbon-neutral goal, blending cutting-edge technology with time-honoured traditions.
"Our partnership with Turnbull & Scott is a testament to the power of innovation, and we're optimistic about embarking on more sustainable journeys together."
Steven Rowley, Operations Director, Simpsons Malt Limited