Reduce energy consumption and increase energy optimisation in the cellar

In wine production, namely in the wine cellar, electricity is the main energy used. The process that consumes more energy in winery operations is cooling. This is due to the importance of operating far below ambient temperatures in order to separate and remove heat produced by fermentation and ensure product quality.

After cooling, the seasonality of production is another factor that increases the use of energy. Due to the timing of harvest, energy consumption peaks between the months of August and October, a period that includes receiving the grapes and the main wine production processes. During the remainder of the year, many wineries have a reduced energy consumption that is associated with the storage and picking processes, as well as ancillary activities: offices, air conditioning, etc.

A third aspect also specific to wineries is the aging of certain types of wine, in particular red wine. Aging time can vary from a few days to years and can be done in barrels, bottles, or stainless steel tanks or cement. The effect of this process on energy consumption can be very important, since wine ages under controlled temperature and humidity conditions, usually requiring refrigeration machines or heat pumps for extended periods of time.

In actual fact, energy is a variable cost and not an overload. Therefore, better management will improve the understanding of:

  • Energy costs of the production line;
  • How the energy is used in the business;
  • Ways to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, with resulting impacts on global warming
Reduce energy consumption
Reduce energy consumption

Energy management and efficiency are key to improving productivity, quality and public image. A central tool for good energy management is an energy audit.

An energy audit is a thorough survey of current energy consumption, based on an analysis of the amount and type of energy used in each process of wine operations. Data collected in an energy audit will lead to the development of a set of measures to reduce energy consumption. Thus, the energy audit will provide specific information and identify real possibilities of energy savings. It consists of a critical examination of how energy is used based on accurate records for fuel consumption and associated costs.

 Generally an energy audit has the following objectives:

  • Quantify the consumption and costs for every form of energy;
  • Examine how the energy is used at the facility;
  • Determine energy consumption by sector, process or equipment;
  • Examine in detail how energy is used;
  • Identify energy waste situations;
  • Propose corrective measures and analyse identified technical and economic solutions.

To improve the energy efficiency of cellars, there are alternative technologies. Besides the acquisition of modern high efficiency equipment, there are several other options to improve these systems, such as:

  • Energy efficiency in cooling processes;
  • Efficient aging in barrels;
  • Insulation;
  • Lighting;
  • Capacitor batteries to reduce reactive power.

WASP promotes the reduction in energy consumption through good energy management practices:

  • Reduce energy consumption and associated costs;
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to energy consumption;
  • Alleviate electrical transformers and overloaded circuits, as well as cooling and other service equipment;
  • Transition to energy sources with low environmental impact.