40-kilowatt, 140-panel system generates solar energy to power up a brewery

Michigan-based brewing company is brewing up solar energy

You can never go wrong with some sunshine and a glass of beer, right? That was the thinking behind the Michigan-based Dark Horse Brewing Company when it decided to green up its operations. Because brewing beer requires an abundance of refrigeration, compressed air, water, and light, it’s no surprise this progressive microbrewery became interested in making more beer with less energy.

Fitted with 140 solar photovoltaic panels in the form of two “farms” on its production facility, the brewery uses the harnessed energy to power its everyday operations. In the event that more energy is harvested than needed to power Dark Horse’s home grid, the excess power goes into the city grid for redistribution. Also in the works is the installation of a new dual compressor chiller, which is used to circulate glycol, a food-grade antifreeze, throughout the brewery’s pipes to keep beer cool and temperatures stable.

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Dark Horse Brewery’s solar system. Image via Design News.

Because the project was triggered by the need to upgrade the old chiller, the brewery opted for an energy-efficient upgrade, since it needed to invest anyway. Read More