Chicago, IL

Fleischmann Kurth Malting is one of the largest suppliers of malt for the American beer industry. Since 1991, they have run one of the most energy efficient cogeneration plants, using over 80% of the available energy for electricity and process needs. Their first installation consisted of one 1000 kW and two 800 kW natural gas fired engines. Waste heat from jacket water is used in a liquid to air heat exchangers to provide heat for their drying kiln. Another heat exchanger captures heat from the exhaust to preheat intake air. Radiant heat from the engines and heat from an auxiliary loop, which is often not captured due to its lower energy value, is also used. The radiant heat is used to preheat process air and the auxiliary loop is used in a heat exchanger to heat water used the the grain germination process. Because of the high level of energy utilization that this system has, Ballard Engineering was awarded a First Place ASHRAE Energy Design Award in 1991.

Fleischmann Kurth Malting installed a second cogeneration system in 1993. Instead of producing electricity, this system uses direct drive engines to power hydraulic pumps. The hydraulic pumps are used to run fans for their drying process. Heat is recovered from the engines, and also from the hydraulic system, for product drying and preheating process air. The overall efficiency of the hydraulic plant is 88%. Ballard Engineering won an ASHRAE Excellence in Engineering Award in 1993 for this innovative and energy efficient design.