Westons Cider saves £42,000 annually with reverse osmosis from Spirax Sarco

Westons Cider is saving around £42,000 per year in fuel and water costs following the installation of a Reverse Osmosis (RO) water treatment unit from Spirax Sarco.

The new RO system has reduced water and energy losses by cutting the amount of boiler blowdown and water needed. Accurate metering of fuel oil and water has pinpointed the savings, including 3,800 litres of oil saved over a 15-day period. What's more, the savings are likely to be even higher than these measurements suggest because of reduced CO2 emissions and a lower Climate Change Levy (CCL), although these have yet to be quantified.

There are also other clear signs that confirm the savings, according to Westons Cider's, Jason Roberts. "Before we installed the RO system I could put my hand on the boiler blowdown pipe and it was warm, so there must have been hot water being discharged frequently into the blowdown vessel from the boiler," he says. "Now it's almost always cold, so we're definitely losing less water and energy."

Regular boiler blowdown is needed to prevent dissolved solids from accumulating in the boiler, where they can cause problems such as foaming and scale. The RO system from Spirax Sarco treats water before it reaches the boiler feedtank and removes more than 98% of contamination to produce high-quality, low-conductivity water.

The project has shown a step-change in control and efficiency and has enabled an increase in the boiler cycles of concentration, resulting in reduced boiler make up and boiler blowdown. A cut in blowdown from 3% to less than 1% has been achieved, saving oil, water and boiler treatment chemicals.

In fact, the RO-treated water is so clean that it has effectively descaled the boiler, reports Mr Roberts: "It started out by descaling and cleaning up the steam system, but the blowdown rate soon dropped back to a much lower level than before."

The Westons Cider site in Much Marcle, Ledbury, makes cider and perry. The 2,000kg/h boiler produces steam for various process duties, including pasteurisation and cleaning. "Westons is a very environmentally conscious company," says Mr Roberts. "When Spirax Sarco suggested that installing RO could save boiler blowdown water we were very interested.

The installation was quick and easy and the RO system is compact. We're very pleased with the results and we may well consider using RO again in other applications."

For more information on Spirax Sarco's water treatment capabilities, including RO, please call 01242 535361 or email enquiries@uk.spiraxsarco.com ref 'RO'.

For further information please email Spirax Sarco Ltd

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