Hale’s Ales Goes For Green Beer

With a motto like “Think globally, drink locally,” Hale’s Ales of Seattle clearly has the environment in mind when it comes to beer, and its latest addition is the case in point: a hybrid solar thermal system that will heat water for its on-site brewery. The system is expected to prevent 3.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere over the next 25 years.

Net Zero Impact recently lowered the system’s large capacity water storage tank through a temporary opening in the brewery’s roof (no doubt catching the eye of passersby in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, where Hale’s is located). The solar thermal system will supply 3,000 to 4,000 gallons of solar-heated water per day for various brewing processes and help provide radiant heating for the building and the adjoining Hale’s Pub.

thermomax,hale's ales

image via Kingspan Solar

This isn’t Net Zero’s first beer-related project in Seattle: In June, we reported that Big Al Brewing threw the switch on a new solar thermal system that was allowing the brewery to reduce its energy costs while boosting production.

At Hale’s Ale, the Net Zero system replaces the facility’s old gas-fueled steam boiler and includes 480 solar thermal tubes manufactured by Kingspan Solar, a 1 million British Thermal unit (MBtu) steam boiler, a 1 MBtu high-efficiency hot water boiler and a 1,200-gallon water storage tank, as well as heat exchangers and programmable controllers for all pump delivery systems.

About those solar tubes: they work with both direct and diffuse sunlight (a key consideration in overcast Seattle), transforming solar radiation into useful heat in the form of hot water. Each patented Kingspan Solar air-evacuated tube collects, concentrates and transfers solar energy to an insulated manifold, super-heating water, which is then pumped through a heat exchanger to the storage tank. Heat is controlled through Kingspan’s proprietary process, extending the life of the system.

Hale’s Ales other green efforts include use of high-efficiency light bulbs throughout its 17,000-square-foot facility, as well as smart tech designed to manage the building’s lights and heating/cooling systems. More information is available online.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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