Well established in the wine industry as a premier designer and manufacturer of smart machines and systems that can save wineries up to 75% water use, the Tom Beard Company has introduced a new washing system upgrade that saves half of the water normally expended when cleaning a barrel by capturing and recycling the final rinse water.
“Innovation and water conservation is what launched our founder’s parent company in 1983,” according to Ed Barr, president of P&L Specialties, a Tom Beard Company located at 1650 Almar Parkway in the Santa Rosa Airport Corporate Park. (www.pnlspecialties.com)
“Our focus on sustainability continues to be the driving force behind water saving enhancements developed for our customers through our existing and new product lines, as well as for winery equipment refurbished and sold through our Revolution Equipment sales division (www.revoquip.com).”
The company produces two types of barrel washers: Two-barrel and four-barrel washing systems. New computer technology also enables these units to lift, rotate and reposition barrels automatically – without having to adjust heavy oak barrels by hand that weigh an average of 120 to 173 lbs. for a 60-gallon capacity wine barrel. Special electronic sensors align and position the bung opening precisely over a washing wand.
During the initial wash cycle removes a majority of wine fermentation residue, including chunks of matter that may have clung to the walls or settled to the bottom, by inserting a high-pressure wand through the bung. The wand rises and falls to spray the entire interior with hot water that open pores in the wood for deep cleaning.
First rinse waste water is often saved for further processing and sold to extract elements with commercial value.
The final rinse uses cold water to close wood pores. In the past, this wastewater was not saved. Now using a system of pumps, controls and filters, the final rinse solution can be transfered to a 300-gallon holding tank and recycled to become the initial rinse for another barrel.
“Final rinse water is filtered and very clear. Since the first wash cycle typically cleans more than 95% of deposits, reusing the final rinse is an ideal way to conserve water,” said Jesus “Chuy” Mendoza, general manager of the Tom Beard Company. “This new upgrade is available now and priced in a range of from $12K to $15K as an upgrade or in addition to the base price of a two or four barrel washing system.”
The significance of this new water-saving upgrade can be appreciated with a little math. An average winery has about 5,000 barrels that are cleaned twice a year, for a total of 10,000-barrel washes.
Each complete, two-part wash cycle uses 15 gallons of water per barrel, which means it takes 60 gallons of water to clean four barrels. So if half of the water is being recycled (7.5 gallons times 10,000 barrels) some 75,000 gallons of water could be saved each year by a single winery.
“Multiply these savings by the number of wineries that could use this innovative water recapturing system and this simple solution can conserve many millions of gallons of water annually in the North Bay alone,” Mendoza added.
Another innovation on the Tom Beard drawing board, is a new washing device (called a Bin Blaster) designed for use inside half-ton macro bins that require only 2.5 gallons of water per blast. The company also produces a washing machine for totes, or lugs (the yellow boxes that hold 35 lbs. of grapes).
Tom Beard Company
Award Category: Environment
1650 Almar Pkwy., Santa Rosa 95403