Green Beer Comes to Hale?s Ales with Installation of Hybrid Solar Thermal System

-Net Zero Impact has begun installation of a hybrid solar-thermal system at Hale’s Ales, the company’s largest and most sophisticated solar project to date. Located in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, the project kicked off today with the dramatic lowering of a 1,200-gallon storage tank through a temporary opening in the brewery’s roof.

Over the next 25 years, Net Zero Impact technology will prevent 3.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. Hale’s Ales expects to save approximately $15,000 per year on natural gas costs. The system will supply 3,000 to 4,000 gallons of solar-heated water per day for various brewing processes, radiant heating for the building and use by the adjoining Hale’s Pub.

The new solar-thermal investment is one of several sustainable initiatives Hale’s Ales has implemented. Other “green” efforts include use of high-efficiency light bulbs throughout the 17,000 square foot facility and “smart” technology to manage the building’s lights and heating/cooling systems.

The Net Zero Impact system, replacing the inefficient gas-fueled steam boiler, includes:

480 solar thermal tubes manufactured by Kingspan Solar,
a one million British Thermal unit (MBtu) steam boiler,
a one MBtu high-efficiency hot water boiler,
a 1,200-gallon water storage tank,
heat exchangers and programmable controllers for all pump delivery systems.

“We’ve spent 27 years serving the community with the very best hand-crafted beers possible and making our operations greener is just another way of giving back to our community,” said Mike Hale, founder and president of Hale’s Ales. “Net Zero Impact’s experience working with breweries, exceptional warranty and ability to implement an extremely complex design made it an easy choice to work with the company.”

Kingspan solar thermal tubes transform direct and diffuse sunlight—solar radiation available even on cold, cloudy or humid days—into useful heat in the form of hot water, capturing the sun’s energy, a critically important advantage in the Pacific Northwest’s frequently sun-starved environment.

Inside each Kingspan Solar air evacuated tube, solar radiation is collected, concentrated and transferred to an insulated manifold. Super-heated water is then pumped through a heat exchanger to Hale’s 1,200-gallon storage tank. Kingspan’s patented technology for controlling heat in this process is credited for the system’s long production life and 25-year warranty.

“Northwest brewers have an acute need for hot water and have been early adopters of our hybrid solar thermal technology,” said Barry Andersen, CEO, Net Zero Impact LLC. “We proved the value of the Net Zero Impact system with our installation at Big Al Brewing earlier this year and now, with Hale’s, we’re demonstrating that it works on a large scale.”

Net Zero Impact LLC is expert in the design and installation of hybrid solar energy technologies for commercial applications in the Pacific Northwest. The company, founded in 2007, designs and deploys integrated solar systems, incorporating the patented, high-efficiency Thermomax solar-thermal tubes from industry leader Kingspan Solar. Through a comprehensive approach, including needs analysis, design and financing, Net Zero Impact is making a brighter future for forward-thinking organizations and enterprises in the Pacific Northwest.