Coopers Cave Ale Company Solar Hot Water System
For Coopers Cave Ale Co., hot water is doubly essential. The Glens Falls operation offers as many as a dozen beers and ales at a time, brews up to 20 in a year, and includes a restaurant that seats up to 120. Brewing requires 80,000 gallons of water annually at 150 degrees for cleaning boiling pots, fermenters, racking equipment and the bottling system. The restaurant consumes 200,000 gallons annually at the same temperature, in part because its dishwasher runs 11 hours a day.
Ten solar collectors share space with the roof garden, feeding a 325-gallon holding tank downstairs. Inside the tank, a solar-heated mixture of water and glycol flows through the coils of a heat exchanger, continuously heating water in a separate coil. Water enters the building through two pipes under the sidewalk at 50 degrees year-round, and the solar hot water system preheats the water before it enters an electric water heater that slightly boosts the temperature for use.