PIPE-FLO® Pours Profits into Brewery

By understanding and modeling their cooling system with PIPE-FLO® Professional, Stroh Brewery was able to save $19,000 annually with just a $1,500 investment.

Engineered Software, Inc.’s PIPE-FLO® products are the world’s leading fluid flow analysis and design modeling software tools. These versatile tools provide value across multiple disciplines, industries and during all stages in the lifetime of a fluid piping system. PIPE-FLO® products are an invaluable tool for the design, commissioning, operation, and modification of fluid piping systems.

BACKGROUND: PIPE-FLO® Professional in Breweries

  • In the brewing industry, product is made in a variety of ways, in batches that are seasonal or under a continuous process. The PIPE-FLO® advantage is the ability to simulate either type of system along with the required support service to ensure that food safety and environmental standards are met.
  • With PIPE-FLO®, the design engineers can simulate the various processes. By having a clear view of the entire plant’s operation using PIPE-FLO®, plant engineers optimize each operation to minimize energy usage by fine tuning the system according the current needs.
  • The ability to store each operations model and adjust for different plant demands allows plant managers to plan and schedule resources to further reduce operating costs and increase profitability.



Stroh Brewery Company analyzed their glycol circulation system used for batch cooling of beer products at one of its brewing facilities.

In the production of beer, product is cooled initially in a heat exchanger, and further in storage tanks after the process is complete. The original pumping system consisted of three parallel pumps driven by 110-kW electric motors, impeller diameters of 430mm, and about 100 meters of total head. Because the pumps were over-sized, a control valve on the pump discharge was throttled resulting in significant head loss. In a previous effort to improve system efficiency, one pump’s impeller had been trimmed to 375 mm diameter and its motor was replaced with a 55-kW unit. However, at flow rates above 65 l/s the motor would overload. This pump was therefore placed out of service and the system was run with one of the 110-kW pumps operated continuously.



To improve energy efficiency and performance of the beer cooling system, three options were considered:

(1) trimming the pump impeller,

(2) installing a new pump that matched the existing system, and

(3) installing a new pump with a variable speed drive.


A single change was made by trimming one pump impeller to 300 mm.  This allowed the pump to operate more efficiently while minimizing losses in the control valve.

  • Electric consumption of the cooling system was reduced by over 50% from 981,000 kWh to 473,000 kWh
  • Energy costs dropped from $36,700 to $17,700 annually
  • Project cost was only $1,500 (primarily of labor to trim impeller)
  • Annual savings of $19,000

About the Author:

Dominik Fry, P.E. is Engineered Software’s Business Development Engineer and has nearly a decade of experience in the energy industry while holding positions of critical importance on some of the nation’s largest energy projects. Fry earned a Bachelor of Science at Montana State University and his Professional Engineering license in Mechanical Engineering from the State of Colorado.