Local Coffee Roaster to Install Technology That Will Capture Waste Heat and Convert it to
Clean Energy for Powering Operations
Company will Double Production While Maintaining
Carbon-Neutral Status; Surplus Energy Could Be Sold to the Grid
PORTLAND, Ore. (July 12, 2016) — Portland Roasting Coffee, a Portland-based sustainable coffee roasting company, is on track to become the world’s first self-powered commercial-scale coffee roaster. The company has made significant investments in technology that will use waste heat generated by the roaster to power all of its electrical needs, with surplus to sell back to the grid. This will allow the company to double its coffee production capacity while maintaining carbon neutrality. It’s the first time this technology has been utilized in the coffee industry.
Energy Intensive Process Produces Waste Heat
The traditional coffee roasting process relies upon large industrial roasters that utilize blue-flame burners. This combustion process uses a great deal of energy and produces large amounts of heat. “Waste heat” is a byproduct of manufacturing processes in a wide range of industries. Waste Heat to Power (WHP) technology recovers waste heat before it dissipates and uses it to generate power with no additional combustion or emissions of its own.
Mark Stell, founder and managing partner of Portland Roasting, has been working with Cool Energy Inc., a supplier of a power conversion technology that converts heat into clean electricity. The power conversion technology developed and supplied by Cool Energy converts waste heat between 150 degrees Celsius and 400 degrees Celsius into clean electricity.
Stell also is working with the Heat is Power Association, a not-for-profit trade group that educates decision makers in manufacturing about using waste heat as a clean, efficient power source. The group has been pushing for changes to wording in the nation’s tax code to permit companies that want to install WHP systems to access investment tax credits. Currently, incentives in place for renewables don’t apply to technologies for converting waste heat to power. The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016, which in April passed the Senate with bi-partisan support, would add WHP technology to the federal definition of renewable energy.
“The next evolution for the coffee roasting industry is to have a built-in power source,” said Stell. “This isn’t wishful thinking. Waste heat to power technology is here, now, and gives almost any manufacturer that generates waste heat, no matter the industry, the ability to self-power their operation.”
Combustion Emissions Also a Factor
The coffee roasting process is not just energy intensive, it also produces large amounts of noxious gas emissions. Afterburners are used to vaporize smoke, converting emissions into clean water vapor and eliminating pollutants released during the roasting process. However, traditional afterburners use a great deal of additional energy. Portland Roasting dramatically reduced both emissions and energy use when it recently purchased a new Diedrich CR-210 roaster equipped with a catalytic oxidizer, which operates with the same purpose and function as a traditional afterburner, but at about half the temperature and about half the natural gas usage.
Portland Roasting Coffee received a $20,000 incentive from Energy Trust of Oregon, which provides technical assistance and cash incentives for area companies who make qualifying energy-reduction equipment upgrades. The company expects that, at full utilization, it will be able to power all of its operations and also generate an electricity surplus which, if sold back to the grid, would further reduce its energy costs and reduce the payback on its energy-reduction investments to just four years.
About Portland Roasting Coffee
Since 1996, Portland Roasting Coffee has provided high-quality specialty coffees to independent coffee shops, grocers, restaurants and hotels. Their coffee has been grown with great care for the land, the laborers, and the legacy of their presence in local communities. Portland Roasting Coffee takes great pride in its farming partners and does all it can to support their growth and success. The coffee company’s commitment to farmers and environmental impact has resulted in an ever-growing list of global projects to improve life quality and environmental sustainability. When you enjoy a cup of Portland Roasting coffee, you join their mission to improve the world’s coffee growing regions. For more information on Portland Roasting, please visit www.portlandroasting.com.
About Cool Energy
Cool Energy, Inc., Boulder, Colo., is a certified B-Corporation that supplies a breakthrough power conversion product called the ThermoHeart® Engine. These engines can be used to convert heat between 150 degrees Celsius and 400 degrees Celsius into clean electricity in waste heat applications such as industrial exhaust, stationary power generation, and some kinds of pollution control equipment. Producing up to 25 kilowatts of clean electricity, the ThermoHeart Engines are quiet, low-maintenance, and extremely efficient. In initial performance testing, a 300 Celsius temperature difference produced over 30% thermal-to-electrical conversion efficiency. No other product or technology has demonstrated such a high performance under similar operating conditions. More information can be found at www.coolenergy.com.
About Heat Is Power
The Heat is Power Association (HiP) is the trade association for the waste heat to power (WHP) industry. WHP uses waste heat from industrial processes to generate electricity with no additional fuel, no combustion, and no incremental emissions. HiP educates decision makers about clean energy from waste heat and lobbies for policies that provide parity for WHP with other sources of emission-free power. www.heatispower.org.
About Diedrich Roasters
Diedrich Roasters is a global leader in designing and manufacturing batch coffee roasting systems. Designed and built by craftsman for craftsmen, Diedrich roasters are constructed from materials of the highest quality and use proprietary roasting technology that allows complete and unsurpassed control over the roasting environment, enabling roastmasters to maximize the distinct flavor of each coffee bean. The company offers two primary roaster lines – In-Store Roasters (“IR Series”) with batch capacity up to 12 kilos; and Commercial Roasting systems (“CR Series”) with capacity exceeding 300 kilos – and all associated ancillary equipment. www.diedrichroasters.com.