Brewery trials innovative heat pump following £406k award  

Clean tech company, Futraheat, has developed a high-temperature heat pump, which it is trialling at a Sussex-based brewery following a £406k cash injection by BEIS. 

Futraheat awarded £406,000 from BEIS to trial innovative heat pump at Hepworth Brewery

The London-based start-up company has developed the ground-breaking heat pump– known as Greensteam – which can help industrial users recycle heat and radically reduce fuel use – delivering energy reductions of up to 90 percent.  

Futraheat has partnered with manufacturing integration specialists Projective and Sussex-based Hepworth Brewery to secure the £406,000 in phase 3 funding from the BEIS Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) competition to install and trial their heat pump prototype at the brewery. The IEEA is funded through the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio and is managed by the Carbon Trust with support from Jacobs and Innovate UK KTN. 

Real-world setting 

Futraheat’s modular, Greensteam heat pump uses a new type of patented turbo compressor, known as TurboClaw®, which cost-effectively recovers low-grade waste heat – a by-product of many industrial processes – and boosts it up to 150 °C, where it can be successfully reused onsite.  

Reduce energy consumption by up to 90% 

The brewery currently uses a standard oil boiler for its process heat. Replacing it with Futraheat’s high-temperature heat pump is expected to reduce energy consumption by up to 90%, provide fuel cost savings of up to 40% and reduce carbon emissions by up to 100% when the heat pump is powered by renewable energy.  

 Click here for a three-minute explainer animation

Click here for a one-minute explainer animation. 

Futraheat managing director Tom Taylor says: “Industrial decarbonisation remains one of the greatest challenges to reaching net zero. Process heat generation by the industry for 100°C-200°C heat is responsible for over 3% of total global emissions – that’s more than the entire aviation industry. 

Futraheat awarded £406,000 from BEIS to trial innovative heat pump at Hepworth Brewery 

“Futraheat’s current prototype is to be modified to produce low-pressure steam for use at Hepworth Brewery. The 300kWt high-temperature heat pump will have a temperature input of 100°C and raise this to deliver 130°C for the brewery’s existing wort boiling process. 

Real-world setting 

“This project will enable Futraheat to validate its pioneering technology through testing in an operational, real-world setting. This is the next step as Futraheat begins to develop its first commercial product, the Greensteam heat pump, which is due to go to market in 2024.” 

The high-temperature heat pump demonstrator was originally designed and developed by Futraheat and Projective under Innovate UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) awarded in 2021. 

According to the UK Government, industry accounted for 16 percent of UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2018, making it the third largest emitting sector – therefore, meeting the net zero target requires a near-complete decarbonisation of the UK industry. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) estimated that decarbonising industry will take c. £8 billion in public and private investment a year.  

Address the barrier around uncertainties 

The BEIS Industrial Energy Efficiency Accelerator (IEEA) programme provides funding to increase the number of innovative energy and resource efficiency technologies available to British industry to help reduce energy and resource consumption, alongside cutting carbon emissions. 

The competition supports the recently published Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy (March 2021), which identified that government investment is required to advance the development of low carbon technologies to address the barrier around uncertainties associated with novel technologies for the private sector.  

 “We are pleased to be able to collaborate on this project with two organisations committed to making an environmental impact. Futraheat has a global market, and we see the potential for this technology across industrial sectors around the world. It’s fitting that its first-ever industrial trial will be so close to home,” Taylor said.