Glycol flow sensor for winery

Burkert Fluid Control Systems
Friday, 19 January, 2007

One company that is driving modern winery techniques is Martella Refrigeration, based in New Zealand's Blenheim-Marlborough winegrowing region. Martella's is a refrigeration and process engineering operation serving many of the key wineries in the region.

Martella Refrigeration - operated by father and son team Allan and Bryan Martella - chooses the reliability of German engineered fluid control components when designing winery systems, with technologies and products from Bürkert Fluid Control Systems.

"Our work with local wineries is largely based on the temperature control side," says winery and refrigeration controls engineer Bryan Martella.

"Winery temperature systems with exact control characteristics, generally with glycol agents, are key to making quality wines. However, the process can be quite demanding due to external factors such as temperature and weather conditions, as well as the continuous recycling of glycol which can result in contaminated glycol flows.

"Our aim at all times is to improve production efficiency for customers, whilst achieving quality standards that give a real edge when their wines are marketed domestically as well as overseas. Quality opens doors to exports," said Mr Martella, whose company serves wineries with production varying from a few hundred to a few hundred thousand tonnes of grapes per annum.

"We started working with Bürkert about five years ago and the difference in the quality was immediately apparent. With Bürkert products we see a considerable difference in the level of ruggedness and reliability. Whereas previously we were continuously unblocking and replacing glycol valves, the new Bürkert Type 2000s were trouble free from the start," says Mr Martella.

Bürkert has supplied Martella Refrigeration with process, solenoid and pilot valves, pneumatic actuators and customised instrumentation, as well as accessories including fittings and air tubing.

Martella Refrigeration uses Type 2000 process valves, preferring the unit for its ease of operation and toughness in the face of demanding weather conditions and challenging media flow. The Type 2000 is suitable for winery use, where it has been shown to operate for years without requiring service.

The Type 2000 process valve has high flow characteristics and is designed for high pressures to 16 bar. Waterhammer free, the valve is very cost efficient due to low air consumption, and is available in a stainless steel and gunmetal body.

Martella's is proactive in developing new users for wineries - a recent concept was the portable glycol flow sensor, to monitor glycol flow to win tanks. Bürkert NZ engineers worked with Bryan Martella to customise a Type 8032 Flow Sensor switch powered by a battery pack, for easy on-site flow measurement.

The compact 4-20 mA Type 8032 Flow Sensor paddlewheel switch with display is designed for use in clear, neutral and aggressive fluids. The display can be locally or wall mounted and the entire unit easily fitted to piping with a quarter-turn connection. The 8032 is a modular instrument, built to work independently or in combination with valves and pneumatics. This simple device demonstrated that many glycol lines were oversized, enabling an immediate and considerable cost efficiency for customer wineries as glycol flow was optimised.

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