A plan for solar-powered winemaking is working even better than expected, according to the electrical engineers who developed it.
The LEED Gold Hall Estate Winery in Napa Valley, CA – a $100 million project designed by Frank Gehry – is powered by alternative energy.
IBE Consulting Engineers was tasked to design the production facility’s MEP systems to cut energy use, both total and from the grid. IBE conceived systems for rooftop solar power and radiant flooring to control production-room temperatures. For the solar-power system, IBE Consulting Engineers developed specifications and reviewed vendor options before designing a 42,000-square-foot installation that provides 35 percent of the winery’s energy needs. The engineers consulted with Gehry to select panels and configurations that fulfilled the aesthetic criteria.
For the radiant system, water piping was installed into the winery’s cement floors, allowing cold or warm water to run through the substrata to efficiently regulate production room temperatures. Radiant heat is one of the most efficient room-temperature control methods.
The vintner’s solar power system is actually exceeding expectations. The panels can be washed, and output is monitored online.