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The project was professionally based on the need of the market for a wine cooling system that
is able to keep the fermenting must at the right temperature during the fermentation process,
thus keeping the yeast species living in it alive and providing the appropriate temperature for
their optimal biological functioning in the tank. In order for such a project to be realized, it
was first necessary to understand the physical, chemical and biological processes taking place
in the must, which cause its heat production. In the process of understanding this, we mapped
how the individual wine types and wine aging methods affect this heat production, and with
the help of this, it was already possible to determine how much cooling capacity is needed.
In connection with this, however, another area of problems arose, coming from the fact that
the fermentation is not carried out in a completely homogeneous way during maturation in
larger tanks of several hundred hectoliters, and as a consequence of the geometry of the tank,
different heat production or heat storage may occur at different points of the tank, and this
must also be taken into account when designing a modern cooling system.
The consequence of this was the continuation of our research, during which we began to deal
with how these so-called "heat pockets" are formed and later also with how to ensure
appropriate monitoring by taking these into account, since if the heat sensor is placed in the
wrong place and in the wrong way in the tank, we will get false data, which in turn can have
fatal consequences regarding fermentation. Thus, once these thermal processes were
identified and understood, the planning of thermal monitoring could begin
during which we carried out serious tests regarding the different results we get in the case of
sensors used in different ways, until finally we found the optimal solution for this as well.
Then came the next step regarding the parameters of the related individual cooling. During the
negotiations with the market players, a problem arose, which resulted from the fact that
similar high-capacity fermentation cooling systems cannot be used optimally by smaller
wineries,
since not only one type of wine is fermented at a time in a cooling system, because due to the
smaller scale of production, not as much wine is produced from each variety. However, most
of the systems on the market only offer a cooling system that can only simultaneously cool all
the fermentation tanks at the same power, thereby forcing such and similar small wineries to
compromise, both in terms of work processes and wine quality.
To solve this, with the involvement of a subcontractor, a system was developed that can
provide different heat control for each tank individually with the help of the fact that a
solenoid valve and an independent control panel were installed on the tanks in the cooling
circuit,
which can even be controlled remotely by the winemaker via a network, in this way, one can
see from a distance, marked by each container, exactly which fermentation stage and at what
temperature the wines are fermented and we have even developed an advanced decision
support system for all of this, which can warn the user in certain cases, if intervention is
necessary to maintain the processes.