The inspiration for this project came from an article about how much carbon the coffee chain produces, from farming to processing to shipping/ then roasting/ cafe/retail side. Here’s the surprising outcome though, even i thought it would be in shipping but it’s not. it’s in the end coffee shop.
I can’t find the original scientific study but here’s a look into it in another article:
The café and the final cup are the biggest culprits in the energy vacuum that is the coffee supply (and demand) chain. Of the 10 to 11 pounds of carbon emissions that the average pound of coffee creates, as much as 50% is created at the retail and consumer level.
This not insignificant energy usage is the result of multiple factors. Heating and air conditioning in an environment with constant temperature fluctuations (think of the gust one way or another every time a new customer walks in the door); outlets in constant use behind the counter (toasters, blenders, grinders, brewers, fridges, dishwasher if the baristas are lucky) and in front (laptops, phone chargers); espresso machines and grinders left on 24-7 for efficiency’s sake; lights left on in the bathroom and the basement when no one’s using them; computerized POS, cash register, and/or credit-card machines; mountains upon mountains of paper-cup waste; and, of course, the perpetual flowing of water through coffee equipment, toilets, and sinks. It all adds up!
Now imagine how many coffee shops their are in Oxford for instance, then the whole of the UK and then you realise we can save 50% right on our own front door. Your coffee machine uses on average 3000w to power the heating element and is by far the biggest culprit too.
I’ve come across a project called JOOST based in australia who do some fantastic work, there most notable project i’ve seen is a sustainable pop-up restaurant called “The Green House” and well work a look in, but coming back to my point, they managed to reduce their coffee machines consumption by 47.6%!
has standby and night energy saving features. With a brain of its own, the Wegaconcept has the ability to memorise the machine’s workload, adjusting energy functions according to daily/weekly usage patterns. It even has a USB port to update software and install customised programming.
unfortunately until i have a coffee shop(i can dream) im limited to a fracino duel fuel coffee machine that runs off gas for the coffee trike. However my limitations may now be an advantage, powering it by gas means the coffee machine becomes extremely hot, far greater than a normal machine so I’ve been looking at converting this waste heat to electric
In my search I’ve found These little devices called peltiers. They are mainly used in mini fridges. Essentially if you add a current to the peltier, it will heat one side and cool the other, however if you reverse it, cool one side and heat the other it will produce a current! … with the current calculations we should be able to generate between 100-150w from the system. (it’s effeciency is only 5%)
Using the above list this project could/would power on our coffee trike:
- Phone charger (2-3w),
- Music system (1w),
- Ipad til system (4w) Card machine (linked to ipad)
- Printer (40w)(Although our till can send recipets to mobile/email to save paper)
- LED lighting (10-15w)
- #No2 Project is already tackling the waste cup problem above
This is a lot!
Teamed up with Our proposed solar panels and pedal powered generators to take care of the rest of the equipment and this will be a huge advantage! all the parts are on order and we’ll be test running the project on our Market stall in angels
Watch this space!