Neuhaus Neotec implements first industrial-scale electric coffee roaster

Neuhaus Neotec

Neuhaus Neotec has manufactured a purely electrically powered RFB roaster for Canadian coffee roaster Café William’s new production facility, which was officially inaugurated on 7 February 2024.

“It was a great, very transparent collaboration with Neuhaus Neotec. And what we have achieved together has exceeded our expectations. For a few weeks now, we have been roasting purely electrically with electricity from hydropower,” says Rémi Tremblay, CEO of Café William.

The electrically powered RFB roaster with an hourly output of 3 to 3.5 tonnes of green coffee requires a maximum power supply of 1 megawatt, which is roughly equivalent to the output of four Super Charger charging stations for electric cars. By roasting with green electricity instead of gas as an energy source, greenhouse gas emissions can be significantly reduced.

If a customer wants to keep several heat energy source options open, Neuhaus Neotec has designed this RFB as a dual-energy hybrid roaster, which can be operated both purely electrically and with natural gas. If required, it can even run on both energy sources at the same time.

The system design of the RFB roaster series enables the use of purely electrical energy for roasting as well as the use of other alternative resources without significant structural modifications. In hybrid operation with gas and electricity, the system is simply expanded to include an additional heat source.

One of the great strengths of the RFB is its high flexibility and wide range of roasting profiles. Even when using electricity or hydrogen as a heat source, roasters can continue to use their proven roasting profiles.

“Initially, we weren’t entirely sure whether these energy sources would offer the same flexibility in temperature control as natural gas,” says Dr Stephan Sternowsky, Head of Technology at Neuhaus Neotec.

“However, the extensive roasting tests in the field have shown us that roasting with electricity allows the same scope for design as with gas and that roasting curves are just as reproducible.”

For coffee roasters who are roasting on RFB systems, Neuhaus Neotec can convert them to electric or hydrogen operation.

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