UC Davis unveils green, wireless winery
10/6/2010 2:31 PM EDT
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A newly completed winery, brewery and food-processing complex at the University of California at Davis claims to be the world's greenest--and first wireless--facility of its kind.
The $20 million, 34,000-square-foot teaching-and-research complex is expected to be the first winery, brewery or food-processing facility to earn LEED Platinum certification. The building includes an onsite solar power generation and a large-capacity system for capturing rainwater and conserving processing water. The stored rainwater will be used for landscaping and toilets, per LEED specifications.
The new complex was funded entirely by private donations; no state or federal funds were used in its design or construction. The south wing of the new one-story complex is home to the August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory. The complex’s north wing houses a new teaching-and-research winery.
The complex is said to use the world’s first wireless wine-fermentation system, a $1 million assembly of 152 wireless grape fermentors. This was designed, fabricated and donated by a team of research engineers led by T.J. Rodgers, founder, president and chief executive officer of San Jose-based Cypress Semiconductor.
Each of the 200-liter, electro-polished, stainless steel fermentors is individually equipped for automated control of temperature and the “pump-over” process, controlling two of the most important factors in determining final wine characteristics and quality.
Additionally, newly designed fermentor sensors frequently and precisely extract and transmit sugar-concentration data from white and red fermentations across a wireless network. Data from the sensors can be generated every 15 minutes with a precision of 0.25 Brix, a measure of sugar content.
When completed, the winery is expected to contain one of the largest wireless networks in any fermentation facility in the world.
The complex is adjacent to a new 12-acre teaching-and-research vineyard and is located within the campus’s Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.
The institute, which opened in 2008, comprises three academic buildings that house the Department of Food Science and Technology and the Department of Viticulture and Enology. (Design and construction of those academic buildings, which total 129,600 square feet, cost $73 million, paid for by a combination of state and private funds. The campus did not apply for LEED certification on the three academic buildings.)