Kitchen canopies are essential to ensuring a safe and comfortable working environment in a commercial kitchen, but until recently, they have been seen as the ‘energy vampires’ of the catering equipment world.
So how can distributors ensure that the system they specify isn’t a power-sucker?
According to HVAC Ltd’s head of kitchen ventilation, Ian Levin, the manufacturer ensures all of its systems are tailored to each application.
“We design as much efficiency into each system as is practicable within the space and budget constraints of each project,” he said. “This may include basic decisions such as selecting the correct type of fan motor and impeller.”
HVAC has developed several canopy configurations that are said to use intelligent design features to maximise efficiency, allowing the firm to select smaller plant motors, size smaller ductwork and decrease the cost of downstream air treatment components.
Levin explained: “The question of energy efficiency goes much further than purely ‘how much does it cost to run a fan?’ or ‘how much treated air is being sent straight back to atmosphere?’. It is more relevant to talk about through-life costs.
“For instance, a system with poor up-front filtration in the canopy will require significantly higher maintenance and cleaning. It is unfortunate that so many of these relatively simple energy/cost saving ideas fall prey to capital-budget constraints – or the dreaded ‘value engineering’ – on too many projects.”
With regards to demand-controlled systems he detailed: “I am fully behind utilising new technology including demand based controls but there needs to be more consideration of all effects that the controls have on the rest of the ventilation processes.”