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Claridge’s hotel has achieved a 30 per cent reduction in energy costs following the installation of two 11kW variable-speed drives from ABB to control air supply and extraction in its kitchen.

The variable-speed drives are installed by ventilation control system specialist Food Industry Technical (FIT) to lower energy costs and reduce CO2 output as part of the hotel’s total kitchen refit.

The upgrade will see total energy savings of more than GBP10,000 per year.

FIT supplied a cooker hood system that automatically reacts to conditions in the kitchen, ramping up extraction during busy times and reducing flow in quieter times.

By controlling the extraction and supply fans to match the needs of the application, energy savings are achieved.

Previously, the cooker hood system was consuming more than 450kWh per day, but after the installation of FIT’s system incorporating ABB drives, energy consumption fell to 315kWh per day.

The installation will save the hotel just under 50 tonnes of CO2 per year and achieve return on investment in 1.8 years.

The fans were running at 100 per cent at all times prior to the installation of the FIT system.

However, this method wastes energy – using variable-speed drives to control fan speed brings more accurate control and uses less energy.

Variable-speed drives match the speed of the fan to the demands of the application so just enough energy is supplied to extract and supply fans at all times, saving money.

FIT installed its Cheetah cooker hood extraction system into the kitchen.

The system comprises two 11kW, IP54 ABB standard drives for HVAC controlling the extraction and supply fans.

The system incorporates a range of sensors measuring temperature, smoke, steam and airflow in the extract and supply ducts in order to determine the fan’s optimum flow rates, enabling conditions in the kitchen to remain constant at all times.

To enhance safety, the system also incorporates a gas isolation module for cutting off the gas supply in case of emergencies.

Peter Evans, sales director at FIT, said: ‘The sensors measure activity in the kitchen and constantly send signals to the drives adjusting the fans to meet demand.

‘As a safety measure, the system also monitors flow in the exhaust duct and supply duct.

‘If the extract or supply duct loses air supply, the gas isolation module automatically shuts down the gas supply, ensuring that gas levels do not build up in the kitchen,’ he added.

The system also features a fail-safe mechanism to further enhance safety – in the event of a control cable being severed, or a sensor failing, the drives will automatically ramp up to 100 per cent and stay there until the fault is rectified, ensuring air supply to the kitchens remains at safe levels.

Evans said: ‘The installation represented a huge challenge.

‘We had six hours to fit our system before the kitchen opened up to customers.

‘Using ABB drives here offered a significant advantage – the drives are extremely easy to configure because the built-in keypad tells you exactly what parameters you are setting without having to reference them.

‘With competitor models, the drives have numbers that represent each parameter.

‘The engineer then has to look up an instruction manual to see what the numbers mean resulting in a significantly increased installation time,’ he added.

ABB Automation Tech – Drives and Motors

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