By Brent Morris, West Region Business Development Manager for Intelli-Hood at Melink Corporation
Kitchen ventilation, for both exhaust and makeup air, represents a significant opportunity for kWh and kBTU reductions in health care facilities. Demand control kitchen ventilation, or DCKV for short, uses both temperature and optic sensors to vary the speed of exhaust and makeup air fans in response to the precise cooking intensity underneath kitchen hoods. Running the fans only as fast as needed provides savings on fan energy (controls produce 40% to 60% average fan speed versus 100% without controls). In addition, heating and cooling savings are gained because the kitchen isn't evacuating all the expensive conditioned air.
These controls can be installed in new construction projects, specified by the engineering firm in the design phase of your project, and should qualify for one LEED point. In addition, DCKV is a path to compliance for commercial building energy codes for states that have adopted ASHRAE 90.1 2010 and later. You can see what your state's requirements are here.
Retrofitting the temperature and optic controls within existing kitchen exhaust hoods is equally effective at generating energy savings. At the outset of a project, confirm that the controls are UL 710 and 2017 listed, which permits them to be installed in any manufacturer's hood in any cooking application. Many utility rebate incentive programs are available for the installation of DCKV.
Ultimately the goal of any DCKV project is to maximize the energy savings within the kitchen. Controls will help in compliance with building energy codes, attain LEED points, and make the kitchen much quieter and more comfortable for staff. The fall 2017 Inside ASHE article The Financial Impact of Variable Speed Ventilation Controls in Hospital Kitchens provides further information on these topics and dives deeper into how controls pay back initial investment.
About the Author
Brent Morris is the west region business development manager for Intelli-Hood at Melink Corporation. He partners with VPs, directors, and managers of facilities, engineering, and operations to assist them in achieving greater energy savings within their facilities. Some of the facilities he has helped include acute care hospitals, assisted living facilities, VA medical centers, and health care property management companies such as JLL and CBRE.
Brent is a member of the American Society for Healthcare Engineering and holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Hanover College.
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