Boffins prove new kitchen kit will dramatically reduce energy bills

Frima appliances in the new kitchen at ABB Schweiz AG

Multifunctional cooking systems vendor Frima says that research carried out by a leading European university underscores just what a difference its equipment can make to the running of a kitchen.

Boffins at Zurich University concluded that multifunctional appliances can deliver significant savings and improve the BREEAM rating of an establishment after studying the energy consumption of a commercial catering kitchen before and after a major refurbishment.

They found that by switching from conventional appliances to the latest multifunctional cooking technology, the kitchen reduced energy consumption by 34% and water consumption by 53%. Moreover, the new kitchen appliances were able to produce more food from less space.

Since kitchens are a major centre of energy consumption centre in a commercial building, the switch to modern, multifunctional appliances can also impact on a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) rating, the study showed.

The staff restaurant at ABB Schweiz, a Swiss manufacturer of energy and automation technology, was selected for the research project, with Frima’s appliances and those of sister company Rational used in the kitchen.

The project was undertaken by Zurich University for Applied Sciences, under the supervision of Professor Dr. Ing. Heinzelmann and SV Schweiz, the Swiss catering and hotel management corporation.

The aim of the project was to record the efficiency of multifunctional cooking technology under real conditions, with a ‘before and after’ comparison based on the most accurate possible measuring equipment.

At the start of the project, the restaurant produced around 380 lunches daily, using conventional technology in a cook-and-hold system, with a menu choice of four different dishes. Measurements of energy and water consumption were taken over a period of eight weeks. The number of main meals, the menu, food waste and over-production were also logged.

The measurements showed that production of each main meal required 0.58 kWh of electricity and 2.72 litres of water, excluding dishwashing, which was not considered in the study.

Following the kitchen renovation, at which point the Frima and Rational appliances were installed, measurements of energy and water consumption were taken again, in order to enable the ‘before and after’ comparison.

Energy consumption dropped by 34%, meaning only 0.38 kWh per main meal was now required. This corresponds to a reduction in annual CO2 emissions of 1.8 tons. For water, consumption was only 1.28 litres per main meal, 53% less than before.

Anton Bucher, project manager planning and construction at SV Schweiz, said: “The cost savings allowed us to create an attractive front-of-house cooking concept, with a pizza oven and a pasta machine and boiler, without needing any extra budget.”

Graham Kille, Frima’s managing director in the UK, said the results of the project illustrated just how significantly modern cooking appliances can cut running costs for operators. “What’s more, the restaurant was able to increase the range of meals it offered, thanks to the extra cooking options offered by the Frima and Rational appliances,” he added.

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