With so much ‘greenwash’ to contend with, how can operators really make sure they are getting true value for money when sourcing energy efficient catering equipment? In the fourth part of this special FEJ report, we provide a unique breakdown of what operators need to bear in mind when specifically seeking out energy efficient extraction and filtration.
According to the Carbon Trust, ventilation systems account for 18% of a kitchen’s energy consumption, so extraction and filtration is naturally a major component for any operator with designs on developing a green kitchen to consider.
All commercial kitchens within the UK have to comply with the DEFRA Guide, which lays out certain levels of filtration and odour control that must be adhered to if operators are to avoid a visit from their local EHO.
But when it comes to solutions that filter and control oil, smoke and grease, what kind of features should an operator be looking for with sustainability in mind? “The only really effective filtration method for the particulate phase of a commercial kitchen’s exhaust is to use an electrostatic precipitator or ESP filter,” insists Chris Jarman-Brown, global development manager at Purified Air.
“We manufacture ESP units that have been exclusively designed to filter — down to sub-micron levels — the oil, grease and carbon particles (smoke) within the commercial kitchen exhaust. Our ESP units will filter out up to 98% of all particulates in the air that is drawn through them, the filtered particulates, collect on the plates within the ESP collection cell and slowly run down to collect in the sump at the bottom of the ESP unit ready to be cleaned out and disposed of.”
If ozone is being used to control the malodours of any particular system then the operator should consider a unit that can mount outside of the extract duct”
Jarman-Brown says all that can be achieved with incredible efficiency. Its largest unit, for instance, only uses 50 watts or 0.2 amps of power, which is less than an old-fashioned 60 watt light bulb. And because of the way that it charges its collection plates, ozone is also generated.
Operators should start by carrying out a site survey so that the correct system can be specified for each individual system. Both cooking methods and the type of food being cooked will have a bearing on the system specified.
“As every kitchen is different, so too is the exhaust filtration and odour control system that will be needed,” remarks Jarman-Brown. “Because of this, we have designed units to run within air flow parameters. The volume of the air travelling through the exhaust is measured in metres cubed per second, (M3/s) and depending on this flow rate different sizes of unit will be used.”
Once a system has been fitted it is paramount that it is regularly serviced or its efficiency will slowly reduce and eventually fail completely. These systems will then need deep cleaning to get them back up and running, which can often include replacement parts that have failed completely due to contamination. “A regularly-serviced filtration and control system will run very efficiently and cost-effectively, extending the life of not only the mechanical components of the system but also the passive filtration such as carbon filters,” says Jarman-Brown.
What is the most unique innovation in exhaust filtration solutions from an energy-saving perspective that are available right now?
“If ozone is being used to control the malodours of any particular system then the operator should consider a unit that can mount outside of the extract duct. Purified Air’s UVO range of units do just that and because the ozone is generated from the ambient air around the unit and not from the air inside of the extract duct, the unit stays cleaner for longer. This means less servicing will be needed to maintain the unit at its optimum efficiency.”
3 key things to take away
- Site surveys will establish exactly which filtration system is required to match the habits and profile of the operator.
- Electrostatic precipitators will filter out oil, grease and smoke within the commercial kitchen exhaust to sub-micron levels.
- Regular servicing and maintenance will prevent filter systems from losing efficiency due to contamination.