Efficiency in commercial kitchen design
Efficiency in commercial kitchen design Part One – Energy Efficiency
There is an increasing demand for commercial kitchens to be energy efficient and sustainable workplaces. Careful training of personnel and a thorough programme of continuing maintenance are parts of the solution to this problem, but they must be combined with expert and professional design if the kitchen is to achieve its maximum efficiency. This is especially true in the vital areas of gas safety and ventilation.
Design and Ventilation
If ventilation systems are inefficient then the kitchen becomes an unsafe working environment. There must be sufficient fresh air for combustion to take place in the cooking process. Gas appliances in particular require need an adequate air supply if incomplete combustion is not to take place with the resulting deposition of carbon monoxide. British Standards 6173 specifies that all such appliances be interlocked with suitable ventilation. Professional design can prevent potentially dangerous situations involving combustion products being drawn to a main hood because an extract canopy has not been interlocked into the ventilation system.
(Other harmful by-products of combustion – including some cancer-producing hydrocarbons (PAHs) must also be removed for staff safety.)
Professional commercial kitchen designers will be familiar with the many safety requirements applying to different ventilation systems specified in the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1968 and also with the manufacturers’ own requirements and specifications. The owner of a commercial kitchen who needs to achieve adequate ventilation would be advised to retain the services of experts in this technical field.
Professional designers will also be able to plan and design a fully integrated, demand-based ventilation system which will make the kitchen more energy efficient. Automatic control of energy use via such systems as carbon dioxide detectors, integrated thermometers, gas flow measurement devices and also gas-solenoid automatic shut-off valves, will ensure that power is used when and where it is needed, greatly improving energy efficiency and also monitor the ventilation interlock system, a vital feature for safety in the workplace.
Design and Gas Safety
Design also is an important factor in the establishing of safe and appropriate ways of monitoring the gas supply in a commercial kitchen; this is a vital factor since British Standards require that there is a way of proving all appliances are off before gas is admitted into the kitchen. There must also be a way to ensure that no gas is leaking from the pipe-work.
Commercial kitchen designers will be able to advise, plan and install a suitable system to ensure these important functions take place.
The Integrated Control Panel
An integrated system of monitoring energy use seems to demand a single control panel that is easy to understand and easy to use. A specialist commercial kitchen design company can supply such a panel. Measuring devices as described above can ensure efficient energy use while other features control and if necessary switch off the gas supply. Pressure differential devices, measuring the integrity of the supply, are also incorporated. Such devices, giving rapid feedback from a variety of monitoring systems, will enable the owner of a commercial kitchen to achieve good levels of energy efficiency.
posted on 08 October, 2013