Anyone who has ever eaten in a hot, humid restaurant would agree – comfort is critical to enjoying any dining experience. Restaurants face tough air conditioning challenges. Food preparation areas produce significant humidity from dish washing, cooking and hot beverage service. Just a few feet away from the kitchen, customers and staff want a comfortable environment. This imbalance often creates humidity control problems, temperature swings, and over-cooling by traditional packaged rooftop units that cycle on and off. To function effectively, the air conditioning system must closely match a range of latent and sensible loads.
Restaurant operators understand that the comfort of the customers and staff is important to creating a desirable environment. But they also have to keep a close eye on the budget. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, restaurants use about 5-7 times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings, such as office buildings and retail stores. High-volume quick-service restaurants may even use up to 10 times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings. Next to refrigeration, heating and cooling systems account for the largest portion of a restaurant’s annual energy use.
In restaurants, both a comfortable environment and energy costs matter a great deal. Restaurant operators cannot afford to waste their operating budget on high energy costs driven by oversized mechanical equipment. Recent advances in HVAC controls technology and capacity modulation methods are now featured on equipment that can closely match variable loads that are common in restaurants. These facilities require equipment that can effectively and efficiently cool or heat large spaces when they are filled with people, large spaces with just a few people, or during food preparation – a real design challenge. These modern HVAC systems with capacity modulation can quickly pay for themselves in restaurants simply through the energy savings generated from modulating back in off-peak conditions. These systems also provide optimum comfort during both peak and non-peak periods.
HVACR compressor manufacturers strive to deliver high levels of efficiency, comfort, and reliability in a market that also demands affordability and compliance with environmental laws. Today, a complicated combination of regulatory requirements and customer preferences is driving manufacturers to achieve unprecedented levels of compressor efficiency without sacrificing reliability and comfort.
Compressor suppliers have responded to this demand by providing innovative products that can help air conditioning original equipment manufacturers improve system efficiency. This is achieved through modulating capacity technologies where the cooling capacity of the system is tied to the load, not an application’s peak requirements. Modulation makes it possible to tailor compressor performance to changes in ambient and varying load conditions, which eliminates big swings in temperature and relative humidity levels throughout a building.
These innovative products address the key needs of facilities where comfort and operating costs are critical to the success of the organization. Ask your equipment distributor or contractor about new modulating capacity cooling systems for the most comfortable environment and the lowest energy costs.
For more information go to http://www.ac-heatingconnect.com/meeting-comfort-efficiency-needs-restaurants/#sthash.ow0Jw4o5.dpuf
Brian Buynacek, PE, LEED AP
Sr. Refrigeration Engineer
Emerson Climate Technologies