April at-a-glance … energy

Fuels Task Group discusses emerging technologies

Members of NAFEM’s Fuels Task Group had a robust discussion about emerging fuels that will contribute to the U.S. achieving its goal of net zero emissions by 2050. Much of these efforts are aligned with those underway in states like California, New York, Illinois and others that have made similar carbon neutrality commitments.

“The energy industry is already focused in this direction as it works to reshape the country’s energy profile over the next 10 to 30 years,” said Fuels Task Group Chair Frank Johnson, assistant director, residential/commercial, Gas Technology Institute.

According to those attending the virtual meeting, the biggest short-term changes for commercial foodservice equipment will come from increased use of electricity and hydrogen gas. Among the challenges, moving to electric energy is the ability of utility companies to minimize blackouts. In considering a move to hydrogen gas, the much hotter flame temperature must be considered. Already, Europe uses a great deal of hydrogen gas so there are opportunities to learn from this experience.

While battery, solar and wind power are increasingly used in residential buildings, they are not yet widely deployed for foodservice.

The next meeting of the Fuels Task Group is Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 11 a.m. CT

Planning for the energy efficient kitchen of the future

The California Energy Commission published its final project report, Demonstration of High-Efficiency Commercial Cooking Equipment and Kitchen Ventilation Systems. Frontier Energy, Inc., operator of the Food Service Technology Center, conducted a comprehensive evaluation of cookline equipment operation and energy consumption at six different test sites, including a hotel, hospital cafeteria, airline caterer, grocery deli and two restaurants. Each site saved between 20 and 40 percent in energy consumption with greater productivity. Demand-controlled kitchen ventilation systems added more than 50 percent ventilation energy savings to two sites. Underfired broilers were the most energy intensive appliance, while combination ovens represented the greatest energy savings opportunity.

ENERGY STAR® updates

  • The May commercial foodservice webinar is Tuesday, May 18 at 1 p.m. ET. The session will feature McDonald’s net-zero energy restaurant project. Email ENERGY STAR for details.
  • The program’s updated commercial foodservice equipment calculator estimates the financial and energy savings from ENERGY STAR-certified equipment. The calculator can be found in the Dealer and Distributor partner resources section of the CFS landing page, or the webpage Energy-Efficient Products for Commercial Buildings.
  • ENERGY STAR is interested in scoping out the following product categories: Demand Control Kitchen Ventilation (DCKV), pressure fryers, tilt skillets, rotisserie ovens and hand dryers. In establishing or revising an ENERGY STAR product performance specification, EPA employs a set of six key principles:
  • Significant energy savings that can be realized on a national basis.
  • Product performance that can be maintained or enhanced with increased energy efficiency.
  • End users will recover their investments with increased energy savings within a reasonable time period.
  • Energy efficiency can be achieved through one or more technologies and that qualifying products are broadly available and offered by more than one manufacturer.
  • Product energy consumption and performance can be measured and verified with testing.
  • Labeling would effectively differentiate products and be visible to purchasers.

Stakeholders may support ENERGY STAR’s scoping efforts by providing efficiency and performance data based on industry-supported test methods, nationwide availability and market potential growth rates of the equipment, usage patterns and product lifetimes. All data is confidential and masked. For more information, contact the program at CFS@energystar.gov.