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Why should we recover energy from restaurant kitchens?

In the Nordic countries most restaurants have heat exchangers in place to recover energy from the kitchen exhaust ducts but if we’re looking at Europe as a whole, most restaurants only recover heat from the general areas and not at all from the kitchens. Why?

Most likely because the kitchen air is likely to be heavily polluted by grease and sot and is generally considered hard, if not impossible, to recover energy from without extensive and expensive maintenance costs and big risks of undesired downtime right when food needs to be prepared and served.

And until now rightfully so as traditional recovery batteries clog up very fast in polluted airstreams, which means that even if there are recovery systems in place, like in the Nordics, they’re likely not working very well (if at all) and must often be bypassed by necessity.

Having no recovery system in place, like in the rest of Europe - and probably most other places around the world - of course means less clogging or maintenance issues, but it also means that property and restaurant owners waste an enormous amount of energy and money, possibly without realising it, or from believing such a recovery is not possible.

But...the kitchen is where you’ll find the highest temperatures and the largest airflow, imagine a fast-food restaurant and the number of hours it’s running every day, and just releasing all that heat straight into the air is an immense waste of energy, as well as unnecessary CO2 emission and not least, a waste of money. In other words, there is everything to gain from addressing this and with the heavy-duty unit Lepido, that has a different design than traditional recovery batteries and can actually handle the grease and the sot (read more about that here:  “How do we manage to recovery energy where others fail”)  it is now possible to recover energy in these polluted airstreams.

So, if you really want to do something where it matters, and not least being part of reducing the greenhouse gases - remember, the cleanest kilowatt hour is the one never produced - then it’s time to put some focus on restaurant ventilation. And with a Lepido it’s not only possible but also profitable!

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