SMYRNA, Tenn. — Franke Foodservice Systems announced that its variable speed kitchen ventilation control system, called VariVent, has been awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) 2016 Energy Star Emerging Technology Award. As a recipient of the 2016 Energy Star Award, VariVent is recognized as a promising technology that has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Franke’s VariVent is an exhaust management system that offers savings on energy consumption for exhaust fan motors and the HVAC system. Without an exhaust management system, exhaust fans typically run at 100 percent regardless of the cooking load. VariVent reduces exhaust airflow by automatically adjusting fan speeds to match cooking levels, helping restaurant operators significantly reduce energy consumption. VariVent also automatically adjusts makeup air volumes to maintain the proper store air balance.

VariVent functions by reading sensor inputs from the cooking equipment, or data from an optional “smart” cooking equipment controller, to determine current exhaust requirements. It reduces exhaust and makeup air to enable up to a 20 percent HVAC energy reduction, says the company.

VariVent can be installed onto existing exhaust fans, thus eliminating the need to upgrade the exhaust fan. It also requires no optical sensors, temperature sensors, or other changes to ventilation hoods, eliminating the risk of damaging sensors during duct cleaning and maintenance.

“We are honored to be awarded the Emerging Technology Award,” said Alan Greer, director of energy management products at Franke. “While energy costs have decreased somewhat in recent years, we know their historic path goes in one general direction — up. Regardless of those trends, VariVent can offer an immediate improvement in restaurant profitability. That can be hard to achieve in other ways.”

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Publication date: 8/11/2016

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