High-efficiency commercial cooking equipment garners a lot of buzz. But how do you know what’s just marketing talk and what holds up in the real world? While we stand behind our extraordinary products here at Vulcan, you don’t have to take it from us. The latest findings from the Comprehensive Commercial Kitchen Equipment Retrofit (AKA “the cookline project”) from its study of the DoubleTree Hotel in Pleasanton, California attests to the many benefits of making the switch to energy-efficient models from Vulcan, according to a recent report from Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazine.
About the Project
Today’s high-efficiency commercial kitchen equipment makes a lot of promises when it comes to the goal of creating cleaner, safer, smarter and more sustainable kitchens. With grant funding from the California Energy Commission, the PG&E Food Service Technology Center has partnered with the Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to study various food service operations toward kitchen system operations.
With studies underway at multiple foodservice operations, its latest stop was at the DoubleTree. And that’s where we come in.
Vulcan Comes Out Ahead
A Vulcan PowerFry5™ fryer and VCCG griddle were included as part of PG&E’s replacement of nearly all of the DoubleTree’s kitchen line. The findings more than validated the many reasons Vulcan’s high-efficiency industrial kitchen equipment shines.
The DoubleTree’s old double-vat fryer used 3.7 therms daily while also requiring a pilot light to be left on 24/7. Thanks to features like a power burner, patented five-pass heat exchanger, and electronic ignition, the new, energy-efficient replacement PowerFry5 fryer from Vulcan reduced energy usage by a whopping 2.6 therms per day for a total of 30 percent savings.
But it wasn’t just energy usage that got a boost from the switch to Vulcan’s state-of-the-art industrial kitchen equipment. Oil quality also improved significantly due to Vulcan’s SoftStart™ ignition system meaning fewer replacements than with the oil-scorching older models.
The replacement energy-efficient Vulcan VCCG griddle yielded similarly promising results with energy savings also hovering around 30 percent thanks to its thermostatic controls and automatic ignition. In total, the Vulcan model used 2.9 therms per day compared to 4.1 therms per day for the prior non-thermostatic, low-input griddle.
Not only did the Vulcan griddle conserve energy, but it also provided a more enjoyable experience for users, who cited the enhanced consistency and temperature uniformity of the Vulcan model.
Yet another benefit of Vulcan’s energy-efficient griddle? The introduction of under-counter shelving and storage as a replacement for the underutilized undercounter convection oven found in the previous model. As Denis Livchak, energy testing lab manager at the PG&E Food Service Technology Center, told FES, “That’s a whole other story. How many restaurants actually use the ovens underneath their ranges? Those ovens typically are very inefficient, and if they are used, they can use more energy than even a larger-size convection oven.”
The cookline project’s takeaways to date are profound. Just how much so? The DoubleTree Pleasanton is anticipated to save thousands of dollars by year’s end. But it doesn’t stop there. Results indicate that if all of California’s commercial food sites were to adopt high-efficiency cooking equipment, roughly 98 million therms could be saved annually — the equivalent of 451 tons of NOx emission, 573,000 tons of CO2 emissions, and $66 million in operating costs. Now imagine that multiplied across every commercial food site in the country!
While these figures may seem unthinkable, they’re very much within reach with the right high-efficiency commercial kitchen equipment in place. At Vulcan, we’re proud to be part of the project — and even prouder to be part of the solution.