Smart kitchen control

The challenge

The Partners are interested in reducing their energy consumption in commercial kitchens by exploring whether they can use automated start-ups and shutdowns on kitchen machinery rather than relying on human behaviour.

The Partner organisations have a large number of kitchens across their estates, and audits have identified that in some sites the kitchen makes up between 50% and 75% of energy consumption for the entire building.

Due to reliance on human behaviour to manage kitchen equipment, it has been difficult to make real change in this area. Staff often turn equipment on first thing in the morning and do not turn it off again until the end of the day and attempts to manage this in the past have lapsed upon turnover of staff. The opportunity therefore lies in automating the equipment and it is recognised that a clear step beyond behavioural guidance is needed for success.

The solutions we are seeking

The ideal solution would be a system that can be calibrated to control equipment on a per site or per brand basis and, once set up, involves little to no human interaction.

Kitchen equipment would ideally start up and turn off at set times, perhaps with a default ‘off’ setting or an automated reset at midnight for manual override during the day.

The control of this system, and any options to override, would preferably be authorised by a building manager via a physical or digital interface.

The Partners are looking for smart technology solutions, such as smart sensors, smart plug sockets with built-in timers and software management tools.

The majority of equipment is hard-wired, though some have plugs. Solutions could be applicable to a single piece of equipment though full kitchen solutions are preferable. Solutions would need to be completely tamper proof and simple time clocks would not suffice.

A solution that demonstrates a clear reduction of energy or even elimination of wasted energy would be considered a success.

Selection criteria

Solution demonstrates a clear ability to reduce energy consumption in a safe and flexible way for the user.

Solution must be scalable across 100+ sites.

Compatibility with both hard-wired and plug load systems.

Gaining payback in less than 5 years, 2 years more ideal.

Either new or old technologies considered.