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October 13, 2010 Share This!

Quick-service restaurants can reduce energy use by more than 50 percent

  • A new PNNL report found that fast-food eateries could reduce their energy use by more than 50 percent by using energy-efficient appliances and integrated design methods. One of the largest energy consumers in quick-service restaurants is cooking equipment. Here, an Energy Star-qualified fryer is tested at the Food Service Technology Center in San Ramon, Calif.
    Photo courtesy of Food Service Technology

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RICHLAND, Wash. – Coffee shops and fast-food eateries could reduce their energy use more than 50 percent with ultra-efficient appliances, lights and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems and other integrated design methods, according to a new report by the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

These measures could save quick-service restaurants between 41 and 52 percent in energy use, depending on the restaurant's location. Restaurants in the nation's coldest climate zones, such as those in Duluth, Minn., and Fairbanks, Alaska, stand to save the most energy.  And it would take between 1.5 and 3.5 years for restaurant owners to recoup their investment through energy savings, the report states. To calculate these savings, PNNL researchers modeled a typical 2,500-square-foot quick-service restaurant and then plugged it into an energy simulation computer program called EnergyPlus.

The information will help develop the next series of Advanced Energy Design Guides, which architects, engineers and building designers use to achieve exceptional energy performance in buildings. The report is part of PNNL's ongoing research efforts to help reduce U.S. energy usage, as buildings account for more than 40 percent of the nation's total energy use.

PNNL compiled the report for DOE's Building Technologies Program  with industrial collaborators the Halton Company and the Pacific Gas and Electric Food Service Technology Center, which is operated by Fischer-Nickel, Inc.

For a more information on this research and a link to the full report, go to an Oct. 8 announcement by DOE at http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=419.

Tags: Energy, Energy Efficiency

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of about $950 million. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. As the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information on PNNL, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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