- Register


Home>DRIVES & MOTORS>Variable Speed Drives >Comfortable & safe with minimum energy usage

Comfortable & safe with minimum energy usage

05 January 2015

Quintex Energy Management Systems, a leading developer and supplier of demand based ventilation control systems for commercial kitchens, has now used more than 6000 Vacon AC variable speed drives (VSDs) in its Cheetah range of energy management and safety control systems

The systems are delivering large energy savings and carbon footprint reductions for some of the most successful and best-known organisations in the catering and hospitality sectors, including Tesco, J D Wetherspoon, Whitbread, Hilton, and Marriott Hotels.

When developing its innovative Cheetah system, Quintex initially chose Vacon NXL series VSDs after a detailed market analysis showed that, at the time, they offered the best combination of reliability, versatility and value for money. For recent installations, however, the company has adopted the latest Vacon 100 series VSDs, which set even higher standards for performance and value.

Primarily intended for use in professional kitchens and commercial food preparation areas, Quintex Cheetah systems comprehensively monitor the cooking environment in which they are installed and, with the aid of the Vacon VSDs, they continuously regulate speeds of the extract and air supply fans to ensure that comfortable and safe conditions are maintained at all times with a minimum of energy usage.

Systems pay for themselves in one to two years

Wide experience with Cheetah systems shows that, in a typical installation, the fans will operate much of the time at around 40% of their maximum speed while there is little or no cooking activity. At this reduced speed, they consume only 6% of the energy needed for full speed operation, which means that energy usage and costs are greatly reduced compared with conventional systems where the fans always run at full speed while the kitchen is operational. So great are the savings achieved that the majority of Cheetah systems pay for themselves in one to two years.

"We’ve been using Vacon drives for many years,” said Guy Madgwick, sales and marketing director at Quintex, "and we’ve been very impressed by how easy they are to work with, their performance and their value for money. Their reliability is also exceptional and, with over 6000 Vacon drives in daily use in our systems, reliability is a rather important issue for us as we do not want to compromise the operation of our clients kitchens!”

"The original NXL drives were outstanding, but the new Vacon 100 units are even better. We’re very happy with the Vacon products and we’re just as happy with the excellent service and support the company always provides.”

Quintex Cheetah systems are customised to meet the needs of each user and, depending on the application, the company uses Vacon 100 drives with power ratings from 1.1 kW to 30 kW. In some applications, IP21 drives mounted within control panels are used, while in others IP54 types, which can be mounted without the need for additional protection, provide a convenient and cost-effective solution.

As standard, the drives provide many energy saving features that are useful to Quintex. These include a real-time clock, an integrated kWh energy meter, and a sleep function that automatically puts the drive into a standby condition during downtime so that it uses almost no energy. Two integral PID loops are also provided and the drives offer support for the LonWorks networking protocol that Quintex has adopted for its larger installations.

Built-in RFI filters ensure interference-free operation even in sensitive environments, and the drives comply fully with the requirements of EN 61000-3-12 for low current harmonics.

Despite the wide range of functions they provide, Vacon 100 drives are straightforward to set up and use. Standard functions are readily accessed via the built-in keypad, and special requirements are easily accommodated with Vacon’s intuitive programming tools.

Key Points

  • With the aid of Vacon VSDs, Quintex Cheetah systems continuously regulate speeds of the extract and air supply fans
  • A sleep function automatically puts the drive into a standby condition during downtime so that it uses almost no energy
  • Built-in RFI filters ensure interference-free operation even in sensitive environments