White Castle Solves An Industry-Wide Problem (With A Little Help From Trane)
White Castle Restaurants, famous for its mouth-watering hamburgers, faced the classic restaurant dilemma. Poorly ventilated kitchens can drive cooks and employees from the cooking areas, leading to production delays, quality problems, increased employee turnover, and ultimately reduced repeat business. (See ASHRAE Journal “Keeping Cooks in the Kitchen”, by Brown and Van Straten, June 2003). But because significant amounts of outside air are needed to make up for kitchen hood exhaust, comfort heating and cooling costs can shoot through the roof. White Castle wanted a way to improve indoor air quality while reducing energy consumption and costs without making customers and employees pay for the savings with their comfort.
Trane teamed with Steve Brown at LC Systems, a Dublin, Ohio manufacturer of commercial kitchen ventilation and replacement air units, to develop a new restaurant rooftop unit based on Trane’s popular Voyager™ and Precedent™ packaged platforms. What was born from this partnership was the new Total Kitchen™ HVAC system. This revolutionary new system solved the problem by integrating traditional heating and cooling with kitchen ventilation. It uses 100-percent outdoor air to condition the space and replace the air exhausted through the kitchen ventilation system. It also features fully modulated direct- or indirect-fired heating and modulated cooling for superior temperature and humidity control.
The results of this new system speak for themselves. The Total Kitchen HVAC system requires 35-percent less airflow than the old technology while still delivering effective kitchen exhaust. According to Brown, the new units are up to 25 percent more economical to operate and maintain. Jeff Lynch, White Castle’s Project Engineer, has noticed the difference, “We are achieving better control of space humidity, temperature and energy costs.” But saving money is only half the equation, how well did they perform? “These designs are the most comfortable of any we have installed or tested,” Lynch reported. This project proves that saving on energy costs and improving comfort are not mutually exclusive endeavors. At least not when Trane gets involved.
About White Castle
White Castle Restaurants, famous for mouth-watering hamburgers, claims many firsts including being the first fast-food hamburger chain ever, the first to sell a million hamburgers and the first frozen fast food for sale. After 80 years in business White Castle now has 380 restaurants across the United States, well-known for high quality food and customer service.