Photos by Josiah Kopp
If a cooler or freezer fails, restaurant owners are left scrambling, trying to find a cool place to store the food that is salvageable while also making sure no spoiled food makes it into the mouths of customers.
This is the exact palpitation causing but all too familiar situation that RJ Energy Solutions was trying to prevent when they originally stepped in the door of Herd and Horns. And while they have been able to prevent it thanks to the implementation of predictive diagnostics which will allow the owners to be alerted when one of the cooling devices is about to go out before it actually happens, RJ Energy Solutions was able to make a much bigger impact on the businesses bottom line.
When RJ Energy Solutions President Russell Schell began working to implement the predictive diagnostics systems at Herd and Horns, he noticed that there was a lot of excess heat that sits above the kitchen ceiling. This is pretty normal for a restaurant kitchen, however, the 110 degree Fahrenheit temperature of the area did raise Schell’s eyebrows
During this testing phase, Schell also noticed that there were a number of rooms around the establishment that were colder than normal, including a bathroom that required an abnormal amount of heating. Herd and Horns also has a water heater that used to bring in 40-degree water, leaving Schell thinking about how the company could better utilize its resources.
In order to address the problem and allow for Herd and Horns to more efficiently use its resources, Schell came up with a plan to transfer the heat from above the kitchen into the cold bathroom as well as the water heater. Since the implementation of the heat transfer system, Herd and Horns has had to use much less energy for the water heater and haven’t had to heat the bathroom at all. Per month, this has saved Herd and Horns approximately $935.
What’s more, the project provided real-life experience to local students. Schell partnered with students from North Dakota State’s Mechanical Engineering department in order to implement the heat transfer system.
“I knew it was going to work,” said Schell. “I just didn’t know it was going to work as well as it does.”
Herds and Horns will see an ROI on the implementation of the system in just 12 months, companies located in Minnesota would theoretically see a return even faster because of rebates that are available for energy savings projects. Along with the rebates it is highly likely that there will soon be a carbon tax credit for businesses that take the measures to lower their release of carbons.
“Pretty much every restaurant kitchen is a hot spot,” said Schell. “Almost every one of them could use us as well. Herd and Horns actually has a smaller kitchen. Typically with those bigger kitchens, you’ll get even more heat and have more of an opportunity for savings.”
To learn more visit rjenergysolutions.com