EKFVent-Axia, the leaders in low carbon ventilation technology, welcomes the publication of the new Approved Documents Part L of the Building Regulations as an essential “step change” in kitchen fan efficiency. Released on 15 November, the new 2013 Approved Documents for Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) and new compliance guides mark an evolution in kitchen fan design. Central to the changes are amendments to a kitchen fan’s maximum Specific Fan Power (SFP) which will come into effect on 6 April 2014.

Within this raft of new documents it is the Non-Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide, published to accompany Part L, which looks set to shake up kitchen fan specification. Within the guide a maximum Specific Fan Power (SFP) in air distribution systems in new and existing buildings for kitchen extract (fan remote from zone with grease filter) is listed as 1.0W/l/s. This marks a significant step change for kitchen extract fans which often need to accommodate high air changes, elevated temperatures and significant levels of grease, the latter that often requires filters to protect the fans.

Lee Nurse, Marketing Director at Vent-Axia and Chair of BEAMA’s Ventilation Committee comments: “If we are to meet UK carbon targets it is essential to improve efficiency within our buildings. The catering industry is one of the largest energy consumers so it is vital manufacturers step up to develop energy efficient products to help the sector lower its carbon emissions. Kitchen fans have to operate in aggressive environments which require high air changes. By introducing a maximum SFP level for kitchen ventilation systems, the regulations are driving kitchen fan innovation which will result in significant energy and cost savings for caterers.”

The new Part L includes an uplift in efficiency standards of 9% for non-domestic buildings, putting energy efficiency firmly on the agenda. For the catering industry this is particularly significant since estimates indicate it is one of the largest energy consumers in the commercial market, using approximately two and a half times more energy per square metre of floor area than the average commercial building. Add to this energy prices which are continually escalating, and for kitchen operators it makes good sense to save energy through investing in energy efficient equipment to help mitigate fuel rises.

In preparation for the changes to Part L, Vent-Axia has launched its latest energy efficient ventilation solution, the Lo-Carbon EKF Kitchen Box Fan Range. Reliable and simple to install the EKF Fan has been designed to offer professional kitchens a simple solution to both energy saving and regulatory compliance. Fully compliant for ERP2015, the EKF Fan comfortably meets the new Part L Building Regulation requirements for reduced Specific Fan Power (SFP) of less than 1.0W/l/s.

Incorporating a highly efficient long-life EC motor coupled with an efficient backward curved impeller the EKF Fan includes an integral potentiometer that provides full manual speed control. These features reduce the EKF Fan’s energy and running costs by up to 44% when compared to AC motor fans with transformer speed control. As a result end-users will be delighted to experience a return, on the extra investment required to capitalise on this new technology, in as little as 12 months.

Developed for kitchen extract systems the EKF Fan is designed to operate in elevated duct temperatures of up to 120°C. Typically kitchen fans use AC motors to cope with the high temperatures experienced in commercial kitchens. However this innovative product has been designed specifically to accommodate energy efficient long-life EC motors to ensure running costs are reduced. This is possible because the EKF Fan’s motor is positioned outside the airstream, thus protecting it from grease and the elevated temperatures experienced in professional kitchens.

The EKF Fan is part of Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon™ collection. The aim of the Lo-Carbon initiative is to offer the latest low carbon ventilation technology to reduce building energy consumption and so carbon emissions. For further information on all products and services offered by Vent-Axia telephone 0844 856 0590 or visit www.vent-axia.com.

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