Thermostat has impressed many restaurant owners
Posted: May 27, 2011
By Susan Smigielski Acker
Atlantic Marine Refrigeration in Virginia Beach has contracted with London-based Universal Master Products to offer a new energy-saving technology. The product, manufactured by UMP, should help small independent restaurants reduce refrigeration costs and become more environmentally friendly.
Known as EndoCube, the thermostat reduces the energy used by walk-in refrigerators because it measures the temperature of the food, rather than the air cooling the food.
Refrigerators measure the air and then the compressor runs when the air inside the refrigerator reaches a certain temperature, air warms and cools faster than a solid such as food. With EndoCube, the food temperature is measured.
The device has a scallop-like material designed to mimic the properties of food and beverages, Freedman said.
Tim Early, of Technology Hampton Roads in Hampton, said, “It makes sense and is well proven in Europe. There is no big surge of energy when hot air enters the refrigerator because that is not what is measured. EndoCube is closer to the temperature of, for example, a chicken in the refrigerator. When you open the door, the temperature of the chicken does not change, but the air does. It is good technology and pretty simple.”
Measuring 6 inches wide and 2 inches long, EndoCube is installed over the thermostat bulb in a refrigerated case or freezer. It is mounted to the back or side of the evaporator unit, or it can be mounted to the wall of the unit. It retrofits to any type of commercial refrigeration.
According to UMP Ltd., the EndoCube allows compressors to run 60 percent less often – about four starts per hour, rather than 12 to 20. Each run time is about 10 minutes rather than three minutes, expending 10 percent to 30 percent less energy. This in turn generates less noise. Because the compressor is operating less, it requires less maintenance.
The Canadian franchise Pizza Pizza installed EndoCube in 103 of its franchise locations in 2009 and 2010. According to the franchise’s director of construction and maintenance, Steve Poole, following a lengthy testing phase, compressor starts and stops were reduced by 50 percent.
Ivan Rodriguez, owner of Suburban Eats in Long Island, said, “That is what we noticed. The compressors are not working as hard as they used to before we had it installed.” For a small business, such as a family-owned restaurant, the cost of refrigeration can be as high as 65 percent of the overall expenses. The product increases the overall lifespan of the refrigeration equipment, he said. He added that food is maintained at a stable temperature, so spoilage is also less likely to occur.
“Refrigeration takes up 20 percent of the world’s energy because it is the only utility that never shuts off. For example, we turn off lights. But the refrigerator runs day and night.” In addition to cost savings, energy savings means the technology is environmentally friendly.
The environmentally friendly feature impressed Toronto energy company Toronto Hydro so much that it gave a $2,500 energy rebate to Pizza Pizza because the franchise had an overall 15 percent energy savings since installing EndoCube.
Right now UMP is working with about a dozen installation companies across the country.

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