Energy consumption in the restaurant… a controllable expense

In a previous post, I had the opportunity to address the issue of maintenance management at restaurant, addressing those issues that must be considered to ensure the optimal functioning of the equipment that helps the service within the organization. In this way, this article allows me to connect the present as a continuation of it, so I can begin by telling you that, as well as ensuring the maximum use of the capacity of all the equipment involved in the production process of the restaurant, it is important for the administrator to know the energy consumption of each one of them.

In order to present this article, I have relied on excellent material developed by two tourism teachers from Havana1, who address in a very detailed way all the questions that I will present later.
Likewise, it is not possible for me to give practical examples, as I am used to doing, precisely because of the diversity of rates and regulations that each country establishes, so doing it for one in particular would rather generate confusion, what I do do is show those technical questions that must be taken into consideration, as part of the work that the administrators have to do in order to guarantee the profitability of the restaurant.

Why anti-crisis solution?

In these times, where competition is increasingly present and prices vary as a result of that need to survive the changes that must invariably occur; when customers have access to media that were previously “unique” in restaurants; when new information technology makes insightful information on how to do what was once a secret available to everyone.
Adequate control of expenses, and within them those generated by energy sources, constitutes a solution to the prevailing crisis from the economic, financial and environmental levels.
Energy = Expense
It is no secret that this indicator becomes an expense for the organization and, therefore, requires measures that contribute to savings. Likewise, it represents important information to take into account for the decoration of the premises, projecting the different offers that can be made, from proposing dishes whose preparation requires the minimum use of this resource or lacking it; plus it becomes a ratio for the Insights economic, allowing this item to be disaggregated by the concepts of electric energy, water and fuels, and calculating it by clients served and / or dishes prepared.
It is known that, generally, the installation's Technical Services or Maintenance department is assigned the responsibility of control the gross expenditure of this indicator, based on the reading made of each of the meter meters installed by the companies that offer it with a programmed frequency, which we could well say daily, given that its study over a period of time It facilitates being able to identify schedules, days and main causes that generate an over-consumption or an over-use of it.
Determination of the maximum demand for electricity
The maximum electricity demand in an installation is determined by the sum of the electrical charges of all the equipment, expressed in units of Power (Watt (w), KiloWatt (Kw.), MegaWatt (Mw.), Etc.) multiplied by a use factor, which we will be talking about later, since not all of them operate in unison or at their maximum load.
This calculated value is the one that is contracted with the Electric Company, with the flexibility that it can be changed, based on its actual behavior during the service year. Generally, when there is overconsumption, surcharges are applied and in the case of underutilization, we are wasting money whose destiny can respond to other needs within the restaurant. Hence the importance of understanding the importance of studying this system for the restaurant in order to contract what is actually going to be used and not more.
The maximum Demand is the maximum value of Power reached in a selected period, whose determination is conditioned by the different measurements that are made from the reading of the installed consumption meters and that must be recorded in a document that reflects the Instantaneous demand recognized during the observations that are made of them (at the end of the work shift and when there is a high occupancy capacity).
Determination of the Power Factor
The load accommodation consists of the action that the electricity consumer executes with the objective of reducing their maximum demand, by moving the installed electrical loads to times with lower demands, without affecting production and services. A significant result of this action is obtained when the electric peak charge is withdrawn towards other times of the day, in which the electricity has a lower price, according to the tariff, where it is mathematically represented as follows:
     System Power Factor.
Kw. Active power
KVA Apparent power
This can be expressed as the relationship between the active power (Kw.) And the apparent power (KVA), constituting an indication of the efficiency with which electrical energy is being used to produce useful work. In other words the power factor indicates what percent of the apparent demand is actually being used to perform work.
If, for example, the power factor of an installation is 0,75, this means that of the apparent demand, or what is the same, of the total current that the installation is charging, only 75% are doing useful work.
The most important thing is to have a high power factor
Of all the indicators related to the control of the efficient use of energy, the most important and the one that must be constantly controlled is the power factor, since it is the one that reflects the degree of real use of the apparent demand of the industry, Therefore, the most convenient thing is to serve a given demand with the lowest total current, that is, with the highest power factor, since by reducing the value of the total current, it allows the system to add new loads without the need to increase the size of the conductors, the capacity of the switches or the capacity of the transformer bank and because for the Electro - energetic System losses are reduced and capacity is freed so that they can be used more efficiently in other areas that require it.
Likewise, it is prudent to know that the increase in total current, due to a low power factor, brings serious drawbacks, not only for the user but also for the company that supplies electricity, among which are the decrease in the capacity of the electrical energy generation, distribution and handling equipment, the increase in losses due to heating and the deficient regulation of the voltage, which increases the use of capacity and therefore the expense for this concept, when it can really be controlled.
Energy Accounting
Energy accounting refers to the control of consumption of each of the types of energy supply: electricity, fuel oil, diesel, gas, including water, as well as its variation over time, the definition and determination of consumption and performance indicators of the facilities, processes and entity.
Therefore it is required to graph and establish relationships between the different parameters, as they are.
  • Indicators by product, service.
  • Performance of facilities and equipment.
  • Quality brand in consumption.
    • Consumption of each energy carrier / Total consumption
  •  Energy expenses ($).
  • Consumption structure
The performance of facilities and equipment is the ratio of the energy used and the energy consumed.
Consumption structure
The consumption structure is nothing more than the participation of each carrier in the total consumption of energy. It is determined as follows:
  • Total sum of energy carriers, using the conversion factor. And or also taking everything to costs energy multiplying by the price of each carrier.
  • Each bearer is divided by the total.
  • As a result: Between 70 to 80% is electricity. Between 30 to 20% is fuel.
  • And so on, it is also done for each carrier and by area, to determine in which areas the highest consumption is concentrated.

Determination of electricity consumption

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Prior to calculating how much is the expense for electricity, the consumption should be measured in the period.

Electric companies have meter meters (which can be dial and / or digital), however both types offer the same information, although the methodology for reading each of them is explained below.
  1. The reading is always taken from left to right, disregarding the last number if it is of another color or separated by a comma.
  2. Given the case of the meter of spheres, the reader stands in front of the meter and reads all the spheres in the following way: it begins from the left, writing down each one of the numbers marked by the needle, when it is between two numbers the most little. If the needle is between 9 and 0, the smallest is 9; if it is between 0 and 1, the smallest is 0.
  3. In the case of the digital meter, it indicates the numbers like the marking of a vehicle and is easier to read, just write down the complete number that is seen with the naked eye. If in this meter the number or numbers on the right are of another color or are separated by a box or a comma, it is not recorded, (these are decimal figures that are not taken into account).
  4. In either case, the reader must make a first reading (base reading) and a second reading at the end of the reporting period (final reading).
Consumption (Kwh.) = Final reading - base reading.
Reading of electricity meter meters and example of consumption calculation for different types of meter meters.
In this section the author will only address the procedure for services over 50 kWh. (large industries, hotels, etc.).
The administrator may encounter:
  • Single register meter meter.
  • Double register meter counter.
  • Triple register meter counter.
a) Reading a meter meter from a single register. Consumption calculation.
The reading is done the same as in the previous case; with the difference that in this case the transformation losses are taken into account for the calculation of consumption.
As it is known, after reading it, it is multiplied by the meter factor and the resulting value will be consumption in Kwh. without losses.
The losses in transformation in these services are calculated when the meter is installed on the low voltage side; Given that the meter is installed on the high voltage side, losses are implicit in its reading.
First reading (base reading): 03010
Second reading (final reading): 03050
By doing the indicated operation and multiplying it by the meter factor, the consumption in Kwh will be obtained. lossless on the low voltage side:
Lossless consumption = (3050 - 3010) x 80 = 3200 Kwh.
Calculation of consumption for losses in transformation.
If it is known that the percentage of losses is equal to 8,8 (data that can be obtained from the billing that the consumer receives), the referred consumption can be calculated:
CPtranny = (ConsKwh (no losses) x% Losses) / 100
CPtranny = Consumption for losses in transformation
CPtranny = (3200 x 80) / 100 = 26 Kwh.
Therefore, the total consumption would be the sum of the result of the final reading plus that obtained by losses in transformation.
Total consumption = 3200 + 26 = 3226 Kwh.
b) Reading a meter counter of a double register. Consumption calculation.
These meters are always of the digital type, therefore, they directly mark the meter reading in the windows.
As this meter is double registered, the first scale (I) gives the reading corresponding to the electric peak; that is from 6 in the afternoon to 10 at night. Scale (II) gives the reading for the rest of the day, that is, from 10 at night to 6 in the afternoon. They consist of two measurement scales that correspond to the reading at peak time and the reading for the rest of the day.
Scale II. Reading the rest of the day.
First Reading (Base Reading): 4020
Second reading (Final reading): 4010
4020 - 4010 = 10
Scale I. Electric peak reading.
First Reading (Base Reading): 2015
Second reading (Final reading): 2010
2015 - 2010 = 5
Total register = Register Scale I + Register Scale II. = 10 + 5 = 15
Meter factor = (suppose it is 600)
Consumption in Kwh. lossless 15 x 60 = 9000 Kwh.
Suppose that the meter is connected by low voltage, then we must add the loss consumption. Consider that the percent of losses is 1%, then:
Loss consumption = (9000X1) / 100 = 90 Kwh.
Total consumption = lossless consumption + loss consumption.
9000 + 90 = 9090 Kwh.
c) Reading a meter counter of a triple register. Consumption calculation.
Everything explained in the previous case must be taken into account in this case; only that for this type of consumers, the meter is triple registered, that is, it records the incidents of consumption in the early morning (10 pm to 6 am) scale I; during the day (6 in the morning to 6 in the afternoon) scale II and at the peak (6 in the afternoon at 10 at night), scale III.
Scale I. Early morning reading.
First reading = 00500
Second reading = 00510
Register = 510 - 500 = 10
Scale II. Reading during the day.
First reading = 04010
Second reading = 04110
Register = 4110 –4010 = 100
Scale III. Peak reading.
First reading = 0450
Second reading = 0455
Register = 455 - 450 = 5
Total register = Register scale I + register scale II + register scale III. = 10 + 100 + 5 = 115
Meter factor = (suppose it is 1600).
Consumption without losses = 115 x 1600 = 184000 Kwh.
Suppose it is connected on the low voltage side and that the percent loss in transformation is 1%.
Consumption due to losses = (184000 x 1) / 100 = 1840 Kwh.
Total consumption = 184000 + 1840 = 185840 Kwh.
Structure of electricity consumption in a company.
Suggestions for the conservation and efficient use of gourmet equipment:

They can work with different types of energy such as gas, coal, electricity, etc. Today clean kitchens are being developed: ceramic, induction, microwave, etc .; In addition to all types of machinery and specific utensils for the development of the task itself.
Modern maintenance philosophies consider the operator (call yourself dependent and / or cook in this case), a key element in the conservation of equipment and facilities.
In this activity, a number of equipment is used, so the staff must be prepared to: carry out correct operation and daily cleaning of each of them, solve small breakdowns, the correct use of cleaning chemicals so as not to cause collateral damage , the correct lighting of the equipment, in the energy saving measures when using the kitchens, ovens, refrigerators, equipment in general, in addition to the rational use of water.
When consulting with the support companies that deal with the maintenance and repair of kitchen and gastronomic equipment, we found that a large percentage of the breakdowns that are reported are caused by the incorrect operation or cleaning method.
Life Cycle Cost Concept (LCC)
The life cycle is nothing more than the useful life estimated by the manufacturer for a specific equipment, product or installation. As an example, below is a table showing the estimated average life cycles or periods for renovating a hotel's assets.
The possibility that these equipment or systems fulfill their life cycle in conditions to provide a good service depends on numerous factors; The first is a correct selection from having previously specified and clearly the purchase requirements, meeting the requirements for assembly and installation, testing and commissioning, applying a correct maintenance or renewal policy during this useful life if necessary, and operate them well.
Every product, equipment or installation has a cost, an initial value, but the value of a product does not reside only in the purchase price, but in the capacity to be useful, as well as its performance and profitability. That concept is expressed from the following formula:
LCC = CI + No. years of (CO + CM + CS)  
LCC = Life Cycle Cost
CI = Cost of Investment
CO = Operating costs
CM = Maintenance costs
CS = Out of Service Costs.
In other words, the Life Cycle Cost, which is nothing more than the total cost of a system during its useful or operational life, also tells us that the purchase price is only a small part of the total cost during its useful life, it is like the displayed part of an iceberg. Thus, we find that sometimes a low sale price can mask higher energy consumption, the need for specialized personnel for its operation or maintenance, difficulties with the supply sources of spare parts, interruption times in the service that generate profit losses. , etc.
The one who decides must think about the Life Cycle Cost when buying something new, must think about future exploitation situations and the strategic Contracts must be made by the cheapest, best, and most reliable bidder.
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I am a dreamer and in my dreams I believe that a better world is possible, that no one knows more than anyone, we all learn from everyone. I love gastronomy, numbers, teaching and sharing all the little I know, because by sharing I also learn. "Let's all go together from foundation to success"
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