Military Base Retrofit Case Study


In effort to evaluate the potential of Demand Control Kitchen Ventilation (DCKV) technology, the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) designed, executed, and evaluated a field study. Melink Intelli-Hood® was installed in four dining facilities at Department of Defense (DoD) locations in different climate zones across the United States. These kitchens typically serve a high volume of many meals in short time periods and are excellent candidates for DCKV kitchen controls equipment to reduce energy usage of kitchen hood fans. Baseline measurements were taken before the installations and the energy savings were determined after several months of data. There were two performance objectives: demonstrate a savings of at least 30% in energy usage and maintain or improve occupant comfort.


Both performance objectives were achieved with all four dining facilities saving more than 30% in energy usage as well as maintaining comfort and noise level. No complaints were reported. Further, the following parameters were found to maximize ROI:

  • Relatively large exhaust hood systems (min. of 5,000 CFM)
  • Climate requiring significant heating and/or cooling of makeup air
  • Relatively long operating hours
  • Med-High utility costs


The following is an excerpt from the ERDC report in section 8.3:

Procurement Considerations:
Some vendors offer systems that use only temperature sensors, i.e., they do not use optical or opacity sensors. This is not recommended since the optical sensors provide an indication of cooking when the exhaust air has not yet reached the set point temperature.  Thus, the hoods would continue to operate at a low exhaust rate and cooking effluent would spill from the exhaust hood. Temperature-only systems are usually set to higher exhaust rates to mitigate this issue.

The following is a summary table of the energy savings results:

Before/After Energy Savings Summary of Intelli-Hood

The following are before and after Intelli-Hood® exhaust fan speed graphs:

Line graph

Line graph

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Line graph


Are you curious how much energy Intelli-Hood® could save within your commercial or industrial kitchens?  Submit an energy savings estimate request form at the bottom of our Intelli-Hood® page to get started.