Which Intelli-Hood is in My Facility? How to Identify Intelli-Hood Systems

How can a facility manager identify Intelli-Hood systems at his or her various properties? Different systems may be installed, and each system has its own unique reference guide and troubleshooting tips.


Over the years, Melink Corporation has designed and implemented three Intelli-Hood® systems: IH1, IH2 and IH3. Each system has its own specific configurations. While all work on the same basic principles, they DO NOT have the same parts or interfaces.

So how can you determine which system is in your facility? You can determine this by physical attributes and the system’s serial number. Watch our how-to video and consult the steps below…

How to Identify Intelli-Hood Systems

There are three methods to identify your Intelli-Hood system:

Serial Number

The serial number is the absolute best way to identify your system version. On the inside of the system’s panel door, you will see the unit’s serial number. The color of the label may vary, depending on your system. IH1 normally has a white label, whereas IH2 and IH3 have blue labels.

As for the numbers themselves, IH1 systems began with serial V1000 or V001000 and continued until the late V3999 numbers. IH2 serial numbers started at V4000 or V004000 and counted up from there.

Identifying your Intelli-Hood System by IH1 and IH2 serial numbers

At the beginning of IH3 we changed the starting point slightly and began with V300000. All serial numbers in the V300000 and V400000 are IH3.

Identifying your Intelli-Hood System by IH3 serial numbers
Cable Colors

Cable colors are different among systems. If your system has white/grey cables, it is an IH1. If your system has blue cables, it is IH2. Green cables signal IH3.


The main touchpad on the kitchen hood can distinguish your system.

IH1 has a single digit “HOOD” display.

Intelli-Hood IH1 display

IH2 has a four-digit “HOOD” display.

Intelli-Hood IH2 display

IH3 is our first system with a full LCD display.

Intelli-Hood IH3 display

Knowing Your System

To accurately troubleshoot system issues and to order replacement parts, you must supply the Melink Technical Team with your system model (IH1, IH2 or IH3). Most issues can be solved over the phone with a facility manager and/or contractor capable of performing the work on site.

If you are purchasing replacement parts and you are not on site, please verify the system model with the site beforehand. If the system model cannot be verified, Melink cannot guarantee the replacement parts are correct. There is a restocking fee for parts ordered in error.

If you cannot determine which system you have, Melink Corp does maintain an internal database. However, we cannot guarantee your facility is in the database. Frequently, restaurant sites change ownership and names. For instance, what was once “Joe’s BBQ” may now be known as “Bob’s BBQ.” If no one has contacted Melink to update the original site name, it will not be searchable in the database.

Access Intelli-Hood reference materialsFAQs, and how-to videos. For advanced troubleshooting, contact Melink Technical Support (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) via web request or by calling 877-477-4190.

Intelli-Hood System Basics: Using the Touchpad

The Intelli-Hood® touchpad is the primary user interface of the system. Every Intelli-Hood is equipped with at least one touchpad; some systems have multiple touchpads. Touchpads vary by system model; consult this guide for help determining your system. In this post, we will focus on the IH3 touchpad.

IH3 Touchpad Navigation

Fans Button: The Fans Button is typically used to change the state of the system between “Standby Mode” (exhaust fans off) and “Energy Saving Mode” (exhaust fans running).

Lights Button: This turns the lights of the hood on and off. This function is optional and may not be used in all applications of Intelli‐Hood. Consult the design documents for your system to determine if this button is used.

Soft-Key Buttons: Two soft-key buttons below the display screen can be used to navigate functions displayed on the screen. In normal operation modes, the right button is used to access programming and help menus, and the left button is used to active the “100% Fan Speed Mode.” These functions vary when the user is navigating the program settings.

Arrow Buttons: The two arrow buttons are used to scroll through configuration parameters and can be used to change programming values.

Status Screen: The status screen shows the operational state of the Intelli‐Hood system.

Faults Screen: The faults screen shows active system faults that need addressed. Once a fault is cleared, it will no longer be displayed here.

IH3 System Modes

In Standby Mode, the fans will be off and users will see the Intelli‐Hood logo splashscreen. The right soft key can be used to enter the menu.

In Energy Saving Mode, at least one fan associated to the touchpad is in Energy Saving Mode. This may not pertain to all fans. The display will scroll through the hoods and fans that are active and display their respective operating speeds. The left soft key can be used to send the system to 100% or Bypass Mode, and the right soft key can be used to enter the menu.

In 100% or Bypass Mode, the display will scroll through the hoods and fans and display their respective operating speeds. The left soft key can be used to send the system into “Normal” Energy Saving Mode, and the right soft key can be used to enter menus.

In the Menus Home Screen, the user can locate System Status, System Configuration, the Help Menu, and the About Menu.

Intelli-Hood touchpad menu navigation

IH3 Menus

System Configuration Menu: This is where the system can be configured by adjusting the number of hoods, fans, and many other parameters. The System Configuration Menu will be locked with a specific pass-code in order to prevent accidental modification of system parameters. Users should not attempt to modify the configuration without the help of a certified Intelli-Hood professional.

Help Menu: The Help Menu contains instructions for how to contact your local rep or the manufacturer for technical support and other information.

About Menu: The About Menu simply provides system information such as the firmware version, serial number, IP address, date, and time.

Intelli-Hood Touchpad Maintenance

Most damage to the keypad is related to cleaning. Do not clean the touchpad with any harsh or abrasive chemicals. If the surface needs to be cleaned, use a mild dish detergent like Dawn dishsoap. If holes start to wear in the touchpad, contact Melink for parts to replace the labels or the touchpad itself. This is to avoid the internal parts from getting wet, potentially leading to kitchen downtime.

Intelli-Hood Touchpad Troubleshooting

If your touchpad screen is frozen, the system has most likely “lost” its configuration. Contact Melink Technical Support so that the appropriate configuration can be reloaded. 

If your touchpad is frozen and it is not a configuration issue, you may want to verify that the LEDs on the circuit board are illuminated.  Power the system down at the controller and pull the cell battery off the baseboard, replace the battery, and turn the system back-on.

Access Intelli-Hood reference materials, FAQs, and how-to videos. For advanced troubleshooting, contact Melink Technical Support (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) via web request or by calling 877-477-4190.

Intelli-Hood System Basics: Operational Modes

There are four Intelli-Hood® system operational modes: Energy Saving, Standby, 100% (Bypass), and Emergency Fire. The Intelli­-Hood HVAC controls package visually monitors the level of cooking activity and automatically instructs the exhaust fan to operate only as fast as necessary to save energy. Learn the basics about each operational mode…

Energy Saving Mode

First, Energy Saving Mode is the operational state when one or more exhaust fans are on. In most cases, all exhaust fans controlled by Intelli-Hood will be in Energy Saving Mode at the same time. However, in some configurations, it is possible that some fans will be in Energy Saving Mode while others remain in Standby.

Standby Mode

In Standby, the exhaust fans are not operating, but Intelli-Hood is monitoring temperature and optic sensors.  The system’s touchpad is typically used to manually change the mode of the system between Standby and Energy Saving Mode. Depending on both cooking conditions and pre-programmed settings, it is possible for Intelli-Hood to automatically change modes.

100% Mode (Bypass Mode)

Next is 100% Mode, which is commonly referred to as Bypass Mode. This mode is a secondary function. Typically, Intelli-Hood is set to appropriately send the exhaust fans to full speed based on conditions detected by temperature and optic sensors.  Kitchen staff has the ability to send fans to full speed by placing the system into 100% Mode when it is operating in Energy Saving Mode. 100% Mode is a timed function with a default expiration time of ten minutes.  After the timer expires, fans will revert back to Energy Saving Mode.

Emergency Fire Mode

Lastly, the Emergency Fire Mode is triggered by the fire suppression system. This mode is activated when the main power to the Intelli-Hood is removed. In this mode, the touchpad and sensors will have no power or function.

Access Intelli-Hood reference materials, FAQs, and how-to videos. For advanced troubleshooting, contact Melink Technical Support (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) via web request or by calling 877-477-4190.

“We’ve Done Benchmarking. We’ve Done Lighting. What’s Next?!” Kitchen Ventilation.

The Benefits of DCKV

Kitchen ventilation, both exhaust and make up air, represent a significant opportunity for kWh and kBTU reductions in your facility. Demand Control Kitchen Ventilation, (DCKV) uses temperature and optic sensors to vary exhaust speed and make up air fans.  This is in response to precise cooking intensity underneath all kitchen hoods. With fans only running as needed, savings are gained on fan energy (controls produce 40-60% average fan speed versus 100% without controls). In addition, there are heating and cooling savings gained as a result of kitchens not evacuating all air that was just conditioned.

These controls can be installed in new construction projects. They’re usually specified by engineering firms in the design phase of your project, and should qualify for one LEED point. In addition, DCKV is a path to compliance for commercial buildings’ energy codes for states that have adopted ASHRAE 90.1 2010 and greater. You can see what your state’s requirements are here.


Retrofitting the temperature and optic controls within existing kitchen exhaust hoods is equally effective at generating energy savings. It’s important to confirm that the controls are UL 710 and 2017 listed. This permits them to be installed in any manufacturer’s hood in any cooking application. There are many utility rebate incentive programs available for the installation of DCKV as well.

Kitchen Ventilation in Action

The financial impact for hospitals’ operating costs is significant when kitchen exhaust and makeup air fans no longer run at full speed 24/7.  A study by the EPA demonstrated that each dollar saved by a non-profit hospital, is the same as generating $20 in new revenues. Incidentally that same dollar saved in a for-profit facility is like increasing EPS by one penny.

Melink recently completed a Mid-West hospital project that produced $20,000 (per year) in combined savings. The savings included electrical, heating and cooling costs. Using EPA study metrics, this equivalates to $400,000 in new revenue for this facility.  Taking rebate incentives for our technology, the hospital’s ROI was less than one year.

The Purpose of DCKV

The goal of any DCKV project is to install controls that maximize the energy savings within the kitchen. In addition, DCKV will assist compliance with building energy codes, attain LEED points and make kitchens quieter and more comfortable. This article goes into greater detail and dives deeper into how these controls pay back initial investment. The articles recently appeared in the American Society for Healthcare Engineering publication, Inside ASHE.

Find the Inside ASHE article on kitchen ventilation here.

Energy Conservation in Commercial Buildings

There’s no doubt that energy conservation in commercial buildings (or any building for that matter) is important.  Reducing operating costs are important for valuations, freeing capital up for other projects or simply reducing the carbon footprint of your building, or portfolio of buildings.  There are many different ECMs (energy conservation measures) available to companies to help achieve these goals, and almost always the decision to use certain measures comes down to “I have to be at 3 years or less for the simple payback”.   While financial metrics are important, I believe that this focus often obscures the soft benefits to the building’s occupants and workers.

 A noise study was recently completed where a corporate kitchen’s noise levels were measured before and after the installation of variable speed controls on both the hood exhaust and supply fans. Traditionally kitchen exhaust fans run at 100% speed for constant periods of time.  With the addition of a variable speed system, like Melink Intelli-Hood, fan speeds are reduced to slower speeds when cooking isn’t at its maximum.  From an energy savings perspective there are two buckets of operational cost reductions, fan energy and conditioned air.  The chart below shows that when the kitchen fans are operating at 100% speeds the decibel level is just short of what a fire alarm sounds like when activated.  With the addition of the variable speed controls, the site realized much lower average fan speeds, as well as a reduction in kitchen noise levels to just below conversational speech, or a reduction of 11 decibels. 

The financial metrics for this project met all approval hurdles and the site is very happy.  For a moment, think about the Chef and his staff.  Their work environment has now become much more quiet.  They can hear each other better when they’re coordinating and preparing meals for several hundred employees each day.  Shouting and miscommunication is greatly reduced, and their environment is more pleasant.  This particular improvement would be hard to show on an income statement…or would it? 

As one example, within Seniors Housing, Dining Services is consistently near, or at, the top in employee turnover percentages.  The current industry turnover rate is 36.91%, (McKnight’s Senior Living, Salaries and Benefits Report 2017-2018) with Certified Nurses Aids coming in a close second at 34%.  It will cost a facility approximately $2,500 in recruiting and training to backfill a single new employee.  Compound that amount with multiple hires each year and it gets expensive very quickly.  If along with reducing energy costs a site can also create a better work environment for its full time employees (FTE), then perhaps that large expense can begin to be reduced and more employees will remain on the payroll instead of seeking other places to work. 

See the full case study here or contact us today to learn more about Intelli-Hood and the benefit of kitchen hood controls.

Higher Education Taking Action Against Climate Change

Climate change has been a hot topic recently, and higher education is taking note and taking action. While hundreds of schools have already made pledges to increase sustainability across their campus, 13 schools are taking the lead and taking it a step farther. At this year’s 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, 13 North American research universities launched the University Climate Change Coalition, or UC3, a group committed to implementing green initiatives into their own campuses and leveraging their research and experience to help others do the same. For over a decade, these universities have been researching innovative ways to reduce energy consumption, and educating students on how to combat climate challenges that are quickly approaching, but now they taking it a step further to spread this expertise to accelerate change through all of higher education.

Colleges and Universities that have committed to take action on climate change
Colleges and Universities that have committed to take action on climate change. Source: Secondnature.org

As the first school listed on the Campus Carbon Neutrality commitment, Cornell University paved the way. They have made continual efforts to implement Energy Conservation Initiatives (ECI), committing $33M towards ECI’s over a recent 5-year period. The Ohio State University established goals to be carbon neutral by 2050 and to reduce total campus building energy consumption by 25%. Both of these schools have found ways to lessen their carbon footprint by implementing various sustainability practices and products campus wide. Reducing energy use in existing buildings have been an ongoing initiative by both universities focusing on modernizing building envelopes, implementation of building automation and control systems, heat recovery and lighting systems. Cornell states projects they’ve implemented to date have had a return on investment of five to seven years.

Intelli-Hood controls at Kennedy Center at The Ohio State University.
Intelli-Hood controls at Kennedy Center at The Ohio State University. Source: osu.edu

A place that can often be overlooked, but has a great impact, is the ventilation system in campus kitchens. With the demand of long hours to accommodate various student schedules, and high volume because of the dense population, campus kitchens tend to run a majority of the day. Depending where the university is located, various local and state codes may require fans to operate 24/7 if the site utilizes gas pilots on kitchen equipment which remain on overnight. The HVAC systems account for 29% of the energy consumption of a food service area, with up to 75% of this load able to be attributed to the commercial kitchen ventilation system.

Melink is the innovator of Demand Control Kitchen Ventilation (DCKV) with the Intelli-Hood® system. Both Cornell University and The Ohio State University found the benefit of utilizing dckv systems across a majority of their kitchens. Using Intelli-Hood®, systems operate at a lower overall fans speed average. In an average day, the Melink Intelli-Hood system can recognize up to a 45% reduction in fan speeds equivalent to approximately 83% electrical fan energy savings. Additionally, this reduced operation results in a decrease of load demand of surrounding HVAC equipment providing additional conditioned air savings that can be recognized.

Melink Corporation Awarded GSA Certification To Work Directly With U.S. Government Agencies

CINCINNATI, OH – Melink Corporation, a global provider of energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions, just announced it has been awarded a General Services Administration (GSA) Multiple Award Services 056 Contract. This 5-year contract will enable Melink Corporation to partner directly with U.S. government agencies to deliver Intelli-Hood®, their proprietary kitchen ventilation controls, for increased energy efficiency in cooking operations. .

The US Government has been making strides towards sustainability, adopting more products and services that will improve energy usage in their buildings. The US Army compiled research on exhaust air and makeup air hood optimization, showing both the energy and financial savings of using kitchen ventilation controls to regulate the fan speed found here. Melink Corp has worked on numerous US Government projects to date, with agencies such as DOD, DOE, VA Healthcare, GSA and others with cooking operations. This certification will make it easier for the government to implement Intelli-Hood into their projects and continue to make energy efficiency a priority.

“Melink is optimistic that this GSA contract award will increase opportunities for the Government to create more sustainable operations and eliminate barriers to purchasing our Intelli-Hood controls.” said Randy Miles, VP & General Manager of Intelli-Hood.

Since inventing the first demand control kitchen ventilation (DCKV) system over 30 years ago, Melink has created significant energy savings in over 30,000 hoods across the globe. Compatible with all manufacturers, Intelli-Hood can be used in both new construction and retro-fit projects. Unique dual sensors with self-learning algorithms ensure the safest environment and the highest energy savings.

To learn more about Intelli-Hood please visit Intellihood.com.

­­About Melink Corporation: A global provider of energy efficiency and renewable energy  solutions for the commercial building industry. With four business units and a singular energy mission, we help companies save energy, increase profits and make the world a more sustainable place.

Tax Reform Bill Windfall – Reinvest In Efficient Operations for the Long Haul

Your profits just increased 14%, what are you going to do with all that cash???

Large US companies are on tap to reap the benefits of a 21% corporate tax, down from 35% (not factoring in Effective Tax Rates), under the new federal tax bill and there are many theories on where the money will go. Several companies have already given out bonuses, announced minimum wage increases, increased 401k matches, stock buyback programs, and increased shareholder dividends.  While all these are great short term shots in the arm during a time of robust economic growth, I’d like to argue that the smart play would be to invest in operational and energy efficiencies to prepare for an economic pullback and eventual awakening of the bears. Fortunately for many companies this recent time of growth has come over a period in which energy prices have been relatively flat ,or declining, resulting in reduced expenses and increased profit margins.  The rates for natural gas are slightly above 10-year lows and electrical pricing has shown a modest increase of 3% on average across the United States (https://www.electricchoice.com/electricity-prices-by-state). It would be short sided and foolish to think these rates will remain near basement levels for the long-term as geo-political flash points or natural disasters could lead to sharp increases in rates. Unless businesses invest in efficiency now they’re not going to be able to react fast enough to counter the cost of an increase should an event occur or prices quickly rebound.



Source: Market Insider Even at today’s rates most mainstream energy conservation measures (ECMs) fall at, or under, the industry benchmark of a 3-year Simple Payback Period, or ~33% ROI.  Despite the bull market running wild, it can be difficult to find a relatively risk free investment that will yield a consistent 33% return. Therefore, the smart money will point toward investing in efficiency projects now in favorable capital markets. Aside from some newly minted Bitcoin millionaires, my bet is that most “Main Street Americans” would rest easy at night knowing their investment will yield a consistent return north of 30%. There’s likely not one silver bullet technology that will drastically improve operational efficiencies, however there are many proven low risk investments such as LED lighting, HVAC upgrades, Building Management Systems, and smart building controls that can have an impact on many areas of your operations. This multi-faceted approach to energy efficiency will build a more robust infrastructure and predictable energy usage profile for business operator for when the economy eventually pulls back and rates increase. I’m not an economist, investment banker, trader, or tax analyst, but I do manage a global business and believe in growth reinvestment balanced with the protection of downside risk.  So, if you’re a building owner, asset manager, facility manager or responsible for the financial performance of your business; I urge you to mitigate your future operations cost risk and invest in efficiency today.

Intelli-Hood 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 opitcal 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


Line graph

Line graph


Could Intelli-Hood be a fit for my project?

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.


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Intelli-Hood Hiram College Retrofit


Like the majority of colleges and universities without kitchen demand control ventilation (DCV) in their dining halls, Hiram College was using inefficient hood fans to cool down their kitchens and to keep employees safe. Running at 100% capacity without any actual cooking occurring, the hood exhaust fans were wasting energy and pushing the meter higher and higher. As a consequence, Hiram experienced expensive utility bills. Below is the operation information for the kitchens:

  • Total motor power: 12. HP
  • Daily operating hours: 17
  • Days per week: 7
  • Weeks per year: 52
  • Cost per kilowatt hour: $.09
  • Climate zone: 5



Hiram pursued Brewer-Garrett (BG), a performance contractor for energy efficiency, to consult them in energy efficiency upgrades. BG evaluated their kitchens and cafeterias to identify four areas with high energy consumption. BG recommended four Energy Conservation Measures (ECMs) for these spaces, all of which fell into their 15 year ROI program. Having seen successful ROI performance with Intelli-Hood kitchen hood controls in previous projects, BG included the technology as 1 of 4 ECMs for Hiram.



Hiram College Savings Results with Intelli-Hood


The following is a typical one day variable fan speed graph using Intelli-Hood:

Typical fan speed graph using Intelli-Hood kitchen hood controls



Here are a before (navy) and after (green) reductions in kilowatt hours, heat load and exhaust volume:

hiram college demand control kitchen venilation before and after reductions


The Brewer-Garrett team commented on their impression of Intelli-Hood and working with Melink:

“You guys have the optimal product for smoke sensing. The cooking sensing technology identifies heat and/or smoke more accurately than other manufacturers. Melink also provides a very thorough turnkey solution, which was very helpful.”

– Eric Betz, Brewer-Garrett, electrical engineering manager

“We appreciate the fast turnaround and positive purchase experience. Also, the Melink installers were courteous and knowledgeable. All Melink personnel were readily accessible and eager to help when called. As far as the system itself, it is well thought-out and high quality. The display is easy to read and use.  Also, I like the ability for Melink to remotely monitor and fine tune with their Remote Access service.”

– Jon Erdmann, Brewer-Garrett, senior project manager



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.