Creative Financing Pays for Itself with Intelli-Hood

2020 has been the most unique year that I can remember, especially when it comes to our economy. Coming off 2019, the economy was strong, companies were reinvesting and spending money, and it looked like 2020 would be another great year — until March. Enter COVID-19; companies that could endure the pandemic had to pivot fast. Predictions for a record year were gone in a moment. For months, businesses across the country were shut down.

As Melink (and many other businesses) are trying to come out on the other side of COVID-19, many feel more timid than ever before about spending cash, and understandably so. Numerous projects are on hold as capital expenditure budgets are frozen for 2020, 2021, and even 2022 in some cases. 

Melink’s company mission is to change the world one building at a time by helping decision-makers implement energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions into their commercial facilities. Intelli-Hood® is a Demand Control Kitchen Ventilation (DCKV) system that saves money by reducing monthly operating expenses in commercial kitchen facilities. Often, Intelli-Hood can pay for itself in one to three years, making it a very attractive energy conservation application.

Intelli-Hood

The question arises: How do we continue to change the world one building at a time when spending has been put on an indefinite pause? 

I was recently working with a university that wanted to implement Intelli-Hood in a kitchen. Without any utility rebates taken into consideration, the $62,000 project was going to pay for itself in less than three years. Everything was moving right along until COVID-19 put everything on pause. But Melink is committed to working with its customers and customizing energy solutions, so discussions were continued with the university. We were able to come up with a creative financing solution that is a win/win for all parties: an Equipment Loan Program. This allows the customer to pay nothing out of pocket, while simultaneously being cashflow-positive the second we walk off the job site. Working with a lender, we can get the $62,000 financed for the university over five full years at monthly installments of $1,287 for a total investment of $77,220.

At Melink, our proposals come turnkey, along with a custom Energy Savings Report. These reports give you an idea of how much money you will save with Intelli-Hood. In this instance, the customer was going to save more than $18,000 in energy savings the first year alone, resulting in a positive cashflow of almost $3,000. On average, utility rates go up 3% every year, meaning that with the customer locked into an installment payment of $1,287 for 60 months, the positive cashflow will continue to increase year over year. After five years, the loan will be paid off in full and the benefits really kick in, saving more than $20,000 per year. 

Looking at a 10-year period, the customer is going to save more than $130,000 without having to pay anything upfront. While a traditional purchase would save more money ($148,000) over the same 10-year period, it would require the full upfront cost paid in full. 

Intelli-Hood Return on Investment

So, if your business is in a similar position where your budget is paused but you are still interested in saving energy, reducing greenhouse gasses, and cutting operating costs – maybe this creative financing can work for you, too. We can continue to work together to change the world one building at a time, all while exploring realistic options in the current economic climate. 

Professional Development: ASHRAE & Melink

Melink Corporation is passionate about supporting the HVAC industry through its clean energy solutions. To share our field knowledge in commercial kitchen ventilation, as well as test and balance, several employees serve on professional boards like the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

ASHRAE logo

What is ASHRAE?

ASHRAE is a professional association to advance the design and construction of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration systems. The international group has more than 50,000 members in more than 130 countries. Most members are building service engineers, architects, mechanical contractors, building owners, and equipment manufacturers. ASHRAE is known for supporting research projects, offering education programs, and publishing technical standards.

Overall, ASHRAE’s technical standards support safety, occupant health, and energy efficiency. These standards establish consensus for testing methods for use in commerce, as well as the performance criteria to guide the industry. ASHRAE publishes the following three types of voluntary consensus standards:

  • Method of Measurement or Test (MOT)
  • Standard Design
  • and Standard Practice.

ASHRAE does not write rating standards unless a suitable rating standard will not otherwise be available. ASHRAE is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and follows ANSI’s requirements for due process and standards development.

Melink & ASHRAE

Jason Brown
Jason Brown

For many years, Melink Corporation has supported ASHRAE. Employee-owners, including CEO Steve Melink, have written journal articles, technical standards, and presented at conferences. Most recently, Jason Brown (Senior Sales & Applications Engineer) and Bryan Miller (Vice President of Technology) have volunteered their time and expertise.

Here’s a closer look at Melink’s support of ASHRAE:

Bryan Miller
Bryan Miller
  • ASHRAE operates through committees. Through the committee structure, members decide policy, develop procedures, and direct the organization’s activities. Brown and Miller have been active for several years on two ASHRAE committees. Brown is a voting member of the following committees, meaning he has influence on what does and doesn’t pass in the committee proceedings:

    Technical Committee on Commercial Kitchen Ventilation (TC 5.10) Technical Committees (TC) are responsible for identifying research topics, proposing research projects, selecting bidders, and monitoring research projects funded by ASHRAE. Information about research programs is discussed at each TC meeting and at the TC’s Research Subcommittee meeting. For instance, the TC 5.10 Committee, in which Brown serves, is concerned with the design, construction installation, commissioning, and sustainable operation of code-compliant commercial kitchens. The committee is also involved with revisions/updates to model codes such as the International Mechanical Code (IMC) and writing/revising ASHRAE Standards. Additionally, the TC develops sessions for ASHRAE’s winter and annual conferences.

    Standards Committee for Commercial Kitchen Ventilation (SSPC 154) This Standards Committee provides design criteria for the performance of commercial cooking ventilation systems in regard to kitchen hoods, exhaust systems, and replacement air systems. Serving on this committee primarily has entailed attending and participating in meetings that occur twice per year.
  • Brown and Miller have assisted with updating sections of the ASHRAE Handbook. The ASHRAE Handbook is a series of four volumes covering HVAC Applications, Refrigeration, Fundamentals, and HVAC Systems 7 Equipment. One volume is revised each year, ensuring that no volume is older than four years. In relation to the committees previously mentioned, TC 5.10 is responsible for Chapter 34 (Kitchen Ventilation) of the ASHRAE HVAC Applications Handbook, which was last revised in 2019. The chapter focuses primarily on kitchen ventilation systems in restaurants and institutional food service facilities. Brown and Miller provided content and graphics about demand control kitchen ventilation (DCKV) systems and variable frequency drives. In addition, for other handbooks, they have provided content on HVAC test and balance commissioning.
Excerpt from 2019 ASHRAE Handbook
Graphics example from 2019 ASHRAE Handbook
  • For further professional development, the Melink employee-owners have attended ASHRAE’s conferences. “Normally we meet biannually for a few days in conference settings, but we have a few virtual meetings in between to vote and discuss topics that are requiring attention in the industry,” said Brown.

Read more about other ways Melink employee-owners volunteer their time and expertise.

Intelli-Hood in the Indian Market

Melink’s Intelli-Hood® demand control kitchen ventilation (DCKV) system has long been a global product. But, more recently, we introduced Intelli-Hood in the Indian market.

Developing a New Market

We have officially been working in India for 2.5 years now, but it is still a fairly new and developing market for us. Introducing a company into an already mature market with similar products is very challenging. It takes attention, care, and a product that adds more value than its competitors’.

Before committing to the Indian market, we did our homework. We researched the competitors, key differentiators, competing products, and how we could best offer customer support. We put ourselves in our customers’ place to really understand their needs so that we could ensure we had a valuable product and support team that could help them meet their goals.

If we felt our customer service would be compromised by distance or communication barriers, we would not have entered this market. Melink Corporation prides itself on being a customer-focused service company. From the beginning, it was important to have someone on the ground in India to speak with customers, visit sites, and work with the home office in the United States. (That’s where I come in!)

Speaking of the home office, a critical component to entering the Indian market has been the support of the Intelli-Hood’s U.S. team. They have worked continuously with promptness to provide all the technical details that our customers need, which is the biggest boon to earn customers’ trust. I am really thankful for all the team members who supported the launch of Intelli-Hood within my region. Together, we are bringing an end-solution to save energy in our global environment.

Early Success in India

Because of all the behind-the-scenes work to enter the market, we have seen success.

One of our biggest Indian projects that has been successfully retrofitted with Melink’s Intelli-Hood system is a project in the operation kitchen of a large resort. The kitchen contains all kinds of cooking appliances to prepare food for different cuisines, like Indian, Chinese, Italian, etc. For almost a full year, we have continuously monitored the system from Day 1 of installation and commission. With these real-time result readings, we were able to prove the benefits of our product in regards to energy savings and return on investment, which has paved the way for the approval of many other projects.

Here are examples from this project. You can see the energy savings:

Main Kitchen – Fan Speed Profile
1/1/2019 to 12/31/2019
This kitchen includes five hoods and two exhaust fans. With Inteli-Hood, the customer gained an electrical savings of 1,17,496 kwH/year.

Intelli-Hood in Asian Market Case Study example 1

Secondary Kitchen – Fan Speed Profile
1/1/2019 to 12/31/2019
This smaller kitchen includes two hoods, one pizza oven, and one exhaust fans. With Intelli-Hood, the customer gained an electrical savings of 25,077 kwH/year.

Intelli-Hood in Asian Market Case Study example 2

Based on this information, we are working with the client to analyse more data to help them to be more energy efficient and to lower their operating costs.

What’s Next for Melink in the Indian Market?

Moving forward, we are working with our partners to customize Intelli-Hood system designs to meet their site requirements. We look forward to future projects in existing kitchens (retrofits) and also new projects spread across Asia.

If you have a project in India and would like to learn more about Intelli-Hood, please contact me. I live and work in India full-time, and I would welcome the chance to introduce you to Melink’s products. Email me at [email protected].

Becoming an Intelli-Hood Sales Engineer (During a Pandemic)

Sales Engineer. These are two words that most of us have very clear ideas of what they individually mean. But what about when they are put together? Well, I was not exactly sure what to expect either, but it sounded like a challenge, and I like those. I am new to the Demand Control Kitchen Ventilation (DCKV) industry but well-versed in technology and mechanics due to my background. So, when I took on the role of a Melink Intelli-Hood Sales Engineer, I felt well prepared.

Then, enter COVID-19

Onboarding plan? Derailed. Customer visits? Cancelled. Installations with field service techs? Not attending. How was I supposed to embrace my role and be a valuable addition to the team? 

What Next?

That is where my Melink family stepped in. To continue on with business “as normal,” we, like most other companies, took full advantage of virtual meetings, trainings, lunch-and-learns, and other digital tools that were not thought about or utilized even just 10 years ago! As the pandemic began to unfold and our work continued on thanks to these digital tools, I immediately saw the value in my new role and especially Melink’s value to its customers.

For instance, indoor air quality became a topic of daily conversation. Essential facilities like grocery stores and hospitals were now on the front lines, and I was helping to get Intelli-Hood® kitchen ventilation controls into these areas to ensure first responders had healthy air.

You see, Intelli-Hood learns how to best optimize your kitchen ventilation by using temperature probes partnered with infrared optical sensors. The optics pick up on the presence of airborne contaminants in the form of smoke and then drive the exhaust fan’s variable frequency drive (VFD) to the appropriate speed to ensure adequate evacuation of the effluent. Smoke being present does not have to mean that heat is, which is one more way that a Melink Intelli-Hood control system ensures continuous capture of all effluent. As if that was not beneficial enough, the system is also ensuring that more of the pre-conditioned air is staying in the occupied spaces instead of being wastefully exhausted from the kitchen due to continuous discharge ventilation.

Melink Intelli-Hood System

Looking to the Future: Customized Solutions

Pre-COVID-19 and now, I spend each day as a Sales Engineer building customized quotes for our customers’ unique needs. As requests for new construction sites roll in, I work with my Business Development Manager to go through the plans for each site, reviewing the kitchen designs and ventilation requirements, as well as requirements that have been called out by general contractors and food service consultants. Every job requires different exhaust hood types; fan types and horsepower; and temperature monitoring preferences, as well as the possibility of tying the system into a building’s BACnet. All of these items and more are taken into consideration when preparing an accurate, customized quote for our customers.

Thus, these last few months of working in Virtual Corporate America have helped me realize just how adaptable our team at Melink — and our Intelli-Hood controls — really are. COVID-19 or not, these control systems are improving the health and wellness of employees and customers in thousands of locations worldwide, all while being the most energy efficient DCKV system on the market. And the umbrella of Melink solutions extends to other areas, too. When you pair an Intelli-Hood control system with solar panels, a PositiV® unit to monitor building health, and a high-quality Test and Balance plan, you really cannot ask for a more efficient and energy-saving space.

I may only be finishing my first quarter here at Melink as a Sales Engineer, but already I have felt the satisfaction of knowing that what I am doing is making a difference.  We really are making the world a better, greener place, one building at a time.

Why LEED Buildings Make Financial Sense

The University of Notre Dame chose sustainable, LEED-approved construction options and why you should, too.

Recently, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) awarded the University of Notre Dame with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification for the design, construction, and operation of three buildings attached to Notre Dame Stadium. These building are Duncan Student Center, Corbett Family Hall, and O’Neill Hall. Your next statement may be “So what?!” Why should the folks at Notre Dame care, and why should anyone else involved with owning, managing, and operating a commercial building care?

The answer? Money.

LEED Gold Certification seal from the U.S. Green Building Council

According to research from the U.S. Department of Energy, LEED buildings consume 25% less energy and 11% less water than non-LEED buildings. That translates to lower utility bills. If you could build the same facility but pay 11-25% less in operating costs, why would you choose otherwise? And this isn’t even taking into account all the environmental benefits of LEED buildings!

If the decision is made for the non-LEED option, then that is saying you know you could spend less operating this building, but you want to pay more. You know you could improve the income flow of your building, but you choose to make less. Why? 

LEED Buildings: Financial Common Sense

Perhaps the concern is that a LEED building might cost more to construct than a non-LEED building. Depending on where you are building, there are notable tax benefits and incentives from states and municipalities (AKA free money). Choosing to build a non-LEED building is essentially saying you don’t want free money.

Finally, since a commercial building is an investment, the core factors of occupancy rates, lease payments, and long-term tenants are very important to cash flow. Citing the USGBC, LEED buildings retain higher property values than non-LEED buildings. LEED buildings are healthier for the occupants, and 79% of employees say they would choose a job in a LEED building over a non-LEED building. All of these point to greater demand (occupancy), longer term leases, and higher property appreciation. Money, money, money.

LEED Building infographic from U.S. Green Building Council
Source: USGBC

Intelli-Hood: A Solution for LEED Buildings

As I write this from Melink’s own LEED Platinum-certified headquarters, nicknamed HQ1, and across the street from our newly opened HQ2, which is a Zero-Energy Building, I am very happy for Notre Dame. I am also very PROUD that Melink’s Intelli-Hood® variable speed kitchen hood controls were a part of all the conservation measures that helped them achieve this certification. Within the three buildings that achieved LEED status, Intelli-Hood was installed on eight kitchen hoods. Intelli-Hood is now standard on any new hood installations, as well as retrofits, at Notre Dame.

Notre Dame opted for the sustainable, energy efficient, and financially smart option of LEED construction. What will you choose?

 

Intelli-Hood 3 Faults

Is an Intelli-Hood 3 (IH3) system installed in your commercial kitchen? In this post, we will cover common IH3 system faults.

Clearing IH3 Optic Faults

Optics need to be cleaned periodically. Melink recommends cleaning your Intelli-Hood 3 optic sensors a few times each month. If there is a large amount of buildup on the lens or a simple obstruction in the hood, the touchpad will show an optic fault. 

  • The touchpad will show which hood has the optic fault.
  • Verify there are no obstructions in the hoods.
  • Verify that the optics are aligned. You can do this by navigating to “Status” under the Menu, then “Hood Controllers.” Select the appropriate hood controller using the “Next” button, and you’ll be able to check the voltage displayed as actual signal versus calibrated signal (ex. 1.32v/1.67v).
  • If the touchpad displays “Calibrating” or a low signal (0.02v/1.84v), the hardware is working properly but may have an obstruction causing the signal to be too low.
  • Many optic faults can be prevented through routine hood cleaning and system maintenance.
  • Verify that the cables are also connected tight on the hood controller. If your fault says “Emitter Missing” or “Receiver Missing,” it is indicating a possible bad connection or failed component. Check the connector at each optic sensor for a loose plug or, less commonly, corrosion on the terminals.

Clearing IH3 Temperature Faults

Temperature sensors installed in the hood monitor the temperature of the exhaust air.  The Intelli-Hood 3 system can be programmed to turn on and off automatically by hood temperature. 

Signs of a temperature fault include fans running at 100% and the touchpad stating that a “Temp Fault” is occurring. Therefore, it is important to understand that a temperature fault could turn your system on or off at inappropriate times. In most cases, the fault will simply cause the fan to run 100%, which will allow cooking to continue but prevents you from saving energy.

If you experience an Intelli-Hood 3 temp fault…

  • Make sure that the sensors are clean. It is not always necessary to clean the temperature sensor unless there is a large amounts of grease or build up.
  • Check the connections that go from the temperature probe to the controllers. Also, verify that the number of temp sensors match the number of temp sensors programmed. Under the Menu, select “Status (1)” followed by “Hood Controllers (3).” Then select “Enter.” If a temperature sensor is not connected properly or isn’t working, then it will show as “Missing.”
  • Check for any damaged components.
  • On the hood controller, there are different ports that can be used to connect the cables for temperature sensors. Swapping those may help to get rid of the fault.

If your Intelli-Hood 3 system is still experiencing issues, we encourage you to check our other reference documents.

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.

Understanding Your Intelli-Hood VFD

Melink’s Intelli-Hood® controls modulate the speed of the exhaust and fan motors with variable frequency drives (VFDs). Understanding and knowing how to troubleshoot your Intelli-Hood VFD will make maintenance easier.

The VFDs receive commands from a central controller, which receives its input from the optic and temperature sensors. This post will cover Intelli-Hood’s VFD locations, connections, faults, and troubleshooting.

If you are looking for information on Intelli-Hood optic and temperature sensor troubleshooting, click here.

VFD Locations

The Intelli-Hood’s VFDs are located in a variety of spots, and this will vary from site to site. Some common locations are:

  • End cabinets connected to the hood
Intelli-Hood VFD located in end cabinet mounted to hood
  • Remotely mounted cabinets located in or near the hood
Intelli-Hood VFD located in or near the hood
  • Maintenance or electrical room where service breakers can be found
Intelli-Hood VFD located in mechanical room
  • Above the hoods where the lines for the exhaust fan motors have already been run
  • On the roof (Some facilities require NEMA 3R enclosures, which are waterproof and meant for mounting outside the building. Commonly these units are placed near each fan/motor.)

Verifying VFD Connections

Intelli-Hood VFD connections will also vary depending on the facility and types of drives used. There are generally two options: direct control by the Intelli-Hood system via the Cat5e modbus connection or analog control via the Intelli-Hood system.

The modbus control uses our VFD port on the controller and provides 2-way communication with the drive. This allows the actual drive status/data to be displayed on the Intelli-Hood touchpad. If your IH3 touchpad is displaying “VFD Lost Comms,” it usually means the drive has lost power or the connection has been broken, either physically or by some programming change. Verify the Cat5e cable is securely connected at the drive and system controller and if further investigation is needed, contact our technical support for assistance.

If you have an analog-controlled drive, this normally means the drive was either existing or supplied by others and could not be directly controlled by the Intelli-Hood system. In this case, we are telling the drive when to turn on and how fast to go with analog wire connections but do not receive any feedback data showing drive status or faults. In most cases, when a problem occurs with a fan, you have noticed because the kitchen is noticeably quieter or getting hot and smokey. To check the connections, you will need a multi-meter to check DC voltage and continuity. You will likely want to have your facilities team or electrician look into the issue.

Understanding VFD Faults

The VFD is in place to modulate and protect the motor against incoming power from the service breaker to the VFD and from the VFD to the serving motor.

If a fault is detected, cycle power at the service breaker for approximately 1 minute. The display on the VFD should go blank at this time. After 1 minute, turn the breaker back on and cycle the power to the Intelli-Hood system. If the fault persists, contact Melink Technical Support.

VFD Troubleshooting

The following are examples of advanced troubleshooting you may be able to perform on site. However, if you are uncomfortable working with electrical equipment, contact Melink or your local licensed electrician.

Over Voltage Faults: Check for water in the disconnect. Adjusting the deceleration scale on the VFD may help this issue from motor regeneration on the BUS voltage.

Overload Faults: Check the motor nameplate FLA, VFD Programmed FLA, and the actual AMP draw. If over-amping occurs, reduce the maximum frequency from what is currently programmed. This would suggest that the motor is working harder either due to age, belts that are too tight, or a combination of both.

Under Voltage Faults: Check for voltage on all three phases to make sure that all three legs are steady and at the appropriate voltage. This fault may be caused due to a temporary voltage drop from dirty power or loose connections.

Earth Faults: Check for ground connections. Also check the motor for insulation leaks and proper grounding.

Special Notes for Intelli-Hood VFD Faults

VFD issues are the most common Intelli-Hood troubleshooting issues. For advanced troubleshooting, contact Melink Technical Support. Depending on the circumstances, issues may be resolved through phone support, remote diagnostics, remote control, or a technician may be dispatched to test and replace components based on field conditions.

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.

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.

Background

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.

Touchpads

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.