In the UK, Powell Systems has supplied, installed and engineered energy management systems at 1,100 of McDonald’s 1,200 restaurants in the country, according to Retail Times.
The systems use Trend IQ3xcite controllers that help reduce energy consumption through precise temperature control and the automated operation of HVAC and lighting. Low ambient switching was also introduced to switch off compressors automatically if they have been running for a considerable amount of time leaving the air conditioning to function for a period using the latent cooling built up during operation.
At drive-through locations, the Trend controllers also switch on and off external signage and parking lot lighting automatically, depending on natural light levels.
The Trend controllers have worked in all of the McDonald’s sites, despite the wide variety of HVAC systems, and despite the variations in restaurants, which include drive-throughs and shopping center sites, and both purpose-built premises and conversions.
McDonald’s requires constant data and audits to adhere to food safety regulations, and the Trend controllers provide management with data in a graphical format. Each restaurant is linked to McDonald’s virtual private network, so data from the energy management systems can be accessed by McDonald’s management, by the service companies responsible for maintaining the plant (such as food chillers and air conditioning) on each site and also by Powell System Engineering, which can update software as necessary, view system data, adjust plant settings and rectify system problems, all without visiting the site.
Doing business in the UK, McDonald’s must measure and report its energy consumption as part of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme, according to Retail Times.
In the US, a McDonald’s franchise owner in Ohio built a new restaurant to be super energy efficient, spending about $1 million of his own money for the upgrades.