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Innovation & Job News

Amada means green: Heat recovery system lowers costs, kitchen temps for Garces

Jose Garces' Amada in Old City is known as the Iron Chef's flagship restaurant. With new heat recovery equipment in its basement that saves energy and money, the Spanish tapas restaurant has also become a green machine.

The system, installed by Scot Ziskind of Philly-based Zipco Wine Cellars, is a remarkably simple addition to the restaurant's kitchen. A closed heat transfer system unit siphons the heat from the restaurant's walk-in refrigerators straight to their water heaters and preheats the water for service. This recycled heat reduces fossil fuel consumption, saving energy and money, and as an added bonus, cools off notoriously sweltering restaurant kitchens to much more workable conditions.

Heat Recovery equipment is in no way new--dairy farms in the Midwest have been utilizing similar systems for ages. Ziskind discovered the heat recovery systems, manufactured by Mueller Industries of Nashville, and began installing them nearly two decades ago but demand was not high enough to make the service sustainable. The new emphasis on conservation and green energy however, has brought this kind of innovation back into the spotlight. Center City's Oyster House on Sansom Street and University City's White Dog Cafe use the heat recovery equipment and the now retired Philadeli had the system for years; one summer they reported saving nearly 80 percent of their energy costs.

Of course this statistic is not unusual; the beauty of the heat recovery equipment is in its simplicity and unobtrusive nature. Ziskind maintains that due to energy savings, the equipment will end up paying itself off in less than two years.

"The people that put it in were looking for a way to cut back on expenses without changing the quality of what the did," says Ziskind.

Source: Scot Ziskind, Zipco Wine Cellars
Writer: Nina Rosenberg

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