McDonald’s equips over 800 restaurants with Trend building control systems
Over 800 McDonald’s restaurants in the UK are being fitted with Trend intelligent building-control systems, supplied and engineered by Powell System Engineering, a Trend Technology Centre.
The systems use Trend IQ3xcite controllers to control a wide variety of air-conditioning and other plant in a range of restaurant types — including drive-throughs and shopping-centre sites, both purpose-built premises and conversions.
These controllers monitor cold stores, fridges and air extracts at each site, as well as monitoring air conditioning. At drive-through locations, the controller also switches on and off external signage and car-park lighting automatically, according to natural light levels.
Energy consumption is reduced by precise temperature control and preventing plant and lighting operating unnecessarily. Chiller performance is optimised by operating air-conditioning plant correctly.
Powell System Engineering has also incorporated low ambient switching so that when chiller compressors have been running for a considerable time they are switched off, leaving air conditioning to function for a period using latent cooling built up during operating.
The system helps McDonald’s meet food-safety regulations by maintaining cold-room temperatures as required and recording and storing temperature data for audits. This data can be printed as required.
The restaurant manager can view data and temperature trends and change times and setting using a local PC. Standard graphics in each controller provide a user-friendly operator interface that is the same from site to site for the benefit of staff transferring between restaurants.
Each restaurant is linked to the McDonald’s virtual private network (VPN) using the Internet. Data can be accessed by management, by service companies responsible for maintaining plant and by Powell System Engineers, who can update software, view system data, adjust plant settings and rectify system problems — all without visiting the site.