ML Shaw pioneers energy-saving kitchens

A small engineering business from Middleton has developed a new extraction system that reduces the amount of power needed to keep commercial kitchens ventilated.

Established 25 years ago by Mike Shaw, ML Shaw Fabrications originally manufactured commercial extraction systems for kitchens. However, whilst Mike's son, Leon, was studying for a degree in Building Services Engineering at Manchester University, he decided to focus his research on commercial kitchens and soon identified how traditional methods of commercial ventilation were wasting huge amounts of energy every day.

Leon took his ideas back to the family business and set about developing the Intelligent Kitchen Ventilation system.

The IKV system works on the principle that air is only extracted above equipment that is in operation, and in proportion to the amount of heat that is being generated. This means the system uses around 50% less energy than conventional methods of ventilation and achieves huge reductions in C02 emissions.

The system provides a more consistent temperature within the kitchen as the levels of make-up air are simultaneously reduced.

The unique system has patented filters which open and close as heat is detected, which means that the maximum amount of grease is extracted because the required volume of air is always maintained.

In September 2009, following three years of research and development, a prototype was installed by Manchester City Council at Crab Lane Primary School in Higher Blackley. The school is now projected to make annual energy savings of £2,600, while cutting C02 emissions by 11.6 tonnes, and several other local authorities have contacted ML Shaw wanting to take advantage of the innovative product.

To help support the company's push for new business, Envirolink Northwest has funded a number of promotional initiatives that will help ML Shaw showcase this innovative new product.

Funding has resulted in the development of a new website and DVD that demonstrates the system in action. Pop up exhibition stands have also been produced enabling ML Shaw to participate in stakeholder events and national exhibitions such as Ecobuild where they were invited to exhibit their system on the Envirolink Northwest pavilion stand.

Mike Shaw explained: "The team at Envirolink Northwest has always been extremely supportive and easily accessible, without the need for time consuming paperwork and application forms.

"The fact that they have given us support to market our product, rather than just offering the traditional technical support, also shows that as an organisation they are keen to help businesses like ours any which way they can."

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