The unique characteristic of the Vulcan electric LWE steamer is its innovative controller that monitors and regulates steam delivery. It’s only producing and delivering steam in the cabinet when it’s needed.
“It was the first generator-based steamer to achieve Energy Star certification,” says Dan Montgomery, manager of consultant services at Vulcan/ Wolf. “This is not a brand-new product, it has been on the market for over five years. It’s a proven design. Maybe it was a little ahead of its time because we’re finding a whole lot of new interest in this, because people didn’t realize just how much water a small steamer could use. A typical small five-pan steamer can use up to 86 gallons of water per hour. This design reduces that by 90% so instead it’s only using about nine gallons of water per hour.”
The lower water usage is partly because it only generates steam when needed. The other aspect is as Montgomery explains: “When a generator-based steamer makes steam, there’s obviously water needed to produce the steam, but when there’s too much steam where does it go? The excess goes to the drain where it condenses and becomes hot water. You have then to introduce cold water to temper it before it can be sent down the drain. Too much steam has two implications; one, you’re wasting water by producing too much steam, but you’re also requiring water to temper the condensate as a result of that excess steam. That’s why there is so much waste going on.”
Not only does Vulcan’s C24EA5- LWE Steamer reduce the amount of water being used it also reduces energy significantly by about 50%. “Using this steamer doesn’t mean it’s any slower,” says Montgomery. “It’s the same level of production, it’s just a smarter, more efficient use of energy, water and the resources that go into it because of this innovative controller that allows it to only produce steam when needed.”
Checking the payback
These savings of resources tie in with the growing awareness by commercial kitchen designers of the importance of payback (or return on investment).
“We have done payback studies in different parts of the US. Some places have very high water costs, some don’t,” says Montgomery. “We find the payback, compared to a conventional steamer, is that the LWE will pay for itself within one to three years after purchase, depending on the area.”
These figures and the track record of the LWE series over the last five years make it the ideal product for designers that are looking to design for the future.
For more information, please visit https://www.vulcanequipment.com/steamers/overview.