Elkay Mfg., a manufacturer in the water delivery industry, recently added a new product line tailored to the hospitality market. The importance of offering clean, refreshing water is being recognized by users across the industry. In recognition of this market need, Elkay has introduced premium water dispensers that offer clean water on demand in a sustainable manner.
Elkay premium water dispensers provide both chilled still and chilled sparkling water on demand, converting ordinary tap water into filtered water chilled to the optimal serving temperature. Using ice-bank technology, the systems cool the water so that chilled water is available at the push of a buttoa, or pull of a tap. The Elkay WaterSentry filter system takes tap water to a new level, filtering out impurities, leaving crystal clear and chilled water.
For applications ranging from bottle service in restaurants to self-serve in fitness centers, this unit fits hospitality customers’ needs. By infusing sparkling water with fresh fruit or herbs, or adding syrups for handcrafted sodas, the possibilities are endless. As an example, adding a shot of syrup to 12 ounces of sparkling water produces a flavored drink for about 60 calories, as opposed to 200 calories in many traditional sodas. Introducing fresh fruit into sparkling water infuses the water with added flavor, creating an alternative beverage option for the end consumer, as well as a profit-generating menu item for hospitality customers.
Customers today are demanding that businesses act responsibly in regard to waste and contributing to environmental hazards. The elimination of plastic bottle waste is a growing objective out of environmental concern. With Elkay products, hospitality businesses can provide clean, filtered water that customers demand, without the waste of plastic bottles.
For every industry, space is a premium, and that is especially true in the hospitality market. The premium water dispensers are meeting the space-saving needs for all hospitality partners. This means no storage space is necessary for bulky cases of bottled water, and no valuable cooler space is wasted chilling the water for customer use, thus reducing the associated costs. Chilled water is available at a customer’s fingertips.
Ice bank technology: Water dispensers use ice bank cooling technology, an evaporator design that is ideal for meeting the high-volume water delivery demands of the hospitality industry. A key component of the refrigeration system, the primary function of the evaporator is to remove unwanted heat from the drinkable water supply. The ice bank evaporator used in our system consists of separate refrigeration and potable water lines, which are coiled and submerged in an enclosed water bath. During operation, the refrigeration coils extract heat from the water bath, lowering the temperature to near freezing, and forming a layer of ice around the refrigeration coils, effectively creating a thermal storage device. A pump, which is submerged in the bath, creates turbulent water flow around the potable water coils, effectively cooling the drinkable water to sub 40 F temperatures.
There are several performance and reliability benefits that can be realized when using an ice bank evaporator design. The separation of the refrigeration and drinking water coils greatly reduces the risk of freeze-up in the water lines, particularly when compared with evaporator designs where the coils are in direct contact. Under high volume and high frequency draw operation, as experienced during a lunch or dinner rush, the thermal storage nature of the ice bank can deliver consistently cold water, something that is of critical importance to our hospitality customers. Additionally, refrigeration cycling during such high load modes of operation is greatly reduced, again due to the thermal storage nature of the ice bank. This improves the reliability of the compressor and other refrigeration system components, extending the overall life of the product.
Energy savings: The Fontemagna series of hospitality dispensers offer an “energy-saving” command. When selected, this feature enables standby functionality of the unit, with consumption reduced by 75 percent compared to full functionality. This translates to reduced electricity costs, as well as any “green” initiatives that the customers have implemented.
• UV purification: The Fontemagna series uses ultraviolet (UV) purification lamps located at each tap outlet. There are several advantages of UV purification, most important of which is its ability to eliminate disease-causing bacteria and viruses, making water 99.99 percent pure of harmful microbiological contaminants. Because the system is not reliant on chemical treatment, no taste or odor is added to the drinking water. In addition to its sterilization benefits, UV purification lamps require very little energy to operate and require minimal service, with bulb replacements recommended once yearly.
• Portion control: The portion control feature available on the Fontemagna Compact and Fontemagna Bridge units allows users to preset customizable draw volumes for each individual tap — cold, sparkling and ambient — to maximize efficiency. For instance, a restaurant can minimize water waste by setting up an 8-ounce draw volume for individual cups, and a 32-ounce draw volume for filling pitchers. This allows a member of the waitstaff to set the pitcher under the tap, press the dispense button, and be free to perform other duties without having to worry about the pitcher overflowing.
The Washington Marriott Georgetown, a 470-room hotel in Washington, D.C., was recently renovated to include a new high-end fitness facility that offers high-end fitness equipment and a countertop Elkay premium water dispenser. This gives guests access to have cold and sparkling water on demand to fuel and recover from their workouts. Due to the overwhelming success, Marriott will be installing another unit in one of their onsite restaurants to further satisfy their guests’ water needs. Marriott has also recommended the use of these systems to various other locations.
Cava Grill, a fast-growing chain of 23 fast-casual Mediterranean restaurants, recently installed an under-the-counter system with a pull-tap dispenser offering two different water options. At the customer’s request, Elkay performed the installation late at night at their Venice, California location. With the easy installation process the total time was one hour. The quick installation time offers our hospitality customers the ability to change their water offerings quickly and efficiently. The success of the premium water dispenser at this location will lead to the expansion of the product to their other locations. Visit www.elkay.com