Nando's plans national roll-out of Barrowford firm's green technology

By Tim Aldred

11 Jul 2023

DEXT Nandos

Following the successful trial of a Barrowford company's heat recovery technology, Nando's now hopes to roll-out the systems across its more than 400 UK restaurants.

DEXT Heat Recovery created a heat exchange system that harvests the wasted heat in a restaurant’s extract stream and diverts it back into the heating and hot water system to be used again.

The system makes use of heat generated as a bi-product of cooking, lighting and diners’ body heat that is usually vented away and into the atmosphere.

Neil Bracewell, DEXT director, explained: “In a typical restaurant, like Nando’s for example, hundreds of kW of energy travel through the extract duct every day. Without intervention, the energy wasted over a year would be the equivalent of heating 30 houses for a year.

“Our system gives restaurant owners a means of tapping into that valuable energy and recycling it. The technology is so effective that it will pay for itself within two years.”

Neil partnered with Sheffield Hallam university and the UK Research Institute to refine his idea and patent this unique technology.

He added: “Research and development has been intense over the last decade or so. We’ve been back to the drawing board countless times because we refused to compromise on quality, and now we can see that hard work really paying off.”

Nando’s was first big name to trial the system, paired with a Daikin heat pump, at its Parrs Wood site in Manchester. For much of the year at Parrs Wood, the system used this recouped energy to provide all the space heating and hot water requirements for the entire restaurant without the need for gas or electric heating.

In the UK’s coldest winter months, it worked in conjunction with the existing heating system to improve efficiency.

Michele Matonti, head of construction at Nando's, said: "As a like-minded company, eager to work ever more sustainably, Nando’s is firmly behind what DEXT is doing.

"Not only do they have this innovative approach to energy and reducing waste – they make sure the technology is robust and practical enough to withstand the challenges of everyday use in high traffic environments."

Now with a DexThermic on 14 sites, Nando’s is keen to implement the technology at its other 400-plus restaurants across the UK.

Sam McCarthy, Nando’s head of sustainability, added: "We would love to roll it out across all our restaurants. Nando's has set a Net Zero target by 2030, so sustainability is really important to us.”

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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