Full-service Restaurant

53% Savings in Total Annualized HVAC Fan Energy Use

Improves Operational Reliability with SMC Fault Detection & Diagnostics with SMC Smart Motor System

A popular upscale restaurant in Southern California needed to reduce increasing energy bills and costly HVAC repairs while delivering optimal dining experiences for customers. The restaurant was maintaining a range of comfort levels during long operational hours without having a Building Automation System (BAS) in place. It also wanted the ability to remotely monitor and detect when manual overrides were unnecessarily increasing the energy use on its HVAC system. This resulted during emergency maintenance when Variable Frequency Drives (VFD) that controlled the motors were bypassed leaving motors to run continuously at full speed, which increased costs.

The restaurant was also interested in using remote fault detection and diagnostics to improve service quality. These capabilities would let its mechanical contractor, AirRite, proactively service its HVAC system.

Benefits of Upgrading HVAC System with Intelligent Ultra-High Efficiency Motors

AirRite recommended replacing the VFD and standard induction motors in its HVAC system with the SMC Smart Motor System that is more efficient, reliable and intelligent than anything on the market.

About the Customer

This publicly traded company owns multiple format culinary destinations that deliver the ambiance, design elements and food quality reminiscent of fine dining restaurants at a value typically offered by casual dining establishments, a combination known as the upscale affordable dining segment. Its brands provide guests with a fine dining experience and value by serving affordable cuisine prepared using fresh flavorful ingredients and authentic Italian cooking methods, combined with attentive service in an attractive, lively atmosphere.


Building Square Footage: 7,500 sq. ft.

HVAC system size:
2 Rooftop Unit (RTU) HVAC systems (Manufacturer: Carrier)

Motor size:
Total 5HP SMC motors (one 2HP and one 3HP motor)


By replacing one fixed-speed induction motor and one VFD-controlled induction motor with two SMC motors, the customer achieved total annualized fan energy savings of 53%.


The restaurant achieved 53% in total annualized HVAC fan energy consumption. Moreover, by replacing the VFD-controlled induction motor with the SMC motor, the customer gained 41% in energy savings across all drive modes.

In addition to improved energy efficiency savings and remote controllability gained by the upgrade, the SMC Fault Detection & Diagnostics provided a valuable business insight: unbeknown to the restaurant manager, the building had been wired so that when the lights were turned off each night, the refrigeration motors also shut off. This explained why oysters were spoiling faster than they should and costing the restaurant a lot of money. The restaurant gained this visibility shortly after the SMC Smart Motor System was operational and serving as a Building Automation System.

The customer committed to upgrading HVAC systems across its chain of restaurants with SMC Smart Motors.