At its most basic, the main function of a rangehood is to extract all smoke, fumes and grease from within the kitchen out into the atmosphere. The conventional way this works is to use a controller, to run the motor at a constant speed and/or phase current. Depending on the installation conditions, there will be differing resistance (back pressure) in the system that the air is being blown through. Without the unit being able to adapt to different back pressures, the unit will then deliver different extraction rates, and users may experience differing performance depending on the installation conditions.
FPT's next generation rangehood control technology delivers consistent flow/effective extraction for every home, every time. By using the motor as a sensor, the actual conditions of operation can be monitored, and the motor will adapt and deliver a consistent extraction rate, regardless of the instantaneous back pressures of the installation conditions. This is achieved by correlating the aerodynamic parameters with the motor parameters.
As motor and controller experts, we have gone on to develop in-depth application knowledge across the blower and the full rangehood system. By solving a fundamental problem, particularly in the Chinese market, whereby levels of extraction performance can be compromised in high-rise apartment buildings, we have created a smart solution by using our expertise in constant airflow technology.
As an example, if you were cooking in your apartment on the floor of a 30-storey building, your extraction rate would be adequate enough. However, if several other people in apartments on the same floor began using their rangehoods at the same time, all blowing into the same central duct, the extraction performance will reduce significantly. Our technology is able to detect changes such as this in user conditions and adapt accordingly and instantly. As each blower will be positioned at a different distance from the main duct, the motor will sense the specific level of resistance (back pressure) and apply it accordingly. This means that the user experience will be the same for every user, every time they use their rangehood.
Real user data collection and analytics play a significant role in this technology and are used to continually monitor the conditions of operation to ensure optimal performance of the product, regardless of where it is positioned in a home, including stand-alone houses and multi-story or multi-unit buildings. It is this optimal calibration that sets this technology apart from others in the industry. User data is collected via mobile app and sent to the data centre. This is then analysed and used to monitor the user experience – prompting any performance issues or maintenance requirements, so they can quickly be remedied by a technician.
The control logic behind the technology (enabled by using the motor and controller as a sensor) enables hardware improvements which can be optimised for real user conditions.
Our constant airflow technology is used as a platform for developing digital solutions and features that enhance the user experience. By using information gathered from the in-field calibration process, we can generate digital solutions that can then be implemented accordingly. Information is accessible both on the display board on the unit and/or through a mobile app.
We are continuing to develop our rangehood technology, with particular emphasis on user experience, along with ongoing product improvement from data collection and analysis. As we learn more about the user experience and how the product is used, we can adapt it further to provide the best possible performance.