Italian professional coffee company Rancilio Group explains how its coffee machines are designed to operate sustainably and improve energy efficiency.
Rancilio Group’s desire to innovate and achieve best performance standards is evident through the new machinery it released in its professional and domestic ranges of coffee equipment throughout 2022. But in the midst of a mass upgrade, the Italy- based manufacturer has not forgotten the importance of sustainability.
“In recent years, the unexpected rise in energy and gas costs and the growing concern for the environment has led professionals and companies to re-evaluate their energy consumption, and therefore also the way in which they select and use available technologies,” says Marketing and Communication Manager Simona Sordelli.
“Rancilio Group is dedicated to developing cutting-edge products and patented technologies with an eye on sustainability. We encourage businesses to operate using the best practices to help reduce their daily consumption.”
Simona recommends using machines with insulated boilers to ensure sustainable operation.
“Heat insulation around the boiler saves energy by preventing unintentional heat loss. Rancilio machines with this technology have guaranteed insulation through a covering based on a heterocyclic compound that is particularly suitable for insulation and protection,” she says.
This is the case for the Rancilio Classe 20 espresso machine, which includes an insulated steam boiler, smart energy management, and a low-energy mode, as well as the Rancilio Specialty RS1. It has an insulated boiler with programmable water exchange and eco-mode.
“Coffee machines that can activate eco mode, such as Rancilio Classe 11 and Rancilio Specialty RS1, allow for ideal, dynamic water management by optimising the ratio of water to steam in the boiler for maximum energy savings,” Simona says.
“In fact, at times of reduced use, the amount of water in the boiler is limited, thereby increasing the amount used for steam. By working with less water in the boiler, less energy is consumed to bring it to the desired temperature. At the same time, with more steam and less moisture in the boiler, the performance of the steam wands also improves.”
Throughout the day, high-intensity workloads alternating with periods of rest or reduced activity can greatly affect the performance of a coffee machine. Re- establishing the optimal boiler temperature after a period of inactivity involves sudden, high-energy expenditures. To avoid this problem, Rancilio single boiler espresso machines from Classe 5 up to Classe 11 carry the Steady Brew system. Simona says this patented solution guarantees high thermal stability during peak workloads and at times of low-intensity production.
“The Steady Brew system minimises wasted energy and allows different coffee temperatures to be set while maintaining the boiler at one bar, without limiting steam performance,” Simona says.
Rancilio’s Classe 11 and Classe 20 machines are also available with the Advanced Boiler Management (ABM) system, developed to improve the performance of a machine under intensive use and ensure constant thermal stability.
“When brewing espresso while dispensing water and steam, the ABM activates the heating element to anticipate any drop in pressure below the pre-set limit and to ensure stable heating during coffee extraction. The ABM controls the power absorbed by the machine and also prevents the machine from being subject to the sudden, high energy demands necessary to re-establish the optimal temperature,” says Simona.
She adds that the ability to set the time that the machine automatically switches on and off should not be overlooked to ensure power saving and environmental efficiency.
“It all depends on how many hours the machine is off. In some cases, this function may even increase consumption instead of reducing it,” Simona says.
“Equipping an establishment with a coffee machine with an operating time that can be regulated, such as the Rancilio Classe 7, Classe 9, Classe 20 and Classe 11, guarantees net savings for any place with a downtime of even just four hours, which is the vast majority of establishments serving coffee.”
Simona says another great tip is remembering to switch off idle group heads to avoid wasting hot water and to use only those needed.
“A feature that distinguishes Rancilio multi-boilers such as the Classe 11 Xcelsius, Classe 20 ASB and Rancilio Specialty RS1, is total energy consumption. With the same number of group heads, these multi-boiler coffee machines consume the same amount of energy as single-boiler machines while offering more technology, and consistently high-quality coffee,” she says.
To further reduce emissions, Rancilio machines utilise hot water boiler economisers, which enables custom temperature for water doses.
“Water economisers allow the correct water temperature to be set by mixing cold and hot water to prevent only hot water being drawn from the boiler, which typically consumes a lot of energy,” says Simona.
Each Rancilio machine, with the exception of Classe 5, can be equipped with an economiser to reduce electricity and water consumption. Rancilio Classe 11, Classe 20, and Classe 9 USB, and all Rancilio Specialty espresso machines can also be equipped with X-Tea technology, allowing baristas to program water doses and temperature levels directly from the user interface.
Another function of Rancilio machines that reduces hot water and electricity wastage, is by setting the dose and duration of the backflush. This process involves forcing water through the machine system to remove any build-up that could cause functional problems or affect the taste of coffee.
“With Rancilio Classe 20, Rancilio Specialty RS1 and Invicta, the dose and duration of the flush can be set to two or three seconds, which prevents hot water, and therefore electricity, from being wasted,” Simona says.
To further improve efficiency and achieve optimal milk quality, Simona encourages businesses to choose espresso machines with automatic steam wands. Automatic steam wands are designed to optimise consumption and even out the texture and temperature of the foamed milk.
“Rancilio’s patented iSteam automatic steam wand has two buttons which can be programmed with the functions ‘Cappuccino’, for heating and frothing milk, and ‘Latte’, for heating only. It can be installed on the Classe 11, Classe 20, and Classe 7,” she says.
Simona also suggests considering a machine with an adjustable cup warmer to reduce emissions.
“A cup warmer with adjustable temperature prevents the heating element from always being on at maximum power, thus consuming energy when it is not necessary. Rancilio Classe 11, Rancilio Specialty RS1, and Invicta cup warmers allow you to set the time they switch on and to modulate the temperature from the user interface, providing a great option for waste- conscious baristas,” she says.
Rancilio Group recognises the impact global businesses like itself have on the environment and society, and for this reason, takes responsibility in daily economic activities. Simona says the manufacturer is committed to addressing the climate change crisis by taking the first crucial steps to embracing and promoting the principle of circular economy.
“For Rancilio Group, sustainability is a responsibility which involves each and every part of our business worldwide. As a cornerstone of our vision, it will be a crucial factor in the process as we define a new development model capable of balancing economic, financial, environmental, and social interests,” she says.
For more information, visit www.ranciliogroup.com
This article appears in the April 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.