Jet Towel: the quietest dryer in its class. (photo: Mitsubishi Electric)
Jet Towel: the quietest dryer in its class.
22.05.2014, 08:21

Mitsubishi Electric Jet Towel hand dryers help zoo enhance visitor experience

Company News

The home of the UK’s largest privately owned zoological collection has gained multiple advantages by switching to high efficiency Mitsubishi Electric Jet Towel hand dryers in its public bathrooms.

The home of the UK’s largest privately owned zoological collection has gained multiple advantages by switching to high efficiency Mitsubishi Electric Jet Towel hand dryers in its public bathrooms.

Cotswold Wildlife Park sees about 350,000 visitors per year and with most staying all day, the number of individual bathroom visits and hand-drying sessions easily exceed 1,000,000.

“Previously we had conventional hot air dryers,” says Alan Price, the park’s Premises Manager. “The new Jet Towels are proving quite a hit with visitors, partly because they are novel, but mainly because they deliver several significant benefits.”

Alan actually came across the Mitsubishi Electric Jet Towel by accident while he was visiting Mitsubishi’s UK HQ in Hatfield to discuss air source heating ideas for some of the exhibit buildings. Using a Mitsubishi Electric Jet Towel while there, he was impressed that it dried his hands so thoroughly and so quickly – in 9 seconds compared to 30 seconds for a hot air dryer. He wondered aloud if this time-saving was reflected in the energy consumption, and soon found out that it was.

“The high speed dryers I have seen elsewhere were incredibly noisy and dripped water onto the floor, so I was not at all impressed. The Jet Towel, by contrast, has a built-in drain, so hygiene is ensured and slip hazards are not created. I wasn’t at all surprised to find out that it has been commended by the Noise Abatement Society for its 58dB operation and is certified by NSF/ANSI 169 for hygienic operation.”

Alan has now installed Mitsubishi Electric Jet Towels in the three most heavily trafficked areas of the park: the car park, the restaurant and the bathrooms near the leopard house, which is the mid-point of most routes around the exhibits. He says there has been a favourable response from both visitors and staff.

“Parents like them because the speed means there is rarely a queue to use a Jet Towel and little hands come away completely dry. Kids love them because they are a new experience and their speed means that they can quickly get back to the animals.

“Staff are impressed because of the hygiene – both for people and our animals, many of which are unusual or endangered so we don’t like to expose them to any unnecessary bacterial risk. We have often discussed how traditional hot air hand dryers blow bacteria into the atmosphere in a bubble of hot air!”

Management like Mitsubishi Electric Jet Towels because of their low energy consumption, from only 550W compared to the 2700W of the old hot air dryers. They are also low maintenance, as there is no need to assign staff to replenish paper towel dispensers and dispose of used towels.

As well as managing moisture coming off people’s hands, the Mitsubishi Electric Jet Towel has anti-microbial surfaces to reduce bacterial activity even further.

Cotswold Wildlife Park is involved in many breeding and conservation projects including programmes for rhinos and camels; lemurs, helpsimuses and sifakas; parrots, songbirds, pheasants and hornbills in its 160-acre site near Burford, Oxon. It provides homes to over 250 different species of animal, bird and fish making it the largest privately-own zoological collection in the UK.

Originally a stately home and estate, it opened its grounds to the public in 1969 and by 1970 was building up its wildlife collection. Its reputation for animal care and conservation grew rapidly and in more recent years it has widened its focus to environmental issues.

Alan again: “We use ground source heating in the giraffe house and for the tropical exhibits, air source heating in other places and have several other green initiatives that the public don’t see. One advantage of the Jet Towels is that the public see them and can appreciate their contribution to energy management.”

About Mitsubishi Jet Towel

Mitsubishi Electric’s first Jet Towel was launched in 1993 and the version now available in Europe is in the eighth generation of its development. It has proved a winner with installers for its high tech elegance, with operators for its low running cost and reliability, and with users for its convenience, speed, hygiene and innovative design. The Jet Towel has high environmental credentials, avoiding the use of paper towels or rolled cloth and lowering power consumption and noise levels to a fraction of alternative hot air dryers.

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