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Air-conditioning technology: Check in, feel good

Hotel owner Robert Rentzsch proved to be a pioneer by deciding in favour of state-of-the-art air-conditioning technology – and is rewarded by satisfied guests and low operating costs


Video of the complete interview

The win-win situation starts even at the reception desk: The hotel has a new guest, and the guest enjoys a comfortable room at a pleasant temperature. As soon as the reception clerk checks the guest in using the reservation software, the software notifies the in-room climate control system of the guest’s arrival. The system then quickly raises the temperature from a standby level of 18 degrees Celsius to the normal temperature of 21 degrees. When the guest opens the door, he or she is greeted by a room at a pleasant temperature with state-of-the-art furnishings, sparkling clean and fantastically quiet.

You can experience this pleasant arrival at the Abasto Hotel in the Munich suburb of Gernlinden. The hotel opened in September 2012, turning an ideal co-operation into reality. Hotel owner Robert Rentzsch is a full-time heating contractor and thus had clear expectations for the air-conditioning in his new hotel facility: “I wanted to have a unit in the rooms that heats and cools, but does so almost silently.” Rentzsch considered the usual options: radiator, floor heating, and fan convectors (Venkon). The last of these allow a very fast response to changing room situations and work discreetly in the background. This advantage persuaded Rentzsch quickly.

A paradise for operating costs

Pioneering project for intelligent climate control solutions: the Abasto Hotel in München-Gernlinden

Rentzsch found the ideal partner for the desired system in Kampmann GmbH. The climate control specialist had recently converted one of the models in its Venkon series to GreenTech EC centrifugal fans from ebm-papst. “The deciding factor for us was that the fans have a particularly low noise level and feature accurate control in the low speed range,” explains Jürgen Schmitt, Munich Area Sales Manager at Kampmann.

When the EC motor of the fan runs at low speeds, it makes the least amount of noise – the noise level is five decibels lower than standard AC motors. The human ear perceives this as a level only half as loud. At the same time, the energy savings potential is the greatest here. With the continuously adjustable GreenTech EC motors, the savings are up to 70 percent – for operating times between ten and twelve hours per day, per room, there is a clear cost factor. “The EC motors were a critical criterion for the decision, as I designed the entire building so that the operating costs would be as low as possible,” emphasises Rentzsch.

Cleverly decentralised

Wolf-Jürgen Weber and Jürgen Schmitt view the inner workings of the Venkon

The Abasto has 40 Venkons installed in it: 31 in the rooms and 9 in the restaurant. They ensure fresh air and adjust the temperature if necessary. The heart of the system, the Airblock C, is located under the roof. The GreenTech EC fans in it circulate the air and remove the residual heat from it. Conventional central units of this type heat and cool the air centrally and then distribute it throughout the building via ducts.

The Airblock C from Kampmann delivers the fresh air – the task of heating and cooling is taken over by the decentralised Venkons in the rooms. Centralised or decentralised is not a minor difference: “For heating contractors, space is always a major issue,” as Rentzsch knows very well. “In the centralised system, I have to feed the heated or cooled air to the individual rooms.” This requires large duct cross-sections and a corresponding amount of space under the ceiling. Instead of intermediate ceilings that are 80 centimetres in height, just 30 centimetres suffice in the Abasto – this gains space and lowers costs. “I was immediately persuaded by the fact that the air is heated or cooled in the area where it is actually needed.”

Principle of state-of-the-art technology

The Airblock C is strictly for circulating the air, which is cooled or heated right in the room

Above all, Kampmann is convinced of the fact that being on the vanguard pays off. “Our principle is to always equip our products with state-of-the-art technology,” says Schmitt, summarising the company’s philosophy. For expertise in the megatrend of energy efficiency, the company based in Lingen, Germany, approached the fan supplier it has worked with for over 25 years: ebm-papst. “Kampmann recognized the potential of EC technology at an early stage and the company really played a pioneering role in implementing the technology into its own products,” reports Wolf-Jürgen Weber, Regional Sales Manager at ebm-papst. The result of this successful co-operation can be seen very clearly in the Abasto Hotel.

The system is also a winner when it comes to compliance with government directives: Venkons with GreenTech EC technology provide savings that far exceed the requirements of the EU’s Energy-related Products Directive (ErP 2015). Moreover, buildings with high-quality and durable technology do far better in the real-estate market. Finally, hotel guest satisfaction is far higher in a room with a whisper-quiet air-conditioning system – these guests are more likely to return and to spread the positive message by word-of-mouth. “Here, Kampmann’s requirements for quiet hotel convection heaters and the good product features of the GreenTech EC centrifugal fan flowed together to form an ideal solution,” Weber enthuses.

The ideal solution

Schmitt explains the easy-to-use in-room control unit to Weber

“I believe that the concept implemented here is the best solution for hotel applications,” Kampmann’s Jürgen Schmitt states with confidence. However, finding the best solution is not always easy. The investor is not always also the user, as is the case with the Abasto Hotel, and therefore the investor looks more closely at operating costs. “Investors usually look primarily at investment costs and the minimum legal requirements,” says Schmitt, explaining the market situation. The critical factor for users such as Rentzsch are the life cycle costs over the entire operating life. When larger hotel chains are involved, the suppliers refer these chains to the architects. “If the architect prefers a certain system, he first has to be persuaded that higher efficiency is possible,” Schmitt says. “Mr Rentzsch did not require any persuasion, as he already knew of the technology’s potential.”

Read the interview with hotel owner Robert Rentzsch

GreenTech EC technology in hotel climate control

ebm-papst centrifugal fans are the heart of fan coils. The latest GreenTech EC technology, aerodynamic optimisations and integrated intelligent electronic control systems provide remarkable advantages over conventional technology:

  • Up to 5 dB lower noise emission – this corresponds to cutting the perceptible volume by half
  • Energy savings of up to 70 percent – a real cost and environmental factor
  • Easy integration of additional functions
  • Continuous closed-loop speed control for adapting to individual preferences for a comfortable climate

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More information at the Spa & Spar Hotel: www.hotel.ebmpapst.com

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