© iStockphoto/Barcin

Perfect climate from the ice tank

The new building at the St. Georgen location doesn’t just shine on the surface. Its cold heart beats under the parking lot.


People who park their cars in the parking lot at the new electronics production facility opened in March by ebm-papst in St. Georgen-Hagenmoos probably have no idea that there is a cistern filled with 500 cubic meters of ice water beneath their feet. It has a diameter of 16 meters and a depth of four meters and serves as a heat reservoir that supplies the entire building. Heat from ice? It sounds paradoxical, but the system makes use of a physical principle called heat of crystallization. This heat is released when water undergoes a transition from the liquid to the solid phase. The energy released during freezing, the heat of fusion, is extracted from the water with a heat exchanger and used to heat water.

A so-called regenerative heat exchanger, which is also in the tank, thaws the ice with heat extracted from exhaust air and completes the circuit. If warm outdoor temperatures make it necessary to cool the building instead of heating it, a circulation pump routes the cooled water through the heating pipes.The ice tank is serviced through an inspection shaft. Divers can stay in the tank’s cold water for up to thirty minutes to perform any required work — and to connect the second tank to the first one when the second phase of construction is completed in March 2017. Then the system will guarantee the energy supply for the entire new facility in Hagenmoos.

The energy released during freezing, the heat of fusion, is extracted from the water with a heat exchanger and used to heat water. A so-called regenerative heat exchanger, which is also in the tank, thaws the ice with heat extracted from exhaust air and completes the circuit. If warm outdoor temperatures make it necessary to cool the building instead of heating it, a circulation pump routes the cooled water through the heating pipes.The ice tank is serviced through an inspection shaft. Divers can stay in the tank’s cold water for up to thirty minutes to perform any required work — and to connect the second tank to the first one when the second phase of construction is completed in March 2017. Then the system will guarantee the energy supply for the entire new facility in Hagenmoos.

eisspeicher

The cistern is filled with 500 cubic meters of ice water, has a diameter of 16 meters and a depth of four meters and serves as a heat reservoir that supplies the entire building.

The ice tank is serviced through an inspection shaft. Divers can stay in the tank’s cold water for up to thirty minutes to perform any required work — and to connect the second tank to the first one when the second phase of construction is completed in March 2017. Then the system will guarantee the energy supply for the entire new facility in Hagenmoos.

“This energy concept is virtually predestined for energy-intensive production facilities,” says Tobias Maurer, managing partner of H. Maurer GmbH + Co. KG, responsible for the design and construction of the ice reservoir. “They depend on constant indoor temperatures and humidity throughout the year and generate a large amount of waste heat that we can use to thaw the ice reservoir.” The ice reservoir is not only an energy concept with a future. Peter Metzger, Director Business Development and Marketing in St. Georgen, is also enthusiastic, saying “When the second ice reservoir with another 500 cubic meters of water is brought online, it will result in a 63 percent reduction of CO2 emissions compared with a conventional energy concept. That’s a very convincing value for us.” The company, with its strategic focus on energy efficiency, accepts that the construction costs will only be amortized after twelve years.

The ice reservoir is not only an energy concept with a future. Peter Metzger, Director Business Development and Marketing in St. Georgen, is also enthusiastic, saying “When the second ice reservoir with another 500 cubic meters of water is brought online, it will result in a 63 percent reduction of CO2 emissions compared with a conventional energy concept. That’s a very convincing value for us.” The company, with its strategic focus on energy efficiency, accepts that the construction costs will only be amortized after twelve years.

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