© Changi Airport

FanGrid makes airport oper­a­tors happy

After a retrofit, a FanGrid is in oper­a­tion at Changi Airport in Singa­pore. This is good news, not only for the oper­a­tors, but also the trav­elers.

Singa­pore is a city-state that is facing major chal­lenges – espe­cially when it comes to sustain­ability and envi­ron­mental protec­tion. This is why the govern­ment launched an initia­tive in 2005 which focused on the ecolog­ical eval­u­a­tion of build­ings. It is based on the BCA Green Mark scheme, a leading assess­ment system for green construc­tion in the tropics and subtropics. An ambi­tious goal was announced: 80 percent of the build­ings in Singa­pore should dras­ti­cally reduce their energy consump­tion by 2030.

“When the system was first intro­duced, it was volun­tary and worked with incen­tives,” says Dina Bai, Marketing Manager at ebm-papst South East Asia. “Now it is manda­tory for public build­ings to achieve better Green Mark assess­ments.” Changi Airport in Singa­pore is one of these build­ings. The Changi Airport Group CAG is respon­sible for this and approached ebm-papst after the air condi­tioners and oper­ating condi­tions had been checked. “CAG wanted to use new and more effi­cient tech­nolo­gies that cut oper­ating costs and also offer passen­gers more comfort,” Bai recalls. It quickly became clear where the poten­tial for improve­ment was: Inef­fi­cient AC fans were used in the venti­la­tion systems in the airport termi­nals.

By 2030, 80 percent of the build­ings in Singa­pore should reduce their energy consump­tion. (Photo | Changi Airport)

Changi Airport Termi­nals host tourists from all over the world. (Photo | Changi Airport)

EC tech­nology tested first

Climate protec­tion is a priority for ebm-papst. “As a member of the Singa­pore Green Building Council, it is very impor­tant to us to make a contri­bu­tion to a sustain­able and greener future in Singa­pore,” explains Bai. “EC fans are a good choice in this regard.” In consul­ta­tion with CAG, ebm-papst devel­oped the concept for a FanGrid with EC fans. CAG wanted to test the EC tech­nology first, so initially there was a trial with one of the venti­la­tion units in Terminal 3 of the airport: A large conven­tional AC fan was replaced by seven smaller EC fans.

After measure­ments and veri­fi­ca­tions, CAG was impressed by the system and gave the green light to replace the AC fans. A total of 44 EC fans were installed in nine venti­la­tion systems, ten of which were in the largest system alone. The FanGrid’s modular design provides a high level of flex­i­bility. Several small fans also require less space and are lighter than a single large fan, reducing costs as a result.

On average, 25 percent of energy is saved through the new FanGrid. (Photo | Changi Airport)

In Terminal 3, A total of 46 EC fans were installed. (Photo | Changi Airport)

Air flow improved, lower main­te­nance

As measure­ments prove, the improved air flow has already resulted in signif­i­cant savings: In addi­tion to an average energy saving of 25 percent, air perfor­mance has increased by more than 15 percent.

Although passenger numbers are notice­ably lower during the pandemic, when the number of trav­elers rises again they will enjoy much more peace in the terminal. “The FanGrid oper­ates quietly and with minimal vibra­tion,” says Bai.

Another advan­tage of the system is that the EC fans are very low-main­te­nance. As a result, everyone bene­fits from the new system: CAG building manage­ment, visi­tors to Terminal 3 and the envi­ron­ment.

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