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.