© Bernd Schifferdecker

10 dos & don’ts for retrofitting

When it comes to implementing a retrofit, Thomas Häberle are in demand. He plans and directs the retrofitting business at Kratschmayer, and explains what one definitely should do – and what not to do.


DO!

1. VISIT THE SITE IN PERSON

To be able to plan a retrofit, the company implementing it must visit the site to get an idea of what needs to be done. This is the only way to determine how the old fan can be removed from the building, and how the new ones can be installed. On site, it is also easier to determine which transport equipment can be used and is required.

2. MAKE A PRECISE SCHEDULE

Shopping centers or factory buildings can often only pause their activity for a short time. Therefore, it is necessary to identify these potential time windows early on, and then plan the retrofit accordingly. A precise schedule should also be created for the conversion itself

3. DOCUMENT THE CURRENT SITUATION OF THE SYSTEM

It is essential to document the desired target set-up of the system together with the customer before retrofitting. As the systems can sometimes be 20 to 30 years old, it is important to discuss, for example, whether parts of the building have been added at a later stage or removed, as these may also need taking into consideration, or not.

4. ORDER MATERIALS IN ADVANCE

If the retrofit is to be a success, there is no time to procure materials once the process has started. This applies in particular if work is carried out on Sundays or public holidays. Therefore, all materials should be procured early on.

5. CHECK FOR CONTROL SYSTEM COMPATIBILITY

Today, modern fans often have either an analog-based control system, using a 0-10 V signal, or are controlled via a ModBUS interface. In this regard, it is important to check whether these options are compatible with the conditions on site. If this is not the case, a suitable interface should be planned and implemented.

 

DON‘T!

1. FOCUS ONLY ON THE FAN

A ventilation system is more than just the fan. Therefore, both the whole system and the surrounding area should be incorporated into the planning of the retrofit. This enables you to identify the overall function of the system and to take specific aspects, e.g. pollutants in the exhaust air, into account.

2. RELY TOO MUCH ON THE DOCUMENTATION

Even if there is comprehensive documentation of the system, important key points should be directly verified again. This can help to rule out the possibility that parameters may have changed over time without being documented.

3. PLAN WITHOUT FUNDING

If your fans are efficient, the retrofit will pay for itself quickly. However, you can recoup the costs even faster if you make use of the many funding opportunities available. You should not forget to apply for these and factor them in right from the start of the project.

4. IGNORE DOCUMENTATION

All of the steps in the project must be precisely documented – from agreeing the target set-up through to energy consumption before and after the retrofit. This helps all the parties involved, and often makes funding possible.

5. ASSESS THE COSTS AND BENEFITS FOR THE SHORT TERM

You should always look at the long term when assessing the cost of a retrofit project. Without a doubt, a retrofit costs money at the beginning. However, over time, operators quickly recoup these costs and also save money on a day-to-day basis.

Required fields: Comment, Name & Mail (Mail will not be published). Please also take note of our Privacy protection.