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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

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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