Batteries provide us with energy when we are on the move, whether for smartphones, tablets or electric vehicles. Many of them come from South Korea. This is where the world’s second-largest battery manufacturer, LG Energy Solution, has its headquarters. The company’s energy storage systems can be found in all areas of life: in IT products, mobile household appliances, electric vehicles and ships, and even drones. Batteries from the LG Chem subsidiary are also installed in NASA spacesuits.
Efficient cooling for a large site
The Ochang site, one of LG Energy Solution’s largest production facilities in the country, is located in the small town of Oksan-myeon. Since it opened in 2004, cooling towers with AC fans have kept the factory halls at comfortable temperatures. However, a lot has happened in fan technology in the last 20 years. Fans with AC motors are now considered power guzzlers. They work less efficiently and are louder than modern EC fans.
For the battery manufacturer, it was therefore clear that a retrofit was needed and that the old AC fans should be replaced with new EC models. LG Energy Solution wanted to be able to adjust the new fans using an external speed controller and to direct them via the Modbus communication protocol. The fans also needed to be protected from rain and have sufficient power to generate the required air flow in the cooling towers.
EC power concentrated over a hundred times
“Our AxiBlade EC axial fan was a perfect fit for these requirements,” explains Seung-Hyun Lee, Senior Manager Sales for Refrigeration and Air Ventilation at ebm-papst South Korea. “We were also able to deliver quickly and in suitable quantities.” That’s why LG Energy Solution opted for this solution. “In 2022, we started the retrofit project together with cooling tower manufacturer YM Tech and installed a total of 36 units. That’s six units per cooling tower,” Lee continues. “By June of this year, another 72 fans will follow for the remaining twelve cooling towers. Then we will have implemented a total of 108 AxiBlades.”
This high number of fans saves the battery manufacturer a lot of electricity and consequently costs. All the fans can be controlled individually and regulated as required. What’s more, the fans are more reliable when run as a combined unit because they can compensate for the failure of individual fans. As a result, the existing cooling towers are now fit for the future, much to the satisfaction of LG Energy Solution.