© Bernd Schifferdecker

“I optimize every aspect of the system.”

When Dieter Hildebrandt, Sales Director at Breuell & Hilgenfeldt, takes charge of a retrofit, his customers can rest assured that the project is in safe hands. He takes care of the all thinking and planning.


Mr Hildebrandt, you have completed over 100 projects, making you an experienced retrofit specialist. How do you approach these projects?

Before you can implement a retrofit, planning and design are crucial. In this regard, we support our customers with both advice and practical help. In other words, we assist them in the compilation of performance data, draw up possible concepts, and present examples – including a rough cost overview. We ask ourselves: what is the whole purpose of the system? How should it be operated? How can we adjust it?

Do you supervise the retrofit until the end of the project?

Yes, of course. We plan the entire process and even split it into several parts if the project cannot be completed within a year. Then we retrofit the fan first, program the operating point in the new fans, then rebuild the electrical system in the second step. We coordinate with ebm-papst to select the right fan and the right motor. We arrange the dismantling and the assembly steps and the process of incorporating the electrics into the system. To be able to compare how the efficiency level has improved, we take one measurement before the conversion, and one afterwards.

Once the system is 10 to 15 years old, the retrofit has paid for itself.

Dieter Hildebrandt, Sales Director at Breuell & Hilgenfeldt

What sorts of results do you achieve?

Once the system is 10 to 15 years old, the retrofit has paid for itself. Back in the day, many systems went into operation without controls. But now, we can operate the fans at the exact point that the customer needs. It is now possible to achieve energy savings of 60 to 70 percent, because it just isn’t necessary to move so much air any more. Circulating air is one of our most expensive tasks. That’s why it makes the most sense to start with that, as the retrofitting process is quick and easy, just like when it comes to lighting.

And for newer systems?

Even if the system does its job well, it’s worth taking a look at whether there is still something to improve. A lot has changed over the last 20 years in terms of efficiency, not only in control engineering, but also in motor technology and aerodynamics. If we take the funding that is available into account, we arrive at amortization periods of two to three years, depending on the size and complexity.

It is now possible to achieve energy savings of 60 to 70 percent.

Dieter Hildebrandt, Sales Director at Breuell & Hilgenfeldt

Is it just about efficiency?

No. With a retrofit, we aim to achieve several things at once: savings, redundancy, noise reduction. Maintenance also becomes easier, as you can access 13 small fans much more easily than two large ones. Focusing only on energy savings is a very short-term way of thinking.

What is important to you in your work?

We work quickly and at short notice, and above all, can provide customized and flexible solutions. With systems that are up to 8,000 cubic meters in size and a simple changeover, our consultation work takes roughly half an hour to one hour. Large projects that include conversion can sometimes take 100 to 150 project hours. I like to include the on-site service companies in the process and train them, so that they can work independently. Collaboration is very important for me.

 

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