Torben Lintrup Kirkholt had to be more persuasive than usual in Farum, Denmark. And not only with the engineers who are responsible for awarding contracts. For this job, the managing director of ebm-papst Denmark even had to negotiate directly with the representatives of the “Farum Midtpunkt” residential complex owners’ meeting. The project on the table was not a small one: the building complex’s ventilation system was terribly outdated. The 283 old, electricity-gobbling AC fans from the 1970s needed to be replaced by new, energy-saving RadiPac EC modules. Kirkholt’s greatest obstacle: the planned renovation concept first had to be passed by a majority of the 4,100 residents. And the costs made them skeptical: the total cost of renovation was at € 2.7 million. “We were certain that we would deliver the energy savings we promised the residents, which meant that the system would quickly pay for itself,” said Kirkholt. This is why he employed unusual means: “We signed a contract guaranteeing the savings. If we did not achieve them as promised, we would have to refund the difference. This convinced the community of owners.”
Calculated for the long term
The high level of energy savings was the deciding factor in the process from the very beginning. “Of course we wanted a solution that focused on facilitating improved ventilation for the apartments,” said Alex Rytt, senior consultant at KAB, the management company responsible for the complex. “But we didn’t have to settle for the cheapest alternative. We were interested in both modernization and a reduction in energy consumption.”
That is why YIT Denmark received the contract. After all, the company emphasized energy savings in its renovation proposal by including EC fans from ebm-papst. And the parties involved in the project were convinced that the fans would also require lower maintenance and emit less noise. The crew got to work. Over a 2-month period, they replaced the 283 AC fans on the residential complex’s roof with 283 RadiPac EC fans, cleaned all the ventilation shafts and replaced the exhaust hood in each home.
Energy consumption cut in half
The parties responsible determined the results of the modernization over the period of a week. They recorded the consumption data before and after the conversion directly on the old and new devices. The results were impressive: the measurements showed a savings of 52 percent. “The results exceeded our wildest expectations,” said Rytt enthusiastically. The residents of the Farum Midtpunkt complex also had a reason to be happy, because the efficient fans cut their annual energy costs in half: from more than €134,000 to around €68,000. This means the new fans systems will already have amortized themselves in approximately 10 years. For Torben Lintrup Kirkholt, the result is also proof that it pays to stray from the well-trodden path sometimes: “Above all, the direct contact to the end users was the key to this project.”