© Autostadt GmbH

New air for vintage cars

The ZeitHaus museum in the heart of the Autostadt (car city) in Wolfs­burg is a place that motorists long to see. On five floors of the exhi­bi­tion area, there are row after row of vehi­cles – each more fasci­nating than the last. Retro­fitting the venti­la­tion ensures the right atmos­phere for people and cars.


As a commu­ni­ca­tion plat­form for the Volk­swagen Group, the Autostadt in Wolfs­burg makes it possible to expe­ri­ence the company’s values and the topic of mobility in all its facets. In addi­tion to the world’s largest auto­mo­tive delivery center, the theme park provides educa­tional oppor­tu­ni­ties for all age groups, a wide range of events and culture, as well as a varied culi­nary concept.

The ZeitHaus auto­mo­bile museum there makes car lovers’ pulses race: there are more than 260 vintage and classic cars from over 60 different brands. Visi­tors can already see the exhibits from outside and can move around them on over five floors of exhi­bi­tion area. Exciting details about their revo­lu­tionary prop­er­ties are included. The vehi­cles exhib­ited there have set stan­dards.

For us, the conver­sion with ebm-papst fans was a kind of pilot project. We wanted to find out whether the theo­ret­ical calcu­la­tions for energy savings can also be confirmed in the field.

Patrick Fricke, Tech­nical Object Manager at Autostadt GmbH

While the vintage cars are still fasci­nating today, the old venti­la­tion system in the museum has outlived its useful­ness. The old belt-driven fans are now around twenty years old. With a retrofit, Autostadt GmbH was able to bring the venti­la­tion system back up to date with state-of-the-art tech­nology: “Our main aim was to achieve a saving of almost 30 kW/h or 25 percent with the upgrade to the latest tech­nology,” says Patrick Fricke, Tech­nical Object Manager at Autostadt GmbH.

“For us, the conver­sion with ebm-papst fans was a kind of pilot project. We wanted to find out whether the theo­ret­ical calcu­la­tions for energy savings can also be confirmed in the field – and which other factors have an influ­ence on the return of invest­ment.”  

Reaching the target with up-to-date data

This project was a co-produc­tion between Breuell & Hilgen­feldt and WOWI-Wickert Heizungs-, Luft-, und Klimapro­dukte GmbH. “For this type of retrofit, it is impor­tant to record precise perfor­mance data at the begin­ning,” explains Dieter Hilde­brandt from Breuell & Hilgen­feldt. “The more accu­rate the system data for current use, the better we can select the right ebm-papst fans in order to achieve the desired effi­ciency later and to predict the expected energy savings as precisely as possible.”

This approach has also been confirmed in the ZeitHaus: Several measure­ments have shown that the values on the device cards for the old system devi­ated by five to 10 percent from the current air flow and that the static effi­ciency value for the system was posi­tively distorted by 15 percent for the intake air, and by as much as 20 percent for the exhaust air. “With our newly measured values, we then used ebm-papst’s FanScout selec­tion soft­ware to select a solu­tion with two FanGrids with twelve RadiPac fans on the intake air side and nine on the exhaust air side,” says Hilde­brandt.

The savings calcu­lated by Dieter Hilde­brandt were even exceeded in the field. Our pilot project was there­fore a resounding success.

Patrick Fricke, Tech­nical Object Manager at Autostadt GmbH

Figures that add up

“The savings calcu­lated by Dieter Hilde­brandt were even exceeded in the field”, says Fricke. “Our pilot project was there­fore a resounding success.” Breuell & Hilgen­feldt, WOWI-Wickert Heizungs-, Luft-, und Klimapro­dukte GmbH and Honey­well elim­i­nated addi­tional inter­fer­ence points thanks to the retrofit. For example, the air flows have been opti­mized using heat exchangers and sound absorbers, reducing the pres­sure loss and resulting in a reduc­tion in power consump­tion.

The two FanGrids stabi­lize the room air. After all, they ensure better inflow for the heat transfer and thus addi­tional power gains. With a power consump­tion of 6 kW each, the RadiPac fans on the intake air side achieve a total air flow of 79,000 m³/h and the fans for the exhaust air achieve a total power consump­tion of 69,750 m³/h at a power consump­tion of 4.45 kW each.

A guar­an­teed breather

In addi­tion to the funda­mental factor in favor of a retrofit, i.e. the energy effi­ciency, the upgrade achieved much more in the ZeitHaus: The parallel instal­la­tion of several small fans in a FanGrid increases oper­a­tional reli­a­bility: If there are prob­lems with one fan, the others compen­sate for the missing power and thus ensure constant oper­a­tion of the venti­la­tion system.

And one thing must not be forgotten: The bear­ings of the old fans used to have to be greased regu­larly. However, the grease cont­a­m­i­nated the entire air duct. With the new RadiPac fans, this is no longer a risk, as they run on main­te­nance-free bear­ings and are easily acces­sible for other cleaning and main­te­nance work. At the same time, this ensures better air quality, which not only pleases the visi­tors who spend their free time there, but is also good for the exhibits. A feel-good museum visit!  

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