© Birkdale Shopping-Center

Cool shop­ping fun

The venti­la­tion system in the Australian Birk­dale Shop­ping Center was nearing end of life. So what do you do to continue to make the purchasing expe­ri­ence of approx­i­mately 2,000 customers per day pleasant? An upgrade was required!


If the venti­la­tion system is old and its perfor­mance is dete­ri­o­rating, there are two basic options: Either replace the entire venti­la­tion system with a new one or upgrade the venti­la­tion units with more powerful and effi­cient fans. In the Australian Birk­dale Shop­ping Center, the local air condi­tioning contractor Marty Page of AdvancedAir­Con­di­tioning quickly real­ized that replacing the system is impos­sible with so little space. So why not rely on a proven retrofit with RadiPac EC fans?

The venti­la­tion unit before – and after. (Photo | ebm-papst)

2,400 square meters at room temper­a­ture

In no time at all, in the three different venti­la­tion units, old belt-driven centrifugal fans were replaced with seven RadiPac EC fans from ebm-papst. The main chal­lenge here was the ongoing oper­a­tion of the shop­ping center: “Our task was to upgrade the fans while keeping the temper­a­ture in the shop­ping center constant at the same time,” says Page.

“With 2,400 square meters of retail space, we were unable to provide suffi­cient tempo­rary cooling to switch off all systems at the same time. So a new fan had to be put into oper­a­tion and run before the next fan could be switched off. This was the only way to complete the retrofit.”

Savings of around 25,000 euros

With the new fans, the same air volume flows with lower current consump­tion – which saves the shop­ping center about 25,000 euros per year. Instead of a fixed speed, the speed of the fans can now be regu­lated flex­ibly thanks to the EC fans and a control update. This results in addi­tional savings, as the fans can run up to 20% slower depending on heating and cooling require­ments.

A measure­ment was performed: all three venti­la­tion units reduced their current consump­tion by at least 50%. A unit in which, instead of two there are three Radi­Pacs, even achieved a peak value of almost 70% lower current consump­tion with 13% higher air flow.

The Power Trio: All three Radi­Pacs together achieve a peak value of almost 70% lower current consump­tion with 13% higher air flow. (Photo | ebm-papst)

Addi­tional main­te­nance costs are a thing of the past, as no belts, belt pulleys or bear­ings need to be serviced or replaced. In the rare case that one fan fails, the speed of the other fans can be increased to compen­sate for the failure. In addi­tion, the EC fans can with­stand a higher static pres­sure. That makes them a more robust and adapt­able design for many years to come.

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