© Birkdale Shopping-Center

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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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