© ebm-papst

Healthy air thanks to FanGrid

When a huge axial fan broke down in the Skaraborg clinic in Sweden, the air condi­tioner could no longer produce the air flow required. But replacing the unit would have meant modi­fi­ca­tions to the build­ings. Now was the time for a forward-looking solu­tion.


The Skaraborg clinic in Skövde, Sweden, offers patients a wide range of health services in some 30 medical, surgical and psychi­atric disci­plines. With a combined floor space measuring 165,000 square meters covering 25 build­ings, a total of 673 beds are avail­able. The clinic utilizes advanced equip­ment for its medical services, all of which is state of the art except for the air condi­tioner. “The building was erected in the late 1960s, which was also the time the air condi­tioner was installed to serve two build­ings”, comments Göran Ander­sson, sales manager at ebm-papst in Sweden. “At the heart of the air condi­tioner system were two huge axial fans”. When one of them failed, the system could no longer produce the air flow required and a replace­ment was needed. The clinic then contacted its service provider, Bravida, which turned to ebm-papst.

More air, lower energy consump­tion

“It would have been very diffi­cult to replace the big axial fan with a new one,” explains Ander­sson, “since we couldn’t have brought the thing through the doors into the building and through the stair­case to the 4.2-meter wide corridor where the fans were installed. Just the motor for such a fan weighs about 100 kilo­grams.” ebm-papst there­fore recom­mended replacing both fans with a FanGrid wall fitted with 15 RadiPac EC fan modules. The clinic was pleased with the proposed solu­tion, which not only simpli­fied the instal­la­tion process, but also had other bene­fits: “The EC fans pump more air into the building”, says Ander­sson. “This was neces­sary as the oper­a­tive func­tions and asso­ci­ated require­ments had changed in both clinic build­ings over the years.”

The fans also consume consid­er­ably less energy and there­fore mark an impor­tant mile­stone in achieving the envi­ron­mental objec­tives imposed by the Västra Göta­land region, which wants the clinic to cut its total energy consump­tion in half by 2030. This has already been accom­plished with the air condi­tioner, which saves the clinic 350,000 kilo­watt hours of elec­tricity each year thanks to the retrofit. A further benefit of the new RadiPac solu­tion is that should a fan fail in the future, the remaining modules in the FanGrid wall will increase their air perfor­mance to compen­sate for the loss. This means that the air condi­tioner cannot fail alto­gether.

Fit for the future

Only a few days were required to install the new system, during which time the old fans continued to run with next to no inter­rup­tions; the air condi­tioner was only down for a few minutes. “It was very impor­tant to the clinic oper­ator that down­time be kept to a minimum to ensure that oper­a­tions could continue normally,” says Ander­sson. In order to remove the old axial fans from the building, Bravida cut them into numerous parts.

With the new solu­tion, the Skaraborg clinic is now also “up to speed” on the air condi­tioning front ─ its FanGrid solu­tion is the first of its kind in all of Sweden. The clinic is there­fore in an optimal posi­tion to respond to future devel­op­ments. “Should require­ments change again and the clinic adds specialist wards, for example, some of the 15 RadiPac units can be relo­cated to other build­ings and then used there,” comments Ander­sson. “The patients will have an optimum air supply, no matter where they are.”

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