© 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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