Economy meets Ecology

Environmentally friendly and economic thinking are not mutually exclusive

Three questions for Heiko Wasser, Technical Manager at the Phoenix- Center, Harburg – the man responsible for implementing the ECO Online pilot project, in which he has demonstrated that you can be environmentally conscious and save money at the same time.

Between 2009 and 2010 you made energy cost savings in the region of EUR 126,000 at the Phoenix-Center. How did you manage that at one existing property?
We implemented the ECO Online system from Vattenfall as a pilot project for ECE. The system enables us to monitor energy use every 15 minutes via a PC. We used the power curves to determine when rises in demand happen and what they are like. We then matched this to our users and power requirements

What particular issues did you identify?


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Initially, we were amazed that some facility components were still running at night even though they should have been completely switched off. Some components also came on automatically on Sundays, even though this was not planned or necessary. The success of this measure is reflected very clearly in the night-time tariffs, as we have been able to reduce our consumption more and more over time. We also examined the load curves of our cooling systems. Here we identified that the automatic system initially selected the facility or option that was apparently “cheaper”. However, if we do not use the automatic system under certain conditions and operate the turbo manually right from the start, we save energy at the end of the day because the load is distributed more evenly and the cooling recovery process is markedly better. There are then no peaks in either case. We were able to identify this only by means of very precise observation and testing, and we then optimised our processes accordingly.

What additional measures have been implemented?

We have implemented a whole range of measures. These include converting lighting in secondary passageways to motion detectors and optimising the lighting components within certain areas. We reviewed when the lighting in question was actually used and adapted it more closely to actual demand, particularly in secondary passageways. We also reviewed the lighting scenes again, and here too we were able to take further optimisation measures, in relation to the wall lighting, the unloading ramps and similar areas. We also optimised the bulbs that we use, for example changing the fountain lights from 70W halogen bulbs to 3.9W LED lights.

Interview by Maria Hill, Head of Sustainability, ECE Projektmanagement

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