The University of Groningen can look forward to huge savings on its energy bill over the next few years, while also accomplishing a better indoor climate. These are the results of a test with a new ventilation system from BaOpt which was recently tested in the Aula of the Academy building. The results show a huge improvement in air quality, a constant temperature and a substantial drop in energy consumption.
‘We tested the new control system in the Aula during the Opening of the Academic Year on Monday 2 September,’ says Peter Hartman, installation specialist in the University Services Department. ‘We know that the temperature rises too quickly and the fresh air system can’t really cope, particularly when it’s warm outside and the Aula is full.’
The air quality in the Aula of the Academy Building is constantly monitored by Hartman. Thermometers are placed on different heights in the room. He also measures the CO2-pollution of the air. In addition, a series of smoke tests shows the improved air circulation. Hartman states that the first results in the Aula are fantastic. The data also indicate that we in addition to a pleasant climate we also save about 30% on energy.’
The BaOpt system ensures a more constant temperature, better distribution of fresh air in a room, better air conditioning and therefore higher oxygen levels. BaOpt (Bauer Optimalisering) supplies software for controlling the ventilation and climate control system, developed by the German engineer Bauer.
This system functions in much the same way as the outdoor climate,’ explains Hartman. ‘It creates high and low pressure zones, generating an indoor pressure in the room of around 4 Pascal higher than outside. This causes turbulence so that the air quality is improved even in places that are difficult to reach. We’ve analysed the use of this system in other places too. It´s become very popular in Germany, where it is installed in shopping malls and airports, and we recently saw it in action at the University of Berlin.’
The University of Groningen is the first Dutch educational institution to convert a conventional system, whereby air is supplied and extracted via the same duct, into the BaOpt system. ‘If the system produces the results we are hoping for after longer monitoring during the different seasons, we will roll it out straight away. It’s relatively quick to install, requires relatively low investment and recoups your outlay within a couple of years,’ says Hartman. ‘What’s more, the benefits are enormous, not only the savings, but more importantly, in the improved air quality. If we were to install the system in the University Library, for example, or the Exam Hall, it might even lead to better marks for students.’
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