The new administration centre of the stock market-listed financial services provider MLP AG in Wiesloch -four low-level buildings with finely wrought, glazed facades -looks every inch like a university campus. Designed as a Corporate University, up to 1,200 MLP advisers gather at the site in Wiesloch every day for training courses and seminars. MLP has 300 business centres around Europe and concentrates on the academic profession. As an independent broker, the financial services provider integrates banking and insurance services into individual finance plans tailored to every phase of life.
Considering that practically every employee within the company deals with finance and insurance, it comes as no surprise to learn that the Facility Management also organises its finances quite prudently. At the end of the day, investments have to produce returns in the shortest possible time. Heinz Kyek, Executive Manager of Facility Management at MLP, therefore places a high value on the transparency of operating data -all building technology components must be linked to the central building management system. This requirement applies equally and particularly to the many sanitary, heating and cooling pumps.
The Grundfos Solution
All modern concepts for the efficient planning of a building are ultimately based on extensive building automation which combines all systems as far as possible into a unified process. This is important since the proportional value of the technical installations in relation to the overall value of a building is constantly rising, which means that the complexity and therefore the demands on automation are also increasing.
Thanks to the developments in field bus technology, it is now possible to shift the 'intelligence' of a system to the field devices which can then manage small units in a decentralised system. This principle is at the heart of, for example, the LONWorks technology. All of the electronic pumps and most of the conventional Grundfos pumps for the building management system can be connected via LONbus modules to a LONWorks network which transmits clear, easy-to-read pump data to the building automation centre or to Facility Management. The foundations are thus laid for optimised management and minimisation of operating costs.
By integrating all the building technology into the central building management system, MLP has realised astounding optimisation potential. "By deliberately focusing on the actual needs of the employees and training participants, we have been able to reduce our heat energy consumption by 50 percent within two years" reports Heinz Kyek. In fact while the new administration building originally consumed approximately 2900 MWh (2001) of heating energy, it now uses around 1500 MWh (2004).
The bus-compatible pumps supplied by Grundfos were an important factor within this optimisation process: " We changed the operating times and temperatures again and again, utilised night-time reductions and gradually achieved optimum levels. This pays off since even half a degree difference in temperature produces significant cost savings," according to Heinz Kyek.
The integration of building technology pumps into the central building management system via bus also offers other key benefits. One of these is the far simpler and more cost-effective wiring. The convenience aspect is also important -the pumps can be monitored and controlled centrally. The access to all relevant actual and reference operating values increases operating reliability and the availability of the pumps. It is also possible to make considerable energy savings (e.g. timer programs). In a modern pump like the Magna, the speed adjustment option combined with the energy saving permanent magnet motor results in extremely cost-effective operation: the Magna consumes up to 70% less energy than other similar size pumps.
How cool computers minimise heating costs
MLP AG in Wiesloch
- Sanitary: Hydro 2000 ME boosters with speed controlled pumps, Hydrocontrol ME controller with PMU / PFU. UPS circulation pumps (bronze housing).
- Cooling technology: Inline TPE dry-rotor pumps with integrated frequency converter, PMU 2000 controller connected via GENIbus.
- Heating technology: Magna and/or UPE circulation heating pumps with integrated frequency converter and GENIbus connection. Inline TPE dry-rotor pumps with integrated frequency converter and GENIbus connection. Inline LP dry-rotor pumps.
Why do many customers and planners still hesitate to use frequency-controlled electronic pumps despite the obvious commercial and technological benefits? Heinz Kyek believes it is fear of the unknown -lack of experience with the technology equals lack of trust. Kyek now has five years of experience with electronic pumps from Grundfos and only has good things to say -more to the point he has had no electronics-related problems. "The pumps are very reliable. Operators should install modern pump technology for cost reasons -and they need to make this clear to their planners. After all energy is not going to get any cheaper"