By 2020, Boehringer Ingelheim's engineering department plans to reduce its energy requirements and CO2 emissions by 20%. To do this, the company is relying on SAUTER's energy management software, which has revealed - following the analysis of 5,000 data points and meters - where the most significant energy savings can be made.
It is simple to determine energy consumption per room; however, to pinpoint energy requirements per cubic metre of supplied air - as German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim demanded when it approached SAUTER to increase the energy efficiency of its headquarters - is a challenge that can be met only by the most advanced software.
SAUTER's energy management solution (EMS) has risen to this challenge. The EMS records the energy levels per ventilation system and calculates the energy costs per cubic metre of transported air. Volume flow measurements at each consumption point mean that the amount of air fed into each individual room can also be identified. On this basis, energy costs per user and/or per room can be calculated and presented in accordance with the 'polluter pays' principle.
During this analysis, the values from the temperature, pressure and humidity sensors are extracted from the existing laboratory and building management system, and forwarded to the new SAUTER EMS. This means that virtual meters can then be installed, which reduces costs.
At Boehringer Ingelheim, SAUTER's EMS analysis revealed that a significant proportion of the energy required for ventilation and air-conditioning was being expelled in the company's laboratories. "We found that most of the energy was being used specifically for humidification," says Boehringer Ingelheim engineer Klaus Roos.
The company was using a central air-handling unit, which employed volume flow (VAV) controllers to ventilate the rooms. Measures were subsequently taken to improve this technology.
"To improve the system, we had to find out which VAV controllers were the least efficient," explains Sven Pohlmann, another of Boehringer Ingelheim's engineering specialists. "That is, where the most pressure was being wasted."
The system's overall pressure level was then lowered with the aim of significantly reducing energy consumption.
SAUTER's EMS also boasts an integrated reporting system. This benefits the operator because it aids compliance with regulations such as EnEV 2009, which states that an energy inspection must be carried out every ten years. This ordinance also stipulates that energy performance figures must be documented for new commercial and public buildings that undergo energy-related refurbishments. External companies are often tasked with collecting such data and this causes additional costs.
"To remedy this, we have developed - in collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim engineering staff - an application that automatically creates the required documentation," says SAUTER project manager Alfred Streit.
Following the success of the pilot project at its headquarters in Ingelheim, Boehringer Ingelheim is planning to install SAUTER's EMS throughout its other buildings. Its ongoing aim is to guarantee comfortable, warm conditions during the country's dry, cold winters and pleasantly cool, less humid conditions in the summer months.
Research-intensive pharmaceutical manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim was founded in 1885 in Ingelheim, Germany, and currently employs 41,300 members of staff throughout the world. The company's research campus in Biberach an der Riss houses one of the largest and most state-of-the-art cell culture production facilities in Europe - a facility that enjoys an international reputation for its biotech pharma products.