Riverside Centre fan retrofit delivers 38% reduction in fan power use and AIRAH recognition


A retrofit to improve efficiency and convenience

Constructed in 1986, the 40-storey Riverside Centre is highly regarded as ‘Brisbane’s first intelligent building’. However after 30 years of operation, the original DWDI fans were in need of replacement. The fans displayed the usual issues of bearing failure, bearing lubrication issues, belt and pulley wear, as well as some signs of pitting corrosion on the fan wheels.


Compact high efficiency ebm-papst EC plug fans

When the original design for the HVAC upgrade, consisting of the replacement of six air handling units, was put to tender, it specified fewer and larger EC plug fans. However after reviewing the project, another option was put forward and that was to select a smaller individual fan size of 500mm instead of 630mm. This was due to logistics considerations as smaller fans allow for easier installation and maintenance as well as smoother transportation, all of which reduces down time for the client.   Up to 10 x 500mm ebm-papst EC plug fans were specified to replace one large DWDI fan. The plug fans were aligned in a five-by-two grid and mounted off the floor, removing the need to add floor mounts.  The new EC fans are also fully integrated into the building’s Building Management System via high level interface and part of the zone pressurisation in fire mode.


38% reduction in fan power use

Anecdotal evidence suggests a reduction in fan power use by 38%. With the HVAC system accounting for about 60% of the building’s energy consumption, a reduction of 38% in fan energy would make a big difference to the bottom line for each tenant. The retrofit project was also recognised at the AIRAH awards in two categories: Best HVAC Retrofit or Upgrade Award and Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award.

A company that offers continued selection and technical advice in their local market...

A company that offers continued selection and technical advice in their local market should be given greater recognition because service and backup for ventilation equipment is just as important as it is for refrigeration equipment and ebm-papst certainly delivers in this regard
- Andrew Prentice, Mechanical Engineer at Interior Engineering and Consultant on the project.
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