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Case study: How Airthings and actoVent help balance air quality and energy efficiency

Airthings

Airthings

December 6, 2022

For many companies, energy efficiency and good indoor air quality are mutually exclusive. It is not only difficult to optimize HVAC costs but also not to compromise the health and well-being of building occupants.

Together with Airthings for Business, actoVent has demonstrably succeeded in achieving both. actoVent GmbH, based in Weinstadt, offers "fresh air as a service" with the help of their Frischluftmanager ("fresh air manager") tool, assisting its customers to optimize the complete process around clean air in a resource-saving way.

Challenge

At the beginning of the year, actoVent was approached by Krebser und Freyler, a TGA planning office that has been developing, planning and managing building projects in southwest Germany since 1990. Krebser and Freyler's goal was to improve the energy efficiency in a 2000 m2 production hall of their client. One way to achieve this was to reduce the air handling unit's volume flow so that less energy had to be used for conditioning (humidifying and dehumidifying, heating, cooling) outside air.

It is not always the case that companies can reduce the volume flow without exposing building occupants to higher concentrations of potentially harmful airborne substances such as chemicals and particulate matter. It has long been known that industrial processes are a major source of airborne pollutants.

Krebser and Freyler intended to measure the concentration of pollutants before and after optimization in order to provide evidence of unchanged air quality. To this end, Krebser and Freyler opted for the Frischluftmanager solution together with air quality monitors from Airthings that can measure pollutant levels in real-time.

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With Airthings for Business in the Frischluftmanager, big energy savings and excellent indoor quality go hand in hand

In July 2022, the Frischluftmanager delivered the Airthings sensors to Krebser and Freyler. They were then installed at the customer's premises. Thanks to the "plug-and-play" capability of the sensors, the retrofit at the customer's premises went smoothly.

As a result, Krebser und Freyler was able to reduce the volume flow from 108,000m³/h to 96,300m³/h and immediately start controlling a wide range of air pollutants such as fine dust, airborne chemicals, radon, and carbon dioxide.

The company was even able to go further and measure non-pollutants that also affect the well-being and comfort of residents, such as noise, light, temperature, and humidity. After a period of continuous monitoring via the Airthings Dashboard, the data collected could be analyzed.

What were the results?

The results were outstanding! By using Airthings for Business solutions in the Fresh Air Manager, Krebser and Freyler were able to effectively reduce the air handling unit flow rate by over 11% and help their clients save 152 MWh/a of energy (which equates to 152,000 kW/h per year) – all without a noticeable difference in air quality.

Through continued, ongoing monitoring, the customer ensures that the required air quality is maintained with optimized airflow and energy consumption in the future.

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