ABB variable-speed drives ensure safety for multi-storey car park in Sheffield

ABB, ventilation, variable speed drives
The ventilation and smoke-extract requirements of this car park in Sheffield are provided by fans with ABB standard drives for HVAC.

Controlled ventilation for a new multi-storey car park in Sheffield is provided by ABB standard drives for HVAC. The Q-Park on Rockingham Street has space for 531 cars, and the fans also provide for fire safety. To remove carbon monoxide and ensure that smoke can be vented in the event of fire, four fans are installed on the ground floor of the main car park. Two fans are used for air movement and have 1.5 kW standard drives. There are also two fans for extraction, with 4.8 kW standard drives.

One part of the system is designed to initiate ventilation when carbon-monoxide levels rise above recom­mended levels by providing three, six or 10 air changes an hour. Depending on the air changes needed, the drives run at 25, 30, 50, 60 or 100% speed.

Tim Haigh, operations manager with PSB, which installed the systems, explains, ‘The variable-speed drives are vital as we could not achieve the air changes we need using a 2-speed system. As well as the energy-saving benefits of only running the ventilation when we need it, the drives also have the advantage of soft start, so that the fan motors do not draw a large current on start up.’

If the fans are required to extract smoke, the drives have a built-in ‘run-to-destruct’ function in their software. The drive then runs extraction at full speed, ignoring any alarms or other commands.

Modbus communication is standard with these drives, so communications based on laying wires and relays between components of the system is not needed. Tim Haigh says, ‘Installation is much easier, and there is less to go wrong.’

For more information on this story, click here: July 2011, 128
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