Although UK car demand may be falling, the need for parking spaces remains as high as ever. Town centre parking space is at a premium, so car park operators are finding ways to fit cars into smaller spaces. Improving car park ventilation has an important part to play both by improving air quality and saving energy costs.
Car parks can be challenging buildings to construct and maintain, not least because of the issue of ventilation. If not designed and managed, a high concentration of vehicles in a structure may produce elevated levels of toxic fumes. Moreover, in the event of a fire, the extraction equipment must clear any smoke without delay.
Improving car park ventilation
Some above ground car parks achieve these goals through natural ventilation. However, car park design has changed over the years, with architects and city planners now feeling the need for these structures to show more compassion to their surroundings. This means that more car parks are becoming enclosed buildings and therefore, natural ventilation is harder to achieve. As a result, effective mechanical ventilation is becoming more important.
With this in mind, ABB has created a guide to help car park designers, builders, specifiers, and operators to identify ways to reduce energy use and keep harmful gases within safe limits. For instance, many existing ventilation fan systems operate at a constant flow rate, yet peak demand may only occur for a few hours a day. Variable speed drives address this by reducing the fan motors speed whilst still meeting air quality standards.
Following the recent increase in electricity prices, payback times for installing VSD have tumbled.
This can save enormous amounts of money by making acceptable speed reductions. For example, a 20 percent reduction in motor speed can reduce energy costs by as much as 50 percent. For your copy of the guide to improving car park ventilation, click here