Caverion is one of the few companies in the industry with its own research and development centre. “For the project business, this means that colleagues can always rely on a scientific team of experts with a wealth of experience at its disposal from many simultaneous projects,” says Laboratory Manager Detlef Makulla. Fifty national and international patents have originated from the research and development activities so far. Ten national, were granted during the past two years in Germany.
“Covering an area of nearly 1,000 square metres at the Caverion site in Aachen Germany, customised solutions are created for indoor climate, air quality and acoustics. Here we can see what the functionally reliable, efficient and sustainable building services technology of tomorrow will look like,” explains Makulla. This also includes sophisticated environments, such as laboratories, clean rooms, auditoriums and exhibition spaces.
Computer simulations enable the airflows and thermal behaviour of buildings and components to be precisely calculated
Caverion’s R&D covers laboratory investigations, on-site investigations, simulations and component development, right up to the development of complete systems.
Laboratory investigations can be performed on a 1:1 scale. In addition to this, there is also a climate hall with a ceiling height of 12 metres. The façade of a measuring room for HVAC systems reproduces various weather conditions. The required interior climate can be simulated in a dedicated testing room. However, measurements can also be taken directly with the customer on site, where necessary.
Through the close interlinking of simulation, flow laboratory and field tests, the most cost-effective investigation option can be selected. Calculated data can be reviewed in practice. If necessary, the research team also develops customised components for sophisticated environments – right up to a complete solution.
“This way, building projects can be planned and realised more reliably”, says Makulla.
“The additional effort in an earlier planning phase pays off twofold later on, in the terms of continuous operation of a building.” An offer that external customers and planners also like to take advantage of.
Example: Air conditioning of ice rinks
The optimum interior climate for every environment: A typical example of this is the development of a ventilation system for the ice rink in Wolfsburg, Germany.
The new rink was built over the existing ice surface. This caused restrictions to the air technology, as the airflow could only take place from above.
The research team developed a mixed-source air concept, which generates a lake of pre-dried air over the ice surface, while a traditional mixed ventilation system operates in the audience area. Through the precise coordination of the systems and the use of special air outlets, both systems were combined such that optimum air conditions prevail everywhere: on the surface of the ice, the temperature is 8°C. The air is dehumidified, which prevents the formation of frost. The cold air lake also saves energy, as the heat transfer to the ice is reduced significantly.
In the audience area, normal room temperatures of around 21°C can be generated. This represents a high level of comfort in comparison with other ice rinks.
Extensive laboratory investigations were conducted for the planning. The results were converted to the conditions in the ice rink in a computer model, enabling the effects on ice quality and surface temperatures to be estimated during the planning phase. This provided a high degree of planning reliability for the planner and the developer. During commissioning, data from the simulation could be used, which was also advantageous for the overall project.