Parker Hannifin has recently completed a project to replace all the motors supporting the operation of ventilation systems in Europe’s largest underground carpark, situated under La Défense, Paris, with units from its AC10 compact variable speed drive family.
The renewal of the entire ventilation system in the underground carpark, serving the largest European business district, was not limited to the simple replacement of filters and some mechanical components. This operation involved a vast project requiring advanced technical expertise, particularly in terms of defining and selecting drive solutions and supporting their integration, installation and commissioning.
The objective of the drive systems for the variation of ventilation speed was two-fold. Firstly, it was a question of ensuring the effective evacuation of exhaust gases. Secondly, much faster removal of smoke was required in the event of a fire. The previously installed system had become obsolete because it was only equipped with two-speed motors without drives.
Parker worked with EDF and Inov Industrie on the project. The company was selected for its technical abilities with respect to drive systems, but perhaps more importantly, for its know-how in the control of energy consumption/optimisation of energy efficiency. The project presented multiple challenges that had to be overcome. First of all, the project concerned the most extensive carpark in Europe, incorporating 22 000 spaces, spread over 16 different sites. Then, due to the underground location of the carparks, below the towers of La Défense at a complex, major road junction, there were numerous access constraints. To this was added the problem of dimensions: the systems selected had to fit into existing cabinets and be adapted to the protocol already in place.
All of the disassembled components being replaced had to be removed and recycled. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the fire safety system needed to allow the forced operation of the drives at maximum speed in order to evacuate fumes reliably in the shortest possible time. For safety, the new systems also needed to be equipped with an automatic restart and be directly connected to the emergency fire services.
The nature of the project meant that work had to be completed quickly and efficiently under intense time-pressure. The scale of the project meant that a total of 60 drives with power ratings from 5,5 to 180 kW had to be commissioned in a very short space of time. Inov Industrie, with its 20-year working relationship with Parker Hannifin, turned to the motion and control specialist, opting to specify units from the company’s AC10 compact drive range.
Given the scale and importance of the project, Parker expanded its range to 180 kW to meet Inov Industrie’s requirements. “This demonstrated Parker’s flexibility as a dedicated technical partner,” said Inov Industrie’s Thierry Foulon.
The suitability of the AC10 range for this significant and challenging project was enhanced due to some new features, such as fire mode input/output and its wide range of power ratings – all in a compact package. The AC10 range is characterised by its simplicity of installation, setup and commissioning, thanks in particular to a fast parameterisation. With its enhanced functionality, the AC10 drive is able to control asynchronous motors incorporating both simple and complex types of application such as pressure and flow control. The ‘small sequential’ function (sequencing on and off) avoids the need for an additional PLC. It is also possible to obtain information relating to system power consumption and other parameters such as the occurrence of dirty filters.
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