Rittal Climatisation at Daimler: Energy savings of up to 70 per cent

The potential for innovations in enclosure cooling units is far from exhausted. There is still significant scope for boosting efficiency, as verified by a pilot application at Daimler AG in Sindelfingen. The automotive manufacturer, one of the world's leading suppliers of premium cars, put the new energy-saving cooling units from Rittal's "Blue e" generation through an exhaustive battery of live tests. The outcome revealed that converting more than 250 cooling units to the new energy-saving technology would enable savings of 490 tonnes of CO2 each year – which translates into six-figure savings in operating costs.

For Daimler AG, environmental protection is an integral part of the corporate strategy. The automotive manufacturer’s claim to "Green Technology Leadership" begins with the vehicle technology – hybrid, fuel cell and electric vehicles – and extends into its production plant. For example, at the Sindelfingen press plant, with an annual energy consumption of 40,000 megawatt hours, there is significant potential for improving energy efficiency. At this plant, pressed parts are manufactured for virtually the entire vehicle portfolio, which includes Smart, Mercedes-Benz and Maybach. Significant savings can be made here with the efficient cooling of enclosures and switchgear systems. Until now, Daimler has relied predominantly on standard cooling units from Rittal, with a few exceptions. However, a direct comparison with the new Rittal "Blue e" refrigeration units revealed potential energy savings of up to 70 percent.

On the basis of these unequivocal test results, Daimler AG decided to replace the old cooling units with new ones as soon as possible, and to refit all switchgear in the press plant by 2012. The automotive manufacturers placed an order for more than 250 new units, even before they were officially available. "Here, once again, Daimler AG is living up to its pioneering role, especially with its premium brand Mercedes-Benz", stresses Harald Bölle, Head of Industrial and Building Systems – Electrics at Daimler AG in Sindelfingen.

Once all the cooling units have been replaced, the electricity saving at the Sindelfingen press plant will total some 754,000 kilowatt hours a year, corresponding to around 490 tonnes of CO2 – not to mention operating costs of around 116,000 Euros per annum. Good news for Rittal: In future, Rittal's new "Blue e" generation of cooling units will be specified as standard for all new plant at Daimler.