THE AUTOSTADT DRIVING ENERGY EFFICIENCY AT VOLKSWAGEN GROUP’S HQS
Ralf Kösters, Head of Infrastructure Management at the Autostadt “The collaboration with Honeywell works exactly the way we imagine a professional partnership should work: with particular care to detail and for our needs”
The iconic Autostadt GmbH in Wolfsburg is a fully-owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group and the world’s largest automobile distribution center – with an impressive number of 500 vehicles handed over to customers every day.
Opened to the public in 1998, the Autostadt operates a site with 20 buildings, 363 days per year, and is visited by approximately 2.2 million people annually.
The Autostadt plays an essential role as a communication platform for the Volkswagen Group. Under the motto “People, cars and what moves them”, the Autostadt offers a unique experience to more than 40 million people – one that encapsulates the values of the company and all aspects of mobility.
“Our top priority was to achieve energy efficiency and as equally important, to enhance the visitor experience in our buildings and ensure ideal comfort. Almost 20 years ago, the equipment and systems installed at the Autostadt were state of the art. To fulfill our targets, we have continuously focused on optimizing and upgrading our systems. On top of this, digitalization has long since arrived in the Autostadt and already reveals extraordinary benefits – from system controls and building management efficiency, to increased amenity value and safety for visitors and staff.”
Head of Infrastructure Management at the Autostadt
FACTS AND FIGURES
- Three million vehicles have been delivered to customers since opening.
- The ‘Shop Window’ of the Volkswagen Group is a modern theme park with landscaped gardens, water features, exhibitions, a playground, and all-terrain driving facilities.
- The Automobile Museum, or ‘ZeitHaus’, exhibits vehicles from more than 60 different manufacturers, including dedicated pavilions of Volkswagen Group’s brands like Audi, Lamborghini, Seat, Škoda, Porsche, Volkswagen, and Bugatti.
- Across the 28 hectares of its park and lagoon, the Autostadt offers education and training courses for all ages, a generous entertainment program, cultural events, as well as a varied culinary concept.
- Increasing energy efficiency and reducing Autostadt’s carbon footprint.
- Reducing the system’s running time and minimizing energy costs.
- Integrating thermal and electrical energy.
- Minimizing risks to guarantee availability during the entire system lifecycle and optimal building functions at all times.
The digital edge of a 20-year-old partnership
Honeywell partnered up with the Autostadt in 1998 when the entire project was still under construction. Later, the deployment of the Honeywell Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI) enabled centralized building control capability – along with collecting all building system data for continuous optimization. EBI connects 37,000 data points out of which approximately 23,000 are hardware points at field level. At first, the Autostadt Infrastructure Management team developed and implemented their programs to improve the building’s energy efficiency. Starting with 2016, Honeywell and Autostadt deployed a thorough program which scrutinized all the parameters, operating procedures, and patterns that impacted the building’s performance. The project started in the Audi Pavilion and the Autostadt’s automobile museum and was systematically expanded to all the core buildings. The outcome was a set of valuable insights on how to optimize both the existing infrastructure and future investments. Thanks to the key performance indicators and the connection of investment costs and long-term savings, it became much easier for the Autostadt to make decisions for further action. The Autostadt Towers is one of the projects where Honeywell solutions enabled the monitoring and reporting of air quality, temperature, and energy consumption, thus driving continuous optimization. As fully automated storage facilities, the Autostadt Towers guarantee the safe delivery of up to 500 cars per day. With a height of 48 meters and a maximum capacity of 800 cars, these cylindrical structures rise above the Customer Centre in the northeastern part of the Autostadt site. Their fully-glazed, hot-dip, galvanized steel skeleton construction opens up a clear view in the inside. With the vehicle storage constantly full, it was challenging to ensure the right level of humidity for optimal temperature and full window visibility – no matter the season and the temperature’s impact on the cars stored inside. The Honeywell team had to determine a risk threshold value to avoid the dew point and adapt the interior temperature of the towers to the outside weather conditions. High-performance sensors were placed in key spots to adjust the air and temperature– leading to relevant energy and cost savings, while also supporting the customer’s sustainability goals.
- Significant energy savings of 41% per year – almost double the estimated value.
- Reduced CO2 emissions of 460 t/a in contrast to the initially expected vale of 308 t/a.
- Lower system running time and minimized energy costs.
- Successful integration of thermal and electrical energy.
- Optimized building functions and enhanced availability during the entire system lifecycle.
“In the context of IoT evolution, the two parties agreed to run a comprehensive analysis of all the parameters, operating procedures, operational patterns for each area of the Autostadt. The project was systematically expanded until the analysis of all core buildings has been completed. The outcome was a set of highly-detailed reports and recommended approaches on how to enhance not only the performance of the existing infrastructures, but also for future investments.”
Ulrich Schmöe, Business Consultant Manager at Honeywell
ZeitHaus, the Škoda Pavilion, and the Group Forum. Above it all, the systematic expansion of connectivity is also taking place in the building optimization and digitalization program.