This is what climate protection looks like.

A good climate pays off.

Climate-Friendly Radiators

The Behr company, an automotive parts supplier specializing in vehicle air condi-tioning and engine cooling, knows all there is to know on that score. Without the radiators produced by this Stuttgart-based company, cars, airplanes, ships and trains all over the world would overheat and cease to function. To save staff from getting hot under the collar too, Behr relies on heat-reflecting roof glazing made of PLEXIGLAS HEATSTOP® in its factory units. 

Efficient cooling is indispensable for reliable vehicle operation. At the same time, this determines the amount of fuel and CO2 emissions that can be saved. What applies to engines can also be applied to air conditioning in buildings: the room temperature at the workplace has a considerable influence on staff performance and on occupational safety. As temperatures rise, concentration drops and the risk of accidents increases. To prevent this, factory units frequently have to be artificially cooled in summer, es-pecially when the production processes generate additional heat, like at the Müh-lacker plant. Helmut Eitel, the responsible architect at Behr, explains: "Our radiators are soldered. This production step is very heat-intensive, so it was important to us to reduce the heat load due to solar radiation. That way we save power for air-conditioning and comply with our environmental directives." Those enjoy high prior-ity at Behr.

Climate protection pays off

In all its production steps, the radiator manufacturer looks for solutions that offer the greatest energy efficiency and lowest pollution. At the same time, its in-house con-struction department examines all new building projects for environmental compati-bility and determines the available options for renovating existing buildings. "So it was an obvious idea to replace the light domes in the factory units with heat-reflecting PLEXIGLAS®. The cooling energy this saves is good for our eco balance, cuts costs and makes sense in terms of climate protection," Eitel explains. Especially when a large number of light domes are concerned, like at the Mühlacker plant, where 210 light domes made of conventional acrylic were replaced with PLEXIGLAS HEATSTOP®. Each dome measures 120 by 150 centimeters. The new domes were fabricated to fit the existing frames, which made them easy to install. Depending on where the individual light domes are located, they were designed for lighting, venti-lation or smoke extraction. Owing to the large number of domes, renovation was per-formed in several phases. A study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Sys-tems (ISE) proves that the exchange was worthwhile. The study established that the use of PLEXIGLAS HEATSTOP® provides energy savings in typical Central Euro-pean factory halls with indoor heat loads clearly exceeding 8 W/m².

Protecting the workplace climate too

Eitel knows from his own experience that the new light domes provide good results not just on paper: "When the sun shines, you can really feel the difference between a transparent dome and the heat-reflecting version." Eitel has also received positive feedback from production workers: "Our colleagues were very satisfied once the domes had been replaced, so we continued the renovation work at top speed." The experience gained at the Mühlacker plant can also be used for further production sites. Behr employs 19,500 people at 17 development sites, 28 production plants and 12 subsidiaries. "We will go on replacing light domes at other plants. That makes sense especially in warmer regions, even if not all the factory units work with heat-intensive processes," Eitel says. The Fraunhofer Institute ISE comes to the same con-clusion. Its study says that in warmer climate zones, like the Mediterranean or even hotter regions, cooling energy savings of 15 to 30 percent can be achieved.

Taking a stand

Eitel sees another advantage of PLEXIGLAS HEATSTOP® beyond the economic and ecological arguments in its favor: "As the world market leader in radiators for com-mercial vehicles, Behr is also an innovation leader. Our developments aim to make mobility more economic and environmentally compatible. So its fits our profile if we ourselves opt for innovative and environmentally friendly products."

Product brochure as PDF:
Energy-Saving Heat Shield for Factory Units and Office Buildings with PLEXIGLAS HEATSTOP®. Download PDF

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