Case Study

Multi-storey car park ventilation system operates efficiently with Optidrive E3 VFDs

Multi-storey car park ventilation system operates efficiently with Optidrive E3 VFDs


A new ventilation system was needed in a multi-storey car park. It had to operate as efficiently as possible, with low-energy costs, and be able to operate a fire mode to clear smoke and fumes in an emergency.


The Optidrive E3 VFD was chosen for the application because of its ability to accurately control fans at varying speeds at different times of the day. Its built-in fire mode means it can turn fans to maximum rotation, overriding any other settings.

Electro Pneumatic Solutions

Maintaining safe levels of air quality in multi-storey car parks is crucial for the safety of those using them. Carbon Dioxide caused by vehicle exhausts and other emissions can lead to poor and potentially dangerous levels of toxicity without good ventilation.

Additionally, should a fire break out, the smoke and fumes need to be drawn from each floor quickly.

The owner of a multi-storey car park in the centre of Belgrade, Serbia, turned to Electro Pneumatic Solutions (EPS), a sales partner of Invertek Drives, to design and install a new and energy-efficient ventilation system.

Four fans were being used in the three-storey building. These were two 11kW rated and two 18.5kW. EPS selected the Optidrive E3 IP20 variable frequency drive (VFD) to control them for the application.

Built-in parameters for fan control

The E3 was ideal with specific built-in parameters for fan control. Two 15kW (20HP), 30A, 380V – 480V, 3PH drives were selected for the 11kW rated fans, while two 18.5kW (25HP), 39A, 380V – 480V, 3PH drives were used for the 17.2kW fans.

“One of the client’s requirements was to reduce energy consumption while ensuring high levels of ventilation. The Optidrive VFDs are ideal for this as they provide accurate speed control, either through the built-in parameters or manually through the digital button control,” said Marko Nikolic, Head of Sales at EPS.

“The fan rotation speed in ventilation mode is relatively low and is activated according to the set time intervals. To achieve the most energy-efficient operation the drives were set to fan mode and optimised for the application.”

Fire mode allows fans to increase to maximum rotation

The Optidrive E3’s built-in fire mode is capable of quickly increasing the fans to maximum rotation. It ignores internal protections to keep the fans at maximum speed for a long as possible.

“The fire mode makes it a perfect drive for fan control, particularly in facilities such as multi-storey car parks. Should a fire break out the mode overrides all other safety protections to maximise fan rotation and draw smoke from the building as fast as possible,” added Marko.

The set-up, commissioning and changing of parameters on the Optidrive E3 can also be easily undertaken through its Bluetooth and NFC connectivity. Connected to Invertek’s Optitools mobile app via the Optistick Smart means replication of parameters to other drives is effortless where multiple drives are being set up.

The Optidrive E3 is available in IP20 and IP66 enclosures and four frame sizes, making it ideal for a wide range of applications and environments.