Pumps cut power consumption at Palazzo Grassi in Venice


One of the most important museums of contemporary art in Italy, the famous Palazzo Grassi in Venice, is able to considerably improve its energy balance due to the use of pumps with highly efficient, intelligent drives. The pumps and valves to modernise the heating and air-conditioning systems were supplied by pump manufacturer KSB.

For a building of historical and architectural significance, maintaining a particular room temperature and humidity as well as air quality is a costly and major challenge. After a careful analysis of the energy consumption, those responsible for building management started an extensive refurbishment project in 2015. Planning and installing a completely new pumping infrastructure in a historic building presents a great challenge since the building was not designed for such equipment.

Energy savings were essentially enabled by the replacement of hot and cold water pumps, valves, strainers and expansion joints. All pumps of the Etabloc series installed are equipped with PumpDrive variable speed systems and high-efficiency synchronous reluctance motors. A great advantage of the pump’s drive unit is the integrated power electronics, eliminating the need for a control cabinet. This is very convenient given the limited space available.

Two additional KSB submersible motor pumps underneath the palace supply the system with cool water from the lagoon. Filters remove pollutants and a small desalination system reduces the salt content in the brackish water. Two heat exchangers adjust the water temperature to the building’s operating requirements. An analysis of the power consumption at the beginning of 2018 showed energy savings of about 30 percent per year.

The Palazzo Grassi is one of the most famous Venetian buildings. It is the last patrician building erected before the fall of the Republic of Venice. Designed by Giorgio Massari, the building was constructed between 1748 and 1772 and is characterised by two great façades, one facing the Canal Grande and the other facing the Campo San Samuele. Today, it is the most prestigious museum of contemporary art in Venice and counts among the most important museums in the world.


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