German Football Museum keeps its visitors cool

Heating and cooling distribution.

Those involved in the construction of the German Football Museum knew it was important to ensure that while visitors could relive the triumph of Germany-France World Championship final in Rio de Janeiro in 2014, they did not have to endure the same intense heat their team had played in. The solution, what was called ‘a new tactical concept’ for the museum's air conditioning system, included pumps supplied by Wilo, a German-based manufacturer of pumps and systems for building services and industrial applications.

The German Football Museum in Dortmund.

Areas with different needs

The requirements for the air-conditioning of this “memorial hall of football” could not have been more varied. There is a glazed frontage, which is several metres in height and reveals first impressions of the world of German football, so it is important that it's kept clear of condensation at all times.

There are several levels in the building. On the museum level, fans are told exciting stories about the German national team, the federal league clubs and the most famous players. A further level offers space for special events and galas and the basement level is where all the action happens. It's a multifunctional arena where fans can try out their newly acquired football wisdom right there on the playing field and get a good workout at the same time. Even the menus in the catering outlets reflect the current daily menu of the national team.

In order to provide ideal climate conditions for this wide range of different activities, the German Football Museum makes use of all the available technical options. Heating energy is delivered by a 400 kW connection to heating in the local area. Cooling is generated by two cold water chillers of 300 kW power each. To save as much energy as possible, they are additionally connected to a cooling battery with direct evaporation. The ventilation system is additionally equipped with an adiabatic cooling system. Heat and cold is distributed by separate systems, adjusted to the type and profile of the respective usage, via the ventilation ducts, supplemented by surface temperature control, trench heaters or radiators.

All heating and cooling circuits are centrally controlled by a building management system (BMS). This also controls the circulators for each circuit in a temperature-dependent and a time-dependent way. This ensures that an adequate yet economic temperature is maintained in all of the individual areas of the building.

The multi-functional arena where fans can try out their football skills.

Heating and cooling distribution

The exhibition areas on the first and second level are heated and cooled by the ventilation system and trench heaters are installed in the foyer. They heat the air along the high glazed surfaces. This deflects the cold air draughts during the colder months and therefore prevents condensation on the windows. The multifunctional arena has an additional underfloor heating system fitted, which is also used for passive cooling. This area caters both for sophisticated parties as well as all kinds of sporting action when it is converted to a football field. The large glazing elements generate the corresponding heat influx during the summer and so recessed cooling cassettes are installed in the ceiling for peak load cover, in addition to the chilled supply air inflow. Ancillary rooms are heated by conventional radiators and depending on the temperature level, Wilo pumps supply the required amount of energy to the individual heating and cooling circuits.

Integration is vital

The integration of the pumps into the building management system (BMS) is a crucial element for Andreas Heine, technical director of the German Football Museum: “The request for heating or cooling is controlled by the outside temperature as well as by the pre-set regular opening hours of the museum. We nevertheless must be able depart from this programming for special events.”

The exhibition areas.

Thanks to the BMS, this can be done by a simple click or touch. The air-conditioning and heating systems are controlled via system diagrams displayed on touchscreens and installed in the central engineering room. Temperature and time settings for each usage profile can be adjusted from the BMS office terminals. Mr. Heine explains how the complex system technology can be easily handled: “In the case of an evening event, for example, the dates, times and desired temperature levels are entered into the BMS schedule. Lead times required to reach the pre-set room temperature precisely at the right moment are calculated as a function of the outside temperature and determined by the BMS automatically. We are however, still able to intervene manually.” Areas of the building not used for events outside of opening hours automatically switch to the regular, reduced, energy-saving temperature levels.

Quick transitions

“The efficient Wilo pump technology makes a significant contribution to limiting the primary energy consumption of the Football Museum”, explains Christian Kruse, Wilo sales director (DACH region). “A total of 21 circulators have been installed and 15 pumps are used for heating distribution, six for cooling.” The glandless circulators of the “Wilo-Stratos”-series feature an energy efficiency index of ≤ 0.20. This is the current benchmark set out by the Ecodesign Directive (ErP). Moreover, the pumps exploit the potential savings of the continuously adjustable EC motors by a new functionality. It is called “Q-Limit” and limits the volume flow in each distribution circuit to a pre-set value between 25% and 90% of the maximum flow volume. When the pre-set value is reached, the pump will adjust its pump curve to keep in line with the limit. “This allows for a quick and demand-driven adjustment of the flow rate,” explains Christian Kruse. “At the same time, inefficient heating and cooling scenarios will be sustainably avoided.”

 The Wilo-Stratos glandless pump.


The German footballer, Lukas Podolski, once famously said: “Football is like chess – only without the dice.” For the German Football Museum, keeping temperatures at the desired levels has everything to do with elaborate chess moves and nothing to do with chance.