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Double the Operating Size, Lower Consumption

Car dealerships and garages use a lot of electrical and thermal energy. The Autohaus Schönauen car dealership in Wuppertal shows what efficiency measures and the use of renewable energies can achieve. The plans for expanding the plant and doubling the floorspace to 3,000 square metres have been combined with an upgrade of the existing energy systems. Bottom line, energy and heat consumption has been reduced by four per cent.

Alfons Schönauen GmbH, a family-run business, is an authorised Mercedes-Benz dealership providing sales and service. The company not only supports the economic potential of energy efficiency but is also driven by a sense of responsibility regarding climate protection. In total, the car dealership has invested EUR 2.7 million in energy-efficient construction and technology.

Climate protection objective:

  • use of a fuel cell or a photovoltaic system (after examination)

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Photo: Schönauen GmbH und Co. KG/LUTZ MENZE DESIGN

Autohaus Schönauen in Wuppertal: fully renovated and highly efficient.



The complete renovation has left hardly anything out: New heat-insulated façades, a new roof, modern thermal insulation glazing, a new heating system as well as efficient water treatment technology form the core of the package of measures. Light domes were installed in the roof of the building to use as much daylight as possible. A solar system covers almost all of the company's hot water consumption in the summer months.

Intelligent Control

In the new workshop, the exhaust extraction systems of 17 elevating platforms and the ventilators for individual areas are individually controlled and completely automatic, so that energy is only used if it is needed. The artificial lighting is also controlled so that it is only used when there is insufficient daylight. Because spaces lose an unnecessary amount of warm air to the outside when large hall doors are opened, the height to which the hall doors are opened is individually adjusted by the hall door controls to the height of the vehicle entering. After the vehicle has passed through, the hall door closes automatically.

More Economical Use of Water

Schönauen's gantry car wash requires about 25 litres of water per wash and uses only rain water. The washing water is clarified after washing using biological water treatment and used again for the next wash. Even the toilets are operated using rain water.

Search for Further Efficiency Potentials

A consultation with EnergieAgentur.NRW found that due to the low heat requirement in summer and the supply of heat from the solar system, the use of a fuel cell was to be recommended, as fuel cells generate more electricity than heat in comparison with CHPs. Financially, the use of fuel cells is supported by the progres.NRW funding programme. The car dealership will be examining the use of a fuel cell or a photovoltaic system in 2016.


Photo: Schönauen



Partners and sponsors


Counselling centers:
  • EnergieAgentur.NRW

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