The train consumes 10 terawatt hours per year – almost as much as the entire city of Hamburg needs. The group wants to push the high electricity costs and therefore sends 30 energy consultants through the German railway world and also to external companies in order to detect weak points.
One of them is Tuyana Wolpert. „The railway has set itself far-reaching goals,“ says the Siberian-born industrial engineer. The bottom line must always be a number in euros, which could be saved. As early as 2030, the state-owned company wants to consume 80 percent of green electricity, currently it is 57 percent.
So there is a lot to do for Wolpert and her colleagues. One of its flagship projects is the S-Bahn plant at Frankfurt Central Station, where DB Regio is waiting for all 191 S-Bahn trains on the Rhine-Main network. 140 people work here in three shifts around the clock and can make up to 30 trains a day.
In the approximately 200-meter-long, in 2006 refurbished former parcel hall of the post office, even on a severe winter morning a pleasant temperature of about 18 degrees prevails, as it is prescribed for workshops. So that it does not get much hotter even in the summer, there are automatic ventilation systems on the seven gable skylights. The roof itself has leased the train to the Mainz company Juwi, which operates there the largest photovoltaic system in the region.
In her analysis, the 32-year-old adviser is similar to what she would do in a private household. First lever is the room temperature, which can be lowered, especially in an environment in which physical work is done. District heating is provided by the Frankfurt workshop from the urban utility Mainova, whose pipes are only a few meters from the property boundary. 140 degrees hot steam flows through the thick pipes. „We now have district heating, which is more effective and environmentally friendly than before when we had oil boilers,“ says Peter Möhn, who is responsible for the technical facilities.
Wolpert, who had been married to a Frankfurt citizen, had come to Germany only at the age of 17, already with the declared goal of studying. The fact that she could not speak a word of German at that time and that her Russian high school diploma was not recognized could not stop the young woman from the Russian Republic of Buryatia. After a language course, college entrance qualification at the Studienkolleg and subsequent studies in Darmstadt, she established contacts with Siemens, worked at Daimler and later in an engineering office. „That’s always been clear that I would end up in a technical profession.“
Young, feminine and obviously from a foreign country – on the construction sites it was not always easy for Tuyana Wolpert. „You have to be successful, but that comes with the time and the projects,“ says the Russian from her experiences in the men’s world. In addition to a lot of specialist knowledge and short-term savings success, she also uses her quickly learned Mannheimer dialect: „Many people are a bit more relaxed then.“
DB Regio has had its 53 workshop locations across Germany checked by the network teams for rail vehicles and has invested € 6.8 billion. The annual savings volume is 1.8 billion euros, so that the project pays off in less than four years.
The consultants of DB Energie are also in demand outside the Group, for example, have advised food manufacturers such as Lieken or Darboven, reports spokeswoman Martine Pfeifer. In addition to heat, Energie-Frau Wolpert also takes care of insulations, efficient LED luminaires and the efficiency of older systems. Frequently, an exchange is expected after only a few years, like an old refrigerator at home. „It’s a sound investment that’s good for the environment.“ But she will never really get ready. „Saving energy is always a process, once you start, it goes on and on.“