Heat recovery units in ventilation

by Marta Duarte

Institution: Högskolan i Gävle
Year: 2016
Keywords: Heating ventilation and air conditioning systems; heat recovery ventilation; run-around heat recovery; temperature ratio; sensible effectiveness; Engineering and Technology; Environmental Engineering; Energy Systems; Teknik och teknologier; Naturresursteknik; Energisystem; Energisystem – magisterprogram (sv eller eng); Energy systems – master’s programme (one year) (swe or eng); Energy systems; Energisystem
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2120645
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-21825


Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems are widely distributed over the world due to their capacity to adjust some local climate parameters, like temperature, relative humidity, cleanliness and distribution of the air until the desired levels verified in a hypothetical ideal climate. A review of buildings’ energy usage in developed countries shows that in the present this energy service is responsible for a portion of about 20% of the final energy usage on them, increasing up to 50% in hot-humid countries. In order to decrease this value, more and more different heat recovery systems have been developed and implemented over the last decades. Nowadays it is mandatory to install one of these units when the design conditions are above the limit values to avoid such components, what is possible to verify mostly in non-residential buildings. Each one of those units has its own performance and working characteristics that turns it more indicated to make part of a certain ventilation system in particular. Air-to-air energy recovery ventilation is based on the heat recovery transfer (latent and/or sensible) from the flow at high temperature to the flow at lower temperature, pre-warming the outdoor supply air (in the case of the winter). Therefore, it is important to understand in which concept those units have to be used and more important than that, how they work, helping to visualize their final effect on the HVAC system. The major aims of this study were to investigate the actual performance of the heat recovery units for LB20 and LB21 in building 99 at the University of Gävle and make some suggestions that could enhance their actual efficiency. Furthermore, the energy transfer rates associated to the heat recovery units were calculated in order to understand the impact of such components in the overall HVAC system as also the possible financial opportunity by making small improvements in the same units. To assess the system, values of temperature and flow (among others) were collected in the air stream and in the ethylene-glycol solution that works as heat transfer medium between air streams and is  enclosed in pipes that make part of the actual run-around heat recovery units. After some calculations, it was obtained that for the coldest day of measurements, the sensible effectiveness was 42% in LB20 and 47% in LB21, changing to 44% and 43% in the warmer day, respectively. The actual heat transfer representing the savings in the supply air stream is higher on the coldest day, with values of 46 kW in LB20 and 84 kW in LB21, justifying the existence of the heat recovery units even if those ones imply the use of hydraulic pumps to ensure the loop. The low values of efficiency have shown that both heat recovery units are working below the desired performance similarly to the pumps that make part of the same units.  This fact, together with the degradation of the units that is possible to observe in the local, indicates that a complete cleaning (followed by a change of the heat transfer medium) of the heat…