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Heat Recovery Ventilation
Heat recovery ventilation (HRV) is an energy recovery system that uses state of the art equipment such as a heat recovery ventilator, heat exchangers, air exchangers or air-to-air heat exchangers to provide counter air flow between the inbound and outbound air flow in a residence or commercial building. The goal of the system is to provide fresher air and improved climate control with an emphasis on energy reduction through efficiency.
These systems have become popular due to the improved insulation and construction quality that while providing a tighter seal more or less reduces air flow through a building. HRV systems are a remedy for the new airtight designs of today's energy efficient structures.
Advantages of Heat Recovery Ventilation
- Clean Fresh Air - Air circulated in the home or office is circulated through filters. Research indicates that most of us spend about 80 percent of our time indoors and that 50 percent of illness is caused by poor air quality.
- Energy Efficiency - A good HRV system will reduce the energy used by the heating system and save money along the way. The reason is that the heat is re-used rather than extracted.
- Elimination of Condensation - HRV systems remove the vapour as it is produced. The reduction of moisture condensation prevents mould and dampness in the building.
- Increased Comfort - Occupants enjoy the benefits of an energy efficient, airtight building with proper moisture and heat levels. Air flow is consistent and comforting.
- Reduced Carbon Emissions - The efficiency of the HRV system reduces CO2 emissions from the heating plant and reduces the carbon footprint of the structure.
How HRV Systems Operate
HRVs can be standalone devices or can be added to existing HVAC systems. Most building and residences choose the system according to the layout of the structure. A large office building generally adds the HRV system to the existing HVAC. Small office buildings tend to add standalone devices. Many HRV systems are included in newly constructed hoes and can be added to the central heating and cooling system in an existing structure.
Different type exchangers have different attributes and advantages.
- Air-to-air exchangers - Passive cross flow heat exchangers can add 60 percent more operating efficiency to the existing unit. There are several different air-to-air heat exchangers including the rotary heat exchanger and the waste heat recovery unit. Shell and tube heat exchangers ad plate exchangers can also be utilised.
- Earth-to-Air Heat Exchangers - Earth-to-Air heat exchanges are usually required to meet the German Passivhaus standards. The most popular system requires a 30-40 metre earth warming pipe that is buried below ground level. There are several measures used to discourage and prevent fungal or mould. Radon prevention is also recommended for these HRV systems.
- Earth-to-Water Heat Exchangers - This type HRV system resembles the geothermal heat pump with pipes sunk into heavily salted water, which serves as the heat exchange fluid. A heat exchange coil is placed before the air inlet. This is an extremely efficient system that is not available in all locations.
The efficiency of certain HRV systems can be influenced by the climate. Earth-to-air systems are extremely efficient in winter but not as efficient and in fact can be counterproductive in the summer. For this reason HRV systems usually contain an internal bypass system, which again adds to the energy efficiency of the heating system.
HRV systems are popular and reputable heating system providers offer a number of systems appropriate for the locality in which they are situated. An investment in heat recovery ventilation will pay dividends in terms of efficiency, energy costs and the health of residents or employees.
For more information about Heat Recovery Ventilation, get in touch with WM Aircon today.
"Unmatched quality and service over many years have established WM as our sole supplier of complex air conditioning systems for the demanding environments in the advanced world leading vehicles we produce for F1, Outside Broadcasting and other sectors."