AHR EXPO 2021 INNOVATION AWARD- ACT WINS GREEN BUILDING CATEGORY
Winner: Advanced Cooling Technologies – Pump-Assisted Split Loop Energy Recovery Heat Exchanger
Innovation: Advanced Cooling Technologies’ Pump Assisted AAHX recovers energy from either the exhaust or supply air stream during all seasons, allowing AHUs to consume less
energy. It works by combining traditional air-to-air heat pipe technology with pumped two-phase systems that take advantage of both operational modes. In passive mode, which activates when the warmer air stream is physically below the cooler air stream, the heat exchanger operates as a heat pipe with no electrical input required. When the seasons’ change and the relative temperature of the two air streams are reversed, a small pump is utilized to maintain the transfer of energy. Since the method of heat transfer inside of the heat exchanger utilizes the latent heat of the working fluid, the amount of flow rate required to transfer larger amounts of energy is a fraction of an equivalent glycol loop. The combination of passive operation for at least half of the year and very minimal energy consumption during active operation for the other half of the year enables such high overall energy recovery from this product.
The heat exchanger is compatible with large systems or distance. Additionally, optional active control valves and pump controls allow the heat exchanger to provide relatively precise temperature control and defrost capabilities without the need for volume inefficient bypass. This innovation solves some of the HVAC’s industry’s issues such as: allowing for clean air with no cross-air contamination; it is highly-efficient and has high-performance ratings using two-phase heat transfer, and it has added reliability
through redundancy and fluid selection. It also removes the restrictions on hardware placement that current system designers struggle with, therefore also removing the need to trade-off system packaging and energy recovery. This innovation will free up designers to develop new system layouts for better building air distribution and return, as well as allow for the optimization of airflow in their application without having to sacrifice energy efficiency.
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