A novel mechanical ventilation heat recovery/heat pump system
The trend towards improving building airtightness to save energy has increased the incidence of poor indoor air quality and associated problems, such as condensation on windows, mould, rot and fungus on window frames. Mechanical ventilation/heat recovery systems, combined with heat pumps, offer a means of significantly improving indoor air quality, as well as providing energy efficient heating and cooling required in buildings. This thesis is concerned with the development of a novel mechanical ventilation heat recovery/heat pump system for the domestic market. Several prototypes have been developed to provide mechanical ventilation with heat recovery. These systems utilise an annular array of revolving heat pipes which simultaneously transfer heat and impel air. The devices, therefore, act as fans as well as heat exchangers. The heat pipes have wire finned extended surfaces to enhance the heat transfer and fan effect. The systems use environmentally friendly refrigerants with no ozone depletion potential and very low global warming potential. A hybrid system was developed which incorporated a heat pump to provide winter heating and summer cooling. Tests were carried out on different prototype designs. The type of tinning, the working fluid charge and the number and geometry of heat pipes was varied. The prototypes provide up to 1000m3/hr airflow, have a maximum static pressure of 220Pa and have heat exchanger efficiencies of up to 65%. At an operating supply rate of 200m3/hr and static pressure 100Pa, the best performing prototype has a heat exchanger efficiency of 53%. The heat pump system used the hydrocarbon isobutane as the refrigerant. Heating COPs of up to 5 were measured. Typically the system can heat air from 0°C to 26°C at 200m3/hr with a whole system COP of 2. The contribution to knowledge from this research work is the development of a novel MVHR system and a novel MVHR heat pump system and the establishment of the performances of these systems.