Novel heat recovery systems for building applications

Ahmad, Mardiana Idayu (2011) Novel heat recovery systems for building applications. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The work presented in this thesis will explore the development of novel heat recovery systems coupled with low carbon technologies, and its integration to become one device with multifunction (building integrated heat recovery/cooling/air dehumidifier. In the first part of this thesis, an experimental performance of an individual heat recovery unit using Micro Heat and Mass Cycle Core (MHM3C) made of fibre papers with cross flow arrangement has been carried out. The unit was tested in an environmental control chamber to investigate the effects of various parameters on the performance of heat/energy recovery unit. The results showed that as the airflow rate and temperature change increase, the efficiency decreases whilst recovered energy increases. Integrating heat recovery system in energy-efficient system represents significant progress for building applications. As part of the research, the integration of heat recovery using a cross-flow fixed-plate with wind-catcher and cellulose fibre papers of evaporative cooling units have allowed part of the energy to be recovered with the efficiency of heat recovery unit ranged from 50 to 70%, cooling efficiency ranged from 31 to 54%.

In another case, the integration of heat recovery system with building part so called building integrated heat recovery (BIHR) was explored using polycarbonate plate with counter-flow arrangement. It introduces a new approach to MVHR system, an established technology that uses a modified insulation panel, linking the inside and outside of a building, to recover heat while extracting waste air and supplying fresh air. In this configuration it is not only acts a heat recovery, but also as a contribution to building thermal insulation. From the experiments conducted, it was found that through an energy balance on the structure, the efficiency of BIHR prototype was found to be 50 to 61.1 % depending on the airflow rate. This efficiency increases to the highest value of 83.3% in a full-scale measurement on a real building in Ashford, Kent as the area of heat transfer surface increases. The increasing of heat surface area again proved a better performance in terms of efficiency as the results on another full scale measurement on a real house in Hastings, Sussex showed to be 86.2 to 91.7%. With the aiming to have a high performance system, a new improvement design of BIHR' corrugated polycarbonate channels with four airstreams has significant advantages over the previous prototype BIHR with two airstreams. The recovered heat is increased by more than 50%.

With the issue of thermal comfort in hot region area and problems with conventional air conditioning system, a study of BIHR system with fibre wick structure for different hot (summer) air conditions using different working fluids was carried out. For the first case, water was used to give a direct evaporative cooling effect which is suitable to evaluate the system performance under hot and dry climatic conditions and the second case, potassium formate (HCOOK) solution was used as liquid desiccant for dehumidification under hot and humid climate conditions. By supplying the water over the fibre wick structure, with a constant airflow rate of 0.0157m3/s, the efficiency increased with increasing intake air temperature. The efficiency ranged from 20 to 42.4% corresponding to the minimum and maximum of intake air temperature of 25°C and 38.2°C, respectively. With the variation of airflow rate, the efficiency of the system was found to be 53.2 to 60%. In second case, the HCOOK solution with concentration of 68.6% has been selected as the desiccant and for a defined airflow rate of 0.0157m3/s, heat recovery efficiency of about 54%, a lower desiccant temperature of 20°C, with higher intake air temperature and relative humidity produces a better dehumidification performance with a good moisture absorption capacity. Therefore, this system is expected to be used efficiently in hot and humid regions.

The research is novel in the following ways:

• The development of multifunction device in one system; building integrated, heat recovery, cooling, desiccant dehumidification.

• The design and development of BIHR is an advanced technology of building thermal insulation and heat recovery. The novel BIHR -fibre wick cooling/dehumidification system has the potential to compete with conventional air conditioning systems under conditions involving high temperature and high moisture load.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Gillott, M.
Riffat, S.B.
Keywords: Heat recovery, Integrated heat recovery systems
Subjects: T Technology > TH Building construction > TH7005 Heating and ventilation. Air conditioning
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Built Environment
Item ID: 13852
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2013 09:35
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 16:16

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