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The Different Types of Heat Recovery Systems


image: wind cowls provide passive ventilation and heat recovery

With climate change on the rise, finding ways to provide us with energy that is renewable, efficient and kind on the environment is becoming more important by the day. However, heat ventilation systems are there to help, by making sure that we get the most out of our heating systems. They do this by utilising the heat from the stale air extracted from our homes and combining it with fresh air that enters via ventilation systems. Today, we will be having a look at the different types of heat recovery systems available to you.

Thermal Wheel Heat Recovery

Thermal wheels are usually the biggest out of all the ventilation systems. They’re thought to be the most efficient when it comes to air recovery. These systems consist of two big wheels which have a honeycomb arrangement. One half draws out the stale air, whilst the other half draws in outdoor air. Energy that comes from the stale air is passed on to the incoming air, which heats up the fresh air. The speed of the wheel rotation, plus all of the energy that is transferred, can be regulated to increase or decrease the air temperature of air fed back inside the building.

Plate Heat Technology

This type of heat recovery system, that can be provided by companies like BPC Ireland, is more common than its thermal wheel competitor. This is because plate heat technology can be utilised on a lesser scale. It is made up of a box that has a range of parallel plates that have been made from plastic or metal, and this allows extracted air to pass the air coming into the building. The passing air transfers energy and heats it up. The plates separate the air stream and don’t touch. How conductive and thick the individual plates are, are key factors in how efficient any system is.

Heat Pumps

Heat pumps harness heat from one area and pass it to another. The way they operate is similar to that of a refrigeration unit. Heat pumps can be used to heat or cool air. There is an array of different types available. They all draw in heat from the air outdoors as well as the ground, which requires a network of pipes.

Closed Loop Technology

Air handling systems can have a run around coil introduced to them. A circuit of pumped pipes connects the two coils together. To charge the unit, water is used and the supply air coil has heat transferred to it from the heat picked up from the exhaust pipes. This type of heat recovery system is only used if the two air systems aren’t near enough to each other for a more efficient system.

Heat Pipe Technology

This kind of technology requires the least maintenance, but can only be used when air handling is done in an individual system. A tube system with a refrigerant (that extracts heat from exhaust air to pass on to the fresh air), is used. Evaporation from vertical pipes is used, due to them being more efficient compared to horizontal pipes.

As you can see, there are a variety of heat ventilation systems available. The one that works best for your home will be dependent on a number of factors. Making sure you do your research before you purchase a system is essential, so it would be wise to contact a professional and possibly get a few quotes.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Tom Chance