Heat delivery and recovery

When the envelope is super insulated, very little heat must be delivered to the room to keep it warm - indeed, so little that it no longer makes sense to invest heavily in the heat delivery system. Therefore, a simple, low capital cost solution must be found. In many high-performance housing projects, this is done by heating the ventilation air up to a maximum of 50°C.

Under coldest weather conditions, the challenge is then to ensure that the required volume of air at this maximum temperature supplies the needed heating power. However, there is a second challenge: to ensure that bringing in and heating cold, dry outside air does not decrease the room humidity below acceptable levels.

A third challenge is to make certain that the electricity (considering its high primary energy value) consumed by the fan motors does not defeat the low energy goal. A further energy 'overhead'

Source: FRIAP AG, CH-3063 Ittigen BE, [email protected], www.friap.ch

is defrosting. Condensation from warm, humid room air passing across the surface and separating it from sub-zero incoming ambient air can freeze and block the air passage. A more expensive solution is preheating the ambient air in an earth tube. Another system, recently available for residential applications, is the rotating heat exchanger. It offers the further benefit of moisture recovery from exhaust air to humidify the supply air.

The first generations of residential ventilation and heat delivery systems had problems. Today, proven and optimized-from-experience systems are available on the market. The conclusion is not to reinvent the wheel.

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