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Airxchange Segments - Spring 2017


Case Study:

Boston Music Venue Cures their ERV Maintenance Blues

With help from celebrity investors like Dan Aykroyd and Aerosmith, House of Blues has been an iconic franchise name in live music since 1992. The popular Boston location that opened in 2009 next to Fenway Park is a prime spot for concerts and private events. A packed schedule that leaves little downtime for repair of the club’s HVAC equipment means that reliability and ease of maintenance are extremely important factors when making purchasing decisions.

In 2016, energy recovery wheels in two rooftop air-handlers became blocked after six years of exposure to airborne particulates. Although efforts were made to unclog the damaged wheels, cleaning in place was not an option due to concerns that water and cleaning fluids could damage the ductwork and ceilings below. Without working energy recovery wheels, the heating and cooling systems were forced to work overtime, at increased cost, to provide a comfortable indoor environment for the 2000 plus concert goers. The building’s service contractor, Cullen Mechanical, determined that the wheels were beyond repair and needed to be replaced.

Cullen’s engineers knew from past experience that simply replacing the wheels without finding a solution to the cleaning problem would invite the same undesirable maintenance situation. At House of Blues, airborne particles from the large crowds and special effects, such as smoke and confetti, would continue to clog the new wheels if the energy transfer matrix could not be periodically maintained. . . .

Click here to read full case study . . .

HVAC Trends: 

Thermal Effectiveness vs. Pressure Drop

When energy recovery wheels first gained traction as a common option, the primary specification factor for selecting a wheel was high thermal effectiveness - the higher the better.

The ability of an energy recovery wheel to achieve higher thermal effectiveness within a given wheel diameter is generally achieved by increasing the air pressure drop.

Today, current trends have been to select lower air pressure drop wheels in order to save on energy costs of operating the wheel. As a result, Airxchange has developed three energy transfer matrix designs that can achieve EITHER high thermal effectiveness, low air pressure drop, or even something in between. All of the designs are segmented and can be interchanged in our common wheel diameters to produce common results.

HX SEGMENTS create the highest enthalpy recovery effectiveness of any wheel for its depth. Airxchange HX Segments can achieve up to 85% total effectiveness, higher in many cases than competitive wheels that are 5-10 inches thicker. To achieve our industry leading enthalpy performance the air pressure drop will be similar to thicker aluminum wheels.

FX SEGMENTS achieve the highest flow volume at the lowest possible air pressure drop. In some climates it is more desirable to utilize a lower air pressure drop design at lower total enthalpy effectiveness in order to achieve higher overall system efficiency. Selecting FX segments
allows system designs to achieve the highest possible RER ratings.

OPTI SEGMENTS address the need for higher enthalpy recovery while still maintaining lower air pressure drop. For most climates, OPTI segments allow designers to achieve over 70% effectiveness while still getting higher flow rates at air pressure drops of less than 1.25 in.wg.

Take a look at this technical note for more details.

Did You Know?

The internal surface area of a teaspoon of silica gel desiccant is equal to that of an entire football field - including the end zone!

With that much surface area - and therefore adsorption capacity - it's no surprise that silica gel has the ideal properties to maximize the transfer effectiveness of energy recovery wheels.

And because Airxchange permanently bonds the desiccant, the wheel can be vigorously cleaned without washing off the desiccant. This means factory level performance for the life of the product.

Take a look at this technical note for more details.

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