Provide a better Indoor Environment with Energy Efficient Ventilation

The HVAC community plays a vital role in providing healthful indoor environments in which to live, learn, work, and play. With half of all illnesses attributable to indoor airborne contaminants, the EPA has declared indoor air quality a public health priority. Outdoor air ventilation is the only strategy that can simultaneously reduce the levels of all indoor pollutants. This strategy, in general accordance with the Dilution Principle, is illustrated in the dilution curve below.

 

Each doubling of the outdoor ventilation rate results in a 50% reduction in the concentration of all constant source indoor air pollutants evenly mixed within the space. At 1.0 ACH, pollutant concentrations are reduced by a factor of 5. National, state and local codes mandate minimum outdoor air ventilation rates based on ASHRAE Standard 62, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. The challenge for building owners and design engineers is how to meet or exceed minimum outdoor air exchange rates without compromising indoor comfort and operating costs.

Why Energy Recovery Ventilation:

ERV technology recycles energy already expended to heat, cool, humidify or dehumidify the indoor space. Instead of exhausting the energy to the outdoors, it is temporarily captured on the surfaces of heat exchanger and then released to pre-heat, pre-cool, humidify or dehumidify the incoming air. Energy recovery wheels do this with exceptional efficiency and are the leading technology for achieving energy conservation while ventilating for health and comfort.

Airxchange Technology - Sustainable by Design

Airxchange has changed the energy recovery ventilation market through a new and unique approach to design and manufacture of heat wheels. New materials, patented designs and innovative manufacturing techniques respond to the challenge, making energy recovery ventilation practical for all sizes and types of HVAC systems.

  • Serviceability
    Airxchange designs provide added advantage in the field. For service, nothing could be simpler than the slide out cassette, giving easy access to all components which may require maintenance. Serviceability and cleanability are important considerations for the HVAC industry. The Airxchange cassette anticipates these needs.
  • Desiccant Coating
    Patented desiccant wheels are coated using a proprietary process which embeds the silica gel in the surfaces of the polymer substrate. After repeated washings over years of operation, the Airxchange desiccant remains in place doing its job.
  • Patented Segments
    Airxchange wheels larger than 25″ in diameter are made with removable, pie shaped, energy transfer segments. Easy to handle, washable segments are removable without the use of tools. If the energy transfer matrix ever does need replacing, the segmented wheel construction allows it to be accomplished in minutes in the course of a simple service call.
  • Materials and Durability
    All materials are selected for durability; the stainless steel welded wheel construction and patented polymer matrix offer unique resistance to corrosion. No special coatings are required in marine environments, seacoast locations or swimming pool application.
  • Time Tested
    Most important, Airxchange energy recovery ventilation components and features are not theoretical products with theoretical benefits. They have been tested in over 35 years of product development, in independent industry certification programs for safety and performance and by our customers. Airxchange components are proven energy recovery ventilation technology that deliver time tested performance.

Recycle Building Energy with Airxchange Energy Recovery Wheels

Building codes require outdoor air ventilation to control building indoor air quality. The outdoor air can represent up to 50% or more of the total HVAC building load.  An energy recovery wheel recycles energy from the normally exhausted building air to pre-condition incoming ventilation air. By recycling 70 – 80% of the total energy contained in the exhaust air, energy recovery wheels lower total HVAC energy usage.

Energy recovery wheels offer a highly efficient alternative to condition the outdoor air as compared to a typical vapor compression system (roof-top DX system). Combining the two technologies can increase your total system efficiency up to 40%.

Shifting the outdoor air ventilation load to the Airxchange energy recovery wheel reduces energy demand on traditional HVAC equipment, allowing for smaller HVAC equipment and lower operating costs.

“We have realized a 10 to 15% reduction in our total building energy usage while maintaining the indoor air quality that we need for our customers and associates. With this new technology, the cooling that is normally wasted, is now captured and transferred back into the building.” – Thomas Goetz, Director of Technical Operations, Dillard Store Services, Inc.

 

Financial Benefits of Using an Airxchange Energy Recovery Wheel

Airxchange wheels provide a hedge against rising energy costs and offer risk free financial returns that are superior to alternative capital investments.

An HVAC system incorporating Airxchange wheels provides a more energy efficient building with compelling financial returns. The reduced cost of a smaller HVAC system offsets the added Airxchange wheel cost. In addition, this more efficient system provides ongoing operating savings. The chart below demonstrates how the installed cost can be lower for a system with a wheel, versus one without, resulting in an immediate financial benefit.

Financial returns vary based on climate since the wheel saves more energy in warmer and cooler climates. The implication of this characteristic is clear: warmer or cooler climates provide greater financial returns.

Location, Hours x Days Cooling Capacity Saved (tons)  Heating Capacity Saved (MBH)ERV Net Capital Expenditure ERV Yearly Savings Payback
Miami, FL – 12×531.5 215-$22,968$7,946Instant
 Houston, TX – 12×5 31.5 419 -$22,968 $7,959 Instant
 Phoenix, AZ – 12×5 23.5 329 -$7,071 $5,976 Instant
 Memphis, TN – 12×5 34.2 542 -$28,302 $9,232 Instant
El Paso, TX – 12×5 16.0 489$8,033 $7,024 1.14
 San Francisco, CA – 12×5 5.6 289 $2,8896 $1,903 15.18
 Baltimore, MD – 12×5 26.3 593-$1,2673 $9,852 Instant
 Albuquerque, NM – 12×5 12.4 500$15,157 $8,677 1.75
 Salem, OR – 12×5 11.7 500 $16,538 $5,778 2.86
 Chicago, IL – 12×5 23.9 730 -$7,701 $11,222 Instant
 Boise, ID – 12×5 14.1 658 $11,897 $9,658 1.23
 Burlington, VT – 12×5 16.7 790 $6,531 $12,0610.54
 Helena, MT – 12×5 10.1 828 $19,809 $11,917 1.66
Duluth, MN – 12×5 6.3871 $27,327 $13,914 1.96
 Fairbanks, AK – 12×5 5.31,067 $29,364 $19,808 1.48

Net capital expenditure includes the cost of the Airxchange wheel system minus the savings due to smaller HVAC system.
 
Cities are representative cities according to Department of Energy Climate Zones ERV net capital expenditure and savings based on AIRX Estimator for DX Systems. 

Assumptions Used for this analysis:

Outside Air (CFM) 10000
ERV install cost per CFM $4.00
Unit install cost per ton $2,000.00
EER of HVAC 10
Electric rate ($ per kWh) $0.08 
Demand Charge per KW $8.00 
Gas rate ($ per therm) $1.00 

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