Air movement specialist Fläkt Woods believes its Recooler HP with recovery wheel is a timely piece of equipment. Andrew Gaved hears why
We all know that ‘integration’ is the watchword amongst the owners and operators of buildings. In these times of rising energy costs and carbon ratings, the ability to specify heating and cooling in the same package is becoming something of a motivator.
Enter Fläkt Woods, which with its Recooler HP believes it has a packaged cooling, heating and ventilation system that is properly integrated, rather than the two technologies pulled together ito form a system.
The manufacturer notes unapologetically that this is at the higher end of the complexity spectrum, incorporating both a heat pump and a heat recovery wheel, but believes the host of benefits under the bonnet make the operating savings worth the premium – and it has been designed to be easy to install.
Recooler HP is designed to be an integral component within the Fläkt Woods range of air handling units.
Built around a DC inverter scroll compressor, the unit claims a COP (Coefficient of Performance) of up to 6.5, as well a fully controllable output from 10 per cent to 100 per cent.
This, the manufacturer says, enables the air handling unit to deliver the exact temperature required and ‘to offer occupant comfort levels more effectively than traditional fixed speed systems’. In addition, the inverter drive allows the unit to work at part load, ensuring a balance between reliability and efficient heating and cooling, Fläkt adds
The recovery wheel within the Recooler HP enables Fläkt to claim maximum energy recovery, with efficiencies over 83 per cent. With the capability to operate at lower temperatures and still recover energy in winter mode, the unit ensures reduced heat loss during colder weather and less maintenance for defrosting.
“Recooler HP has been designed to seamlessly integrate with an air handling unit, allowing installation on site, without the need for groundwork or additional preparation,” explains David Black, technical sales engineer at Fläkt Woods, Crucially, we wanted to design a compact ‘all in one’ product that ensures quick and simple installation, as well as high efficiencies that will ultimately reduce end user energy bills.
One of the keys to the success of the product, Fläkt believes, is the ability to install it, as a ‘plug and play’.
“With Recooler HP, there is no requirement to install any pipework, which means the unit is quickly ready to operate once the electrical connections have been made. In addition, noise and energy consumption is further reduced as there is no need for an outdoor condenser fan.”
A further advantage is that by installing it as part of an air handling system, the ReCooler can provide cooling and heating without requiring either a chiller or heat source.
As the company boasts: “A traditional installation would include a condensing unit or a chiller. Both of those solutions require many hours of preparation and construction work on site.
Often a refrigeration specialist would be required, alongside many suppliers with differing responsibilities [and prorities] and more [potential] sources of failure are introduced.
With the ReCooler, all that can be avoided.”
The manufacturer also believes that its adaptive control protocol will play well amongst the commercial building clients. this uses intuitive software to maintain the ideal operating map.
The controls govern two expansion valves for control of cooling and heating modes and of refrigerant charge.
But unarguably the heart of the innovation is the ReCooler’s recovery wheel, AKA the sorption rotary heat exchanger.
During the summer, the SEMCO rotor recovers both sensible and latent energy, minimising mechanical cooling, whereas during winter, the rotor provides heat and humidity recovery.
Where additional heat is required, the ReCooler’s built-in heat pump – a unique design feature, Fläkt claims – kicks in. The design of the wheel ensures that it is not subject to freezing like other rotors, the company claims.
The Recooler HP is available in seven sizes with nominal cooling capacities from 35 kW to 175 kW and nominal heating capacity from 21 kW to 57 kW.