The performance of an HVAC system's air-to-air energy recovery exchanger is defined primarily by the exchanger's effectiveness and pressure drop. The effectiveness is dependent on several parameters such as the supply and exhaust mass flow rates and the energy transfer characteristics of the device. Because of this combination, performance data must be established for each individual type of device.
Discusses the use of a regenerative air-to-air rotary heat exchanger (thermal wheel) for heat recovery in residential ventilation systems. Describes a small rotary heat exchanger designed to handle low air flow rates typical of residential houses. The heat exchanger is constructed of a light-weight honeycomb structure made of aluminium foil sheets. Laboratory tests of the heat exchanger showed a high sensible heat recovery effectiveness of the order of 85% with acceptable levels of pressure drop and cross leakage. Cost saving analysis showed significant savings even at today's energy cost.