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HEALEX – High Efficiency Air Liquid Heat ExchangerAn innovative, new heat exchanger that improves energy efficiency in cooling and ventilation systems

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - HEALEX (HEALEX – High Efficiency Air Liquid Heat ExchangerAn innovative, new heat exchanger that improves energy efficiency in cooling and ventilation systems)

Reporting period: 2017-03-01 to 2017-12-31

What is the problem / issue being address? The issue being addressed in the HEALEX project is the fact that HEALEX can only become a real product if it is capable to withstand the required pressure resistance of the systems it will be installed. Airec is working on that technical issue which has been more difficult than anticipated due to manufacturing issues (aluminum brazing, a new manufacturing technology to Airec). Besides this critical point, Airec is running commercial activities in parallel, setting up pilot projects with key customers. Those pilot projects are being especially handled so that system pressure is low enough to use the current HEALEX prototypes.

Why is it important for society? It is important for society because of the energy savings that can be achieved with HEALEX and because HEALEX is made of 100% aluminum which is easily recyclable. Fin and coils are manufactured with copper tubes and aluminum fins which makes it more complicated to recycle (the different metals need to be separated). The introduction of HEALEX in a large scale will generate economic activity and growth as well as new jobs.

What are the overall objectives? Nowadays the standard technical solution for heat exchange in indirect cooling systems is far from optimal. The efficiency of the heat exchangers being used in such systems is limited by the industry standard based on fin and tube design, which is normally around 60 %. The main reason for such low efficiency with fin and tube design is the limited space for the heat exchanger. HEALEX is a plate heat exchanger that provides a higher efficiency of about 90% in the same space, i.e. a more compact and efficient solution.
By increasing the efficiency of the heat exchanger in an indirect cooling system the temperature at which the refrigerant needs to be cooled down increases by 4-5 deg C which implies up to 35% reduction in electricity consumption compared. Thus, the main goal of the HEALEX project is to replace fin and coil heat exchangers as industry standards in order to provide energy savings for the end user.
For more information on indirect cooling systems and target applications the reader is referred to the H2020 HEALEX grant application where it is described in detail.
The work performed has focused on the technical side, in particular development of a strong enough version of the product is being carried out with more difficulties than anticipated. The manufacturing process of HEALEX is new to Airec and most of the difficulties are encountered there. On the other hand, the commercial actions are showing a positive reaction from potential customers which makes even more important to finalize the development as soon as possible.
HEALEX aims to replace a technology which is extremely mature, fin coils have existed at least for 100 years and even though the advances in manufacturing technology have been enormous the concept remains the same. HEALEX uses a novel design based on plates for heat transfer which allows higher efficiency. The impact resulting from adopting HEALEX at a large scale shall be felt at the environmental (energy savings, CO2 emissions reduction, use of 100% Aluminum components which makes it easier to recycle), economical (replacement of old technology will create job for installers and generate of course jobs at Airec AB and subcontractors for producing HEALEX).