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Content archived on 2024-05-14

Solar-assisted natural ventilation with heat pipe heat recovery



The project aims to develop and evaluate a novel heat pipe heat recovery system for use in naturally-ventilated buildings using passive stack ventilation. Solar/wind energy solutions to assist the ventilation flows are also included in the development work. Special attention will be paid to the total energy efficiency of the system together with indoor air quality.

Technical Approach

Natural ventilation is being applied to an increasing number of new buildings across Europe to minimize reliance on mechanical ventilation and so reduce emission of greenhouse gases. However, virtually all passive solar ventilation (PSV) systems are designed and constructed without incorporating heat recovery, leading to wasteful heat loss.

The heat loss can effectively be decreased using heat recovery. However, the heat recovery reduces the stack effect driving the air flows in the ventilation system. To avoid too small air flows and possible indoor air quality problems, some flow assisting solutions must be added to the system. The assistance of flows will be done using solar/wind energy devices.

The project is broken down into four work packages in the following way:
WP1: Design and construction of the heat pipe heat recovery system,
WP2: Design and construction of the ventilation flow assisting and controlling solutions,

WP3: Optimisation of the whole system,

WP4: Testing and evaluating of the system performance.

Expected Achievements and Exploitation

The project is expected to produce a pilot ventilation system having the features mentioned above and monitored results of the performance of the system when installed in a building.

The system developed is of prime interest to ventilation companies, manufacturers of heat pipe recovery systems and solar/wind energy systems. It could be further developed into a new product, which should find a growing market in Europe and beyond, particularly in view of the increasing awareness of energy conservation and utilisation of natural ventilation throughout the world.

Call for proposal

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Helsinki University of Technology
EU contribution
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02150 Espoo

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Total cost
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Participants (3)