A Novel Way to Preheat HRV Air

Thorsten Chlupp's passive solar home in Fairbanks

CCHRC is working with Fairbanks builder Thorsten Chlupp to research a novel ventilation system that could improve energy efficiency in homes across Alaska. The project looks at a new HRV and ground loop-based air preheating system. CCHRC is researching whether the design could address a common complaint against HRVs: that they are unable to warm incoming air fully to room temperature and allow cold drafts indoors. The HRV under study is a three-stage system that uses a glycol ground loop to preheat incoming air before it reaches the air-to-air heat exchanger.

CCHRC will be monitoring the performance of the HRV using BTU and flow meters, humidity and temperature sensors, and electric-use sensors. The data will help answer the following questions:

A temperature and humidity sensor connected to an air duct of the HRV.

1)  How effective is a ground loop for preheating the air?

2)  How does the ground loop affect the ground temperature?

3)   How much electricity does the HRV system use compared to a traditional HRV?

4)  What is the temperature of the air entering the conditioned space?

A technical report will be created that documents project methods, instrumentation, results, and findings.