June 27, 2010
Finnish Heat Exchanger Raises Heating Efficiency

Michael Kanellos of GreenTechMedia reports on The development of a small yet highly efficient technology for heat exchange and heat pumping which captures over 90% of waste heat expelled in a home's expelled stale air.

Heat pumps and heat recovery systems will then be able to drop power consumption to 435 watts, Luukkainen said, by pre-heating incoming air to 14 Celsius or more and ejecting air at -17 degrees. In other words, the incoming air only will only require 7 degrees of heating (21 degrees minus 14 degrees), and a good portion of that energy will come from heat absorbed from outgoing air that is 38 degrees cooler (21 degrees minus -17 degrees) than it would be without this sort of heat recovery system.

Luukkainen put one in his own house. When it was minus 28 degrees Celsius outside, the incoming air came in at 22 degrees. He ejected air at minus 22 degrees.

Combined with better insulation the company claims their technology will reduce the energy required to keep a house warm in winter by a full order of magnitude.

Electric powered heat pumps and heat exchangers fit well with Finland's larger energy strategy. The new Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor's construction is nearing completion and, in spite of that reactor going over $2 billion over budget, the Finnish government looks set to approve construction of 2 more nuclear reactors. The Finns are setting themselves up to depend less on Russian natural gas for heating and electric power generation.

Heat pumps and heat exchangers cost more up front. But since they can use electric power so efficiently they pay off in the long term in avoided higher costs for oil or natural gas. Buildings can be powered by a mix of nuclear, wind, and solar electric power. Transportation and the chemicals industry face a much tougher task in breaking away from fossil fuels dependency.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2010 June 27 05:46 PM  Energy Heating


Comments
Lauri said at June 28, 2010 2:34 AM:

Heat pumps with heat recovery systems are nowadays put into almost all new detached houses here in Finland. Though i'm not sure how much of those are being installed on old, existing houses.

The parliament decides on those 2 new nuclear reactors during this and next week.

bbartlog said at June 28, 2010 4:20 PM:

Interesting. I knew that air exchange was an issue that made it futile to just insulate the hell out of houses (at some point people get sick from the stale air), but I didn't know that there was advanced heat exchanger technology for the home to address this problem.

Engineer-Poet said at July 5, 2010 5:16 AM:

The rotating heat exchanger is a neat solution to the frost problem.  I do wonder how humidity is managed, and how hard it is to keep the system from being clogged by dust (especially where water condenses).

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