The Energy Saving Potential of Membrane-Based Enthalpy Recovery in Vav Systems for Commercial Office Buildings
A design tool to evaluate the heat and mass transfer effectiveness and pressure drop of a membrane-based enthalpy exchanger was developed and then used to optimize the configuration of an enthalpy exchanger for minimum pressure drop and maximum heat recovery effectiveness. Simulation was used in a parametric study to investigate the energy saving potential of the enthalpy recovery system. The case without energy recovery and air side economizer was used as a baseline. Two comparison cases for the implementation of enthalpy recovery with and without air side economizer were simulated in EnergyPlus. A case using a desiccant wheel for energy recovery was also investigated for comparison purposes. The simulation results show significant energy saving benefits from applying a low pressure drop, high effectiveness enthalpy exchanger in two US cities representing a range of humid climates. The sensitivity of the energy savings potential to pressure drop and heat and mass transfer effectivenesses is also presented.