Today we finished the final stage of what was a complete design, supply, install and commissioning of a Zehnder ComfoAir Q600 Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) system – that also features cooling air-conditioning.
Although we’ve commissioned many Zehnder and PAUL MVHR units in the past, this was the first time we have designed a system with active cooling to deal with potential summer overheating here in the UK.
Here’s a snapshot of the 3D detailed ductwork design:
The ComfoCool unit sits right on top of the MVHR unit, so it’s very easy to integrate into an MVHR system. The supply ducts have to be wrapped in foil-backed insulation to preserve the “coolth” that the unit is providing to the supply air on hot days.
The MVHR and the cooling unit are linked by a simple communications cable:
The cooling unit will kick in automatically when the main unit detects that the internal temperature of the home has reached 25Deg C or above. It does this by measuring the extract temperature.
The Q600 unit also has variable summer bypass, so on warm days it can vary how much heat it recovers back into the home and how much it exhausts outside. This is important on spring and autumn days when it’s very sunny (so lots of internal solar gains) but the air is still very cold.
Using an integrated unit such as a Zehnder ComfoCool is a better alternative to air conditioning. It won’t provide that immediate high volume blast of cold air that air conditioning units provide, but it will provide constant background cooling on the warmest days, which is much more comfortable than a noisy AC unit blasting out cold air.
Cooling through ventilation
We’re really pleased at Enhabit that we’ve completed our first MVHR system with integrated cooling technology. As the UK weather moves generally warmer, these cooling options are going to become more and more important in the future.
If you have a building project and you’d like to know more about how you can integrate cooling into your ventilation strategy, please feel free to contact me or write a comment below.