Custom Energy Recovery Design with SEMCO Wheels

  • Friday, June 24, 2016

    semco-uwc-wheel-school-rsesEn route to providing an HVAC retrofit solution for four Union County Tennessee schools, engineers and contractors have designed a state-of-the-art unit ventilator that might revolutionize future educational facility retrofits nationwide. What might be the first of its kind, Union County Public Schools (UCPS) is using a combination variable-refrigerant flow (VRF) and an outdoor air energy-recovery wheel compactly packaged in what appears externally as a conventional 36 (H) x 104 (L) x 30 (D)-in. fan-coil-style hydronic unit ventilator commonly used in classrooms for decades.


    The design's second generation progressed to energy recovery when Guignard and Yeager worked with SEMCO to custom-build a universal (aluminum) wheel cassette (UWC) featuring a 21-in. diameter x 3 3/4-in. deep wheel using molecular sieve desiccant material. The horizontally mounted UWC-21 wheel reduced the peak cooling capacity by 1 1/2 tons per unit for a total project reduction of 37.5 tons vs. a VRF-only unit and increases efficiency by approximately 15%. Adding the enthalpy wheel helped the retrofit easily surpass the requirements for the ASHRAE 90.1 Standard “Energy Standard for Buildings–Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.”  Read the full article.