Commercial Ventilation

Heat Recovery

Commercial ventilation systems play a key role to maintain healthy and comfortable indoor air quality (IAQ) in almost all buildings. At the heart of the system, you have an air handling unit and a heat exchanger for heat and energy recovery.

Commercial Ventilation and Heat Recovery

Adequate indoor air quality involves many factors, including heating or cooling, depending on the local situation and climate, humidity control, and filtration of pollutants. Health issues, such as breathing problems, can arise from air contaminated with dust, pollen, or other contaminants. A poor indoor climate can also result in damages to the buildings. The indoor air quality is equally important for residential as for commercial buildings such as shopping centers, schools, and offices.

Ventilation systems play a key role in maintaining a healthy and comfortable indoor air quality (IAQ) in almost all buildings. The challenge is to reach a comfortable IAQ with as little energy input as possible. This means, pressure drop should be low (less fan power is needed) and the thermal/humidity efficiency high (less energy for heating/cooling and humidity control is consumed).

At the center of a ventilation system is the air handling unit (AHU). As a minimum, an AHU includes one or several fans in each air channel to move the air through the unit. Filters, on either side, remove dust, pollen, etc. and protect the fans. And finally, a heat exchanger to transfer the required heat or humidity at the same time as avoiding contamination of the clean airflow.

Depending on the geographical region, the primary purpose of the heat exchanger shift between heating or cooling (and maybe also dehumidifying) the outdoor air before it enters the building.

Implementing an air-to-air heat exchanger is an excellent way to utilize what is normally considered waste energy.

An air-to-air heat exchanger will utilize the temperature difference between the supply and exhaust air to increase the overall system efficiency and both recover the waste energy and save a considerable amount of energy usage.

Air-to-Air Heat Exchangers
There are two types of air-to-air heat exchangers, rotary and plate heat exchangers. Which one is selected depends on a set of parameters. Both types are made of aluminum, which has excellent properties such as efficient heat transfer capabilities and an extraordinarily long life span. 

Heatex offers numerous design variables and options for each product, enabling perfect fit and performance in every AHU.

Recommended Products & Options
plate heat exchanger
Heatex Model H and H2

Plate heat exchangers enable heat transfer and humidity control by condensation and have less leakage than a rotary heat exchanger.

Typical options in commercial ventilation applications for crossflow heat exchangers include:

  • Damper
  • Bypass
  • Different profiles for customized installation
  • Air leakage test and test report
  • 2 -step configuration for top efficiency

Depending on ambient factors, maybe also:

  • Silicone sealing for higher temperature applications
  • Epoxy coated plates for higher corrosion resistance
  • Painted framework for higher corrosion resistance
  • Closed plate cutting edges for higher corrosion resistance (relevant for epoxy material)

For commercial ventilation applications, we usually recommend Heatex Model H2 but feel free to compare all our cross flow heat exchangers.

rotary heat exchangers
Heatex Model E and EQ

Rotary heat exchangers enable humidity transfer and generally provide slightly higher efficiency than a plate heat exchanger.

Typical options in commercial ventilation applications for rotary heat exchangers include:

  • Various materials for humidity transfer (molecular sieve, silica gel and hybrid (Enthalpy))
  • Horizontal installation
  • Special sealing for minimal air leakage
  • Power belt for high reliability, easy maintenance and adjustment
  • Various motor options. E.g. a constant motor for simplicity or a step drive motor with frequency control and Modbus for flexibility
  • Purge sector to reduce cross-contamination
  • Epoxy coated wheel and painted framework for higher corrosion resistance

For commercial ventilation applications, we usually recommend Heatex Model E but feel free to compare all our rotary heat exchangers.

9-11-Memorial New York
9/11 Memorial, New York

The National September 11 Memorial uses Heatex crossflow heat exchangers for energy recovery.

Lotte Tower Seoul
Lotte World Tower, Seoul

Lotte world tower uses Heatex rotary heat exchangers for ventilation.


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