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FS46 - Examining the performance of a balanced mechanical ventilation with heat recovery system

Written by: CIC Start Online

"Examining the performance of a balanced mechanical ventilation with heat recovery system as an extractor of roof-integrated PV heated air applied to Scottish zero-energy affordable housing" by Glasgow School of Art and Sigma EPD Ltd


Sigma EPD Ltd specialises in the design and installation of balanced mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) systems, and in view of the expertise, the company is currently invited to join an ongoing project that aims to construct Scottish first net zero-energy affordable house in South Ayrshire around March 2012.

To maximise the cost effectiveness, the project lead/owner stresses the multi-functionality of renewable energy technologies as well as the peripheral service equipment including a MVHR system to be installed in the house. The company is expected to identify and supply a ‘reliable’ and ‘suitable’ MVHR system that can serve as an energy saving extractor and circulator of not only preheated indoor air, but also outdoor fresh air heated by roof-integrated PV modules. The PV heated fresh air is expected to supplement indoor space heating during Scottish year-around cool and/or cold days.

To identify and adjust the ‘reliability’ and ‘suitability’ of a MVHR system that can possibly be connected to a 4kWp 14% efficient PV/Thermal air circulating prefabricated roof system being developed by Powerwall Space Frame Systems Ltd. with the support of CIC Start Online, the PV extracted air flow before the mixture of indoor recycled air, as well as the air quality (i.e. CO2 and humidity levels) and the air temperature after the mixture need to be examined thoroughly. Moreover, the control system to remove unwanted summer heat through the MVHR system and the energy consumption derived from the system’s Specific Fan Power (SFP) will also be scoped out.

Accordingly, this feasibility study involves the following research actions:

  • A. Market research on high performance MVHR products with low SFP
  • B. Investigation of roof integrated PV duct connections including the illustration of the assemblies and BIPV performance simulation
  • C. Supervision of a MVHR demonstration system installation
  • D. Installation of the air flow, temperature, humidity, and CO2 level monitoring devices and collection and analysis of the monitoring data
  • E. Development of a final report that documents the overall performance of the installed MVHR demonstration system and the illustration of the assemblies
  • F. Organisation of a final meeting to lead the company to thorough understanding of the project’s outcomes and outputs for further development of business plan

Key words: new building, domestic buildings, MVHR, photovoltaic panels, indoor air quality, post-occupancy evaluation 


Dr Masa Noguchi, The Glasgow School of Art

For Sigma EPD Ltd

The outputs of this study will be disseminated in due course.




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