High Efficiency Dehumidification System – Additional Proof of Concept
Scot Duncan | Conservant Systems, Inc.
The objective of the project is to build on the previous Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) project successes to move High-Efficiency Dehumidification Systems (HEDS) further into commercialization. Currently, only two HEDS units have been deployed, with further field demonstration in a diversity of applications needed to support broader market adoption. By deploying additional units in conjunction with Utility Energy Service Contract (UESC) projects, market barriers can be addressed and stakeholders educated, supporting technology transfer and commercialization goals. The goal of this phase is to develop and secure UESC demonstration sites for future demonstration testing.
The Conservant Systems HEDS was the recipient of a Department of Defense (DoD) ESTCP grant and the 2016 Department of Energy Federal Energy Management Program “Call for Innovation” Award. The patented HEDS system is a functional design and control strategy that utilizes typically wasted thermal energy inside of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) air handling unit to provide significant energy savings. The ESTCP testing at Fort Bragg, NC and Tinker AFB, OK are showing savings of over 50% for the cooling/dehumidification/reheat process, and precise humidity control through a few, very simple mechanisms. The HEDS units incorporate a much larger, commercially-available copper cooling coil bank than typically specified, a valved piping bridge off of return side of the cooling coil to the cooling recovery coil, a more efficient blow-through fan arrangement designed to prevent moisture cast off to prevent biological growth in other areas of the unit and ductwork, a properly designed double-sloped condensate pan to properly drain water in the unit, and a commercially available HVAC controller with the Conservant Systems logic programmed into the unit, which provides continuous monitoring, predictive maintenance and precise humidity/thermostatic control. These fundamental changes to the typical air handling unit structure lead to highly efficient dehumidification and biological growth elimination through simple thermal recapture, a slower/more efficient air and water flow pattern, proper condensate management and drainage, and continually monitored control points and fault detection. HEDS has been shown in previous ESTCP field tests to reduce chiller plant and boiler plant energy consumption related to the cooling/dehumidification/reheat process by over 50% for hospital type applications and >70% for administrative type cooling loads.
HEDS can provide numerous benefits to DoD facilities, including significantly reduced energy costs, reduced maintenance needs, reduced equipment lifecycle costs, improved indoor air quality, improved thermal comfort, reduced biological growth remediation and quarantine costs, and improved energy system resiliency. HEDS is likely the lowest first cost retrofit option for HVAC systems that need to comply with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers energy guidelines and UFC comfort guidelines.