Multi-stage heat-pipe heat exchanger for improving energy efficiency of the HVAC system in a hospital operating room 1

Oxford University Press (OUP)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Low-Carbon Technologies, 2020, pp. ctaa048
Issue Date:
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Abstract The demands of specific requirements related to thermal comforts, such as temperature, relative humidity, inside air exchange and other factors required in a hospital operating rooms, have necessitated the development of energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and efficient heat-recovery system using a heat-pipe heat exchanger (HPHE). The experiment was conducted by using HPHEs having three, six and nine rows, with four heat pipes in each row, arranged in a staggered configuration with a variation of fresh-air inlet temperature and velocity. The theoretical analysis was conducted using the ε-NTU method for predicting the effectiveness, outlet temperature of the evaporator side and energy recovery of the HPHE. The experimental results indicated that increasing the air-inlet temperature in the evaporator section and the number of rows increased the HPHE effectiveness but increasing the air-inlet velocity reduced the effectiveness. The highest effectiveness of 62.6% was obtained at an air-inlet temperature of 45°C with an air-inlet velocity of 2 m/s and a 9-row HPHE. The energy recovery of the HPHE increased with the number of rows, air-inlet temperature and air velocity in the evaporator section. The ε-NTU method can be used as a comparison method in the analysis of heat-recovery systems that apply HPHE air conditioning systems. Heat pipes that utilize cold-air exhaust from a room in an HVAC system can enhance efficiency and reduce emissions.
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