Energy Recovery in HVAC

Huey Liew

By Huey Liew

A friend asked me to help peer-review a gas-fired boilers system for a swimming pool water heating project. My very first question was “Why would you do that?”

Back in the days in KL, we coupled our chillers to heat pumps for simultaneous cooling and heating needs. Cooling for space air-conditioning and rejected heat from the chillers, is supplied to heat pumps to generate hot water use in the kitchens, laundries and swimming pools. And chilled water by-product from the heat pumps is returned to the chilled water circuit!

energy recovery in HVAC systems

Why wouldn’t you, if you can double the overall COP of the system? The payback is +/- five years, this is a simple rate of return of ~20%. In perspective, what other investment will return ~20% annually?

It makes sense to invest in energy efficiency, it makes even more sense to have the right engineer to make sure that designs are aligned to the first priority of the ENERGY HIERARCHY … its top three priorities being LEAN, KEEN and GREEN!

“Being sustainable and responsible for our climate conditions is not merely about plonking on more solar panels on roofs or wind power. It’s not about hypes. It’s not about lip services. It’s not about deprivation.”

It is understanding the ENERGY HIERARCHY, then doing the right thing to drive the best outcome for the challenges we face ahead.

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