SPC Heat Pipes FZC have supplied their newly developed Dehumidification and Energy Recovery Ventilators (DERV units) to the Qasr Al Sarab Resort & Spa complex, which is 90 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The 5 star hotel complex consists of individual villas situated around a central hotel block, along with a luxury health spa, conference centre, adjoining excursion and tented villages. The spa, which is being built by the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) is tucked into tranquil courtyards with trickling fountains and aromatic hanging gardens.

Designed by Northpoint (Pty) Ltd whose previous projects include Green Valley Golf and Marina Resort in Mauritius and Portugal’s Lisbon Centre, the new resort is deep within the Liwa Desert made famous by the desert adventurer Wilfred Thesiger, who crossed the desert expanse in the 1940’s.

The villa apartments are of various sizes including 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms with a variety of rooms and suites also available in the hotel block. Such an arrangement provided challenges for the designer in terms of the decentralisation of the ventilation systems. Ventilation air is precluded from being conditioned centrally due to the disparate nature of the complex and hence the individual living spaces must each be served by their own ventilator unit

The project includes the supply of a total of over 200 ventilator units; one for each of the villas and also the rooms and suites within the central block. SPC DERV ventilator units were selected due to their ability to both cool and dehumidify the outside air to a condition suitable for supply direct to the occupied spaces. The DERV units control the entire ventilation system by supplying fresh, outside air at the same time as extracting used, dirty air from the living spaces.

DERV units are designed to be mounted above the false ceiling attached to supply and extract ducting. The rate at which the supply air is introduced and extract air removed is controlled by the DERV unit to ensure balanced ventilation or pressurisation of the space. Control systems incorporated in each of the DERV units allow central control of the ventilators, ensuring that the units only run during occupied periods.

SPC DERV units utilise patented heat pipe technology to provide the most energy efficient means of providing treated outside air directly to living spaces.

Conventional ventilator units are only equipped with heat recovery devices and are only capable of supplying pretreated air at temperatures and humidities outside the comfort zone. As a result, supplying this air directly into the living space will add both sensible and latent load to the air conditioning system.

DERV units not only incorporate heat recovery heat pipes to preserve a portion of the cooling available from the extract air, they also incorporate cooling coils fitted with wraparound heat pipes to provide the cooling and dehumidification required to provide ventilation air at space conditions. The use of wraparound heat pipes, which provide precooling and reheating of the air, reduce the load on the cooling coil and remove the need for electric reheat.

DERV units are available in a range of sizes to suit typical occupancy levels. Units can be wired against a number of available speeds to give the required ventilation and extraction rates. Wiring options are available to allow the DERV units to be designed to suit any control applications and are also available with evaporator coils for direct expansion systems.