Heat Pipes are essentially a means of transferring high rates of heat across small temperature gradients, and as such may be considered as thermal “super conductors”. They have found use in enhancing dehumidification; heat recovery and improving indoor air quality, making them ideal components for ventilation systems and air handling units (AHUs). SPC have been supplying heat pipe based products to the HVAC industry for the last 30 years.
Refrigerant-based Heat Pipes:
Traditionally, refrigerant-based heat pipes were commonly in use. A refrigerant such as R134A provide a convenient medium for the manufacture of heat pipes and offers significant energy savings.
Water Heat Pipes:
It has long been understood that water-based alternative is a greener solution.
SPC, therefore, undertook a research program in conjunction with Brunel University in London, the UK with the aim of developing a novel manufacturing solution for water-based heat pipes. The outcome is the latest version of SPC heat pipes that are available at commercial prices.
Applications of Heat Pipes
- Dehumidification (Wrap-around type): The ‘wrap-around’ type heat pipe is included in the AHU around the main cooling coil, giving it the ability to remove considerably more moisture, while free reheat is obtained for better IAQ and energy savings. Heat pipes will be delivered to the AHU manufacturer fully factory charged and sealed. Where necessary, dehumidifier heat pipes may be incorporated in the ductwork to and from the AHU. In this incarnation, the heat pipes will be of the straight type.
- Energy recovery (Straight-type): Heat pipes for energy recovery will be of the straight type and included within the AHU or within the supply and extract ductwork. The heat pipes will comprise a supply fin block directly coupled to an extract fin block and the two airstreams shall be arranged to be in counter-flow as they pass through the heat pipe. Heat pipes will be delivered to the AHU manufacturer or contractor fully charged and sealed.
SPC heat pipes are performance tested and certified in line with the requirements of British Standards BS 5141 pt1/European Standards EN 305 & 306 for testing and rating of heat exchangers. Alternative acceptable and equivalent standards are AHRI 410 and AHRI 1060 respectively. All software used to predict the performance of heat pipes shall be based upon the results of these independent tests.