DESIGN OF A NOVEL HEAT EXCHANGER TEST RIG
Heat exchangers, used in building heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to transfer heat from hot to cold fluids, are designed to operate under ideal conditions. However, in practice operating conditions may vary with ambient temperature or humidity. HVAC system efficiency can be improved significantly if fluid flow rates are adjusted in response to such changes. Armstrong Fluid Technology is a Canadian firm that has developed control systems to adjust the flow through building heat exchangers to maximize their efficiency. This project is being undertaken to develop a heat exchanger test rig and to use it to determine heat exchanger efficiency as a function of fluid temperatures and flow rates. The feedback control system will reduce the energy required for operating an HVAC system by approximately 30% and have a significant impact on Canada's energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions.