ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 has brought a new, major focus on improved requirements for equipment efficiency and expanded use of energy recovery technology (ERV). 

Incorporating ERV technology, such as an energy recovery wheel can help buildings not only meet, but exceed Standard 90.1-2013 requirements. Wheels from companies like Airxchange, based in Rockland, MA, can help boost HVAC performance by up to 40% while also reducing carbon pollution and energy costs. 

When the time comes to replace or install energy recovery wheels (ERVs) in commercial HVAC units, facility managers, building owners and engineers are inundated with installation challenges including limited access areas, bulky components and complex assemblies.

To eliminate these barriers and facilitate a successful, hassle-free installation, Airxchange offers a line of energy recovery wheels designed specifically for field installation.

Field assembled kits are easily handled by two people and fit through all standard doorways and stairwells. The convenient, transportable design avoids the need for special access openings and eliminates excess material handling and installation costs. Airxchange provides same-day assembly, installation and testing of each energy recovery wheel.

“Many times the original equipment manufacturer is no longer in business which presents an extra hoop for facility managers to jump through,” says Airxchange Vice President and General Manager Randall Steele. “We encourage facility managers to take advantage of our direct replacement wheel service the next time their HVAC unit requires a new wheel. It’s available for units of all sizes and is backed by Airxchange’s standard 5-year warranty.”

All field assembly kits are tested at the factory before shipment, guaranteeing the wheels will perform as designed. The Airxchange segmented energy recovery wheel design offers ease of installation, maintenance and performance benefits that other ERV wheels simply can't offer, says Airxchange.

Standard 90.1 2013 Brings New Mandates

ASHRAE Standard 90.1 2013 is now in effect. It affects a wide variety of building energy categories, including energy recovery. Many old wheels will need to be replaced, and, once in place, new wheels need to be mainained for peak efficiency.

"Even in some zones such as zones 7-8, the very cold climates, you can go down to 2500 CFM and as little as 30% outside air or greater, which is about 750 CFM outside air," Steele explained, in an interview with ContractingBusiness.com. "Standard 90.1 2013 certainly covers a lot more building stock. It’s a great time for contractors to start to become more aware of it."

"Airxchange’s technology is used in many OEM products," adds Steve Pargeter, vice president of product engineering for Airxchange, who then described the product's unique construction.

"The thing that’s unique about Airxchange, is that our heat exchanger is based on a polymer. Essentially, it’s series of fairly tightly wrapped, closely spaced polymer strips that give you a parallel plate-type of heat exchanger. That means you have a heat exchanger that’s very light, very narrow, easy to package, and you don’t need a very heavy structure to hold it.

Pargeter says the lightweight construction is an important differentiator from other wheels.

"We can segment our sectors or our media, and have removable pieces which can be removed without tools. The can be removed from the structure of the wheel to be cleaned, maintained, replaced if damaged. We find that in aggressive applications, where you might have contamination, such as machine shops or casinos, smoking parlors. You can remove the sections, replace them or wash them and restore them to original factory specs."