Rotary heat exchanger: operating principle, installation

The concept of heat exchange allowsMinimize the costs of heating and cooling the serviced media. In this case, air flows are considered, the characteristics of which determine the microclimate parameters in private houses, industrial premises, etc. Practically heat exchange is organized by the recuperation system. It acts as a kind of temporary heat accumulator, collecting and giving away its energy. The most commonly used rotary recuperator, which is appreciated for high performance, the possibility of flexible settings and other positive qualities.

rotary recuperator

Recuperator construction

Recuperators are practically not used asindependent equipment. Most often they are introduced into the supply and exhaust ventilation units, in which the function of recuperation is an additional option. The recuperator itself is a metal heat exchanger of the regenerative class. The working base is made up of a cylindrical rotor, the rotation of which leads to the movement of air masses. The rotor is formed by a package of thin plates that accumulate heat. In turn, the supply and exhaust system with a rotary recuperator can be included in a larger engineering network. In simple designs, it acts as a means of air ventilation, and in industrial plants also performs the task of utilizing heat from technological gas media. However, the full range of recuperator functions should be considered separately.

Recuperator functions

installation of rotary recuperator

The main task is to collect heat fordifferent goals. Usually - for the subsequent distribution of thermal energy in new incoming masses of air, and less often - for its extinction. In both cases, energy costs are reduced by using special heat exchange equipment. At the same time, the recuperator remains a ventilation unit, which serves to update the air in the room. Depending on the modification, the rotary recuperator can perform air purification and even aromatization. At least getting rid of unpleasant odors is a common property of such devices. More functional models also allow the regulation of the temperature regime. In this case, the recoil of accumulated energy occurs with certain parameters that can be set manually or automatically - again, this depends on the capabilities of the particular model.

Principle of operation

air handling unit with rotary recuperator

The action of recuperators of this type is based ontransfer of heat from the outflow of air (for example, warmed room) to the cold masses of fresh air. Passing between the rotor plates, the air warms them, and on the other hand new street streams of cold air come in and are heated from the accumulated heat. The volumes of outgoing and incoming air are determined by the size and power potential with which the rotary recuperator operates. The principle of operation of the unit involves the interaction of rotating plates with a drive connected to the mains. Just the presence of the electric drive allows you to fine tune the installation to work with a certain high-speed mode. On average, the rotation speed is 1 rpm.

Varieties of the device

In the standard version, the working mechanismrecuperator is divided into several segments - from 4 to 12. Such models are used to remove excess heat generated as a result of technological operations in enterprises. These are condensing rotors that activate their function when the temperature of the serviced air drops below the "dew point". The features of condensation units include the ability of metal elements to withstand the effects of moisture. Distributed and high-temperature devices designed to work in elevated temperatures. The domestic rotary recuperator is not designed to eliminate excess heat. Such a mechanism is used precisely for its distribution in fresh air flows. However, similar models provide for the possibility of heating regulation.

combined extractor unit with rotary recuperator

Comparison with plate models

In comparison with rotary aggregates, lamellarThe models do not have a drive and perform heat exchange in an autonomous mode. The user can manually change the direction of the storage plates by changing only the capacity of the mechanism. From this we can draw conclusions about the pros and cons of both systems. But first, it's worth mentioning about common advantages. Both rotary and plate heat exchangers have small dimensions and sufficient capacity. This eliminates the need for additional devices, including power tools. If we talk about differences, then the rotor mechanism is more flexible in adjustments, is free from the risk of freezing in winter and energy-efficient. But at the same time it differs by a more complex device and provides for a certain proportion of mixing of waste streams and fresh air.

Installation work

rotary air recuperators

The recuperator is installed in the preparedduct of the supply and ventilation system. The housing must not contact the wall, since vibrations can be transmitted to it, which will negatively affect the supporting structure as a whole. It is also recommended to use a special anti-vibration protection in the form of damper pads for the recuperator. When the support base with legs and profile fasteners is ready, you can proceed with the integration of the enclosure. Typically, the installation of the rotary recuperator is carried out in a special technical unit, calculated by the size of a particular model. Fixing is realized with the help of a complete connecting fittings - in the basic set includes corners, hardware, seals and linings. Further, auxiliary technological circuits can be connected to the rotor. At this stage, the connection is made through fittings, adapters and adapters of the appropriate size.

Recuperator control

rotary heat exchanger principle of operation

The rotary mechanism is rarely controlled separately frommain supply and ventilation system. In the newest designs, the electronic control of the device via the control panel is applied. In the automatic mode, the owner can specify parameters such as the speed of rotation, the percentage of the volume of intake and exhaust air, the degree of cleaning, time intervals, etc. The parameters of the mechanism are monitored by sensors that, in particular, fix the capacity of equipment . Also, an air handling unit with a rotary heat exchanger can be tuned to special operating modes. One of the modern modes of this type is work in conditions of maintaining a constant pressure of the air environment. This program eliminates the risk of overloading the drive with subsequent overheating.

Maintaining the device

The surfaces of the rotor and the body itself requireregular cleaning. The plates are cleaned and, if necessary, additionally treated with anti-corrosive compounds. Also, you should regularly check the direction of rotation of the rotor, and in the drive system - the quality of the belt tension. Since the recuperator works in close conjunction with other functional components of ventilation, it is important to check their condition too. In particular, the filter is subjected to revision, air ducts, dust collectors, valves with sensors, etc. If possible, the rotary recuperator will not be removed from the installation site and completely checked for leaks. The fact is that in the presence of even minor gaps, the quality of the incoming air deteriorates sharply.

rotary plate heat exchanger


The mechanism of air recuperation is the simplestway of warming the room. Cold outdoor air is pre-heated with little or no additional energy. Of course, rotary air recuperators, when connected to a network, consume energy for their function, but it is used as a whole to ensure circulation of the streams. The same example with plate heat exchangers shows how inefficient the operation can be without an electric drive. Also, power supply is required to supply the control infrastructure, which provides operation of the entire supply and ventilation complex. Usually this is the minimum cost, but as a result, they greatly simplify the operation of the equipment.

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