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Publication numberCA1196825 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberCA 402241
Publication dateNov 19, 1985
Filing dateMay 4, 1982
Priority dateMay 4, 1982
Also published asCA1196825A1
Publication numberCA 1196825 A, CA 1196825A, CA 402241, CA-A-1196825, CA1196825 A, CA1196825A
InventorsJohn C. Hollick
ApplicantJohn C. Hollick
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: CIPO, Espacenet
Method for preheating ventilation air in a building
CA 1196825 A
Abstract
ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE

There is provided a method and apparatus for preheating ventilation air for a building. A solar collector is provided along a south-facing wall of the building, having a bottom entry for outside air, and an upper exit to a fan or other air-moving means. The fan withdraws air from the collector, after it has been heated by the sun's energy and also by picking up some of the heat normally lost through the building wall, and then ejects the air into the building through a duct located preferably at ceiling level.
Claims(8)
What we claim is:
1. A method of preheating ventilation air for a building comprising the steps:
a) providing a vertical, air-heating solar collector surface on a south facing wall of the building, in such a way that heat being lost from the interior through the south-facing wall is available at said surface and can contribute heat to air passing through the solar collector panel means, b) providing glazing spaced outward from said surface, c) passing outside air through the solar collector panel means in a generally vertical direction from a lower inlet, the air passing between said surface and said glazing, and heating the air with a combination of solar heat and the heat being lost from the interior through the south-facing wall, and d) withdrawing the heated air from the solar collector panel means at a location near the top thereof and using air-moving means to expel the heated air into the interior of the building.
2. The method claimed in claim 1, in which the heated air is expelled into an interior space of the building near the top of such interior space.
3. The method claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, which includes the further step of shading the solar collector means from the sun's rays when the sun is higher in the sky, by providing a permanent hood means at the top of the collector means, the hood means overhanging the collector means.
4. Apparatus for preheating ventilation air for a building, comprising: air-heating solar collector means provided on a south-facing wall of the building, the solar collector means including a blackened surface in heat-transfer contact with said wall, and glazing means spaced from said blackened surface, an air inlet along the lower edge of said solar collector means, and an air exit adjacent the top thereof, air-moving means and duct means arranged to allow heated air to be withdrawn from the collector means and expelled into the interior of the building, the air exit communicating with said air-moving means.
5. The apparatus claimed in claim 4, which further includes hood means overhanging said solar collector means and shading the same from the sun's rays when the sun is high in the sky.
6. Apparatus for preheating ventilation air for a building having a south-facing wall, comprising:
a blackening material applied to a portion of said south-facing wall, glazing spaced from the blackened portion to define an air passageway between the glazing and the wall, through which outside air can pass from an inlet at the bottom edge thereof to an exit adjacent the top edge thereof, duct means within and adjacent the top of an interior space of the building, and fan means for withdrawing air from said exit and expelling it into said duct means, the duct means including aperture means through which air can escape from the duct means into said interior space.
7. The apparatus claimed in claim 6, which further includes a hood overhanging the glazing at the top thereof, to shade the same from the sun's rays during late spring and early summer when the sun is higher in the sky.
8. The apparatus claimed in claim 6 or claim 7, in which the duct is made of a flame retardant fabric, and in which the aperture means includes openings in the fabric of the duct.
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

A METHOD FOR PRE~EATING VENTILATION AIR IN A BUILDING

This invention relates generally to a method of controlling the entry of ventilation air to a building, and preheating the air with a combination of solar heat and the natural building heat loss.
BACKGROUND OF THIS JNVENTION

Commercial and industrial buildings require ventilation, and it is common for the natural leakage around doors, wall-ceiling joints, etc. found in standard building construction to allow sufficient ventilation air to enter the building. A pressure drop from the exterior to the interior of the building can arise from many factors, such as high winds, exhaust fans and combustion air for fuel-burning furnaces. This tends to draw outside air into the building through any crack or opening.
The problem with the conventional approach is that the amount of ventilation air is not controlled, and additional heat must be provided to heat the outside air 20 to room temperature during the fall, winter and spring months.
This problem has typically been solved by installing air make-up fans with gas or electric heaters to heat the incoming air. When solar panels are used to 25 heat a building, air is re-circulated from the building through the panels and then back again to the building.
The efficiency of a solar collector is maximized when the temperature of the air entering the collector is the same as the ambient temperature. Under normal winter 30 conditions, the ambient temperature is lower than the room temperature, and therefore a recirculating ~olar collector operates at a much reduced efficienc~ level in wintertime.
GENER~L DESCRIPTION OF THIS INVENTION
. . .
In accordance with this invention, instead of using consumable energy sources like gas or electricity to heat incoming air, and instead of simply recirculating interior air from the building through a solar collector and back to the building, fresh make-up air for ,,~,,~, ~ v 2 ventilation purposes is in-troduced into the interior of -the building after first passing through a solar collector located on a south-facing wall of the building. The solar collector can be either a commercially built solar collector, or a site-built collector consisting of glazing over a darkened wall. The air thus travels through the air space defined in ~he collector and enters the building through a duct system within the interior.
More specifically, this invention provides a method of preheating ventilation air for a building, com-prising the steps:
a) providing a vertical, air-heating solar collector surface on a south facing wall of the building, in such a way that heat being lost from the interior through the south-facing wall is available at said surface and can contribu-te heat to air passing through the solar collector panel means, b) providing glazing spaced outward from said surface, c) passing outside air through the solar collector panel means in a generally vertical direction from a lower inlet, the air passing between said surface and said glazing, and heating the air with a combination of solar heat and the heat being lost from the interior through the south-facing wall, and d) withdrawing the heated air from the solar collector panel means at a location near the top thereof and using air-moving means to expel the heated air into the interior of the building.
~dditionally, this invention provides apparatus for preheating ventilation air for a buildin~, comprising:
air-heat.ing solar collector means provided on a south-facing wall of the building, the solar collector means including a blackened surface in heat-transfer contact with said wall, and glazing means spaced from said blackened surface, an air inlet along the lower edge of said solar collector means, and an air exit adjacent the top thereof, air-moving means and duct means arranged to allow heated air to be withdrawn from the collector means and expelled into the 2a interior of the building, the air exit communicating with said air-movlng means.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
In the drawings:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of a make-up or ventilation air system for a building, constructed in accordance with this invention' and Figure 2 is a graph of a typical collector efficiency - curve.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
Attention is now directed to Figure 1, which shows a partly broken-away perspective view of a system for performing the present invention. A building wall is shown in part at 10 in the figure, this being typically a block construction, or a block-and-brick composite structure. As with all building walls, even those well-insulated, a steady heat loss is experienced through the wall when the outside temperature is below the inside 10 temperature.
The numeral 12 designa-tes a portion of the wall 10 which has been blackened by the application of paint or other suitable solar-collective coating, rendering the portion 12 of the wall 10 highly absorptive in the visible and infra-red region of the spectrum. A
plurality of glazing panels 14, which may be of glass, plastic or other suitable transparent material, is located in spaced relation outwardly from the blackened portion 12 to define a plurality of air passageways 16 between each g]azing panel 14 and the wall 10, the passageways 16 being separated by partitions 18 (one being visible in the Figure) which act to support the glazing panels 14 along their ver-tical edges. The specific support structure between the partitions 18 and the glazing panels 14 does not form a part o~ this invention, and need not be described in detail. The important point is that the passageways 16 have an access at the bottom to allow entry of outside air. If desired, a screen 19 may be provided at the bottom of passageways 16, to prevent entry by birds, insects and the like.
At the top, the passageways 16 defined between the panels 14 and the wall 10 communicate with the interior of a hood unit 20 which is triangular in section and includes a sloping upper wall 22 and a substantially horizontal bottom wall 23. The bottom wall 23 extends from the outer edge 25 of the upper wall 22 to the upper edges o~ the panels 14. Inwardly, the hood unit is secured in air-tight manner against the wall 10 above the blackened portion 12 thereof, and has flanges 27 for this i8~S

purpose. Alternatively, the hood unit 20 could include a vertical inner wall to be placed directly against the wall 10 of the building. End walls 28, of which one is seen in the figure, complete the hood unit 20 and allow it to define a substantially air-tight chamber into which air from the passageways 16 empties.
Communicating with the internal chamber in the hood unit 20 is a fan housing 30 which contains a conventional fan or air-impeller (not visible) and includes motorized dampers 32 which allow air from the interior of the building to be mixed with heated air coming from the hood unit 20.
Communicating with the housing 30 is a fabric air duct 34 which is preferably flame retardant and made Of polyfabric, the duct 34 being suspended by a plurality of duct hangers 36 from a suitably strung support wire or rod 38. The air duct 34 has a plurality of openings 40 through which the heated outside air can pass from the duct 34 into the interior of the building. By appropriately sizing the openings 40, the air can enter the interior of the building as a high-velocity air jet, thus promoting good mixing within the interior of the building, and minimizing stratification.
It will be understood that, by placing blackening material on the portion 12 of the wall lO, i.e. directly in contact with the wall 10, the outside air moving upwardly along the passageways 16 will derive heat not only from the sun's energy, but also from the heat being lost from the interior of the building through the wall 10. This, however, would be the case with any design of solar collector, so long as the wall lO were in heat communication with the collector portion of the solar collector.
It is preferred that the duct 34 be located at ceiling le~rel within the building, for the sake of convenience, however other levels could also be utilized.
The fan within the housing 30 would typically be sized to meet the ventilation requirements and eliminate the negative pressure problem if such exists. ~ positive ~ 3 pressure can be achieved with outside air entering the building through the fan in the housing 30, the air being heated by the solar heat, the building heat loss, and stratified heat found near the ceiling. Air can then leave the building through the cracks and openings where previously air had entered.
It will be noted that the hood unit 20 overhangs the panels 14, and thus a shadow is cast upon the panels 1~ during late spring and early summer, when the sun at mid-day is quite high in the sky. This automatically avoids solar heating of the air during the hotter portion of the year. In any event, with the sun being located high in the sky, and the panels 14 vertical, only a small portion of the sun's radiation would enter the solar collector, even if it could fall upon the panels 14.
Referring to Figure 2, it can be seen that a typical solar collector operates near or at maximum efficiency when the fluid (air) inlet temperature equals the ambient temperature. In a typical solar heating installation, internal air is recirculated, and assuming that the space temperature is 20C while the outside temperature is -10C, there is a difference of 30C. The maximum solar insolation in round numbers is approximately 1000 watts per square meter. The situation just deEined would give .03 on the X scale which, in the case of this collector curve , would yeild an efficiency of 32~. In the present invention, on the contrary, in which the inlet temperature and the ambient temperature are the same, the X scale position is 0, resulting in the maximum efficiency oE 55~.
While one embodiment of this invention has been illustratecl in the accompanying drawing and described hereinabove, those skilled in the art will appreciate that changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the essence of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
EP0340886A2 *Feb 9, 1989Nov 8, 1989John C. HollickApparatus for preheating ventilation air for a building
EP0340886A3 *Feb 9, 1989Mar 14, 1990John C. HollickMethod and apparatus for preheating ventilation air for a building
EP0380349A1Jan 25, 1990Aug 1, 1990Solarwall International LimitedImproved method and apparatus for preheating ventilation air for a building
US4774932 *Mar 1, 1988Oct 4, 1988Hollick John CMethod and apparatus for preheating ventilation air for a building
US4899728 *Jan 27, 1989Feb 13, 1990Solarwall International LimitedMethod and apparatus for preheating ventilation air for a building
US4934338 *Dec 1, 1989Jun 19, 1990Solarwall International LimitedMethod and apparatus for preheating ventilation air for a building
US6912816Sep 30, 2002Jul 5, 2005Futura Solar, LlcStructurally integrated solar collector
US7032588May 14, 2004Apr 25, 2006John HollickMethod and apparatus for preheating ventilation air for a building
US7677243Jan 22, 2007Mar 16, 2010Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.Solar heating system and architectural structure with a solar heating system
US8028483Mar 14, 2008Oct 4, 2011Kingspan Research And Developments LimitedPanel
US8172972Aug 15, 2011May 8, 2012Kingspan Research And Developments LimitedPanel
US20100000520 *Jul 23, 2008Jan 7, 2010Vachon ChristianPerforated transparent glazing for heat recovery and solar air heating
WO2012135962A1 *Apr 5, 2012Oct 11, 2012Cameron Richard MackaySolar air heating device
Classifications
International ClassificationF24D5/00, F24J2/04
Cooperative ClassificationY02E10/44, F24J2/0444, Y02B10/20, F24D5/005
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 19, 2002MKEXExpiry