Space conditioning indoor air typically involves more than just cooling. Occupant comfort requires moisture removal and air exchange with the outdoor air for improved indoor air quality (IAQ). Each of these aspects requires additional air conditioning capacity, resulting in drained condensate water and exhausted indoor air. What if there was a way to reclaim this capacity to improve the efficiency of the mechanical cooling system?

That is the basic idea behind technology from Global Energy Group (GEG) of Odessa, FL. The company calls this patented concept EER+, and it is incorporated in the Inventor Series 1400 packaged unit, to be introduced in September, 2002. The Inventor Series 1400 carries an EER rating of 13.5; and, according to the company, these packaged units have the highest EER ratings as certified by ARI 340/360.

“By combining normally wasted indoor air or utilizing outdoor air across a wetted media, we are able to drop the leaving air temperature to the wetbulb temperature in the first stage of the EER+ efficiency/capacity gain system,” said Thomas Hebert, inventor and vice president of Research and Development.

“The EER+ uses normally wasted condensate water that is usually dumped as its supply source for creating the wetted media. It then works on the subcooling region of the refrigeration cycle to lower the refrigerant temperature, before it goes to the evaporator. This lowers the temperature of the refrigerant and increases the capacity of the system.”

Hebert then noted, “The air is then again evaporatively cooled to lower the temperature of the air going into the final section.

“The EER+ then sends this second stage of the evaporatively cooled air through another heat exchanger that acts to rapidly desuperheat the refrigerant being discharged by the compressor,” he said. “By working with the desuperheating region, the EER+ is able to lower the system head pressure which, in turn, increases the mass flow of the refrigerant and reduces compressor power consumption.”

The result, said Hebert, is lowered head pressure, increased mass flow, and increased compressor efficiency.

GEG said it has been working on such technology as a way to create higher efficiency HVACR equipment.

“Buy a ‘minimum efficiency’ unit and you get ‘upfront savings,’ but you pay higher electricity bills for the life of the unit,” said Hebert. “Go from the minimum standard to the new ‘medium range’ efficiency of 11.0 to 12.0 EER, you add roughly two EER points, and begin to start working toward paying back your investment by lowering your monthly energy expense. Global has created and introduced the Inventor Series, which adds up to another 2 EER points beyond what the industry considered to be ‘high range’ units.”

The EER+ product works with all makes and models of air-cooled cooling and refrigeration units, the company said, thus allowing for cost-effective upgrading in the field, or fast payback when incorporated with new equipment.

The product is certified per ARI 340/360 and ARI 270 standards and has increased both the full- and part-load efficiencies, allowing customers to attain effective paybacks by reducing electric usage.

The Series 1400 incorporates another patent, which the company calls “E-coil” technology, that the company says allows for greater heat transfer in the evaporator coil.

For more information, call GEG at 888-202-4090.

Publication date: 08/05/2002