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Title:
ROTATING HEAT EXCHANGER WITH IMPROVED HEAT TRANSFER EFFICIENCY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/072843
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to heat transfer assembly, for a rotary regenerative heat exchanger (1) comprising a rotor (2) arranged between at least two separated fluid flow passages (14/15 and 16/17 respectively) passing flow axially through the rotor (2), each flow passage connected to a sector part (27 and 28respectively) of the rotor (2), a plurality of channels (20) in said rotor for flowing a fluid through said rotor, each of said channels (20) enclosed by heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces in said rotor, wherein said heat transfer and heat accumulating surfacesof said channels (20) are made in a material (24A/24B, 25), providing an average axial thermal conductivity less than 100 W/mK, preferably less than 50, and more preferred less than 10, arranged to reduce the Longitudinal Heat Conductivity (LHC) of said rotor (2).

Inventors:
BIÖRKLUND, Staffan (Ingersbyn Nordgården 1, GUNNARSKOG, 670 35, SE)
HALFVARDSSON, Anneli (Risviken Högen, TÖCKSFORS, 670 10, SE)
LIU, Peng (Vegamot 1, Voll Studentby H107, 7049 Trondheim, 7049, NO)
Application Number:
EP2018/077469
Publication Date:
April 18, 2019
Filing Date:
October 09, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FLEXIT SVERIGE AB (Källhultsvängen 5 B, TÖCKSFORS, 670 10, SE)
International Classes:
F28F21/06; F28D19/04; F28F13/08; F28F13/14; F28F21/08
Foreign References:
US20170198981A12017-07-13
US4200441A1980-04-29
US5771707A1998-06-30
US3183963A1965-05-18
US6892795B12005-05-17
US6179276B12001-01-30
US4769053A1988-09-06
US4200441A1980-04-29
US4035172A1977-07-12
US20120255702A12012-10-11
DE2414663A11974-11-14
US5771707A1998-06-30
US5937933A1999-08-17
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HYNELL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AB (Box 138, HAGFORS, 683 23, SE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A heat transfer assembly, for a rotary regenerative heat exchanger (1) comprising a rotor (2) arranged between at least two separated fluid flow passages (14/15 and 16/17 respectively) passing flow ax tally through the rotor (2), each flow passage connected to a sector part (27 and 28 respectively) of the rotor (2),

a plurality of channels (20) in said rotor for flowing a fluid through said rotor, each of said channels (20) having a cross sectional area in the range 0,005-0, 1 cm2 and enclosed by heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces in said rotor, characterized in that, said heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces of said channels (20) being made in a material (24, 25, 26), providing an average axial thermal conductivity less than 1 00 W/mK, preferably less than 50, and more preferred less than 10. arranged to reduce the Longitudinal Heat Conductiv ity ( LHC ) of said rotor (2).

2. A heat transfer assembly according to claim 1 , characterized in that said material (24, 25 ) at least partly, preferably totally, includes a material having a thermal conductivity less than 30 W/mK, preferably less than 15. and more preferred less than 10.

3. A heat transfer assembly according to claim 1 , characterized in that said material at least in part include heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces in the form of at least one high conductiv ity sheet (240) with a thermal conductiv ity abov e 10 W/mK, including at least one, preferably a plurality of, circumferentially extending hindering sub area/s (29, 242 ) with low thermal conductivity thus reducing the Longitudinal Heat Conductiv ity ( LUC ).

4. A heat transfer assembly according to claim 3, characterized in that a plurality of successiv e circumferentially extending, ax tally apart, hindering sub areas (29, 242 ) are arranged in the axial direction of the rotor. 5. A heat transfer assembly according to claim 3 or 4. characterized in that said circumferentially extending hindering sub areas (29, 242) is in the form of at least one, preferably a plurality of, slit/s (242 ) in said high conductivity sheet ( 240). which slit/s (242) has/have a thermal conductivity less than 5 W/mK. 6. A heat transfer assembly according to claim 5, characterized in that each slit (242) has a length (1) that substantial ly exceeds the width (W) of the slit ( 242 ), wherein preferably said sub areas has a length (1) in the circumferential direction that is a fraction of the circumference (C) of the rotor (2), preferably 5 L< C, and further wherein preferably the total axial length (L) of the rotor (2) substantially exceeds the axial width (W) of said slits (242). 7. A heat transfer assembly according to claim 5 or 6, characterized in that said high conductivity sheet (240) is prov ided with slits (242) of low thermal conductivity, forming multiple circiimferentially oriented parallel strips (243) of solid material separated by said slits (242) of low thermal conductivity in the rotor (2). 8. A heat transfer assembly according to claim 5, characterized in the slits (242) in a first circiimferentially extending hindering sub area are arranged offset to neighboring slits (242) in a successive circiimferentially extending, axially apart, neighboring hindering sub area. 9. A heat transfer assembly according to claim 3 or 4, characterized in that said circumferentially extending hindering sub areas (29) is in the form of a at least one isolating gap (29) dividing said rotor (2) into at least two axial rotor members (21 , 22) said isolating gap (29) have an average axial thermal conductivity less than 10 W/mK, preferably less than 5 W/mK, and wherein preferably the at least one axial rotor member (2 1 , 22 ) being made in a material (24A/24B, 25), providing an average axial thermal conductivity less than 100 W/mK, preferably less than 50, and more preferred less than 10.

10. A heat transfer assembly according to any preceding claim, characterized in that said channels (20) are arranged in foils (24/25), wherein each foil (24/25) comprises at least one formed layer (24) and at least one flat layer (25) and wherein each channel (20) is defined by the cross-sectional enclosure formed between a formed subpart of t he formed layer (24) and two neighboring attachment lines of at least one flat layer (25), wherein said subpart preferably is at least partly curved.

1 1 . A heat transfer assembly according to any preceding claim, characterized in that said channels (20) have hexagonal or circular cross-sectional shape, wherein preferably said rotor (2) is made by stacking or extruding a plurality of channel members (26). 12. A heat transfer assembly according to any preceding claim, characterized in that the rotor (2) is made by winding foil material (24/25) to a cylindric rotor.

13. A heat transfer assembly according to any preceding claim, characterized in that said heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces of said channels (20) hav e a shape and character prov iding a Nusselt number (NU) above 2, preferably abov e 3, wherein more preferred the Nusselt number is at least 3 when lambda is below 1 5. 14. A method for heat transfer by means of a rotary regenerative heat exchanger (1), comprising the steps of providing;

- a rotor (2) arranged between at least two separated fluid flow passages (14/15 and 16/17 respectiv ely) passing flow axial I y through the rotor (2), each flow passage connected to a sector part (27 and 28 respectiv ely) of the rotor (2),

- a plural ity of channels (20) in said rotor for flowing a fluid through said rotor (2), each of said channels (20) hav ing a cross sectional area in the range 0,005-0, 1 cm2 and enclosed by heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces in said rotor, characterized by providing said heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces of said channels (20) in a material ( 24, 25, 26), providing an average axial thermal conductiv ity less than 1 00 W/mK, preferably less than 50, and more preferred less than 10, arranged to reduce the Longitudinal Heat Conductivity (LHC) of said rotor (2).

1 5. A method according to claim 14, wherein further said material (24A/24B, 25 ) at least in part includes heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces in the form of at least one high conductivity sheet (240) with a thermal conductiv ity above 1 0 W/mK, including circumferentially extending hindering sub areas (29, 242 ) with low thermal conductivity thus reducing the Longitudinal Heat Conductivity ( LHC ) and

circumferentially extending hindering sub areas (29, 242), preferably in the form of a at least on, more preferred a plurality of, slit/s (242 ) in said high conduct iv ity sheet (240), which slits (242 ) have a thermal conductivity less than 5 W/mK.

AMENDED CLAIMS

received by the International Bureau on 01 . February 2019 (01 .02.2019)

CLAIMS

1. A heat transfer assembly, for a rotary regenerative heat exchanger (1) comprising a rotor (2) arranged between at least two separated fluid flow passages (14/15 and 16/17 respectively) passing flow axially through the rotor (2), each flow passage connected to a sector part (27 and 28 respectively) of the rotor (2),

a plurality of channels (20) in said rotor for flowing a fluid through said rotor, each of said channels (20) having a cross sectional area in the range 0,005-0,1 cm2 and enclosed by heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces forming a plurality of individual channels (20) in said rotor, characterized in that,

said heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces of said channels (20) being made in a material (24, 25, 26), providing an average axial thermal conductivity less than 100 W/mK, preferably less than 50, and more preferred less than 10, arranged to reduce the Longitudinal Heat Conductivity (LHC) of said rotor (2), 2. A heat transfer assembly according to claim 1 , characterized in that said material (24, 25) at least partly, preferably totally, includes a material having a thermal conductivity less than 30 W/mK, preferably less than 15, and more preferred less than 10. 3. A heat transfer assembly according to claim 1 , characterized in that said material at least in part include heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces in the form of at least one high conductivity sheet (240) with a thermal conductivity above 10 W/mK, including at least one, preferably a plurality of, circumferentially extending hindering sub area/s (29, 242) with low thermal conductivity thus reducing the Longitudinal Heat Conductivity (LHC).

4. A heat transfer assembly according to claim 3, characterized in that a plurality of successive circumferentially extending, axially apart, hindering sub areas (29, 242) are arranged in the axial direction of the rotor.

5. A beat transfer assembly according to claim 3 or 4, characterized in that said circumferentially extending hindering sub areas (29, 242) is in the form of at least one, preferably a plurality of, slit/s (242) in said high conductivity sheet (240), which slit/s (242) has/have a thermal conductivity less than 5 W/mK.

6. A heat transfer assembly according to claim 5, characterized in that each slit (242) has a length (1) that substantially exceeds the width (W) of the slit (242), wherein preferably said sub areas has a length (1) in the circumferential direction that is a fraction of the circumference (C) of the rotor (2), preferably 5 L< C, and further wherein preferably the total axial length (L) of the rotor (2) substantially exceeds the axial width (W) of said slits (242).

7. A heat transfer assembly according to claim 5 or 6, characterized in that said high conductivity sheet (240) is provided with slits (242) of low thermal conductivity, forming multiple cucumferentially oriented parallel strips (243) of solid material separated by said slits (242) of low thermal conductivity in the rotor (2).

8. A heat transfer assembly according to claim 5, characterized in the slits (242) in a first circumferentially extending hindering sub area are arranged offset to neighboring slits (242) in a successive circumferentially extending, axially apart, neighboring hindering sub area.

9. A heat transfer assembly according to claim 3 or 4, characterized in that said circumferentially extending hindering sub areas (29) is in the form of a at least one isolating gap (29) dividing said rotor (2) into at least two axial rotor members (21, 22) said isolating gap (29) have an average axial thermal conductivity less than 10 W/mK, preferably less than 5 W/mK, and wherein preferably the at least one axial rotor member (21, 22) being made in a material (24A/24B, 25), providing an average axial thermal conductivity less than 100 W/mK, preferably less than 50, and more preferred less than 10. 10. A heat transfer assembly according to any preceding claim, characterized in that said channels (20) are arranged in foils (24/25), wherein each foil (24/25) comprises at least one formed layer (24) and at least one flat layer (25) and wherein each channel (20) is defined by the cross-sectional enclosure formed between a fomied subpart of the formed layer (24) and two neighboring attachment lines of at least one flat layer (25), wherein said subpart preferably is at least partly curved .

11, A heat transfer assembly according to any preceding claim, characterized in that said channels (20) have hexagonal or circular cross-Sectional shape, wherein preferably said rotor (2) is made by stacking or extruding a plurality of channel members (26),

12. A heat transfer assembly according to any preceding claim, characterized in that the rotor (2) is made by winding foil material (24/25) to a cylindric rotor.

13. A heat transfer assembly according to any preceding claim, characterized in that said heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces of said channels (20) have a shape and character providing a Nusselt number (NU) above 2, preferably above 3, wherein more preferred the Nusselt number is at least 3 when lambda is below 15.

14. A mediod for heat transfer by means of a rotary regenerative heat exchanger (1), comprising the steps of providing;

- a rotor (2) arranged between at least two separated fluid flow passages (14/15 and 16/17 respectively) passing flow axially through the rotor (2), each flow passage connected to a sector part (27 and 28 respectively) of the rotor (2),

- a plurality of channels (20) in said rotor for flowing a fluid through said rotor (2), each of said channels (20) having a cross sectional area in the range 0,005-0,1 cm2 and enclosed by heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces forming a plurality of individual channels (20) in said rotor, characterized by providing said heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces of said channels (20) in a material (24, 25, 26), providing an average axial thermal conductivity less than 100 W/inK, preferably less than 50, and more preferred less than 10, an'anged to reduce the Longitudinal Heat Conductivity [LUC) of said rotor (2). 15. A method according to claim 14, wherein further said material (24A/24B, 25) at least in part includes heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces in the form of at least one high conductivity sheet (240) with a thermal conductivity above 10 W/mK, including circumferentially extending hindering sub areas (29, 242) with low thermal conductivity thus reducing the Longitudinal Heat Conductivity (LHC) and circumferentially extending hindering sub areas (29, 242), preferably in the form of a at least on, more preferred a plurality of, slit/s (242) in said high conductivity sheet (240), which slits (242) have a thermal conductivity less than 5 W/mK.

Description:
ROTATING HEAT EXCHANGER WITH IMPROVED HEAT TRANSFER EFFICIENCY

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a rotary heat exchanger and ways to improve the heat transfer efficiency between the used air and the fresh air passing through the rotary heat exchanger.

PRIOR ART

Rotary heat exchangers has been used since decades in climate systems where old air is ventilated off and replaced with fresh outdoor air. The rotatory heat exchanger is connected such that about 50% of the rotor body is exposed to flow of old air (extract air) and the other 50% of the rotor body is exposed to flow of fresh (outdoor air) air. Heat caught in the rotor in one half is transferred to the other flow by rotation of the rotor body.

The main approaches used when trying to improve heat transfer capacity involves manufacturing of heat exchanging rotor bodies with a multiple of narrow channels, where the channels may have elements or protrusions that cause turbulence in the narrow channels. Disturbing the stationary layer over a heat transfer surface improves heat transfer from the passing air flow stream to the heat transfer surface.

In US6892795 is disclosed on such solution where the narrow channels are made by winding strips of high molecular weight polymer provided with a first set of primary embossments with a length corresponding to the length of the rotor, and with secondary shorter embossments arranged in rows between the first embossments.

In US6179276 is shown another example where a number of V-shaped ribs are formed in the heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces orthogonally to flow direction in order to generate turbulence in the flow direction over the heat transfer surface.

Several proposals on how to produce these narrow channels by winding corrugated foils into a rotor has been presented.

US4769053 disclose such a winding method, where the foil may be a metal foil in aluminum or stainless-steel material, but also foils may be produced in kraft paper, nylon fiber paper, mineral fiber paper, asbestos, and plastic.

US4200441 disclose another winding method where the foil is made from corrugated strips, where the heat exchange is improved by an open communication between channels in neighboring layers, resulting in undesired leakage. Other solutions for improved heat exchange use different materials in order to optimize either heat transfer of latent heat or heat transfer of sensible heat, or both in the same rotor. The latent heat is stored as moisture, and the heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces in such latent heat storage are often hygroscopic, while the sensible heat is strict ly absorbed by conduct iv ity in the heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces. US40351712 discloses a rotor hav ing very smal l channels, i.e. less than 0.005 cm ' , wherein a thin hygroscopic surface layer. 1 to 10 microns, is arranged to prov ide a desired humidity transfer and to serve as a bonding agent for holding together the rotor. US2012255702 discloses a sensible heat exchanging rotor hav ing a lighter weight than the conv ent ional one, by means of using polymer material for the heat storage medium and suggests molding a rotor hav ing very large channels, i.e. larger than 0,2 cm 2 . A similar design is also known from DE2414663.

In US5771707 is disclosed a heat exchange rotor with one rotor with a first axial rotor part having an air-to-air water vapor transfer rotor part, i.e.. latent heat recov ery, and a second axial rotor part for air-to-air heat transfer rotor part, i.e. sensible heat recov ery. In US5937933 is disclosed another embodiment with different latent heat and sensible heat recovery heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces, and in this case with exchangeable sector segments of the rotor. Energy conservation is of outmost concern in the design of air v entilat ion systems. There is an endless need to reduce energy losses in v entilat ion systems further. When operating v ent ilat ion systems in winter climate, v ent ing off old hotter air and replacing this air v olume w ith often colder fresh ambient air. and with heat exchange between these air flows could heat ing needs be reduced considerably. When operating v entilat ion systems in summer cl imate, v enting off old chilled air and replacing this air v olume with often warmer fresh ambient air. and w ith heat exchange between these air flows could cool ing needs be reduced considerably.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is related to a surprising finding that the heat transfer efficiency in a rotating heat exchanger may be improv ed considerably if the Longitudinal Heat Conductiv ity (abbrev iated by LUC in fol lowing parts) in the heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces of the rotor is reduced. By LUC is meant the heat conductivity in the direct ion of air flow ov er the heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces.

Tests indicate that the surprising finding, related to the limited heat transfer in the axial direction of the heat absorbing material as such, relates to that once heat has been transferred from air flow to first exposed areas of heat absorbing material, heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces are enabled to maintain higher heat absorption capacity.

In following parts are referred to heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces made in a heat absorbent material with a low thermal conductiv ity, i.e. preferably less than 1 0 W/mK ' ' that advantageously may be used to achieve the object of the inv ention. Further, preferably the surfaces of the channels have no or very low hygroscopic capacity, e.g. prov iding a moist absorption or adsorption of less than 1%. Accordingly, preferably there are used materials with low thermal conductivity, such as polymers (prov iding thermal conductivity less than 1 W/mK ), to achieve LHC reduction. Typical values for some construction polymers are;

• Polyethylene (PET): Thermal conduct iv ity in the range 0.33-0.5 1 W/mK

• Polyester: Thermal conductivity of about 0.05 W/mK

• Rubber and neoprene: Thermal conduct ivity in the range 0.05-0. 16 W/mK · Polyamidc ( PA ): Thermal conduct iv ity in the range 0.24-0.28 W/mK

• Cellulose Acetate (CA): Thermal conductivity in the range 0.16-0.36 W/mK

• Polycarbonate ( PC ): Thermal conductiv ity in the range 0.19-0.22 W/mK

• Polyethylene (LDPE/HDPE): Thermal conductivity in the range 0.33-0.52

W/mK

· Polypropylene (PP): Thermal conductivity in the range 0. 1 -0.22 W/mK

• Polystyrene (PS); Thermal conduct iv ity about 0. 1 7 W/mK.

• An alternativ e low thermal conduct iv ity material may be air or v oid volumes, that has a thermal conduct iv ity in the range 0.0243-0.03 14 W/mK in the temperature range 0- 1 00 C.

Above values of heat conductivity may be compared with the conventionally used materials in heat exchangers with high thermal conductivity, such as:

• Aluminum : Thermal conduct iv ity about 204 W/mK. (roughly 1000 times better conductiv ity than polymers abov e) This reduction in LHC may be obtained in a number of ways, such as;

1 . The exposed heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces of the rotor areas are made of materials having low heat conductivity, as explained above;

2. The rotor may be axially divided into at least two axial rotor sections separated by an insulator layer that reduces axial thermal conductivity, e.g. axial rotor sections with high thermal conductivity separated by one or more insulating intermediate part/s made in a material having low thermal conductivity and/or separated by one or more insulating air gap/s that reduces axial thermal conductivity;

3. The rotor may be axially divided into at least two axial rotor sections in

combination with 1 or 2 above.

4. The heat transfer and heat accumulating layers in a foil with relatively high

thermal conductivity used to wind a rotor may include a plurality of

circumferentially extending hindering sub areas with low thermal conductivity, that hinder LHC, wherein said sub areas has a length 1 (see Fig. 21) in the circumferential direction that is a fraction of the circumference C of the rotor (preferably 5 L< C ), and wherein 1 preferably substantially exceeds the axial width W of said sub areas; preferably at least MOW, more preferred at least 1>50W. Preferably the sub areas are applied in several axial positions, more preferred such that a first sub area extends circumferentially in an overlapping manner in regard to a neighboring circumferentially extending sub area, further reducing LHC in the heat storing layers.

Furthermore, efficiency may be improved by also using cross-sectionals forms of the channels of the rotor that improve heat transfer from the air to the heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces, which surprisingly has been found to be especially advantageous when using materials with low thermal conductivity, e.g. the entire rotor matrix can be made from channels with a hexagonal shape, preferably in combination with the use of a thermoformable polymer that may facilitate cost-efficient production;

According to one aspect the invention in general terms relates to a heat transfer assembly for a rotary regenerative heat exchanger comprising:

• a rotor arranged between at least two separated fluid flow passages passing flow axially through the rotor, each flow passage connected to a sector part of the rotor.

• a plurality of channels in said rotor for the flow of fluid through said channels, each of said channels enclosed by heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces in said rotor;

• the heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces in the axial direction of the rotor being at least in part made in a material, providing an average axial thermal conductivity less than 100 W/mK, preferably less than 50, and more preferred less than 10, thus reducing the Longitudinal Heat Conductivity (LHC), wherein the average axial thermal conductivity may be obtained by dividing the rotor into a plurality (n) of axial heat paths (x,y) hav ing different axial thermal conductivity and summing up the total thermal conductivity of al l heat paths and dividing the total thermal conductivity by the number of heat paths.

• the heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces are (at least in part) made in a heat absorbent material with a high thermal conduct iv it y. i.e. above 1 0 W/mK or ev en abov e 100 W/mK, wherein said heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces w ith high thermal conductiv ity is arranged with hindering sub areas hav ing a low thermal conductiv ity, thereby l imiting LHC in the axial extension.

The object of the invention may be achiev ed by using a material of the heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces that has thermal conductivity less than 100 W/mK, preferably less than 50, and more preferred less than 10.

In a preferred embodiment of this latter approach a solution may be seen as

corresponding to an increase of at least 50% of the total length of the average of all heat flow paths to move axially from one axial end of the rotor to the other end of the rotor compared to a rotor w ithout any hindering sub areas in the axial direction. Hence, in the broadest sense may the heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces of the channels be made in one single type of material with low thermal conduct ivity less than 100 W/mK, e.g. in polymer material and/or in any high thermal conductiv ity material, abov e 100W/mK, wherein w ith hindering sub areas reduces the axial thermal conduct ivity.

The inventive heat transfer assembly have local areas of the heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces in the axial direction of the rotor with a low thermal conduct iv ity, wherein each local area has a w idth W (see Fig. 21) that covers less than 5% of the total axial length L of the rotor, and wherein each local area is preceded or followed in the axial direction with heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces with a high thermal conductivity. Smal l narrow slits of low thermal conduct iv ity, such as air gaps of polymer fil led slits, effectively prevents 1.1 iC in the rotor. In one embodiment, the inv ent ion may comprise a plurality of rotor sections, wherein at least the heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces of one sect ion may hav e a high thermal conductivity that is cont inuous over the circumference of the rotor section but w ith an axial length being a fract ion of the total axial length of the rotor. A gap with low thermal conductivity is located after said sect ion and with an axial length being a fraction of said section reducing the LHC in the rotor. The rotor may thus in the simplest form be made in two ident ical axial rotor sect ions with same high thermal conductiv ity, and w ith an insulat ing gap between these axial rotor sections. By using this concept further, the inventive rotor may have several successive layers of heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces with high and low thermal conductivity arranged in the axial direction of the rotor. In a preferred embodiment, the rotor is made only in a heat absorbent material with a low thermal conduct ivity. That the temperature efficiency is increased by using low thermal conductivity in rotor is somewhat surprising. It has surprisingly been seen that the temperature efficiency of the rotor significantly may exceed that of an aluminum rotor, e.g. by producing the rotor by means of tubular pipes pressed together and arranged to extend axialiy in said rotor wherein tubular pipes are made in a material with low thermal conduct ivity, e.g. a thermal polymer Especially good results may be obtained if the tubular pipes have a cyl indric. hexagonal or square cross section, since the polymer prov ides low LHC and the near round cross-sectional forms provide high heat transfer, thanks to large effect ive area.

In yet an alternative embodiment of the inventive concept with reduced LHC the rotor may be made by winding foil material to a cylindrical rotor. This enable usage of establ ished winding techniques for making the rotor. The foil material may include a heat storing layer of foil with high thermal conductivity prov ided with slits of low thermal conductiv ity, forming mult iple circumferent ially oriented strips of heat storing material separated by slits of low thermal conductivity in the rotor. In one embodiment of these wound rotors may the length of the axialiy neighboring slits have a length that is only a fraction of the circumference of the later formed rotor. In such embodiment are bridges formed between the strips with high thermal conductivity, increasing the structural integrity of the foil during winding of the rotor.

In a further embodiment may also the foil material include at least one flat base layer prov iding low LHC and a corrugated top layer of high LHC, e.g. aluminum, since it may prov ide a, cost-efficient, i.e. reducing manufacturing costs. The corrugated top layer may have a sinus form, a triangular form, a square form or a rectangular corrugation form or even circular form or close to circular form.

The concept with reduced LHC in the heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces may be modified in several ways beyond the embodiment disclosed in attached figures that are described in more detail below. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES

In the following the invention will be described in more detail with reference to the enclosed schematic drawings, wherein;

Figure 1 ; Shows a perspective view of heat transfer assembly for a rotary

regenerative heat exchanger;

Figure 2; Shows a face view of a rotor with two sector parts (as seen from the right in figure 1);

Figure 3; Shows the temperature efficiency of a rotor with aluminum heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces;

Figure 4; Shows the temperature efficiency of a rotor without LUC compared to with LHC in both calculated and after verifying tests;

Figure 5; Show s the temperature efficiency of an aluminum rotor with or w ithout

LHC as a function of wail thickness in the heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces;

Figure 6; Show s a perspective view of a principle embodiment to obtain reduced

LHC with a first axial rotor section in aluminum and a second axial rotor sect ion in aluminum and with an insulat ing layer therebetween;

Figure 7; Shows the improved temperature efficiency of the embodiment show n in figure 6;

Figure 8; Show s the temperature efficiency w hen using different profiles and

materials for the channels in the rotor as well as a two-stage axial division of the rotor;

Figure 9; Shows the principle build-up when winding a foil to form a rotor;

Figure 10; Shows the principal build-up of layers to form channels in the rotor, using a sinus shaped foil;

Figure 1 OA; Shows an alternative build-up of channels in the rotor using a circular shaped foil;

Figure 1 1 ; Shows an alternativ e build-up of channels in the rotor using a square

shaped foil;

Figure 12; Shows an alternative build-up of channels in the rotor with triangular channels;

Figure 13; Show an alternat iv e build-up of channels in the rotor with rectangular channels;

Figure 14; Shows a build-up of channels in the rotor w ith hexagonal channel;

Figure 1 5; Shows a build-up of channels in the rotor with circular channel elements;

Figure 16; Shows a build-up of channels in the rotor with square channel elements; Figure 17; Shows a build-up of channels in the rotor with triangular channel elements Figure 18; Shows a principal build-up of an embodiment of a foil member used when winding a rotor from said foil;

Figure 19; Shows an embodiment of the invent ion with reduced LUC in the foil member;

Figure 20; Shows an alternative embodiment of the invention with reduced LHC in the foil member;

Figure 21 ; Shows in detail a heat storing layer in the foil according to an embodiment of the invention with reduced LHC in the foil member;

Figure 22; Shows an alternative of the heat storing layer;

Figures 23 and 23 A; Show other alternatives of the heat storing layer.

EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

In figure 1 there is shown a heat transfer assembly 1 for a rotary regenerat ive heat exchanger. This assembly includes a housing 10 and a support frame 1 1 , supporting a rotor 2 arranged between at least two separated fluid flow passages 14/15, 16/17. The two fluid flow passages 14/15, 16/17 comprise an inflow 14/15 having incoming fresh air, outdoor air 14 passing the rotor 2 and leaving the rotor 2 as conditioned air, supply air 15, and an outflow 16/17 having outgoing air, extract air 16 passing the rotor 2 for heat exchange and finally leaving as expelled air, exhaust air 17.

The rotor 2 is normally driven at a continuous rotational speed of about 5 -20 rpm. The drive may be a motor 12 driv ing a belt 1 9 arranged around the rotor 2. The two flows 14/15, 16/17, pass counter currently through the rotor 2. Each flow passage 14/15, 16/17 passes each one of a sector part 27 and 28 respectiv ely of the rotor 2, separated by a partition wall 13, separating the two flows in dedicated air ducts (not shown per se). The rotor 2 is built up by a plurality of channels 20 in said rotor 2 for flow of a fluid (e.g air) through said channels 20. In the inflow sector 28 the air passes into the condit ioned space v ia inflow channels 20A. In the outflow sector 27 the air passes out from the condit ioned space v ia outflow channels 20B, as shown by the partly cut through part of the rotor 2 in fig 1 .

Each of said channels 20 are enclosed by heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces in said rotor 2. Each channel may hav e a cross sectional area in the range 0,01 -0, 1 cm 2 , or even as low as 0,005 cm 2 , which establish a very large total area of the heat absorbent surface in the rotor 2. As may be seen in figure 2 substantially the whole circular area of the rotor 2 comprises channels 20A and 20B. divided into the tw o sectors 27, 28, by the partition wall 13. An inflow sector 27 (upper half) with a large number of inflow channels 2 OA and an outflow sector 28 ( lower ha if) with a large number of outflow channels 20A, 20 B, wherein the flow of fresh air may flow in the upper sector 27 and the flow of air to be evacuated may flow in the lower sector 28 through the rotor 2.

Assuming that the rotary heat exchanger 1 is operated in cold winter climate, hot.

smelly and moist extract air 16 at room temperature (about 20° C) is vent ilated through the lower sector 28, v ia outlet channels 20 B as seen in figure 1 , and outdoor air 14 at ambient cold temperature (about + 10 to -20°C) is fed into the upper sector 27 via inlet channels 20A, as seen in figure 1. This means that the heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces of the rotor 2 in the lower sector 28 are heated by the passing air flow 16/17, and the heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces of the rotor 2 in the upper sector 27 are chilled down by the passing air flow 14. As the rotor 2 rotates the heated channels 20 B will pass into the upper sector 27 and obtain the cold air 14, to leave as a supply air 15. The chilled channels 20 A of the rotor 2 will then pass into the lower sector to be fil led with the hot extract air 16 heating the heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces of the channels 20B. That heat will then be transferred to cold extract air 16 when a heated channel 20 A is exposed in the inlet sector 27. This will result in heated inflow of supply air 1 5 and reduction of the air temperature of the extract air 16 to be vented off, w hich saves energy for heat ing the incoming outdoor air 14. Now, assuming that the rotary heat exchanger is operated in hot summer climate, moist extract air 1 6 at chilled room temperature (about 20 C) is ventilated through the lower sector 28 as seen in figure 1 , and outdoor air 14 at ambient hot temperature (about + 22 to +35°C) is fed into the upper sector part 27 as seen in figure 1. This means that the heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces of the rotor 2 in the lower sector 28 are chilled down by the passing air flow. As the rotor 2 rotates this will result in a lowering of the temperature of the supply air 1 5 of fresh ambient air, which reduces energy consumption for air condit ioning systems, maintaining the condit ioned space at appropriate low temperature. As shown in Fig. 2 the rotor 2 rotates the channels 20 past different subsequent posit ions A-C in the inflow sector 27. First posit ion A, then to a second mid posit ion B and finally posit ion C. The channels 20 and the heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces during the travel from position A to C successively assumes the temperature of the outdoor air 14 in the upper section 27. Accordingly, at posit ion A there will be a large difference ΔΑ between the temperature T 14 of the outdoor air 14 and the temperature T \ of the heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces of the inflow channels 20A, whereas there will be a small (or no) difference AC between the temperature T 14 of the outdoor air 14 and the temperature Tc. In a similar manner, as the rotor 2 rotates the outflow channels 20 B will first come to posit ion D of the outflow section 28, then to a mid-position E and finally reach end position F, the channels and the heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces successively will assume the temperature of the extract air 1 6 into the lower section 28.

In figures 3-5 are shown the effects from LHC versus non LHC, that is the very basis for this inv ention. In figure 3 is shown the typical temperature efficiency η in a rotor with aluminum heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces, wherein the temperatures refer to what is shown in Fig. 1 , e.g. tn refers to the temperature of incoming outdoor air 14.

Il (%)= (tl5-tl4) / (tl6-tl4)

The upper curve b) shows the theoretical temperature efficiency (n) without LHC. The lower curve a) shows the temperature efficiency (η) with LHC. The peak efficiency c is obtained at face area velocity of about 1 ,2 m/s. This show the considerable loss in temperature efficiency when using heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces in aluminum with large Longitudinal Heat Conduction, i.e. LHC. In figure 4 is instead shown the temperature efficiency that could be obtained without LHC (the upper curv e with plotted squares). This upper curve should be compared with the calculated temperature efficiency with LHC (the curv e with plotted non-filled circles), which latter heat efficiency with LHC has been verified in tests (the curve with plotted filled triangles). I f no LHC could be implemented, then an efficiency increase of about 25% (70>95%) may be obtained.

In figure 5 is the temperature efficiency of an aluminum rotor w ith or without LHC as a funct ion of wall thickness in the heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces. Assuming now that the aluminum with its high thermal conductiv ity could be made such that this thermal conductiv ity is kept in the orthogonal direction of the by-passing flow of air but may be given a low thermal conductivity in the direction of the axial flow of air. Then the upper curve shows the high and steady temperature efficiency that could be obtained if such aluminum rotor has no LHC. And this high efficiency is kept at increasing wall thickness of the heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces. The lower curve on the other hand show how the temperature efficiency declines almost proportional to wall thickness if the typical LHC in aluminum is at hand.

In figure 6 is shown a first basic embodiment of a rotor designed with the intent ion to decrease LHC. The rotor is div ided into a first axial rotor section 21 and a second axial rotor section 22, both with same heat transfer and heat accumulat ing surfaces with high thermal conductiv ity, e.g. made in aluminum. These two axial parts 21 and 22 are separated by an insulat ing gap 29 made in a material with low thermal conduct iv ity e.g. plastic but equipped w ith holes in the insulat ing layer connect ing channels from first axial part to channels in the second axial part. In another version (not shown) of a two- stage rotor the two axial parts 2 1 and 22 could simply be located with an air gap 29 between end faces, such air gap efficiently reducing the LHC even further.

In figure 7 is shown the improvement in temperature efficiency if a single stage aluminum rotor is modified to a multi-stage aluminum rotor with an insulat ing layer in- between. This successive improvement in temperature efficiency may be obtained if the aluminum rotor is further modified into 3, 4, 5 or more stages.

Figure 8 is showing how the temperature efficiency may be improv ed with different designs in the rotor all considering LHC reduction.

Curve e shows the reference rotor w ith aluminum in rotor 2, one stage, with high LHC, according to prior art. In curve d is shown the improvement that may be obtained with a design according to the principle show n of figure 6, with a plurality of axial parts of an aluminum rotor and one or more insulat ing layers in-between in order to reduce LHC.

Curves g and h show alternat iv e channel designs (se figures in the right-hand part of Fig. 8) with a material in the ent ire rotor 2 (one stage ) w ith low heat conductiv ity such as polymers. However, the test results shown in curves h and g with hexagonal and circular inner shape, respectively, of the channels in low LHC polymer are better than the reference in the ent ire air flow range. And the design with a circular inner surface of the channel in a hexagonal tube element (curve h), is slight ly better than having a hexagonal external and internal shape of the tube element. These tests show that drastic improvements may be obtained when using a one stage rotor with tube elements w ith preferably hexagonal or circular shape and made in a material with low heat conductivity, all reducing the LHC.

In figure 9 is shown the wel l-known prior art technique used when forming a heat exchange rotor with channels by winding a foil. The rotor 2 is formed by winding a rotor foil 24/25, that includes a flat base layer 25 w ith a corrugated top layer 24 attached on the flat base layer 25. As shown in Fig. 10 the individual channels 20 may be formed between two adjacent flat layers 25 by the corrugated layer 24 arranged therebetween. A large variety of sheet materials, e.g. metal, polymer or laminated foil may be used for the flat base layer 25 and the top layer 24, independent of each other. In a preferred embodiment it is made use of a laminated foil 24 A (see Figs. 18-19. It is to be understood that the use of ref. 24A, does not indicate any limitation regarding use in a specific layer, i.e. but as is evident for the skilled person a laminated foil 24A may be used for the corrugated layer 24 and/or the flat layer 25 ). Most preferred the same foil laminated 24 A is used in the flat base layer 24 as in the top layer 25. As shown in Figs. 19 and 20 such a laminated foil 24A preferably may have at least one, preferably a plurality of continuous slits 242.

Below v arious appropriat e designs of the corrugat ed top layer 24 will be discussed. Figures 1 0, 1 OA- 13 show differing forms of the rotor foil 24/25 that may be formed by winding as shown in figure 9.

Figure 10 shows a common sinusoid channel design.

Figure 10A shows a circular channel design.

Figure 1 1 shows an alternative where square shaped channels 20 are formed by arranging a corrugated layer 24 with square corrugations between two flat layers 25. Figure 12 shows an alternativ e where triangular shaped channels 20 are formed by arranging a corrugated layer 24 with triangular corrugations between two flat layers 25, and Fig. 13 shows an alternat iv e w ith a corrugated layer forming rectangles. Figures 14- 17 show differing forms of the channels 20 in the rotor, where said rotor may be made by extrusion of or stacking of tube elements 26 with low heat conductivity e.g. made in polymer, and thus low LHC. closely together.

In figure 14 is shown an alternative where hexagonal tube elements 26 may be stacked closely together and thus form the channels 20 in the rotor.

In figure 1 5 is shown an alternat iv e where circular tube elements 26 may be stacked closely together and thus form the channels 20 in the rotor. In figure 16 is shown an alternative where square tube elements 26 may be stacked closely together and thus form the channels 20 in the rotor.

In figure 17 is shown an alternat ive where triangular tube elements 26 may be stacked closely together and thus form the channels 20 in the rotor.

When using the technique as shown in figure 9. winding the rotor 2 from a rotor foil 24/25 producing any of the channels 20 as shown in figures 10-13, the inv ent iv e concept with reduced LHC may be implemented by a laminated foil 24A as shown in figures 18-20, wherein to form the corrugated layer 24, a treated metal layer/sheet 240 (e.g. Alu or steel ) as shown in Figs. 2 1 -23. may be used to provide formability.

In Fig. 18 it is show n that the laminated foil 24A comprises a central alu foil 240 (to prov ide formabil ity) and two polymer sheets 24 1 A, 241 B providing the heat transfer and heat accumulating surfaces to reduce LHC, wherein the alu foil sheet 240 may be treated to provide for LHC in the alu foil sheet 240, to be more or less neglectable. In figure 19 there is shown a modification in order to possibly reduce the LHC even more, by means of having the metal sheet 240, provided with slits 242, in this case providing gaps, e.g. with air which effectiv ely will reduce any LHC that otherw ise may occur in the metal sheet 240 (e.g. if thicker than in fig 18). These slits 242 may be continuous and held in place by one upper polymer sheet 241 A (as may be seen as indicated in fig 20), or two polymer sheets 24 1 A, 241 B, one upper and lower, respectiv ely (as may be seen as indicated in fig 19).

In figures 2 1 and 22 it is shown that the foil 24, 25 may be arranged without any polymer sheet but merely using slits 242 to reduce the LHC, i.e. by prov iding an increased average flow path to reduce the LHC. Further figures 2 1 and 22 also show that the length 1 of the slits 242 is substant ially longer than width W of the slits 242. Preferably the sub areas, here each slit 242, has a length 1 in the circumferential direction of the rotor 2 that is a fraction of the circumference C of the rotor 2 (preferably 5 L< C), and wherein 1 substantially exceeds the axial width W of said sub areas;

preferably at least 1>10W, more preferred at least 1>50W, even more preferred 1>100W.

In figure 22 is shown a modificat ion of the design of figure 2 1 , where the slits 242 are arranged offset to neighboring slits, thus extending the distance for axial heat conduction as no straight axial heat path exists for LHC between neighboring areas 243. In figure 23 and 23 A there is shown an alternative embodiment when using slits 242 in the metal sheet 240, wherein the slits 242 are punched such that the edges 243 A of the materia! extend along the slits 242 protruding transversa! ly on one side of the metal sheet 240. The protruding edges 243 A will extend transv ersal ly in relation to the flow of air and thereby cause turbulence that may improve heat transfer between the air and the rotor foil 24. In Fig. 23 A it is shown that the slits 242 may be continuous, preferably by use of a top polymer sheet (not shown, but same as 241 A in Fig. 20) to obtain sufficient strength. In all embodiments shown in figures 20-23 the slits 242 preferably are made as an air gap. Alternatively, the slits 242 may be filled with a material with low heat conductivity such as a polymer.

Further, the Nusselt number (NU) may be of essence in some applications according to the invention, especially when having channel materials with low lambda. In heat transfer at a boundary (surface) within a fluid (here normally air), the Nusselt number is the ratio of convective to conductive heat transfer across (normal to) the boundary and varies with the shape and character of the boundary surfaces, i.e. the cross sectional shape of the channel 20 and impact of surface material 24A/24B, 25. It has been concluded that when using material having a lambda below 100, the Nusselt

number (NUH2) should be above 2, preferably above 3, to achieve efficiencies on an extra high level. If lambda is very low, i.e. below 15 there is a desire to have a Nusselt number above 3, preferably regarding NUH2, which relates to a specific measurement of the Nusselt number especially adapted for materials where lambda is very low.

Accordingly, when using materials with low lambda it has been found that the shape/design of the flow channels may have significant impact on the efficiency and that the Nusselt number may assist in choosing appropriate shape/s, basically assisting in choosing a shape that enables good heat transfer to occur along substantial parts of the perimeter of each channel.

The inv ention may be modified in many ways without departing from the concept as shown in figures.