Technology Overview

The Relative Humidity Control problem is real and the solution is Conservant Systems.

Improper and energy intensive Relative Humidity Control for buildings is a significant global issue.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are wasted each year in attempts to control relative humidity (RH) and biological growth in facilities across the U.S. Hundreds of millions of additional dollars are wasted on remediation and reconstruction work to reduce biological harm to people and facilities when HVAC systems are not successful in controlling biological growth. Even more waste and loss of life occurs due to negative health impacts associated with biological growth and Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAI's).

In addition to the total health and wellness related costs, controlling the relative humidity of air entering labs, clean rooms and manufacturing facilities consumes hundreds of millions of additional dollars annually due to the energy intensity of current market solutions.

To combat these problems, Conservant set out to develop a cost effective, energy efficient, maintainable, sustainable and scalable dehumidification and RH control solution.

The solution had to work in retrofit applications as well as new construction.

After substantial research, development and computer modelling, the High Efficiency Dehumidification System (HEDS) was born.

HEDS is a patent-protected, proprietary energy recovery method designed to save more than 40% of the cooling and heating energy related to the cooling, dehumidification and reheat process, while also eliminating the health, wellness, product and productivity loss risks caused by poor relative humidity control.

In hospital applications, HEDS can save lives by reducing Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAI’s).

HEDS is designed to be simple and easily maintainable, requiring knowledge of only basic HVAC system operations and is designed to be scalable, from the smallest room level equipment to the largest central system equipment,< 100 CFM to >1,000,000 CFM.

The basic idea of HEDS is very simple, and the need is global.

The HEDS process recovers 20% to 40% of the low quality heat generated in the cooling and dehumidification process and uses that heat for two purposes:

  1. The reclaimed heat is used to completely eliminate the need for new reheat energy for Relative Humidity (RH) control, and;
  2. The cooling load sent to the chiller plant from the HEDS AHU is reduced by the exact same amount of energy as is recovered to provide the reheat energy. The combined energy savings can exceed 60% during non-peak load conditions.

The actual chiller and boiler plant energy savings related to the cooling, dehumidification and reheat process can exceed 70% for certain loads in humid environments.

While there are a number of existing technologies on the market for dehumidification, they have significant limitations when compared with the HEDS system design, including:

  • Increased maintenance costs due to complexity of additional fluid stream, pumps, heat recovery wheels, heat exchangers, and components.
  • Potentially decreased CHW system temperature differential due to smaller coils and reduced inlet air temperatures to the cooling coil, leading to the “Low Delta T Syndrome”. This can increase central plant energy use and reduce cooling system capacity.
  • Poor temperature and RH control due to uncontrolled inlet temperatures from heat recovery coils.
    Added regeneration heat energy and post-wheel cooling associated with some desiccant designs.
  • Much longer, taller or heavier AHUs.
  • Higher air pressure drop and fan energy due to additional upstream and downstream coils and wheels requiring more fan energy.
  • Condensate re-evaporation when water is blown off of the cooling coil.
  • Designs are not scalable to room or fan coil unit sizes, where many of the problems are found.