EcoPower® is capable of operating unhindered in natural mode, or in both natural and energy efficient mechanical modes simultaneously. In the powered mechanical mode flow rates are boosted 3 – 5 times higher than what is achieved via natural ventilation only mode under normal ambient conditions. Operational costs are up to 80% lower than directly equivalent traditional fan assisted ventilators.
Ventilation can be achieved using either natural energy sources such as wind and/or solar (natural ventilation) or mechanical means (mechanical ventilation).
Natural ventilation functions through two processes occurring simultaneously. The first allows hot air to rise as a result of ‘stack effect’ buoyancy pressure. Warm, lower density air in the building rises and is released through an opening to be replaced by cooler ambient air at lower levels. The second process results from the ambient wind driving the turbine, creating flow through centrifugal suction.
Natural ventilation is dependent on favourable environmental conditions. Natural ventilation also has other performance limitations; e.g. it cannot increase ventilation rates to meet peak or specific needs.
Mechanical ventilation is not subject to the same limitations as natural ventilation, as the ventilation process is driven by a mechanical fan, traditionally axial, thus there is no dependence on environmental factors, and ventilation levels can be adjusted to suit varying needs.
However, mechanical ventilators have their own drawbacks. They consume significant amount of electricity and sometimes required 3 phase power, which is expensive to provide. They often noisy and require regular maintenance.
Systems of hybrid ventilation (combinations of natural and mechanical ventilation) were developed in Europe using thermal chimneys with axial fan boost to address some of the limitations of natural wind driven vents, and avoid the rising operating costs of mechanical vents,. However, the installation of axial fans in the throats of these large stacks effectively reduced ‘stack effect’ flow rates, due to blockage of the throats by both the motor and the fan blade.
To overcome these limitations, the EcoPower can switch to efficient power mode, which allows natural flow rates to be boosted by powering the Electronic Commutating (EC) motor to drive the impeller. The bearing system of the motor functions as the bearing system of the ventilator. This means that the vent can be free spinning under wind load, or power activated as required.
The design of the EP900, allow for intelligent input capacity and is capable of programmable variable speed control using a temperature sensor, 0-10V or incorporate into building management systems. Other systems of digital control, such as gas concentration, can be used to activate mechanical mode. The motor can be activated on by a simple manual switch or operation can be controlled by sensors, such as thermostat and humidistat. Factory pre-programming required for input capacities, please specify at time of purchase.