A RTU Clean Sweep
The Essex County School District is a high performing college-preparatory education program with campuses located in Newark, NJ its surrounding townships. One such campus is a large multi-room building offering secondary level education to students located in West Caldwell, NJ. In 2019, West Caldwell facility managers needed all RTU and RMAU packages replaced, had an eye on IAQ safety, and were receptive to energy reducing upgrades.
Newton-Metallo’s awareness of school infrastructure operations is due to extensive experience with school HVAC projects. School projects are characterized by multiple rooms, outside air requirements, and a need for high efficiency. The Essex County project required a compliment of variously sized replacement models each with components and configurations suited to assorted zones.
Featuring Valent Air Systems
Newton-Metallo often provides RTU and RMAU units with energy recovery options which offer significant energy savings through the manufacturer Valent Air Systems. As specialists in energy recovery this Minneapolis, MN manufacturer has been constructing quality configurable packaged
HVAC air equipment since 2006.
Energy In, Energy Out
Energy savings is often associated with VFD’s, compressor modulation, and DDC controlling schemes aimed at minimizing electrical energy input to condition a space. Furthermore, when fresh outside air is being injected into a space with equal amount of exhausted air, a unique opportunity exists. Air to air energy recovery is available to recover heat or cold air energy from exhaust. This feature is known as energy recovery and Valent air systems products can be equipped.
In summer months, fresh/warm incoming air will be pre-cooled and dehumidified in exchange with cold exhaust air – adding low humidity comfort and scavenging cooling capacity from waste air.
Conversely, in winter months, incoming air will be pre-warmed and humidified in exchange with warm exhaust air – providing much needed humidity to the heated air flow recovering room heat otherwise lost.
The Newton-Metallo team applied energy recovery to the West Caldwell project in
two forms: an air-to-air semi-permeable heat exchanger technology known as an enthalpic core, and a rotating desiccant module known as an enthalpy wheel.
An enthalpic heat exchanger core allows the exchange of sensible energy and moisture transmission without mixing or contaminating air streams. During peak operating conditions, enthalpic cores recover 50 to 60 percent exhaust energy. Fumes from the school’s labs required heat exchangers installed in the air handlers dedicated to their spaces to achieve heat recovery without cross-contamination.
Like an enthalpic heat exchanger core, an enthalpy wheel provides latent and sensible heat transfer but at an increased efficiency up to 70 percent using a mechanically rotated wheel module of gel silica desiccant. A dry desiccant enthalpy wheel is employed if more humidity and energy capacity must be recovered, but cross-contamination isn’t a concern. Units with heat wheels were installed in the remaining units where exhaust air is not contaminated.
Safely Neutralizing COVID-19
The Newton-Metallo teams’ experience in applying IAQ solutions to the HVAC industry includes the application of bipolar ionization technologies. Nine Aerisa AerBar ionizer kits were applied to Valent Energy recovery units for the project. Aerisa bipolar ionizers are validated by UL 2998, assuring zero harmful ozone emissions.
Attention to Detail with Diverse Equipment Selections
In total, twenty-seven packaged RTU’s in various configurations were installed for Essex County replacement project. Newton-Metallo coordinated clear submittal drawings and customer approval of the diverse bill of material.
Newton-Metallo continues to ensure installation and customer expectation are aligned. Regardless of complexity, diversity, or quantity of equipment, we maintain a clear process and great customer experience during the project regardless of how large or complicated.