Membrane heat exchanger in HVAC energy recovery systems, systems energy analysis

M. Nasif*, R. Al-Waked, G. Morrison, M. Behnia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


The thermal performance of an enthalpy/membrane heat exchanger is experimentally investigated. The heat exchanger utilizes a 60gsm Kraft paper as the heat and moisture transfer surface for HVAC energy recovery. The heat exchanger sensible, latent and total effectiveness have been determined through temperature and moisture content measurements. The annual energy consumption of an air conditioner coupled with an enthalpy/membrane heat exchanger is also studied and compared with a conventional air conditioning cycle using in-house modified HPRate software. The heat exchanger effectiveness are used as thermal performance indicators and incorporated in the modified software. Energy analysis showed that an air conditioning system coupled with a membrane heat exchanger consumes less energy than a conventional air conditioning system in hot and humid climates where the latent load is high. It has been shown that in humid climate a saving of up to 8% in annual energy consumption can be achieved when membrane heat exchanger is used instead of a conventional HVAC system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1833-1840
Number of pages8
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Air mixing conventional air conditioner
  • Energy Recovery System
  • HPRate software
  • Humid climate
  • Latent heat
  • Membrane heat exchanger


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