Innovation Explosion 2: Full Functionality Without Preheating Even in Frosts

Innovation Explosion 2: Full Functionality Without Preheating Even in Frosts

Published 13. 11. 2020

Reading time 2 minutes

Every ventilation unit with heat recovery needs frost protection.
Thanks to its unique design, Jablotron’s ventilation unit Futura can operate in temperatures as low as -19 °C (-2 °F) without preheating.

Winter operation of ventilation units has its caveats:
Heat from extracted (waste) air is transferred to fresh (supply) air in the heat exchanger. The waste air cools off in this process, which, at a certain point called “dew point” causes moisture condensation on the walls of heat exchanger. When the temperature drops below zero, condensate freezes and resulting ice can damage the heat exchanger.

How to prevent a damage to ventilation unit in frosts? There are a few ways to do it, but they do not come without setbacks:

  1. Turn it off.
    Why did you buy it then?
  2. Turn the air extraction up and air supply down (fan disbalancing). In this case the exchanger is heated up and defrosted by extracted (waste) air.
    The resulting underpressure negatively affects your house’s structures.
  3. You can preheat air in a sub-soil exchanger.
    It is an expensive and technically complicated solution.
  4. Or the most common solution – use electrical preheating.
    That cancels out savings from the heat recovery. How much sense does purchasing a high-efficiency unit make, when preheating uses up all of the saved energy?
  5. Or you can get Jablotron’s Futura.

Unique defrosting without preheating

The heart (or more precisely lungs) of our ventilation unit is the controlled enthalpy exchanger. Inside the heat exchanger, there are nano layers with the ability to retain molecules of water, that are later evaporated into fresh (supplied) air improving its humidity (read more here).

This patented technology of moisture evaporation works even in frosts. To start, we have to say that the condensate in Futura actually freezes! However, this happens in a precisely controlled layer and in a given time interval (a few minutes). In the next part of the cycle, the ice layer melts and dries again without interrupting or affecting Futura’s performance. Periodic drying also maintains sanitary conditions inside the heat exchanger at all times – unlike other types of heat exchangers that are continuously damp. No additional electricity is required for defrosting, everything happens spontaneously.

Does it matter?

That depends.
Electricity bill for preheating won’t break the bank. You can think of it as having an extra iron plugged into your mains.
On the other hand, imagine 10 000 houses each with a ventilation unit that requires 2 kW preheating. That is 20 MW total – a fairly large photovoltaic power plant or some 4 % of one nuclear power block’s installed capacity – definitely an impact on our environment.

Our Futura has the ability to reduce this environmental impactand that is… heartwarming!