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Vent-Axia Supplies Energy Efficient Sentinel Totus² D-ERV to Newcastle University

Vent-Axia has supplied its Sentinel Totus² D-ERV (Demand Energy Recovery Ventilation) to Newcastle University to improve air quality and save energy. The units were installed as part of a refurbishment project to provide the Estate Support Service (ESS) department with new modern offices.

Located in the university’s seven-storey Agriculture Building the ESS department has offices on both the first and second storey. To meet the offices’ ventilation requirement, Vent-Axia and HLA Services installed three Sentinel Totus² Midi units on the first storey, which is approximately 500m². On the second storey the offices occupy a smaller space of 160m² so only one unit was required.

The Sentinel Totus² was specified due to its ability to meet the fresh air requirements of the building and maintain indoor air quality within the office environment. Part of the company’s innovative Lo Carbon™ initiative, the new improved Sentinel Totus² achieves this by integrating the proven Demand Ventilation control concept with high efficiency EC/DC motor technology and a state-of-the-art counterflow heat recovery cell to achieve up to 94% energy recovery.

The Sentinel Totus² units limit CO₂ levels and temperature within the working environment thus improving comfort while helping to keep employees awake and alert. The unit design operates on the principles of demand ventilation which allows the Sentinel Totus² to respond to the precise ventilation requirements of a room. This in turn provides exactly the right level of supply and extracts airflow when required.

The Sentinel Totus² demand operation can be triggered by its response to room occupancy according to a range of different sensor readings depending on the building requirements. These can include Timeclock or PIR occupancy detection to activate the unit, with additional proportional airflow control from a combination of sensors; CO₂, humidity or temperature. The sensors communicate with the main Sentinel Totus² unit which, in turn, drives the fan to the necessary speed to deliver the required airflow. Sensors can be combined to generate a hierarchy of control for the ventilation system and operation can also be easily linked in to a Building Management System via volt free contacts for monitoring, if required.

Meanwhile the Sentinel Totus² also features a 100% summer bypass. As a result, when temperatures rise above a set point the airflow from the heat exchanger is automatically closed off and simultaneously a bypass route opens. This allows the maximum use of any free cooling available.

With customer comfort a key issue, the Sentinel Totus² combines the use of the high efficiency counter flow heat recovery cell and advanced controls; these allow the frost heater to provide a top-up heating function as well as frost protection function. The combination of this eliminates cold draughts and the need to fit duct mounted heaters.

In addition, the Sentinel Totus² boasts reduced sound levels which are achieved through the use of high density acoustic insulation and efficient air paths which minimises turbulence thereby reducing system noise. This also has the benefit of reducing the input power to the unit maintaining a low specific fan power.

Independently rated and tested to EN308, the Sentinel Totus² incorporates energy efficient EC/DC motor technology, which is proven to use over 30% less energy than conventional AC motors. Automatic air-conditioning and heating interlocks enable Sentinel Totus² to optimise energy recovery performance further and provide free cooling during summer through bypass optimisation. Meanwhile, a user enabled night-time purge facility can reduce the start-up loads for a building’s air-conditioning plant and helps reduce over heating in summer from non-air conditioned spaces.

Energy efficiency and air quality were the main drivers for using Vent-Axia’s Sentinel Totus², the units are time-clock controlled via our BMS and run on a background setting. We have CO² and temperature sensors for each unit/area which are each set with a maximum limit. When limit settings are reached the units increase their air flow from the background speed setting to the full speed in order to control either the temperature or air quality.
Paul Nicholson, Building Services Engineer at Newcastle University

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