- The Desert Rose HVAC system utilises an air-to-water heat pump as the primary source of cooling within the home.
- Unlike traditional residential HVAC systems, the Desert Rose decouples its sensible and latent cooling in the home by utilising an innovative Daikin product called Desica.
- The system also employs an energy recovery ventilator which recovers waste energy and pre-cools fresh air as it enters the house.
- Phase Change Material (PCM) thermal storage tanks are used to cool the Desert Rose House to improve energy efficiency.
Thermal comfort is extremely import for health and wellbeing. As the Desert Rose is a dementia friendly home, maintaining a comfortable and healthy home was one of the key goals from the beginning of the design phase of the project. However, maintaining a comfortable home in the hot and humid Dubai climate requires a significant amount of energy, particularly during the middle of the day. It was therefore the goal of team UOW to develop an innovative and energy efficient HVAC system that is able to maintain strict thermal comfort conditions in the house while also being able to load shift to reduce peak demand contributions.
The Desert Rose HVAC system utilises an air-to-water heat pump as the primary source of cooling within the home. The heat pump is coupled to two fan coil units that supply cool air to the living spaces. Unlike traditional residential HVAC systems, the Desert Rose decouples its sensible and latent cooling in the home by utilising an innovative Daikin product called Desica, which uses desiccant crystals coupled with a heat pump to dehumidify the incoming air from the outdoor environment before it reaches the fan coil units. This means the fan coil units only need to reduce the sensible load which in turn requires less energy. By decoupling sensible and latent cooling the building management system can better control temperature and humidity in the home. The system also employs an energy recovery ventilator which recovers waste energy and precools fresh air into the building.
Phase Change Material Tank
Finally, the most innovative component of the Desert Rose HVAC system is the phase change material (PCM) thermal storage tanks. Completely designed and manufactured by Team UOW, the PCM tanks act as a 35 kWh liquid thermal store that is cooled at night when the ambient temperature is cooler, increasing the coefficient of performance of the heat pump. The thermal store is then used during the middle of the day to drive the fan coil units instead of using the heat pump. This drastically reduces the amount of energy used by the HVAC system during peak load.
Two radiant panels disguised as artworks are also located in the main living space. Chilled water can be pumped through these panels reducing the surface temperature and providing a radiative cooling effect to the occupants. Although these panels will not be used as a primary means for cooling the Desert Rose, they have been installed so that we can educate visitors on different mechanisms of how we as humans interpret temperature, and that we can achieve a comfortable state through radiative cooling rather than having to use excessive energy in cooling the entire air temperature.