Team Projects


Oakland University

Name of the energy conservation measure (ECM):

Membrane-Based Energy Recovery Ventilation

Purpose of ECM:

Membrane-based energy recovery ventilation (ERV) is a new measure being proposed to the Michigan Energy Measures Database. The technology can be installed in combination with existing residential, commercial, and industrial building HVAC systems to provide energy savings.  Nearly 1/3 of total end-use energy in the United States is consumed by buildings, and up to 30 % of this energy is related to heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC). The energy footprint of buildings may increase soon as recent guidance calls for additional fresh air ventilation to mitigate risks associated with COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. Improving the energy efficiency of HVAC systems is important for the cost-effectiveness, health, and sustainability of buildings. 

Description of ECM:

In addition to the team’s proposal of membrane-based ERV technology as a new energy conservation measure, they suggested a design approach that stands to significantly improve the performance of membrane-based ERV technology by optimizing the size of the system for local climate conditions to achieve maximum energy savings.

The team developed several in-house numerical modelling tools that can be used to predict latent and sensible energy transfer in membrane-based ERV systems. From this analysis, the proposed energy conservation measure is expected to reduce electricity used for summer cooling by nearly 70 %, and to reduce thermal energy used for winter heating by nearly 70 %. For larger and smaller buildings located in southeast Michigan and throughout the DTE electric service territory, energy savings will scale linearly with fresh ventilation air.