How mixed-mode cooling can help to achieve a Class A Energy Performance Certificate

Passivent’s mixed-mode cooling system can help a building achieve a Class A Energy Performance Certificate, based on experience of real-life projects. This system also reduces energy consumption by 41% compared with traditional mechanical ventilation. It also reduces the capital cost of plant and maintenance costs. Indoor air quality is also improved, and there is more usable floor space. Developed with Mitsubishi Electric, the Passivent mixed-mode system s natural ventilation and comfort cooling in offices, shopping centres, schools and hospitals where there may be high internal heat gains and high expected levels of comfort. The Passivent system controls the principle that warm air rises to create a flow of cooler air from outdoors into the space. Minimal energy is used to regulate the flow. The system can operate 24 h a day to remove unwanted heat when a building is empty and keep internal temperatures comfortable when it is occupied. In exceptionally hot or cold weather, the Mitsubishi air conditioning comes into operation. This mixed-mode system can be retrofitted, as it was at Mitsubishi’s headquarters at Hatfield, and incorporated into new buildings. Wayne Aston, Passivent’s commercial technical manager, comments, ‘Already, 50% of CO2 emissions in the UK derive from buildings, and heating and cooling can account for more than 50% of a commercial building’s energy consumption. A well controlled and energy-efficient ventilation system is therefore a prerequisite for low energy consumption and a reduction of CO2 emissions, especially if it additionally helps future proof the building.’ Passivent is a founder member of the NatVent EC-EU-funded project co-ordinated by the Building Research Establishment to develop practical natural-ventilation solutions for the commercial sector. The company is also a member of CIBSE’s natural-ventilation group and has participated in natural-ventilation guidance documentation.
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