Case Studies - New Energy Recovery Wheel Installations

Eleven Thermowheel Model TF-804 Energy Recovery Wheels Installed in New State-of-the-Art Facility: Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Bethesda, MD


2008. US Army and Navy challenged design-build contractor to create a new 550,000 CFM facility that utilized 100% outside supply air – and would qualify for LEEDS Silver Certification. An analysis of energy recovery devices concluded that only an enthalpy wheel can meet the requirements of ASHRAE 90. 1-2004, for the 100% outside air specification. (Other devices, heat pipes, fixed plate heat exchangers, and run-around coils are effective in transferring sensible energy only). US military mandated a US-made wheel, one that could demonstrate long life and low maintenance.

Thermowheel TF-804 Enthalpy Energy Recovery Wheels were selected for the project. They were approved by the military because of their robust structural design and 25-year design life – with a history of ZERO failures. Eleven 15.5-foot diameter wheels in 2-piece frames and rotor parts were shipped directly to the site and installed easily by the contractor and Thermowheel specialists.

The eleven Thermowheel TF units are performing as specified, on track to deliver maximum sustained energy savings – over $12,968,972 during the 25-year minimum life of the wheels. The facility has achieved LEEDS Silver Certification.


Four Thermowheel Model TF-1109 Energy Recovery Wheels Installed in Genzyme Biotech Research Laboratory, Boston, MA

2009. Genzyme’s 8-story hospital biochemical research laboratory was operating with aged air handling equipment in mechanical rooms on each of the eight floors. There was an urgent need to improve ventilation, meet current codes and save on energy costs.

Engineering groups designed a new sustainable energy recovery ventilation system to consolidate exhaust air from all floors on the hospital’s roof – handling all 320,000 CFM of air.

The system consists of:

•Two Air Enterprises AHUs. each 48’w x 52’l x 25’h
•Each AHU houses two (2) Thermowheel TF-1109 enthalpy energy recovery wheels – each wheel handling 80,000 CFM
•Eight Strobic Air exhaust fans centered between the two Air Enterprises units

Thermowheel units are built on stainless steel housings with anti-bacterial, anti-mold coating on the all-aluminum rotor structure.

Start-up reports proved ZERO panel leakage in the Air Handlers and full functionality of all components. Field carry-over tests verified no measurable carry-over – confirming Thermowheel’s independent testing at Intertek Laboratories. Annual energy savings exceed $767,000 resulting from Thermowheel performance.

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