DCV systems: smart ventilation based on air quality

September 2021

In our previous post we talked about Controlled Mechanical Ventilation, a system that, by avoiding the opening of windows and thanks to the heat recovery system, is much more efficient than traditional ventilation. However, in both cases we are faced with the same questions: how do we know when it is necessary to ventilate, how often and for how long do we need to ventilate a closed room?

The need for air renewal in a space will depend on its air quality, which can be measured by various indicators: indoor and outdoor temperature, relative humidity, CO₂ concentration , volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde or airborne particles, among others. Thanks to the measurement of these parameters we can have an objective reference of the ventilation needs.

This is how Demand Controlled Ventilation (DCV) systems work, a technology capable of providing people occupying a building with the right amount of air flow needed at any given moment and automatically.

This regulation is achieved by integrating a sensor (or series of sensors) that continuously measure various parameters that condition the indoor environment, such as those mentioned above. The sensor output is applied to a control system that adjusts the outdoor air flow rate through the ventilation system according to the level of demand detected, thus ensuring that good air qualityis continuously maintained in an effective and efficientmanner.

The main advantage of integrating this technology into Controlled Mechanical Ventilation systems is that the end user does not have to worry about programming: it is an smart automatic system that adapts to real needs.

Demand Controlled Ventilation therefore offers multiple benefits:

  • Health and comfort: These systems control and guarantee adequate air quality by means of automatic optimum ventilation in each situation. This avoids CO₂ concentration levels and inadequate contaminants, regulates humidity and temperature, and controls the accumulation of volatile organic compounds responsible for unpleasant odors that are harmful to health. A healthy work environment helps reduce fatigue and ailments among workers. At the same time, it favors higher productivity and a reduction in absenteeism due to minor illnesses.
  • Energy savings on the consumption of the ventilation system and the heating and cooling loads of the air-conditioning system: In demand-controlled ventilation, the ventilation intensity is adjusted to match the actual need to save energy. Significant resource optimisation is achieved, especially when occupancy varies widely, such as in schools, restaurants or conference centres.
  • Increased fan life: The life of the motors installed in the fans that make up a DCV system will be longer as they will run for fewer hours at maximum performance.

Thus, effective DCV systems combined with air quality monitors can achieve significant energy and cost savings while ensuring a healthy indoor environment.

Our MICA devices continuously measure the main parameters that condition indoor air quality and can be easily integrated into HVAC systems to ensure not only efficient and effective ventilation, but also guarantee high levels of health and comfort automatically.

Contact us to find out more.

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