The best of two worlds
With increasing energy costs and growing concern for the environment, it is no surprise that people are looking for new ways to cool, heat and ventilate buildings. One such way is the increasingly popular hybrid ventilation. A relatively modern concept, hybrid ventilation takes advantage of both natural and mechanical systems. The result is an effective, affordable and energy-efficient solution that ventilates while maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures and air quality.
This is undoubtedly the most environmentally friendly form of ventilation, as natural ventilation systems rely on natural forces such as wind and thermal buoyancy. These systems are incredibly low cost, however they depend entirely on natural forces, making them less predictable in certain climatic circumstances.
Hybrid ventilation combines the strengths of natural and mechanical ventilation in the best possible way:
Hybrid ventilation solutions, will use a mixture of both natural and mechanical ventilation, but should utilise the natural ventilation the natural ventilation as much as possible, as this is based on the principle of providing healthy indoor climates and comfort, delivered with minimal energy consumption and therefore at minimal cost. Hybrid ventilation, or mixed mode ventilation, utilises natural ventilation during favourable conditions, and then should use mechanical, low-powered motors/fans to distribute the fresh air when the natural ventilation proves less effective. For example, in periods of low wind, mechanical ventilation systems will take over in order to maintain the internal thermal temperatures and to ventilate the spaces.
Hybrid ventilation is normally operated automatically and this control can be quite complex, using sensors to identify when a natural ventilation system needs extra assistance. The system will then switch to a mechanical system, and back again when wind and other natural forces pick back up.
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