HVAC Economizer Redesign
AuthorPodzorski, Mateusz S.
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An economizer is a HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) appliance designed to regulate the intake and outtake of ambient air of HVAC devices, such as building air conditioners. This design project was conducted in collaboration with MicroMetl Corporation, a local sheet metal company that specializes in HVAC equipment. Most current economizers unavoidably allow for some air leakage, which decreases the efficiency of the device and results in an increase in cost due to wasted energy. The reduction of air leakage and the decrease in manufacturing cost was consequently the primary focus of our efforts. Current standard economizers feature a shutter like row of thin metallic blades. Driven by a system of gears, they rotate about their axes into open and closed states to respectively permit and obstruct airflow. We developed and assembled an innovative finned cylindrical blade design, driven by a novel linkage system, that shows great promise in reducing the air leakage rate and improving upon manufacturing costs.