State-of-the-art heating test lab opens at GMIT

An international standard ‘E-Thermal’ environmental test facility designed to assist Irish SMEs in developing new sustainable heating products has formally been opened at Galway Mayo Institute of Technology.

(Pictured above) At the E-Thermal launch are (left to right) Dr Laurentiu Dimache, principal investigator, GMIT; David McHugh, ProAir; Dr Naoise McSweeney, research fellow; Deputy Seán Canney, minister of state for natural resources; Gerard MacMichael, head of engineering at GMIT; David Hunt, research assistant; Mairtín O Cadhain, Údarás na Gaeltachta, Galway; Dr Matthew Kennedy, International Energy Research Centre, Cork; and Dr John Lohan, principal investigator, GMIT.

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E-Thermal stands for ‘Environmental Testing of a Heat pump and Enthalpy Recovery Machine within an Advanced Laboratory’. The facility has been established by GMIT’s Integrated Sustainable Energy Technologies (ISET) research group with financial support of €360,000 from Galway-based company ProAir and Enterprise Ireland. It has been initially built to test ProAir’s new ‘Aergoma’ integrated heat pump and heat recovery system.

Dr John Lohan, principal investigator and lecturer in the GMIT Dept of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, said: “It is the first such test facility in Ireland capable of offering product development and pre-certification testing of sustainable heating and energy efficiency products to international test standards.”

“The laboratory can expose such products to a range of European weather conditions and monitor the performance of the new product when exposed to these conditions…The first product being tested is the very exciting ‘Aergoma’ concept from Galway-based ProAir Heat Recovery Ventilation Systems. This integrated heat pump and heat recovery ventilation system has the potential to substantially reduce both heating costs and carbon dioxide emissions, and ProAir expect to market this innovative product in mid 2020.” says Dr Lohan.

“The laboratory will also be used to support undergraduate and postgraduate projects for students of GMIT’s energy engineering and mechanical engineering programs.”

The E-Thermal project team consists of Dr Laurentiu Dimache and Dr John Lohan, principle investigators, Dr Naoise McSweeney, research fellow and David Hunt, research assistant.

David McHugh, managing director of ProAir, said: “Our company has had association with GMIT stretching back to the early noughties and the beginning of the energy faculty, so it was logical to contact John Lohan with an idea for a collaboration and a project like this. We are delighted with how this has progressed and look forward to the data which David and Naoise will produce. This type of facility is crucial to developing our ideas on low energy heating and ventilation systems.”

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