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Psychrometric

Psychrometric

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28 ASHRAE Journal ashrae.org January 2006
2006, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (www.ashrae.org). Published in ASHRAE Journal, (Vol.48, January 2006). For personal use only. Additional distribution in either paper or digital form is not permitted without ASHRAE’s permission.
PsychrometricSpreadsheet
M
any engineers use spreadsheet programs for calculationsand graphing because of the variety of relatively easy-to-use embedded features. One such feature is the Microsoft
®
VisualBasic
®
Macro for use in Excel
®
. This tool permits BASIC computer programming codes to be used to perform computations that arecumbersome with conventional spreadsheet equations.
Review of Psychrometric Equations
umidity Ratio
Psychrometric charts and equations areconvenient methods of dealing with thehermodynamic properties of mixturesof water vapor and air. Obviously, animportant parameter is the mass of thesewo components. The humidity ratio (
 is used to express the mass of water vapor  per unit mass of dry air and correspondso the near right vertical axis of the psy-chrometric chart. Current practice is touse the units of mass of water to mass
By Steve Kavanaugh, Ph.D.,
Fellow ASHRAE,
Barbara Hattemer McCrary
and
Keith A. Woodbury
 About the Authorsteve Kavanaugh, Ph.D.,
is a professor of me-hanical engineering at the University of Alabamain Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Barbara Hattemer McCrary
is an engineer with Johnson, Spellman and Associ- tes in Norcross, Ga., and a former grants-in-aidrecipient at the University of Alabama.
Keith A. Woodbury
is an associate professor of mechanicalngineering at the University of Alabama.
This article describes a series of mac-ros that use psychrometric equations
1
tocompute moist air properties (humidityratio, dew point, enthalpy, specific vol-ume, specific heat, relative humidity) by entering the dry-bulb temperature,wet-bulb temperature (RH), and localelevation.The resulting spreadsheet is essentiallyan electronic psychrometric chart with theadded benefit of being appropriate for anyelevation—not just sea level. The macrosalso can be extended to spreadsheet pro-grams that compute the properties whentwo airstreams are mixed, an airstream passes through a cooling coil, a heat re-covery unit, or a heating coil. Engineerscan cut and paste the necessary macrosfrom existing public domain programs or develop their own versions.
 
January 2006 ASHRAE Journal 29
of air (
lb
w
/
lb
a
or 
 g 
w
/
kg 
). Some documents continue the useof grains per pound mass of air, where 7,000 grains = 1 pound (0.45 kg) mass.
 M 
w
lb
w
 grains lb
w
=
 
7,000
(
 
×
 M 
a
lb
a
lb
w
lb
a
(1)The maximum amount of water vapor that can be mixed with air increases with temperature. RH is the mole fraction (or  percent) of water vapor present in the air 
relative
to the molefraction of air that is completely saturated with moisture at aiven temperature. This ratio is also the partial pressure of thewater vapor ( 
w
)
elative
to the partial pressure of water vapor when the air is saturated ( 
ws
).
w
p
w
 RH 
 
ws
at
tp
ws
at
(2)In lieu of steam tables to provide the value of 
 p
ws
as a func-tion of temperature, Equation 3 is suggested for temperatures between 492°R (32°F or 0°C) and 852°R (392°F or 200°C).
1
8
 p
ws
= Exp
(
+
+
C
+
C
2
+
12
3
+
13
ln
(3)
where
 
 p
ws
psia 
°R 
 
8
= –1.0440397× 10 
9
= –1.129465× 10 
10
= –2.7022355 × 10
 –2
 
11
= 1.2890360 × 10
 –5
 
12
= –2.4780681 × 10
 –9
 
13
= 6.5459673The partial pressure of water vapor for unsaturated air ( 
w
)can be found by combining Equations 2 and 3 if the relativehumidity is known. Equation 4 is used to compute the humidityratio (
from the local atmospheric pressure () and 
 p
w
usingthe relationships of molecular weight (
 MW 
), mole fractions (
 ),
and the partial pressures of water and air,
 M 
w
 MW ×x
w
18.01528 ×
w
 p
w
= =0.62198
 M 
a
 MW ×
a
28.9645 ×
 x
a
 p
 
 p
w
= 0.62198
 p – p
w
(4)The atmospheric pressure can be corrected for non-sea levelelevations (
, in feet above sea level) as shown in the
2001 ASHRAE Handbook—Fundamentals
1
 p
(
 psia
) = 14.696 (1 – 6.8753 × 10
 –6
Z)
5.2559
(5)In addition to the easily measured air dry-bulb temperature(
), a second indicator is necessary to determine moist air  properties. Options include the dew-point temperature (
),wet-bulb temperature (
wb
), or RH.The dew-point temperature can be determined by measuringthe temperature of a surface when moisture begins to condense.The dew-point temperature also corresponds to the saturationtemperature or the temperature when RH is 100%. A correlationfor dew-point temperature (
°F) from 32°F to 200°F (0°Cto 93°C) as a function of the partial pressure of water vapor ( 
w
psia) is (
2001 ASHRAE Handbook—Fundamentals
):
1
100.45 + 33.193(ln
 p
w
) + 2.319(ln
 p
w
)
2
+ 0.17074 (ln
 p
w
)
3
+ 1.2063( 
w
)
0.1984
(6)The air wet-bulb temperature is determined by placing a ther-mometer bulb that is covered with a completely wetted wick inan airstream. The evaporation rate and corresponding coolingeffect noted by the depression of the wet bulb relative to thedry-bulb temperatures provides an indication of the moisturelevel in the air.When relative humidity is used as the second indicator, thevalue of 
 p
w
can be determined using Equation 2 with the valueof 
 p
ws
determined from Equation 3. When the dew-point tem- perature is the second indicator,
 p
w
is the saturation pressureat this dew-point temperature ( 
ws
at
), which is also found using Equation 3. In either case,
 p
w
is used in Equation 4 todetermine the humidity ratio (
). If the wet-bulb temperature(
wb
) is the second indicator, the humidity ratio is found from
2001 ASHRAE Handbook—Fundamentals
:
bw
(1,093 – 0.556
wb
)
 s
at
wb
– 0.24(
– 
wb
)
()
=
ba
1,093 + 0.444
t – t 
wb
 
(7)
 
30 ASHRAE Journal ashrae.org January 2006
Function HumRat (db, wb, ElevInFt)onvert the wet bulb in °F to RankineRT = wb + 459.67Find the atmospheric pressure in psia from Equation 5 AtmPress = 14.696 × (1 – 0.0000068753 × ElevInFt)
5.2559
Use Equation 3 to find the saturation pressure at wet-bulb temperature
c
8 = –10,440.397
c
9 = –11.29465
c
10 = –0.027022355
c
11 = 0.00001289036
c
12 = –0.000000002478068
c
13 = 6.5459673pws = Exp
(
c
8/RT +
c
+
c
10 × RT +
c
11 × RT
2
+ 12 × RT
3
+
c
13 × Log(RT)
)
Use Equation 4 to find the saturated humidity ratio at the wet bulb-temperature wsat = (pws × 0.62198) / (AtmPress – pws)Use Equation 7 to find the humidity ratioHumRat =
(
1,093 – 0.556 × wb) × wsat - 0.24 × (db – wb)
)
 /1,093 + 0.444 × db – wb
)
End Function
 Figure 1: Macro for humidity ratio from dry-bulb temperature,wet-bulb temperature and elevation.
 s
in Equation 7 is determined by inserting the saturation pressure of water vapor at the wet-bulb temperature (
wb
) intoEquation 4. The value in Equation 7 is the thermodynamicwet-bulb temperature (also called the temperature of adiabaticsaturation). For moist air, the wet-bulb temperature measured  by the proper use of a psychrometer closely approximates thethermodynamic wet-bulb temperature.
Equations for Moist Air Properties 
The thermodynamic properties of moist air can be deter-mined from the dry bulb temperature and humidity ratio. Theseinclude the enthalpy, specific volume (or its inverse, density)and specific heat. In the United States, the current conventionis to set base values at 0°F (–18°C) and compute the values atother temperatures. At 0°F (–18°C),
h
w
1,061 Btu/lb (2468kJ/kg) and 
h
a
0 Btu/lb (0 kJ/kg). The specific heat of air is0.24 Btu/lb
·
°F [1 kJ/(kg · K)] and water vapor is 0.444 Btu/lb
·
°F[1.9 kJ/(kg · K)]. For moist air at dry bulb temperature (
) and humidity ratio (
,
h
(
 Btu/lba
)
= 0.24
+ W (1,061 + 0.444
)
(8)
The specific heat of moist air is:
 p Btu/lba –
°F)
0.24 + 0.444
(9)The specific volume of moist air is:
 ft 
3
 
( )
= 0.37059
+ 459.67[1 + 1.6078
] /
 p
(psia)
lb
(10)
Psychrometric Equations in Spreadsheet Macro Format
Previous articles in
 ASHRAE Journal 
have alluded to the useof spreadsheet macros for com- puting piping pressure drops
2
and solving for friction factors in air ducts.
3
These articles emphasized another spreadsheet tool (GoalSeek) that was used to iterativelysolve the implicit Colebrook equation for friction factor (
 f 
).This additional tool is unneces-sary since the computation of moist air properties is straightfor-ward once the macro for humidityratio is developed.
 Figure 1
is an example macrofor computing humidity ratiofrom the dry-bulb temperature(
a
), wet bulb (
wb
), and elevation(feet above sea level). The macrois stored in an Excel module in theform of a function called HumRat.The function is used just like anyother Excel function by clickingon a cell in the main spreadsheetand inserting an “=” sign and the
 Figure 2: Dew-point spreadsheet. Visual Basic Editor is accessed from a drop-down menu.
function name followed by a set of parenthesis containing thedry-bulb temperature, wet-bulb temperature, and elevation.For example, if a cell contains “=HumRat (80,67,0)”, thedisplayed value should be 0.0112, which is the humidity ratioin
lb
w
/
lb
a
for air with a dry bulb of 80°F (27°C) and a wet bulbof 67°F (19°C) at sea level.Once the humidity ratio is known, enthalpy, specific heat, and specific volume can also be calculated using Equations 8, 9,and 10. Since these equations are relatively simple, the valuescan be computed with a formula in a spreadsheet cell.

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