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HVAC Tutorial

HVAC Tutorial

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Published by: svramana on Feb 19, 2011
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Environmental Technology I, ARC 3610 School of Architecture, University of FloridaMartin Gold, Assistant Professor
 Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning Systems Tutorial
This Tutorial is intended to illustrate and summarize mechanical cooling systems that are commonly used inbuildings. The following information is adapted from a Life Cycle Cost study conducted for the FloridaDepartment of Education. The Tutorial outlines various mechanical cooling system types that are used inschools throughout the State of Florida which are representative of the predominant system types usednationally. System descriptions, images, schematic diagrams, first cost estimates, operating cost estimatesand qualitative observations are included when applicable.Due to the Florida climate, mechanical cooling is the largest consumer of energy in schools and second onlyto electrical lighting in some commercial applications subsequently contributing significantly to operatingcosts. Furthermore, the inherent humidity in the sub-tropical climate and the requirement for adequate freshair to be delivered to spaces requires sophisticated equipment and strategies of implementation to achievecomfort and good indoor air quality (IAQ). Other factors such as system space requirements; mechanicalsystem noise generated; cooling equipment noise impacting adjacent neighborhoods; rebates from electricalutilities for off-peak cooling; and the deleterious effects of excessive humidity on health, building finishes andequipment such as computers are important considerations that relate to mechanical system selection,design and operation in a hot & humid climate. Additionally, in rural areas, the availability of repair parts andfactory trained repair personnel are typically limited and the use of complex systems in these areas may havelong down times and increased repair costs.
 Elements that make up mechanical systems range from train car size chillers to sophisticated energy savingsdevices, from pipe insulation to digital controllers and computerized monitoring systems. This sectionattempts to appropriately include and discuss these elements and review the types of systems that aretypically use in school buildings and other commercial applications in Florida.Table 3.2 below provides a tabulated organization of the many elements that contribute to a completemechanical Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. In the following sections, specificsystems are referred to by a general description and will comprise the elements listed in Table 3-2. In mostcases, the systems included below will provide heating, cooling and ventilating with exceptions noted.The Florida Department of Education has published information on educational facilities in Florida. The reportincludes a study of 108 facilities (36 facilities in 1992, 33 facilities in 1996 and 39 facilities in 1997). Figures3-1 through 3-3 illustrate summaries of the mechanical systems. These figures show the breakdown ofmechanical system types with respect to air distribution heat generation and cooling. Based on this survey,central chiller plant systems with electrical heating and variable air volume (VAV) air-side distribution are themost prevalent systems.Figure 3-1 shows the percentage of refrigeration generating equipment used in the schools responding to thesurvey. The majority (79%) of the schools report using central systems. This could be with air-cooled orwater-cooled chillers which was not clear from the survey. No split systems were reported. In actual visits toschools conducted as part of the research, the team did observe split systems in use. Interviews withMechanical Engineers that design cooling systems in Florida indicated split systems are being installed insome schools.Figure 3-2 shows the break down of air distribution systems in the schools surveyed. Variable air volume(VAV) systems are the most commonly used (60%). The 19% air handling units may or may not serve aVAV distribution system. This issue is unclear in the survey results. The popularity of the VAV air delivery
Environmental Technology I, ARC 3610 School of Architecture, University of FloridaMartin Gold, Assistant Professor
2method for central systems is likely due to its flexibility during installation, high number of zones provided andlimited amount of ductwork needed. VAV systems also typically have a lower first cost than other central airdistribution systems such as multi-zone or dual duct.Figure 3-3 shows the breakdown of mechanical heat generation equipment in the schools surveyed. Electricresistance heat strips are the most prevalent (53%). It should be noted that most heat pump systems (35%)also have electrical heat strips for auxiliary heating that are likely not reported in the survey. In actual visits toschools for this report, the team did observe boilers with hot water distribution. In interviews with MechanicalEngineers boiler systems were noted as not often used due to high first cost and lack of need for heatingduring the long cooling season.
Environmental Technology I, ARC 3610 School of Architecture, University of FloridaMartin Gold, Assistant Professor
Table 3-2 Basic HVAC Systems and Components
Movers, convertersand processors
Supply and return trees,delivery and controlcomponents
Comfort and Health inClassrooms
Fuel, air , orelectricityHeatCO
 BoilersFurnacesPumpsFansFiltersHeat StripsHeat PumpsPipesDuctsElectricity conduitsDiffusersGrillesRadiatorsThermostatsValves, DampersControllersWarm air or surfacesAir motion is oftencontrolledHumidity control issometimes needed
Air, water andelectricityAir, vapour,heat, CO
 Evaporative coolersHeat pumpsChillers and coolingtowersThermal StorageCoilsPumpsFansFiltersPipesDuctsTerminal BoxesDiffusersGrillesRadiatorsThermostatsValvesDampersControllersCool air or surfacesAir motion is oftencontrolledHumidity control isrequired
 CoilsFansFiltersDuctsDiffusersGrillesSwitchesDampersControllersAir motion is oftencontrolledHumidity control issometimes needed

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