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Introduction to building technology

Siemens Switzerland Ltd

Infrastructure & Cities Sector
Building Technologies Division
International Headquarters
Gubelstrasse 22
6301 Zug
Tel +41 41 724 24 24
Siemens Building Technologies
Infrastructure & Cities Sector
Brunel House
Sir William Siemens Square, Frimley
Surrey, GU16 8QD
United Kingdom
Tel +44 1276 696000

Introduction to
building technology

Siemens Ltd
Infrastructure & Cities Sector
Building Technologies Division
22/F, Two Landmark East
100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel +852 2870 7888

The information in this document contains general descriptions of technical options available,
which do not always have to be present in individual cases. The required features should therefore
be specified in each individual case at the time of closing the contract.
Siemens Switzerland Ltd, 2011 Order no. 0-91916-en 11110

Answers for infrastructure.

Our world is undergoing changes that force us to think
in new ways: demographic change, urbanization, global
warming, and resource shortages. Maximum efficiency
has top priority and not only where energy is concerned.
In addition, we need to increase comfort for the well-being
of users. Also, our need for safety and security is constantly

growing. For our customers, success is defined by how

well they manage these challenges. Siemens has the
We are the preferred partner for energy-efficient,
safe, and secure buildings and infrastructure.

Answers for infrastructure.

Table of contents

Building technology .............................................................................. 7


Introduction.............................................................................................. 7


Building shell ........................................................................................... 8


Building technology ............................................................................... 10

Building automation and control ............................................................ 12


Types of building, use, and conditions................................................... 14


Physical principles .............................................................................. 15


Introduction............................................................................................ 15


Thermodynamics ................................................................................... 16
Thermal expansion of solid materials .................................................... 21
Thermal expansion of liquids ................................................................. 23
The medium "water" .............................................................................. 24
Thermal expansion of gases.................................................................. 31
The medium air ................................................................................... 34
The enthalpy of substances................................................................... 36
From Kilocalories to Kilojoules and Watts.............................................. 39
Heat transmission.................................................................................. 40
Heat conduction..................................................................................... 40
Heat convection..................................................................................... 42
Thermal radiation................................................................................... 46
The mixing law....................................................................................... 49
Time constant of heat transfer ............................................................... 49


Hydrodynamics (fluid mechanics).......................................................... 51

Laminar flow .......................................................................................... 51
Turbulent flow ........................................................................................ 51
Velocity and pressure ............................................................................ 53


Hygienic fundamentals .......................................................................... 56

Heat balance of people.......................................................................... 56
Comfortable room temperature.............................................................. 58


Overview of heating systems ............................................................. 63


Simple heating system .......................................................................... 63


Heating system classification ................................................................ 64


Heat generation for hot water central heating........................................ 65

Oil and gas boilers................................................................................. 65
Types of boiler ....................................................................................... 65
Domestic hot water supply via the boiler ............................................... 65
Burners .................................................................................................. 66
Atmospheric gas burners....................................................................... 68
Wood gas pre-furnace ........................................................................... 69
Manually loaded wood-chip furnace ...................................................... 69
Automatic wood chip and sawdust furnaces.......................................... 70
Pellet fired boilers .................................................................................. 71
Coke and coal-fired boilers.................................................................... 72
Utilization of solar energy ...................................................................... 72
Bivalent system for space heating and domestic hot water ................... 73
The solar panel as the heat provider ..................................................... 74
The solar heating circuit ........................................................................ 75
The storage tank.................................................................................... 75
Examples of solar heating plants........................................................... 75

Net heat value after deduction of total losses ........................................ 76

Electric resistance heating with central storage..................................... 77
Centralized solid-mass storage ............................................................. 77
Centralized water storage...................................................................... 77
Heat pumps ........................................................................................... 78
Common heating systems ..................................................................... 78
Methods of utilizing environmental energy ............................................ 78
Combined heat and power (CHP).......................................................... 79
CHP applications ................................................................................... 79
Cogeneration plant ................................................................................ 79
Mini-cogeneration plant ......................................................................... 83
Fuel cells ............................................................................................... 84
District heating connection..................................................................... 87
Heat sources ......................................................................................... 87
Heat transportation and distribution....................................................... 88
District heat transfer station ................................................................... 89


Main components .................................................................................. 90

Pumps ................................................................................................... 90
Pump and plant characteristics.............................................................. 90
Control equipment ................................................................................. 92
Regulating valve .................................................................................... 93
Safety equipment................................................................................... 94


Distribution components ........................................................................ 98

Distribution component types ................................................................ 98
Distribution component without primary pump (type 1) for consumer
zones in a mixing circuit......................................................................... 99
Distribution components with a primary pump (type 2) for consumer
zones in throttling circuits or injection circuits with two-port valves...... 100
Distribution components with a primary pump (type 3) for consumer
zones in diverting circuits or injection circuits with three-port valves ... 100
Distribution component with primary pump (type 4) for connection
without differential pressure to consumers in a mixing circuit.............. 101
System header .................................................................................... 102


Distribution systems for radiators ........................................................ 103

Gravity system ..................................................................................... 103
Pump systems ..................................................................................... 103
Floor by floor heating ........................................................................... 106


Heat output in hot water central heating systems ............................... 106

Radiator-type heaters .......................................................................... 106
Basic heat output information .............................................................. 106
Influences on the heat output from a radiator ...................................... 106
Floor heating........................................................................................ 107
Ceiling heating ..................................................................................... 108
Wall heating ......................................................................................... 108


Central heating systems with operating temperatures above 100 C .. 109

High-temperature hot water heating .................................................... 109
Steam heating...................................................................................... 109


TABS Thermo-active building systems ..............................................110


Refrigeration technology .................................................................. 112




Cooling with surface water....................................................................114


The compressor refrigeration machine cycle........................................116

Function of the cycle.............................................................................116


Physical relationships ...........................................................................116

Refrigerants ......................................................................................... 121
The refrigeration cycle ......................................................................... 121
The absorption cycle ........................................................................... 124
Working substance combinations ........................................................ 126
Application ........................................................................................... 127


Hydraulics in Building Systems ....................................................... 128


Introduction.......................................................................................... 128


Hydraulic circuits ................................................................................. 129

Key components of a hydraulic plant................................................... 129
The different hydraulic circuits ............................................................. 130


Distributors .......................................................................................... 133

The different types of distributors ........................................................ 133
Distributor without main pump (type 1), for consumer zones
with mixing circuits............................................................................... 134
Distributor with main pump (type 2), for consumer zones with
throttling circuits or injection circuits with two-port valves.................... 135
Distributor with main pump (type 3), for consumer zones with
diverting circuits or injection circuits with three-port valves ................. 136
Distributor with main pump (type 4), for differential pressureless
consumer connection with mixing circuit ............................................. 137
Schematic diagrams of distributors...................................................... 138


Basic hydraulic circuits ........................................................................ 139

Hydraulic circuits with variable and constant flow................................ 139
Control of flow and control of mixing.................................................... 139
Throttling circuit ................................................................................... 140
Diverting circuit .................................................................................... 141
Mixing circuit........................................................................................ 142
Mixing circuit with fixed premixing ....................................................... 143
Injection circuit..................................................................................... 144
Injection circuit with three-port valve.................................................... 144
Injection circuit with two-port valve ...................................................... 145


kV values.............................................................................................. 146


Valve characteristic.............................................................................. 146


The characteristic of the controlled system ......................................... 148


Ventilation and airconditioning plants............................................. 150


Definition of terms (from DIN 1946) ..................................................... 150


Ventilation aggregates ......................................................................... 151

Weather-protected grilles..................................................................... 151
Dampers .............................................................................................. 151
Air filters............................................................................................... 153
Classification based on filter classes ................................................... 153
Pressure differentials at the air filter .................................................... 154
Filter types ........................................................................................... 155
Fiber (or "dry") filters............................................................................ 155
Metallic filters....................................................................................... 157
Activated carbon filters ........................................................................ 157
Electric filters ....................................................................................... 158
Automatic filters ................................................................................... 159
Fans..................................................................................................... 160
Fan and plant characteristics............................................................... 161
Heating coils ........................................................................................ 165


Chilled water cooling coil ..................................................................... 166

Direct expansion cooling coil ............................................................... 166
Humidifiers........................................................................................... 167
Evaporative humidifiers ....................................................................... 167
Steam humidifiers ................................................................................ 169
Dehumidification .................................................................................. 170
Heat recovery ...................................................................................... 171
Types of heat recovery ........................................................................ 171
DEC systems ....................................................................................... 175
Air diffusers.......................................................................................... 176


Air conditioning with a central energy supply....................................... 176

All-air systems ..................................................................................... 178
Single-duct system without zone after-treatment................................. 178
Single-duct system with zone after-treatment...................................... 179
Multi-zone system with multi-zone primary plant ................................. 180
Dual duct systems ............................................................................... 181
Variable air volume systems (VAV) ...................................................... 184
Air/water systems ................................................................................ 185
Displacement ventilation...................................................................... 185
Chilled ceilings..................................................................................... 186
Fan coil units (fan convectors)............................................................. 187
Fan coil units with primary air and induction systems.......................... 188
Hydraulic connection of fan coil and induction systems ...................... 191


Packaged air conditioning units for individual rooms ........................... 192

Window-mounted air conditioning units ............................................... 193
Console air conditioning units.............................................................. 193
Cupboard air conditioners (with cooling energy supply) ...................... 194
Split air conditioning units .................................................................... 195


Residential controlled mechanical ventilation ...................................... 196

Residential controlled mechanical ventilation systems ........................ 197


Measuring and control technology .................................................. 199


Introduction.......................................................................................... 199


Measurement....................................................................................... 200


Open-loop control ................................................................................ 201

Open-loop control terms ...................................................................... 202


Closed-loop control.............................................................................. 203

Control terminology (as defined in DIN 19226).................................... 207


Building automation and control .......................................................... 208


Building technology

1.1. Introduction
Types of building

If we look at the picture of a town, we can see immediately that it consists of very
different types of building. These are mainly residential or office buildings (some of
which have integrated shops or apartments "mixed construction"), schools, theaters, sports arenas, hospitals, and factories.

Fig. 1-1

The building profile of a town

All of these buildings have one thing in common: They are intended to protect their
users from outside influences, to provide security from the outside world, safety
indoors, and to ensure comfortable thermal conditions.
In the industrial nations, people spend up to 95% of their lives inside buildings. The
quality of this "indoor world" is therefore vitally important to our health and wellbeing. The significance of indoor well-being was only recognized as the number of
sick-building syndrome case began to increase. There are many causes of a reduced sense of well-being indoors. Some can be measured objectively, but many
of the problems are also related to the individuals and their social environment.
Indoor air quality

Objectively quantifiable causes include poor indoor air quality, too high or too low a
room temperature or humidity level, cold air drafts and unsuitable lighting.
But the human desire for comfort does not stop at our own front doors or office
doors: It extends to shopping malls, exhibition halls, sports arenas, fitness centers,
museums, and theaters all areas where acceptance is closely linked to perceived
air quality. Our own individual perception of comfort in buildings and rooms has a
highly significant effect on our sense of well-being.

Building automation
and control

Up-to-date measuring and control technology combined with a building automation

and control system is seen today as the basis for good "building performance",
which can be defined as the harmonious interplay of building architecture, system
technology, and indoor comfort.
Despite the fact that most processes are "automated", scope for intervention by
individuals is a key objective of modern building design strategies.

1.2. Building shell

Protection from the

From the HVAC viewpoint, the building shell acts as a buffer between controlled
indoor conditions and external environmental influences of the seasons such as
differences in temperature (+/), solar radiation, wind, rain, frost, and snow.
Of special note are the possible combinations of these influences such as wind and
rain, solar radiation and high temperatures, or solar radiation and low temperatures.
The building shell must be constructed to withstand these weather-dependent influences and to respond to them by means of building technology. Depending on its
location, the building shell may additionally need to provide protection against
street noise, rail or air traffic, and in some cases, against industrial noise.

Fig. 1-2

External and internal influences on a building


The inhabitants or users of a building also want to be protected against intrusion

and unauthorized access to their property.
Finally, another very important function of the building shell is adequate resistance
to fire.


The environmentally responsible requirement to make economical use of energy

for heating or cooling a building initially led to significant improvements in building
insulation, but at the same time to a purely static approach to the transfer of heat
through the building shell. Although the thermal transmittance coefficient (U-value)
indicates the specific heat loss, it gives no indication of the thermal storage capacity of the building shell, which, if properly exploited, contains significant energysaving potential.
For example, given the statistics which show that the average daytime temperature
in the central region of Switzerland never exceeds +22, it is clear that it would be a
good idea to compensate the high daytime temperatures with the cool night temperatures. In modern commercial or school buildings which are not occupied at
night, the cool night air can be used to cool the building shell from the inside too,
using forced ventilation. If there is sufficient thermal storage mass (concrete, brickwork), the building will stay pleasantly cool even at the hottest time of day, without
the need for additional cooling equipment. This cooling effect can be augmented
with sunblinds to protect the whole external building faade (not just the windows)
from direct solar radiation.

We are all familiar with the associated technical equipment, which can and does
vary depending on the type of building and its use.

Fig. 1-3

Technical installations in a building

1.3. Building technology

Building services
systems and technical

Buildings contain extensive technical infrastructures, which are continually growing

in complexity. The term building technology or the (DIN) standard designation technical equipment in buildings refers to all permanently installed technical equipment, inside and outside the building, designed to ensure the proper running
and general use of these buildings.
The term technical equipment in buildings was introduced to avoid confusion with
the term building services systems used in industrial processing. Essentially, this
building technology covers the following plants and installations:

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning plants

Heat recovery plants
Piped services (plumbing)
Energy supply and distribution
General building lighting
Window blinds systems
Pressure systems
Human conveyor systems (elevators, escalators)
Automatic doors and gates
Safety and security systems (fire, intrusion protection)
Disposal plants for sewage, flue gas, waste materials etc.

Not included here are production facilities of all types as well as technical
equipment directly needed for any working process.

Growing importance is attached to the interaction between individual systems and

their influence on each other. The building shell, in particular, is no longer seen as a
given, immutable object, but adapted dynamically to the various operating states
associated with building technology.
Functions of HVAC

Depending on the purpose of an HVAC plant, its functions can be divided into two
a. The term "comfort plant" covers all plants designed to create and automatically

maintain comfortable indoor conditions that promote the well-being and performance of people at home and in offices, schools, hospitals, restaurants,
cinemas, theaters, shopping malls, etc.
b. Industrial plant covers all plants designed to generate and maintain the particular indoor conditions required for specific production, storage, or ripening/maturing processes.


Heating technology

The purpose of heating technology is to provide a constant and comfortable room

temperature throughout the heating period. Heating technology generates hot water for space heating, and, in most plants, also for domestic use. The heating technology in a building covers: Heat generation, heat distribution, and heat emission.
The generation of heat is a highly complex aspect of heating technology. In addition
to conventional oil, gas, wood, or coal-fired boilers, heat is also generated using
heat pumps, cogeneration plants, solar energy, or combinations of these heat producers (bivalent heat generation), and district heating transfer stations.
Plumbing services are closely related to heating technology.

Ventilation technology

This covers air renewal, especially in areas such as factories, cinemas, theaters,
and restaurants in other words, in buildings where the air is used up or polluted
very quickly. Despite the introduction of fresh air in this process, the room temperature must be maintained at the required level. Heating coils are used for this purpose. The majority of these are heated with hot water, although electricity or steam
is sometimes used.

Air conditioning

Our sense of well-being and efficiency is affected not only by the room temperature, but also by the humidity, cleanliness, and freshness of the air in other words
by indoor conditions tuned as finely as possible to the human organism and
senses. An air conditioning plant can influence these factors. The air is treated by
use of heating coils, cooling coils, and air humidifiers. Air conditioning technology
today ranges from air conditioning plants for individual rooms and residential buildings through to the major plants seen for example in office buildings, shopping
malls, and airports, etc.
All plants must or should always operate automatically and make the best
possible use of the available energy.

Control strategy
defined by energy

Well-being in buildings with air conditioning plants no longer must be expensive.

Heat recovery systems, facade cooling, concrete core tempering (geothermal systems), solar protection systems, and solar energy (photo-voltaic energy) systems
are now virtually seen as standard in building technology.


1.3.1. Building automation and control

The intelligent building

Building technology may have to meet various requirements depending on the purpose of the building. However, the following three main requirements are prevalent:
1. The human need for comfort and well-being within the building shell, tailored to
specific types of building use, must be adequately met irrespective of external influences.
2. The building shell must provide protection commensurate with the potential risks
to protect occupants, users, and their property against damage by fire or water,
damage to equipment, or attack by third parties.
3. It should be possible to meet these requirements with acceptable investment
costs and minimal follow-on costs for energy, operation, maintenance, and loan

Bus line

Power supply (230 V)





1 1







Fig. 1-4

3 3



The intelligent building

Lighting control (automatic and time-based)

Central and group switching
Remote interrogation, remote control
Window switches
Occupancy detector
Outside surveillance system
Wind Speed (e.g. protection of blinds)
Outside siren with flashlight
Door locking contact
Socket (can be deactivated)
Rain detector (automatic closing of attic window)
Water detector
Heating valve actuators
Sun position-dependent blind control


Room temperature control

Condensing boiler
Outside sensor
Solar plant / photovoltaics
Shutter and blind control
Remote infrared operation
Intercom with video camera
TV set for monitoring and operating
24 Oven
25 Dish washer
26 Laundry machine

Intelligence in buildings can be subdivided roughly in accordance with the following

(Numbers associated with the various criteria are as in Figure 1.4)

Energy savings
Household appliances

1 12
4, 13 18
1, 2, 3, 15, 19 23
24 26

The relevant building technology plants can satisfy the overall requirements. We
can refer to intelligent building technology when all technical equipment works optimally with regard to specific requirements.


Planning building

There is no need to implement everything technically possible: We only need to

implement what is sensible, i.e., useful and protective to the environment. The
planning stage thus is a decisive phase, as all locally prevailing conditions are
taken into account, and all requirements must be carefully analyzed. Building technology conceptually well planned calls for planners with an extensive knowledge of
the basic principles of physical building construction, thermodynamics, flow mechanics, and chemical and environmental interrelations. Intelligent building technology demands intelligent planners with a command of integral interdisciplinary
planning methods and able to apply such methods consistently.

Building automation
and control systems

We not only supply the necessary equipment and systems to solve control issues,
but also prepare application-specific recommendations, and help our customers
engineer, commission, and maintain their plants.
We need the appropriate specialist knowledge to competently support our customers.


1.4. Types of building, use, and conditions




Paper storage
Cotton, linen
Wool spinning
Wool weaving





working temp.
working temp.
Constant humidity
Constant humidity
Constant humidity
Constant humidity
Constant humidity
Constant humidity


Volume flow
coefficient (h-1)

18 -26 C

30 60%

5 15 times

22 30 C

40 50%

20 24 C
20 26 C

45 60%

22 25 C
22 25 C
27 29 C
27 29 C

Up to 55%
70 80%
50 60%
60 70%

21 24 C
22 C
Up to 24 C

50 55%
40 45%
65 70%


Electrical industry

Low tolerance


Sterile, dry, clean


21 27 C

30 40%

Photo industry
storage of films


20 24 C

40 65%


18 22 C

40 60%



21 23 C
22 26 C
21 24 C

60 65%
75 85%
55 65%

Sweets production
Chocolate production


24 27 C
25 18 C

30 45%
50 60%

Museums, art
Indoor pool

Constant humidity

18 24 C

40 55%

20 times

Thermal comfort

26 30 C

60 70%

3 4 times

Sports and assembly


Thermal comfort

22 24 C


Thermal comfort

22 26 C

40 60%

Precision assembly
Sales premises

Low tolerance
Thermal comfort

21 C
22 26 C
20 26 C

45 60%

Specialty laboratories
Lecture halls
Office buildings
Hospital wards
Surgical rooms
Hotels, general
Hotel rooms

22 24 C

5 15 times

20 times
5 40 times

4 6 times
8 15 times

22 24 C

Thermal comfort
Thermal comfort
Thermal comfort
Thermal comfort
Thermal comfort

10 40 C
22 24 C
22 24 C
22 26 C

15 95%
40 60%
40 60%
40 60%

22 24 C

40 60%

20 25 C

40 65%

22 26 C
22 24 C

40 55%
Ca. 40%

8 10 times
3 6 times

5 times
30 times

Footnote: The figures for the air change rate (volume flow coefficient in m3/h) are defined in DIN 1946,
Part 2. DIN 1946 specifies that in rooms normally used by people, the outside air flow rate is to be
based on the number of people present in the room and room utilization. In rooms with additional
sources of air pollution (e.g. odors such as tobacco smoke), the minimum outside air flow rate should be
increased by 20 m3/h per person.



Physical principles

2.1. Introduction
From the extensive field of physics, we will cover in this chapter the application of
thermodynamics and hydrodynamics, with reference to the area of HVAC systems.
In addition, we will also be engaged with the hygienic fundamentals of HVAC systems, in particular with the subject of comfortableness. As an introduction, we
would like to define the terms used:
Thermodynamics: Section of physics where the behavior of physical systems
involving supply or delivery of heating energy are investigated along with temperature changes.
The fundamentals of thermodynamics are specified by the Laws of Thermodynamics
Hydrodynamics: Section of fluid mechanics involved with the flow of incompressible materials, that is, mainly with flowing fluids. Flows having considerable
density variations are covered in gas dynamics. At the limit, for static fluids, hydrodynamics reduces to hydrostatics
SI units

The name Systme International d`Units (International System of Units) and the
abbreviation SI were adopted by the 11th General Conference for Mass and
Weights in 1960. SI units comprise the seven basic units and derived units with a
factor of unity.
Basic Unit
Electrical current
Absolute temperature and temperature
Light intensity


SI Basic Unit

Derived units are formed by multiplying or dividing the basic units. The same holds
for the symbols. Thus, for example, the SI unit for speed is: Meters divided by seconds (m/s).


2.2. Thermodynamics
How is heat generated?

Heat is generated, for example, when a space capsule reenters the earths atmosphere at almost 40,000 km/h. 2,000 to 3,000C, created from the collision of atoms
of air with the heat shield, causes the atoms of the heat shield to oscillate. In this
case, heat is produced by friction caused by the loss of the capsules kinetic energy. In each material, be it solid, fluid or gas, the atoms or molecules are always
moving, that is, oscillating (Fig. 2-1). And this is the definition of heat, that is, the
oscillation of atoms or molecules. The greater the oscillation, the greater the heat
level. When we measure the temperature of a substance, it is these oscillations
that we measure.

Fig. 2-1

State change

Heat is the oscillation of atoms and molecules

If we hold a piece of metal over a flame, we cause the atoms in the metal to be
thermally excited.
The atoms begin to oscillate strongly and the metal heats accordingly. The metal
expands because the oscillatory movements of the atoms reduce their mutual attraction (binding force). If we continue heating, the atoms in the metal lose their
intrinsic order: The metal melts and individual atoms even shoot from the surface
as vapor, or more exactly, leave the fluidized surface as gas.
We have now become familiar with the three thermodynamic aggregate states:
fluid, and


While these oscillations of the atoms or molecules, together with their constant interactions, take place, another process occurs, which we also perceive as heat. As
a result of the interactions of the oscillating atoms, individual electrons, constantly
orbiting the atom nuclei, are suddenly flung from their normal orbit to one further
out (Fig. 2-2). This condition is unstable, however, and they return to their normal
orbit relatively quickly, but in only small quantum steps. But so that no energy is
lost, they release as much energy in the form of electromagnetic radiation as was
required to increase their orbit.
If this radiation strikes other atoms or molecules, e.g. in our skin, then the energy
they give up increases the oscillation of the atoms or molecules, which we notice
as heat. This radiation, derived from heat and causing heat is referred to as thermal
radiation or infrared radiation. It is not visible to the naked eye. Radiation allows the
emission of heat without a material carrier between the heat source and the radiated body. This is, for example, how radiant energy from the sun is transmitted to


Each warm material radiates thermal energy continually. This also holds for the
metal that we heated and also for the flame used to heat it. As soon as we remove
the flame, the oscillations of the metal atoms immediately become weaker, the
temperature falls and the thermal radiation reduces. Just as the flame thermally
excited the metal, now the heated metal excites its cooler surroundings, that is, e.g.
the surrounding air and the pliers we use to hold the hot metal. With this process,
the metal loses its internal energy until its temperature is in equilibrium with the surrounding temperature. Its atoms, however, at that point are in no way quiescent,
rather oscillate with an energy corresponding to this temperature.

Fig. 2-2

Electromagnetic radiation through returned energy of the electrons

The presentation of these concepts of the oscillation of atoms and the leaps of
electrons from orbit to orbit allows us to more easily understand the laws of thermodynamics.
First law of

The sum of all energy in a closed system is a constant.

Energy cannot be lost nor be created out of nothing, rather can only be transformed into other forms of energy.

Kinetic energy
(Formula symbol W)

Kinetic energy or momentum is that mechanical energy that a body has because of
its movement.

Nuclear energy

The binding energy of an atom nucleus (in the true sense) is set free or made useful during a nuclear reaction. On a commercial basis only the energy released by
nuclear fission processes in nuclear power plants has been used until now. The
impact of atomic particles in an atomic reactor takes place at a very high velocity on
unfissionable material.


Is mechanical energy generated by electricity. In heat engines, mechanical or electrical energy is generated from heat.

Potential energy
(symbol Epot)

That energy contained in a body or particle, because of its position in a field of

force or because of its interactive position with nearby bodies or particles. Potential
energy is held e.g. by a raised body, a spring in tension or in the water of a mountain dam. Water power is converted to electrical energy and this, in turn to electric
heat, power to drive motors or light from electricity.
The energy of light is stored as chemical energy in the atoms and molecules of organic material. This energy can be released during combustion as heat, light and


Second law of

Mechanical work can be converted to heat. The reconversion of heat into mechanical work is only partially possible. There are always losses.
Heat is created during transformation processes and is simultaneously a form of
Heat can, of itself, never pass from a body of lower temperature to a body of
higher temperature.
A warmer body immediately thermally excites a cooler one and in doing so, loses
internal energy. This determines the direction of all heat flows:
All heat transfer processes always proceed from the warmer to the colder
The cooling that we detect is never a cold transfer, rather a heat loss of our bodies.


Apart from pressure, density and specific volume, temperature is the dimension for
the thermal state. The oscillation of the atoms in each heated material shows us
that the lowest temperature, absolute zero, can only be reached if the atoms no
longer move, that is, no longer exhibit the slightest oscillation.
Practically, this point is unreachable, because the smallest heat quantity is sufficient (e.g. from the container or even from the thermometer) to prevent the temperature of the substance from going low enough.


The relative temperature scales (the Celsius and Fahrenheit scales) are based on
temperature dependent material characteristics such as the freezing and boiling
points of water.
The Celsius scale was developed by the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius in
1742 (*1701, 1744).
The Celsius scale is the one most used in common daily measurements of temperature.
The calibration points:

0 C
100 C


at the standard air pressure of 1.013 bar


freezing point of water

boiling point of water


The absolute temperature Theta is based on absolute zero according to Kelvin and
corresponds to -273.15 C. In physics, the unit for the Kelvin scale is the Kelvin (K)
(Kelvin, British physicist, 1824 1907).
Relative to the Celsius scale 0 C = 273 K and accordingly
n K = 273.15 + n C = absolute temperature T in Kelvin.
Temperature differentials (delta theta) are also specified in Kelvin.
Temperature can be measured by using the thermal expansion of solid materials
(mostly metals), the thermal expansion of liquids (e.g. alcohol in a thermometer), or
by changes in electrical resistance (see under Measuring Systems).

T 400




- 50

- 50
- 100
- 150

- 100
- 150
- 200
- 250

Fig. 2-3

- 200
- 250
- 300
- 350
- 400
- 450

Temperature scales


Comparison and
conversions among
the various scales

Zero point:
0 C =
Degrees Celsius to Kelvin:
Degrees Celsius to degrees Fahrenheit: F

273.15 K = 32 F
C + 273.15
C * 1.8 + 32

283.15 K 50 F

Example: 10 C

When calculating with temperatures in reports, communications and writings, we

designate a specific temperature with the Grecian letter ( theta").
Thus, for example, = 7 C. Frequently t = 7 C is also written. As long as only
temperature is involved, this would be acceptable. As soon as the time t becomes
involved with a momentary consideration, formula or calculation, however, the possibility for mistakes increases.
If we are involved with specific temperature, then receives index letters. These
are normally the leading letters of the associated term:
RO (theta room), OU (theta outside temperature)
Different temperatures in a room, in a boiler or along a surface are numbered
The average (mean) temperature of a number of temperatures is designated as m.
A temperature differential is designated as (delta theta) in Kelvin.




Fig. 2-4


Numbering of different temperatures at the same object

2.2.1. Thermal expansion of solid materials

Thermal expansion

All substances, whether solid, liquid or gaseous, expand upon heating (upon the
addition of energy). The amount of expansion, however, varies. This thermal expansion is associated with powerful forces. Bridges, for example, must be set on
bearings and possess expandable joints, so that they do not crack in winter and do
not destroy their supports in summer.
Let us first compare how strongly and how differently a steel rod of 1 m length and
a copper rod of the same length expand upon heating:

Linear expansion

Temperature difference



-100 C

0 C

+ 1.67 mm

+2.65 mm

0 C

100 C

+ 1.20 mm

+1.65 mm

100 C

200 C

+ 1.31 mm

+1.73 mm

200 C

300 C

+ 1.41 mm

+1.77 mm

300 C

400 C

+ 1.52 mm

+1.92 mm

Thermal expansion of steel and copper

We recognize that differing materials expand differently and this in accordance with
the linear expansion coefficient .
The coefficient of linear expansion is the increase in unit length of a body upon a
1K increase in temperature. This number changes somewhat with temperature increase, so fixed averages are used in calculations.




Iron (Fe)


Platinum (Pt)


Aluminum (Alu)


Copper (Cu)


5003 mm 70C
5000 mm 20C

+ 3 mm

Fig. 2-5


Thermal expansion of a steel radiator

A radiator made of steel 5 m long expands approximately 0.6 mm per meter upon
warming 50 K, that is, approximately 3 mm (Fig. 2-5). This is a considerable
amount. The radiator expands this much each morning in winter when the heating
system switches from reduced night operation back to full output, becoming some
50 K warmer in the process in a few minutes.


If the radiator is fixed in place so that it cannot freely move, the familiar knocking
sound is heard when the radiator insists on expanding. In poorly controlled systems, where the radiator temperature continually oscillates, the knocking can be
heard the entire day.
Bimetallic elements

Thermal expansion of materials not only provides the engineer with difficulties, it
also can be utilized technically: In a bimetallic element, two metals of different linear expansion are soldered together (Fig. 2-6). If this sandwich metal (1 ) is
heated, it is forced to bend because one side expands more than the other. And the
longer the bimetallic element and the higher the temperature, the stronger the
bending. If the element is formed in a circle of spiral and supplied with a pointer
and appropriately calibrated, the bimetallic element becomes a bimetallic thermometer, (2). If it is supplied with a contact, it becomes a thermal, that is, temperature-dependent switch (3-4).

Fig. 2-6

Bimetallic applications

1 Functioning of a bimetallic strip

2 Bimetallic thermometer

3 Bimetallic switch
4 Bimetallic time switch with heating resistor

Such bimetallic switching systems are often used in technical applications: In simple designs as safety switches against excessive temperature (e.g. in motor windings or for motor protection), and in high-quality designs with adjustable switching
points as thermostats. The temperature-sensitive bimetallic element is specified as
a bimetallic sensor.
If a bimetallic element that, for example, is completely straight at 20 C is suddenly
exposed to a temperature of 50 C, it immediately begins to bend. The bending
stops only when the entire bimetallic element has heated to 50 C. Under identical
conditions, the same time is always required. Thus the bimetallic element is suitable for manufacturing time switches (4) in an operation that, depending on application, delays or accelerates switching on or off. A small electrical heating resistor
can be used to heat the bimetallic element and so accelerate the switching sequence.
Controllers having a solid expansion sensor are related to temperature controllers
using bimetallic sensors. The tube and rod used in this construction also consist of
two metals having differing expansion coefficients. The switching system is activated by the difference in lengths occurring upon heating.
Thermostats having immersion sensors are preferably used as temperature controllers for liquids or gases in storage heaters, boilers, piping, etc. While the medium
can wash round the sensor so that it quickly takes on the temperature of the medium, the operating head remains outside the container. This makes it easily accessible and protects it from excessive heating.


2.2.2. Thermal expansion of liquids

The molecular association of liquids is less than that of solids: Liquids expand more
upon heating. But, as for solids, liquids have differing expansion coefficients and
similarly expand more per K at higher temperatures than at lower temperatures.
At constant pressure, the volumetric expansion symbol for liquids and gases is
(Beta) [1/K].
Volumetric expansion




.10 /K


.10 /K



Water (20 to 70 C)

0.20 to 0.59

Fuel oil EL




Thermal expansion of liquids is again used for thermometers and in the construction of temperature-dependent switches (Fig. 2-7).
In the thermometer (1), the liquid in the globe expands upon heating and moves up
into the capillary. If the temperature of liquids is to be measured exactly, the entire
thermometer inclusive capillary must be immersed into the liquid because the liquid
in the capillary also expands.

Fig. 2-7

Thermal expansion of liquids

1 Thermometer
2 Liquid expansion sensor
3 Thermal valve

Thermal switches, that is thermostats, having a liquid expansion sensing element

are, in principle, constructed similarly (2). Sensing element capillary tube, metal
enclosure and diaphragm are filled with oil. When the oil expands because of heating, the diaphragm is pushed upwards and activates the switching system.
The diaphragm can activate a valve instead of an electrical switch.
The result is a temperature-dependent control valve (3).


2.2.3. The medium "water"

Volume change

Water expands as do all liquids. While others expand more and more from their
melting point with each K temperature increase, water first contracts from 0 to 4 C
(the anomaly of water) and only then does it begin to behave in a standard manner, that is, to expand.
1,000 kg water
-1 C
approx. 1,090.0 liter
0 C

1,000.2 liter

2 C

1,000.1 liter

4 C

1,000.0 liter

10 C

1,000.4 liter

20 C

1,001.8 liter

30 C

1,004.4 liter

40 C

1,007.9 liter

50 C

1,012.1 liter

60 C

1,017.1 liter

70 C

1,022.8 liter

80 C

1,029.0 liter

90 C

1,035.9 liter

100 C

1,043.5 liter

Volume change of water as a function of temperature

The above table also indicates the level of expansion of water in a central heating
system. Assume that just 1000 liters of water at 20 C is in a boiler, the piping and
the radiators. Also assume that this system in winter is often operated with water at
a temperature of 70 C.
This means that there is a volume increase of 21 liters.
These 21 liters must be collected somewhere or else the system will burst. For this
purpose, each hot water central heating system has an expansion tank.
Since water expands so strongly, it becomes correspondingly lighter because its
density (rho) [kg/m ] changes.



Physics: (mass density, specific mass) symbol (rho), the quotient of mass and
volume of a body. Besides depending on the material of the body, the density is
also dependent on pressure and temperature (especially for gases and liquids).

The SI unit of density is kg/dm


Density kg/dm



Ice (at 0C)






Wood (dry)


Sand (dry)


Foam material


Water 20 C


Water (at 4C)


Density of some solids and liquids in kg/dm3 at 20 C:

Example: At 20 C, 1000 liters of water weighs approx. 1000 kg and at 90 C =

approx. 965 kg.
Buoyancy changes with density so that less dense material floats on top of the
denser material. Thus, heated water always moves upwards and is layered over
the colder water.
This layering is very noticeable, for example, while swimming in a lake or in the

Fig. 2-8

Temperature layers in a hot water storage tank

In heating plants, this lifting effect of the heated water is used for gravity heating.
In every boiler or hot water storage tank the heated (and expanded) water moves
so fast upwards that it only gives up a fraction of its heat to the surrounding cold
water (Fig. 2-8). In this way, the hot water collects at the top and is withdrawn there.
Cold water enters from the bottom. The temperature layering is so stable that even
the swirl of the entering cold water hardly affects it.



The fact that warm water layers over cold water also makes life difficult for us: For
example, in indoor swimming pools, we cannot simply supply hot water through an
inflow from above or below; that would most surely lead to a temperature stratification. Such stratification would only be very slowly eliminated by the churning
movements of the swimmers. Further, measuring the effective water temperature in
a pool with temperature stratification is very difficult. In order to get around this
problem, systems designed for comfort supply filtered and heated water at many
locations along the bottom of the pool.
The tendency of warmer water to form a layer over colder water is so strong that
such stratification even remains preserved in piping over long distances (Fig. 2-9).
We have to take this into account when considering the installation locations for
temperature sensors or controllers in piping.


Fig. 2-9

Temperature stratification of flowing water in piping

We have learned that heat is the oscillation of atoms or molecules. Heat is a

form of energy and the temperature of a material is a measure of how strongly
these small building blocks are oscillating. In addition, we have seen that with increasing oscillatory movement (= temperature), the structure of the material relaxes, that it expands and in the end solids transform into liquids and liquids to a
gaseous state.
The anomaly of water

Water has the highest density at 4 C and expands both when heat is supplied or
when heat is removed. While other liquids contract when solidifying, water expands
in an amount exactly equal to 1/11 of its volume (Fig. 2-10). This is why ice can
rupture with enormous force rocks, road surfaces and house facades as well as
piping, radiators, etc.

+ 10C
Fig. 2-10



- 10C

Volume increase of water upon freezing

11 V

Frost damage occurs in heating systems mostly in unused and unemptied systems
or if the heating is reduced excessively in winter. In ventilation and air conditioning
systems, on the other hand, it is standard that in winter outside air of -10 C or
lower is blown through air heating coils heated with hot water. It is our responsibility
to ensure a secure freezing protection function through dependable temperature
monitoring, because if the hot water supply stops even for a few minutes in such
icy conditions, then expensive frost damage can occur.

We now wish to observe the aggregate state of water in somewhat more detail. As
we know, water vaporizes. And this has a basis in the movement of molecules: In
contrast to solids, the water molecules do not oscillate about fixed points. Because
of this, those molecules that find themselves at the surface of the water can easily
shoot out from it. Some of these will reenter the water, while the rest remain as invisible water vapor in the air. And each particle that escapes and is carried away by
the wind takes its heat of vaporization with it. When this procedure takes place on
our skin, we clearly notice the heat loss through this vaporization as a cooling effect.
We take an approximately half filled container of water and cover it (Fig. 2-11). Because of the cover, the air can no longer carry the vaporized water molecules away.
A water vapor-air mixture thus forms over the water surface as more and more water molecules vaporize. Water molecules are also returning into the water from the
vapor-air mixture. Initially, however, more water molecules on average leave the
water surface than return until a dynamic equilibrium situation is finally reached,
where the number of water molecules leaving the water surface equals the number
returning to the water. At this point, the air is said to be saturated with water vapor.

Fig. 2-11

Dynamic equilibrium situation in a closed container of water

If we raise the temperature of the water, the water molecules increase their oscillations and so more can leave the water surface. Initially, again, more water molecules will leave the water surface than return to it until the concentration of the water molecules in the air reaches a level where the number of molecules leaving the
water surface equals the number returning. Thus, the higher we raise the temperature, the higher the fraction of water vapor in the vapor-air mixture.


Boiling point

If we heat the water strongly, bubbles of hot vapor (that is, steam) suddenly appear
in the water. The water boils. At this point, the formation of vapor is no longer restricted to the water surface, it also forms within the water. We now keep adding
heat to the container so that the amount of steam continually increases (the boiling
rate increases although the water temperature remains the same). Eventually, sufficient pressure will built up within the container to lift the cover, allowing some
steam to escape (Fig. 2-12). Another way of looking at this is to say that, at the
same pressure, steam needs more volume than water.

Fig. 2-12

At the same pressure, steam needs more volume than water

At standard air pressure, water boils at 100 C. What is meant by standard air
This definition states that standard air pressure exists if the weight of air at sea
level is 101,325 N/m2 (or 101.3 kPa = 1.013 bar). Thus, an air column of 1 m2 cross
section reaching out into space has this weight.
The sentence At standard air pressure, water boils at 100 C" means that the boiling temperature is evidently dependent on the pressure over the water. In other
words, the higher the pressure on the water, the higher the oscillations required of
the water molecules, that is, the higher the temperature needed in order to convert
liquid water to steam. We can then draw the conclusion that for pressures above
standard, the boiling point will increase. This is also the case: At 1.5 bar (overpressure of 0.5 bar), e.g. in a pressure cooker, water actually does boil at approximately
110 C (Fig. 2-13).

0,7 bar

1 bar


0 m . M.

0 m above sea level

Fig. 2-13

3,000 m above sea level

3 000 m . M.

1,5 bar

Air pressure and boiling point of water depend on the elevation above sea level

The boiling point of water, that is, the temperature where the transition from liquid
water to water vapor occurs, is dependent on pressure.


Fig. 2-14

Temperature-pressure graph for saturated steam

Water temperatures above 100 C occur frequently in district heating plants. This
means that a pressure of more than 1 bar must exist in the piping network to keep
the water from boiling.
In the next step, we wish to investigate the amount of energy required to convert
ice into water and then into vapor. The relationship is shown in the temperatureenthalpy graph (Fig. 2-15).
In order to heat one liter of water from 0 C to 100 C, we need 419 kJ.
We determine that the temperature does not remain constant during this process.
Sensible (noticeable) heat is being transferred.
At 100 C, the water begins to vaporize internally also, creating steam. Were we
now to stop adding heat, the water temperature would immediately drop, the internal vaporization would stop, halting the production of steam. In order to completely
convert one liter of water to steam, we would have to add heat until no water remained. For this we need an additional 2,257 kJ, that is, more than five times the
amount of heat required to heat the water from 0 C to 100 C.


We determine that the temperature remains constant at 100 C during this conversion process. Thus, no sensible heat is being transferred, rather what is called the
latent heat of vaporization is being consumed in order to change the aggregate
state of the water from liquid to gas.






Fig. 2-15



2676 2704,3
h (kJ / kg)

Temperature-enthalpy graph for water at an air pressure of 1,013 mbar

Since, on a theoretical basis, no energy can be lost, one kilogram of steam at

100 C thus holds heat energy amounting to 419 + 2,257 kJ = 2,676 kJ. This steam
is thus said to have a heat content (enthalpy) of 2,676 kJ/kg.
In order to convert one kilogram of ice at 0 C to one liter of water at 0 C requires
335 kJ. The temperature also remains constant during this conversion. No sensible
heat is detected, but heat is transferred. This heat required to convert solid water
(ice) to liquid water is designated as the latent heat of fusion.
The state change of water can be represented in various ways.
Fig. 2-15 shows the dependence of temperature on the heat supply at constant
pressure. You can clearly locate the areas of sensible and latent heat transmission.
The heat content of the water, that is, its enthalpy, is increased through the addition
of heat.
Pressure-temperature or pressure-enthalpy charts, as well as water/steam tables
are additional ways of showing these relationships.
Sensible heat

Sensible heat is perceptible heat added to a material (e.g. using a burner or an

electric heating element). Sensible heat is detectable using a thermometer.

Latent heat

Latent heat is the heat added to a material to cause its state to completely change
from solid to liquid or from liquid to vapor. No temperature change takes place during these conversions.


Enthalpy is the sum of the sensible and latent heat possessed by a substance. If
processes are involved having considerable pressure and volume changes (e.g.
compression), mechanical work (potential energy) done on the material must be
added in (units of [kJ/kg]).
With the exception of waters strange behavior between 0 C and 4 C and the
fact that each liquid has its own specific coefficient of expansion, everything we
have said about water also holds for other liquids.


2.2.4. Thermal expansion of gases


If we heat a bar shape of iron, water and air each of 1 cm cross section and 10 cm
in length to 100 K and compare the thermal expansion of the three materials, we
obtain the result shown in Fig. 2-16.

Fig. 2-16

Thermal expansion of iron, water and air

We know why the difference is so large: For iron, the atoms are fixed in place relative to one another, for water the relationship is less distinct and for gases, there is
only a very small mutual attractive force among the atoms. And the lower the mutual attractive force, the stronger the thermal stimulus (the increased oscillation of
the atoms and molecules needs more space).
While solid and liquid materials expand depending on material type, all gases behave essentially the same. The behavior is often expressed in terms of an ideal
gas, that is, a gas that obeys the following laws:
Boyle-Mariottes Law

The law discovered by R. Boyle and E. Mariotte: In a given amount of an ideal gas,
the product of pressure and volume at constant temperature is a constant
Pressure: p1 * V1 = p2 * V2
r1 * V1 = r2 * V2
Density behaves like the associated pressure.

Gay-Lussacs Law

Gay-Lussacs Law states that the volume V of a gas at constant pressure p increases linearly with absolute pressure T:
V1 = V0 (1 + *T1 ) = V0 + V0 *T1 (T in K)
The (isobaric) coefficient of expansion for all ideal gases has the value =
1/273 K. (V0 = volume at 0C). Consequently at constant pressure, the gas volume
in question is proportional to the absolute temperature, or,
V1 / V2 = T1 / T2
Gases and gas mixtures, such as air, expand 1/273 of their volume at 0 C for
each K heating. ( = 0.00366 K )


In other words, 1 m ( = 1000 dm ) of air always expands approximately 3.66 dm

for each increase in temperature of 1 K. Whether we heat from 0 C to 1 C or from
20 C to 21 C is, for our purposes, irrelevant.
The more the air expands, the lighter (less dense) it becomes. (The density of air at
0 C and 1.013 bar = 1.293 kg/m ). The air that we experience as weightless is, in
reality, not so light:

1 m air at

0 C = 1.293 kg
20 C = 1.205 kg
50 C = 1.093 kg

From this we can see that 1 m of air, moving past a radiator and heating up from
20 C to perhaps 50 C, experiences a buoyancy of approximately 1N.

Buoyancy of approx. 1 N! (N = Newton; explained below)

Force, physics: Cause of acceleration or reshaping of a body. The force F is defined as the product of the mass m of a body and the acceleration a experienced
by the body, or F = m * a
Depending on their physical source, we differentiate among gravitational force,
electromagnetic force, strong force (interactive nuclear force) as well as the weak
force (leads to the decay of atomic particles). The Newton (N) is the SI unit of force.
The 1N force is considerable for light air. Thus, air heated by a radiator moves
swiftly upwards and along the ceiling where it gives up its heat to the ceiling and
the surrounding air.
In cooling, the air increases in density (becomes heavy again), moves lower and
eventually again reaches the radiator, attracted" by the flow of air constantly moving upward from the radiator (Fig. 2-17).

Fig. 2-17


Air circulation in a room having a radiator

What we have here then is the same gravity circulation effect as for a hot water
gravity heating system.
Since the air molecules can move freely, they mix much more easily with one another than molecules in liquids. The result is that there are less sharply delineated
temperature layers in gases.
The temperature behavior caused by the gravity circulation within a room is shown
in the graph below.



Fig. 2-18






The relationship between room height and room temperature

We have touched on the subject of The thermal expansion of gaseous materials.

Knowledge of the other gas laws is predominantly an important prerequisite for
ventilation and air conditioning systems.


2.2.5. The medium air

A thin layer of air surrounds the earth. Variations in this layer cause changes in
what is called the barometric (atmospheric) pressure (measured with a barometer).
Air's most critical feature is that life forms need it to breath. A grown person, for ex3
ample, requires approximately 0.5 m air to breathe per hour to maintain life processes. In addition, the air fulfills other vital requirements. For example, air absorbs
vast amounts of water in form of vapor from the surfaces of lakes and oceans,
transports it large distances and then lets it fall to earth in the form of precipitation.
The physical quantities used to describe the state of the air are referred to as variables. Air conditioning systems also deal with these variables. The most important
are air temperature, humidity and pressure.
Pure dry air

Air is a mixture of gases, vapors and contaminants. Dry, clean air exists only theoretically. Dry, clean air would consist of:
Gaseous material:
















Carbon dioxide












Helium, Krypton, Xenon

He, Kr, Xe



In addition to the thermal state of the air, the purity, gas percentages and mainly the
water content of the air play a large roll in ventilation and air conditioning systems.
The humidity of air

The water content of a substance is measured by moisture content or humidity. In

the case of humidity, water in gaseous form is homogeneously mixed with the air.
As for every other substance, air has only a limited capacity to hold water. This limit
is referred to as saturation. The difference between humid air under the saturation
point and dry air cannot be distinguished by the naked eye, that is, they are both
completely colorless and transparent. Above the saturation point, however, excess
water (which condenses or precipitates out of the air as the air temperature drops
below the saturation point) appears as the finest of water droplets in the form of fog
or clouds. The amount of water condensing out of the air at saturation is dependent
on the air temperature. The amount of moisture that can be held by the air increases exponentially with temperature. At 0 C it is, for example, 3.9 g/m3, and at
20 C reaches 15 g/m .
The most important relationships will be explained using an example:
A room contains air holding a certain amount of water vapor. If you now start to cool
the air gradually, a certain temperature will be eventually reached where dew begins to appear on the walls or objects in the room. This temperature is referred to
as the dew point. You can observe this process when air at room temperature is
20 C is cooled at the window glass which is at 6 C. The water vapor condensing
from the air collects and runs down the window.
These ideas make it clear that the air is not uniformly capable of absorbing water
vapor and that this capability is dependent on the air temperature. Thus, each air
temperature at a specific air pressure is associated with a certain amount of water
vapor that may not be exceeded without the formation of dew appearing.


t (C)

2 4

8 10 12 14 16 x (g/kg)


Fig. 2-19

h,x diagram

The relationship between temperature and saturation humidity

Fig. 2-19 shows the dependence of the largest possible water vapor amount which,
dependent on temperature, can be contained in a specified volume of air.
The variables relative and absolute humidity are used to provide a numerical representation of the amount of vapor contained in the air. The exact relationships are
shown in the h,x diagram. They can be easily determined by measurements and
made available with the help of graphs.
We now know what heat is, know the source of thermal radiation and also have
received an idea of how difficult it is in practice to obtain exact temperature measurements. After that, we examined thermal expansion of materials and have seen,
using practical examples, how this phenomena can be constructively used and
which processes it gives rise to in heating systems and heated rooms.
We have already seen how much energy is needed to heat or vaporize water, and
know that air can only dissolve a certain quantity of water vapor, and that this portion of water vapor is dependent on air temperature and pressure.


2.2.6. The enthalpy of substances

We have seen that the temperature of substance corresponds to a certain oscillational condition or (level of excitement) of its atoms. If we wish to raise the temperature, we must excite the atoms more, and for this energy is needed. The energy
quantity needed also depends on how many particles have to be excited, in other
words, from the weight (mass) of the material.
The larger the mass, the larger the quantity of heat or enthalpy contained in the
substance following the temperature rise.
The quantity of heat contained in a substance is designated by Q [kJ].
Specific heat

The quantity of heat Q can be calculated. But first we have to get to know a few
variables. If we try to raise the temperature of 1 kg of copper, 1 kg of water and
1 kg of air by 1 K, we would determine that we would need almost three times as
much heat energy for air as for copper, and for water eleven times as much.
The results are just as different for other materials. The quantity of heat necessary
to raise the temperature thus does not depend only on mass, but also on the heat
storage capacity of the material. We designate this as the specific heat c of the
It is always referenced to 1 kg of material and 1 K, and has units of [J/kg K].
The specific heat for copper, water and air are:
Copper: c = 381 [J/kg K]
Water: c = 4190 [J/kg K]
c = 1004 [J/kg K]
We would now like to closely examine the values for specific heat of other materials, that is, the number of kJ required to heat 1 kg of the material 1 K.

c in
kJ/kg K

If we ignore hydrogen and helium, then water has the highest specific heat of all
materials (including those not mentioned here). We thus need much more heat energy to bring water to a higher temperature than other substances. In exchange,
however, we have correspondingly more heat energy with which we can operate
stored in this quantity of water.


When making calculations involving the quantity of heat, we are thus interested in
the weight (mass m), specific heat c and the temperature difference (K) before
and after heating. The reason for this is that these determine, in a definitive manner, how much heat we have to add to the material. If we go in the other direction
and place a heated body in a colder environment, then, from its mass, specific heat
and the temperature drop between it and its environment, we can calculate the
maximum quantity of heat this body can release.
Quantity of heat Q

The following formula holds:

Q = m * c *

[kg * J/kg.K * K] = [J]

The unit of the quantity of heat is the Joule or 1,000 J = 1 kJ (kilojoule).

Thus, in a heating system, if we wish to raise the temperature of 200 kg of water
from 70 C to 90 C, we then need:
Q = m * c *

200 * 4190 * 20 = 16,760,000 J or 16,760 kJ

If this water flows into the radiator at 90 C and returns from there to the boiler at a
temperature of 70 C, then it has given up the 16,760 kJ acquired earlier. The heat
is given up mostly as heat to the room, but some small part, referred to as heat
loss, is given up through the piping to the environment (Fig. 2-20).

- 16 760


+ 16 760 kJ

Fig. 2-20

Principle of a heating system


Heat output

The example shows that we need 16,760 kJ in order to increase the temperature of
200 kg of water by 20 K. We have also seen that this heat energy is given up from
the radiator to the air and as heat loss to the piping, so that the water returns to the
boiler at 70 C again. We have thus essentially sent a flow of heat to the radiator.
This heat flow must be adjusted in winter to heating requirements. In other words,
the boiler in this heating system has to generate the quantity of heat energy per
hour that is used by the radiators, that is, the rooms.
Energy (work) used in a specific time (h) is referred to as power, in our case thermal output or heat flow Q.
The required thermal output in our example is
Q = 16,760 kJ / 3,600 s

Q = 4.66 kJ/h = 6.44 kW

The relationship between Joules and Watts is explained in the following paragraph.
In order to obtain a feeling for the magnitude of the heat content of different materials, we next examine the heat energy supplied by common fuels:

[kJ/m ]
Fuel oil
Bituminous coal, 30,000
Town gas
Propane gas
Natural gas

Thermal output / h
[kW/m ]



Accordingly, for our heating system, which heats using oil, the hourly consumption
of fuel amounts to 4.66 kW: 11.6 kW/kg = 0.4 kg fuel oil.

38 From Kilocalories to Kilojoules and Watts

The unit of Joules or Kilojoules is a basic unit of the SI System.
The first law of thermodynamics states: Heat is energy
Only the form of energy is different when comparing thermal energy with mechanical energy; the quantity of energy can be specified in Joules in both cases.
Mechanical energy is often expressed in Nm (Newton-meters), electrical energy in
Ws (Watt-seconds) and thermal energy in Joules.
The relationship among these units is: 1 Nm = 1 Ws = 1 J
What exactly is the Joule?
We know that Joules are the units for energy and


force x distance
(mass (kg) x acceleration (m/s2)
meter (m)
2 2
kgm /s = Joule

The unit kgm /s does not have anything to do with heat. How can we relate these
mechanical units with a heat-related variable?
J.P. Joule, an English scientist (18181889), proved the relationship experimentally.
He built the experimental apparatus shown in Fig. 2-21 and found the heat equivalent.


Joules and Watts

Fig. 2-21

Joules experiment to determine the heat equivalent

Through the movement of the rotor, the temperature of a given amount of water is
raised by a given amount (interaction of the molecules increases their oscillation).
This corresponds to supplying heat in kJ/kg.
Joule discovered: A mass of m = 1 kg has to fall a distance of h = 427 m to create a
quantity of heat equivalent to Q = 4,188 Joules. This mass has a force (G) acting
on it equal to the gravitational acceleration of the earth (g) times its mass (m). (G =
m x g).
For Joules experiment, this means:
Energy = mass x acceleration x distance

Q = m x g x h = 1 kg x 9.81 m/s x 427m = 4,188 kgm /s = 4,188 Joule

Hence: Q = 4,188 J = 4.188 kJ


2.2.7. Heat transmission

Wherever we perceive heat or observe thermal processes, we are involved with
heat transmission processes, that is, heat transmission from solids to liquids, from
liquids to gases and again to solids, etc.
The heat transmission chain in a hot water central heating system can, for example, appear as follows:
Gas burner flame boiler wall boiler water radiator air persons, as well
as walls, ceilings, floors, furniture outside air and earth.

2.2.8. Heat conduction

Heat conduction is the transfer of heat through a material taking place by particle to
particle propagation of thermal excitation (Fig. 2-22).

Fig. 2-22

Heat flowing" through a material

Heat transmission through heat conduction also takes place where two materials
intimately touch, e.g. from electric heating plate to cooking pot, from iron to the material being ironed, etc. (Fig. 2-23).

Fig. 2-23

Thermal conductivity

Heat conduction from a material at higher temperature to a

material of lower temperature

We know of good and poor conductors. Heat conductivity is measured by the coefficient of thermal conductivity . It specifies the amount of heat energy transferred
in one second between two parallel surfaces one meter apart having a cross2
section of 1 m with a temperature drop of 1 K.
The coefficient of thermal conductivity has the unit of W/mK.


= 1K

in W/mK




Fig. 2-24












Coefficient of thermal conductivity of various materials

The illustration shows that copper conducts heat approximately eight times better
than iron, while air and porous air-filled materials such as cork, foam, our clothing,
etc., conduct heat the least. These latter materials are also designated as insulating materials.
Heat conduction is thus the flow of heat into a material, or from material to material
when the material particles come into close contact.
What happens, though, if heat should be transferred from a solid to a liquid or
gaseous material, for example, from a wall to water or air? Isnt there only minimal
intimate contact here because the particles of the materials are continually flowing
or moving in unordered fashion? Besides, doesnt the heated air or heated water
immediately flow from the heat source away and up? The heat transfer can thus
not be as complete as when two solid bodies come into intimate contact.
And this is correct. For flowing media, such as water and air, the particles of the
materials, because of their own movements, really only have brief contact with the
solid material or, as we wish to say, with the wall. They can thus only accept heat
through conduction during the short contact some particles more and others
less. The medium, water or air, is thus only warmed up and only in the area near
the wall or heat source (Fig. 2-25). The material heated here expands, becoming
lighter (reduced specific density) and moves upwards, taking its added heat with it.
There is thus a heat flow. As they flow on, the particles exchange their captured
heat with one another and with their colder environment. They also exchange heat
with any wall they meet. Of course, the heat transfer here is also incomplete again
because of the transient nature of the mutual contact of materials.


Fig. 2-25 Heat conduction to walls

Heat transfer from a wall to a flowing medium thus always creates a flow which carries heat that can again be retransferred to a solid wall.

2.2.9. Heat convection

Taking heat, carrying heat and bringing heat are designated as heat transfer
through convection.

1. Carrying along energy or electrical charge by the smallest particles of a flow

2. Transporting air masses in a vertical direction.

Free and constrained


The unconstrained natural upward flow of the heated medium is referred to as free
flow; guiding through pipes or air ducts is referred to as constrained flow.
The quantity of heat transferred per unit time by convection depends on the:
temperature difference between the wall and the flowing medium,
size of the wall surface,
coefficients of thermal conductivity of the wall and the flowing medium, but
type and velocity of the flow; the larger the flow velocity, the larger the number of
particles that come in contact with the wall and in doing so take up or release
heat from it.

Heat transfer

Calculating the type, direction and velocity of flow is very difficult. Practitioners
know that even the most careful of calculations only approximate the actual heat
transfer from wall to medium or vice versa. Because of this, a characteristic value is
used in practice. This value was established through frequent trials and is available
in tables and diagrams. This characteristic value is referred to as the
Heat transfer coefficient (alpha)
The value for alpha is always referenced to a surface area of 1 m2 and specifies
how many Watts are transferred from the medium to the wall or vice versa for a
temperature difference of 1 K


As an example, here are some alpha values for air and water:

Heat transfer coefficient in

W/m K

Stationary air
Flowing air
Stationary water
Flowing water

3 to 20
20 to 100
500 to 2,000
2,000 to 4,000

These few examples already indicate how strongly flowing velocity affects heat
transfer, above all for air. For water, the effect of flow is not as strong because the
water particles contact the wall more firmly than the transient air particles. From
these values we can see why we can hold our hand for a long time in air flowing at
80 C, but not in water at 80 C: Heat transfer is approximately 20 times larger for
There are alphavalue tables and diagrams for all heat transfers occurring in practice, e.g. for water and air as a function of flow velocity at the heat transfer surfaces.
Heat flow

If you know the heat transfer coefficient () for given flow conditions, you can calculate the heat flow phi () from the size of a given wall surface area (A) and the
temperature difference (W - M) between the wall and medium:

Heat flow () = * A * (W - M) [W/m2K* m K] = [W]

A (W - M)

Fig. 2-26

Heat flow along a wall

In our field, we are often interested in the heat transfer from air or water to a temperature sensor, or how fast we can obtain a correctly measured result. In order to
obtain good heat transfer, the installer of a ventilation system will, if possible, locate
a rod-shaped temperature sensor at a position in the air duct where the flow velocity is especially large.


In practice, however, we are not only dealing with heat transfer processes where a
wall restricts the flowing medium. We also are rather involved with processes
where the wall separates two flowing media from one another, e.g. two gases with
differing temperature, two liquids or a gas and a liquid.
Hot combustion gas / boiler wall / boiler water
Hot boiler water / radiator wall / room air
Room air / house wall / outside air
Heat throughput

All these examples involve two heat transfer processes. We are interested in how
much heat is transferred through the wall. As little heat as possible should pass
through a house wall. On the other hand, as much heat as possible should pass
through a boiler wall. This heat transfer, through a separating wall between two
media and involving a dual heat transfer, is referred to as heat throughput.
We now know the factors that determine heat throughput. We recall what is involved here is not pure heat conduction because a prerequisite of that requires firm
contact between the bodies, and firm bodily contacts for liquids or gases on this or
that side of the wall do not exist. Heat throughput instead is considerably influenced
by both heat transfer coefficients, e.g.

room air/wall inner surface, and

wall outside surface/outside air, that is, two variables (wind, etc.) which are
difficult to calculate. Heat throughput is additionally influenced by:

the surface area and thickness of the wall

the heat conductivity of the wall or the different wall layers
(e.g. interior finish, masonry, insulating material, exterior finish)
the temperature difference, e.g. between room and outside air
When calculating heat throughput, we work with empirical values, that is, values
obtained from practical experiments and measurements, almost without exception.
The characteristic value for heat throughput through a certain wall construction is
Overall coefficient of heat transfer U [W/m2 K]
Like the heat transfer coefficient , it is based on a wall surface area of 1 m2 and
specifies how many Watts [W] pass through a wall when the temperature difference
between the media on either side of the wall is 1 K. The unit of the overall coefficient of heat transfer is thus the same as the heat transfer coefficient.


If you know the U-value of a wall, the calculation of the heat flow through the wall
(transmitted quantity of heat) is not difficult.
Fig. 2-27 shows the mathematical variables involved with the U-coefficient of a wall
when the wall is made up of three layers of varying thickness d and different coefficients of thermal conductivity .

Fig. 2-27

Heat throughput through a wall having three layers

Of course, house walls in no way always consist of only three layers, for example,
of two brick layers and one insulation layer. Plaster is also there and possibly the
inner wall is additionally covered with tiles or woodwork.
Further, there is a difference whether the masonry consists of customary bricks,
clinker bricks, hollow bricks or similar. The thickness of the masonry varies with the
purpose of the building. As a result, it is not surprising that tables of k coefficients of
building materials can fill several pages in the building system handbooks.
Some examples:

U in W/m2 K

Window, single glazed



Window, double glazed


Double glazed window & insulating




Inner door


Outer door, wood


Brick wall, 24 cm thick



Brick wall, 36 cm thick


Concrete wall (nonporous), 25 cm



Sheet metal wall


When engineering a heating system, the heat flow through all the components of
the enclosed surfaces of a house is calculated using the U-values. The heat flow,
that is, the heat losses are then known. Also known is the required capacity of the
heating system and the required heat emission of the radiators in the individual
rooms. This allows being able to compensate for the heat losses even under extreme winter conditions. We will go into this subject in more depth later. Nevertheless, we can make a summary at this point:


Water and air are the media with which we will be predominately dealing in HVAC
systems. Heat transmission from a solid body or a wall to these media or vice versa
takes place through convection, where we differentiate between heat transfer and
heat throughput. The heat transfer coefficient and the overall coefficient of heat
transfer U are the characterizing quantities for heat transmission from warmer to
colder media. Using them allows calculating not only the heat losses through walls,
windows, doors and piping, but also the required capacity of the heating system
and radiators.

2.2.10. Thermal radiation

We have learned: Thermal radiation consists of long-wavelength electromagnetic
oscillations that always exist when, through collisions of atoms, some of their electrons are temporarily thrown out of their normal orbits. Thermal radiation is a form
of electromagnetic oscillation. As an electromagnetic radiation, thermal radiation,
as does light, obeys optical laws, that is, it radiates in straight lines, is reflected and
can easily pass through certain materials and negligibly penetrate others. Glass, for
example, is essentially impervious to thermal radiation (Fig. 2-28).

Fig. 2-28

Reflection of thermal radiation at a glass surface

Since it is electromagnetic energy, thermal radiation does not need any solid
transmitting medium. On the contrary, it propagates essentially unimpeded through
vacuums or air-filled rooms alike (e.g. radiation from the sun, light from light bulbs).
When it strikes solid or liquid particles, it excites them thermally and, in doing so,
looses energy itself. Simple gases such as oxygen (O2), nitrogen (N2) and hydrogen (H2), as well as dry air and all noble gases are diathermic, that is, transparent
to thermal radiation. And gases that cannot absorb thermal radiation can also not
radiate it. Gases and vapors consisting of molecules such as steam (H2O), carbon
monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), ammonia (NH3), etc.,
absorb and emit radiation at certain wavelengths with differing intensities. The intensity of the radiation is a function of the gas temperature (e.g. flame of an oil or
gas burner).
On the other hand, solids and liquids always emit thermal radiation, and the higher
their temperature, the stronger the thermal radiation. Energy radiated by a material
as thermal radiation increases with the fourth power of its absolute surface temperature.


Radiation constant C

The intensity (power) of the emitted thermal radiation at a specific temperature is,
however, not the same for all substances. It is dependent on the radiation constant
C. For solid substances, this constant is strongly dependent on surface composition:
Black body
Highly polished metal
White, glossy enamel
Oil paints (all colors)
Aluminium paint (bronze
Masonry, plastered

C in W/m K


The table shows: An absolutely black body produces the most radiation. An identically sized, highly polished body of precious metal on the other hand, the least. The
color does not play so large a roll. If we compare how much radiation a body emits
relative to the amount an identically sized body absorbs, we will arrive at the same
Emission and absorption of thermal radiation are thus in balance: A material that
emits small amounts of radiation also absorbs small amounts, and vice versa.
Calculating the heat energy transferred from one body to another by thermal radiation is nevertheless not so simple. This is because the angle of incidence of radiation must be taken into account as must the strength and frequency of the reflections as well as the fact that both bodies are simultaneously radiating and absorbing. As a result, we do not wish to get into the calculations, rather examine a couple
of examples of heat transmission by radiation:
The glowing coils of an electric heater are strong heat radiators, especially since
the directivity of the reflector is added in. The heat emission through convection is,
however, negligible because the heat transmission surface (coils) is very small (Fig.

Fig. 2-29

Heat emission by electric heaters


If we blow on the glowing coils with a fan, they immediately cool because now the
large number of air particles flowing past the coils remove the heat by convection
(heat transfer in connection with forced flow). As a result, the thermal radiation immediately drops off: The thermal radiator has become an electric heat convector.
Certain heaters of a hot water central heating system are referred to as radiators
because they give up a large portion of their heat into the room as radiation. If panelling is placed in front of the radiator, the radiation is blocked and the radiator functions as a convector only (Fig. 2-30).
In the case of convectors, we strive to bring the air into the closest possible contact
with the heating surface. This achieves a high efficiency of heat emission by convection.

Fig. 2-30

Heat emission by hot water radiators

In ceiling radiant heating systems (left of Fig. 2-31) pipes are embedded in the ceiling or hung close to it. This provides a very large surface area, but the horizontal
orientation of the "radiator" in the hottest area of the room provides for very little air
movement. Heat emission takes place almost exclusively through radiation.

Fig. 2-31

Heat emission by ceiling heating (left) and floor heating system (right)

For the inverse orientation of floor heating systems (right of Fig. 2-31), the relationships are similar. Here, however, the portion of heat emission through convection is
larger because the heated air can move upwards in contrast to ceiling heating
where the heat, so to speak, stays put under the ceiling.
These examples show us that when there is heat transfer from one material to another, heat conduction, heat convection and thermal radiation almost always work


Heat is a form of energy that is difficult to master. Whenever we strive to heat a

material on one end, some of the heat is lost on the other end through convection,
radiation or heat conduction. Sometimes this is actually desired, but often it is nothing more than heat loss. And, taken literally, heating is nothing more than an ongoing compensation of heat losses.

2.2.11. The mixing law

Mixing temperature

The mixing law can be expressed as an equation for determining the mixing temperature tm that occurs when two liquids having masses m1, m2 with associated
temperatures t1, t2 and specific thermal capacity c1, c2 are mixed together without
adding or removing heat.
From the equilibrium of released and absorbed quantity of heat we have:

Q auf = Q ab

m1 c 1 (t m t 1 ) = m 2 c 2 (t 2 t m )[C]

tm =

m1 c 1 t 1 + m 2 c 2 t 2
m1 c 1 + m 2 c 2

or simplified for the mixing of two equal liquids c1 =c2:

tm =

m1 t 1 + m 2 t 2
m1 + m 2

In HVAC engineering, mixing processes occur on the water-side for hydraulic circuits (flow temperature control) and on the air-side for air mixing control (air
damper control).

2.2.12. Time constant of heat transfer

Transmission havior

In all heat transmission processes, the following question always crops up:
Which quantity of heat would be transmitted per unit time from a wall to a gas or
to a liquid or from these to a wall for a given temperature difference of x Kelvin?
We have learned that the quantity of heat transmitted is dependent on certain characteristics of the wall, namely the coefficient of heat transfer or the overall coefficient of heat transfer k. Thus in a specific case, that is, for a wall of given size and
material, the quantity of heat transmitted per unit time is only a function of the temperature difference. But this temperature difference becomes smaller as the heat
transfer process continues. Thus, the quantity of heat transmitted becomes smaller
and smaller. If, for example, a cold metal cube is placed on a hot plate preheated to
100 C, the temperature of the cube initially increases rapidly because the temperature difference is relatively large. Towards the end of the heat transmission period, however, the cube temperature increases only slightly during the same
amount of time because the temperature difference is perhaps only 1 K and correspondingly less heat is transmitted. The quantity of heat transmitted per unit time
decreases continuously.

Exponential function

Processes in which there are changes in the magnitude of the magnitude itself are
known as exponential functions, or simply e-functions. In Fig. 2-32, we clearly see
how the change in temperature per unit time decreases continuously because the


temperature difference which has to be overcome also decreases continuously

(and this is the factor determining the quantity of heat transmitted!).






Fig. 2-32






,74 99,9%



Change in temperature per unit time

Nearly 2/3 (mathematically exact: 0.632 or 63.2%) of the total temperature difference is overcome in time T1 (referred to as the time constant).
During the next identical unit of time T2, once again 63.2% of the remaining 36.8%
is overcome.
And exactly the same change occurs in the third unit of time T3: again 63.2% of the
remaining temperature difference is overcome, etc., until after approximately eight
periods, the balance is essentially reached
A specific example:
We immerse a thermometer into melting ice until it indicates 0 C. Then, we remove
it and immediately immerse it in water which is held at a constant 100 C. At the
same time, we start a stop watch and measure how long it takes the thermometer
to reach 63 C. Lets assume that for our experimental conditions, this takes 20
seconds. Now, we can predict that after an additional 20 seconds, the thermometer
would show 86 C and after another 20 seconds, 95 C. Afterwards, the temperature would increase only very slowly. Only after about eight times 20 seconds,
would it finally show almost 100 C. Theoretically, that is, mathematically speaking,
100 C would be attained only after an infinite period of time.


2.3. Hydrodynamics (fluid mechanics)


Flow is the coherent movement of fluids, gases and plasmas occurring in a continual manner.
We differentiate between:

laminar flow
turbulent flow

Friction-free flow

If we neglect the friction occurring between individual liquid layers at the border
surfaces of bodies and liquids, we then speak of friction-free or ideal flow. While
friction-free flow has importance for the general understanding of flow processes
and for calculating speed and pressure relationships (e.g. of a turbine blade or an
airplane wing), it is not relevant for HVAC systems.

Frictional flow

The flow of a liquid or gas in a pipe can be laminar or turbulent. In laminar flow, the
individual (liquid) particles move along parallel flow lines generally with different
velocities w.
There is friction between the individual current threads. The more viscous the fluid,
the greater the friction.

2.3.1. Laminar flow

A flow with non-crossing path lines is called laminar flow. The liquid particles slip as
in layers over one another and produce a parabolic velocity profile. Shear stresses
arise with an associated frictional resistance. Laminar flow is not suited for heat
transmission from fluids. It is nevertheless used for fast acting displacement ventilation in ventilation installation practice.

Fig. 2-33

Velocity profile for laminar flow

2.3.2. Turbulent flow

Turbulent flow occurs when there are eddy currents in the flows of gases and fluids
or disorderly eddy currents in the air. Flow of non-viscous fluids is characterized by
the formation and decay of these eddy currents as well as through irregular fluctuations. In non-viscous fluids and gases, turbulent flow is characterized by the formation and decay of these eddies as well as through irregular fluctuations of the flow.
Turbulence occurs upon interferences arising from internal and external influences
or after a critical flow velocity has been exceeded. The current threads decay and
become lost. Crossing and mixing movements occur. The center parts transfer energy to the outer layers. The slower outer particles move inward causing a braking
effect, flattening the velocity profile.

Fig. 2-34

Velocity profile for turbulent flow

HVAC applications deal almost exclusively with turbulent flow. Angled air ducts,
ventilation equipment such as air heating coils, fans, etc., and projecting edges


swirl the flow. The definitive flow profile in a pipe only occurs following a certain
distance whose length corresponds to approximately 10 x the diameter of the pipe
under consideration.
Reynolds number

For a given pipe, the transition from laminar to turbulent flow occurs at a specific
critical velocity defined by the so-called critical Reynolds number (Re = coefficient
of friction). The transition from laminar to turbulent flow is influenced by wall friction,
velocity changes and other factors

Flow resistance

Flow resistance in pipes, air ducts and elbows is also dependent on material composition (piping or duct walls).
HVAC applications are involved almost exclusively with turbulent flow. Bent air
ducts, technical air equipment such as heat transfer devices, fans, etc. and protruding edges cause eddy currents in the flow. The definitive flow pattern occurs in
a pipe only after a certain run-time corresponding to a length of approximately 10x
the piping diameter.
In order to transport a liquid or gas through a pipe, a pressure differential p must
be applied to overcome frictional resistance. To keep the pressure drop as small as
possible, deflectors are built into the air ducts or the piping is designed accordingly.
p = p




= 14

= 12

= 0,76

= 0,38

= 0,2


Fig. 2-35

= 0,4

= 0,3

= 0,21

= 0,2

= 0,18

= 0,11

Decreasing p by using different shapes of pipes or ducts and by installing deflectors

A square duct has sides of 10 cm and laminar flow at the entry. The flow pattern 20
cm after a 90 bend displays a strongly distorted velocity profile. Reverse currents
can even occur. After approximately 80 cm, the velocity profile is again symmetrical. If no further disturbances occur, the previous flow profile is only again reached
after approximately 7 to 8 meters.
These processes, of course, have to be taken into account when making measurements in piping or ducting networks.


10 cm


Fig. 2-36








90 [cm]

ca. 7 m7m

Velocity profile measured after a 90 bend

2.3.3. Velocity and pressure

The average velocity determined from a velocity profile multiplied by the crosssection yields a volume flow, that is, if you measure the velocity with a velocity sensor, then you obtain the associated velocity profile.
Continuity equation

From the rule of conservation of mass for an incompressible liquid flowing in a pipe:
A1 w1 = A2 w2
A1,2 = cross-section [m ]
w1,2 = velocity [m/s]






Fig. 2-37

The energy rule








a) Velocity increase upon narrowing of the cross-section

b) Static pressure decrease upon narrowing of the cross-section
(from Recknagel-Sprenger 4/95 S215)

Continuity equation: The same mass flows through each cross-section of a pipe per
unit time. For incompressible media, it is the same volume.
If a small volume of liquid flows with volume v and mass m without any height
change through a horizontally narrowing pipe, the velocity increases at the narrowest point from w1 to w2 and thus the dynamic pressure from pdyn1 to pdyn2 (Fig.
2-37a). The static pressure also changes correspondingly because the velocity
changes in accordance with the new cross-section (Fig. 2-37b).


According to Bernouli, the sum of the static pressure and the dynamic pressure is
constant at all locations in the pipe for lossfree flows.

= pdyn + pst = constant


= static pressure (surface pressure) in Pa

= /2 w
= dynamic pressure in Pa
= pst + /2 w
= total pressure in Pa with (density) = m/v

This means that velocity energy can be converted into pressure energy, and vice
versa. In practice, these processes are of course subject to losses. These losses
(pv) accumulate from the frictional resistance R (R = pressure drop per m pipe)
multiplied by the piping length in meters plus the individual resistances derived
from pdyn. If, then, a medium having a pressure drop (pv) flows through a horizontal piece of pipe from point 1 to point 2, the total pressure at point 2 is given by:
pges2 = pges1- pv
You can determine the velocity and thus the amount flowing due to the pressure

Fig. 2-38



Measuring pressure with a Pitot tube


The fluid column pdyn can be provided with a velocity scale because pdyn = /2 w
Velocity is thus determined indirectly with the Pitot tube.

Pressure losses due to friction occur in ventilation systems with their obstacles,
bends, etc. These must be overcome by the fan by increasing the static pressure.
Fig. 2-39 shows the typical pressure variation for such a system.


Fig. 2-39

Ptot 1

Pstat 1

Pdyn 1

Ptot 1


Ptot 1

Ptot 2

Pdyn 2

The static and total pressure decrease upstream of the fan because of suction. The
highest values for these variables are reached just downstream of the fan. Heat
transfer units account for considerable pressure losses, as do 90-bends, but less
so in the duct sections between bends. The initial pressure po is again reached in
the room following air discharge.


Pressure profile in a ventilation system


2.4. Hygienic fundamentals

2.4.1. Heat balance of people
A persons body temperature is approximately 37 C. However, the average skin
temperature is 33 C. People generate heat by chemical combustion (oxidation)
of foods. This is, in principle, energy from the sun needed to grow food in the form
of plants that is again being released.
At a 33 C skin surface temperature, the body temperature of people in the European area is higher than the temperature of the environment almost throughout the
year. People thus release heat continuously approximately as follows:

35% through heat conduction and convection

35% through thermal radiation
24% through water vapor (sweating, breathing)
6% to heat ingested foods, drinks and breathed-in air (Fig. 2-40)

35 %


35 %

24 %

Fig. 2-40

Percentage heat release of people

The percentages given above are averages. In summer or during intensive activity,
the heat is released more through evaporation; in winter, more by convection and
However, in whichever form the heat is transferred, the body always strives to
maintain its normal temperature, since it is only at this temperature that life functions can be carried out normally. In winter, therefore, the body reduces its heat
transfer by contracting the skin: Heated blood can no longer reach the outer capillaries. On the other hand, in summer or in heated rooms, these capillaries expand,


so that more heat can be transferred through evaporation. There are limits to this
natural temperature control, however. Continuous contraction of the blood vessels
can lead to frostbite, while continuous expansion can lead to an extreme drop in
blood pressure (heat stroke). People supplement this automatic temperature control mechanism by wearing suitable clothes, by adjusting food intake and by heating or cooling the rooms they inhabit.
The total amount of heat given off by a body is not only a function of the temperature of its surroundings, but even more of its momentary physical activity. (Fig.


Fig. 2-41







Heat release in Watts related to activity for a grown person

These heat quantities become interesting when designing heating, ventilation or air
conditioning systems mainly for rooms frequently occupied by large numbers of
persons (e.g. department stores, offices, schools, movie theatres or restaurants).
Interior heat gains

Because of the good insulation of buildings and the thick building walls, the heat
increase caused by interior heat sources, such as lamps, computers, copying machines, etc., is often so large in peak periods that department stores must even be
cooled in winter. The resulting heat is referred to as interior heat gains.
This example shows that a comfortable heating and ventilation system must not
only be configured for the normal case, but that even in the design phase the
maximum and minimum personnel loading conditions must be taken into account.
In winter, the interior heat gain can be recovered as a heat contribution, thus reducing energy consumption. In summer, on the other hand, the heat gain has to be
cooled away using considerable energy.
In a medium-sized movie theatre, 300 people produce about 30 kW which, for a
three-hour showing, amounts to a thermal output of approximately 100 kWh.
People do not become conscious of the ongoing heat release from their bodies as
long as their bodies have not trouble maintaining a heat balance with the surroundings. Only when this limit is exceeded and persons begin to shiver or perspire, that
is, when they feel uncomfortable, only then do they notice that they have a temperature and also notice that, due to this temperature, they have an ongoing heat
exchange with their surroundings.
The goal of HVAC technology is thus to treat the rooms which people occupy in
such a manner that their bodies can effortlessly maintain a temperature balance
with the room environment. This task is certainly not an easy one because the feeling of comfort for each person is as different as each persons personality.


2.4.2. Comfortable room temperature

Seen from a thermal point of view, people are bodies having a surface temperature
of approximately 33 C. If people are inside a room, be it a living room, working
room or recreation room of some sort or another, these people are with this 33 C
surface temperature in a constant heat exchange process with the ceiling, the
floor, the windows, the radiators, yes, even with the furniture and lamps, in short,
with their environment Fig. 2-42). If the temperature of the environment is too low,
the people give up too much heat. They shiver and feel cold and uncomfortable (left
half of figure). If the temperature of the surroundings is too high, then bodily heat
cannot be given up fast enough. People begin to sweat and feel uncomfortable in
this situation also (right half of figure).

Fig. 2-42

Heat exchange between a person and the surroundings

So what is the proper temperature, the really comfortable room temperature, a

temperature where we neither shiver nor perspire? And what other criteria also play
an important role?
The comfortable room temperature initially depends on how active the people are,
because we know, the larger the bodily effort, the larger the heat production. And
the body must be able to give off this heat if people are to feel comfortable. Additional criteria for determining a comfortable room temperature are:
Personal temperament
Heating habits
Clothing habits
In living rooms, offices and other working and recreation rooms in which only light
jobs are carried out, the comfortable temperature lies somewhere between 20 and
22 C, provided that the room is part of a well insulated house. On the other hand,
in a cellar having cold and damp walls, one would certainly be uncomfortable even
at 22 C. Why? The explanation lies with how a person gives up bodily heat:
Approximately 35% through heat conduction and convection
Approximately 35% through thermal radiation
Approximately 30% through evaporation, etc.


A room temperature of 22 C represents a harmonic counterbalance for the 35%

heat transfer by conduction and convection, as well as for the 30% heat transfer by
evaporation. The 35% heat transfer by thermal radiation cannot be included in this
because it is absorbed by the cold and humid cellar walls having a perhaps only
12 C temperature. Because of this enormous heat loss we no longer sense the
room temperature to be 22 C, which in effect it has, but rather at perhaps only
15 C, and thus the uncomfortable feeling.
On the other hand, with a wall temperature of, e.g. 17 C, we sense an actual room
temperature of 22 C to be approximately 18 to 19 C and hence, generally as
comfortable. Therefore, because of the influence of radiation, we must always differentiate between measured temperature and room temperature actually felt.
The mutual influence of the radiation is illustrated in Fig. 2-43 by waves of radiation
having differing wavelengths. On the left, the heat loss by radiation is uncompensated because the cold wall emits too little thermal radiation. Hence a room temperature of 22 C is felt to be only approximately 15 C. On the right, on the other
hand, the person and wall are essentially in balance with respect to the radiation.
In all poorly or inadequately insulated houses, we feel drafts coming from the walls.
Because we give off a greater amount of heat by radiation to these cold walls, we
constantly have the feeling that there is a cold air stream flowing past our necks.

15 C

18 C

12 C

Fig. 2-43

17 C

Influence of radiation on comfort

The only way out of this situation is to raise the room temperature so that the temperature sensed is about 20 C even though the effective temperature may lie between 22 and 23 C.
The graph (Fig. 2-44) illustrates these temperature relationships. It is a plot of wall
temperature versus room air temperature.







Fig. 2-44




30 C

Graph for determining the room temperature needed to compensate for the wall temperature
in order to provide comfort

If the point of intersection of the two temperature values lies within the hatched
area, the room temperature is generally found to be comfortable. It goes without
saying that this graph is valid only for living rooms, offices and working rooms in
which no heavy physical work is carried out.
Windows are also cold surfaces which are correspondingly detrimental to comfort.
Double glazed or insulated windows can reduce these disturbances.
In addition, radiators are always mounted under windows. This way they not only
create a warm curtain in front of the windows, but by their thermal radiation compensate almost fully for the increased thermal radiation of persons to the cold window surfaces.
Fig. 2-45 illustrates the mutual radiation exchange for various heat sources.
Excess thermal radiation from excessively hot radiators is uncomfortable because
then persons cannot give off their own share of radiation unhindered: In this case,
they heat up even more.
Comfort also plays a role for radiation ceiling heating in rooms less than 2.50 m
high. Here, a ceiling temperature of 32 C may not be exceeded. In the case of
floor heating, the maximum allowable surface temperature in those areas that are
frequented often is 25 to 26 C.
A chilled ceiling against this would be perceived as pleasant because body heat
can now radiate (a cool head and warm feet are always desirable).


2,5 m

30 ... 32 C

40 ... 70 C

Fig. 2-45

25 ... 26 C

Radiation exchange in radiator, floor or ceiling heating systems

These comfort temperatures should be considered as average values for living,

working and other rooms in which light physical work is carried out, e.g. in offices
and sales rooms, laboratories, etc. The temperature in rooms where heavy physical
work is performed must be considerably lower, so that the body can give off heat
without perspiring if possible.
Thus, there is no fixed value for a comfortable temperature because there are
many other factors and influences which determine the comfort level:

If the air is too dry, the mucous membranes are irritated by dust particles in the air
much more than they would be if the humidity were normal. On the other hand, we
sense excessively humid air to be muggy because we cannot give off unhindered
the perspiration share of our total heat transfer.

Air movement

Too rapid a movement of air at normal temperature increases the amount of heat
transfer by evaporation or convection and this is sensed as cold or drafty.

Air purity

Smoke, dust and stale air cause discomfort (nausea).

Oxygen content

If the oxygen content of the air is too low, the carbon dioxide (CO2) level becomes
too high. This can occur in overfilled, generally also overheated rooms and can
produce conditions ranging from drowsiness to nausea and fainting.

Degree of ionization

The electric charge in the air, especially before and after thunderstorms and foehns
(warm winds blowing over mountains), etc., strongly influence the feeling of comfort
producing nervousness, irritation, blood circulation complaints, etc.
In addition to temperature control, all the above mentioned factors must be taken
into account in ventilation and air conditioning systems.
Besides this, the color and size of the rooms, their furniture, carpets, illumination,
etc., play an important role with respect to comfort because these elements are
also sensed as hot or cold, making a stay in these rooms a comfortable or uncomfortable experience. Thus, we see that each of us has our own, fully individual
sense of comfort so that rooms used collectively can only be designed for average


Hence we see: The comfortable room temperature does not really exist. But with
regard to living (and working) comfort we note:
What is important is not the set and measured temperatures, rather only the
sensed room temperature
Poorly insulated buildings with consequently cold inner walls will always have a
room temperature which is sensed to be cooler than it really is because the
body loses an abnormally high amount of heat. The only help here is a somewhat higher room temperature. This also holds for new buildings which are not
yet completely dry

Due to all these reasons, a room temperature controller should always be set only
according to the feeling of comfort, whereby the usual standard values should
only be used as guide values to facilitate the initial setting



Overview of heating systems

3.1. Simple heating system

The purpose of a heating system is to satisfy the need of building users for a comfortable room temperature even in cold weather. A heating system can be divided
roughly into three sections:
Heat generation
Heat distribution
Heat output
The heating system is often combined with an arrangement for domestic hot water

Fig. 3-1

Simple heating plant with integrated domestic hot water heating

Heat generation
Domestic hot water heater
Boiler pump
Safety valve
Expansion vessel
Heat distribution and control
Heating pipes (flow, return and bypass pipes)
Circulating pump
Regulating valve with actuator
10 Heating controller
11 Flow temperature sensor
12 Outdoor temperature sensor
Heat output
13 Radiator


3.2. Heating system classification

Heating systems can be classified according to various criteria such as water temperature, method of water delivery, type of energy used, etc. One possible system
of classification is shown below. The temperatures shown (100 C and 120 C) are
related to the values set for the safety temperature limiter. The classification of
heating systems varies slightly from one country to another, and is based on the
relevant standards and regulations.

Heating systems

Central heating

District heating

Generation plants Special systems



100 C

100 C

Hot water

Hot water

Steam power
- Electricity
- Heat for

120 C

120 C

(Cogeneration plant)


> 120 C

- Community htg.

(Pump hot water)




Solar plant



Fig. 3-2

Heat pump

Classification of heating systems (as applied in Germany)

building systems)

3.3. Heat generation for hot water central heating

3.3.1. Oil and gas boilers
Changeover, alternating,
and dual fuel boilers Types of boiler

These boilers, for oil or gas and solid fuels, are nowadays only manufactured in low
capacity versions. They are not ideal for either type of fuel, and as a rule, therefore,
should be avoided.

Oil and gas boilers

Boilers designed specifically for these fuels are available in various versions. They
can be grouped into the following types:

Type A

Cast-iron and steel boilers with low limit control of the boiler water temperature and
low flue gas temperature. This type can be considered as standard for large boilers. Due to the relatively high boiler water temperature, a mixing valve is almost
always required for flow temperature control with this type of boiler.

Type B

Boilers for modulating boiler water temperature and relatively high flue gas temperature. With modulating control, a special combination of materials in conjunction
with a "hot combustion chamber" prevents the formation of flue gas condensate.
However, low flue gas temperatures are not possible with this type of boiler.

Type C

Chromium steel boilers for a modulating boiler water temperature and a low flue
gas temperature. Constructing the boiler from a corrosion-proof material does away
with the limitations of Types A and B. However, the price of a chromium steel boiler
is higher.

Type D

Condensing boilers: By condensing the water vapor content of the flue gases as
fully as possible (dew point approximately 47 C for extra-light oil and approximately 57 C for natural gas), these boilers also utilize the latent heat of vaporization (approximately 10% for gas and 67% for oil). Because boiler efficiency is
normally related to the net calorific value Hu, which does not include latent heat,
condensing boilers may appear to have a relative efficiency of more than 100%.
Technically, this interpretation is not acceptable, of course. More correctly, efficiency should be related to the gross calorific value Ho, which reflects the overall
heat quantity generated in the fuel combustion process. Sufficiently low return temperatures (<40 C) from the heat consumers are essential for condensation of flue
gas. Furthermore, certain problems in relation to corrosion, pollution, dirt, and the
removal and neutralization of the condensate, etc. need to be solved. These problems are much easier to solve with gas-fired boilers than they are with oil-fired boilers.

Combination boilers Domestic hot water supply via the boiler

These are oil or gas-fired boilers with a built-in domestic hot water heater (boiler).
Various economically acceptable solutions are available today for a combined heating and hot water supply.

Separate heater for

DHW storage-tank

If there is a separate heater for the DHW storage tank (a supplementary boiler) with
additional electric heating to meet the daily demand, the boiler can be switched off
in summer. For combinations with solar panels, refer to section 3.3.3.

Separate DHW boiler

In large plants, the requirement to store a day's heating demand results in very
large volumes of stored energy. At the same time, the domestic hot water temperature falls because of heat losses associated with the long distances covered by the
(often poorly insulated) circulating system.


With a separate, smaller boiler for the hot water system only both problems can be
avoided: The required storage volume is smaller and the hot water temperature in
the tanks does not need to be boosted to an extra high temperature to ensure that
it will still be hot enough toward the end of the day. Burners
The following types of burner are used today for oil and gas-fired boilers:
Oil atomizing burners

Heating oil is atomized by passing it through a nozzle at high pressure to create

fine droplets to be mixed with air for combustion. The more finely the oil is atomized, the better the combustion, but the greater the susceptibility of the burner to
faults. In small burners, the nozzle pipe is preheated to ensure startup without soot.



Fig. 1

Fig. 3-3

Oil supply
Optional return to tank
Oil pump and pressure regulating valve
Solenoid valve

Fig. 3-4


Oil atomizing burner (principle of operation)


Expansion vessel
Burner head
Ignition transformer
Ignition electrodes

Multi-boiler plant with oil atomizing burner (at back with sound insulating hood)

Blue-flame burners

Through the evaporation of oil, the oil burner becomes a gas burner, and creates a
blue flame (blue-flame burners). This method makes atomization unnecessary, improves the quality of combustion, and reduces the emission of harmful gases (CO,
CH, NOx). To start the burner, an electric heater is used for evaporation, thereby
increasing power consumption.


Single-stage burners
from approx.10 kW
Two-stage burners
from approx.25 kW
Modulating burners (proportional, from approx. 40%)
from approx. 200 kW

Forced-draft gas

The construction and output stages are similar to those for oil atomizing burners.
However, the main problem here is the air tightness of the gas supply pipe rather
than how finely the oil is atomized. The gas train (3) monitors the gas supply system for leaks.

Fig. 2

Fig. 3-5

Dual fuel burners

Forced draft gas burner

Gas train
Gas injector


Burner head
Ignition transformer
Ignition electrodes

Dual fuel burners are forced draft burners, which can be operated with gas and oil
without conversion, and for which changeover can be effected automatically. They
can be operated with single-stage, two-stage, or modulating burner control, and are
available with capacities from approximately 25 kW. Their advantages are reliability
and reduced gas costs, because of the possibility of switching to oil-fired operation
in periods of peak gas consumption.

67 Atmospheric gas burners

Most atmospheric gas burners are designed either in the form of a burner grid with
several burner bars or as circular burners with one or more rings. The burners have
different types of nozzles depending on the gas used (natural gas, bottled gas etc.).
There are single-stage burners for capacities from 2 kW as well as two-stage or
modulating burners.





Fig. 3-6


Left: Special gas boiler in gray cast iron with burner without fan (Source: Buderus)
Right: Wall-mounted condensing boiler (gas) with forced draft burner (cross-section)

Heat insulation
Combustion gas
Gas/air mixture
Gas jets
Air nozzles
Forced draft for combustion
Air supply for combustion


Flue gas
Flow water
Positive pressure in combustion chamber
Path of hot gas
Return water
Cast aluminum finned pipes

Gas injector burners also belong to the category of atmospheric gas burners.
Part of the combustion air is drawn in by the gas injector in the form of primary air.
The secondary air follows, due to the thermal lift caused by the flames, or (in the
case of high boiler resistance) it is sucked in by a flue gas fan. Instead of a continuously burning pilot light, an electronic ignition system is now more common.

Fig. 3

Fig. 3-7


Atmospheric gas injector burner

Gas supply
Gas train
Gas injector


Flame supervision
Pilot light Wood gas pre-furnace

A wood gas generator is connected upstream of a normal boiler without a burner.
Wood and wood waste up to a specified limited size, and with a humidity of no
more than 20%, is carbonized and converted into wood gas at 10001300 C.
This flows into the boiler, where combustion takes place.
When the conditions are favorable, this method has the following advantages:

Highly efficient due to virtually complete combustion of carbonization gases

No tarring of boiler and flue
Smoke-free flue gas
Option of long loading periods
Simple capacity control Manually loaded wood-chip furnace

Boilers, specifically designed for loading with coarse cuts of wood, are used in rural, woodland areas where there are no particular problems associated with the
transportation and manual preparation of the wood, or with loading the boiler (e.g.
farms, dairy farms, and other small-scale industries). These boilers are available
with capacities ranging from approx. 20 kW to 100 kW, and are classified according
to the type of furnace:
Burn-out combustion

Burn-out combustion describes the case where the entire volume of loaded fuel is
actually in the fire. The wood chips are loosely layered, leaving plenty of space for
air, so that they burn with a surplus of air. With this method, combustion efficiency
is therefore little above 70%.

Combustion with
burn-down at the bottom

Furnaces with burn-down at the bottom: The pieces of wood (split logs up to 1.6 m
long) are layered in a fairly compact formation up to 1.5 m high, and are only
burned in the lowest part of the furnace. The combustion air is supplied by fans and
regulated for optimum combustion. As the wood, which is not yet burning, is located
in the hot combustion chamber, pyrolytic gases are released which mix with secondary air and are burned in a recombustion zone designed specifically for this purpose. In this way, a combustion efficiency of over 90% can be achieved. It takes
46 hours for complete burn-out of a load, and the heat generated in the process
is generally sufficient to meet a 24-hour heating demand.

Fig. 3-8

Wood-fired boiler with burn-out at the bottom (Source Frling)


In accordance with safety regulations, the plant must be able to accommodate or

store the heat output from one complete fuel load at all times. This is why these
manually loaded split wood boilers are almost always operated in conjunction with
a heat storage unit, which can alternatively be charged via the electricity supply, if
necessary. Automatic wood chip and sawdust furnaces
Furnaces, in which the fuel is added automatically, can be adjusted to the heating
demand, allowing fully automated operation with a low load of up to 10% of the
peak load. This does not only apply to oil and gas furnaces, but is also possible
with special wood furnaces. These include the following systems:
Underfeed stoker with wood chips from a hopper with a slow operating "chipper".
Underfeed stoker with wood chippings (Illustration 3-9). Depending on the plant
size, the chippings may be cut either with a stationary chipper, which is part of
the furnace system (industrial plant), or with transportable machines. The problem lies in the moisture content of the chippings. It is true that wood chippings
with a humidity of 2530%, as is the case with only brief storage in the forest,
can be burned easily. However, "green chippings" have a high sulfur content and
a relatively poor calorific value or "specific energy". The optimum calorific value
and minimum sulfur content is achieved after a drying or "seasoning" wood for 3
to 4 years. For more effective utilization of the available wood material, and for
delivery to smaller plants (from 30 kW), the chippings should be purchased from
large local drying systems.
Forced draft furnaces for fine grade wood waste (e.g. sawdust and wood shavings) in the woodworking industry

Fig. 3-9


Automatic underfeed stoker with wood chippings

Wood pellets Pellet fired boilers

Wood pellets with a diameter of 6 to 8 mm and a length of approximately 35 mm
are made exclusively of compressed untreated wood residues without chemical
additives. 2 kg of wood pellets can replace 1 liter of heating oil.
Wood pellets
are a renewable energy source made from wood residues and are neutral in CO2
have a low emission rate when burned in a wood pellet boiler,
have a high piled density and therefore require little storage space,
may be produced locally, cutting down on transportation.

Fig. 3-10

Wood-pellets pressed from untreated wood residues

Wood pellet specifications are clearly defined in the various standards, (DIN and
the Austrian standard etc.). The following is an example of the Austrian specification for high grade wood pellets:
Calorific value

4.8 kWh/kg

Piled density

Min. 650 kg/m3


1.12 kg/dm3

Moisture content

Max. 10.0%

Ash content

Max. 0.5%


Max. 25 mm


5 -6 mm

Dust content

Max. 10%


100% wood with max. 15% bark

Modern wood pellet boilers are highly convenient. There are small models which
can be located in living rooms. They are fed every 2-3 days with pellets supplied in
handy bags.

Fig. 3-11

Wood pellet stove for residential use with pellet hopper for temporary storage
(cross-sectional diagram)


Larger wood pellet boilers are installed in plant rooms. The pellets are stored in a
separate room, from where they are fed to the boiler automatically via a spiral conveyor or suction system. The pellets are delivered by tanker, which discharges the
pellets into the storage room.

Fig. 3-12

Wood pellet boiler plant (Source Oekofen)

Pellet boiler
Pellet storage
Vacuum delivery plant

3.3.2. Coke and coal-fired boilers

Coke and coal are primarily used in large plants where the emission of harmful
contaminants (i.e., the emission of air pollutants into the outside air) is easier to
control than in smaller systems. Owing to standardized sizes, coal is ideally suitable for automatic loading. In today's market, even small boilers with capacities
from 15 kW are available, for fully automatic continuous operation, as is the case
with oil or gas fired boilers.

3.3.3. Utilization of solar energy


This section deals with the use of solar energy not only for heating, but also for
domestic hot water.

What proportion of the

heating demand is met
by the sun?

In central Europe, the sun provides the least heat at that time of year when the
heating demand is at its greatest, i.e., in the months of December and January.
These are not ideal circumstances for heating a building exclusively (monovalent
heating) using the warmth of the sun. Such plants have been developed for research purposes, but to date, they have always demonstrated a poor cost/benefit
ratio. In our climatic regions, solar energy is therefore normally used in combination
with other energy sources (oil, gas, wood, electricity, etc.). The rule of thumb is to
use "as much solar heat as makes sense under prevailing circumstances". Many
factors determine what proportion of the annual heating demand is met by the sun.
This "solar coverage" is expressed in relation to the "net energy demand" (after
deducting heat gain from solar radiation and internal waste heat).
Combined heat generation for space heating and domestic water in a singlefamily home with the level of thermal insulation prevalent today results in a solar
coverage of 50%. Values greater than 50% can be achieved, but only with outstanding thermal insulation and an exceptionally large, and thus uneconomical,
solar heating plant.


For domestic hot water heating, solar coverage in summer is close to 100% (assuming that the storage tank is sufficiently large).
In large buildings, the coverage depends on the purpose for which the solar heat
is used, on the climatic zone, and on the overall strategy. It is possible, therefore,
that a very low solar coverage of 520% may turn out to be the economical optimum.
Outdoor swimming pools can be heated exclusively with solar heat, provided
occasional restricted use (e.g. in bad weather) is acceptable. Bivalent system for space heating and domestic hot water
In the bivalent plant (Fig. 3-13), the solar circuit is responsible for the majority of the
heat generated in the transitional seasons, i.e., fall and spring. The boiler is primarily needed in winter when it is used to the full.
Thus, both the solar circuit and the boiler operate within the correct working range.
The conventional system (B) is supplemented by the solar component (A). The solar heat generated in the panel (1) is emitted via the solar circuit (2) and transferred the storage tank (3). If the storage tank temperature is inadequate, the
boiler (4) provides the required additional heat. The heating water, after being
heated in the storage tank, circulates directly through the room heating surfaces
such as radiators (5) and heats the domestic hot water via the chromium steel tube
bundle (6).


Fig. 3-13

Example of a bivalent solar heating plant with a conventional heat generator and
distribution system for space heating and domestic hot water

This plant example shows the heat storage tank (3) not only as container for the
water storage medium, but also in its equally important function as a means of hydraulically separating the thermally interacting heat generation and heat consumption circuits. This enables the pump of the solar heating circuit, for example, to be
switched on and off without affecting the pressure conditions in the boiler supply
and demand circuits. Similarly, enabling the boiler circuit affects the temperature in
the storage tank, but not the pressure. Finally, the variable volumes of water in heat
consumer circuits 5 and 6 have no effect hydraulically on the two supply circuits. It
would be an interesting exercise to sketch the hydraulic strategy of this plant without a storage tank! The solar heating section (A) shown in this diagram is seen in a
similar form in many other examples of application. Its main components are described briefly below.

73 The solar panel as the heat provider

The established solution for space heating and domestic hot water is the fixed
glazed flat plate panel (Fig. 3-14). It is simple to construct, relatively moderately
priced, virtually maintenance-free, and easy to integrate physically into the building.
Flat plate panels are available as surface mounted individual panels for sloping and
flat roofs, or as integrated panels for sloping roofs. As a rule, the latter cost less
and perform better than surface mounted panels (because their unexposed edges
make them less susceptible to heat losses).

Fig. 6

Fig. 3-14

Glazed flat plate panel (built into roof)

Sheet-steel housing
Glass panel


Absorber plate
Thermal insulation

Flat plate panels contain a black absorber plate on which the solar radiation is converted into heat. The absorber plate has cooling channels through which the heat
transfer fluid circulates. The plate is built into an insulated housing and covered
with glass on the side facing the sun. Panels of this type reach maximum temperatures of over 100 C making them capable of supplying the temperatures of
3070 C needed for heating and domestic hot water, directly and very efficiently.
For heating outdoor swimming pools, unglazed flat-plate panels are normally
more suitable and more economical because of the lower temperatures required.
Heating capacity

While the sun's rays pass unimpeded through the glass, the thermal radiation emitted by the absorber plate is reflected by the glass surface. However, because the
panel housing also contains air, and because this air is heated, some of the generated heat is transferred to the glass panel, and the heated glass emits this heat to
the outside air. This means that in the case of flat plate panels with single glazing,
3040% of the solar radiation received is wasted. Experiments with double-glazed
panels produced poor results because not only were they considerably more expensive, but they also broke more frequently due to the tension created by thermal
expansion. For these reasons, preference was given to larger panel surfaces with
single glazing. The following are guide values in central Europe for the gross annual value of single-glazed flat plate panel:
400...500 kWh/(m2a) for an average panel temperature of 60 C

500...600 kWh/(m a) for an average panel temperature of 40 C

In exceptionally sunny locations, the values measured can be up to 50% higher.
Temperature stability


The panels must be able to withstand the peak temperatures at standstill. Even so,
they should be covered during long standstill periods, to protect them from radiation
and extend their service life. The solar heating circuit

The solar heating circuit is responsible for the transfer of heat from the panel to
the storage tank.
It consists of the sealed pipework, a circulating pump with auxiliary valves, a heat
exchanger to transfer the solar heat to the heating system, and a control unit which
switches the pump on for as long as there is a sufficiently large temperature differential between the panel and the point of transfer in the storage tank. The heat
transfer medium is a liquid containing antifreeze and corrosion protection agents,
normally a mixture of water and glycol or similar liquids. With flow rates of no more
than 20 to 30 liters per hour per m2 of the panel surface, relatively small pipes and
circulating pumps are sufficient. The storage tank
The tank is tasked with storing the intermittently available solar energy so that heat
is emitted in accordance with demand and as much energy as possible is utilized.
In the past, storage tanks often were too large. Measurements have shown that
smaller storage tanks usually demonstrate a better cost/benefit ratio. However,
when small storage tanks are used, a second heat source needs to be available.
What is the correct size
for a storage tank?

Example 1

Example 2

As a rough guide, a storage capacity of 50100 liters can be assumed for each m
of the panel surface. The higher value is more applicable to plants for space heating and domestic hot water, and the lower value to domestic hot water plants only.
On this basis, a domestic hot water tank with a capacity of approximately 350500
liters or a combined heating and domestic hot water tank with a capacity of
10002000 liters would be required for a single family home. Examples of solar heating plants
Direct solar heating for industrial processes or for preheating the domestic
hot water by direct flow method
If heat consumption is continuous and even, the solar heat flows directly "from the
supplier to the consumer". The only "middleman activity" is limited to the heat exchanger and the solar circuit without motorized valves. The cost of such a plant is
between a third and a quarter that of the solar panel. Plants with direct utilization of
this type are exceptionally economical.
Larger plant for pre-heating the domestic hot water
Plants with heavy domestic hot water consumption (such as those in hotels, sports
facilities, barracks etc.) present good conditions for economic efficiency: The larger
the panel surface area, the smaller the proportion of the overall cost represented by
the solar heating circuit; efficiency is also high, because in the range 1030 C,
the plant operates in the cold water zone. As a result, there is practically no unutilized surplus heat.


Fig. 7

Fig. 3-15

Example 3

Larger plant for solar preheating of domestic hot water

Domestic hot water with gravity solar circuit

The liquid heat transfer medium circulates spontaneously as long as there is a sufficiently large temperature differential between the panels and the storage tank located at a higher level. Key features are the pipe cross-sections, which are approximately twice as large as in plants with a circulating pump, and the construction
and connection of the heat exchanger. The heat transfer medium in the heat exchanger must flow from top to bottom (a vertical spiral).
As there is no pump and no control system, this method is ideal for small plants.
Measurements show that efficiency is more or less the same as for plants with a
circulating pump.

Fig. 8

Fig. 3-16

Domestic hot water with self-regulating gravity solar circuit Net heat value after deduction of total losses

The useful heat delivered at the storage tank output is determined by factors which
include the following:
Operating temperature of the solar panel
(glazed panels deliver 3040% more at 40 C than they do at 60 C)
Heat losses in the pipework and storage tank
(determined by conditions which include the length of time for which the heat is
held in the storage tank)
Correspondence between periods of sunshine and periods of heat demand
(is the majority of solar heat primarily needed at those times when it is most
Economic efficiency of
solar heating plants


The efficiency of a solar plant depends on the capital costs, the net heat value, the
cost of other energy media, the service life of the plant and the cost of plant maintenance. Economic efficiency is an unquestionable benefit of larger plants used to
pre-heat water and sometimes also for space heating in cold sunny regions. For

swimming pool facilities, solar heat from unglazed solar panels is also significantly
cheaper than electricity, heating oil, or gas. Should the time ever come when the
price of non-renewable energy resources like natural gas and oil reflects their actual cost, the economic efficiency of solar heating plants will not even come into

3.3.4. Electric resistance heating with central storage Centralized solid-mass storage
Centralized solid-mass storage heaters take up less space than water storage
tanks and can be used for all types of heat output systems. The thermal energy is
stored in a magnesite core which is heated to approximately 650 C with electrical
resistors. Very good thermal insulation is essential to ensure optimum storage efficiency. Electric centralized storage heaters should be installed to utilize heat losses
e.g. in workshops, drying rooms or corridors.
There are two ways of transferring the stored thermal energy to the heating water:

A demand-controlled air flow transfers the heat from the storage mass to the
air/water heat exchanger (finned-pipe cooling coil)
A moving heat exchanger is inserted into the storage mass at a depth which
varies according to the heat demand.






Fig. 3-17

Principle of solid-mass storage with circulated air

Storage blocks
Heating elements
Heat exchanger
Thermal insulation
Charge control unit
Residual heat sensor


Outdoor sensor
Discharge control unit
Flow sensor
Heating pump Centralized water storage

Centralized water storage tanks take up more space than solid-mass storage, but
they can be used in combination with other heat generators which require a thermal
storage unit. The main example is that of wood-fired boilers used to handle the
majority of the heating load in winter. With purely electric storage tanks, the heating
water is heated to approximately 100 C. Weather-compensated partial loading can
be achieved by use of an external flow heater or heating elements inside the storage tank combined with an external loading pump (magro-system), or, in the case
of plants with a single storage tank, by use of heating elements distributed in the
storage tank from the top to the bottom. When used in combination with another
heat generator, e.g. a wood-fired boiler, the storage temperature is maintained at a
lower level. The heat output is governed by weather-compensated flow control. In
order to make the best use of the storage volume, the return temperature should be
as low as possible (< 40 C).


Fig. 10

Fig. 3-18

Bivalent wood/electricity heating plant with electric storage tank, including scope
for partial loading

3.3.5. Heat pumps

Principle of operation

The construction and principle of operation of the heat pump is technically like that
of a refrigeration machine or chiller. The principle of operation of the compressor
and absorption refrigeration machine/heat pump is described in Section 4 (Refrigeration technology). Common heating systems
A monovalent heat-pump heating system derives its heat solely from the heat
pump. The heat pump therefore has to be capable of meeting the heating requirements of the building independently, at the nominal outside air temperature. Monovalent operation is most easily achievable when thermal energy from underground,
waste water, ground water, and surface water is utilized.
A bivalent heat-pump heating system has two heat generators: the heat pump
and, for example, an oil, gas or wood-fired boiler. The boiler supplies the heat at
low outside temperatures, either independently (alternating operation) or in conjunction with the heat pump (parallel operation). Another possibility is partial parallel
operation of the same plant.

Air/water heat pumps Methods of utilizing environmental energy

These derive heat from the air, normally the outdoor air, but also, where possible,
from the extract air, thereby making use of waste heat. In terms of their construction, air/water heat pumps are available either as packaged or split units. In packaged units for indoor installation, the air passes through a duct to the heat pump. A
split unit is made up of two parts: the first is the evaporator with the fan, and is
installed outside the building, for example, or in the roof space. "Silent" evaporators
without fans are also available, and these naturally consume less electricity. To
compensate for the absence of a fan, they need a considerably larger heat transfer
surface. The other part of a split unit is the compressor and condenser, and this is
located, for example, in the basement or a heating plant room. The two parts are
linked by the refrigerant pipes. The system is only filled with refrigerant etc. on site.
At evaporation temperatures below 0 C, hoar frost or ice can form on the evaporator, and this must be defrosted regularly. Further, at low air temperatures, the coefficient of performance of the heat pump is significantly reduced. For this reason, the
air/water heat pump is not suitable for monovalent operation. In bivalent plants, the
alternating mode is normally used, i.e. at outdoor temperatures below approximately 0 C, the plant switches to the supplementary heating plant.

Water/water heat


These derive heat from waste water, ground water, rivers or lakes. The method by
which the water is removed and returned, and the minimum temperature at which it
is returned must be officially authorized. Since water temperatures, unlike air tem-

peratures, are significantly above 0 C all year round, and also remain relatively
constant, water/water heat pumps are suitable for both monovalent or bivalent parallel operation.
Brine/water heat pumps

These differ from water/water heat pumps in the sense that the circuit on the cold
side contains a heat medium which is protected from freezing (brine). The brine
takes in heat from the ground, for example, or from elements such as unglazed
solar panels, "solar energy roofs" or "solar energy fences". This makes it possible
to utilize heat from the environment even at temperatures below freezing point. Because of the less advantageous physical properties of brine (specific heat capacity
and viscosity), the heat exchanger and circulating pump are larger.

Gas and diesel engine

heat pumps

Larger plants (with a heat output of approx. 300 kW and above) also use heat
pumps with combustion engines. The advantage of these is that not only the heat
output from the condenser, but also the majority of waste heat from the combustion
engine can be fed into the heating circuit. This ensures optimum utilization of the
primary energy. Twice as much useful thermal energy can be gained compared
with an oil or gas fired system. In addition, higher flow temperatures (up to approximately 80 C) can be achieved by means of the engine cooling and exhaust
gas heat recovery downstream of the condenser. Capital costs are higher than for
electric heat pumps, due to the need for sound-proofing and exhaust emission control.

3.3.6. Combined heat and power (CHP)

Combined heat and power (CHP) describes a process whereby electricity and
heat are generated simultaneously. The term originates from the time, in factories, when steam engines provided the power to operate the machinery, while the
exhaust steam was used for heating. Nowadays it would be more appropriate to
refer to "combined electricity and heat". However the term "combined heat and
power" or CHP is still used today and not only in the field of building services. CHP applications
The following is a brief summary of the different types of application:

Steam turbine + generator: Used primarily to generate electricity in nuclear

power stations and conventional thermal power stations. Heat is generated to
improve overall utilization ratio where a district heating network can be set up.
Gas turbine or large diesel + generator: For large plants with a heating and
electricity demand.
Cogeneration plant: For heating and simultaneous generation of electricity. The
electricity is generated in accordance with the heat demand. It leads to an improvement in the overall utilization ratio, especially in conjunction with the operation of an electric heat pump.
Small four-stroke (Otto) engine and generator: Mainly designed to make the
best use of small volumes of gases already occurring (biogas, sewagetreatment gas).

In the field of building services, the cogeneration plant is particularly common. Cogeneration plant
Cogeneration plants are small CHP plants for use in commercial buildings, hospitals or on industrial premises, or to supply community heating to residential estates.
As a rule, several units, each for approximately 25% of peak capacity, are installed
in parallel. This makes it possible to adapt output flexibly to match the demand. To
ensure that full use is made of these cogeneration plant units, additional peak load


boilers are normally required. Heat storage tanks help to ensure economically
efficient operating hours.
One cogeneration plant (Fig. 3-19) comprises:

The combustion engine (gas or diesel engine)

The heat recovery system to utilize the waste heat from the motor (cooling water, exhaust gas and possibly lubricating oil) at different temperature levels
The electricity generator



Fig. 3-19


Fig. 11

Schematic diagram showing a plant with a cogeneration plant (without a heat consumer)

Cogeneration plant
Diesel engine
Cooling-water heat exchanger
Exhaust-gas heat exchanger


Storage tank
Peak load boiler

The motive power may be natural gas, heating oil, sewage treatment gas, biogas,
landfill gas or pyrolytic gas.
Why cogeneration?

When heating oil or gas is burned in a large heat-generating power station in order
to generate electricity, we know that the power efficiency of the electricity generating plant is no more than 3035%, depending on the type of power station. The
rest is waste heat, which can only be utilized if a sufficient number of heat consumers can be found, not too far away from the power station. However, large power
stations tend to be built well away from residential estates, so that it would be uneconomical to construct a district heating network. As a result, the waste heat is
emitted via the cooling plant into the environment (the outside air or surface water).
On the other hand, by building small power stations in the form of cogeneration
plants close to the heat consumers, 3035% of the 100% calorific value of the oil
or gas can be utilized as high grade electrical energy, and a further 5055% as
heating energy. In other words, some 8095% can be utilized.
By using the generated electricity to drive an electric heat pump, which in turn
emits approximately three times this motive power in the form of useful heat, it is
possible to generate over 150% of useful heat from the 100% primary energy (oil or
If a cogeneration plant is to be located in the heating control center of a building, or
in the middle of a residential area, noise and harmful emissions must be kept within
the limits prescribed by local regulations.


Losses 10...20 %

Oil100 % heating

Usable heat
80...90 %

Losses 10...20 %

50 %
Usable heat
> 130 %

100 %

heat 55 %

Fig. 3-20

100 %

Losses 5 %

Heat flow diagrams for oil heating (top) and CHP (bottom):
From 100% primary energy, the CHP with a heat pump generates some 150% useful energy

One interesting option for commercial buildings is a combination of cogeneration

and an absorption refrigeration machine/heat pump. This can be used to generate
electricity all year round, and to utilize the waste heat for space heating in winter
and space cooling in summer. Ideally, combustion engines capable of operating
temperatures above 100 C should be used for this process.
Use of cogeneration

Cogeneration plant is used to meet the intrinsic demand for heat and electricity.
What is important, is that both types of energy are required in the existing ratio and
at the same time. A cogeneration plant can also replace an emergency power supply either fully or in part.

Tandem plants

These special types of cogeneration plants are also referred to as "3-machine"

plants. The term refers to the combination of a combustion engine, an electric motor generator and a heat-pump compressor.
With this combination there are four different modes of operation, enabling the
plant to be utilized for a greater period of the year (the numerical data is given as
an example):


1. Cogeneration mode

The combustion engine drives the generator to cover peak electricity loads. The
waste heat from the combustion engine is used for heating. The heat pump is separate.

100 %
54 % useful heat
90 C
Fig. 3-21

2. Heat pump mode

with combustion

32 %


Combustion engine drives generator

Mechanically, the generator rotor connects the drive shaft of the combustion engine
to the heat pump (with a transmission loss of approximately 2%)

100 %
54 % useful
heat 90 C

Fig. 3-22

3. Cogeneration plant
operated with heat

90 % useful heat
50...60 C

Combustion engine drives heat pump

The combustion engine drives both the generator and the heat pump simultaneously. Useful heat is obtained from the waste heat from the combustion engine and
the heat pump condenser. Compared with cogeneration only (see 1 above), only
half the amount of electricity is generated.

100 %
54 % useful
heat 90 C

Fig. 3-23

4. Heat pump operation

with electric motor

16 %

45 % useful
60 C

Combustion engine drives generator and heat pump

The combustion engine is disabled and disconnected from the other units. The heat
pump is operated e.g. on low-tariff electricity or (in summer) as a refrigeration machine.
32 %

Fig. 3-24

45 % useful heat
60 C

The generator, acting as an electric motor, drives the heat pump/refrigeration machine

Electronic equipment is required to optimize the control, monitoring and fine-tuning

of a tandem plant.

82 Mini-cogeneration plant

A mini cogeneration plant is a cogeneration plant designed for use in smaller
plants, such as those in single and multi-family dwellings. It provides the required
heating energy (up to approximately 15 kW) and part of the required electrical energy (up to approx. 5 kW).

Fig. 3-25

Operating principle of a mini-cogeneration plant (combined in this example with

solar DHW heating)

Today's mini-cogeneration plants are fitted with speed-controlled motors and incorporate the necessary power electronics to feed the generated current into the
mains grid at constant frequency. Speed control means that there is no need for
additional configurations to cover peak loads. These mini-cogeneration plants can
also be operated as monovalent plants, with correspondingly lower capital costs.

Fig. 3-26

Mini-cogeneration plant Interior and gas motor with 270 cm3 swept volume
(source: ecopower)

83 Fuel cells

Fuel cell technology has existed for over 160 years. The fuel-cell effect was discovered by Christian Friedrich Schnbein, a professor at the University of Basle from
1829 to 1868. In 1839, the Englishman, William Robert Grove, a friend of Schnbein, described the effect as a reversal of the process of electrolysis, and recognized its potential as a means of generating electrical energy. From 1842 to 1844
Grove worked intensively on the fuel cell, which he then still referred to as a "gas
battery". He connected elements in series to increase the electrical output. Nevertheless it was to be a long time before any practical benefit was derived. It was not
until the second half of the 20th century that this technology was used for special
applications, including manned space travel. The main cause for this delay was the
need to develop suitable materials. The development of fuel cells for civil applications has been driven by national research programs. It is now generally assumed
that fuel cell technology is on the threshold of a significant technical and commercial breakthrough which will revolutionize the mobile and stationary supply of energy in the 21st century.
Principle of operation

A fuel cell converts the energy stored in chemical form in the (generally gaseous)
fuel, directly into electricity and heat.
It works very much like a battery. A fuel cell consists of electrodes (cathode and
anode) separated from each other by an electrolyte. The fuel is oxidized at the anode. The electrons freed in this process flow via an external circuit to the cathode.
In this process they can perform electrical work. At the cathode, the electrons are
absorbed by the oxidant, which is reduced in the process. In addition to electricity,
the chemical reaction produces heat.
The difference between this and a battery is that fuel cells carry on producing electricity and heat for as long as they are supplied with fuel.








Fuel (H2, CO)

Fig. 3-27


Principle of operation of a fuel cell

H2O, CO2


No other known technology for the simultaneous generation of electricity and heat
has so many advantageous properties in total as the fuel cell:
Good electrical efficiency:
35% in pilot plants and 60% under laboratory conditions
Broad output range:
From just a few watts to several megawatts
Low-level emission of harmful pollutants:
Primarily water vapor and carbon dioxide (with carbon-based fuels). Further, owing to the greater efficiency of fuel cell technology, the carbon dioxide balance is
significantly better than with conventional heat engines.
Low operating costs:
Few moving plant parts, and hence, low maintenance and operating costs
Wide range of suitable fuels
Quiet operation, as few moving plant parts

Types of fuel cell

The different types of fuel cell are classified according to the type of electrolyte
used. This may be a liquid or a solid, and determines the following characteristics:
Requirements relating to the type and purity of the fuel and the oxidant
Operating temperature
At present there are basically five common types of fuel cell. There are further variants which are still in the early stages of development. The fuel cell is selected on
the basis of the type best suited to a given application.
For domestic applications, the following types seem to be becoming established:
Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PE(M)FC)
are the currently preferred option in the automotive industry
Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC)
are currently in use in pilot projects for residential buildings
Cell type
Alkaline fuel cell

Abbreviation Application (examples)

Space travel, military applications
Polymer electrolyte PE(M)FC
Mobile and stationary low to
fuel cell
average output range
Phosphoric acid
Stationary average output
fuel cell
Molten carbonate MCFC
Stationary average output
fuel cell
Solid oxide fuel
Stationary low to high output
Fig. 3-28

Fuel cell types and their fields of application

The choice of electrolyte influences the requirements in relation to the fuel, the oxidant, the operating temperature and the construction of the fuel cell.





Physical state of

How the ions

Operating tem-

the electrolyte

pass through


the electrolyte

Pure H2

Air + H2 (without



Approx. 70 C


Pure H2

Air (without CO)



Approx. 80 C



Air (without CO)

Liquid in a matrix


Approx. 200 C


CH4, H2, CO

Air + CO2



Approx. 650 C


CH4, H2, CO



700-1000 C

Fig. 3-29

Fuel cells in
heating plants

Fuel, oxidant and operating temperatures for various types of fuel cell

There are currently some highly promising field tests with fuel cell heating equipment operated with natural gas (e.g. Sulzer Hexis) in Germany, Switzerland and
other countries in Europe. The heating equipment consists of the actual fuel cell
with an output of 1 kW of electricity and 2.5 kW heat, an integrated gas boiler to
meet the additional demand, and a back-up storage tank for hot water. Overall, this
configuration can meet the entire heating demand and basic electricity demand for
a single-family home. The field tests are carried out in cooperation with local authorities and electricity companies, who offer these plants in the context of energy
contracting. The heater is installed on the customer's site and the power used is
billed at a fixed price per kilowatt hour. The pilot plants currently in operation are
not yet economically efficient but are expected to be so by approximately 2010.


Fig. 3-30



Fuel cell heating equipment External view and cross-section model

(source: Sulzer Hexis)

Fuel cell stack

Heat storage

3.3.7. District heating connection

What is district

District heating is useful thermal energy which is prepared in a central location and
distributed over a wide geographical area by use of a heat transfer medium and a
system of pipework. The most commonly used heat transfer media are hightemperature hot water and steam.
The key feature of district heating supply systems is that they make it possible to
supply areas, towns or regions from just one or a small number of highly powerful
heat sources. Another feature of this type of heating is that the owner of the heat
source(s) and distribution network(s) is not, as a rule, the owner of the properties
supplied with heat.
A district heating supply system (Fig. 3-31) basically comprises four plant parts:
the heat source (1), the distribution network (2) with distribution pipes and local
networks, the district heat transfer station (3) with shutoff, control, metering, and
safety arrangements, and the end-user installation (4) for space heating, domestic hot water, and other heat consumers.




Fig. 3-31




District heating network with the four main plant parts

Heat source
Distribution network
District heat transfer station
End-user installation Heat sources

District heating is usually generated in combined heat and power stations. Another significant source is the utilization of waste heat from nuclear power stations or industrial processes, especially waste incineration.
A special type of waste heat utilization is for the production of "cold district heat"
from waste water purification plants. The still lukewarm, purified waste water is
supplied via a district heating pipe to a community heating supply station, where it
is used as the heat source for a heat pump, enabling the latter to be operated with
a relatively high coefficient of performance.
There are also dedicated heat generators, which uses fossil fuels (fuel oil, natural
gas and coal) exclusively for district heating. These are found in the USA and in
Japan, for example.

87 Heat transportation and distribution

The heat is transferred from the heat source to the heat consumers via the district
heating distribution network. This is a closed, pressurized circulating system
consisting of thermally insulated pipes. While steam travels from the heat source to
the consumers by means of expansion, the high temperature hot water network
needs a circulating pump for distribution purposes.
Common network configurations (Fig. 3-32) are the radial network (a), the ring
network (b) and the meshed network (c). The radial network is simple, clear and
relatively cheap, but it is also more vulnerable to open circuits than the (redundant)
ring and meshed networks. However, these are considerably more costly, so that
the configuration is often decided upon selectively, giving rise to a mixed configuration. Radial networks are primarily used in community heating or block heating
supply systems, while ring and meshed networks are more likely to be found in actual district heating networks.




Fig. 18

Fig. 3-32

District heating distribution networks

Radial network
Ring network
Meshed network
Heat generators

The routing of the pipework depends on the topography, the local conditions and
the condition of the ground. Numerous routing systems have been developed for
district heating pipes, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. To
keep distribution losses as low as possible, the complete distribution network is
insulated. Where possible, the flow temperature is modulated as a function of the
outdoor temperature. Efforts are made to minimize the overall cost of the distribution network by selecting the optimum flow velocities and ensuring a wide temperature differential between the flow and return temperatures.

88 District heat transfer station

The district heat transfer station represents the link between the installation for
each individual end-user and the distribution network. The type of connection determines whether the heat is supplied directly or indirectly (Fig. 3-33 ).
In the case of "direct supply" systems, the heat transfer medium circulating in the
distribution network is fed via the district heating transfer station directly into the
heating circuit of the end-user's installation. This is a relatively low-cost and spacesaving means of connection. Efforts are made to use this type of connection in
cases where the primary and secondary circuits do not need to be hydraulically
separated, and where fluctuations in pressure in the distribution network are easy
to overcome. Direct connections are most common in community heating supply
systems with radial networks.
In the case of an indirect supply, the end-user's installation and the distribution
network are hydraulically completely separated from each other by a heat exchanger. This makes the distribution network and the end-user's installation independent in pressure terms, too. This can have a positive effect on the design and
operation of the distribution network. This variant is somewhat more expensive,
requires more space, and is thermodynamically less favorable, owing to the unavoidable temperature losses in the heat exchanger. However, with the new plate
heat exchanger technology, these advantages are negligible.
The finishing standard of these district heat transfer stations is determined by the
requirements of the network operators and end-users. There are now numerous
field-proven, factory-manufactured packaged solutions (OEM products) which cover
the entire comfort range.




Fig. 3-33

Fig. 19

District heating transfer station (examples)

With direct supply

With indirect supply
Distribution network
District heating transfer station
End-user installation
Heat meter
Pressure regulator
Temperature controller
Heat exchanger


3.4. Main components

3.4.1. Pumps

In heating plants, the function of the pump is to supply the energy consumers with
the required quantities of water. The pressure losses which arise due to the pipework, molded parts and control valves have to be overcome in this process. The
most common pumps for this purpose are centrifugal pumps, where kinetic energy
is transmitted to the impeller via the motor and converted into pressure energy at
the pump output.

Fig. 3-34

Pump characteristic

Circulating pump, and (right) installed in a heating plant Pump and plant characteristics

The characteristic of a pump describes its behavior. It shows the delivery head (p,
H) as a function of the quantity of water delivered, i.e. H = f(V& ) .
Pumps with different characteristic curves are selected for different applications. In
heating plants, pumps with downward-sloping characteristic curves are normally
used (see 1 and 2 in Fig. 3-35). This characteristic represents the behavior of a
typical hydraulic pump provided there is no control action to influence how the
pump operates. A distinction is made here between a steep and a shallow characteristic curve. With control of the pump speed, a horizontal characteristic curve (3)
or even an upward-sloping characteristic curve (4) can be achieved.
p, H


Fig. 3-35


Pump characteristic curves

Steep downward characteristic

Shallow downward characteristic


Horizontal characteristic (with speed control)

Upward characteristic (with speed control)

Plant characteristic

The pump delivery head, as already stated, is primarily determined by the resistance to be overcome. For most plant, the resistances are approximately quadratic,
as a function of the delivery volume V& . The following is therefore true:
p V& 2

On a p, V& graph, this is represented by a parabola which passes through the zero
point. For a given plant, this parabola can be plotted using the calculated values for
the design condition. Hydraulic adjustments in the network (e.g. a closing control
valve) result in a steeper plant characteristic (cf. Fig. 3-36).

Fig. 3-36

Why use speed


Pump operating point from plant characteristic and pump characteristic

Pump characteristic (at a given speed, n)

Plant characteristic at design conditions
Plant characteristic altered by additional resistance

Fig. 3-37 shows that the delivery head along the pump characteristic n1 rises from
p1 to p2 when the delivered volume flow in the plant is reduced to 50% (the operating point moves from 1 to 2). In the extreme case, the delivery head can even
rise to "zero-delivery head H0" when the volume flow drops to 0. These considerations apply to plant with variable-volume hydraulic circuits.
However, from the plant characteristic (I) it is clear that the delivery head effectively
required is much lower, i.e. p3. This operating point (3) lies on a different pump
curve with a lower speed, n2.
This information is of particular relevance in conjunction with the power consumption of the pump. As with the pressure loss referred to earlier, this too, follows a
rule. This is of particular relevance in conjunction with the power consumption of
the pump.
For most plant, the power consumption is approximately equivalent to the cube of
the delivered volume V& (or speed).
For most plants it can be said that the power consumption is approximately equivalent to the cube of the delivered volume V& (or speed):
P V& 3


Volume flow rate 50%

Hence, reducing the delivered volume flow to 50% produces a reduction in power
consumption down to 12.5%, i.e. 1/8 of the originally required power. This is, of
course, a purely theoretical value, because other factors also have to be taken into
account, such as the efficiency of the motor and, above all, the admission pressure
actually required at the consumer units. Realistically, the power consumption can
be reduced to anything from approximately 50% down to 30% of the original consumption, which, in the light of the pump hours run, may still represent substantial
The achievable reduction in speed also depends on the characteristic of the pump
curve. Pumps with steeply downward-sloping curves are more suitable than those
with flat characteristics.





Fig. 3-37


Operating points at 50% volume flow

Plant characteristic
Operating point at design conditions
Operating point at 50% volume flow rate and pump without speed control
Operating point at 50% volume flow rate and the required delivery head

3.4.2. Control equipment

The control equipment consists of the valve and actuator. Its function is to adjust
the volume flow rate between the heat generator and the heat consumer in such a
way that the heat output varies in the range 0 to 100%. Each valve has a control
port which can be open to a greater or lesser degree, or which may only be capable of adopting only two positions: either open or closed.
The valves used may be either slipper valves (rotary) or seat valves (linear stroke
movement). With seat valves a distinction is made between:
Two-port valves
Three-port valves


Fig. 3-38

Two-port valve (screwed); three-port valve (flanged) both shown with actuator

Two-port valves

The flow cross-section of the two port valve is reduced or enlarged by changing the
stroke. This results in a variable volume flow.

Three-port valves

The three-port valve has a constant volume valve port. Altering the stroke will produce a different result, depending on whether the valve is installed as a mixing
valve or a diverting valve.


The volume flow rate at the valve outlet remains constant; it is a mixture of two
variable volume flows (see diagram below right).


An incoming volume flow rate at a constant volume is divided into two variablevolume flow rates at the valve outlet.

(Note: Not all three-port valves are suitable for installation as diverting valves.)

Two-port valve

Fig. 3-39

Three-port valve

Two-port and three-port valve (cross-sectional diagram) as possible controlling elements

(port labeling e.g. A, B, AB) varies depending on manufacturer.

3.4.3. Regulating valve

At the commissioning stage, regulating valves can be used in the constant volume
sections of hydraulic circuits to adjust the plant to the calculated nominal volume
flow rate.
Hydraulic balancing

This process is referred to as hydraulic balancing. It is essential for trouble-free

functioning of the plant.


Fig. 3-40

Heating zones with integrated regulating valves

(with gray background in constant-volume section of circuit)

Flow regulating valve

3.4.4. Safety equipment

Depending on the type of heating plant, various safety components must be fitted.
The most important are:

Safety temperature detector

Safety temperature limiter
Safety valve
Expansion vessel

1 2

Fig. 3-41

Safety arrangements in a low temperature hot water system with a sealed expansion vessel

Safety temperature detector

Safety temperature limiter
Safety valve
Expansion vessel

The relevant regulations and directives (which may vary from one country to another) specify which safety components need to be installed. The following is an
example of the relevant DIN standards (for Germany).


Heat generating plant


Open and sealed physically protected heat generation plants

with flow temperatures up to 120 C

DIN 4751 Part 1

Sealed thermally-protected heat generation plants with flow

temperatures up to 120 C

DIN 4751 Part 2

High-temperature hot water plants with flow temperatures above

110 C (with safety measures for pressures above 0.5 bar)
where not covered by DIN 4751-2.

DIN 4752

Group 1 a:
Maintenance of a maximum permissible
flow temperature of 130 C by means of pressure limiting
equipment with a pressure threshold of maximum 1.5 bar.
Water content [m3] x operating pressure [bar] = < 10.
Group 1 b:
Maintenance of a maximum permissible
flow temperature of 130 C by means of temperature limiting
equipment with a pressure threshold of maximum 1.5 bar,
Water content [m3] x operating pressure [bar] = < 10.
Group 2: All other HTHW heating plants with temperatures
above 110 C
Substations for the connection of HTHW district heating networks

DIN 4747 Part 1

Water heating plants for drinking and service water up to 95 C

DIN 4753 Part 1

Safety temperature

Safety temperature detectors cut off the energy supply when a preset limit temperature is reached. They are automatically reset when the temperature returns
below the limit value or when the fault which caused them to trip has been cleared.

Safety temperature

Safety temperature limiters are temperature limiters which disable the plant
(burner) when the limit temperature is reached. These devices must be manually
reset on site (sometimes with a tool) and this cannot be done until the fault which
caused the temperature limiter to respond has been cleared and the temperature
has returned to below the limit value.

Fig. 3-42

Safety temperature detector and safety temperature limiter for installation in a boiler


Safety valve

Safety valves are valves which prevent a predefined pressure from being exceeded
by opening automatically against atmospheric pressure. In an emergency they
must be capable of releasing the entire heat output of the heat producer in the form
of high-temperature hot water and steam. The connecting pipes should be kept as
short as possible and any significant resistance (e.g. bends) should be avoided.
The relief pipe, used to dissipate the hot water or steam, should be routed so that
the outlet is in an area (e.g. behind the boiler, close to the ground etc.) which will
not endanger people in the vicinity of the boiler.

Fig. 3-43

Expansion vessel

Safety valve; cross-section, and installed (1) in a plant with relief pipe (2)

Every hot water heating plant needs a "cushion" for the expansion caused by heating; this takes the form of an expansion vessel. The size of this vessel depends on
the overall water content of the heating plant.
Nowadays sealed plants normally have a "low-lying" expansion vessel which has
the following benefits:
Simple and cost-effective to install
Oxygen cannot enter the system, and hence there is no corrosion (provided the
vessel is the correct size)
No risk that safety devices might freeze
Long and costly runs of safety pipes, susceptible to heat losses, are not required
The installation of plants of this type is subject to various conditions and regulations
(which may vary from country to country).
There are two different types of expansion vessel:
Pressure expansion vessel with half diaphragm (for small plants)
Pressure expansion vessel with full diaphragm

Principle of operation

The expansion vessels are fitted with a gas-tight bubble diaphragm (see Fig. 3-44).
It divides the vessel into a space for gas and a space for water. The gas is outside
the bubble membrane, while the inside of the bubble is linked with the connecting
pipe of the vessel, and accommodates the expansion overflow (water) from the
An admission pressure is applied to the vessel. When the temperature rises in the
plant, the increased water volume presses into the bubble against the gas pressure. With a fall in temperature and the associated decrease in volume, the gas
pressure acting on the bubble wall ensures that sufficient water is supplied to the
plant. Depending on make, the pressure "cushion" consists of nitrogen or compressed air.


Intermediate vessel

The diaphragms (elastomers) age faster at higher temperatures. For this reason, a
separate intermediate vessel is installed, in which the water can cool down before it
flows into the expansion vessel.

Fig. 3-44

Pressure maintenance

Pressure expansion vessel with full diaphragm (left)

Pressure maintenance plant with compressor and control equipment installed (right)
(Source: Pneumatex)

Pressure maintenance plants are useful for plant involving a large volume of water,
and where the differential between the static pressure and the highest operating
pressure needs to be kept as small as possible. The counter-pressure of the gas
cushion is controlled by compressors, so that the expansion water can flow into the
vessel without restriction and hence more easily, i.e. without increasing counterpressure as in the case of a stationary gas cushion. These plants are often delivered as ready-to-operate assemblies, i.e. with the compressor, switching devices
and valves already fitted to the vessel.


Fig. 3-45

Pressure maintenance plant (1) with pre-fitted compressor (2) and intermediate vessel
connected upstream (3) and pressure expansion vessel (4) for a small plant


3.5. Distribution components

In practice, a generator usually has to supply more than one heat consumer.
The distribution component is installed as the link between the generator side and
a number of heat consumers. It distributes the water in the flow distribution pipes to
the various heat consumers and collects the water from all the heat consumers in
the common return pipes.

Fig. 3-46

The distribution component as the link between the heat generation and heat consumer side

The distribution component specification is affected by the heat consumer and heat
generation side in certain ways, e.g., pressure conditions, constant or variable flow,
required flow and return temperatures, etc.
Different types of distribution components are required to satisfy all these conditions.

3.5.1. Distribution component types

Distribution components can be classified as follows:


Primary pump

Without primary pump

(Type 1)

Pressure conditions
at distribution system


Volume flow rate

across heat generator
Return temperature
to heat generator

With primary pump


(Type 2)

(Typ 4)

(Type 3)



The distribution component cannot be considered on its own. It is essential that the
heat consumer circuits used are suited to the distribution component type. At the
same time, it is important to ensure that heat consumer circuits with the same (or
similar) response pattern are used.

98 Distribution component without primary pump (type 1)

for consumer zones in a mixing circuit

Fig. 3-47

Distribution component without primary pump for consumer zones in a mixing circuit:
valves to the consumer zones are closed (left) and open (right)

Low return temperature (between cold and consumer return water)
Variable volume flow across heat generator, and constant flow across heat consumers
Consumer zones with a significant mutual influence
(i.e. every significant change in one zone results in pressure changes in the distribution component which affect the other zones and must be compensated by
Risk of incorrect circulation, e.g. when domestic hot water is loaded at end of the
distribution component
Zone pumps are required proportionally to accommodate the pressure loss in the
heat generation circuit
Field of application:
Heat generators which require a low return temperature (e.g. condensing boilers)
Thermal storage

99 Distribution components with a primary pump (type 2) for consumer

zones in throttling circuits or injection circuits with two-port valves

Fig. 3-48

Distribution component with a primary pump for consumer zones in a throttling circuit
or injection circuit with a two-port valve

Low return temperature (heat consumer return)
Variable volume flow across heat generator
Field of application:
Boiler charging
Supply system in district heating network (e.g. community heating network) Distribution components with a primary pump (type 3) for consumer

zones in diverting circuits or injection circuits with three-port valves

Fig. 3-49


Distribution circuit with primary pump for consumer zones in a diverting circuit:
or injection circuit with three-port valve
valves to the consumer zones closed (left) and open (right)

High return temperature (between consumer return water and close to heat generator flow temperature)
Constant volume flow across heat generator
In diverting circuits, the primary pump must also be able to accommodate the
pressure loss across the heat consumer
Hydraulic balancing is demanding
Later expansion makes repeated hydraulic balancing necessary
Field of application:
Heat generators with low temperature limit control Distribution component with primary pump (type 4) for connection

without differential pressure to consumers in a mixing circuit

Fig. 3-50

Distribution circuit with primary pump for connection without differential pressure to consumers in a mixing circuit: Valves to the consumer zones closed (left) and open (right)

High return temperature (between consumer return water and heat generator
flow temperature)
Constant volume flow across heat generator
Clear hydraulic separation between heat generation and heat consumer side
Balancing valves only needed in heat consumer zones
(to set the nominal volume flow)
Field of application:
Heat generators which require a high return temperature

101 System header

compensating circuit
between flow and

In multiple boiler plants, distribution components with a primary pump for connection without a differential pressure to the heat consumer (see, are very
common. A generously-sized hydraulic compensating circuit is installed between
the flow and return, which serves to separate the heat generation side from the
heat consumer side. This circuit should always be installed vertically, to allow thermal layering. It is referred to as a "system header" or sometimes as a "hydraulic
To ensure that the "system header" operates correctly, sizing and installation must
comply with certain guidelines (VDMA 24 770).
In principle, we can distinguish three operating phases in this type of plant (see Fig.
The volume flow rate on the heat consumer side is equal to the volume flow on
the heat generator side, i.e. V& V = V& E .
In this case, the system header has no function.
The volume flow rate on the heat consumer side is greater than the volume flow
rate on the heat generator side, i.e. V& V > V& E .
Here, the difference in water volume flows via the system header from the
heat consumer return to the heat consumer flow.
The volume flow rate V& V on the heat consumer side is smaller than the volume
flow rate on the heat generator side.
In this case the excess volume of water flows from the heat generator flow to
the heat generator return.




V& E


Fig. 3-51

V& E
V& V


Multiple boiler plant connected in parallel with a "system header"

System header
Boiler sequence controller
Control sensor
Boiler thermostat
Control of boiler inlet temperature
Boiler 1
Boiler 2
Volume flow rate on the heat generator side
Volume flow rate on the heat consumer side

3.6. Distribution systems for radiators

3.6.1. Gravity system
The boiler is located at the lowest point in the system (Fig. 3-52). The (heated)
heating water has a lower density (i.e. it is lighter) than the cooled return water, and
therefore automatically rises in the flow. There is no need for a pump. As there is
only a slight differential pressure, wide-diameter pipes are required. To ensure that
the water starts to circulate when the system heats up, there should be as few siphons in the system as possible, or only isolated, negligible cases.

Fig. 20

Fig. 3-52

Gravity distribution system with distribution at the bottom and an open expansion vessel

3.6.2. Pump systems

Two-pipe downfeed

In this system (Fig. 3-53) the flow distribution pipe is above the level of the highest
radiators. In gravity systems, this ensures that circulation starts more quickly when
the water heats up.

Fig. 21

Fig. 3-53

Two-pipe system with upfeed and centrally located bleed vessel (1)

If a circulating pump is used, both the flow pipe and the common return pipe can be
located above the highest radiators. In such cases, however, the pump delivery
head must be sufficient to force the water, when heated, out of the "cold water
Two-pipe upfeed

This is the most common type of system. The flow and return pipes are routed under the ceiling of the cellar or basement. The radiators are connected to the vertical
Fig. 3-54 shows distribution with risers (vertical distribution pipes). This arrangement is normally easy to implement in construction terms.


Fig. 22

Fig. 3-54


Two-pipe upfeed system

(with local bleed valves on left, and centrally located bleed vessel on right)

Local bleed valves

Centrally located bleed vessel
Air pipes

With distribution to the separate floors of a building using horizontal distribution

pipes, each apartment or each floor can be fitted with its own heat meter.
If copper or soft-steel pipes are used, the pipework can be routed in the floor
screed above the load-bearing ceiling. In this case, however, there is insufficient
space for effective insulation. To keep the diameter of the pipes in the screed as
small as possible, higher pump capacities are required.
The Tichelmann system

The pipes are routed in such a way that the overall length of the complete circuit is
the same for each radiator. Hence, the same hydraulic pressure conditions apply to
every radiator.

Fig. 3-55

Two-pipe system with normal layout (left) and Tichelmann layout (right)

Several boilers or hot water storage tanks are connected in accordance with the
Tichelmann layout. This method of connection is especially important with solar


Single pipe system

Single-pipe systems consist of ring circuits to which the radiators are connected
with their flow and return in parallel. This enables the heating water to continue to
circulate through the ring circuit even if individual radiators are completely shut off.
As with two-pipe systems, a single-pipe heating system can be constructed as a
vertical or horizontal system.
The vertical system with downfeed is sometimes used in high-rise buildings. It
facilitates rationalized installation.
The horizontal system can be adapted to the building structure and allows the use
of individual heat meters. The main risers are routed in the pipe shaft of the bathrooms, for example. The ring circuits connected to the risers are set in the screed
or routed behind skirting boards.

Fig. 3-56

Single pipe heating system with horizontal distribution in an office building

Fig. 3-57

Single pipe heating system with horizontal distribution in a multi-family home


3.6.3. Floor by floor heating

In the case of floor-by-floor heating, each floor or each apartment has its own heat
generator. The distribution pipes to the radiators can be routed in the floor screed
or behind skirting boards.

3.7. Heat output in hot water

central heating systems
3.7.1. Radiator-type heaters Basic heat output information
Each radiator emits into the environment the difference between the incoming and
the outgoing heat flow. It emits the heat partly by radiation and partly by convection (i.e. heat transfer via moving air).
The ratio of radiant heat to convection of a free-standing radiator-type heater depends on its design.

Fig. 3-58

Heat output from radiator-type heaters

Primarily by radiation (panel heater)
Center By radiation and convection (conventional radiator)
Primarily by convection (convector heater)

Where possible, the heat output should not be impeded by any obstacles. In practice, however, it can be impaired by a whole range of influences (see
In such cases, the average radiator temperature (normally, therefore, the flow temperature) has to be increased to compensate for these influences (standard heat
capacity of radiators: see DIN 4703)

Cladding Influences on the heat output from a radiator

Radiator cladding, covers, curtains and furniture reduce the air flow around the radiator, and hence both its convective and radiant heat output.


If the clearances specified by the manufacturer in respect of walls, floors and window sills are not observed, the heat output can be reduced by 15% or more.

Type of connection

If a radiator is not connected in the conventional manner (with the flow at the top
and the return at the bottom), heat capacity can be reduced by up to 25%.

Air density

Air density and hence, height above sea level has a significant effect on the
heat output from a radiator. The reduction in output is approximately 5% for each
1000 m above sea level.


Whether light or dark colors are used is immaterial. The application of metallic
bronze paint, however, reduces heat output by approximately 10% (and up to 25%
according to other sources).


3.7.2. Floor heating


Numerous different floor heating systems are available on the market. Depending
on make, the pipes may be laid under the floor in rings or spirals under the floor
(see Fig. 3-59). The objective is to maintain as even a surface temperature as possible and where necessary, to provide more intense heating of the perimeter zones
along the outside walls, by laying the pipes closer together. Floor heating systems
are typical low-temperature heating systems, and can therefore be operated very
economically with low-temperature boilers, heat pumps or solar energy. Further,
they are perceived to contribute significantly to a sense of well-being, and are
therefore primarily used in residential buildings and (for base load heating) in hotel

Fig. 3-59

Floor heating with connector box (in background)

Floor heating or

In well-insulated buildings the arguments in favor of floor heating, based on comfort

and energy consumption are no longer as significant as they once were. Firstly, the
surface temperature of the heated floor is only slightly above the room air temperature. At the same time, inside the room, the surface temperature of the external part
of the building (walls and windows) is only slightly below the room air temperature.
Thermal comfort is thus assured without floor heating.

Pros and cons of

floor heating

Compared with low-temperature radiator heating, floor heating has the following
advantages and disadvantages:
Particularly suitable for heat pumps and solar heating, because of the lower
heating water temperatures (max. 35 C) and the ability to store heat
Fewer pipe vents, and hence less additional construction work
No curtains in front of radiators
No problem with location of radiators
More thermal lag and hence less easily controllable
High cost of later modifications or repairs to the heating surfaces
Constraints in relation to carpeting and flexible room partitioning


3.7.3. Ceiling heating

Ceiling heating is the oldest of the surface heating systems. Compared with floor
heating, the surface temperature of the ceiling needs to be relatively high, since the
heat is emitted almost entirely by radiation (80%). In residential and office buildings, this resulted in "hot heads and cold feet", which was felt to be very uncomth
fortable. From the original system (in the first part of the 20 century) with steel
pipes set into concrete, the following main variants have developed (Fig. 3-60):
Heated ceiling pipes (a) with pipes embedded in the structural concrete (Crittall
heating) or in a bed of mortar Operating temperatures max. 55/40 and sluggish
Plate-type heated ceiling (b), can be combined with air handling plants Operating temperatures of 90/70 C and less sluggish control
Cavity heated ceiling (c), can be combined with air handling plants Operating
temperature of 90/70 C and less sluggish control
Radiant ceiling panel heating (d), operating temperatures in the hightemperature hot water (HTHW) range, above 100 C.





Fig. 3-60

Fig. 32

The four basic types of ceiling heating

Heated ceiling pipes

Plate-type heated ceiling
Cavity heated ceiling
Radiant panel heating

Today, radiant panel heating is virtually the only one of these systems to be used
industrially, e.g. in warehouses, factories and hangars.

3.7.4. Wall heating

With moderate surface temperatures, wall heating can easily satisfy thermal comfort requirements, because the radiation from the walls affects a significantly larger
surface area of a room occupant, whether standing or seated, than is the case with
floor or ceiling heating.
The heating pipes can be set into the concrete, or covered with mortar. The thermal
insulation behind these pipes must be as good as with floor heating, especially in
the case of external walls. Wall heating is quite rarely used.


3.8. Central heating systems with operating

temperatures above 100 C
Central heating systems with operating temperatures above 100 C are not designed for normal room heating. They are used, however, for
Local and district heat distribution
Heating of large halls
Process heat for industry
Specialist technical expertise is required for their design, installation and operation.
Under certain operating conditions, official regulations need to be observed, and
the supervision and monitoring of these systems is sometimes a statutory obligation.

3.8.1. High-temperature hot water heating

When water is subjected to high pressures, temperatures of over 100 C can be
reached without the creation of steam. "High temperature hot water" (HTHW) systems are any systems in which a temperature of 110 C is reached or exceeded in
the boiler. The maximum temperature limit, determined by the operating pressure
at which components with a pressure rating of PN 40 can still be used, is 230 C. In
practice, however, the temperature rarely exceeds 180 C.
High-temperature hot water heating is primarily used for radiant ceilings in production plants, to heat workbenches with radiant beams or radiant panels. The advantage of this system is that hardly any of the air is heated directly, and the upper part
of the hall does not become overheated.
High-temperature hot water (HTHW) heating differs from conventional, lowtemperature hot water (LTHW) heating in that special safety devices are required,
and special arrangements are required in relation to the supply system.
The heating water can be heated in the following:

Steam boiler
HTHW/steam converter
HTHW/steam mixing condenser
(return water is heated by mixing with steam)
Electric flow heater
Electric boiler with high-voltage electrodes
Heat exchanger for utilization of waste heat from gas or diesel engines

3.8.2. Steam heating

Steam heating systems are designed for industries which, for technical reasons,
need steam to provide the process heat. If an industry has a steam generating
plant with a comprehensive distribution network, then this steam is also used for
the heating coils and humidifiers in the air conditioning system. Steam, like hightemperature hot water, is also used as a heat transfer medium in circumstances
where the heat needs to be transferred over long distances.


3.9. TABS Thermo-active building systems

Concrete ceilings for
heating/cooling energy
storage and for
radiant heating/cooling

These systems utilize the intrinsic thermal storage capacity of the building to store
the heating and cooling loads. At the same time, the ceilings and walls are used as
heating and cooling surfaces. For this purpose, pipework is installed directly into
the concrete ceilings of the building. Water circulates in the pipes, which can be
heated or cooled in accordance with demand, to reach the required ceiling temperature. To utilize the storage capacity, there must be no cladding on the underside of the ceiling.

Fig. 3-61

Tempered water
from approx. 1826 C

Embedded pipework for tempering of the exposed ceiling between floors of a building
(Source: Zent-Frenger)

In contrast to conventional heating and cooling systems, these systems operate

only with tempered water, i.e. the water temperature is normally in the range 18 C
(for cooling) to 26 C (for heating). The better the thermal insulation of the building,
the more evenly the temperature of the thermo-active concrete ceiling can be maintained. In some buildings, it even becomes possible to "move" excess heat from
one part of the building to another.
The majority (approximately 60%) of the heat exchange between the tempered ceiling and the room takes place by radiation, so increasing thermal comfort in the

Practical experience

Practical experience in buildings with thermo-active building components shows

that the building users feel comfortable and are very satisfied. However, they have
to be well-informed about the system and its thermal response (e.g. the variable
temperature over the course of a day) and it takes some time until they become
accustomed to it. The exposed ceilings can be a problem in some rooms, as without the appropriate counter-measures, obtrusive echoing can occur.

Utilization of alternative
sources of heating and
cooling energy

The moderate water temperatures mentioned earlier give rise to the possibility of
economical use of alternative methods of recovering heating and cooling energy.
So, for example, (with the help of a heat pump) underground heat can be utilized,
or groundwater or lake water can be used as a heat source. For cooling purposes,
these sources can be used directly for cooling energy or as a heat sink.
In some buildings, the heating or cooling energy available in the ground can be
used for tempering of the water, by routing pipes in ground piles, floor tiles or retaining walls.


Fig. 3-62

Heat pump/refrigeration
machine with changeover

Energy pile (left) and thermo-active flooring (right) to utilize underground thermal energy
(Source: Zent-Frenger)

Electrically operated heat pumps and refrigerating machines operate all the more
efficiently, the smaller the temperature differential between the cold evaporator side
and the warm condenser side. Therefore, when the heat pump is used in heating
mode in winter, the more or less constant temperature of the heat source (underground temperature approximately 12 C) some of the electricity required to drive
the system can be saved. Similarly, in summer, when cooling energy is generated
in the air conditioning plant, if the exhaust heat can be emitted into the ground (especially with high outside temperatures in summer), the electricity demand is reduced substantially.
Due to the moderate water temperatures already referred to in systems with
thermo-active building components, this potential can be fully exploited. With correct sizing of the heat pump, an annual energy coefficient of 4.5 to 5 is fully achievable.



Refrigeration technology

4.1. Introduction
The demand for cooling energy originated in connection with the food preservation.
This explains why human beings have been concerned with the subject of cooling
since the earliest times.
One way of cooling foods and liquids was to use clay container and bottles
wrapped in damp cloths.
This illustrates the principle of the removal of heat through evaporation of water.
Mechanical cooling

The first known ideas on the subject of mechanical cooling and hence "refrigeration
technology" come from a patent written in 1834, in which Jacob Perkins described
a cold vapor compression machine using ethyl ether in a closed circuit. Approximately 40 years later, in 1876, Carl Linde became the first to use ammonia as a
refrigerant in a cold vapor compression system with a reciprocating compressor.
The first domestic refrigerators appeared in 1910, and in 1930, the refrigerants
R 11, R 12, R 13, R 22, R 113 and R 114 were developed.
In principle, the refrigeration machine is no different from the domestic refrigerator
with which we are all familiar.
How it works: Warm foods are placed inside it; heat is emitted, transferred to the
exterior (via the back of the refrigerator), and dissipated into the outside air.

Energy distribution

The energy is distributed by a medium (the refrigerant) which evaporates as it absorbs heat, and condenses again as it emits heat.
The energy is distributed by a medium (the refrigerant) which evaporates as it absorbs heat, and condenses again as it emits heat.
From a study of thermodynamics, we know that heat can only travel from a substance at a higher temperature to a substance at a lower temperature, and from
fluid mechanics we know that a liquid flows from a higher level to a lower level.
However, a liquid can be made to flow from a lower level to a higher level by use of
a pump. The refrigeration machine/heat pump cycle operates on the same principle in relation to the transfer of energy.

Fields of application
of refrigeration

Based on the origins of refrigeration, this technology can be divided into the following areas:
Large-scale refrigeration (industrial refrigeration)
Small-scale refrigeration (commercial refrigeration)
Refrigerators and freezers (domestic refrigeration)
Industrial refrigeration systems are built for breweries, abattoirs, cold-storage premises, ice-plants, and marine refrigeration.
After World War I, refrigeration demand grew considerably and these areas were
divided into refrigeration systems for:
Food, process engineering and ventilation technology.
The table below shows the various applications and how fit into these groups. The
bold headings indicate the processes better known to us.


Food technology

Process technology

Ventilation technology

- Production

-Chemical industry
Dissipation of reaction and solution heat
Crystallization of salts
Liquifaction and separation of

- Air conditioning
Assembly rooms
Theaters, offices, etc.
Printing presses
Swimming pools

- Transportation
- Storage
Cold storage
Refrigerated storage
Commercial cold-storage cells
- Sales
Display cabinets
Beverage vending machines
- Domestic

- Refineries
- Cryotechnology
(Low temperature)
Production of noble gases
Superconductor technology
- Construction engineering
Shaft sinking
Concrete cooling

- Aerospace
Simulation of environment
Wind tunnel
- Manufacturing
Materials testing
Precision measuring environment

- Medicine
Blood banks
- Vacuum technology
- Marine transport
Liquid gas
- Sports arenas
Ice rinks

Overview: Applications for refrigeration technology

In the food industry, refrigeration is the best and healthiest method of keeping
food fresh for long periods of time and across different climatic zones, thereby securing the food supply chain.
In process technology, the use of refrigeration allows faster and more costeffective production.
In the field of air conditioning, refrigeration technology is a key factor for our
sense of well-being in the workplace and indoors in general.
In air conditioning technology, in addition to heating energy required in winter, there
is also a need for cooling energy in summer to cool and dehumidify the air.
Methods of generating
cooling energy

Basically, there are two main methods of cooling:

a) Cooling with surface water
b) Mechanical cooling with a refrigeration machine
The subject of energy/heat recovery is a crucial topic in the field of refrigeration


4.2. Cooling with surface water

Ground water, water from lakes or rivers, or tab water at temperatures from approximately 6 18 C is available in sufficient quantity almost everywhere, and
would be sufficient to cool indoor or outdoor air at temperatures above 20 C.
From the formula
Q = m c t or Q = m h
we can work out what quantity of water would be necessary to reduce a corresponding quantity of air to a lower temperature.
Solutions: Simple options are wet cooling and surface cooling systems.

Fig. 4-1

Wet cooling

Wet cooling (evaporative cooler) and surface cooling

1 Cooling-water source, 2 Wet cooling system, 3 Surface cooling system

In a wet cooling system, surface water (8 C) is sprayed directly into a chamber.

The (warm) air passed through this chamber causes some of the water to evaporate. The heat required to make the water evaporate is taken from the surrounding
In summary: - The air cools down and absorbs moisture (humidity)
- The water evaporates
- The evaporated water has to be topped up

Surface cooling

In the surface cooling system, water is passed through a heat exchanger in an air
duct. As the air moves across the (cold) surface of the heat exchanger, it is cooled
down and possibly dehumidified (i.e. moisture is removed).
In summary: - The air cools down
- The water becomes warmer and is returned to its source
- The water has to be topped up continuously
This type of water-to-water heat pump is very common in heat pump technology.
The energy from the surface water is emitted into a heating circuit via the refrigeration cycle. (See the description under "Compression cycle".)


Advantages and disadvantages of wet cooling and surface cooling:

Simple construction of plant
Water always available as an energy source
Fluctuating water temperatures (except lake, ground or well water)
At times when cooling is required (summer), water temperatures are high, i.e.
the temperature differential t is small (Q = m C t).
Systems based on the evaporation principle use up water
Systems based on surface cooling heat the water.
In former times, tab water or well water was often used for these systems. However, for energy and economical reasons, this method is not recommended and
rarely used today.
Removing surface water requires official authorization, and nowadays in the field of
refrigeration technology, mechanical cooling in the form of the "refrigeration machine" is used to generate and supply the necessary cooling energy.
However, even the use of refrigeration machines is subject to statutory regulations
governing both safety and environment.


4.3. The compressor refrigeration machine cycle

4.3.1. Function of the cycle
The refrigeration machine/heat-pump cycle removes heat from a medium to be
cooled (air or water), and emits it into another medium (again, air or water). "Refrigerants" are used as the heat transfer medium. The heat transfer takes place
when the refrigerant undergoes a physical change of state.
Heat pump

A "heat pump" uses the mechanical refrigeration process to remove heat from one
medium and transfer it to another medium.

Water-to-water heat

Imagine that we want to cool a given quantity of water by removing the heat
from it, so that we can then use this extracted heat to raise the temperature of
another, identical quantity of water.
In practical heating engineering terms, this could mean cooling a quantity of
ground water from 10 C down to 5 C, in order to operate a floor heating system with a flow temperature of 45 C and a return temperature of 30 C.
Refrigeration technology underwent a significant upsurge in the 70s and 80s, due
to the increased use of heat pumps in response to the "energy crisis".

4.3.2. Physical relationships

A refrigeration machine/heat pump cycle uses the ability of a substance or
refrigerant to change its aggregate state, thereby absorbing or releasing relatively
large quantities of heat without changing its temperature. Possible aggregate states
are: solid, fluid or gaseous. The cycle is only possible because these state changes
are reversible. The possible aggregate state changes and their designations are
shown in the following table:
Aggregate state change:
From solid to liquid
From liquid to solid
From liquid to gas
From gas to liquid
From solid to gas
From gas to solid
State changes of water


Fusion (for water: freezing)
Evaporation (vaporization)
Condensation (liquefaction)

Since water is also used as a refrigerant in specific refrigeration machine/heat

pump cycles, we shall use the state changes of water and the associated
quantities of released and absorbed heat in our discussion of the refrigeration
cycle, taking as an example 1 kg of water at standard conditions (atmospheric
pressure of 1.013 bar).


We can depict the temperature and state changes of water using a temperatureenthalpy diagram (Fig. 4.2.). The enthalpy values shown are valid for 1 kilogram of
water at an atmospheric pressure of 1.013 bar.
t (C)






Fig. 4-2



2676 2704.3
h [kJ / kg]

Temperature-enthalpy diagram

A B: Heating of the liquid (sensible heat)

B C: Evaporation (latent heat)
C D: Superheating (sensible heat)

Since only enthalpy differentials are required for heat quantity calculations, the
origin of the enthalpy scale can be defined arbitrarily. In the commonly used steam
tables, the selected zero point is identical with the freezing point of water. This
means that the enthalpy values shown do not include the latent heat of fusion
The straight line A B represents the sensible heat required to heat 1 kg of water
from 0 C to 100 C. On the enthalpy scale at point B we can see that the required
value h required for this purpose is 419 kJ/kg.
The straight line B C represents the evaporation process. Heat is continuously
added along this (constant temperature) line until, at point C, the kilogram of water
is completely transformed into saturated steam. The enthalpy of this dry, saturated
steam at that point amounts to 2,676 kJ. This is the sum of 419 kJ of sensible heat
and 2,257 kJ of latent heat of vaporization.
The process of condensation (liquefaction) can be described as the reversal of the
above process (the removal of an identical amount of heat along the straight line
from C to B).
If we add a further 28.3 kJ to the saturated steam between points C and D, the
steam is superheated to 115 C and the enthalpy at point D is h = 2,676 + 28.3 =
2,704.3 kJ.



It takes a heat quantity of 335 kJ (Fig. 4-3) to melt 1 kilogram (kg) of ice at 0 C,
that is, to turn it into water at 0 C. This aggregate state change takes place at a
constant temperature. The heat of fusion (melting) subsequently contained in the
water is thus referred to as latent (insensible) heat.
1 kg
0 C
335 kJ

0 C
Fig. 2

Fig. 4-3

Latent heat of fusion of ice

In the reverse process, 335 kJ of heat must be extracted from 1 kg of water at 0 C

in order to convert it into 1 kg of ice at 0 C.

A quantity of sensible heat equal to 419 kJ must be added to 1 kg of water to raise

its temperature from 0 C to 100 C. At the standard pressure (atmospheric
pressure of 1.013 bar at sea level, formerly expressed as 760 mm Hg), the boiling
point of water, i.e. the point at which the water starts to evaporate, is 100 C.
From the graph (Fig. 4-4), it is clear that we can only use water as a refrigerant with
an evaporating temperature of approximately +5 C if we can generate a pressure
of approximately 0.01 bar in the evaporator (or a negative pressure of
approximately 0.99 bar in relation to standard atmospheric pressure). (Log p is a
logarithmic scale for the pressure.)
Log p (bar)
Fig. 4-4





400 t (C)

Boiling point of water as a function of air pressure


The conversion of water to steam is another aggregate state change which takes
place at constant temperature. 2,257 kJ has to be added to one kg of water at
100 C in order to convert it completely to steam at 100 C. The steam then
contains this quantity of heat as the latent heat of vaporization. If we add the 419 kJ
of sensible heat, used to heat 1 kg water from 0 to 100 C, to the 2,257 kJ latent
heat of vaporization , this gives 2,676 kJ as the heat content or enthalpy h of 1 kg
saturated steam at 100 C (Fig. 4-5). (The zero point of the enthalpy scale is fixed
at the substance temperature, 0 C).

2676 kJ

100 C

419 kJ

1 kg

2257 kJ

Fig. 4-5


Evaporation process and increase in the enthalpy of water

If heat is added to the dry saturated steam at 100C, the temperature rises and the
steam is "superheated" (Fig. 4-6). The heat used for superheating is also sensible
heat. To increase the temperature of the kilogram of steam at 100 C by 15 K, for
example, a quantity Q of sensible heat amounting to 28.3 kJ is required. This can
be calculated from the following formula:

= m cp ( - s)
= 1 1.88 (115 C - 100 C)
= 28.3 kJ


= Specific heat of the superheated steam [kJ/kg K]

= Mass [kg]
= Temperature of the superheated steam [C]
= Boiling temperature of water [C]

2676 kJ
1 kg

100 C

2704,3 kJ

100 C

+ 28,3 kJ

Fig. 4-6

Superheated steam and increase in the enthalpy of steam



The aggregate state change from a liquid to a gaseous state is reversible. In other
words, the steam can be returned to the liquid state. In this process, the latent heat
of vaporization, 2,257 kJ/kg, will be removed from the steam (Fig. 4-7).Our
consideration of the above state changes is based on purely theoretical, completely
loss-free processes which are not possible in practice.

2257 kJ

Fig. 8

Fig. 4-7

(p,h diagram)

Condensation (liquefaction)

Saturated steam (1 kg), 100 C

Cooling water, cold
Cooling water, warm (+2,257 kJ)
Condensate (1 kg water), 100 C

In refrigeration or heat pump engineering, the diagram of choice is the pressureenthalpy diagram (see below) rather than the temperature-enthalpy diagram. A
logarithmic scale is used for the pressure axis on practical grounds. In this diagram
the state changes are not shown at standard pressure (1.013 bar); instead, they
can be read off at various pressures and associated temperatures. Pressureenthalpy diagrams of this type are available for all refrigerants used in practice.
Planned heat pump/refrigeration cycles can be drawn on these diagrams and the
associated changes in enthalpy can be read directly from the enthalpy scale. The
figure below shows the pressure-enthalpy diagram for water.
t (C)










h [kJ / kg]

Pressure-enthalpy diagram for water (p,h diagram)

Liquid line (start of vaporization)

Subcooled region (liquid)
Critical point for water/steam
Superheated region (steam)
Saturated steam line
Liquid/vapor mixture region (water/steam)




Fig. 4-8


Latent heat of vaporization at p=1.013 bar (2257 kJ/kg)

The curve ascending from the origin to the critical point indicates where the liquid
starts to evaporate. The extension of this curve, from the critical point to the right
and down to the enthalpy axis, shows where superheating of the saturated steam
begins. If we draw a horizontal line through these two curves at a specific pressure
(e.g. 1.013 bar), we can read the enthalpy of the saturated liquid at point A and the
enthalpy of the saturated steam at point B. The difference between the values at
points A and B is the latent heat of vaporization.
The diagram shows that the latent heat of vaporization decreases continuously with
increasing pressure and temperature, until finally, at the critical point, a condition is
reached where there is no heat of vaporization at all, and the point at which the
liquid starts to evaporate is identical to the point at which the steam starts to be
superheated. For water, the critical pressure is 221.2 bar and the critical
temperature is 374.1 C.

4.3.3. Refrigerants
The working medium circulating in a refrigeration machine/heat pump cycle is
known as the refrigerant. To explain the basic principle of the cycle, we have so far
only considered the state changes of water. Water has many of the characteristics
required of a refrigerant. Water is non-toxic, non-flammable and has a relatively
large capacity for the latent heat of vaporization. As a result, water is used as a
refrigerant in steam-jet and absorption refrigeration machines/heat pumps.

In principle, any substance may be used as a refrigerant, as long as it can be

evaporated and condensed at technically achievable pressures and at the desired
A refrigerant may consist of various chemical compounds, but it must be chemically
inert, and it must not be explosive, flammable or toxic. The choice of refrigerant
depends on the field of application of the refrigeration machine. In the field of air
conditioning, the most common refrigerants are R134a and R407C, R404A and
Refer to the "Air conditioning" module for further information.

4.3.4. The refrigeration cycle

The refrigeration cycle diagram shows a closed pipe system representing the refrigeration cycle. A working medium, the refrigerant, flows through the pipe. The
refrigerant is responsible for transporting the heat within the refrigeration cycle.
The pressure and temperature data in the diagram relate approximately to refrigerant R134a.
There are four points within this pipe system that allow to exert an external influence on the refrigerant.
The four components acting on the refrigerant are:
Expansion valve (throttle valve)


p=15,5 bar

p=15,5 bar

Change in aggregate state

Output of condensation heat



in the condensor
in the

in the
in the evaporator


change in aggregate state
- takes in heat of evaporation

=+2 C
p=3,3 bar

Fig. 4-9

=+2 C
p=3,3 bar

Cyclical process

Let us now consider in detail how and why the refrigerant is influenced.
In the compression cycle, the refrigerant circulating in a closed circuit goes through
the four state changes described below:

Evaporation at a relatively low pressure and at a low temperature.

The latent heat of vaporization from the water or air circulating in the heat exchanger is transferred into the refrigerant. Here, the temperature of the circulating
water or air must be higher than the evaporating temperature of the refrigerant. In
the diagram, the evaporation process is shown as a state change occurring at a
temperature of 2 C and an associated pressure of 3.3 bar. Heat is transferred from
the warmer medium on the primary side to the refrigerant on the secondary side of
the evaporator. This causes the medium on the primary side to cool down and the
refrigerant to evaporate. The refrigerant now contains the heat in the form of latent
heat. The enthalpy of the refrigerant has increased, but its temperature has not


Compression of the refrigerant vapor in the compressor to a higher pressure. This

causes the temperature of the refrigerant vapor to increase to the superheat range.
The compressor sucks the refrigerant vapor from the evaporator and compresses it
from approximately 3.3 bar to a pressure of approximately 15.5 bar. At the same
time the temperature of the vapor increases to approximately 100 C, producing
superheated vapor. The increase in enthalpy is equivalent to the mechanical energy required to drive the compressor, which in the theoretical process (the Carnot
cycle) is fully transferred to the refrigerant vapor in the form of heat.



Condensation (liquefaction) of the "hot" refrigerant vapor. Here, the refrigerant vapor in a heat exchanger emits the previously absorbed latent heat of vaporization
and the superheat into the circulating water or air, which must be at a temperature
below the condensing temperature of the refrigerant.
If heat continues to be transferred from the refrigerant vapor on the primary side to
the cooling medium on the secondary side, the refrigerant vapor is liquified continuously. At the condenser outlet, the refrigerant is fully liquid at a temperature of
approximately 60 C and at an unchanged pressure of 15.5 bar.

Expansion valve

Expansion of the hot refrigerant condensate from the condensing pressure to the
evaporating pressure in a special throttling and dosage unit (the expansion valve).
The pressure/temperature level of the liquid refrigerant is still too high to allow it to
be fed back directly into the evaporator. A throttling/dosage device is therefore used
to allow it to re-expand to the evaporating pressure. This device not only reduces
the pressure, but also supplies the correct amount of refrigerant according to the
required capacity of the evaporator. Depending on the required method of control of
the cycle, this may be an expansion valve, controlled manually, by pressure or by
level, or in small cooling units it may be a simple capillary tube.
Examples of application
Both direct and indirect cooling are used in ventilation and air conditioning technology.

Fig. 4-10 Examples of applications in the field of ventilation technology


Direct cooling

Indirect cooling


Expansion valve


Chilled water pump

Cooling coil

Since exactly the same functions and physical interactions apply to the heat pump
cycle, we can combine the processes in the diagram which follows.


From the
heating system

Back to the
heating system


15,5 bar
+ 60 C

3,3 bar

15,5 bar

max + 100 C


+ 2 C



+ 2 C
3,3 bar

Back to the
heat distributor,
e.g. back into
the source

Fig. 4-11

= + 5 C

= + 10 C


From the heat distributor

e.g. from the source

Example of the functioning of a water-to-water heat pump

4.3.5. The absorption cycle

Absorption refers to the process whereby liquids or solids absorb gases, creating a
physical bond. However, absorption only takes place provided that the absorbent
and the gas to be absorbed (the "working-substance combination") have a chemical affinity and only at a given pressure/temperature ratio differing for each workingsubstance combination.
The absorption process is also reversible, i.e., the gas absorbed can be rejected
again at a different pressure/temperature ratio.
The complete process thus operates in a cycle.
In the absorption machine, the mechanical compressor is replaced by a circuit containing the absorbent/refrigerant solution, also known as a "thermo-chemical compressor". All other functional elements of the refrigerant cycle, such as the condenser, the throttling/dosage unit and the evaporator are the same in principle as
for the compressor machine. Instead of the mechanical energy required to drive the
compressor, the energy needed to maintain the absorption cycle is supplied in the
form of heat (vapor, high temperature hot water, oil or gas burner etc.). Mechanical
energy is only required to operate the solution pump.






Fig. 4-12

Absorption process

Heat exchanger


Chilled-water circuit
Energy supply
Cooling-water circuit
Refrigerant circuit
Solvent circuit

Fig. 4-13

Absorption cycle process with solvent circuit as thermal condenser

Thermochemical compressor
Throttling/dosage unit


Cycle as heat pump
Cycle as refrigeration machine


If the refrigerant circuit process is compared to the compression refrigeration machine, the following four function components can be recognized immediately:

Evaporator (4)
Compressor (1)
Condenser (2)
Throttling/dosage unit (3).

Here too, a refrigerant (e.g. water) is evaporated in the evaporator at low pressure
and with external heat supply, the steam is compressed to a higher pressure and
higher temperature and condensed in the condenser by emitting evaporation heat
to an external refrigerant, and expanded to low pressure in the expansion valve. Working substance combinations
The best-known working-substance combinations for absorption refrigeration machines/heat pumps are:
Water and lithium bromide (LiBr) with water as the refrigerant)
Ammonia water (with ammonia as the refrigerant)
Ammonia and lithium nitrate
Methyl amine and water
Methanol and lithium bromide
where the first in each pair is the refrigerant. While ammonia is a field-proven refrigerant used primarily for evaporating temperatures from 0 C to 60 C, the most
common working-substance combination in the air conditioning industry is water
and lithium bromide. However, water can only be used in conjunction with evaporating temperatures above 0 C, as at lower temperatures, it freezes.
Another significant difference between the ammonia/water and water/LiBr cycle is
the difference in operating pressure between the two systems. While ammonia absorption systems operate at pressures between approximately 1.5 and 16 bar, the
operating pressure in the evaporator and absorber are significantly below atmospheric pressure in the case of water/LiBr systems.
In fact, the pressure in the evaporator is approximately 0.008 bar corresponding to
an evaporating temperature of approximately 3 C, and the pressure in the condenser is 0.1 which corresponds to a condensing temperature of approximately
50 C. With these low pressures, the machine must be construed very strong and
The absorption refrigeration machine/heat pump operates with two circuits. Although these operate in phases, one within the other, each can be described separately in terms of function.
One cycle is the refrigerant cycle with the compressor, condenser, throttling/dosage
device and evaporator, and the other is the refrigerant/absorbent solution cycle,
which, within the refrigerant cycle, performs the function of a compressor.

126 Application
The applications of the absorption refrigeration machine/heat pump cover virtually the
entire range of reciprocating and turbo-compressors, certainly those with a refrigeration
capacity ranging from approximately 30 kW to over 5 000 kW.
The decision of whether to use a compression or absorption refrigeration machine depends largely on the energy available for operation. If for example, a steam or hot-water
boiler is available which would otherwise only be fully exploited in winter using the
free capacity of the boiler by linking it to an absorption refrigeration machine for cooling
in summer makes sense.
Using an absorption machine is ideal when exhaust vapor from a production process or
a back-pressure turbine engine is available. Another useful application is in combination
with a turbo-refrigeration machine. The turbo-compressor in this case is operated with a
back-pressure turbine. The low-pressure vapor from the back-pressure turbine then
heats the generator of the absorption machine, and is then returned to the vapor boiler
in condensate form.
Absorption machines heated directly with oil or gas are normally designed as heat
pumps that can be switched to cooling mode in summer.
Finally, the significant advantages of the absorption machine are its vibration-free and
virtually silent operation as well as its scope for simple capacity control from 0 to 100%.

Disadvantages are the relatively high energy consumption, the high condenser capacity and thus the high consumption of cooling water. Oftentimes, these disadvantages can be counterbalanced by making use of the dissipated heat to reduce energy costs significantly.



Hydraulics in Building Systems

5.1. Introduction
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) plants are used to create comfortable environmental conditions for human beings.
To satisfy this requirement in our climatic zone, heat but also cooling energy
must be generated, adequately regulated and delivered to the right place at the
right time.
Hydraulic systems are designed to facilitate integration of the required plant components in the circuit between the heat / cooling source and the consumer in a way
that optimum operating conditions can be created for the:
heat / cooling source (temperature, flow of water)
transportation of the heat / cooling energy carrier such as
water or steam (temperature, flow of water)
integrated control equipment
The present documentation contains key information of the training modules that
constitute part of the training program Hydraulics in building systems. It is also
designed as a piece of accompanying and reference documentation to the training
The majority of the graphs and illustrations are taken from the training program.
Many of them are animated in the training program and interactive, so you can try
for yourself how hydraulic circuits and components behave under different operating conditions.
"Hydraulics in building systems" and this documentation focuses especially on
hydraulics on the consumer side.
This does not mean, however, that the heat / cooling source side is less important
the contrary is the case. As a result of the continued technical development of the
heat / cooling sources, hydraulic considerations on that side are becoming more
and more important also. However, it is not the purpose of the present training program to cover those aspects in detail. But much of the knowledge gained from the
consumption side is also applicable to the heat / cooling source side.
Training program
as e-learning


If you are interested in the training program Hydraulics in building technology,

please contact your Siemens sales office.

5.2. Hydraulic circuits

5.2.1. Key components of a hydraulic plant

(with sensor)
(heat supply)


Circulating pump
Balancing throttle

(heat generation)
Fig. 5-1


Key components of a hydraulic plant

Valve closed

Fig. 5-2


Hydraulic plant circulation


5.2.2. The different hydraulic circuits

The hydraulic circuits shown thus far are easy to understand. For the expert, however, they are not common practice because they are not suited to explain plantrelated interrelationships.
For this reason, it is especially schematic diagrams that are used in the HVAC field.
In addition to the representation of plant, they make it easier to understand technical processes and interrelationships.
Supply of heat

Heat source
Pictorial diagram of a plant

Fig. 5-3

Geographic diagram


Schematic diagram of a plant

From the pictorial to the schematic plant diagram

Often, the schematic diagram shown above is used for basic plants. It is referred to
as a geographic diagram and is closely related to the actual design of the plant.
The geographic diagram is not suited for larger plants, however, because it becomes more and more difficult to understand, especially when interrelationships
between consumers and heat / cooling sources are getting complex, e.g. like in the
case of a ground water heat pump with storage tank and additional heating boiler
that delivers heat to several distributed consumers.

Fig. 5-4


Example of a geographic diagram showing a heating plant with several consumers

For these reasons and due to the extensive use of CAD systems, the kind of diagram frequently used today is a structured diagram.
Synoptic diagram

The synoptic diagram facilitates the schematic representation of very complex and
extensive hydraulic plants in a clearly structured and easy-to-understand manner.
With the synoptic diagram, a number of important rules must be observed:
The flow is shown at the top, the return at the bottom. Heat / cooling source and
consumers are shown parallel in the direction of flow between flow and return

Direction of flow



Geographic diagram

Fig. 5-5

Note on the representation of controlling elements

Synoptic diagram

Geographical and synoptic diagram of a basic plant

In the schematic diagrams of hydraulic circuits, it is also important that the correct
symbols of a number of plant components be used.
One plant component where this is of particular importance is the three-port controlling element (seat or slipper valve).
The two triangles representing the ports with variable flow must be shown filled
while the triangle representing the port with constant flow must be shown empty.

Fig. 5-6

Schematic representation of the valve ports

Triangle filled
Triangle empty

= variable flow
= constant flow


In a large number of the schematic diagrams contained in the training program Hydraulics in building systems and in this documentation, controlling elements are
shown without their actuators, the reason being that the diagrams are easier to understand. In addition, the assumption is made that the controlling element is always
a valve.
Examples of geographic and synoptic diagrams

Geographic diagrams

Fig. 5-7



Synoptic diagrams

5.3. Distributors
Normally, a heat source distributes heat to several consumers.
The distributor is used as the connecting element between the heat source and
several consumers. It distributes the flow water to the different consumers and collects the return water from them.

Fig. 5-8 Distributor as the connecting element between heat source and consumer side

Both the consumer and the heat source place certain requirements on the distributor such as pressure conditions, constant or variable volumetric flow, flow and return temperatures, etc.
To satisfy these requirements, different types of distributors are available.

5.3.1. The different types of distributors

Distributors can be divided into the following categories:
Di str i butor

Main pump

Without main pump

(type 1)

Pressure conditions
at the distributor
Volumetric flow
through the heat
Return temperature
to the heat source
Fig. 5-9

With main pump

With pressure



(type 4)



(type 2)

(type 3)



Allocation of distributor types


The distributor cannot be looked upon by itself. It is important to use the type of
consumer circuit that is suited for the respective type of distributor. It should also be
ensured that consumer circuits with the same (or similar) behavior are used. Distributor without main pump (type 1), for consumer zones with
mixing circuits

Valves fully closed

Fig. 5-10

Valves fully open

Distributor type 1, valve position of consumer groups

Low return temperature (between cold and consumer return)
Volumetric flow through the heat source variable, constant across the consumers
Consumer zones strongly affect one another
(this means that any major change in one of the zones causes pressure changes
on the distributor the effects of which on the other zones must be compensated
by them)
Risk of wrong circulation if, for example, dhw. is heated at the end of the distributor
The zone pumps must proportionally compensate for the pressure drop in the
heat source circuit
Important for troublefree operation
Heat sources that require a minimum flow rate should not be used
Maximum pressure drop in the heat source circuit < 20% of the lowest zone
pump head short and slightly oversized pipes
Controlling elements of the consumer zones must be correctly sized
Temperature differential between flow and return of the zones must be maintained
(balancing throttle correctly adjusted)
Field of use
Heat sources that require low return temperatures (e.g. condensing boilers)
Storage tanks

134 Distributor with main pump (type 2), for consumer zones with
throttling circuits or injection circuits with two-port valves

Valves fully closed

Fig. 5-11

Valves fully open

Distributor type 2, valve position of consumer group

Low return temperature (consumer return)
Volumetric flow across the heat source variable
Important for troublefree operation
Controlling elements of the consumer zones must be correctly sized
Main pump must be speed-controlled (cuts energy consumption,
OFF when there is no load to prevent damage),
or adjustable bypass (at the beginning of the distributor) for
minimum circulation
(disadvantage: return temperature will be raised again)
Field of use
D.h.w. storage tank charging
Supply lines in district heating networks (e.g. in community district heating systems)

135 Distributor with main pump (type 3), for consumer zones with
diverting circuits or injection circuits with three-port valves

Valves fully closed

Fig. 5-12

Valves fully open

Distributor type 3, valve position of consumer group

High return temperature (between consumer return and close to the heat source
Volumetric flow through the heat source constant
When using diverting circuits, the main pump must also handle the pressure
drop across the consumer
Hydraulic balancing is difficult
Later extensions necessitate new hydraulic balancing
Important for troublefree operation
Controlling elements of the consumer groups must be correctly sized
To be recommended only if, in terms of pumping power, major consumers can be
operated without zone pump (that is with a diverting circuit)
When using injection circuits, distance A must be a minimum of 10 times the pipe
diameter ( sufficient space); otherwise there is a risk of creeping circulation
Heat source must be suited for high return temperatures
Field of use
Heat sources with minimum limitation of the return temperature

136 Distributor with main pump (type 4), for differential pressureless consumer connection with mixing circuit

Valves fully closed

Fig. 5-13

Valves fully open

Distributor type 2, valve position of consumer group


High return temperature (between consumer return and heat source flow)
Volumetric flow through the heat source constant
Clear hydraulic decoupling between heat source and consumer side
Balancing throttles required only in the consumer circuits
(for adjusting the nominal volumetric flow)
Important for troublefree operation
Distributor and especially the bypass should be slightly oversized
Consumer zones with constant or year round heat demand must be connected
to the beginning of the distributor. This prevents an unnecessary flow of water
through the distributor
Distributor can be combined with throttling circuit(s), provided their output is
small compared to the total output of the distributor
Field of use
Heat sources requiring high return temperatures

137 Schematic diagrams of distributors

As with the consumer circuits, a distinction is made between 2 types of diagrams,
the synoptic diagram and the geographic diagram.
Synoptic diagram
Flow at the top, hot water
Return at the bottom, cooler water
Heat sources in between and the individual consumers connected parallel in the direction of flow

Fig. 5-14

Synoptic display of distributors

Geographic diagram
Installers and planning engineers often give preference to the geographic diagram
which presents the plant the way it is in the boiler room.
From the heat source, flow and return are connected to the distributor which shows
the individual consumer circuits side by side.

Fig. 5-15


Geographic display of distributors

5.4. Basic hydraulic circuits

5.4.1. Hydraulic circuits with variable and constant flow
The output of a heat / cooling source or consumer (amount of heat or cooling energy) is
proportional to the product of mass flow and temperature differential across the heat /
cooling source or consumer:
& = V& T c
For our considerations and for the standard applications in building services plant, we
consider the density and the specific heat capacity c to be constant. This means
that the output of a heat / cooling source or consumer is proportional to the product of
volumetric flow and temperature differential:

& V& T
Hence, in hydraulic circuits, the following variables can be used for adjusting the
The volumetric flow is changed
while maintaining the temperature at a
constant level

Operation with variable

volumetric flow

Control of the flow

The temperature is changed

while maintaining the volumetric flow at
a constant level

Operation with constant

volumetric flow

Control of mixing

5.4.2. Control of flow and control of mixing

Control of flow

Both control of the flow (variable volumetric flow) and control of mixing (constant
volumetric flow) use two different basic hydraulic circuits. With control of the flow
(variable volumetric flow), the hydraulic circuits used are the following:
Throttling circuit
Diverting circuit

Throttling circuit

Fig. 5-16

Diverting circuit

Diverting circuit

Both hydraulic circuits adjust their outputs by varying the volumetric flow passing
through the consumer.
Control of mixing

With the control of mixing (constant volumetric flow) the hydraulic circuits used are
the following:
Mixing circuit
Injection circuit (with a three- or two-port valve)

Mixing circuit

Fig. 5-17

Injection circuit (with three-port valve)

Mixing circuit

Both hydraulic circuits adjust their outputs by delivering different medium temperatures to the consumer.


5.4.3. Throttling circuit

Mode of operation

When the valve is adjusted, the volumetric flow will change both in the heat / cooling source section and in the consumer section of the hydraulic circuit. As a result,
pressure conditions will greatly vary throughout the system.

Throttling circuit (valve fully closed)

Fig. 5-18


Throttling circuit (valve fully open)

Throttling circuit

Low return temperatures in part load operation

Variable volumetric flow throughout the entire plant
On startup, the correct medium temperature will reach the consumer with a certain delay (dead time, depending on the pipe length and the cooling down effect)
When the valve is fully closed, the pump can reach excessive temperatures
( use of speed-controlled pumps)

Field of use

Air heating coils where there is no risk of freezing

Air cooling coils with dehumidification
Dhw storage tank charging
District heat connections
Storage tank charging and discharging
Plants using condensing boilers

Types of diagrams

Geographic diagram

Fig. 5-19


Types of display for throttling circuit

Synoptic diagram

5.4.4. Diverting circuit

Mode of operation

Depending on the position of the valve, a certain proportion of the hot water delivered by the boiler is supplied to the consumer, the rest to the bypass. The output of
the consumer is regulated via the volumetric flow. The temperature drop across the
consumer is the greater, the smaller the volumetric flow. When the valve is fully
closed, the temperature of the boiler return nearly reaches the temperature of the
boiler flow.

Diverting circuit (valve fully closed)

Fig. 5-20


Diverting circuit (valve fully open)

Diverting circuit

Variable volumetric flow through the consumer circuit

Constant volumetric flow and pressure in the heat / cooling source circuit
(advantageous in plants with several zones)
Medium to high temperatures in the heat / cooling source return
On startup, the boiler flow temperatures reaches the heat consumer with only
little delay (provided the controlling element is rather close to the consumer)

Field of use

Air cooling coils with dehumidification

Air heating coils where there is no risk of freezing
Heat recovery systems
Dhw. heating
Not suited for plants with a district heat connection (high return temperatures)

Types of diagrams

Geographic diagram

Fig. 5-21

Synoptic diagram

Display types for diverting circuit


5.4.5. Mixing circuit

Mode of operation

A three-port valve subdivides the hydraulic circuit into a primary or heat source circuit and a secondary or consumer circuit. The hot water delivered by the heat
source and the cooler return water are mixed to attain the flow temperature required for the consumer, thereby adjusting the output to meet the demand for heat.

Valve fully closed

Fig. 5-22


Valve fully open

Mixing circuit

Low return temperatures with small loads

Variable volumetric flow through the heat source circuit
Constant volumetric flow with variable temperatures through the consumer circuit
Even temperature distribution across the heat consumer
Low risk of freezing with air heating coils
The mixing circuit is not suited for plants with distances of more than 20 m between
bypass and control sensor. The long transportation time (dead time) makes the
control task much more difficult.

Field of use

Control of radiator systems

Air heating coils where there is a risk of freezing
Plants with low temperature heat sources or heat pumps

Types of diagrams

Geographic diagram

Fig. 5-23


Display types for mixing circuit

Synoptic diagram Mixing circuit with fixed premixing

Here too, a three-port valve subdivides the hydraulic circuit into a primary or heat
source circuit and a secondary or consumer circuit. Fixed premixing ensures that a
certain proportion of cooler return water will always be added to the flow. This is
practical when, under design conditions, the required flow temperature to the consumer is considerably lower than the flow temperature delivered by the heat
source. It is thus made certain that the three-port valve will operate across its entire
correcting span (from the fully closed to the fully open position).

Valve fully closed

Fig. 5-24

Valve fully open

Mixing circuit


Low return temperatures with small loads

Variable volumetric flow through the heat source circuit
Constant volumetric flow with variable temperatures through the consumer circuit
The mixing circuit with fixed premixing is not suited for plants with distances of
more than 20 m between bypass and control sensor. The long transportation time
(dead time) makes the control task much more difficult.

Field of use

Consumer circuits where the flow temperature is lower than that of the heat
source circuit
Control of floor and radiator heating systems with low temperature heat sources
or heat pumps

Types of diagrams

Geographic diagram

Fig. 5-25

Synoptic diagram

Display types for mixing circuit


5.4.6. Injection circuit Injection circuit with three-port valve
Mode of operation

The pump to the left produces the pressure required in the heat source circuit, including the pressure drop across the valve, while the pump to the right produces
the pressure in the consumer circuit. The pump in the heat source circuit injects
more or less hot flow water into the consumer circuit, depending on the position of
the three-port valve. The hot water mixes with cooler return water from the consumer which the consumer pump sucks in via the bypass. As a result, there is a
constant volumetric flow with varying temperatures in the consumer circuit.

Valve fully closed

Fig. 5-26


Valve fully open

Injection circuit with three-port valve

Constant volumetric flow in both the heat source and the consumer circuit
Relatively high return temperatures (corresponding heat source flow temperature
when load = 0%, and consumer return temperature when load = 100%)
Even temperature distribution across the heat consumer
Air heating coils with a small risk of freezing

Field of use

Radiator and floor heating systems

Air heating coils where there is a risk of freezing
Air cooling coils without controlled dehumidification
D.h.w. storage tank charging
Not suited for plants with district heat connection (high return temperatures)

Types of diagrams

Geographic diagram

Fig. 5-27


Display types for injection circuit with three-port valve

Synoptic diagram Injection circuit with two-port valve

Mode of operation

The pump in the heat source circuit injects more or less hot flow water into the consumer circuit, depending on the position of the two-port valve.
As a result, there is a constant volumetric flow with varying temperatures in the
consumer circuit.
In the heat source circuit, by contrast, the volumetric flow and pressure greatly
vary, a fact to be taken into consideration in the case of plants consisting of several

Valve fully closed

Fig. 5-28


Valve fully open

Injection circuit with two-port valve

Relatively low return temperatures

(cold consumer return temperature at 100% load)
Even temperature distribution across the heat consumer
Small risk of freezing with air heating coils
When the valve is fully closed, the pump in the heat source circuit can reach excessive temperatures
( use of speed-controlled pumps)

Field of use

Heat storage tanks and heat pumps

Low temperature boiler plants (condensing boilers)
Direct district heat connections
Not suited for air cooling coils with dehumidification control

Types of diagrams

Geographic diagram

Fig. 5-29

Synoptic diagram

Display types for injection circuit with two-port valve


5.5. kV values
kV value: flow value at a certain valve stroke
The kV value of a valve is dependent on the valves position (stroke). It gives the
flow rate at a constant pressure differential of 1 bar across the controlled port.
kVS value: flow value when the valve is fully open
The kV value resulting from the valves fully open position (that is, at the nominal
stroke H100) is called the kVS value.
The manufacturers of seat valves and throttling valves specify this designdependent variable kVS for every type of valve.
To be able to compare different makes and types, all valves are specified in a uniform manner:
kV values in relation to the kVS value:

kV / kVS = 0...1

Stroke H in relation to the nominal stroke H100:

H / H100 = 0...1

If kV / kVS is shown as a function of the stroke range 0...1, the valve characteristic is

Fig. 5-30

Typical valve characteristic

5.6. Valve characteristic

A distinction is made between:
the basic form of the characteristic
which is determined mathematically (that is, theoretically), and
the basic characteristic
which represents the flow rate under standard conditions (1 bar, 25 C), ascertained at each valve position
The most common basic forms of characteristics are briefly described in the following:
Linear characteristic

The same change of stroke produces the same change of kV value.


The same change of stroke produces the same percentage change of the relevant
kV value, that is, the greater the stroke (the more open the valve), the greater the


impact of the stroke change on the volumetric flow. In the lower stroke range, the
characteristic is flat. In the upper stroke range, it becomes steeper and steeper.
Equal-percentage /
linear characteristic

Basic form of the characteristic that is linear in the lower stroke range and that
adopts an equal-percentage characteristic from about 30% of stroke.
The basic form of the characteristic represents the basis for designing the valve
plug which then determines the valves basic characteristic.

Linear characteristic

Fig. 5-31

Equal-percentage characteristic

Equal-percentage / linear characteristic

Comparison of valve characteristics


5.7. The characteristic of the controlled system

When a valve is installed in a plant, the valve characteristic should offset the heat
exchanger characteristic. The resulting output of the heat exchanger can also be
shown in the form of a graph, the so-called characteristic of the controlled system
or control characteristic.
The graphs above reveal that through adequate selection of the valve characteristic
the overall performance will be improved, but this is not yet enough to achieve a
fully linear characteristic.

Heat exchanger characteristic

Basic characteristic, linear

Fig. 5-32


Resulting characteristic of the

controlled system

Characteristic of the controlled system as the result of heat exchanger characteristic

and valve with a linear basic characteristic

Heat exchanger characteristic

Basic characteristic, equal-percentage

Fig. 5-33

Resulting characteristic of the

controlled system

Characteristic of the controlled system as the result of heat exchanger characteristic

and valve with an equal-percentage basic characteristic



Ventilation and air conditioning plants

6.1. Definition of terms (from DIN 1946)

Ventilation plant

Plant with no thermodynamic functions or with only one such function (e.g. heating)

Partial air conditioning


Plant used to maintain either the room air temperature or the room air humidity at a
desired value (through heating/cooling or humidification/dehumidification respectively), whatever the load status. A plant which is capable, for example, of maintaining the temperature at a desired value through heating or cooling, and which is also
able to humidify the air (but not to dehumidify it), would, by definition, still be referred to as a partial air conditioning plant.

Complete air conditioning plant

Plant used to maintain both the room air temperature and the room air humidity at a
desired value (through heating/cooling and humidification/dehumidification) irrespective of the load status.

Low velocity system

This is a plant (formerly known as a low-pressure system) in which the air flows
through the ducts at less than 10 m/s. The majority of these plants are industrial
plants with large volumes of air and relatively short distances to cover. Air diffusers
can be set directly into the ducts.

High velocity system

This is a plant (formerly known as a high-pressure system) in which the air flows
through the supply air ducts at velocities greater than 10 m/s. The majority of these
plants are comfort control plants with smaller volumes of air and relatively long distances to cover. Air diffusers cannot be set directly into the ducts, as the air velocity
first has to be reduced (by expansion) from high to low pressure.

Outside air

Air introduced from free atmosphere.

Supply air

Air flowing from the plant into the room.

Room air

Air in a ventilated or air conditioned room.

Extract air

Air removed from the room.

Recirculated air

Extract air returned into the air handling system.

Exhaust air

Extract air discharged into the outdoor environment.

Siemens publication CM1Z011en "Graphical symbols" sets out the symbols for individual items of equipment and provides additional information.


6.2. Ventilation aggregates


This section describes the main components of the plant ("aggregates") used in the
field of ventilation. Only a brief overview is provided here, without detailed information on sizing or notes on specific criteria relating to use. The training module "Control of ventilation and air conditioning plants" deals with the use of this equipment in
conjunction with the control functions.

Fig. 6-1

Schematic diagram of an air conditioning plant with typical component parts (aggregates)

6.2.1. Weather-protected grilles

Weather-protected grilles for outside air and exhaust air keep rain and small animals (e.g. mice or birds) out of air ducts. They are often designed attractively as
part of the building faade. In certain locations or situations, weather-protected
grilles have to be heated, as they may otherwise freeze relatively quickly.

Fig. 6-2

Weather-protected grille

6.2.2. Dampers

Depending on their function, a distinction is made between

Shutoff dampers
Throttle dampers
Shutoff dampers are operated by a motorized actuator, and close the duct crosssection when the plant is switched off, but also for maintenance, repairs or in the
event of an alarm or fault. Depending on the specification, they may be designed to
be airtight or even gastight.
With throttle dampers, it is important to note that throttling is only effective when the
resistance of the open damper represents a certain proportion of the overall resistance in the ductwork.


Types of construction

Dampers may be circular or rectangular. In circular ducts, normal throttle or shutoff

dampers consist of a circular damper blade on a rotating shaft which may be round
or square in cross-section.


Fig. 6-3

Throttle damper in a circular duct

Rectangular dampers (or "louver dampers") are normally designed with several
blades, which can be opened and closed either synchronously or in contra-rotation
(Fig. 6-4). Both types can be used as throttle dampers, depending on the control
requirements. For shutoff dampers, preference is almost always given to the (less
costly) synchronous version.

Fig. 6-4

Special types


Louver dampers: contra-rotating on the left, synchronized on the right

Safety dampers and fire dampers serve to close the air ducts quickly and ensure
tight shutoff in the event of a hazard.

6.2.3. Air filters


Air filters are used in air handling equipment to isolate and filter contaminants in the
form of particles and gaseous impurities in the air.
Normal untreated air contains contaminants at concentration levels between 0.05
and 3.0 mg/m . In industry, air filters are economically efficient for concentrations
up to approximately 20 mg/m .

Fig. 6-5

Typical filter for use in ventilation and air conditioning plants Classification based on filter classes

On the basis of the test methods described in DIN 24185 and DIN24184, air filters
are divided into the following three main categories:
Coarse dust filters,
filter classes G1G4
Fine dust filters,
filter classes F5F9
Aerosol filters,
filter classes EU10EU12
Owing to the increasingly stringent requirements in clean-rooms, the number of
filter classes for aerosols has been extended (EU13EU17) to satisfy the most
stringent of specifications.
The arrestance and efficiency of the filter depend almost entirely on the filter medium, while the dust storage capacity depends on both the filter medium and the
filter's area.


HEPA and ULPA filters

Filter classes EU 10 to EU 14 are also known as HEPA filters (High Efficiency Particulate Air filters, H10 to H14). Filter classes EU 15 to EU 17 are also known as
ULPA filters (Ultra Low Penetration Air filters, U 15 to U 17).
Filter class

Arrestance %

Penetration Former



< 65

EU 1/A



EU 2/B1

Coarse dust



EU 3/B2



> 90

EU 4/B2


EU 5


EU 6

Fine dust


EU 7



EU 8


EU 9

EU 10



EU 11


EU 12



EU 13




EU 14





EU 15



EU 16



EU 17



Fig. 6-6

Air filter classification (to DIN EN 779, source: Recknagel) Pressure differentials at the air filter

Initial pressure

The typical pressure differentials for new air filters are as follows:

Final pressure

The recommended (and achievable) final pressure differentials are as follows:

Rising differential
pressure during

In operation, the pressure differential in the filter increases as dust accumulates.

With coarse dust filters, this increase is approximately quadratic, while in the case
of aerosols, it is roughly linear.


Coarse dust filters in the range 3050 Pa

Fine dust filters in the range 50150 Pa
Aerosol filters in the range 100250 Pa
The filters are normally exposed to air flowing at a velocity of 2 to 3 m/s (in relation
to the projected surface of the filter).

Coarse dust filters in the range 200300 Pa

Fine dust filters in the range 300500 Pa
Aerosol filters in the range 10001500 Pa

The different characteristics of this increase in pressure allow for variations in the
design of filter systems. At the same time, different weightings (depending on the
particular circumstances of the plant) are applied to influential factors such as capital investment costs, energy costs and operating and maintenance costs.
Normal service life

Under normal operating conditions (i.e. at the nominal volume flow rate, normal
dust concentration and operation for 8 hours per day), a filter can be used for the
service periods shown below:
Coarse dust filter ... year
Fine dust filter
... year (with coarse dust filter fitted upstream)
Aerosol filter
1...4 years (with coarse and fine dust filters fitted upstream)
depending on runtime and flow velocity at the filter surface. Filter types
There are numerous different types of filter. They have a wide and diverse range of
names relating to the material, mode of installation, type of use, filter class etc. Below is an example of some of the possible names for various types of filter.

Metallic filter
Fiber (or "dry") filter

Installation mode

Vertical filter

Oil bath or "viscous" filter

Electric fiber filter

Activated carbon filter

Wall-mounted filter, ceilingmounted filter

Duct filters

Disposable filter

Filter class

see Fig. 6-6

Type of operation

Stationary filter
Automatic filter

Permanent filter (regenerative)

Rolling media filters or roll filters etc.

Electric filters

Diagonal flow filter

Circular air filter

Fig. 6-7

Drum or rotating filter; cylindrical

Pocket filter, V-shape pleated

Various types of air filter (source: Recknagel) Fiber (or "dry") filters

The medium used in this type of filter, which is produced in various formats, is a
kind of felt made of fibers of various materials such as glass, synthetics, natural
products or metals. The basic general requirements are a long service life and low
pressure differentials. These two requirements can be satisfied by ensuring that the
manufactured filter accommodates as large a filtering area as possible.
Typical types of construction are:
rigid filter cells
pocket filters
Rigid filter cells

Here, the filter medium, with an overall thickness of approximately 50 mm, is supported in a rigid frame of perforated metal or card. Another type of construction
involves folding the medium into pleats, held apart with cardboard or plastic spacers.


Fig. 6-8

Pocket filters

Filter cells, filter frame with pleated filter material (to increase surface area)

Pocket filters are the most common form of dry filters. Various arrangements (such
as wedge-shaped seams, individual tacking threads, glued or stitched strips of felt
etc.) stop the pockets from billowing out. The filter consists of 6 to 12 pockets, accommodated in a frame.

Fig. 6-9

Pocket filter

Pocket filters have a particularly high dust-holding capacity and occupy relatively
little space. The ratio of filter surface area to projected surface area is in the range
20:125:1. The air flow velocity is 2.5 m/s in relation to the projected surface
area, and 1 m/s in relation to the filter surface area.
Although these filters are not normally washable, they have a long service life.
Aerosol filters

These are normally used as the last stage in a multi-stage filter (pre-filters are absolutely essential). Their primary use is in industrial applications, such as laboratories, operating theaters, clean rooms and pharmaceutical applications.
Aerosol filters often take the form of pleated filter material in an individual frame.
The effective filter area is 20 to 50 times greater than the area exposed to the flow.
For a front-on velocity of 1.5 m/s this gives a flow velocity of 2.5 cm/s.
When installing a filter, it is important to ensure a tight-sealing fit, and it is essential
that this is double-checked.
In clean rooms, because of the high volume flow rate and continuous operation,
special attention must be paid to the pressure drop, as this has a significant effect
on energy consumption. Recent developments in filter classes EU 13EU 16 (formerly S, T and U) have therefore aimed to reduce the initial pressure differential


(e.g. 90150 Pa). For this reason, for example, electrostatic and mechanical arrestance effects have been combined, giving a lower initial pressure differential
(e.g. 5590 Pa).

Fig. 6-10

Aerosol filters Metallic filters

Metallic filters are used to stop the passage of grease and oil mists, coarse dust
and ink mists.
The filtering effect works on the basis that as it passes through the filter medium,
the stream of air is broken up into numerous smaller air streams, which are subjected to frequent changes in direction. The arrestance mechanism is based on
blocking and inertia principles.

Fig. 6-11

Metallic filters (two possible designs)

The filters are cleaned by washing them in washing-up liquid (this applies, for example to cooker-hood filters) or in oil or solvents, according to the type of air contaminant. Activated carbon filters
Activated carbon filters are used for the adsorption of harmful or undesirable gaseous or vaporized impurities in the air. These include not only odors from kitchens,
lavatories, public assembly rooms, but also gases and vapors from industrial processes. The activated carbon works on the basis of physical and or chemical adsorption, depending on the state of the contaminant and the carbon.
Small external surface
area and vast adsorption surface area in the
pores of the medium

The base material for activated carbon may be coal, coconut shell or wood. The
base material is treated in a special process to produce an end-product which is
highly porous. The basic material thus has an exceptionally large surface area to
intercept the contaminant molecules. In contrast to the visible, macroscopic format
and surface area, we refer to the surface area represented by pores as the "internal" or specific surface area of the activated carbon. As a guide, we can say that


1 g of activated carbon is equivalent to a volume of approximately 2cm and has a

specific surface area of 9001200m .
on contaminant

To enable an activated carbon filter to filter out specific contaminants, the adsorption surface area often has to be treated, or impregnated, with a chemical. Optimum adsorption requires that the activated carbon, the chemical used for impregnation and the substance to be adsorbed are present in an ideal combination. Activated carbon cannot be used for the adsorption of gases such as N2, O2 and CO2,
as these gases are always present, and the activated carbon itself already contains
these molecules.

Types of construction

Activated carbon filters are available in various forms, for example, as activated
carbon plates or regenerative activated carbon filter cartridges. The processes
used to reactivate the filter (e.g. high temperature treatment) vary considerably,
depending on the adsorbed contaminant.

Fig. 6-12

Service life

Activated carbon filters (various designs)

Pre-filters are absolutely essential to ensure that the effectiveness of the activated
carbon is not impaired by contamination with dust. Correctly installed and maintained, an activated carbon filter has a service life of 312 months. Electric filters
Electric filters are quite rare in the field of ventilation and air conditioning, but they
are used in special cases (e.g. in atmospheres with a high dust-content, where 24hour operation is required, or for extract air containing oil mists, etc.)

Electric filters with

ionization zone

Most electric filters operate according to Penney's principle, and consist firstly of an
ionization zone, with positively charged tungsten wires, where the incoming dust
particles attract ions, thereby acquiring a positive charge, and secondly of a dust
arrestor in the form of a plate capacitor. Depending on the type of particles to be
filtered out, the surface can be sprayed with dust-binding substances. Cleaning is
achieved by spraying with water at approximately 3040 C and can be automated
with the appropriate equipment.
Electric filters are efficient at removing dust, including the smallest particles down to
0.1 m and below (e.g. tobacco smoke, mists, pollen and bacteria). They have a
low air resistance but are costly to buy.

Electrostatic filters


In some cases, electric filters are used which operate according to electrostatic
principles and do not have a charging (ionization) zone. In such cases, fibrous materials can be used as the filter medium. This material is either specially processed

to incorporate electrical dipoles, or placed in an externally created electrostatic

field. Depending on the voltage applied or the structure of the filter medium, arrestance efficiency ranges from 15% to 90%.
Electric filters also
used in small plants

Increasingly, because of their ability to remove pollen etc., electric filters are even
used in small domestic plants. However, it is important to remember that the electricity consumed can be counterproductive in relation to any efforts to save energy
by use of controlled domestic ventilation plants (see 6.5). Automatic filters
With these filters, the filter medium or layer is renewed or cleaned, either continuously or intermittently, during operation. Essentially, a distinction is made between:
Roll filters
Automatic viscous filters

Automatic roll filters

With roll filters, the clean filter medium is unwound from a roller and wound onto a
second roller as it becomes increasingly dirty. The winding mechanism is driven by
an electric motor.
These filters have a more or less constant operating-pressure differential, but the
air distribution varies according to height (e.g. a higher air velocity near the top,
where the filter material is relatively clean, and a lower air velocity near the bottom,
where the filter is dirtier).

Fig. 6-13

Automatic viscous

Roll filter

Automatic viscous filters operate with a continuous moving roll made up of cells or
plates. The plates are cleaned in the oil receptacle by washing them in moving oil.
The cleaned surfaces are then turned towards the air inlet. The dust washed out in
this way collects at the bottom of the oil receptacle and is removed by emptying the
oil and scraping out the sediment, or by use of a self-cleaning oil circuit.


6.2.4. Fans

To move the air through the air handling plant. Fans generate the required volume
flow rate and the increase in pressure corresponds to the pressure loss in the plant.

Fig. 6-14

Radial fan with separate motor and fan-belt drive (for installation in a central ventilation unit)

Design and functioning

A distinction is made between radial fans (Fig. 6-15) and axial fans (Fig. 6-16). In
air conditioning and ventilation plants, radial fans are used in principle for relative
small volumes of air (up to approximately 50,000 m /h) delivered at high pressure
(up to 3,000 Pa). Axial fans are used for relatively large volumes of air (>50,000
m /h) delivered at low pressure (up to 1,000 Pa).

Radial fans

The radial fan draws in the air by axial flow and delivers it by radial flow. The spiral
casing is designed to guide the air in this fashion. The impellers may be fitted with
forward-curved, backward-curved or straight blades.
Mechanical design


Backward-curved blades

High pressures up to 3,000 Pa and a high

degree of efficiency (approx. 8085%)

Forward-curved blades

High pressures up to 1,300 Pa and a high

degree of efficiency (approx. 5575%)

Straight blades

For special applications


Fig. 6-15


Radial fan with impeller (1), spiral casing (2), air inlet (3) and air outlet (4) (Source: LTG)

Axial fan

The axial fan moves the air flow in a direction parallel to the actuator shaft itself.
With the better, higher-performance versions, the swirl caused by the impeller
wheel is trapped by a fixed guide vane.
Mechanical design


Wall-mounted fan

For installation in windows or walls

Without impeller

For low pressures (up to approx. 300 Pa)

With impeller

For higher pressures (up to approx. 1,000


Counter-impellers (2 impeller
wheels moving in opposite directions)

For the highest pressures (>1,000 Pa) and

for special applications


Fig. 6-16

Axial fan with impeller (1), guide wheel (2), air inlet (3) and air outlet (4) (Source: LTG)

Selecting the correct fan type depends on various aspects, and every type has certain advantages.
Radial fans
Low noise level
Easy speed adjustment*
Easily replaced motor *

Axial fans
Require little space
Low-cost purchase
Controlled by blade adjustment

*for motors with a fan-belt drive Fan and plant characteristics

Fan laws

In plant systems with a quadratic characteristic (true for a majority of components,

see Fig. 6-17, plant characteristics I and II) and constant density, the fan laws derived from the laws of proportionality in the field of fluid mechanics are applicable.

Fan law 1

The volume flow rate varies in direct proportion to the speed.

V& 1 n1
V& 2 n 2

Fan law 2

(Equation 1)

Fan pressure increases as the square of the speed or volume flow rate.
p1 V& 1
= 1
p 2 V& 2

Fan law 3

(Equation 2)

The motor output varies in proportion to the cube of the speed or volume flow rate
(provided the fan efficiency remains constant).
P1 V& 1
= 1
P2 V& 2

(Equation 3)


What the equations


Equation 1 expresses the fact that, for example, the volume flow rate can be
doubled by doubling the speed.
If the speed of a fan is increased from 1000 to 2000 min , then the volume flow
rate changes from 4,000 m /h as follows:
V& 1 n1
2000 min -1
V& 2 = V& 1 2 = 4'000 m 3 /h
= 8'000 m 3 /h
V& 2 n 2
1000 min -1

Equation 2 shows, for example, that doubling the volume flow rate results in four
times the pressure.
The fan delivers 4,000 m /h at a pressure of 350 Pa. If, as calculated above, we
now double the speed (and thus the volume flow rate) the pressure increases as
V& 2
8'000 m 3 /h
p1 V& 1

= 1'400 Pa
p 2 = p1 V& = 350 Pa
p 2 V& 2
4'000 m /h

Equation 3 shows, for example, that if the volume flow rate is doubled, eight
times the power is needed, or, in the reverse process, if the volume flow rate is
halved, the power consumption is reduced to 1/8 (see speed control).
If the fan is used in a VAV plant, for example, and if, while operating on low load,
it is required to deliver only 4,000 m /h instead of 8,000 m /h, the power consumption is reduced as follows from a the original 3.0 kW (at the shaft) to:
4'000 m 3 /h
P1 V& 1
= 0.375 kW
= 1 P2 = P1 2 = 3.0 kW
8'000 m 3 /h
P2 V& 2










V& 1
Fig. 6-17


V& 4

Fan and plant characteristics (not log-log)


Fan characteristics at various speeds

Plant characteristics 1 and 2
Operating points

1 2
1 4

Normal operating point

Shift in operating point due, e.g. to dirty filter
As 2, but with the desired air volume flow rate
Shift in operating point due to increase in speed

Fan curves normally look rather different from those in Fig. 6-17, and are more
likely to be presented as a confusing mass of lines, curves and scales, the meaning
of which is not always immediately apparent.
Normally, between one and three lines are measured for each fan size (volume,
pressure, required power and speed). All the other pressure/volume curves plotted
on the graph field are extrapolated on the basis of the fan laws. Note, therefore,
not every pressure-volume curve shown represents a line that has been measured.


To simplify the way in which the data is displayed, fan manufacturers use what is
referred to as a "log-log" format. The result is that the plant characteristics are no
longer shown as parabolas as in Fig. 6-17, but as straight lines via the function pt
= f (V ).

Fig. 6-18


Fan characteristics (with logarithmically-scaled V& and pt axes)

Volume flow rate in 1,000 m3/h (or m3/s, l/s etc.)

Total pressure increase, pt in Pa
Pressure/volume characteristic field
Efficiency and plant characteristic
Required power in kW at the fan shaft
A-weighted noise level
Discharge velocity c2 in m/s (at an interval of 2.5 x impeller diameter)
Dynamic pressure pd2 in Pa (resulting from discharge velocity; pd2 = (c2)2/2)
Fan speed
Circumferential velocity of the impeller in m/s
Operating point, e.g. at 4,000 m3/h and 800 Pa

6.2.5. Heating coils


Used to heat the supply air to the required temperature (e.g. the discharge air temperature of a room heating system).

Mechanical design
based on working

Finned-pipe heat exchanger, operated with low temperature hot water, high temperature hot water or refrigerant vapor (Fig. 6-19)
Electric heating coils (Fig. 6-21)
Heating coils are used as pre-heaters or re-heaters in air heating and air conditioning plants.

Fig. 6-19

Finned-pipe heating coil and example of installation in a plant (with a mixing circuit)

Heat exchangers normally show a non-linear response in terms of the mass flow
passing through them and the associated output. Depending on how they are constructed and on the supply temperatures, this "heat transfer characteristic" varies
from a steep curve to a shallow curve, as expressed by the "a-value". The characteristic curve of the heat exchanger is shown in relation to the maximum volume
& 100
flow rate V& 100 and the maximum output Q

Fig. 6-20

Heat-exchanger characteristic curves and the associated a-values

Electric heating coils have a number of built-in spiral heating elements which become hot as the current flows through them. They emit the heat acquired in this
way into the air. They are installed in areas where there is no hot water heating, or
where the connection point is too far away, or where, for other reasons, an LTHW
heating coil cannot be used. Owing to the risk of fire, electric heating coils require
special safety arrangements and devices (e.g. safety thermostat, fan run-on etc.)


Fig. 6-21

Electric heating coil (steel pipes with integrated heating coils; Source: Loysch)

6.2.6. Chilled water cooling coil

Chilled water cooling coils are finned-pipe heat exchangers operated with
flow/return water temperatures of e.g. 6/12 C or 8/14 C. Cooling coils normally
require a larger heat-transfer surface area than heating coils, because on average,
the difference in temperature between the surface of the cooling coil and the air is
smaller. The requirement for a greater surface area is fulfilled in design terms by
several rows of pipes arranged one behind the other. If the air is to be dehumidified as well as cooled, then the cooling coil must be connected hydraulically
as shown below, i.e. in a diverting circuit. If the air only has to be cooled, then a
mixing circuit is acceptable.

Fig. 6-22

Example of installation of a chilled water cooling coil in the plant (with diverting circuit)

Chilled water inlet

Air inlet

6.2.7. Direct expansion cooling coil

A finned-pipe heat exchanger which acts as the evaporator in a refrigerant cycle is
installed directly in the air flow as a cooling coil. As a rule, this solution is reserved
for compact cooling units which also have a built-in compressor and condenser.

Fig. 6-23


Direct expansion cooling coils

Various types (left)
Detail showing connection of the refrigerant distributor (right)

6.2.8. Humidifiers

Humidification through the evaporation of water

Humidification through the introduction of steam Evaporative humidifiers
Evaporative humidifiers include air washers, water atomizers and surface water

Air washers

Water is pumped from a reservoir into the spray nozzles distributed in the air flow.
The majority of the fine droplets evaporate and become steam, in the process of
which the latent heat of vaporization is extracted from the air flow. Since the energy
required for evaporation is taken solely from the air, the air cools down (adiabatic
cooling). The non-evaporated water droplets are separated in a drip screen at the
air washer outlet, and then routed back to the collecting tray.


Fig. 7-15

Fig. 6-24

Water atomizers

Principle of the air washer, and example of construction (Source: Baehr)

Spray nozzles (several adjacent rows, often with the spray directed against the air flow)
Drip screen
Collecting tray
Circulating pump

The water is converted by use of atomizing nozzles into a fine spray mist. The water droplets or "aerosols" are so small that they are initially suspended in the air,
and then evaporate completely. The latent heat of vaporization is removed from the
air, which becomes slightly cooler (adiabatic cooling).

Fig. 6-25

Surface water evaporator (built into ventilation unit)


Surface water

Porous ceramic plates with a large surface area are located downstream of the water atomizer described above. Any aerosols which have not yet evaporated are
trapped by these plates and then evaporate fully (see Fig. 6-25).

Cold water
steam humidifier

In plants required to satisfy stringent hygiene requirements, cold water steam generators can be used for humidification. Compared with the methods of humidification described above, the characteristic features of a cold water steam generator
are a much lower consumption of water and energy.
The incoming air is first made to vibrate by means of infrared sound generator, for
example, or alternatively, it may be passed through a vortex grid designed to create
turbulence. The water is then injected into the air at high pressure at high pressure
(20150 bar) through nozzles. The vibration or turbulence ensure that the air in
this process is well mixed. In this case too, latent heat of vaporization absorbs the
humidity in the air. This causes a drop in the temperature of the treated air (along
the line of enthalpy in the h,x diagram, or psychrometric chart).

1 2

Fig. 6-26


Principle of the cold-water steam humidifier, and example of construction

(Source: Klingenburg)

Air turbulence
Atomizer nozzle(s)
Mixing zone
Drip screen

In cold-water steam humidifiers, only as much water as necessary is atomized.

There is therefore no recirculation of the water, and no collecting tray. Any unevaporated droplets are trapped in the drip screen at the end of the unit.
Cold-water steam generators make very good humidifiers (with a humidification
efficiency close to 100%). Their output is controlled by adjusting the water pressure
in the atomizer nozzles.

168 Steam humidifiers


Water is fully evaporated first, and only then is it injected into the air (there is no
adiabatic cooling of the air). Steam humidification is becoming increasingly common in comfort air conditioning plants, and is gradually replacing the use of evaporative humidifiers in plants where there is no requirement to cool the air at the same
time. Steam is hygienic and free of bacteria.

Steam humidifiers with

self-generated steam

The evaporator (an "electrode boiler") contains heating electrodes which degrade
over time (see Fig. 6-27). Further, because the limescale from the water remains in
the evaporator, the complete electrode boiler has to be replaced at regular intervals. Modulating control of these steam humidifiers can be arranged, subject to the
appropriate electronic interfaces.




Fig. 6-27

Steam humidifiers with

external steam supply

Steam humidifier with self-generated steam

Evaporator vessel (electrode boiler)

Steam ejector


Condensate pipe
Connection to water supply

In large plants (industrial plant) with a correspondingly higher humidifier capacity,

the steam is generated in a separate steam boiler. The steam, free of condensate,
is injected into the air flow via a specially constructed steam manifold (Fig. 6-28).
Any condensate which collects in the manifold must be fully drained and fed back
into the steam boiler. A modulating control valve controls the exact quantity of
steam released.



Fig. 6-28

Steam humidifier with control valve (1) and manifold (2) for externally generated steam


6.2.9. Dehumidification
There are three basic methods of removing humidity from the air:
Cooling the air, so causing the water to condense
Absorption of water in hygroscopic liquids
Adsorption of the water vapor (steam) on solid surfaces
Cooling with

This method of drying the air involves cooling the air with a cooling medium which
is cold enough to condense the water in the air. This humidification process is
therefore simultaneously an air cooling process.
It is noteworthy that the air does not necessarily have to be cooled to its dew point
temperature. It is sufficient if the temperature of the cooling surface is below the
dew point temperature of the air. The chiller or cooling coil does not even have to
be very large. This is because even cooling the air very slightly causes condensation.
The same cooling media can be used for humidification as are normally used for
cooling, i.e. chilled water (produced in a chiller or refrigeration machine), surface
water from lakes and rivers, brine etc., and the various refrigerants used for direct
Air conditioning plants frequently use this principle to dehumidify the air while simultaneously reducing its temperature. The same method is also common in mobile units, which can be used irrespective of their location.


Here the water is dissolved in a hygroscopic liquid, thereby diluting the liquid. The
amount of vapor absorbed increases with the concentration of water vapor in the
air, with increasing pressure and with a fall in temperature. Hygroscopic liquids are
normally regenerated by heating.
The most commonly used hygroscopic liquids are salt solutions of lithium chloride,
lithium bromide or calcium chloride in water.


With this method of dehumidification, the water vapor collects on the surface area
of a solid, porous material, the "adsorbent", which is made up of the smallest possible pores.
The usual material for the adsorption of water vapor is sodium silicate, better
known as silica gel. It consists of 90% SiO2 and has an internal surface area of up
to 1,000 m /g.
In the adsorption process, the heat of adsorption contained in the adsorbent is
released, causing the air to rise in temperature. It may therefore be necessary to
cool the air after dehumidification by this method.
The adsorbent is regenerated by heating to approximately 150 200 C. Once it
has cooled down again, it is ready for re-use.


For continuous operation of an adsorption plant, two silica-gel containers are required. One adsorbs the moisture in the air while the other is being regenerated
and cooled.
The principle of adsorption for dehumidification of the air is put into practice in
"DEC" (desiccative and evaporative cooling) plants (see 6.2.11). The rotating exchanger in these plants consists of a compound of ceramic material and silica gel.
However, the temperatures required for regeneration are not as high, and this
means that that the waste heat can be utilized.

Fig. 6-29

Desiccant rotor and principle of operation (Source Klingenburg)

6.2.10. Heat recovery


The purpose of a heat recovery plant is to utilize the heat contained in the extract
Heat recovery plants are among the most important air handling components, because they significantly reduce energy consumption in air conditioning plants. This
is why reference is also often made to energy recovery plants (see VDI 2071). In
many places their use is a statutory requirement. Types of heat recovery

Mixing of recirculated
air (bypass control)

If required, some of the extract air from the room can be mixed directly with the
outside air, via a bypass. The result is a mixed-air temperature and humidity in the
air flow, which can then be re-conditioned as required. The outside air, exhaust air
and recirculated air dampers are normally mechanically interconnected, as illustrated below. The outside air damper is only closed to the minimum permissible
position (for reasons of air quality). Recirculated air is often mixed with outside air
in heat-up mode. In VDI 2701, this type of plant is not regarded as a heat recovery


Fig. 6-30

Mixing of recirculated air

Outside air damper

Exhaust air damper
Recirculated air damper



These have fixed walls which segregate the exhaust air flow from the outside air
flow. They are normally designed as cubes consisting of plates, but some are constructed with pipes. The material (e.g. aluminum, chromium steel, glass or synthetic
materials) depends on the application and the state and quality of the air. The output is controlled by a bypass damper (normally in the outside air duct) which forces
some of the outside air across the heat exchanger, at the same time preventing the
extract air from becoming too cold, and so preventing icing.

Fig. 6-31

Rotary heat exchangers

Recuperative heat recovery:

Outside air
Supply air


Plate heat exchanger (Source: Klingenburg)

Extract air
Exhaust air

Outside air and extract air is passed alternately across a rotating, cellular storage
mass. The extent of the heat transfer can be varied by changing the speed of the
rotor. With a hygroscopic coating of the surface area of the storage medium, it is
possible to transfer humidity or enthalpy as well.



Fig. 6-32



Regenerative heat recovery: Rotary heat exchanger

Cross-section and principle (for summer)

Outside air
Supply air


Extract air
Exhaust air

Run-around coil
heat exchanger

Two finned-pipe heat exchangers are located, one in the outside air flow and the
other in the extract air flow. The heat is transferred between the two units via a hydraulic circuit, normally containing a water/glycol mixture as the heat transfer medium. The heat transfer medium itself is circulated with a circulating pump. A threeport diverting valve can be used to control the amount of heat transferred.
This type of heat recovery is used primarily in cases where the outside air and extract air are physically some distance apart, or in the case of plant renovation.

Icing protection

Icing protection is particularly important with run-around coil heat exchangers (see
Fig. 6-33). At very low outdoor temperatures, the transfer medium (water/glycol
mixture) is cooled down significantly by the outside air. If (because of the cold
transfer medium) the temperature falls below the dew point of the extract air, the
moisture in the air condenses, and the heat exchanger on the extract air side may
"ice up". For this reason it is particularly important to select the correct hydraulic
circuit and install the diverting valve (4) and limit sensor (5) in the correct location.


Fig. 6-33

Run-around heat exchanger

Outside air
Exhaust air
Circulating pump
Three-port diverting valve
Limit sensor (icing protection)


Heat recovery

The effectiveness of heat or humidity transfer is expressed in terms of a heat recovery or humidity recovery ratio. These represent the relationship between the
actual change in the temperature or humidity of the outside air and the theoretically
possible change. This is also sometimes expressed in terms "temperature approach" or transfer or change efficiency (e.g. temperature change efficiency, enthalpy transfer efficiency).








Heat recovery ratio

2 =

Humidity recovery ratio

t 22 t 21
t 11 t 21


2 =

x 22 x 21
x 11 x 21

2 (phi 2), 2 (psi 2) both relate to the outside air side

Extract air temperature

Exhaust air temperature
Outside air temperature
Supply air temperature


Extract air humidity

Exhaust air humidity
Outside air humidity
Supply air humidity

For the operation of air conditioning plants in winter (where t11 > t21 and x11 > x21)
and in high summer (where t11 < t21 and x11 < x21), the heat recovery can be described in terms of enthalpy transfer efficiency:
Enthalpy transfer efficiency

h2 =

Properties of various
heat recovery systems

h 22 h 21
h11 h 21

Features Supply and

extract air
Heat recovery system

Possibility of mixed
flow / cross-leakage

Transfer efficiency/
heat recovery ratio 1)

Pressure loss on
air side 1)

Plate / pipe




150...300 Pa



50...100 Pa


50...100 Pa


100..200 Pa

heat exchangers
Rotary heat exchanger


without hygroscopic


Rotary heat exchanger


with hygroscopic


Run-around coil system

Fig. 6-34




Features of various heat recovery systems

The details shown are guide values only. Please refer to the manufacturers' information

6.2.11. DEC systems

The artful combination
of adiabatic cooling
and adsorptive

"DEC" stands for Desiccative and Evaporative Cooling.

Principle of operation
(in summer)

After the normal filtering process, the outside air (e.g. at 32 C and 35% rh) is dehumidified in an adsorption system (1). This dehumidification is a continuous process, and virtually adiabatic. The heat of adsorption released in this process is emitted into the air flow, thereby heating up the outside air.

The basic thinking underlying DEC technology is the replacement of the conventional generation of cooling energy in air conditioning plants (with electrically operated compressors) by a method involving air dehumidification functions. To do this,
a special process is used which combines the familiar process of adiabatic cooling
with adsorptive dehumidification (see 6.2.9). Normally, solid sorbent media with a
proven record are used (e.g. silica gel). The motive energy for this process (see 5
in Fig. 6-35) is heat, at not too high a temperature, which is often available in the
form of waste heat especially in summer. From the diagram below, it can be seen
that this process takes place at a relatively high temperature compared with the air
temperature (regenerative heating coils up to 70 C).

The dry warm air is then pre-cooled in a regenerative heat exchanger (2) (which, in
winter, is used to preheat the outside air via the extract air). The air, pre-cooled in
this way, is then passed through an evaporative humidifier (3) which brings it to the
required supply air temperature and humidity.
In a second evaporative humidifier (4) the extract air temperature is reduced to enhance the pre-cooling of the supply air in the heat exchanger (2). The extract air is
warmed in this process. The heating (5) is then used for reheating, in order to regenerate the adsorption heat exchanger (1). This causes the extract air to cool
down, and the humidity to increase. This process is also referred to as "adiabatic








Fig. 6-35


Principle of operation of a DEC system summer use (Source: Klingenburg)


Sorption exchanger (drying of the outside air)

Rotary heat exchanger
Supply air humidifier (adiabatic cooling)
Extract air humidifier (adiabatic cooling, e.g. cold vapor generator)
Regenerative heating coil (heats the air to e.g. 70 C)


State transition, outside air supply air

State transitions, extract air exhaust air


6.2.12. Air diffusers

After the air has been treated in the air handling unit in accordance with user requirements, it is transferred through the duct system to the various rooms. In this
process, the air must be introduced into the room in such a way that it does not
impair the comfort of the room occupants. To discharge the air into the room in the
optimum way, a wide range of different air diffusers is available from various manufacturers.

Fig. 6-36

Various air diffusers: Swirl diffuser; ball diffuser rail; special ceiling diffuser (Source:Trox)

6.3. Air conditioning with a central energy supply

Air conditioning plants are air treatment plants capable of maintaining the air at a
specified temperature and humidity all year round. To do this, these plants incorporate all the components necessary for heating, cooling, humidifying or dehumidifying the air, as required.
However, it is important to consider carefully whether an air conditioning plant is
really needed. The following are some of the conditions which may make air conditioning necessary:
High temperatures, muggy ambient air
Architectural constraints such as large window surfaces, open-plan offices, lack
of shade etc.
Stringent requirements in relation to humidity and temperature
Interior (i.e. windowless) rooms and public assembly rooms
High thermal loads
Computer rooms and machine rooms
Air conditioning plants which use the primary plant to generate heating or cooling
energy are essentially classified by the way in which the heating and cooling energy is delivered to the room, i.e. whether it is delivered via the supply air only, or
via the LTHW/CHW circuits only, or by a combination of both methods. Based on
this distinction, we refer to the following system variants:
All-air systems
Air/water systems
It should be noted that to deliver the same heating and cooling output, significantly
more energy is required in all-air systems than in water systems.


All-air systems
Room heating and cooling with air only
in a low velocity plant
or a high velocity plant

Single-duct system

with variable
volume flow rate

Dual duct system

Hot and cold air duct

with constant
volume flow rate


with variable
volume flow rate

with constant
volume flow rate


- with local reheaters

- with alternating dampers (older systems)

Air/water systems
Energy transfer via air and water
with local heat exchanger in the room




with local



reheaters /

Chilled ceiling/


ventilation system

cooling coils




Flow and return

LTHW + CHW flow

Common return

Flow and return


- With changeover
(changeover system)
Summer: chilled water
Winter: LTHW
- Without changeover

Fig. 6-37

- With fan control

(1 heat exchanger only)
- With damper control
(2 heat exchangers)

Types of air conditioning plant


6.3.1. All-air systems

The required heating and cooling energy is delivered to the rooms solely via the
supply air. The heating or cooling energy from the hot or cold water (LTHW or
CHW) prepared in the primary plant is transferred to the supply air in the primary
air handling plant.



Fig. 6-38


All-air system

Outside air
Exhaust air
Supply air
Extract air


Recirculated air
Primary air handling
Air ducts (supply and extract air)
Refrigeration machine

Single-duct system without zone after-treatment

In this system (Fig. 6-39), the entire volume of supply air is prepared in the primary
plant and then delivered to the rooms via the duct system. The output is adjusted
on the basis of the state of the extract air; this takes place in the primary plant only.
Plants with primary air handling only are suitable for air conditioning in open-plan
offices and in groups of rooms with equally varying loads. Varying loads which constantly differ from one individual room or zone to another can only be accommodated by modifying the air volume at start-up.


Fig. 6-39


Single-duct systems without zone after-treatment

Outside air
Exhaust air
Supply air
Extract air


Room or zone
Recirculated air
Primary air handling Single-duct system with zone after-treatment

In this type of system (Fig. 6-40 and Fig. 6-41), the supply air, prepared in the primary plant, is delivered via a single-duct system to the rooms or zones to be air
conditioned. The air duct system can be sized for low or high velocity delivery. In
the latter case, expansion boxes are fitted upstream of the air diffusers in the rooms
or zones.
The supply air, pre-treated in the primary plant, is re-treated in accordance with the
required indoor air conditions in each individual room or each zone. This secondary
air handling, or "after-treatment", may comprise reheating, recooling, redehumidification or re-humidification. In practice, however, after-treatment tends to
be limited to reheating.
In single-duct systems with zone after-treatment (Fig. 6-41), the air is re-treated
locally in the zones. This means that pipes for delivering energy in the form of
LTHW, CHW or steam have to be installed throughout the building.



Fig. 6-40



Single-duct systems with local after-treatment of zone air

Outside air
Exhaust air
Supply air
Extract air
Recirculated air


Primary air handling

Air duct
Heating register for after-treatment
Cooling register for after-treatment
Room with external heat gain

In single-duct systems with centralized after-treatment for the zones (Fig. 6-41), the
after-treatment takes place immediately downstream of the primary plant. In this
case, the LTHW, CHW or steam pipes are only need to be installed in the plant
room. The air ducts to the zones, on the other hand, need to be heat-insulated, so
that the energy transferred to the air in the after-treatment process is not wasted in
the distribution process.










Fig. 6-41

Single-duct systems with centralized after-treatment of zone air

Outside air
Exhaust air
Supply air
Extract air
Recirculated air


Cooling coil
After-treatment unit (reheater)
Zone valve

The after treatment units are standard finned-pipe heat exchangers and air humidifiers as described in section 6.2. The choice of humidifier depends largely on where
it is to be installed. All types can be used in the plant room or zone duct, as all the
necessary incoming and outgoing pipes can be installed without great difficulty. For
terminal unit installation before the zone, only steam humidifiers are suitable in
most cases.
These plants are used in buildings with a small number of relatively large zones,
with a correspondingly high supply air volume flow rate (>1,500 m3/h).
They are unsuitable for buildings with numerous smaller zones due to the large
amount of space required for the ducts. For the same reason, the zones must neither be too far apart nor too far away from the primary plant. To avoid wasting energy, it is important that the required supply air temperatures in the individual zones
do not differ greatly. Multi-zone system with multi-zone primary plant
Multi-zone systems are ideal for buildings with a small number of zones but which
require a relatively large volume of air (e.g. shopping centers or conference halls in
hotels) and have different heating and cooling loads in each zone (Fig. 6-42).In the
primary plant, the outside air and recirculated air are first mixed, and the total volume of supply air is filtered and preheated. When it leaves the supply air fan, the
supply air flow is split into two separate air streams (Fig. 6-43. One of these passes
through the reheater and the other across the cooling coil. The hot and cold air
streams are then mixed via the zone dampers to provide the individual supply air
temperature required for each zone. The zone dampers are arranged vertically,
with a hot and a cold air damper on the same damper shaft. The cold air damper is
set at an angle of 90 in relation to the hot air damper, so that whenever the cold
air damper is closed, the hot air damper is fully open. The supply air is distributed
to the individual zones by provision of the appropriate number of zone dampers.



Fig. 6-42


Multi-zone system

Outside air
Multi-zone primary plant

Supply air ducts (low pressure)
46 Individual zones





3 4

Fig. 6-43


Principle of operation of a multi-zone system

Outside air
Recirculated air
Minimum outside air duct
Minimum outside air cooling coil


Cooling coil
Heating coil
Zone dampers
Hot air
Cold air

The reheater is always located at the top and the cooling coil at the bottom, to ensure that any condensate does not come into contact with the reheater, where it
would be re-evaporated.
Multi-zone systems are designed as low velocity systems. In terms of volume, this
means that the ducts need to be relatively large, and should not, therefore be
routed over long distances. In addition, in relation to the consumption of heating
and cooling energy (mixing losses), it is preferable if the supply air temperatures
required in individual zones do not differ too widely from each other (< 5K). Dual duct systems
The term "dual duct" refers to two parallel air ducts, one hot and one cold, which
are routed to each room (Fig. 6-44). As with single-duct systems, the extract duct is
not taken into account here either. However, to minimize space requirements as
much as possible, the duct system is normally designed as a high velocity system.
The air streams are expanded from high pressure to low pressure and the air is
mixed in the required ratio of hot to cold air in specially constructed mixing boxes
installed in the rooms. The mixing ratio is controlled by the room temperature controller.






Fig. 6-44

Dual duct system with dehumidification of the overall supply air flow

Outside air
Exhaust air
Supply air
Extract air


Primary air handling

Steam humidifier
Hot air duct
Cold air duct
Mixing box

In the early days of air conditioning technology, when energy consumption was not
seen as important, the hot and cold air ducts were operated at the same temperatures all year round. As a result, especially with low loads, energy consumption was
unnecessarily high, because heating energy was used to compensate for cooling
energy. So for example, a mixing air temperature of 20 C was reached in the mixing chamber in the primary air conditioning plant. Half of this was then cooled to
10 C while the other half was heated to 30 C. At the end of this process, both air
streams were mixed (yet again!) in the mixing boxes to a temperature of approximately 20 C.
Once energy consumption became a serious issue, planners stopped using dualduct systems until control technology eventually overcame the problem of unnecessary energy consumption in this otherwise convenient solution. Today, the supply
air temperature setpoints do not remain constant. Instead, the hot-air temperature
is always defined by the highest, and the cold-air temperature by the lowest supply
temperature setpoint transmitted by all the connected room temperature controllers. Modern digital technology allows us to read the current values via a building
bus and to select the maximum and minimum values at any given time. This helps
reduce mixing losses. Rooms with the maximum cooling load will receive cold air
only, while those with the maximum heating load will receive hot air only, and rooms
with a moderate heating or cooling load will receive a mixture of hot and cold air.
In the primary plant, the air for the cold air duct is brought to the correct temperature and dehumidified, and the air for the hot air duct is heated and perhaps dehumidified. The arrangement of the cooling coil as shown in Fig. 6-44 enables controlled dehumidification of the overall supply air flow. Combining this arrangement
with steam humidification in the hot air duct results in a full air conditioning plant
with room temperature and humidity control. This level of comfort has to be paid
for in terms of relatively high energy consumption to dehumidify and subsequently
reheat the supply air, and is therefore now only permitted in special cases. The
standard solution for normal comfort control is the arrangement shown in Fig. 6-45,
involving partial, non-regulated dehumidification through condensation from the
cold air flow.







Fig. 6-45


Dual duct system with partial dehumidification of the supply air

Outside air
Exhaust air
Supply air
Extract air


Supply air fan

Cooling coil
Hot air duct
Cold air duct
Mixing box
Extract air fan

The mixing boxes are designed for installation in ceiling voids or under windows.
The air outlets are normal discharge grilles or ceiling diffusers.
Fig. 6-46 shows the design principle of a dual duct mixing box. The mixing boxes
also act as expansion units, fitted simultaneously with an air mixing arrangement
(valves or dampers) and soundproofing elements. They also incorporate a mechanical volume controller, which maintains the supply air volume flow rate at a
constant level, even in the case of fluctuating pressure in the supply air ducts. Mixing boxes are also available with a variable cold-air volume flow rate (Fig. 6-47).

3 M



Fig. 6-46

Dual-duct mixing box

Cold air
Hot air
Mixing valve (mixing damper)
Constant volume control
Supply air
Temperature sensor

Fig. 6-47


Dual duct mixing box with variable control

of the cold air volume flow

Cold air
Hot air
Mixing valve (mixing damper)
Constant volume controller (50%)
Cold air volume controller (up to 100%)
Supply air
Temperature sensor
Actuator motor

183 Variable air volume systems (VAV)

The VAV system is basically a cooling system, and therefore, for heating purposes
it must be combined with a suitable heating system (radiator-type heating or underfloor heating). The entire cooling output is provided by the supply air. The supply air
temperature remains constant, and the room temperature is controlled by varying
the volume flow rate of the supply air. There is no need to divide the building into
zones, because the supply air volume flow rate can be individually matched in each
room to the sensible cooling load. In a building with rooms exposed to all four directions of the compass, solar radiation represents one of the main cooling loads.
However, because the sun moves round the building from east to west, the maximum cooling load is not the same in all rooms simultaneously.
The cooling output is proportional to the supply air volume flow rate. This means
that the maximum volume flow rate required overall is significantly less than the
sum of the maximum volume flow rates for each individual room. By use of suitable
air diffusers, the difference in temperature between the room air and the supply air
can also be increased significantly compared with conventional systems, making it
possible to reduce the supply air volume flow rate yet further.
In the VAV system illustrated in Fig. 6-48, the supply air prepared in the primary
plant is passed via a single-duct system to the rooms to be conditioned. The duct
system is normally designed as a high velocity system. However, smaller plants
may also be designed as low velocity systems.



Fig. 6-48

Variable Air Volume system (VAV)

Outside air
Exhaust air
Supply air
Extract air


Single-zone primary plant

VAV boxes (supply and extract air)
Base load heating

Even in the early days of air conditioning, engineers already know about the benefits of VAV systems compared with constant-volume all-air systems. However, they
were nervous of the time and cost involved in ensuring an even distribution of the
supply air even with a variable supply air volume. This was virtually impossible
with fixed discharge vents such as perforated ceilings or grille-style diffusers. It was
necessary to wait until special air diffusers with built-in control of the air volume
became available at a reasonable price. Major efforts on the part of the manufacturers of control equipment and their development teams finally bore fruit and led to
the breakthrough of VAV system technology.


Fig. 6-49

VAV box fitted with a compact controller (combination of

volume controller and damper actuator; Source Siemens)

6.3.2. Air/water systems Displacement ventilation
With the types of plants so far discussed, large volumes of air are moved about in
the room, which leads to high air velocity levels in the spaces occupied by people.
Displacement ventilation can largely satisfy the ever more stringent demands
placed on ventilation plants in relation to freedom from drafts and the removal of
heat and contaminants.
Supply air temperature
not as low as room

With displacement ventilation, the treated air is introduced into the room near floor
level at a temperature slightly below room temperature, and with laminar flow or
minimal turbulence (Fig. 6-50). The supply air temperature should be lower than
the room temperature by no more than 13 K in offices (and up to 8 K in factories). At the same time, however, (to avoid cold drafts at foot level) it should be less
than 21 C in offices (or 17 C in industrial premises). The discharge velocity is approximately 0.2 m/s in offices and up to 0.6 m/s in other applications. This allows
the formation of a "cold air pool" in the occupied space. The thermal buoyancy created by people and equipment in the room causes the air to rise towards the ceiling, where it extracted. Due to the fact that the cold air only rises towards the ceiling in the vicinity of heat sources, the heat and any contaminant load is removed
directly where it arises, without being circulated throughout the room. This makes it
possible to maintain good air quality with relatively small volumes of air (i.e. more
effective ventilation). The normal number of air changes in this process is in the
range 14 h-1.

Need for static heating

The ventilation principle described above only works with supply air at a relatively
low temperature. Displacement ventilation plants are not suitable for room heating,
because the hot air at the outlet would rise immediately. For this reason there is a
need for static heating using radiators or convection heaters under the window.
This type of heating can also be used for base load heating when the air conditioning plant is switched off.
To maintain thermal comfort in the occupied spaces, a certain distance must be
maintained from the air outlets (see 3 in Fig. 6-50).


25 ... 27 C
0,1 m/s
= 24 25 C

0,1 m/s
24 C

ca. 1 m
< 0,2 m/s
> 21 C
0,15 m/s

Fig. 6-50

22 C

Principle, temperatures and air velocities in displacement ventilation

Displacement air outlet

Extract air duct
Proximity zone

Removal of small
cooling loads only

Owing to the fact that the supply air temperature is only 13 K lower than the room
temperature, only very small cooling loads have to be dissipated. This is why displacement ventilation is combined with additional cooling surfaces in the room, e.g.
chilled ceilings.

Fields of application

Displacement ventilation is especially suitable for rooms where loads do not fluctuate widely, or in areas where air quality is of particular importance (e.g. in manufacturing, sports halls, hotels, theaters, schools and restaurants). This system, especially in conjunction with chilled ceilings, is capable of meeting very stringent comfort requirements. Chilled ceilings
With air, which is a poor conductor, it is often not possible to deliver sufficient cooling energy to the room, because the air cannot be discharged at an air temperature
as low as is sometimes required. For this reason, an air conditioning plant is often
combined with static cooling components. The main task of the air conditioning
plant in this case is to replace the stale indoor air. The static cooling components,
either mounted on the ceiling, or an integral part of it (thus "chilled ceiling") cool the
room to the required temperature, using water as the cooling medium. The mechanisms by which sensible heat is dissipated are thermal radiation (from all warmer
surfaces with sightlines to the ceiling) and thermal convection (for air cooled at ceiling level and moving downward).

Radiant chilled ceiling,

convective chilled

For sealed chilled ceilings, the proportion is approximately 60% radiation to 40%
convection they are therefore called "radiant chilled ceiling systems". There are
also other systems, in which the ratio is the other way round, with more convection
than radiation, and these are referred to as convective chilled ceilings or convective
chilled beams.
The radiant chilled ceilings available on the market today have a cooling effect of
up to 125 W/m2, while convective chilled beams are capable of as much as 160
W/m .


Risk of condensation at
temperatures below
dew point

The maximum capacity of a chilled ceiling is determined by the chilled-water flow

temperature (normally approximately 15 C...16 C). The temperature of the chilled
water pipe surfaces and the entire chilled ceiling itself must never be allowed to fall
below the dew point of the indoor air. This is a reliable way of avoiding the formation of condensation. If dew point sensors on the chilled water flow pipe detect the
risk that the temperature might drop below the dew point:
The chilled water pipe is closed off with a motorized valve, or
The chilled water flow temperature is raised by mixing it with return water by
means of a control valve.
Windows in buildings with chilled ceilings cannot normally be opened, as this increases the frequency of problems associated with temperatures below dew point.

Fig. 6-51

Chilled beams Fan coil units (fan convectors)

The traditional air/water system most commonly used in comfort air conditioning is
the "fan coil system". The "coil" refers to the finned-coil heat exchanger inside the
unit. This combination of heat exchanger and fan is marketed as a console-type
unit which also accommodates a recirculated-air filter and the control equipment.
Fan coil units (Fig. 6-52) are fitted to any wall in the room, and connected to the hot
and cold water network and the mains power supply. The built-in fan draws in air
from the room and discharges it back into the room via the heat exchanger (where
it is heated) and the supply air grille (4 in Fig. 6-52). If the unit is fitted to an external wall, a small proportion of outside air can be drawn in through a vent with a
manually adjustable damper, and mixed with the recirculated air.



Fig. 6-52

a) Fan coil unit and components

Control elements
Finned-pipe heat exchanger
Adjustable supply air grille


b) Fan coil unit with outside air component

Fan-coil unit
Outside air unit with damper
LTHW or CHW circuit


A good way of operating a fan coil system is by use of a water/water heat pump, in
which the condenser generates the heat for the heating circuit, and the evaporator
generates the cooling energy for the cooling circuit. This configuration also provides optimum heat recovery between the heating and cooling circuit. Further, the
hot-water storage tank required for operation of the heat pump can be combined
with a solar collector circuit, because the hot water flow temperature for the heating
circuit can be relatively low.
Fan coil units fitted with a direct expansion cooling coil make up the ventilation part
of a "DX split system" (see 6.4.4). For heating purposes, the unit also incorporates
an LTHW heating coil or in exceptional cases, an electric heating coil.
Fan coil units are ideal for heating and cooling the air in hotel rooms. In heating
mode, an outdoor temperature compensated central heating system (floor heating)
provides the base load heating, for example by maintaining the room at approximately 15 C in economy mode. After switching to comfort mode, the fan coil unit
reaches the required comfort temperature within just a few minutes. The fan coil
units in all the other rooms remain off. Fan coil units with primary air and induction systems
If the air conditioned rooms in a building require a constant proportion of outside air
of at least one air change per hour while the building is in use, it may not be possible to achieve this by opening windows at regular intervals. In such cases, the air is
heated centrally and humidified if necessary, or (depending on outside air conditions) cooled centrally and dehumidified if necessary). It is then distributed to the
individual rooms in the form of "primary air" via the high velocity or low velocity duct
system. Either fan coil units or induction units are located in each individual room to
heat or cool the room air.
Fan coil units
with primary air

The primary air is distributed round the building via a high velocity or low velocity
duct system, and it can be discharged directly into the room, either through the fan
coil units (Fig. 6-53) or through separate air diffusers (Fig. 6-54).




Fig. 6-53


Fan coil unit with primary air supplied via the fan coil unit

Outside air
Exhaust air
Supply air
Recirculated air
Fan coil unit


Primary air handling in the central plant
Alternative route for primary air supply




Fig. 6-54

Fan coil unit with primary air supplied directly to the room

Primary air
Exhaust air
Supply air
Recirculated air


Fan-coil unit
Outer zone
Inner zone

The air flow in a high velocity duct system has to be expanded to reduce it to a low
velocity air flow before it is discharged into the room or fan coil unit. In principle, the
heating or cooling load in the room or zone is handled by the water system. However, any necessary humidification or dehumidification can be carried out at the
primary air handling stage. To avoid interfering with room temperature control, the
primary air is normally discharged into the room at a constant temperature, which
generally corresponds to the room temperature heating setpoint.
Induction systems

The typical and most commonly used air/water system is the induction system. It is
suitable for the same area of application as a fan coil system with primary air. Like
fan coil units, the induction units located in the rooms accommodate the necessary
finned-pipe heat exchangers to heat or cool the indoor air or secondary air. However, no fans are required with induction units. The centrally treated outside air is
distributed through the building in the form of primary air via a high-velocity duct
system and delivered to the individual induction units (Fig. 6-55).
Instead of a fan, the induction units incorporate a sound-absorbent primary air
chamber fitted with plastic nozzles through which the primary air is injected at high
velocity into a mixing chamber where a negative pressure is generated. Due to this
negative pressure, the room air is drawn in (or "induced") in the form of "secondary
air", and passed across the finned-pipe heat exchanger where it is heated or
cooled as necessary (Fig. 6-56).
Depending on the design of the unit, the induction ratio of primary air to secondary
air is normally between 1:2 and 1:4.






Fig. 6-55

Induction unit (air/water system)

Outside air
Exhaust air
Supply air
Recirculated air (secondary air)


Induction unit
Primary air handling in the central plant
Primary air duct
Refrigeration machine


Primary air connection

Induction nozzles
Heat exchanger



Fig. 6-56

Induction uni

Primary air
Secondary air (room air)
Supply air

The heat exchanger is supplied with LTHW or CHW as required.

In the heat exchanger, the induced secondary air absorbs the required secondary
heating or cooling energy and is then mixed with the primary air.
The mixture of secondary and primary air is then discharged into the room.
Because the primary air volume flow rate only represents the required proportion of
outside air, the air distribution ducts only need to be sized for one quarter to one
fifth of the volume flow rate required in an all-air system. Correspondingly less
space is therefore required for the duct system. In induction systems, the extract air
is normally not extracted directly from the air conditioned rooms. The total extract
air, which is equivalent to the primary air volume, is extracted from corridors, store
rooms, lavatories etc. and discharged into the environment as exhaust air. This results in a slight positive pressure in the air conditioned rooms, so preventing the
mixing of air from different rooms.
As with fan coil units that operate with primary air, the heating or cooling load in the
room or zone is basically handled by the water system. However, any necessary
humidification or dehumidification can be carried out at the primary air handling
To avoid interfering with the room temperature control system, the primary air is
normally discharged into the room at a constant temperature, which generally corresponds to the room temperature heating setpoint.


Chilled ceiling
induction system

The chilled ceiling induction system can be considered as a special type of induction unit.




Fig. 6-57

Chilled ceiling induction unit (FAREX system)

Primary air duct

Primary air nozzles
Secondary air


Finned-pipe cooling coil

Supply air

Induction units, designed as chilled beams (Fig. 6-57), supply the primary air and
cool the room air, while the room is heated with standard radiator or convector
heating. The result is ideal draft-free ventilation, because the system works on the
basis of the natural gravitational circulation of the air. The air which is heated in the
room, and is therefore lighter, rises to the ceiling, where it is cooled and mixed with
primary air. It then sinks again, because of its now increased density. Hydraulic connection of fan coil and induction systems
The required heating and cooling energy is delivered to the rooms solely via the
hydraulic circuits. The hot or cold water (LTHW or CHW) prepared in the primary
plant transfers its heating or cooling energy in a fan coil unit (fan convector) or induction unit to the room air. These systems are therefore especially suitable for
rooms such as hotel rooms with window ventilation, where there is no need for
forced ventilation with outside air.
Two-pipe system

In respect of the hydraulic circuits, a distinction is made between two-pipe, threepipe and four-pipe systems. The two-pipe system (Fig. 6-58) can be used for heating only or cooling only, because the same hydraulic circuit is used for both heating
and cooling.
The system is switched from heating to cooling mode ("changeover") in the primary
energy production plant. Problems can arise in this system in the transition time
from heating to cooling mode and vice versa, because if the heat loads are different, some rooms may need to be heated while others need to be cooled.




Fig. 6-58

Hydraulic connection of a two-pipe fan coil system

Recirculated air
Supply air
Room air heating and cooling unit


Water chiller
Changeover valves

Three-pipe system

The three-pipe system has a separate CHW and LTHW flow circuit and a common
return. Although this solves the problem of simultaneous heating and cooling
modes, it does waste energy, because the heating energy available in the common
return has to be recooled in the refrigeration machine, and the cooling energy has
to be reheated in the heat producer.

Four-pipe system

A neat solution for the problems described above is the four-pipe system with two
separate hydraulic circuits, one for heating and the other for cooling.

6.4. Packaged air conditioning units for

individual rooms
Packaged air conditioning units are designed for air conditioning of an individual
room, and are normally located directly in the room concerned. Their principal function is sensible cooling of the room air. They are capable of dehumidification, heating and air filtering only to a limited extent, and cannot be used at all for humidification. These units are thus "partial air conditioning units", equipped with all the necessary components, such as the compressor, evaporator, air or water-cooled condenser, fans and control elements and safety devices. They are supplied readyassembled and thus also described as "plug-and-play" units. This group includes:


Window-mounted air conditioning units

Console air conditioning units
Cupboard air conditioning units
Split air conditioning units

6.4.1. Window-mounted air conditioning units

Fig. 6-59 shows a window unit with its components. The unit is normally installed in
an aperture in the window. "Through-the-wall" installation is also an option. The
cooling capacity of these units ranges from 1 kW to 10 kW. Low capacity electric
heating coils are available as auxiliary components. Mixing of the outside air is only
possible to a limited extent. In window-mounted air conditioning units capable of
heating and cooling (heat pumps), the system is switched from heating to cooling
mode by reversing the refrigerant flow by means of a four-port valve. This reverses
the evaporator and condenser functions.

44 C





32 C

15 C





25 C



Fig. 6-59

Principle of operation

Window unit

Outside air
Exhaust air
Supply air
Recirculated air


Expansion valve
Refrigerant circuit
Air filter
Ventilation grille
Condensate trap

The room air is drawn in by a fan, cooled and partially dehumidified in the evaporator and returned to the room via an air discharge grille. The required proportion of
outside air can be adjusted manually via an internal damper. A second fan draws in
outside air to cool the condenser, and then discharges it back into the environment.
The condensate from the room air which collects in the evaporator is either drained
away externally, or sprayed on the condenser, where it evaporates. The window air
conditioner is thus a small packaged refrigerating system with a fully hermetically
sealed compressor and an air-cooled condenser. The thermodynamics of the refrigeration cycle are described in Section 4, "Refrigeration technology".

6.4.2. Console air conditioning units

Fig. 6-60 shows a console air conditioning unit with its components. This unit can
be installed in the room permanently, under a window, or it can be moved about the
room on castors. Console air conditioners are available for the same capacity
range as room air conditioning units, fulfil the same functions and are subject to the
same limitations.
Units with built-in air-cooled condensers can only be mounted on an external wall,
as an opening in the wall is needed for the outside air supply to the condenser.
With mobile units, the air-cooled condenser is located outdoors, with a hose to de-


liver the refrigerant to the console air conditioner. Units with water-cooled condensers can also be installed either as fixed hydraulic connections or as portable units
with the water connected by hose.
Electric or LTHW heating coils can be installed as auxiliary components in these
units. Console air conditioners capable of heating and cooling are also available on
the market. In these units, too, the system changes from heating to cooling via a
four-port valve, by reversing the direction of refrigerant flow.

5 6 7 8 9

Fig. 6-60


3 4

Console air conditioner

Motor compressor
Copper-nickel condenser
Pressure switch, high/low-pressure
Air filter


Room thermostat
Adjustable outlet grille

6.4.3. Cupboard air conditioners (with cooling energy supply)

As their name indicates, all the components of these units are accommodated in a
cabinet-like housing. Cupboard air conditioners are ready to connect, and available
for a refrigeration capacity of 10 to 250 kW. For simple plants, these devices can be
set up directly in the room to be air conditioned and can discharge the air freely into
the room concerned. However, they are usually installed in an adjacent room, and
connected to a duct system, to avoid problems associated with noise.
Electric heating coils are available as auxiliary components, and humidification
equipment can be fitted in the air duct. The fan is designed so that there is sufficient static pressure to overcome the air resistance resulting from a short lowvelocity duct network.
Cupboard air conditioners are normally fitted with built-in water-cooled condensers.
Variants with air-cooled condensers are also available.
The air-cooled condenser is not fitted into the cabinet itself, but located in the open
air as a separate unit.


Fig. 6-61 shows the functional design of a cupboard air conditioner. The principles
are the same as for the console air conditioner.









Fig. 6-61


Functional design of a cupboard air conditioner

Outside air
Exhaust air
Supply air
Recirculated air
Expansion valve


Refrigerant line
Ventilation grille
Air filter
Electric heating coil
External wall

Smaller cupboard air conditioners can be used as individual room air conditioning
units with or without ductwork. Larger units are normally used for a group of rooms
or zone. Typical examples of application are offices and shops etc.
A special version of these cupboard air conditioners can be used to dehumidify the
air in swimming pools. The recirculated air is first cooled and dehumidified in the
direct expansion evaporator and then reheated in the built-in air-cooled condenser.

6.4.4. Split air conditioning units

Fig 6-5 shows the functional design and components of a split air conditioning unit.
Split air conditioning units consist of a refrigeration section, comprising the compressor and the air-cooled condenser, and an air handling section, comprising the
recirculated air fan and the direct expansion evaporator cooling coil. The refrigeration section may be located outdoors or in the plant room, while the air handling
section can be designed as an individual room unit located in the room, or as a
central cooling unit fitted to the ductwork in the building. The two sections are
linked together by the refrigerant pipes.
In functional terms, a split air conditioning unit basically consists of a refrigerant
cycle with a compressor, an air-cooled condenser, an expansion valve and direct
expansion evaporator cooling coil. If the cooling coil is also required to dehumidify


the air, an auxiliary component, a heating coil, can be installed as a reheater in the
recirculated air unit.
Split air conditioning units are available with refrigeration capacities from approximately 10 to 500 kW.





10 7


Fig 6-62

Structure of a split air conditioning unit

Outside air (air inlet)

Exhaust air (air outlet)
Supply air
Recirculated air


Expansion valve
Refrigerant line
Condenser set
Fan-coil unit
Ventilation grille

6.5. Residential controlled mechanical ventilation

In recent years, energy demand has fallen continuously in new buildings, due to the
improved insulation and construction of the building shell. As a result, ventilation
losses represent an ever increasing proportion of the total heat demand.
Ventilation heat losses
now represent a large
proportion of the total
heat demand

Looking at the development of the heating energy demand in residential and office
buildings, we can see that improved construction of the building shell (insulation,
windows, etc. reducing transmission losses) is the principal cause of reduced demand.
Ventilation heat losses represent an ever greater proportion of the heat demand,
and is now often as large as the heat demand required for distribution.
A reduction in energy consumption as specified in standards and regulations in
various European countries can be achieved with tight-sealing windows and appropriately insulated brickwork. However, if this results in a failure to ensure the
required number of air changes, poor air quality becomes a serious problem, owing
to humidity, radon, organic compounds, formaldehyde and other substances emitted by the building fabric, furniture and fittings etc.


Controlled mechanical
ventilation reduces
ventilation heating

Window ventilation is not only inadequate for highly insulated buildings, but also
undermines any attempt at saving energy. It is therefore vital to give serious consideration to the installation of a ventilation system. The ventilation heating demand
can only be reduced rationally and without the potential damage caused by humidity, by use of a controlled mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery.
Domestic comfort is improved by installing controlled mechanical ventilation because
disturbing noise from outside can be reduced (no need to open windows)
The outside air is filtered, and is free of dirt, dust, insects and pollen when it enters the room; this is a huge benefit to allergy sufferers.

6.5.1. Residential controlled mechanical ventilation systems

Residential controlled mechanical ventilation systems can be classified as follows:
Individual room units
Individual ventilation units (for a single apartment)
Central ventilation units for multi-family dwellings
Care with consumption
of electrical energy

Controlled mechanical ventilation plant should always be fitted with a heat recovery
system, as it is otherwise impossible to satisfy the various standards and regulations applicable to ventilation heating demand. The economical use of energy is an
equally important consideration, and this cannot be achieved with three-phase AC
motors. This type of equipment is therefore often fitted with DC or DC commutator

Individual room
ventilation units

Individual room units are installed directly on the external wall or window sill. The
have the advantage of being easy to install, and supply the room with filtered outside air, which is preheated by utilizing the heat recovered from the extract air. The
noise level associated with the individual room unit is often seen as a drawback,
and the fan is not very efficient mechanically.

Fig. 6-63

Individual ventilation
system (for a single

Individual room unit built into the external wall

A separate ventilation system is installed for each apartment. The outside air is filtered and heated via the heat recovery system before being supplied to the living
areas and bedrooms. The extract air is drawn through outlets in the bathrooms and
toilets; this "stale" air flows from the living areas and bedrooms through vents in the
doors or via special sound-insulated diffusers built into the ceilings. These systems
often have 3-speed fans, allowing the user to adapt the supply air volume to requirements. There is no problem with noise in living areas, because the ventilation
unit itself can be installed in a location where it will not be a nuisance in this regard.
The mechanical efficiency of the fans is often quite low.


Some individual ventilation units are also fitted with heat pumps. These can remove
heat from the extract air and use it to heat the domestic water.

Fig. 6-64

Central ventilation
systems for multifamily homes

Individual ventilation unit

In the case of central ventilation systems for multi-family homes, the air is conditioned centrally and then supplied to the individual apartments. A certain amount of
space is therefore required for the ducting. Depending on how the heating costs
are billed, it may also be necessary to install the heat recovery system locally, i.e. in
individual apartments. This increases the complexity of the system and can lead to
higher costs.
An advantage of this solution is that mechanically, the fans are highly efficient.

Outside air via earth-toair heat exchangers

In buildings with centralized ventilation systems but also for individual ventilation
units the outside air can be supplied via an "earth-to-air" heat exchanger. The
outside air is passed through pipes set into the ground. In this way, the outside air
is slightly preheated in winter and slightly pre-cooled in summer, thereby providing
minimal cooling in the living areas.

Maintenance of
residential ventilation

None of the domestic ventilation systems described above require much maintenance, apart from the filters, which must be replaced regularly. This is something of
a problem in practice, especially in the case of individual room units and individual
systems, because not all users carry out this task regularly. In a central ventilation
system, however, it can be done by the plant operator.



Measuring and control technology

7.1. Introduction
As the title indicates, this section deals with measurement and control technology.
This subject has received a new and important meaning through the development
of building automation and control systems with direct digital control (DDC). With
the present state of development of building automation and control systems and
the associated market potential we are seeing the growth of an independent, interdisciplinary field of design engineering encompassing measuring and control technology, and building automation and control. Consulting engineers specializing in
measuring and control technology are increasingly offering their services for the
design of systems for control, operational management and optimization of energy
consumption for the entire range of building services.
The scope and context of measuring and control technology are defined in the following DIN standard:
DIN 19226

Self-learning program
"Automatic control in
HVAC systems"

This section gives basic definitions and describes basic functions, but for further
study of control technology, we recommend the computer-based training (CBT)
module "Automatic control in HVAC systems" available from Siemens Building
Technologies. This is an ideal module for self-tuition.

To obtain the CBT program, please contact your local Siemens Building Technologies representative (Sales or Training).


7.2. Measurement
The term "measuring technology" covers all the methods and equipment used to
determine empirically (i.e. to measure) numerically quantifiable variables in the
fields of science and technology. Measuring technology is also used to check for
adherence to measurement tolerances, to measure consumption, to monitor production, and generally (within the context of measuring and control technology) to
control technical processes on the basis of measured values.
It has been a long hard journey through thousands of years in the history of civilization from the early days of measurement, when the first attempts were made to define length and time, to the mechanical and electronic measuring instruments used
In the age of building automation and control and of facility management (management, operation, and maintenance of buildings), accurate measurement of
physical variables is vitally important. Decisions in favor of system changes, or
statements about energy consumption and building maintenance costs all depend
on the accuracy of the recorded measurements. Within the control loop, exact
measurement is critically important for the accuracy and stability of the associated
control. The selection of the correct measuring device is a decisive factor to obtain
a correct measurement, and correct (reliable) measurement is essential for meaningful judgments.
The basic terms associated with measuring technology are defined in DIN standard
1319 and VDI/VDE26000, Sheet 2.
Basic units

The International System of Units (SI Units) as we know it today (from the French
Systme International d'Unit) imposes a clear structure on the various units of









Electric current





Luminous intensity



Amount of substance



The seven base units in the SI system

Measuring is the process of determining a physical variable (the measured variable) such as temperature, humidity, pressure etc. with the appropriate measuring
device, and displaying it as a known and comparable variable, or converting it into
a standard DC 0... 10 V, 0... 20 mA signal. A standard signal of this type can be
recorded as a measured value by a chart recorder, displayed on a remote display
unit, or imported into a measured data acquisition system.




Fig. 7-1

The measuring principle (Wheatstone bridge)

Temperature sensor
Sensing element (measured variable)
Trimming resistor (to compensate for line losses)
Measuring equipment (measuring arrangement)
Voltage source

7.3. Open-loop control

A barn (see below) is to be ventilated in such a way that as the outdoor air temperature falls, an increasing amount of recirculated air is introduced, and the volume of outdoor air is reduced accordingly. Automatic open-loop control could be
used here to operate the outdoor air/recirculated air damper to close the outdoor air
duct further and further as the outdoor air temperature decreases.
The open-loop controller (2) in this case would be required to calculate the damper
position on the basis of the measured outdoor air temperature (1) and to transmit
the appropriate control command to the actuator operating the outdoor
air/recirculated air damper (3).


Fig. 7-2


Example of automatic open-loop control

Outdoor air temperature sensor

Open loop controller
Outdoor air/recirculated air damper


Room temperature
Disturbance variables (e.g. sun, wind, etc.)

The controller (2) operates only in accordance with the outdoor air temperature (1)
and does not receive feedback information on the current room temperature (5). At
a given room temperature, therefore, the outdoor air/recirculated air damper (3) is
set at exactly the same position, whether or not the sun is shining directly into the
barn, and irrespective of the number of animals inside. However, this open-loop
control system does not allow to keep the room temperature at a constant value,
but only within a given range.


7.3.1. Open-loop control terms

Open-loop control

One or several input variables in an open-loop process exert an influence on variables (without feedback) other than output variables, based on the intrinsic characteristics of the system.

Control equipment

Equipment which influences the controlled process in accordance with the control

Controlled variable

Physical variable (temperature, humidity, etc.) influenced in the controlled process

by the open-loop control system.

Open-loop control

One or several input variables in an open-loop process exert an influence on variables (without feedback) other than output variables, based on the intrinsic characteristics of the system.

Controlled process

Section of the plant to be influenced in accordance with requirements by the openloop control system.


7.4. Closed-loop control

Closed-loop control processes are found not only in the field of technology, but also
in nature and in our everyday lives. In every case, the starting point is a specific
desirable or necessary state compared to the actual state at that moment. If there
is no difference between the two, then the situation is satisfactory and there is no
need to try to change the actual state. If however, there is a difference, we would
look for ways to eliminate the discrepancy.

The occupant of a room (see below) wants a room temperature of 20 C, but finds
by looking at a thermometer, that the current room temperature is 24 C.
The problem is the deviation between the actual temperature (x = 24 C) and the
desired temperature (w = 20 C). In this case the deviation amounts to
x w = 24 C 20 C = + 4 K (Kelvin). To lower the excessively warm room temperature to the desired value of 20 C, the person in the room firstly needs a way of
lower the heat output from the radiator (in this case, the manually adjustable radiator valve), and secondly, must have enough intelligence to work out whether the
valve needs to be opened or closed. Having partially closed the valve, the room
occupant will look at the thermometer every so often and adjust the radiator valve
accordingly, until the room temperature reaches the desired 20 C.

Fig. 7-3

Manual control

Example of manual control

Desired temperature (e.g. 20 C)

Room temperature display (e.g. thermometer 24 C)
Manual valve to adjust the heat output
Disturbance variables (e.g. sun, wind, etc.)

This control process, carried out by a human being is a closed control loop. The
room occupant reads room temperature x from the thermometer, compares it to the
mentally stored desired value, w, notes the difference, and thinks about how to correct it. The person then corrects the valve position y, the room temperature
changes and can be read again. The control engineer refers to this process as
"manual control".


Fig. 7-4

Automatic closed-loop

Functioning of closed-loop control (comparison of actual and desired values)

In an automatic control system (see below), the control equipment performs the
tasks of measurement, comparison, and correction. A sensor (1) measures the
room temperature x and transmits it to the controller (2). The controller compares
the measured value with the programmed setpoint w, and transmits an appropriate
positioning signal yR to the radiator valve (3). The adjustment of the valve produces
a change in the room temperature measured by the sensor. This closes the loop


Fig. 7-5

Example of automatic closed-loop control

Room temperature sensor



Radiator valve
Disturbance variables (e.g. sun, wind, etc.)

Within the closed control loop, the room temperature sensor (1) registers every
control deviation. If, for example, the room temperature rises due to "disturbance
variables" (z) such as solar radiation, wind, or heat gains inside the room due to
electrical equipment or extra people, the heating valve is closed as far as necessary, until the desired temperature is again reached.


Comparison of open
and closed-loop control

We can demonstrate the main difference between open and closed-loop control by
using a mixed outdoor air/recirculated air system as an example.
Fig. 7-6 shows, on the left, open-loop control of the outside air via the outside air
temperature. Every outside air temperature value measured by the sensor (1) corresponds to a specific position of the damper, indicated by a command from the
open-loop controller (2). The mixed-air temperature changes accordingly, but the
new temperature is not fed back to the controller.

Fig. 7-6



Open loop control of the mixed-air temperature (left); closed-loop control of the mixed
air temperature (right)

Outside air temperature sensor

Open-loop controller
Mixed-air temperature sensor


Mixed-air temperature setpoint

Mixed-air temperature, actual
Manipulated variable

Fig. 7-6 the outside air/recirculated air mixing arrangement, this time in a closed
control loop. The setpoint, w, for the mixed-air temperature is set on the controller
(4). At the controller input, the measured value, x, registered by the sensor (3) is
compared to the setpoint, w. In the event of a deviation, the controller adjusts the
damper position until the mixed-air temperature is equal to the programmed setpoint.
Example: Open and
closed loop control of
a heating system

The most common type of domestic heating control, outdoor-temperature compensated flow temperature control, is a combination of open and closed-loop control.
Fig. 7-7 shows the principle of this combined system.


Fig. 7-7

Outdoor-temperature compensated flow temperature control

Outdoor air temperature sensor

Open-loop controller with heating curve (transmits setpoint w to closed loop controller (3))
Closed-loop controller
Mixing valve
Flow temperature
Disturbance variable (e.g. fluctuating boiler water temperature)


Open-loop control

The outdoor air temperature sensor (1) transmits its measured signal to the openloop controller (2). Taking the programmed heating curve as a basis, the open-loop
controller calculates the hot water flow temperature necessary to achieve a minimum room temperature of e.g. 20 C at the current outdoor air temperature, and
transmits the required setpoint to the flow temperature controller. A room temperature of at least 20 C is then established, but this temperature is not again measured by any sensor nor adjusted by any controller. Solar radiation, heat generated
by electrical equipment or a large number of people may cause the room temperature to rise above the value calculated by the open-loop controller, or if windows
are opened drop below the calculated value. This is, in other words, an open-loop
room temperature control system.

Closed-loop control

As discussed previously, the open-loop controller (2) calculates the setpoint, w, for
the closed-loop flow temperature controller (3). The controller compares the actual,
measured flow temperature, x, with setpoint, w. Based on the difference (x w), the
controller then calculates the positioning signal y, which causes the actuator (4) to
adjust the mixing valve so that the flow temperature is equal to the setpoint. Because the flow temperature is continuously measured, and the measured value
constantly fed back to the controller, the "flow temperature control" loop is a closed
control loop.


7.4.1. Control terminology (as defined in DIN 19226)

Measuring point

The place where the sensor is located, i.e., where the controlled variable is


Device which acquires the value of the controlled variable.

Actual value xi

The present value of the controlled variable x measured by the sensor.

Controlled variable x

The physical variable (temperature, humidity, etc.) measured in the controlled system, to be maintained, i.e., controlled at a desired value or amount. The controlled
variable is the output variable of the controlled system and the input variable of the

Reference variable w

The variable fed into the control loop from an external source. The reference variable determines the current setpoint.

Setpoint xs

The currently required value of controlled variable x to be maintained constant despite disturbance variables (e.g. the value set via the setpoint adjuster).

Disturbance variable z

External variable affecting the closed control loop and exerting an unwanted influence on the controlled variable, e.g. external heat gains, solar radiation, etc.

Error variable e

Difference between reference variable w and controlled variable x expressed in

units of the controlled variable:
Another common term for the error variable is control deviation

Closed-loop control

The objective of closed-loop control is to bring a physical variable (controlled variable x) to a specified value (reference variable w), and to maintain it at this value
irrespective of any disturbance variables. To achieve this, controlled variable x must
be continuously measured, compared to reference variable w, and adapted accordingly.

Closed-loop control

The process whereby the variable to be controlled (the controlled variable) is continuously registered, compared with the reference variable and depending on the
result of this comparison modified to adapt it to the reference variable. This process takes place within a closed control loop.


The equipment that carries out the required control within the controlled process,
i.e., measures the difference between the actual and desired value of the controlled
variable, and then operates the control equipment as necessary to eliminate the
Input variable:
Controlled variable x
Output variable: Manipulated variable y

Manipulated variable y

Variable which can be adjusted by the controller, and which, in turn, intentionally
affects the value of the controlled variable (e.g. valve stroke). The manipulated
variable is both the input variable for the controlled process and the output variable
of the controller.

Control equipment

This adjusts the controlling element in the assigned direction in accordance with
the output signal from the controller (e.g. electric motor, electro-magnetic actuator).


This adjusts the controlling element in the assigned direction in accordance with
the output signal from the controller (e.g. electric motor, electro-magnetic actuator).


Controlling element

Device (such as a valve) installed in the control loop to control the flow of energy or
other quantity.

Control point

The point in the control loop where the flow of energy is influenced.

Open control loop

Combination of the controlled system and the controller as a self-contained


Controlled system

The system to be controlled, i.e., that part of the control loop in which controlled
variable x is to be maintained at a constant value despite any unforeseen disturbance variables. The controlled system begins at the control point (where the controlling element performs its function) and ends at the sensing point (where the
controlled variable is measured), i.e., it consists of the controlling element, various
sections of the plant (e.g. pipework, heat exchangers, room, etc.), and the sensor.
Input variable:
Manipulated variable y
Output variable: Controlled variable x

Closed-loop control

Equipment which influences the controlled system in accordance with requirements. It starts at the sensing point and ends at the control point. It consists of the
closed loop controller and the actuator.

7.5. Building automation and control

The term building automation and control refers to the central management, monitoring, and optimization of building technology using a computer-based building
automation and control system. Building automation and control systems are installed in large office buildings, shopping malls, hospitals, railway stations, airports
etc., where complex electrical and mechanical plants interact in such a way that
there is ample opportunity to optimize both building performance and energy consumption (see below). Modern building automation and control systems also influence the measuring and control technology of these plants. This is achieved by
implementing sophisticated open and closed loop control functions with freely programmable DDC (Direct Digital Control) technology.

Fig. 7-8


Buildings with a variety of building services equipment (elevators, lighting, piped services
(plumbing), refrigeration, ventilation and air conditioning systems, security and alarm systems, etc., coordinated and operated at optimum efficiency by building automation and control systems.

The hardware of a building automation and control system is hierarchical in structure and divided into at least the following three levels:
Management level
Automation level
Field level

Fig. 7-9

Management level

Hierarchy of a building automation and control system

Management level
Automation level
Field level

The management level featuring a central computer and input/output equipment

required for operation and monitoring (e.g. the PC operator station for updated
plant graphics, and report and graphics printers).
The management level is responsible for managing, monitoring, and coordinating
the next lower levels. It performs functions such as:
Switching plant groups on the basis of scheduler programs
Transmitting operating, fault, and alarm messages
Optimizing energy consumption across the system
Analyzing and displaying measured and operating data
This data processing provides data such as energy consumption, fault statistics,
and information for maintenance management.


Automation level

Automation level to control and monitor building services or electrical and mechanical plants. Operation at this level is largely independent so that in the event of a
failure at the management level, the plant continues to operate uninterrupted.
However, under these circumstances, inter-system optimization functions cannot
be maintained. The hardware at the automation level normally is located in the control panel of the respective plant and provides (more or less) comfortable manual
operator elements. Modular input/output devices (I/O modules) represent the communications interface between the process controllers at the automation level and
the measuring, positioning, and signaling equipment in the plants. The input/output
(I/O) signals are processed by the process controllers and only transmitted to the
management level if required.
Binary signals (On/Off, 1/0, High/Low etc.) can be processed directly, while analog
signals (electrical resistance, voltage, current or pressure) must first be converted
into digital signals with an analog/digital (A/D) converter.
The automation level performs functions such as:

Field level

Measuring and control (open and closed loop)

Switching, signaling, and counting

The field level incorporates the measuring, positioning, switching, and signaling
equipment of the building services systems as well as the individual room or zone
control loops. In the building services systems, the present operating states are
acquired via sensors and modified via actuating devices. In practice this involves:
The acquisition of measured values such as temperature, pressure, volume,
humidity, or meter pulses (sensors).
The switching of motors and electric heating registers (actuating devices).
The transmission of feedback signals to indicate the switch settings of monitoring
equipment (sensors).
The positioning of valve and damper actuators (actuating devices).
The field level also includes building services equipment in individual rooms. At this
level, individual room or zone temperatures are controlled directly by positioning
signals from the controllers acting on
Radiator valves
Heating and cooling valves in fan coil or induction units
Volume controllers in VAV systems
Mixing dampers in dualduct mixing boxes
The building automation and control system can adjust setpoints remotely or read
manipulated variables in hundreds of control loops and use this information to determine the overall load status of the HVAC plants. This facilitates load management of the primary heating and cooling plant.
Within the building automation and control system, data is exchanged over a system-specific data bus with depending on the system size, transmission speed,
future extendibility, or operational reliability different forms (e.g. a line, star, ring,
or tree configuration).


The following principles apply to the exchange of data:

The data can be exchanged horizontally (i.e. at the same level) or vertically (between levels).
Each level operates with the data assigned to that level.
Data to be transmitted to higher levels must first be compressed or reduced to
the essentials.
Adhering to these principles consistently prevents one level from being overloaded
with data from another level, which would inevitably lead to slower processing and
response times.
Bus systems in building automation and control must fulfill the following requirements:
Transfer of data ranging from simple events to complex data structures
Integration of similar and dissimilar plant at whichever level is the most advantageous
Connection to the customer's existing infrastructure (LAN, WAN)
Central operation and monitoring, but also local flexibility
Reduction of installation and maintenance costs
Remote monitoring (dialup connections integrated into the network)
Efficient networking of a large number of operator stations over long distances
Flexible installation technology
These requirements can only be fulfilled with standard bus systems. More than one
bus system is needed to satisfy all requirements listed.
There are now industry standards for data transfer and communications systems.
The summary below shows the status of standardization in Europe (CEN TC247).



EN ISO 16484-5 and -6


EN 14908-1 -4


EN 50090-3-2; 4-1; 4-2; 5-2; 7-1

EN 13321-1 and -2


This brochure is an extract of the training module
BO1HV Introduction to building technology produced by:
Siemens Switzerland Ltd
Infrastructure & Cities Sector
Building Technologies Division
CPS Training
Gubelstrasse 22
CH-6301 Zug
Further references
Recknagel Sprenger Schramek Taschenbuch fr Heizung + Klimatechnik
Handbuch der Klimatechnik C.F. Mller Verlag
Fachartikel Die Ventilator-Kennlinie Ing. Josef Lexis
Buderus Handbuch fr Heizungstechnik
Impulsprogramm Haustechnik Bundesamt fr Kulturfragen, CH-Bern


More technical brochures


Das h,x-Diagramm
The psychrometric chart


Measuring technology


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Control of heating plants


Regeln und Steuern von Lftungs-/Klimaanlagen

Control of ventilation and air conditioning plants


Control technology


Refrigeration technology


Wrmerckgewinnung im Kltekreislauf
Heat recovery in the refrigeration


Einfhrung in die HLK- und Gebudetechnik

Introduction to building technology


Hydraulik in der Gebudetechnik

Hydraulics in building systems


Stetige Leistungsregelung im Kltekreislauf

Modulating capacity control in the refrigeration cycle


Bedarfsgeregelte Lftung
Demand-controlled ventilation


Gebudeautomation Einfluss auf die Energieeffizienz

Building automation impact on energy efficiency


Introduction to building technology

Siemens Switzerland Ltd

Infrastructure & Cities Sector
Building Technologies Division
International Headquarters
Gubelstrasse 22
6301 Zug
Tel +41 41 724 24 24
Siemens Building Technologies
Infrastructure & Cities Sector
Brunel House
Sir William Siemens Square, Frimley
Surrey, GU16 8QD
United Kingdom
Tel +44 1276 696000

Introduction to
building technology

Siemens Ltd
Infrastructure & Cities Sector
Building Technologies Division
22/F, Two Landmark East
100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel +852 2870 7888

The information in this document contains general descriptions of technical options available,
which do not always have to be present in individual cases. The required features should therefore
be specified in each individual case at the time of closing the contract.
Siemens Switzerland Ltd, 2011 Order no. 0-91916-en 11110

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