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Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) relates to systems that perform
processes designed to regulate the air conditions within buildings for the comfort and
safety of occupants or for commercial and industrial processes or for storage of goods.
HVAC systems condition and move air to desired areas of an indoor environment to
create and maintain desirable temperature, humidity, ventilation and air purity. Depending
on geographic location and building construction, various types of interior climate control
systems help ensure that interior spaces are maintained at comfortable levels year-round.
With todays energy conservation concerns, buildings are constructed to be much tighter,
reducing the level of natural exchange between indoor and outdoor air. As a result, more
and more buildings rely on mechanical conditioning and distribution systems for
managing air. A properly operated HVAC system finds the often-delicate balance between
optimizing occupant comfort while controlling operating costs. Comfort is an important
issue for occupant satisfaction, which can directly affect concentration and productivity.
At the same time, controlling these comfort and health parameters directly affects HVAC
system operating costs in terms of energy, maintenance and equipment life. This
handbook is not intended to be a comprehensive guide for all possible issues associated
with HVAC system operation and maintenance. There are volumes on the subject. Rather,
it highlights some measurements and techniques that can be used to evaluate HVAC
systems for optimum operation.
Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning, HVAC, is a huge field. HVAC systems
include a range from the simplest hand-stoked stove, used for comfort heating, to the
extremely reliable total air-conditioning systems found in submarines and space shuttles.
Cooling equipment varies from the small domestic unit to refrigeration machines that are
10,000 times the size.The HVAC
designer must consider many more issues than simply
keeping temperatures comfortable. This chapter will introduce you to the fundamental
concepts that are used by designers to make decisions about system design, operation,
and maintenance.


Brief History of HVAC

For millennia, people have used fire for heating. Initially, the air required to keep the fire
going ensured adequate ventilation for the occupants. However, as central furnaces with
piped steam or hot water became available for heating, the need for separate ventilation
became apparent. By the late 1880s, rules of thumb for ventilation design were developed
and used in many countries. In 1851 Dr. John Gorrie was granted U.S. patent 8080 for a
refrigeration machine. By the 1880s, refrigeration became available for industrial
purposes. Initially, the two main uses were freezing meat for transport and making ice.
However, in the early 1900s there was a new initiative to keep buildings cool for comfort.
Cooling the New York Stock Exchange, in 1902, was one of the first comfort cooling
systems. Comfort cooling was called air conditioning. Our title, HVAC, thus captures
the development of our industry. The term air conditioning has gradually changed,
from meaning just cooling, to the total control of: Temperature Moisture in the air
(humidity) Supply of outside air for ventilation Filtration of airborne particles Air
movement in the occupied space Throughout the rest of this text we will use the term air
conditioning to include all of these issues and continue to use HVAC where only some
of the elements of full air conditioning are being controlled. To study the historical record
of HVAC is to take a fascinating trip through the tremendous technical and scientific
record of society. There are the pioneers such as Robert Boyle, Sadi Carnot, John Dalton,
James Watt, Benjamin Franklin, John Gorrie, Lord Kelvin, Ferdinand Carr, Willis
Carrier and Thomas Midgley, along with many others, who have brought us to our
current state. Air-conditioning technology has developed since 1900 through the joint
accomplishments of science and engineering. Advances in thermodynamics, fluid
mechanics, electricity, electronics, construction, materials, medicine, controls and social
behavior are the building blocks to better engineered products of air conditioning.
Historical accounts are not required as part of this course but, for the enjoyment and
perspective it provides, it is worth reading an article such as Milestones in Air
Conditioning, by Walter A. Grant1 or the book about Willis Carrier, The Father of Air

Conditioning. 2 The textbook Principles of Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning, 3

starts with a concise and comprehensive history of the HVAC industry. HVAC evolved
based on: Technological discoveries, such as refrigeration, that were quickly adopted for

food storage. Economic pressures, such as the reduction in ventilation rates after the 1973
energy crisis. Computerization and networking, used for sophisticated control of large
complex systems serving numerous buildings. Medical discoveries, such as the effects of
second hand smoke on people, which influenced ventilation methods.


Scope of Modern HVAC

Modern air conditioning is critical to almost every facet of advancing human activity.
Although there have been great advances in HVAC, there are several areas where active
research and debate continue. Indoor air quality is one that directly affects us. In many
countries of the world there is a rapid rise in asthmatics and increasing dissatisfaction
with indoor-air-quality in buildings and planes. The causes and effects are extremely
complex. A significant scientific and engineering field has developed to investigate and
address these issues.
Greenhouse gas emissions and the destruction of the earths protective ozone layer are
concerns that are stimulating research. New legislation and guidelines are evolving that
encourage: recycling; the use of new forms of energy; less energy usage; and low
polluting materials, particularly refrigerants. All these issues have a significant impact on
building design, including HVAC systems and the design codes. Energy conservation is
an ongoing challenge to find novel ways to reduce consumption in new and existing
buildings without compromising comfort and indoor air quality. Energy conservation
requires significant cooperation between disciplines. For example, electric lighting
produces heat. When a system is in a cooling mode, this heat is an additional cooling
load. Conversely, when the system is in a heating mode, the lighting heat reduces the load
on the building heating system. This interaction between lighting and HVAC is the reason
that ASHRAE and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA)
joined forces to write the building energy conservation standard, Standard 90.12004,
Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings4.



What is your system to achieve? Before starting to design a system, it is critical that you
know what your system is to achieve. Often, the objective is to provide a comfortable
environment for the human occupants, but there are many other possible objectives:
creating a suitable environment for farm animals; regulating a hospital operating room;
maintaining cold temperatures for frozen food storage; or maintaining temperature and
humidity to preserve wood and fiber works of art. Whatever the situation, it is important
that the objective criteria for system success are clearly identified at the start of the
project, because different requirements need different design considerations. Let us very
briefly consider some specific design situations and the types of performance
requirements for HVAC systems.



As mentioned earlier, the term air conditioning, when properly used, now means the
total control of temperature, moisture in the air (humidity), supply of outside air for
ventilation, filtration of airborne particles, and air movement in the occupied space. There
are seven main processes required to achieve full air conditioning and they are listed and
explained below: The processes are:
1. Heating - The process of adding thermal energy (heat) to the conditioned space for the
purposes of raising or maintaining the temperature of the space.
2. Cooling - The process of removing thermal energy (heat) from the conditioned space
for the purposes of lowering or maintaining the temperature of the space.
3. Humidifying - The process of adding water vapor (moisture) to the air in the
conditioned space for the purposes of raising or maintaining the moisture content of the
4. Dehumidifying - The process of removing water vapor (moisture) from the air in the
conditioned space for the purposes of lowering or maintaining the moisture content of the
5. Cleaning - The process of removing particulates, (dust etc.,) and biological
contaminants, (insects, pollen etc.,) from the air delivered to the conditioned space for the
purposes of improving or maintaining the air quality. Introduction to HVAC 3 4
Fundamentals of HVAC
6. Ventilating - The process of exchanging air between the outdoors and the conditioned
space for the purposes of diluting the gaseous contaminants in the air and improving or
maintaining air quality, composition and freshness. Ventilation can be achieved either
through natural ventilation or mechanical ventilation. Natural ventilation is driven by
natural draft, like when you open a window. Mechanical ventilation can be achieved by
5 outside or by fans that exhaust air from the space to
using fans to draw air in from


7. Air Movement - The process of circulating and mixing air through conditioned spaces
in the building for the purposes of achieving the proper ventilation and facilitating the
thermal energy transfer. The requirements and importance of the seven processes varies.
In a climate that stays warm all year, heating may not be required at all. Conversely, in a
cold climate the periods of heat in the summer may be so infrequent as to make cooling
unnecessary. In a dry desert climate, dehumidification may be redundant, and in a hot,
humid climate dehumidification may be the most important design aspect of the airconditioning system. Defining Air conditioning The actual use of the words air
conditioning varies considerably, so it is always advisable to check what is really meant.
Consider, for example, window air conditioners. The vast majority provide cooling,
some dehumidification, some filtering, and some ventilation when the outside
temperature is well above freezing. They have no ability to heat or to humidify the
conditioned space and do not cool if it is cold outside. In colder climates, heating is often
provided by a separate, perimeter heating system, that is located within the outside walls.
The other functions: cooling, humidification, dehumidification, cleaning, ventilating and
air movement, are all provided by a separate air system, often referred to as the airconditioning system. It is important to remember that both the heating and the air system
together form the air-conditioning system for the space.

Fig.2.1: Air-conditioning system


Basic Air-Conditioning System

The majority of the air is drawn from the space, mixed with outside ventilation air and
then conditioned before being blown back into the space. As you discovered airconditioning systems are designed to meet a variety of objectives. In many commercial
and institutional systems, the ratio of outside ventilation air to return air typically varies
from 15 to 25% of outside air. There are, however, systems which provide 100% outside
air with zero recirculation. The components, from left to right, are: Outside Air Damper,
which closes off the outside air intake when the system is switched off. The damper can
be on a spring return with a motor to drive it open; then it will automatically close on
power failure. On many systems there will be a metal mesh screen located upstream of
the filter, to prevent birds and small animals from entering, and to catch larger items such
as leaves and pieces of paper. Mixing chamber, where return air from the space is mixed
with the outside ventilation air. Filter, which cleans the air by removing solid airborne
contaminants (dirt). The filter is positioned so that it cleans the return air and the
ventilation air. The filter is also
positioned upstream of any heating or cooling coils, to

keep the coils clean. This is particularly important for the cooling coil, because the coil is
wet with condensation when it is cooling.

Fig.2.2: Basic Air-Conditioning system

Heating coil, which raises the air temperature to the required supply temperature.
Cooling coil, which provides cooling and dehumidification. A thermostat mounted in the
space will normally control this coil. A single thermostat and controller are often used to
control both the heating and cooling coil. This method reduces energy waste, because it
ensures the two coils cannot both be on at the same time.
Humidifier, which adds moisture, and which is usually controlled by a humidistat in the
space. In addition, a high humidity override humidistat will often be mounted just
downstream of the fan, to switch the humidification off if it is too humid in the duct.
This minimizes the possibility of condensation forming in the duct.
Fan, to draw the air through the resistance of the system and blow it into the space.

Heating: directly by the space thermostat controlling the amount of heat supplied by the
heating coil.

Cooling: directly by the space thermostat controlling the amount of cooling supplied to
the cooling coil.
Dehumidifying: by default, when cooling is required, since, as the cooling coil cools the
air, some moisture condenses out.
Humidifying: directly, by releasing steam into the air, or by a very fine water spray into
the air causing both humidification and cooling.
Ventilating: provided by the outside air brought in to the system.
Cleaning: provided by the supply of filtered air. Air movement within the space is not
addressed by the air-conditioning plant, but rather by the way the air is delivered into the



Vapor Compression Refrigeration Cycle

The term refrigeration, as part of a building HVAC system, generally refers to vapor
compression system wherein a chemical substance alternately changes from liquid to gas
(evaporating, thereby absorbing heat and providing a cooling effect) and from gas to
liquid (condensing, thereby releasing heat).
This cycle actually consists of four steps:
1. Compression: Low-pressure refrigerant gas is compressed, thus raising its
pressure by expending mechanical energy. There is a corresponding increase in
temperature along with the increased pressure.
2. Condensation: The high-pressure, high-temperature gas is cooled by outdoor air
or water that serves as a heat sink and condenses to a liquid form at high

3. Expansion: The high-pressure liquid flows through an orifice in the expansion

valve, thus reducing the pressure. A small portion of the liquid flashes to gas
due to the pressure reduction.
4. Evaporation: The low-pressure liquid absorbs heat from indoor air or water and
evaporates to a gas or vapor form. The low-pressure vapor flows to the
compressor and the process repeats.
As shown in Figure 1.1, the vapor compression refrigeration system consists of four
components that perform the four steps of the refrigeration cycle. The compressor raises
the pressure of the initially low-pressure refrigerant gas. The condenser is a heat
exchanger that cools the high-pressure gas so that it changes phase to liquid. The
expansion valve controls the pressure ratio, and thus flow rate, between the high- and
low-pressure regions of the system. The evaporator is a heat exchanger that heats the lowpressure liquid, causing it to change phase from liquid to vapor (gas).
Thermodynamically, the most common representation of the basic refrigeration cycle is
made utilizing a pressureenthalpy chart as shown in Figure 1.2. For each refrigerant, the
phase-change line represents the conditions of pressure and total heat content (enthalpy)
at which it changes from liquid to gas and vice versa. Thus each of the steps of the vapor
compression cycle can easily be plotted to demonstrate the actual thermodynamic
processes at work.
Point 1 represents the conditions entering the compressor. Compression of the gas raises
its pressure from P1 to P2. Thus the work that is done by the compressor adds heat to
the refrigerant, raising its temperature and slightly increasing its heat content. Point 2
represents the condition of the refrigerant


Fig.2.3: Vapor Compression Refrigeration Cycle



Any substance that absorbs heat may be termed a refrigerant. Secondary refrigerants,
such as water or brine, absorb heat but do not undergo a phase change in the process.
Primary refrigerants, then, are those substances that possess the chemical, physical, and
thermodynamic properties that permit their efficient use in the typical vapor compression
In the vapor compression cycle, a refrigerant must satisfy several (and sometimes
conflicting) requirements:
1. The refrigerant must be chemically
stable in both the liquid and vapor state.
2. Refrigerants for HVAC applications must be nonflammable and have low toxicity.

3. Finally, the thermodynamic properties of the refrigerant must meet the temperature and
pressure ranges required for the application. Early refrigerants, developed in the 1920s
and 1930s, used in HVAC applications were predominately chemical compounds made
up of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) such as R-11, R-12, and R-503. While stable and
efficient in the range of temperatures and pressures required for HVAC use, any escaped
refrigerant gas was found to be long-lived in the atmosphere. In the lower atmosphere,
the CFC molecules absorb infrared radiation and, thus, contribute to atmospheric
warming. Once in the upper atmosphere, the CFC molecule breaks down to release
chlorine that destroys ozone and, consequently, damages the atmospheric ozone layer that
protects the earth from excess UV radiation. The manufacture of CFC refrigerants in the
United States and most other industrialized nations was eliminated by international
agreement in 1996. While there is still refrigeration equipment in use utilizing CFC
refrigerants, no new equipment using these refrigerants is now available in the United
Researchers found that by modifying the chemical compound of CFCs by substituting a
hydrogen atom for one or more of the chlorine or fluorine atoms resulted in a significant
reduction in the life of the molecule and, thus, reduced the negative environmental impact
it may have. These new compounds, called hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), are
currently used in HVAC refrigeration systems as R-22 and R-123.
While HCFCs have reduced the potential environmental damage by refrigerants released
into the atmosphere, the potential for damage has not been.


Zoned Air-Conditioning Systems

The air-conditioning system considered so far provides a single source of air with
uniform temperature to the entire space, controlled by one space thermostat and one
space humidistat. However, in many buildings there is a variety of spaces with different
users and varying thermal loads. These varying loads may be due to different inside uses
of the spaces, or due to changes in cooling loads because the sun shines into some spaces
and not others. Thus our simple system, which supplies a single source of heating or

cooling, must be modified to provide independent, variable cooling or heating to each

space. When a system is designed to provide independent control in different spaces, each
space is called a zone. A zone may be a separate room. A zone may also be part of a

large space. For example, a theatre stage may be a zone, while the audience seating area
is a second zone in the same big space. Each has a different requirement for heating and
cooling. This need for zoning leads us to the four broad categories of air-conditioning
systems, and consideration of how each can provide zoned cooling and heating. The four
systems are
1. All-air systems
2. Air-and-water systems
3. All-water systems
4. Unitary, refrigeration-based systems

2.5.1 System 1: All-air Systems

All-air systems provide air conditioning by using a tempered flow of air to the spaces.
These all-air systems need substantial space for ducting the air to each zone. The cooling
or heating capacity, Q, is measured in British Thermal Units (Btu) and is the product of
airflow, measured in cubic feet per minute, (cfm), times the difference in temperature
between the supply air to the zone and the return air from the zone.
Q (Btu) = Constant X Mass Flow X Temperature Difference
Q (Btu) = Constant X CFM X (Fzone -Fsupply air)
To change the heating or cooling capacity of the air supply to one zone, the system must
either alter the supply temperature, F, or alter the flow, cfm, to that zone. Reheat system:
The simplest, and least energy efficient system, is the constant volume reheat system. Let
us assume that the main air system provides air that is cool enough to satisfy all possible
cooling loads, and that there is a heater in the duct to each zone. A zone thermostat can
then control the heater to maintain the desired zone set-point-temperature. The system,
shown in Figure is called a reheat system, since the cool air is reheated as necessary to
maintain zone temperature. Figure 2.14 illustrates the basic air-conditioning system, plus

ducting, to only two of many zones. The air to each zone passes over a reheat coil before
entering the zone. A thermostat in the zone controls the reheat coil. If the zone requires
full cooling, the thermostat will shut off the reheat coil. Then, as the cooling load drops,

the thermostat will turn on the coil to maintain the zone temperature. Variable Air Volume
(VAV) System: Figure 2.15 illustrates another zoned system, called a Variable Air Volume
system, VAV system, because it varies the volume of air supplied to each zone. Variable
Air Volume systems are more energy efficient than the reheat systems. Again, assume that
the basic system provides air that is cool enough to satisfy all possible cooling loads. In
zones that require only cooling, the ductto each zone can be fitted with a control damper
that can be throttled to reduce the airflow to maintain the desired temperature.

Fig2.4:A Constant Volume Single Zone System

In both types of systems, all the air-conditioning processes are achieved through the flow
of air from a central unit into each zone. Therefore, they are called all-air systems.
However, to design and choose systems, you will need the detailed information found in
the ASHRAE course Fundamentals of Air System Design.


Fig.2.5: All-air Systems

2.5.2 System 2: Air-and-water Systems

Another group of systems, air-and-water systems, provide all the primary ventilation air
from a central system, but local units provide additional conditioning. The primary
ventilation system also provides most, or all, of the humidity control by conditioning the
ventilation air. The local units are usually supplied with hot or chilled water. These
systems are particularly effective in perimeter spaces, where high heating and cooling
loads occur. Although they may use electric coils instead of water, they are grouped under
the title air-and-water systems. For example, in cold climates substantial heating is
often required at the perimeter walls. In this situation, a hot-water-heating system can be
installed around the perimeter of the building while a central air system provides cooling
and ventilation.


Fig.2.6: Air-Water Systems

2.5.3 System 3: All-water Systems

When the ventilation is provided through natural ventilation, by opening windows, or
other means, there is no need to duct ventilation air to the zones from a central plant. This
allows all processes other than ventilation to be provided by local equipment supplied
with hot and chilled water from a central plant. These systems are grouped under the
name all-water systems. The largest group of all-water systems are heating systems. We
will introduce these systems, pumps and piping in Chapters 8 and 9. The detailed design
of these heating systems is covered in the ASHRAE course Fundamentals of Heating
Systems3. Both the air-and-water and all-water systems rely on a central supply of hot
water for heating and chilled water for cooling. The detailed designs and calculations for
these systems can be found in the ASHRAE course Fundamentals of Water System


Fig.2.7: All-Water Systems

2.5.4 System 4: Unitary, Refrigerant-based Systems

The final type of system uses local refrigeration equipment and heaters to provide air
conditioning. They are called unitary refrigerantbased systems. The window airconditioner is the simplest example of this type of system. In these systems, ventilation
air may be brought in by the unit, by opening windows, or from a central ventilation air
system. The unitary system has local refrigerant-based cooling. In comparison, the other
types of systems use a central refrigeration unit to either cool the air-conditioning airflow
or to chill water for circulation to local cooling units. The design, operation and choice of
refrigeration equipment is a huge field of knowledge in itself. Refrigeration equipment
choices, design, installation, and operating issues are introduced in the ASHRAE course
Fundamentals of Refrigeration.



Fig.2.8: refrigerant-based system

2.5.5 System Control

We have not yet considered how any of these systems can be controlled. Controls have
become a vast area of knowledge with the use of solid-state sensors, computers, radio and
the Internet. Basic concepts will be introduced throughout this text, with a focused
discussion. For an in-depth introduction to controls, ASHRAE provides the course
Fundamentals of HVAC Control Systems.

Fig.2.9: HVAC system control




Many of the air-conditioning processes involve air that is experiencing energy changes.
These changes arise from changes in the airs temperature and its moisture content. The
relationships between temperature, moisture content, and energy are most easily
understood using a visual aid called the psychrometric chart. The psychrometric chart
is an industry-standard tool that is used to visualize the interrelationships between dry air,
moisture and energy. If you are responsible for the design or maintenance of any aspect
of air conditioning in buildings, a clear and comfortable understanding of the chart will
make your job easier.
Initially, the chart can be intimidating, but as you work with it you will discover that the
relationships that it illustrates are relatively easy to understand. Once you are comfortable
with it, you will discover that it is a tool that can make it easier to troubleshoot airconditioning problems in buildings. The ASHRAE course, Fundamentals of
Thermodynamics and Psychrometrics1 goes into great detail about the use of the chart.
That course also provides calculations and discussion about how the chart can be used as
a design and troubleshooting tool. In this course, however, we will only introduce the
psychrometric chart, and provide a very brief overview of its structure.
The Design of the Psychrometric Chart
The psychrometric chart is built upon two simple concepts.
1. Indoor air is a mixture of dry air and water vapor.
2. There is a specific amount of energy in the mixture at a specific temperature and


Fig.2.10: Psychrometric chart

Psychrometric Chart Concept

1: Indoor Air is a Mixture of Dry Air and Water Vapor. The air we live in is a mixture of
both dry air and water vapor. Both are invisible gases. The water vapor in air is also
called moisture or humidity. The quantity of water vapor in air is expressed as pounds of
water vapor per pound of air. This ratio is called the humidity ratio, abbreviation W
and the units are pounds of water/pound of dry air, lbw/lbda, often abbreviated to lb/lb.
The exact properties of moist air vary with pressure. Because pressure reduces as altitude
increases, the properties of moist air change with altitude. Typically, psychrometric charts
are printed based on standard pressure at sea level. For the rest of this course we will
consider pressure as constant. The ASHRAE course, Fundamentals of Thermodynamics
and Psychrometrics1 goes into
21great detail about the use of the chart. That course also
provides calculations and discussion about how the chart can be used as a design and
troubleshooting tool.To understand the relationship between water vapor, air and
temperature, we will consider two conditions:

First Condition: The temperature is constant, but the quantity of water vapor is
increasing. If the temperature remains constant, then, as the quantity of water vapor in the
air increases, the humidity increases. However, at every temperature point, there is a
maximum amount of water vapor that can co-exist with the air. The point at which this
maximum is reached is called the saturation point. If more water vapor is added after the
saturation point is reached, then an equal amount of water vapor condenses, and takes the
form of either water droplets or ice crystals. Outdoors, we see water droplets in the air as
fog, clouds or rain and we see ice crystals in the air as snow or hail. The psychrometric
chart only considers the conditions up to the saturation point; therefore, it only considers
the effects of water in the vapor phase, and does not deal with water droplets or ice
Second Condition: The temperature is dropping, but the quantity of water vapor is
constant. If the air is cooled sufficiently, it reaches the saturation line. If it is cooled even
more, moisture will condense out and dew forms. For example, if a cold canned drink is
taken out of the refrigerator and left for a few minutes, the container gets damp. This is
because the moist air is in contact with the chilled container. The container cools the air
that it contacts to a temperature that is below saturation, and dew forms. This
temperature, at which the air starts to produce condensation, is called the dew point




HVAC systems in health care facilities provide a broad range of services in support of
populations who are uniquely vulnerable to an elevated risk of health, fire, and safety
hazard. These heavily regulated, high-stakes facilities undergo continuous maintenance,
verification, inspection, and recertification; typically operate 24 hours/day, 7 days/ week;
and are owner-occupied for long life cycles. Health care HVAC systems must be
installed, operated, and maintained in spatial and functional conjunction with a host of
other essential building services, including emergency and normal power, plumbing and
medical-gas systems, automatic transport, fire protection, and myriad IT systems, all
within a constrained building envelope. Health care facilities and services are
characterized by high rates of modification because of the continuously evolving science
and economics of health care, and consume large quantities of energy and potable water.
The often unique environmental conditions associated with these facilities, and the
critical performance, reliability, and maintainability of the HVAC systems necessary to
their success, demand a specialized set of engineering practices and design criteria
established by model codes and standards and enforced by authorities having jurisdiction.

Basic Classification of Hospital Facilities

Health care facilities vary widely in the nature and complexity of services they provide
and the relative degree of illness or injury of the patients treatedfrom a neighborhood
general practitioners office to large regional or university medical centers and specialty
hospitals. Facilities in the health care category can include, in addition to the
practitioners office, neighborhood clinics, mental wellness centers, birthing centers,

imaging facilities, hospice care, and long-term nursing care, among others. As a rule,
environmental control requirements and the role of the HVAC system in life safety and

infection control become more important with increasing complexity of the medical
services provided and the acuity of illness of the patient population.


Hospital HVAC System Functions

In support of the health care process, HVAC systems are called upon to perform several
vital functions that affect environmental conditions, infection and hazard control, and
building life safety. Staff and patient comfort, and the provision of therapeutic space
conditions, facilitate optimum patient treatment outcomes. Environmental conditioning
for electronic data storage, supporting IT systems, and special imaging and other medical
equipment is critical to the operation of these essential services. Through containment,
dilution, and removal of pathogens and toxins, the HVAC system is a key component of
facility safety and infection control. In inpatient and many ambulatory treatment
facilities, the inability (or reduced ability) of patients to respond properly to fire
emergencies requires the HVAC system to support vital smoke exhaust and building
compartmentation features of the life safety system. Finally, the HVAC system should
interact with the architectural building envelope to control the entry of unconditioned air,
together with outdoor contaminants and moisture.


Comfort Conditioning

Across the range of health care facilities, health care practices often expose patients and
staff to conditions that dictate unique environmental requirements. As in any facility, the
comfort of building occupants is fundamental to overall well-being and productivity. In
the health care facility, a comfortable environment has a significant role in facilitating
healing and recovery. A sick or injured patient in an uncomfortable environment is
subject to thermal stress that may hinder the bodys ability to properly regulate body heat,
interfere with rest, and be psychologically harmful. At the same time, a health care
provider stressed by an uncomfortable environment may not function at peak
performance levels. Patients clothed in a simple gown in an examination room, for
example, or orthopedic surgical staff heavily garbed in scrub suits during an hours-long,

complex, and stressful procedure, require special room temperature and humidity levels
and controls. Similarly, room airflow patterns and air change rates influence thermal

comfort. For these reasons, health care codes and criteria establish specific requirements
for space temperature, relative humidity, and total air change rates.


Infection Control

With few exceptions (such as free-standing behavioral health, sports medicine, or

maternity care centers), medical facilities are places where relatively high levels of
pathogenic (disease-causing) microorganisms are generated and concentrated by an
infected patient population or by procedures that handle or manipulate infected human
tissues and bodily fluids. These pathogens are spread by a number of contact and, to a
lesser extent, noncontact (airborne) causes, which are dealt with in detail in Chapter 2. To
some degree, the entire building population is at elevated risk of exposure to these
pathogens. Sick and injured patients, having suppressed or compromised immune
function, are highly susceptible to new infections. Visitors often accompany sick or
injured friends or loved ones to high-exposure areas such as clinical waiting rooms and
emergency departments. By the nature of their profession, health care staff work in
proximity to infectious agents on a daily basis. Health care facilities therefore require
stringent operational practices and engineering controls to safeguard the building
population. The HVAC system is one of several tools and processes used in the control of


Ventilation and Environmental Control for Special Functions

Many medical facilities include functions or processes in which chemical fumes,

aerosols, or harmful gases are stored and generated, posing health or safety hazards.
Examples include laboratories where aerosolizing chemicals are used to fix slide
specimens, preserve tissues, or perform other processes; orthopedic appliance and
artificial limb shops involving adhesives and other aerosolizing agents; and anesthetizing
locations, in which long-term exposure to even trace concentrations of anesthetizing
gases can have harmful consequences. In such applications, HVAC equipment operates in

conjunction with primary containment equipment, such as fume hoods, radioisotope

hoods, laminar flow benches, and waste anesthesia evacuation systems, to contain and
exhaust these contaminants or dilute them to safe levels. In other health care applications,

the HVAC system is called upon to assist in the maintenance of a sterile environment for
products or procedures that must be protected from environmental contamination.
Laboratory culturing procedures, and certain pharmaceutical handling and compounding


Patient Privacy

The need to prevent room-to-room transmission of private patient conversations is

addressed by codes and standards and by the Health Care Information Portability and
Accountability Act (HIPAA). Codes and standards provide minimum sound transmission
class (STC), or other acoustical performance criteria, for the architectural enclosure
elements of critical spaces such as provider office and exam rooms, and may address
recommendations for background noise, and for minimizing sound transmission through
connecting ductwork. Transfer air ductwork and common plenum returns for such spaces
require special consideration and treatment, such as built-in attenuating features, to
minimize crosstalk. Even with fully ducted returns, consideration must be given to the
attenuating qualities (chiefly the extent and configuration of layout and fittings) of
interconnecting ductwork. Although a great deal of attention is normally focused on
minimizing HVAC background noise, some degree of white noise from HVAC systems
helps to minimize conversation intelligibility.




*Design Capacity
Design criteria for health care facilities that affect equipment capacity and





humidity, and


requirements. In some cases, it may be necessary to establish and maintain a range of

room conditions, with different
26setpoints for summer or winter operation or for differing
patient requirements. The HVAC design must provide for the required room conditions
under the most stringent operational or weather conditions defined by applicable design

3.8.1 Exterior Design Conditions

ASHRAE has several design weather publications and products to aid the designer,
including the Weather Data Viewer CD, WYEC2 data, and ASHRAE Extremes (see for further information). Many design criteria call for use of the
ASHRAE 0.4% dry-bulb (DB) and mean coincident wet-bulb (MWB) temperatures for
cooling applications and the 99.6% dry-bulb temperature for heatingtypically for
inpatient and some outpatient (normally surgical) facilities where environmental
conditions are relatively critical to patient well-being.
Typical criteria for outpatient clinics call for using the ASHRAE 1% and 99% design
temperatures for cooling and heating loads, respectively. Maximum cooling load can
occur at peak WB conditions when outdoor air demands are high; for this reason, and for
sizing evaporative and dehumidification equipment, designers should consider peak total
load (latent plus sensible) climatic conditions for each project.
The designer should also consider that many parts of the world are experiencing
temperatures higher than the 0.4% design conditions. If the HVAC system is designed so
that it cannot accommodate more extreme design conditions (when outdoor conditions
exceed the 0.4% or 99.6% values) interior design requirements may not be met. Most
hospital owners would deem this situation unacceptable.

3.8.2 Equipment Redundancy and Service Continuity

The fundamental importance of maintaining reasonable interior conditions in critical
patient applications often dictates that some degree of backup heating capacity and, in
many cases, cooling and/or ventilation capability, be available in the event of major
HVAC equipment failure. Additionally, health care facilities are typically the go-to place

in the case of natural or human-caused disasters, and may represent the single source of
critical utility service availability (e.g., water, electricity, sanitary, shelter, etc.) within a
stricken region.

Applicable codes or criteria may require inpatient facilities (and many outpatient surgical
facilities) to have up to 100% backup capability for equipment essential to system
operation. Even in cases when loss of a major HVAC service does not jeopardize life or
health, it may lead to inability to continue medical functions and unacceptable economic
impact to the building owner. Designers should also recognize that routine maintenance
requirements will, at least on an annual or seasonal basis, require major plant equipment
to be taken off-line for extended periods. Even where 100% redundancy is not required, it
is often prudent to size and configure plant equipment for off season operation to
enable extended maintenance of individual units.
Emergency power systems (EPS) are mandated by several codes and standards for HVAC
equipment considered essential for safety and health. Facility heating, particularly for
critical and patient room spaces, must normally be connected to the EPS, as is the cooling
system, in some jurisdictions. Federal government regulations and/or guidelines require
that ventilation equipment serving disease isolation and protective isolation rooms be
connected to the EPS. The AHJ and/ or owner may require that cooling sources, pumps,
air-handling units, and other equipment necessary to provide cooling for critical inpatient
or sensitive equipment areas be supplied by an EPS.


Ventilation and Outdoor Air Quality

Ventilation rates for typical health care spaces are addressed by ANSI/ASHRAE/ASHE
Standard 170, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities. Such facilities require large amounts
of fresh, clean, outdoor air for occupants and for control of contaminants and odors
through dilution ventilation and exhaust makeup. In addition to outdoor air change rates,
minimum total air change rates are provided in order to supplement ventilation air
cleaning, or to establish adequate distribution and circulation of air within a space.
Filters with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) 14 or higher (MERVs
established by procedures specified in ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 52.2-2007) are very
effective at removing microorganisms and similarly sized particulates. In certain

locations, the quality of outdoor air may be compromised by combustion exhaust fumes
or other objectionable or harmful odors or gases, such as ozone, which require the
provision of activated carbon or other adsorption filtration of outdoor air.

3.9.1 Location of Outdoor Air Intakes

Outdoor air intakes must be located an adequate distance away from potential
contamination sources to avoid intake of contaminants. Typical minimum separation
requirements are 25 ft [7.6 m], established by the FGI Guidelines, and 30 ft [9.1 m],
according to the ASHRAE HandbookHVAC Applications. These distances should be
considered only as preliminary guides: greater separation may be required, depending
upon the nature of the contaminant, direction of prevailing winds, and relative locations
of the intake and contaminant sources. The ASHRAE HandbookFundamentals
provides further design guidance and calculation methods to help predict airflow
characteristics around buildings, stack/exhaust outlet performance, and suitable locations
for intakes. See Chapter 3 of this manual for more details.

3.9.2 Air-Mixing and Ventilation Effectiveness

In most health care applications, it is desirable to introduce supply air into a space in such
a manner as to maximize distribution throughout the space and minimize stratification.
Doing so maximizes the effectiveness of ventilation and contributes to overall comfort.
Good air mixing is enhanced by meeting minimum total air change requirements and by
careful selection of diffuser location and performance, with proper attention to room
construction features that can affect distribution. Air-mixing effectiveness is also
influenced by perimeter envelope exposure and the temperature difference between
supply and room air. Additional information is available in Chapters 3 and 8.

3.9.3 Exhaust of Contaminants and Odors

Exhaust systems provide for29 removal of contaminants and odors from a facility,
preferably as close to the source of generation as possible. In addition, exhaust systems
are used to remove moisture, heat, and flammable particles or aerosols. Examples of
source exhaust in health care applications include the following

Chemical fume hoods and certain biological safety cabinets used in laboratories and
similar applications where health care workers must handle highly volatile or easily
aerosolized materials
Special exhaust connections or trunk ducts used in surgical applications to remove
waste anesthesia gases or the aerosolized particles in laser plumes
Wet X-ray film development machines (now being rapidly replaced with digital
equipment), which are normally provided with exhaust duct connections for removal of
development chemical fumes
Cough-inducement booths or hoods used particularly in the therapy for contagious
respiratory disease
Kitchen and sterilizing equipment that produce moisture and heat When contaminants
or odors cannot practically be captured at the source, the space in which the contaminant
is generated should be exhausted. Rooms typically exhausted include laboratories, soiled
linen rooms, waste storage rooms, central sterile decontamination (dirty processing),
anesthesia storage rooms, PET scan, hot laboratories (for work with radioactive
materials), airborne infection isolation (AII), and bronchoscopy.
For potentially very-hazardous exhausts, such as from radioisotope chemical fume hoods
or disease isolation spaces, codes or regulations may require HEPA filtration of the
exhaust discharge, particularly if the discharge is located too close to a pedestrian area or
outdoor air intake.


3.10 Noise Control

Noise control is of high importance in the health care environment because of the
negative impact of high noise levels on patients and staff and the need to safeguard
patient privacy. The typical health care facility is already full of loud noises from a
variety of communications equipment, alarms, noisy operating hardware, and other
causes without the noise contribution from poorly designed or installed HVAC
equipment. High noise levels hinder patient healing largely through interference with rest
and sleep. In addition, loud noises degrade the health care providers working
environment, increase stress, and can cause dangerous irritation and distraction during the
performance of critical activities. Sources of excessive HVAC noise include
Direct transmission of mechanical and/or medical equipment room noise to adjacent
Duct borne noise generated by fans and/or high air velocities in ducts, fittings, terminal
equipment, or diffusers and transmitted through ductwork to adjoining occupied spaces;
Duct breakout noise, where noise in ductwork penetrates the walls of the duct and
enters occupied spaces;
Duct rumble, a form of low-frequency breakout noise caused by the acoustical response
of ductwork to fan noiseparticularly high-aspect-ratio, poorly braced rectangular
ductwork; and Vibrations from fans, dampers, ductwork, etc
Patient privacy can be compromised when private conversations are intelligibly
transmitted to adjoining spaces. Frequent causes of this problem are inadequate acoustical
isolation properties of the construction elements separating rooms, inadequate sounddampening provisions in ductwork, and/or inadequate background room sound pressure
level. HVAC ductwork design and diffuser/register selection can greatly mitigate the

latter two concerns, by providing a minimum level of background sound contribution

from the air distribution system and by providing effective attenuation in ductwork.

4.1 Introduction
Air Separators are applied in commercial, institutional and industrial applications for the
removal of free air in water or water/ glycol systems. The In-Line designed air separator
utilizes the advantages resulting from large body diameter in relation to the entering
nozzle diameter.
The design of in-line air separators depends upon the lowering of the system fluid
velocity within the separator, the change in direction of fluid flow within the unit, and
buoyant force direct air to the automatic air vent normally positioned at the top of the
These air separators are designed, built and stamped to the requirements of ASME. The
rated working pressure of these units is dependent upon the design pressure of the
hydronic system into which they are being installed. Manufacturers offer these unit
working pressures of 125, 150, 250 and 300 psi and higher if required.
Optional stainless steel strainers are specified to capture and allow the removal of larger
debris. (3/16 and larger) These screens are normally specified with 3/16 inch
perforations and free area of not less than 5 times the open area of the nozzle to minimize
pressure drop. Most manufacturers provide a blowdown connection at the bottom of the
When In-Line Air Separators are installed in conventional Air Control Systems with plain
steel expansion tanks figure care must be taken to insure that piping between the air
separator and the plain steel expansion
tank is pitched at least 3 degrees to facilitate the

migration of captured air back into the expansion vessel. Systems with plain steel

expansion tanks must not have automatic vents installed as this will lead to the loss of the
expansion tank compression cushion.

Fig.4.1: Air Separator with Plain Steel Expansion Tank

When In-Line Air Separators are installed in Air Elimination Systems figure with Captive
Air bladder or diaphragm style expansion tanks, automatic air vents should be installed at
the top of each separator. As Air Elimination systems have a permanent separation
provided by the bladder of diaphragm between the initial tank pre-charge and the system
fluid no loss of pre-charge air will occur.


Fig.4.2: Air Separator with Captive Air Tank

Larger systems
Lower pressure drop
Removal of larger particles


4.2 Air Control and Elimination

Water contains a certain amount of entrained air. If this air comes out of solution, it can
increase corrosion rates of metals within the system. In addition, air can form pockets at
the top of pipes and heating units. These air pockets can actually restrict or block flow in
a hydronic piping system. This is referred to as air locking.
The table below shows a solubility curve for air in water. Note that at a fixed pressure,
increasing the temperature reduces the amount of air that can be dissolved. For example,
at 60 PSIA and 40F, the water can contain just over 10% air by volume. At 60 PSIA and
200 F, the percentage decreases to just over 4%.
Conversely, at fixed temperature reducing the pressure reduces the amount of air that can
be dissolved. For example, at 100F and 80 PSIA the water can contain 8% air by
volume. At 100F and 20 PSIA the percentage decreases to 2%.

Fig.4.3: Solubility Curve

35 soluble in water at the highest temperature and lowest
The conclusion is that air is least

pressure. Air separators should therefore be located at these points.

The highest temperature in a system is typically on the discharge of boilers and inlet of
chillers. Therefore, the general rule of thumb in hydronic systems is that Air separators
should be located downstream of boilers and upstream of chillers.
The lowest pressure in a system is typically at the expansion tank, since this is the point
of no pressure change and the location of the fill valve. Therefore, the general rule of
thumb in hydronic systems is that Air separators should be located at the expansion tank
connection to the system.

Fig.4.4: Boiler and Air Separator Location


Fig.4.5: Chiller and Air Separator Location

In addition, as water is heated from the fill temperature to the operating temperature, a
great deal of air is released. Therefore, the simple act of bringing the water to operating
temperature could lead to corrosion and air pockets, both of which should be avoided.
A method of removing this released air from the piping system is therefore required.
Enter the air separator. An air separator is a device that is removes the air from the
circulating fluid.
There are several types of air separators in use today. Depending upon the type of
expansion tank used in the system, the air separator is part of an Air Control System or an
Air Elimination System.

4.3 Air Control Systems

If a conventional (non-bladder) style expansion tank is used, it is desirable to redirect the
separated air to the space above the water level in the expansion tank figure. The dotted
line from the air separator (scoop) to the plain steel tank shows the proper connection,
with the air piped from the scoop to the expansion tank through a special tank fitting.

Fig.4.6: Air Control System

This fitting directs the air to the top portion of the tank, and discourages air from
migrating back into the system see figure, when the system cools on the off cycle. Note
that since the air is recycled to provide a cushion in the expansion tank, this system is
called an Air Control system.
Note that the circulator is on the supply side of the boiler. This is the proper location, as it
results in the highest pressure at the top of the system (if the circulator was on the return
side of the boiler, the boiler pressure drop reduce the pressure at the top.) Having a higher
pressure at the top keeps air in38
solution, and helps prevent problems and air binding.

Fig.4.7: Tank Fitting

4.4 Air Elimination Systems

If a Captive Air or Bladder Style expansion tank is used, there is no reason to save the
separated air. Therefore, if an air separator (scoop) is used in an air elimination system
rather than an air control system, the separator is fitted with an automatic air vent, which
discharges the separated air to the atmosphere. Note that since the air is eliminated
through an air vent this system is called an Air Elimination system.


Fig.4.8: Air Elimination Systems

4.5 Working of Air Separator:Air trapped in the system canproduce major problems suchas reduced heat transfer, lossof
system efficiency, pipe



increasedenergy consumption

andirritating noise. The highly efficient Taco air separatorclears the system of free air
andreduces un-dissolved sedimentto save money, energy andcomponent wear. Unlike
many competitive modelseach unit is designed, constructed and tested to therequirements
of Section VIII, Division I of the ASMEpressure vessel code as standard. Designed for
use in hydronic heating or cooling systems, highly efficient airseparator provides air
separation while minimizingspace requirements.

The wide range of separatormodels have been developed for applicationswith flowrates
up to 12,500 gpm. This wide rangeof models allows optimum selections with
reducedpressure drop requirements. The standard productis designed for working
pressures of 125 psi at 375F.Optional 150, 250 and 300 psi maximum pressureunits,
375F maximum temperature units are alsoavailable.

Fig 4.9:-Working of air separator

Air separator tanks are ASME code and designed to eliminate air quickly and efficiently
from closed loop heating and cooling systems. Water enters and exits through unique
tangential nozzle connections, which promote a low velocity swirling vortex effect in the
center of the unit. Natural centrifugal forces allow the heavier air-free water to move
towards the outer edges, while entrained air is captured by the stainless steel collection
tube and released to the top of the separator. This air can then be redirected to the
compression tank, or released out of the system through an automatic air vent.
The water then exits near the bottom of the unit bubble free, and protects the system
against the noise, blockage and damage commonly caused by entrained air. Circulating
the water through the Vortex Air Separator creates a vortex or whirlpool action, sending
the heavierair-free water to the outer portion of the tank and allowing the lighter air
entrained water mixture to move intothe lower velocity center. At the centre of the vortex
the air is released from the water forms bubbles and exitsthrough an air vent or
compression tank installed above. Instead of relying entirely on low velocity
separation,the Vortex Air Separator offers the advantage of efficient separation in a much
smaller tank.


4.6 Types of Air Separators

a) Air Scoop:
Air scoops are applied in residential and light commercial applications for the
removal of free air in water or water/glycol systems. The body of each air scoop provides
an increased cross sectional area and lower velocity within the piping network thereby
allowing free air to rise due to buoyant force. To assist with the removal of smaller air
bubbles integral baffles are incorporated within most air scoops.
Optimum performance is achieved at line velocities up to 4 ft/sec. However, air
scoops have been successfully installed on applications with velocities up to 8 ft/sec. Air
scoops are specifically designed for the line size which they are to be installed. These
sizes range from1 inch to 4 inch.
Most manufacturers rate their air scoop product lines for 125 psi with a maximum
operating temperature of 300F. Air scoops are installed in conjunction with an expansion
tank and air vent as shown in below figure.

Fig.4.9: Air scoops with an expansion tank and air vent


b) VorTech:
VorTech Air Separators are applied in residential and light commercial
applications for the removal of free air in water or water/ glycol systems. The body of a
VorTech features a primary separation chamber where the process of air elimination is
controlled and optimized.
The body of each VorTech is specially designed to direct the flow of the system fluid
tangentially exiting at the bottom of the chamber. To assist with the removal of larger air
pockets each VorTech incorporates a 300 series stainless bubble breaker cartridge to
breakup larger air volumes.

Fig.4.10: VorTech Air Separators

Due to the tangential effect the system fluid with its higher density is pushed to the
outside wall of the chamber as the less dense air is directed toward the vortex of the flow
and vented from the system.
Optimum performance is achieved at line velocities up to 4 ft/sec. However, VorTech
style units have been successfully installed on applications with velocities up to 8 ft/sec.
VorTech separators are specifically designed for the line size which they are to be
installed. These sizes range from 3/4 inch to 2 inch.
VorTech style separators are rated
for 150 psi with a maximum operating temperature of

240F. VorTech are commonly installed in conjunction with an expansion tank and air
vent as shown in below figure.

Fig.4.11: VorTech style with an expansion tank and air vent

c) Series Air Separator:

Series Air Separators use a patented, independently proven method for removing
gasses from water: the PALL ring process. PALL rings accumulate and then completely
eliminate microbubbles from 15 microns and up. Thats bubbles which are 3 times
smaller than the nearest competitions scrubbing design. Whats more, Tacos unique
conical venting chamber with integral shut-off and protective plate keeps waterborne dirt
and impurities well clear of the venting mechanisms so that fouling of the vent is
eliminated during normal operation.


Fig.4.12: Series Air Separator

4.7 The Air Removal Requirement

Air is introduced to a hydronic system:
During initial fill
While maintaining system pressure
During routine equipment maintenance
In a cooling tower operation
Fill water at 50F (10C) can hold up to 9% entrained air at 30 psig (207 kPa). When
heated up to 200F (93C), the water can hold up to 4.5% entrained air. The remaining
4.5% air is released into the system as air pockets, bubbles, and microbubbles, that can
negatively impact the performance of fluid flow or heat transfer equipment.


4.8 How the Air Separator Removes Air

Circulating the water through the Air Separator creates a vortex or whirlpool action,
sending the heavier air-free water to the outer portion of the tank and allowing the lighter
air-entrained water mixture to move into the lower velocity center. At the center of the
vortex the air is released from the water, forms bubbles and exits through an air vent or
compression tank installed above. Instead of relying entirely on low velocity separation,
the Air Separator offers the advantage of efficient separation in a much smaller tank.

4.9 The Benefit and Advantage of an Air-Free System

Air-free water flow means improved systems operation and lower operating costs. The
Air Separators eliminate entrained air from heating and cooling systems
Providing these benefits:
Allows quick venting of air at start-up
Reduces annoying noise caused by air entrained in the system
Reduces service costs due to air-bound piping
Extends the life of the system by reducing corrosion and erosion
Improves heat transfer efficiency in boilers, fan coils, chillers, etc.
Reduces the overall energy costs of your system
Optimizes pump performance by reducing incidences of air lock
Air Separators should be installed at the highest temperature and the lowest pressure
points in the system. Where this is not possible, the best location is at the point of highest
temperature. Ideally, a separator should be located on the outlet side of the boiler and the
suction side of the pump.

1. Air Separating and Elimination Component
Air separating and elimination components are normally installed at the
point of lowest solubility of air in water, typically at a high point in the system. It
consists of:
a. Tangential type air separator which separates entrained air from flowing
system water by the creation of a vortex that allows free air bubbles to rise in the
center, the point of lowest velocity, to an air collection chamber.
b. A unique, pilot-operated, air elimination valve, capable of eliminating air
to the atmosphere as fast as it is separated from system water, through a full open
orifice. In the closed position, the exit ports are sealed tight by the positive sealing
force created by system pressure exerted upon surfaces of dissimilar areas.

The pressurization and air elimination system is reliable, simple and saves
valuable space in the building as well as labor to install.
The problem of system air can be avoided by proper system design,
exercising care to ensure a reasonably leak-proof system, and by following air
elimination procedures.


5.1 Air Separator Technology
Air separation plants are designed to generate oxygen, and argon from air through the
process of compression, cooling, liquefaction and distillation of air. Air is separated for
production of oxygen, nitrogen, argon and in some special cases other rare gases
(krypton, xenon, helium, neon) through cryogenic rectification of air. The products can be
produced in gaseous form for pipeline supply or as cryogenic liquid for storage and
distribution by truck. One of the largest producers of air separation plants is Lined
Company. It has built approx. 2,800 cryogenic air separation plants in more than 80
countries and has the leading market position for air separation plants.

Fig.5.1:Air Separator Scheme

Air can be separated into its components by means of distillation in special units. So
called air fractionating plants employ a thermal process known as cryogenic rectification
to separate the individual components from one another in order to produce high purity
nitrogen, oxygen and argon in liquid and gaseous form.

5.2 Basic steps of cryogenic air separation Installation

First Step: The first step in any cryogenic air separation plant is filtering and
compressing air. After filtration the compressed air is cooled to reach approximately
ambient temperature by passing through aircooled or watercooled heat exchangers. In
some cases, it is cooled in a mechanical refrigeration system to a much lower
temperature. This leads to a better impurity removal, and also minimizing power
consumption, causing less variation in plant performance due to changes in atmospheric
temperature seasonally. After each stage of cooling and compression, condensed water is
removed from the air.
Second Step: The second step is removing the remaining carbon dioxide and water
vapor, which must always be removed to satisfy product quality specifications. They are
to be removed before the air enters the distillation portion of the plant. The portion is that
where the very low temperature can make the water and carbon dioxide to freeze which
can be deposited on the surfaces within the process equipment. There are two basic
methods to get rid of water vapor and carbon dioxide molecular sieve units and
reversing exchangers.
Third Step: The third step in the cryogenic air separation is the transfer of additional heat
against product and waste gas so as to bring the air feed to cryogenic temperature. The
cooling is usually done in brazed aluminum heat exchangers. They let the heat exchange
between the incoming air feed and cold product and waste gas streams leave the air
separation process. The very cold temperatures required for distillation of cryogenic
Products are formed by a refrigeration process comprising expansion of one or more
elevated pressure process streams.
Fourth Step: This step involves the use of distillation columns to separate the air into
desired products. For example, the distillation system for oxygen has both "high" and
"low" pressurecolumns. Nitrogen plants can have one or two column. While oxygen
leaves from the bottom of the 50
distillation column, nitrogen leaves from the top. Argon has
a boiling point similar to that of oxygen and it stays with oxygen. If, however high purity
oxygen is needed, it is necessary that at an intermediate point argon must be removed

from the distillation system. Impure oxygen produced in the higher pressure distillation
column is further purified in the lower pressure column. Plants which produce high purity
oxygen, nitrogen or other cryogenic gases require more distillation stages.
Below figure shows the basic steps of cryogenic air separation. The basic steps of this
technology are described as:

Fig.5.2.Oxygen production process selection grid

Compression of air: Ambient air is drawn in, filtered and compressed to approx 6 bar by a
Precooking of air: To separate air into its components, it must first be liquefied at an
extremely low temperature. As a first step, the compressed air is precooled with chilled
Purification of air: Impurities such as water vapor and carbon dioxide are then removed
from the air in a socalled molecular
Cooling of air: Because the gases which make up air only liquefy at very low
temperatures, the purified air in the main heat exchanger is cooled to approx. 175C.

The cooling is achieved by means of internal heat exchange, in which the flows of cold
gas generated during the process cool the compressed air. Rapid reduction of the pressure
then causes the compressed air to cool further, whereby it undergoes partial liquefaction.
Now the air is ready for the separating column, where the actual separation takes place.

Fig.5.3.Basic steps of air separation

Separation of air: Separation of air into pure oxygen and pure nitrogen is performed in
two columns, the mediumpressure and the low pressure Columns. The difference in
boiling point of the constituents is exploited for the separation process. Oxygen becomes
a liquidate 183C and nitrogen at 196C. The continuous evaporation and condensation
brought about by the intense exchange of matter and heat between the rising steam and
the descending liquid produces
52 pure nitrogen at the top of the low pressure column and
pure oxygen at the bottom. Argon is separated in additional columns and involves some
extra steps in the process.

5.3 Air clearing to Atmosphere

Before distillation the air should be cleared from different impurities and components.
The exits of impurity like compass, wet,carbon dioxide, and another impurity in air make
the problems in air distillation so we have to clear the air before the that process.
5.3.1 Clearing the air from compass and Dry it:
The content of compass in air is about 0.002 0.02 g /m3 so for clearing the air from this
impure we use the oil filters. Air passes these filters and clears from compass. In a big
plant with large capacity of products we use the several sections of automatic filters with
a patch or section of locomotive. Wet in air belongs to the status of the weathers. Value of
the wet in air when air bee 100% saturate by it in the below table.

Tab:5.1 correlation of air with wet from t C

5.3.2 Drying of the air can be realized with one of these forms:
1. Adsorption with SiO2.H2O : We can get the SiO2.H2O by sluice hydrate of
aced of SiO2.H2O and its bait size is 3 7mm. after drying by SiO2.H2O contain
of the wet is 0.03 g/m353decrease and its dew dot is 52.
2. Adsorption by Active Al2O3.H2O: Active Al2O3.H2O and another oxidant is
SiO, Na2O, andof product via sluice tray hydroid oxidant Aluminum.

Active Al2O3.H2O possessor of very better mechanical substance then SiO2.H2O and it
better suction the wet. After the drying with Al2O3.H2O the content of wet in air
0.005g/m3 be in decrease. And it mach with the 64 dot of dew. Redaction of the
adsorbent by Hate nitrogen up to 170 180C for SiO2.H2O for Al2O3.H2O 245
3. Making ice: In same of the air separation plant that work with two pressure cycle
and frizzing with NH3. Drying the air in heat exchanger at first cooling by the
gutter oxygen and nitrogen up to 5C after that with ebullient NH3 up to 40 45
C bee cooled. Usually we use two ammonic heat exchanger that work automatic
when one of them hates the other one be cooled.
5.3.3 Air clearing from carbon dioxide:
In beg plant that has beg capacity clearing the air from CO2 in the scrubber of alkali that
washed by SOLUTION of the sodium hydro oxide or potassium hydroxide. Same time in
regenerators of oxygen and nitrogen do that. During the passage of air from regenerators
the CO2 become freeze on the absorbent of the O2, N2. The freeze CO2 then clears from
air and the CO2 on absorbent clearing by the predicted O2and N2. There also use two
regenerators that work on periodic system and after a few mints change they are places.
Content of CO2 after scrubber of alkali and regenerator 15 20 cm3 /m3 and it will be in
the liquid form the air or same times it is like an ingredient suspension so it can make
same problems in valves and shut the hole of plates in separation tower.
5.3.4 Clearing air from acetylene:
Air clearing from acetylene because its very dangerous for the air separation plant so its
important to clear air from it because if acetylene aggregation it will be explosion.
Acetylene has low part pressure in the air so it cant distant in heat exchanger and in
regenerator and its aggregation in liquid. Acetylene has low solubility in air, oxygen and
nitrogen so it can be very easy clean in SiO2.H2O filters. Use the different mark of the


5.4 Basic parameters of calculations

5.4.1 Calculated pressures
Pressure in the formula calculating machines and container wall thickness and stability,
including in Stability has been named and supposedly learned saturate pressure term is
the working pressure. As the working pressure, the large excess pressure in case of
normal flow of Practical technology arise, is considered. If the fluid filled device is set in
Meanwhile Saturatepressure is needed to make that push hydrostatic also is considered,
although in that case the quantity of 2.5% of the excess gas pressure is high. In some
cases, very sensitive to the possible increase in working pressure as 10% of the time
delay in opening the valve is considered discretionary. For devices that the existence of
explosive, toxic or potent substances are quickly Activity Saturate pressure than the
pressure of working long enough to accept 0.10.2MPa. Saturate pressure on devices that
maintain and filtration combustion and explosive environments and Gases liquid used in
the table below has been inserted.

Tab:5.2.Saturate pressures in devices









different pressures for the formation of separate (for example in the machine with warm
shirt or cover) as the Saturate pressure is necessary to separate any pressure or pressure
greater wall thickness calculation takes the elements to be accepted. If the effect of
simultaneous pressure comes, run calculations in this case the pressure differences are
allowed. Test under pressure in containers or devices should be considered under the
pressure to control test Assured, safety and functionality can occur.


5.4.2 Calculated Temperature

Temperature directly not included in calculated formula, but knowing where to get
profile material is necessary. Wall material calculated temperature of the device is equal
to the ambient temperature that wall is contact it, is taken. If the existence of thermal
insulation in the device equal to the temperature level with the wall insulation to make
contact with plus 20 C is taken. If the machine is heated by opened flames or electric
heaters and open up still hot by Gases temperature 250 C and the more heated, the
temperature equal to ambient calculated temperature the lining is to be, adding 50 C but
not less than 250 C is taken.

5.5 Separator Specification


Carbon Steel - ST 37



Max. Working Temperature


Max. Working Pressure

10 Bar

Internal Element

AISI 304 Stainless Steel

Tab:5.3.Separator Specification


5.5.1 Technical Specification

Tab:5.4.Technical Specification

Efficient removal of air and micro bubbles in pipe work

Effective removal of impurities and particles
Stainless steel element
Designed and manufactured in accordance with the
Pressure Equipment Directive 97/23/EC

5.6 Air Separator connection to Chiller:-

The best place to locate an air separator in a hydronic system is where the water
temperature is high and the pressure is low. The solubility of the dissolved gases in the
water is lowest at these conditions. For a heating system, the ideal location is at the outlet
of the heat source. For chilled water systems, locate the separator in the return to the

Air Separators should be installed at the highest temperature and the lowest pressure
points in the system. Where this is not possible, the best location is at the point of highest
temperature. Ideally, a separator should be located on the outlet side of the boiler and the
suction side of the pump.


Fig.5.3.Air Separator connection to Chiller

5.7 Air Separator Installation Procedure

1. The Air Separator should be located in a clean, open area, where it is easily accessible
for inspection, service and repair. Installation of the unit in an area with adequate
drainage is recommended.
2.The Air Separator should be installed at the top of each air separator (Figure), or it may
be installed at the system piping highest point with a pipe run from the air separator.
3. A standard Air Separator is installed in-line of the system piping. Adequately sized and
spaced pipe supports/hangers should be used to prevent damage or strain on the system
4. When placing the Air Separator with strainer in the system piping, be aware of the
clearance required for strainer removal for cleaning and replacement
5. When piping the unit into system piping, the pipe size should be sized to allow
adequate flow at a minimal head loss, and be, at minimum, the same size as the Air
Separator connections. The use of fittings (elbows, tees and couplings) should be kept to
a minimum as well.


6. A shut off valve should be provided to simplify cleaning and replacement of float and
control assembly if necessary. Valve should remain open during normal operating
Some considerations: Isolation valves are required to allow gasket changes and
inspection of strainer. Expansion joints and or flex connectors are recommended to
prevent pipe strain caused by thermal expansion or piping misalignment. System bypass
piping is also recommended in the event of system service and or maintenance.

Fig.5.4.Air Separator Installation Procedure


Tab:5.5.Typical Specification Pressurization and Air Elimination System

All free air originally contained in the system, and all entrained air bubbles carried by
system water shall be eliminated at all system points as indicated on the drawings. The
unit shall have a removable stainless steel system strainer with 3/16 (4.8mm) diameter
holes (perforations). A blow down connection shall be provided to facilitate routine
cleaning of the strainer. (Delete this paragraph if system strainer is not specified.) The air
separator shall be cast iron or welded steel, constructed, tested and stamped in accordance
with Section VIII, Division 1 of the ASME Code for a working pressure of 125 or 150
psig as manufactured by AMTROL Inc. The pressure drop through the air separator at the
specified flow rate shall be as shown on the drawings.
5.8.1 System Testing
The piping system can be checked for leaks once all connections have been completed. In
the event a leaky connection62is found, re-press the fitting following the instructions
above. System testing should be completed in accordance with requirements or codes of
any federal/state/local governing body having jurisdiction over the installation. Pro-

Connect Pressure testing should not exceed the Pro-Connect Press Air Separators
maximum pressure rating of 150 PSI.
5.8.2 Operation
1. Open the blow down drain valve for a few seconds to remove loose sediment.
2. Increased pressure drop across the separator will typically indicate that the strainer
needs to be serviced.
To service the strainer:
A) Allow the system water to drop below 100 F.
B) Close the system shut-off valves to isolate the separator from the system.
C) Open the bottom blow down drain valve to remove the water from the unit.
D) Remove the threaded cap or grooved end coupling from the strainer access opening
and slide the strainer out of the separator.
E) Clean the strainer and reinstall it in the unit. Replace the threaded cap or grooved end
F) Close the blow down valve, open the shut-off valves, and return the separator to
normal operation. Check the strainer access cover for leakage.


5.9 Maintenance Procedures

1. Open the blow down drain valve for a few seconds to remove loose sediment.
2. Increased pressure drop across the separator will typically indicate that the strainer
needs to be serviced. To service the strainer:
A) Allow the system water to drop below 100 F.
B) Close the system shut-off valves to isolate the separator from the system.
C) Open the bottom blow down drain valve to remove the water from the unit.
D) Remove the threaded cap or grooved end coupling from the strainer access opening
and slide the strainer out of the separator.
E) Clean the strainer and reinstall it in the unit. Replace the threaded cap or grooved end
F) Close the blow down valve, open the shut-off valves, and return the separator to
normal operation. Check the strainer access cover for leakage.


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