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HVAC 101

1 Why HVAC Matters

2 Industrial and Commercial HVAC Whether youre

working in an
3 Industrial HVAC
office building
or a severe duty
5 What Is a Severe Duty
Environment? site, the presence
of an effective
6 Common Hazards and Corrosive HVAC system can
Chemicals have a truly life-
saving impact,
8 HVAC and the Internet of Things especially in
9 Four Things You Need to Know and toxic
When Choosing an HVAC System environments.
Why HVAC Matters

Theres a lot of industry jargon in HVAC.

When the time comes to purchase a new Whether youre working in an office building or
HVAC system, youre guaranteed to come a severe duty petrochemical site, the presence
across technical terms such as psychrometric, of an effective HVAC system can have a truly life-
purge and pressurization, true redundancy, saving impact, especially in hazardous and toxic
and countless others. With time and environments. HVAC systems help to ensure the
experience, you gradually begin to learn the health, safety, and overall well-being of every
critical meanings and functions behind these person who comes to work. They are designed
terms and develop a working understanding to perform tirelessly behind the scenes to instill
of what exactly the Heating, Ventilating, and a sense of confidence and peace of mind among
Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry is all about. those who depend upon their critical functions.

You might learn that through-the-wall HVAC With a purpose this weighty, it is important to
unit designs allow maintenance on the unit learn the most critical aspects of HVAC in order
to be completed from inside the conditioned to ensure the proper systems are chosen to
areaan important advantage in hazardous keep people and resources safe in a variety of
environments and in raised control rooms. You applications.
might also learn that horizontally-mounted
backwardly-inclined blowers are more energy- The following eBook is a resource that will
efficient and quieter than standard blowers. You introduce (or re-introduce) you to some of the
might even learn that HVAC systems are used most common, important aspects of industrial
in just about every industry from wastewater HVAC. The information gained from these pages
treatment to mining to food processing. will help you to further understand HVAC in order
to make an informed and confident decision
Theres a lot to learn about HVAC, but when it when choosing your next HVAC system.
comes down to it, theres only one thing you
need to know to truly understand its purpose:

HVAC is about PEOPLE.

Industrial & Commercial HVAC

There are multiple factors to consider when it comes to choosing an HVAC system that will meet
the needs of specific applications. However, before considering the characteristics and variables of
individual systems, one of the best places to start is understanding the basic difference between the
industrial and commercial markets HVAC systems serve.

While the line between industrial and commercial is often blurred and can be difficult to define, the
following is generally a good rule of thumb for comparison.

As the name implies, applications tend to focus on
heavy duty industrial environments, such as refineries,
wastewater and sewage treatment plants, mining
facilities, and pulp and paper mills, among many others.
Industrial HVAC systems rely upon heavy grade, high-
quality materials and incorporate solid state electrical
components. These systems are very rugged and
can withstand the demands of harsh environments.
Industrial HVAC systems are often installed to cool
process equipment rather than personnel.

Applications tend to focus on retail environments
such as office buildings, retail stores, and restaurants.
However, commercial applications can also include
schools, hospitals, hotels, and physical fitness facilities,
among countless others.

The following section provides a breakdown of the

various industrial HVAC systems. To learn more about
LEARN MORE whether an industrial HVAC system is the optimal
choice for a specific application you have in mind,
click the LEARN MORE link to the left.

Industrial HVAC

What Is a Heavy Duty

HVAC System? redundancy
Industrial grade systems are designed to stand up to
harsh environments with minimal maintenance. To
perform that task, the systems are manufactured using
thicker, heavier grade materials than commercial units
(i.e. 16-gauge vs 20-gauge cabinets). They are assembled
using the highest quality components, such as direct
drive TEFC/TEAO motors and solid state electrical A part in a
components. Further, industrial HVAC systems are
required to maintain their dependability even in highly machine, system,
corrosive atmospheres. In the delicate balancing act
between efficiency, low cost, and reliability, industrial etc., that has the
HVAC systems err on the side of reliability.
same function
What Is Inherent as another part
Redundancy? and that exists
If you are new to the world of HVAC, chances are youve
seen the word redundant appear a number of times in
so that the entire
product literature. While you might think of redundancy
as being something to avoid in writing or speech, it is a
machine, system,
critical concept when it comes to HVAC. etc., will not fail if
In engineering, redundancy is defined as a part in a
machine, system, etc., that has the same function as
the main part fails.
another part and that exists so that the entire machine,
system, etc., will not fail if the main part fails. In short,
redundancy helps to ensure safety-critical systems
(such as HVAC) are reliable and continue functioning
normally in the event of a component failure.

When planning for a critical HVAC application, it is

important to always check with your manufacturer to
ensure that the HVAC system you are purchasing is LEARN MORE
built using inherent redundancy.

Severe Duty & Explosion Proof HVAC
When you hear the term explosion proof used to classify a product, initially
you might think this means the product is able to withstand an exterior
explosion. However, according to the National Fire Protection Association
(NFPA) National Electric Code (NEC or NFPA 70), explosion proof refers to
a products ability to prevent an internal spark or explosion from causing a
much larger blast. In other words, a product must be able to contain any
explosion originating within its housing and prevent sparks from within its
housing from igniting vapors, gases, dust, or fibers in the air surrounding it.
Some explosion proof equipment, such as motors and fans, are engineered
to be non-sparking according to ANSI/AMCA standards through use of non-
ferrous materials and specially designed motors.

This is absolutely critical for HVAC systems that are required to stand up to LEARN MORE
the rigors and harsh conditions of hazardous environments.

Wall Mounted HVAC

Wall mounted through-the-wall style HVAC systems are ideal for
buildings on raised platforms or piers because they can be accessed
through the wall from the inside of the building. This greatly reduces
the labor and equipment costs typically associated with servicing an HVAC
system mounted on the outside of a building, since there is a lesser need LEARN MORE
to deploy scaffolding or man lifts.

Built-in Purge & Pressurization

Purge and pressurization systems are designed to ensure compliance with
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards listed in NFPA 496 and
the National Electric Code (NFPA Section 70). Essentially, these standards
ensure that the atmosphere inside of a building is conducive to allowing
equipment to operate effectively. Meeting these standards requires a
process known as purging and pressurization, which requires a specifically-
designed HVAC system.

Purge and Pressurization HVAC systems are beneficial for wastewater

and sewage treatment plants where high levels of methane can impact
equipment operations. These systems are also critical in the mining industry, LEARN MORE
due to the need to control outward pressure.

What Is a Severe Duty Environment?

A severe duty HVAC environment is as challenging as it sounds and it includes some of the worlds
most difficult conditions. These conditions include corrosive and hazardous environments, as well as
locations with severe temperatures and extreme dirt. Severe duty environments are encountered in
nearly every industry in locations across the globefrom a wastewater treatment facility in the cold,
high elevations of the Northern Hemisphere to a mining operation in the desert.

Mining contains many of the most potentially hazardous
environments in any industry. Extracting resources from
the ground creates an extremely dusty environment
and, in many cases, the fine powder can collect in areas
around buildings and electrical equipment enclosures,
causing safety concerns for both personnel and
equipment. Having the proper HVAC system is critical
to improve corrosion resistance of costly components
and ensure safety requirements for surface installations
are met.


Wastewater Treatment
Wastewater treatment applications contain some of
the most corrosive environments on the planet, due
primarily to high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide
(H2S). Potentially combustible levels of methane can
also create an explosion hazard, which results in the
requirement of corrosion-resistant, explosion proof
HVAC equipment.


Common Hazards &
Corrosive Chemicals
Some of the most common corrosive chemicals encountered in a severe duty environment include
chlorine, sodium, potash (mined and manufactured salts that contain potassium in water-soluble form),
and sulfates. In addition, the list of hazardous chemicals is incredibly extensive.

For example, just in wastewater treatment and collection facilities, the following are chemical and fire/
explosion hazards listed in NFPA 820:

Alcohol Liquefied petroleum gas

Chlorine (gas) Oxygen generation and

Oxygen (combustion aid, storage

oxidizer) Activated carbon (powdered

Diesel fuel, gasoline, and or pulverized)

motor oils Ozone generation

Refineries, petrochemical facilities, mines, grain processing facilities, and other applications each have
their own hazards covered in other NFPA standards.

If you work in an environment that encounters any of the above hazards or if you are unsure as to
whether or not certain chemicals/environments require a specific HVAC system, it is critical to consult
your HVAC manufacturer to determine the system that will perform best for your needs.

Some of the most common corrosive chemicals

encountered in a severe duty environment
include chlorine, sodium, potash, and sulfates.

Can Corrosion Be Prevented?
Even the best HVAC systems can benefit from additional protection when they are subjected to the
repeated harsh conditions of a severe duty environment. This is why it is important to be aware of the
various corrosion resistant coating options available for HVAC systems.

Corrosion Resistant Corrosion Resistant Coil Coatings are applied

directly to the most corrosion-sensitive parts of an
Coil Coatings HVAC systemthe coils.
Technicoat Thermoguard
Heresite Esgard

Condenser Protection Because the condenser sections of HVAC units

remain outside and are therefore constantly
exposed to the environment, systems designed for a
corrosive atmosphere should include multiple types
of protection. Carboline is a coating used in many
industries to coat structural steel, fire escapes, water
towers, bridges, and oil tanks. As a coating for HVAC
units, Carboline provides additional protection to
the components in the condenser areasa section
of equipment that is exposed to ambient conditions
and would otherwise be unprotected.

Copper Fin/Copper Tube T

Copper is generally stronger and more durable
than aluminum, which can help prevent damage
(CuCu) Coils to fins.
Copper provides better heat transfer than
aluminum (92% vs 49% according to some
Copper is inherently more corrosion resistant
than aluminum, since it does not react with
water. Instead, it creates copper oxide which
can helpMORE
protect the copper from additional

HVAC and the Internet of Things

If youre unfamiliar with the term, Internet of Things, HVAC is the perfect context in which to learn
what exactly it is and how it works.

Essentially, the Internet of Things (or IoT) is a network where physical objects (things) are embedded
with sensors that enable gathering and leveraging of data with the end goal of automating processes
and actions. Cloud-based applications (such as Wi-Fi) are essential to the IoT, as they are the platform
where sensor readings are transformed into action.

A familiar example you are likely already aware of is the smart thermostat. These thermostats are
equipped with sensors and Wi-Fi capability, both of which enable the user to adjust the temperature
of a space remotely from a computer, tablet, or smart phone. This results in automation of processes,
increased energy savings, and peace of mind for the user.

This same concept applies to the world of HVAC. By installing web-enabled sensors inside HVAC units,
the user has the ability to monitor the functionality of the system in real time and remotely perform
actions such as alarm diagnostics and starting/stopping the equipment. Due to the fact that many HVAC
units are installed in remote (or multiple) locations, the ability to perform remote diagnostics of alarms
can be essential. This can reduce downtime, minimize expensive on-site service trips, and ultimately
automate operation sequences.

The Internet of Things is a rapidly expanding network that holds exciting implications for owners and
operators of complex HVAC systems. Follow the link below to learn more about the control systems that
are available to bring your HVAC system into the IoT and the next generation of smart technology.

The Internet of Things is a network where

physical objects are embedded with sensors
that enable gathering and leveraging
of data with the end goal of automating
processes and actions.

FOUR THINGS You Need to Know
When Choosing an HVAC System

Required Cooling Load
Required cooling load is determined by the size of the area to be conditioned.
This includes the total interior volume, number of occupants, total heat
contribution of all electrical equipment contained in the area, R/U-values of
wall, floor, and ceiling insulation system, as well as the final geographical
destination of the unit or building.

Hazardous Location
Depending on the types of hazardous materials encountered in the
application environment and their likelihood of being in the atmosphere,
your HVAC system may require gas alarms, chemical filtration, a purge and
pressurization system, stack packages, and various explosion proof/spark
proof application features dictated by the particular area classification.

Likelihood of Corrosive Agents
in the Environment
From salt water to sulfur compounds, corrosive agents are abundant in
many industrial and petrochemical facilities. Knowing the types of corrosion
likely to occur in your application is helpful in determining the cabinet
material (i.e. galvanized steel, stainless steel, or aluminum), filtration (HEPA,
chemical, etc.), and coil and copper coatings best suited to your application.

Unit Configuration
Different applications require different unit configurations, all of which
should be reviewed prior to choosing an HVAC system. These include
vertical wall-mounted (packaged to/through-the-wall), roof mounted, pad
mounted, or split system configurations, which are often useful in buildings
where wall space is limited.

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