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14.1 INTRODUCTION reduced airflow or turn down systems. They further
can be connected to single or dual supply air ducts,
The TAB procedures for basic air systems found in have constant or variable airflow on the primary side
Chapter 13 General Air System TAB Procedures are of the VAV boxes with variable air flow on the secon−
the foundation for the testing, adjusting, and balancing dary or distribution side. The variable airflow rate can
of any air distribution system. There are, however, cer− be from 100 percent to 0 percent of full flow. Figure
tain different or additional procedures that should be 14−1 is a system layout for a typical VAV system.
used when balancing other than single duct, constant
volume air systems.

Even though some of the duct systems addressed in Terminal Units
this section are considered obsolete by the HVAC in−
dustry, TAB firms may encounter them when re−bal−
ancing or retrofitting systems in older buildings. VAV terminal units (VAV boxes) can also be classified
as pressure independent and pressure dependent. A
Procedures will follow for: pressure independent device has a volume regulator
which will maintain the proper airflow regardless of
 Variable air volume (VAV) systems
the terminal inlet static pressure. A pressure dependent
 Multi−zone systems device will allow the airflow to vary in accordance
with the inlet static pressure.
 Dual duct systems

 Induction unit systems Diversity Factor
 Process exhaust air systems

14.2 VARIABLE AIR VOLUME (VAV) Usually, VAV systems are designed with a diversity
SYSTEMS factor which means that the supply fan airflow (cfm or
L/s) capacity is less than the sum of the airflows of all
14.2.1 Characteristics Of VAV Systems
the terminal devices. If the diversity factor is not giv− Categories en, it can be approximated by dividing the supply air
fan maximum airflow by the sum of the airflows of all
There are many types of VAV systems but they can fall VAV terminal units and converting the decimal num−
into two basic categories: (1) by−pass systems and (2) ber to a percentage.





HVAC SYSTEMS Testing, Adjusting & Balancing • Third Edition 14.1

Inlet or discharge quence the return air fan operation with the supply air dampers and variable speed drives or motors may be fan (Figure 14−2). load variation occurs. to the apparatus controlling the fan airflow volume. Adjusting & Balancing • Third Edition .3 Closed Loop Control Systems with combination return/exhaust air fans re− quire special attention by the TAB technician. Square trol.2 Primary Air Volume Control 14.2. The controller Building static control senses differential pressures can be set to maintain the difference in the airflow re− between a typical room and outdoors. from the fan to the end of the duct system.2 Open Loop Control The supply air fan installation for a VAV system is sim− Open loop control uses an adjustable span and start ilar to that for constant volume systems except that the point on the supply air and return air fan controls to se− fan air volume must be varied. open loop control. This system requires close attention used to control the system airflow. If the system load varies signif− sensor. Open loop control does not sense the effect of resist− Verify that the controls are set to maintain a constant ance variance between the supply air and return air static pressure at the sensor location.1 Building Static Control rized signals. enabling comparison of linea− 14. root factors should be applied where flow is measured as velocity pressure. The having a second input proportional to the return air fan three common methods used are: building static con− flow to reset the return air fan (Figure 14−3). Build− The closed loop control senses changes in the volume ing pressure will vary if the return air fan volume does of air the supply air fan delivers and uses a controller not vary closely with the supply air fan volume. and increases quired between the supply and return air fan to main− the volume of air handled by the return/exhaust air fan tain building pressurization and accommodate auxilia− as building pressure increases. as the system air− systems.2. 14.2. ry exhaust systems. senses the resistance in the return air system may not vary in di− supply air duct static pressure and sends a signal back rect proportion to resistance in the supply air system. and building pressures may vary when major flow varies.2.2.2. usually located about two−thirds of the way icantly among major zones the supply air fan serves. A static pressure by the TAB technician. Controlling flow eliminates the effects of different fan or vane characteristics.A. OUTDOOR DM AIR DAMPERS SUPPLY AIR RETURN FAN WITH RELIEF AIR AIR DAMPER INLET VANES LOUVER RETURN AIR DM RELIEF FAN WITH AIR DAMPER VAV SUPPLY INLET VANES RETURN SYSTEM AIR SYSTEM FIGURE 14-2 OPEN LOOP FAN VOLUME CONTROL 14. If this difference is also the 14.2. and closed loop control. HIGH STATIC CONTROLLER LIMIT AND COOLING POSSIBLE SIGNAL DETECTOR COIL PRE-HEA T OUTDOOR FILTERS COIL AIR INTAKE STATIC PRESSURE TRANSMITTER O.2 HVAC SYSTEMS Testing.

2.2 Preliminary And Initial Procedures All initial procedures as outlined in the preceeding chapter apply until you get to the total air and traverse 14.A. of total airflow. diversified. Some field adjustment or relocation many cases you have to balance the end items before may be required. This is the most difficult part to understand when you un− The system designer should locate the static pressure dertake the balancing of a system with numerous vari− sensor on the drawings. Pressure depen− Each type of system VAV.2. as it depends to some extent on VAV or constant air volume boxes (CAV). pressure independent. In pressure losses. However.1 Initial Procedures side air and return air damper characteristics. RELIEF AIR RELIEF AIR RETURN AIR FAN RELIEF AIR LOUVER DAMPER WITH INLET VANES SYSTEM FLOW MEASURING STATIONS L H VELOCITY PRESSURE RECEIVER TRANSMITTER RETURN AIR CONTROLLER DAMPER FILTERS COOLING COIL H L O.2.2. 14. Inspect prima− single−point Pitot tubes will give inaccurate readings ry air ducts to ensure adequate entry conditions. pressure de− dent units without controllers may be near the static pendent. Multiple Prior to beginning the TAB work. as the flow through the is incorrect. and non− pressure midpoint of the duct run to ensure minimum diversified system has appurtenances that have to be pressure variation in the system. be at the end of the duct run with the highest static pres− sure loss to ensure maximum fan horsepower savings Terminal boxes have numerous operating parts and while maintaining the minimum required pressure at settings. so does the static for each type of application is included herewith. To assume that they all work and are installed the last terminal unit.3.3 General TAB Procedures the flow controller on the fans will maintain the mini− mum ventilation rate regardless of variations in out− 14.3 . Where pressure inde− adjusted individually before you can ascertain the total pendent units are installed. The calibration of these flow stations should be verified by the TAB technician. since the velocity profile will vary with flow. Adjusting & Balancing • Third Edition 14. verify that the tem− point Pitot tubes or flow measuring stations should be perature control contractor’s sequence of operation used to sense velocity pressure at the fans on VAV sys− compliments the terminal unit or VAV box manufac− tems.2.minimum amount of outside air the system requires. turer’s factory installed control system.3. pressure controllers may system performance. The curse of a balancer in performing his work is that ?he must be finished before he starts". Therefore. CAV. separate balancing procedure various parts of a large system varies. the type of VAV terminal unit used. you attempt of balance the main system.4 Static Pressure Sensor readings. dual duct. 14. STATIC HIGH STATIC OUTSIDE OUTSIDE LIMIT PRESSURE AIR INTAKE AIR TRANSMITTER SUPPLY DAMPERS AIR FAN WITH SIGNAL INLET VANES SELECTOR CONTROLLER FIGURE 14-3 CLOSED LOOP FAN VOLUME CONTROL HVAC SYSTEMS Testing.

SYSTEMS check and provide the required reading to the control contractor.  Turn all boxes to their minimum setting except the box with the longest equiva− a.4 HVAC SYSTEMS Testing. TERMINAL Since the airflow delivered is dependent on the inlet UNIT AT REDUCED static pressure furnished.2. Revisit the fan and confirm all final air read− ings. Test and adjust the fan to design airflow using flow through).5 BALANCING NON-DIVERSITY h.wg(Pa) OVERCOME DESIGN P BY DISCHARGE FOR VAV d. is going to affect the airflow in the system as shown in Figures 14−4 and 14−5. FIGURE 14-5 FAN AND SYSTEM CURVES. Non−diversity systems are balanced similar to constant volume systems. 14. FAN CURVE f. static pressure readings. Repeat steps C through E until all boxes and REDUCED DESIGN air outlets are balanced to project specified AIRFLOW . FIGURE 14-4 FAN AND SYSTEM CURVES. either manual or automatic. P FOR TERMINAL e. The air− TERMINAL flow delivered by the box for any given condition will UNIT P FOR change at any time the inlet static pressure changes. Adjusting & Balancing • Third Edition . With box set at maximum balance individual DAMPER OR TERMINAL TERMINAL UNIT UNIT outlets to design CFM. SYSTEM FAN CURVE CURVES These VAV boxes must have an inlet balancing damper in addition to an automatic temperature control (ATC) damper. thest from the fan or the box that you had the most difficulty in achieving design b. CONSTANT SPEED FAN g. The ATC damper may have limiters to pro− REDUCED DESIGN vide for adjustments of the minimum and maximum position. component unit pressure drops.2. CURVE CONSTANT SPEED reading should be taken and recorded. 14. dexed to maximum flow. Adjust the inlet dampers to each box to obtain DESIGN FAN OPERATING the design airflow and verify the operation of ADDITIONAL POINT the VAV box.14. The TAB technician must realize that every AIRFLOW-CFM (L/S) change in damper setting. the VAV boxes are consid− AIRFLOW ered pressure dependent. P TO BE STATIC PRESSURE in. Put all of the VAV boxes and the supply air fan lent run of duct (this may be the box fur− in a full flow condition. Turn box to minimum and adjust minimum UNIT AT REDUCED stops if providedCif no stops are provided AIRFLOW box will go to ?o" flow. This box should be in− methods previously described. If the system has a static pressure controller.CFM (L/S) allowances (+/– 10%). VARIABLE SPEED FAN FAN OPERATING POINT AT REDUCED AIRFLOW c.wg (Pa) no automatic volume controller to regulate the airflow DESIGN P FOR VAV as the inlet static pressure to the box changes. and operating amperage.4 Pressure Independent VAV System Balancing Procedures DESIGN FAN FAN OPERATING OPERATING POINT Pressure dependent VAV boxes or terminal units have POINT AT REDUCED AIR FLOW AND SPEED STATIC PRESSURE in. Note: If box has flow SYSTEM sensor or voltage coils for measuring flow.

2. sys− did not adversely affect the system total. ings at the box so that resetting can be done without rebalancing all the outlets on the box. Put the system into a mode where it will re− the fan. The flow should be above control device set at maximum. boxes indicated to minimum. h. If the boxes have flow measuring devices tems to balance satisfactorily. Adjusting & Balancing • Third Edition 14. correct airflow available with the system in this condition. Vortex. After the boxes that have been indexed to should be submitted and approved by the system de− maximum have been balanced on both maxi− signer or authorized persons before the TAB work is mum and minimum flow.1 Balancing Diversity Systems minimum airflow requirements at this time. To eliminate possible misunderstandings later. Balance the remaining boxes as outlined in Stagger the boxes so that the boxes at the be. leaving the vious balancing and the new operating mode required boxes at their maximum setting. Generally. discharge damper. Revisit the fan and confirm all final air read− ings. After the fan has been set to its operational volume control device (VFD. component unit pressure drops. balanced at this time. Test and adjust the supply air fan to deliver outlets (whichever is most convenient or the design airflow with the variable airflow accessible). HVAC SYSTEMS Testing. quire approximately the same airflow as the maximum HVAC fan design airflow by plac− g. it may be where in the system under certain operating condi− advisable to take proper static pressure read− tions. Confirm total air flow and performance on outlets. to provide the correct airflow for that box. static pressure readings. Record d.5 . Any procedure used will they should be recorded at this time. design flow. or variable speed motor. If no be a compromise. Diversity systems can be the most difficult VAV sys− e. Starting at the supply air fan end of the sys− this reading appropriately in the balanc− tem. variable speed drive. start at the boxes that have been Spill Damper or Discharge Damper until indexed to their minimum flow and set the ac− design flow is achieved at the box being tual minimum flow. paragraph ?D" of this section until all boxes ginning of the duct runs are at their minimum are balanced. This practice is recommended for all jobs.  Take total air reading at the box or the b. Adjust the 14. but boxes should be indexed to their maximum it is critical on jobs with these particular systems. position and the boxes furthest from the fan are at the maximum position. If tem total should equal the required CFM for this is the case.  Have the controls contractor reduce the c. and operating amperage. the remaining started. i. adjust the inlet damper of each VAV box ing data sheets. These boxes will not be monitored. pressure dependent diversity systems are balanced as follows: NOTE: The total boxes indexed to minimum and max− imum should be equal to the total air flow required at a. Under this mode of operation the fan parame− ing the required number of VAV boxes in a ters should be checked to insure that the pre− minimum airflow position. may be an inlet damper. This device design CFM. sure sensor and advise the control con− tractor of the required setting. an agenda with the proposed balancing procedures f. but only have the mini− mum total flow set so that proper total air  With the box at design obtain the actual flow will be available at the ends of the sys− static pressure reading at the static pres− tem. Do this to each VAV box that has the 100% OA Mode of operation. These VAV boxes and their as− sociated outlets are now balanced. position and the proper number of balanced boxes should be indexed to their minimum position.5. resetting of the fan may be re− the boxes indexed to maximum plus the quired at this time. And. and then balance its downstream terminal i. and shortcomings will appear some− measuring devices are provided.

airflow with the total airflow of the terminal units shown on the drawings.2. j. maintain a constant maximum and minimum airflow as long as the box inlet static pressure is within the de−  Take total air reading at the box or the sign range of the VAV box. minal unit for a given airflow. the box and its associated outlets can be bal− anced. This method of balancing will guarantee proportional If a diversity factor was used in equipment air flow to all outlets under varying system operating selection. factor in the full cooling mode and the re− maining terminals in the fully closed posi− The diversity factor is the percent of the fan total as tion. the VAV system Diversifed Pressure Dependent should be tested. and balanced using the fol− Systems lowing procedures: Pressure dependent systems with diversity may be bal− a. all out− b.6 HVAC SYSTEMS Testing. The manufacturer’s pub− outlets (whichever is most convenient lished data provides the static pressure operating range or accessible). Use this data to verify that adequate pressure is available for the terminal unit  Have the controls contractor reduce the to function properly. They must be adjusted to de− until design flow is achieved at the box liver the specified maximum and minimum airflows. The objective of balancing pres− volume control device (VFD.2. manual. Vortex.1 Inlet Pressures achieving design flow through). obtain the actu− al static pressure reading at the static For simplification. However. 14.2. If this procedure tends to over 8000 CFM and has a connected outlet total of 10. a position that simulates full load. This box should be indexed to maximum Pressure independent VAV boxes have the ability to flow. Set outside air dampers to the minimum posi− let CFM’s are reduced by the diversity factor. The flow should be and the minimum static pressure drop across each ter− above design CFM.5. you must remember to set the static pressure for the true design CFM and not the diversi−  Turn all boxes to their minimum set− fied CFM. Once the diversity factor has been established.2 VAV Downstream System  With the box at design.3 TAB Procedures 100% OA Mode of operation.1 of this into account a diversity factor when selecting manual if you attribute CFM proportionally to the out− the equipment by comparing the fan design lets in the same proportion as the diversity factor. At the conclusion of the balancing. sure independent VAV boxes is the same. After the fan systems have been adjusted in accor− 14. The fac− tion and exhaust and/or return air dampers to tored outlet total will equal the fan or system total. regardless of Spill Damper. consider each pressure indepen− pressure sensor and advise the control dent VAV box and its associated downstream ductwork contractor of the required setting.6. Confirm total air flow and performance on 14.2. If there is ade− cord this reading appropriately in the quate static pressure and airflow available at the box balancing data sheets. inlet.2 Proportional Balancing Of dance with previous procedures. the static pressure check and provide the required reading to the set up will be identical as described earlier in this control contractor.6 Pressure Independent VAV System box furthest from the fan or the box Balancing Procedures that you had the most difficulty in 14. or Discharge Damper the type of controls used.5. perature should be raised. k. being monitored.2. Distribute the closed boxes throughout compared to the outlet total. A fan that is scheduled for the system. set the number of units meeting this parameters. 14.6.2. the system supply air tem− has a diversity factor of 20% (8000/10. adjusted. Determine if the system designer has taken anced as previously outlined in section 14.000 CFM). ting except the box with the longest equivalent run of duct (this may be the 14. Adjusting & Balancing • Third Edition . Re− to be a separate supply air duct system.000 cool the building. If the system has a static pressure controller.6.

It is not ler until the static pressure is at the point re− unusual. mum. static pressure. type. by insuring that the fan motor is not over am− Remember the flow stations are velocity av− perage and running safely. box for a minimum airflow. adjust the controller or reg− sheet including. Often the sufficient static pressure to be able to adjust inlet duct configuration and the type of sensor the VAV boxes and maintain the fan operation will affect the signal sent to the controller. it is possible to balance ditioned space. Vortex. when required. it will be necessary to lock the box. measure the total airflow being deliv− inserted into the proper VAV commissioning ered.) d. When there is inadequate in all duct installations. After the outlets are balanced. If the static pressure controller is operational. Pitot tube traverse may be used if the flow tap value that will maintain fan operation and ad− is not provided or if the inlet condition at the equate pressure to perform a box−by−box bal− box is poor. pick up. Dis− pressure gage to these taps and measure the charge Damper or Bypass Relief Damper). After the successful balancing of the VAV box. sensor pressure drop maximum and mini− balance the outlets. Observe the amper− that the box is delivering the correct total air flow: age of the fan motor for possible overload. however. 1. 3. it is advisable to set the static pressure to a 2. has proven stage of the balancing. as such. This method balance as long as the inlet static pressure to of simulating or providing adequate static the box stays within the design static pressure pressure also applies to balancing systems range given by the manufacturer. HVAC SYSTEMS Testing. DES minimum CFM. When the total airflow is correct. coefficient. actual minimum CFM. Usually boxes and slightly out of balance in the minimum posi− outlets of a system can be completely bal− tion. box size. eraging devices and. Index and verify that the fan volume control Three common methods are available for verification is set for maximum flow. The VAV box and its associated outlets anced to their design maximum and mini− are now in balance and they should stay in mum regardless of fan capacity. Most boxes have taps in the lines going from the flow measuring device (cross flow sensor. Connect a differential static volume control devices (VFD. Because of terminal unit pressure indepen− measure of the air being delivered to the con− dent characteristics. (You cannot average velocity pressures to obtain CFM as they are a square root function. however. gain. If the controller is not op− if there is a better location upstream of the erational. If necessary. set the VAV static pressure to simulate design conditions. for the terminals to be quired in item d. It actual flow differential using the manufactur− is not necessary or required to perform fan or ers curves or charts determine the actual box motor sheave adjustments at this time. all pertinent information concerning the f.) to the controller or regu− be necessary to reduce flow by adjusting the lator on the box. etc. ing damage to the duct system. Adjusting & Balancing • Third Edition 14. address. Field testing. actual ing the manufacturer’s recommended maximum CFM. following the Adjust the static pressure regulating control− manufacturer’s recommendations.c. index adjacent boxes into the minimum airflow position to increase the g. with diversity. DC voltage. depend upon uniform flow not irregular flow. Total compilation of the individual air outlets is the most desirable since this is an actual e. It serves no purpose to traverse in a poor volume control device in such a position that run of duct or in the same poor inlet condition static pressure can be maintained without do− at the box. flow procedures. above. This procedure accounts for all of the boxes on a system. it is required to have this method is not always accurate. The traverse should only be taken ancing procedure. With the VAV box set at the maximum flow balanced condition should be recorded and rate. even if the sys− system transmission losses that are inherent tem pressure is low. If the unit is operating above amperage it will volume probe. At this CFM flow.7 . DES ulator to deliver the specified airflow follow− maximum CFM. Check the total airflow and adjust the minimum setting on the box.

or air stream duct system terminal outlets. The TAB technician must realize that every on the actuator operated damper in the change in damper setting. to minimum (heating) and adjust the controller to achieve design minimum 14. Verify fan and control operation. excessive− using one of the following methods: ly high demand day. Balancing Procedures b. or any other distinguishing operating param− valve with actuator.2. Perform total air and fan set up as described in the General Balancing Procedure section 14.)  Inlet velocity sensor (where furnished).2. in addition to an automatic temperature control (ATC)  Index the VAV box to the minimum damper. place all boxes in the max− position. Adjust minimum airflow us− vide for adjustments of the minimum and maximum ing stops or position limiting devices position.8. VAV box.  Pitot tube traverse of box inlet or dis− charge. Pressure Dependent: Pressure dependent VAV boxes or terminal units have Adjust maximum airflow by using one of the fol− no automatic volume controller to regulate the airflow lowing: as the inlet static pressure to the box changes. the VAV boxes are consid− ered pressure dependent. and an air discharge.1 Balancing Procedures all the boxes. aid and cooperation of the control contractor. it is now the proper time to as− a.8 Turndown (Shutoff) VAV Boxes After the total airflow is adjusted. erased.  Adjust the controller to achieve design provide the control contractor with the re− maximum airflow.8. i. In either diversified or non−di− b. Once the total supply return and outside air lows: have been established it is now time to bal− ance the return system. either manual or automatic. When the eters that would aid in restoring settings if VAV box is pressure independent. If the system has a static pressure controller.2. h. With all boxes at maximum set the return air damper and minimum outside air damper to  Total of air being delivered from the their approximate design position with the outlets. Pressure Independent: l. The ATC damper may have limiters to pro− position.2.2. static pressure furnished. etc. a primary air veloc− they are disturbed. fied system we still want to determine if the unit can go over amperage if all the boxes call c. ity sensor and controller also will be included.8. damper. Upon the successful completion of balancing 14. certain the system total design operating parameters. the actuator operated damper in the Since the airflow delivered is dependent on the inlet VAV box. Index the VAV box quired setting and readings. index the VAV box The basic components of a turndown VAV box consist to maximum (cooling) position and balance down− of a plenum box with a primary air inlet. Adjust total airflow using components provided as fol− k. Adjusting & Balancing • Third Edition . j.2 Airflow Adjustment of this manual.8 HVAC SYSTEMS Testing. Test total airflow delivered by the VAV box for maximum flow (chiller failure.  Adjust the manual volume damper in the primary air inlet or VAV box dis− These VAV boxes may have an inlet balancing damper charge. Note: In the diversi− the minimum position first. Some boxes may have to be set to imum air flow position. The air− flow delivered by the box for any given condition will  Adjust the stops or limiting devices on change at any time the inlet static pressure changes.3 Downstream Ductwork 14. 14. a. or tampered with. Index the VAV box to maximum (cooling) versified systems.7 Pressure Dependent VAV System airflow. is going to affect the airflow in the system. if applicable. 14.