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# 12/7/2017 #HVAC: Five easy steps to estimate External Static Pressure drop in HVAC Ducts using Equal Friction

## #HVAC: Five easy steps to estimate

External Static Pressure drop in HVAC
Ducts using Equal Friction Method.
Published on October 22, 2015

## Patrick AbdelMasih Follow

510 39 80
Head of Mechanical at DAR, B.SC. Mech. Eng., MIEAust, LEED …

Introduction

Estimating External Pressure drop in ducts is not a rocket science and it can be done
easily in order to select the HVAC equipment's fan (Air Handling Unit, Fan, Heat
Recovery Unit, Fan Coil Unit...etc). and accordingly, we can estimate as well the power
consumption of such units.

## What is External Static Pressure in HVAC Ducts?

External Static Pressure is basically and simply the pressure required by a fan (which is
located inside any HVAC equipment) to deliver the required / design airflow rate and to
allow air to reach from the HVAC equipment to the Index point so air can be discharged
with the required airflow rate even from the furthest air outlet (Diffuser or air
grille...etc).

To do that, the fan pressure has to overcome all loses in the direction of air flow (on the
Suction and Discharge side of the equipment) including, but not limited to, Volume
control dampers, Fire Dampers, pressure drop in air outlets, duct pressure drop, duct
fittings losses, External air louvers (in case if the Outside Air Intake duct has the index
run compared to the return air duct)... etc.

What are the steps and how to estimate / calculate the External Static Pressure of a
fan?

12/7/2017 #HVAC: Five easy steps to estimate External Static Pressure drop in HVAC Ducts using Equal Friction Method. | Patrick AbdelMasih | Puls…

The below calculation sheet is very simple and all engineers can make use of it in order
to estimate / calculate the External static pressure (ESP) of any fan in any HVAC
equipment.

It is worth mentioning here also that ESP has to be calculated for different scenarios to
ensure that the calculated ESP is indicating the maximum ESP drop in the system which
will be for the Index run noting that the index run is not mandatory to be the furthest
duct run. The index run is the duct run with the maximum external static pressure drop.

Steps:

1. Write down the "DESIGN AIR FLOW RATE" required for the fan. In case of heating
or air conditioning equipment, the design air flow rate is what you get from the cooling

## 2. Go to the friction loss chart in any HVAC standard (CARRIER,..etc) or use a

ductulator to get the "FRICTION FACTOR" based on the required air velocity and duct
size according to the area of application (low pressure system, Medium pressure
system,...etc).

3. Measure the duct length from the design drawings and check different scenarios as
explained above since the index run is the duct run with the maximum external static
pressure drop not the furthest duct run.

4. Use the below sheet (very simple excel sheet) to add the duct run, friction factor,
pressure drop in all accessories and repeat the same for the return air duct (or Fresh air
duct whichever is greater).

## So, External Static Pressure drop value can be defined accordingly.

12/7/2017 #HVAC: Five easy steps to estimate External Static Pressure drop in HVAC Ducts using Equal Friction Method. | Patrick AbdelMasih | Puls…

## What about detailed calculation for External Static Pressure drop?

Detailed calculation is not far different from the above calculation except for the exact
equivalent length of each and every duct fitting that will be used instead of the safety
factors.

A lot of programs are available nowadays in the market to do this exercise. However,
this easy way as summarized in the table is friendly to use, easy, error margin is always
not exceeding 5% of the detailed calculated value.

Detailed calculation for the equivalent length of duct fittings can be found in HVAC
standards such as SMACNA standard, CARRIER binder Part (2) Chapter (2),...etc.

Patrick AbdelMasih
Head of Mechanical at DAR, B.SC. Mech. Eng., MIEAust, LEED AP BD+C Follow
12 articles

## Md. Maksudur Rahman 3h

Design Engineer of HVAC in Dhaka Bangladesh.

12/7/2017 #HVAC: Five easy steps to estimate External Static Pressure drop in HVAC Ducts using Equal Friction Method. | Patrick AbdelMasih | Puls…

## Andrew Abel 5mo

Support engineer at United CoolAir Corporation
? I cant believe this was published, how was this supposed to inform anyone of anything? This
mystery"sheet" can be made by anyone That has a ductulator and excel. I wish there was a thumbs
down button.

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