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UNDERSTANDING

FREE COOLING
Its Implication in DOAS Design

DESICCANT ROTORS INTERNATIONAL


Free Cooling
 The concept of free cooling in HVAC has been age
old however its relevance has only come to lime
light after burgeoning energy prices and advent of
green buildings.

 There is no single definition of free cooling and


therefore it is perceived and applied differently.

 The presentation aims at unveiling the free cooling


concept by applying it on a DOAS (Dedicated
Outdoor Air System) and understanding its
dependency on the ambient air conditions with
relevance to different geographical climates.

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Free Cooling
Free cooling is perceived differently by different people. To
many it is the natural cooling energy available. It does
require a datum to ascertain what is free cooling energy and
then only one can actually start looking at this very concept
of free cooling.
The main sources of natural cooling are:
1. Deep seawater
2. High altitude coldness
3. Nighttime coldness
4. Subterranean geothermal energy
From an HVAC perspective the definition of free cooling is
also very subjective. Nighttime coldness and the very
differential between design conditions & ambient conditions
form the basis for free cooling.
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Defining Free Cooling with an HVAC Perspective

Free cooling takes place when the external


ambient air enthalpy is less than the indoor air
enthalpy and the cool external air is transferred
to the building envelope.
Free cooling is used in conjunction with air
systems. Air conditioning systems either provide
supply air using:
• A mixture of outside air and re-circulated air
or
• 100% outside air system or in other terms
dedicated outdoor air system.
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Free Cooling – Conventional Mix Air System

 Free cooling may be used with mixed outside air and


re-circulation systems by the use of modulating
dampers. Dampers are provided on the outside air
intake duct work and the recirculation duct work.
 In the event of cool outside air the quantity of outside
air is increased and the quantity of re-circulated air is
reduced to provide the required supply air
temperature.
 In this way cooling by means of refrigeration
equipment is avoided all together at certain times of
year and often at night.

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Free Cooling – Dedicated Outdoor Air System

 DOAS (Dedicated Outdoor Air System) is an


independent unit for bringing in all the fresh air
directly to each occupied space.
 It is based on the divide and conquer approach,
wherein all the external latent & sensible load is taken
care by the DOAS unit.
 In addition special DOAS units also condition the
fresh air to a dew point where it is lower then the
room design dew point, enabling the dehumidified
fresh air to also take care of internal latent load.

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Free Cooling – Psychometric Chart

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Understanding Applied Free Cooling Concept
Psychometric Chart simplifies the concept of free cooling and how it
is applied:
- The room air & return air are maintained at
75°F / 50%RH
- Red line depicts RA enthalpy line.
- The triangle shown in Blue depicts free
cooling on account of enthalpy which can be
calculated using the enthalpy difference of
Outside Air & Return Air.
- The area with Supply Air temperature less than the room return air
temperature will give sensible free cooling calculated by difference
in DBT between Outside Air & Return Air.
- The area when the air condition is less than the dew point temp of
room is area with free latent load. This area has constant load not
based on enthalpy difference. There is no free sensible cooling in
this area.
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DOAS Approach

 Divide the load into the two components i.e. Sensible & Latent.
 Approach commonly referred to as the “Divide and Conquer”.
 All the latent load brought by outside air is removed at the source & also air is supplied at a
low dew point to take care of internal latent load.
 The parallel internal cooling devices are then limited to take care of sensible cooling load.

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Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS) Approach
In the DOAS approach the importance shifts to
configuration and type of fresh air Depending on
different geographical reasons & several other
considerations various DOAS have been configured,
designed & developed by using one or more of the
following:
• Enthalpy wheel
• Cooling Coil
• Active dehumidification wheel
• Passive dehumidification wheel
• Sensible Wheel
• Evaporative Cooling Pads
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Global Weather Profile
Geographical weather profiling is an understanding
and study of various measurable parameters which
govern the natural climatic conditioning of the various
geographical region.
Profiling plays a major role in assisting & applying
HVAC concepts & designs with a weather profile
backdrop.
With this viewpoint the globe can be divided into three
main regions
• America
• Europe
• Asia
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Phoenix, USA

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Vienna, Austria

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Mumbai, India

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Geographical Weather Profile
From the figures, it is apparent that the HVAC
designs are built around considering:
 America region as cooling centric
 Europe region as heating centric
 Asia region as moisture centric
for a good & viable HVAC design.
The weather profile of any city is the key
driving parameter in assessing free cooling
value, the climate offers to any HVAC design.
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Free Cooling
Applied on Global Weather Profile

 The author now intends to apply the free


cooling concept for the most energy efficient
DOAS design (enthalpy wheel, cooling coil &
passive desiccant dehumidification wheel).

 To further demonstrate the importance of


hourly data the study is further categorized
into a 24 x 7 scenario and a normal working
hours 9am to 5pm scenario.

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Free Cooling Hours Calculation (24x7 Hour)
Air Flow - 1000 CFM
Outlet Grains - 46 gr/lb
Bin Data-Boston Design Design Lat
Total Load / Total Load
OSA MCDB FREQ Latent Load Load in
BTU/lb (Tons) (Tons HR)
Humidity (°F) Hrs/YR in Tons Tons-Hr
122.5 78.1 37.9 1 3.62 3.6
117.5 77 36.9 12 3.24 38.9
112.5 74.3 35.4 34 2.69 91.4
107.5 74 34.5 32 2.35 75.4
102.5 75.8 34.2 66 2.24 148.1
97.5 74 33 126 1.80 226.6
92.5 74.1 32.2 183 1.50 274.8
87.5 72.5 31.1 322 1.09 352.3
82.5 71.4 30 318 0.69 218.2
77.5 71.1 29.2 312 0.39 121.5 Exhaust Air Return Air

Passive Desiccant Wheel


72.5 68.4 27.7 341 -0.17 -56.9

Enthalpy Wheel
67.5 65.1 26.1 398 -0.76 -302.6
62.5 63 24.8 480 -1.24 -596.3
57.5 60.9 23.6 357 -1.69 -602.4
52.5 60.6 22.7 315 -2.02 -636.6

Cooling Coil
47.5 58.2 21.3 399 -2.54 -1013.5 Outdoor Air Supply Air
42.5 56.4 20.1 385 -1.07 -412.3 -1.67 -644.5
37.5 51.3 18.1 479 -1.07 -513.0 -2.13 -1021.7
32.5 47.8 16.5 557 -1.07 -596.5 -2.45 -1363.5
27.5 42.5 14.4 713 -1.07 -763.6 -2.93 -2085.5
22.5 40.3 13.1 722 -1.07 -773.3 -3.12 -2254.8
17.5 36.1 11.4 683 -1.07 -731.5 -3.50 -2391.2
12.5 31.5 9.5 764 -1.07 -818.2 -3.92 -2991.1
7.5 24 6.9 637 -1.07 -682.2 -4.59 -2923.8
2.5 13 3.5 124 -1.07 -132.8 -5.58 -691.9
1406 8760 -3.2 -5423.5 1550.8 -19576.4
-24999.9

Free cooling and energy are calculated based on OA & Room Enthalpy Difference Load
(Tons) = (CFM x {OA Enthalpy-Room Enthalpy} x 4.45)/12000

Free cooling below supply air dew point and energy is calculated based on OA & Room
Temp. Difference Load (Tons) = (CFM x {OA Temp.-Room Temp.} x 1.08)/12000

Free cooling below supply air dew point and latent energy is calculated based on Room
grains & Supply Air grains Difference of Coil Load (Tons) = (CFM x {46-64.9} x
0.68)/12000, 46 is DOAS outlet grains & 64.9 is Room grains

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Free Cooling Hours Calculation (9 to 17 Hours, Sunday Off)
Air Flow - 1000 CFM
Outlet Grains - 46 gr/lb
Bin Data-Boston Design Design Lat
Total Load / Total Load
OSA MCDB FREQ Latent Load Load in
BTU/lb (Tons) (Tons HR)
Humidity (°F) Hrs/YR in Tons Tons-Hr
122.5 78.1 37.9 1 3.62 3.6
117.5 73.9 36.1 1 2.95 2.9
112.5 77.1 36.1 9 2.95 26.5
107.5 75.6 35 9 2.54 22.9
102.5 80.3 35.3 15 2.65 39.8
97.5 78.8 34.2 43 2.24 96.5
92.5 77.6 33.1 78 1.84 143.2
87.5 77.5 32.3 103 1.54 158.5
82.5 74.8 30.8 102 0.98 100.2
77.5 75.9 30.3 107 0.80 85.3
72.5 71.9 28.6 110 0.17 18.4 Exhaust Air Return Air

Passive Desiccant Wheel


67.5 69.1 27.1 125 -0.39 -48.7

Enthalpy Wheel
62.5 66.2 25.6 119 -0.95 -112.5
57.5 64.3 24.4 106 -1.39 -147.4
52.5 64.9 23.8 136 -1.61 -219.4

Cooling Coil
47.5 63.3 22.6 153 -2.06 -314.9
Outdoor Air Supply Air
42.5 62 21.5 126 -1.07 -134.946 -1.17 -147.4
37.5 53.5 18.6 140 -1.07 -149.94 -1.94 -270.9
32.5 51.2 17.3 190 -1.07 -203.49 -2.14 -407.0
27.5 46 15.3 214 -1.07 -229.194 -2.61 -558.5
22.5 42.5 13.7 212 -1.07 -227.052 -2.93 -620.1
17.5 39.2 12.1 212 -1.07 -227.052 -3.22 -683.1
12.5 33.7 10 257 -1.07 -275.247 -3.72 -955.3
7.5 26.2 7.4 217 -1.07 -232.407 -4.39 -953.1
2.5 16.5 4.3 23 -1.07 -24.633 -5.27 -121.1
578 2808 -1704.0 697.8 -5559.3
-7263.3

Free cooling and energy are calculated based on OA & Room Enthalpy Difference Load
(Tons) = (CFM x {OA Enthalpy-Room Enthalpy} x 4.45)/12000

Free cooling below supply air dew point and energy is calculated based on OA & Room
Temp. Difference Load (Tons) = (CFM x {OA Temp.-Room Temp.} x 1.08)/12000

Free cooling below supply air dew point and latent energy is calculated based on Room
grains & Supply Air grains Difference of Coil Load (Tons) = (CFM x {46-64.9} x 0.68)/12000,
46 is DOAS outlet grains & 64.9 is Room grains

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Free Cooling Hours in different cities across the globe
24x7 Hours 9 to 17 Hours (Sunday Off)
City Name
No “Free Cooling No “Free Cooling
Free Cooling Hours Free Cooling Hours
Hours” Hours”

Abu Dhabi, UAE 6417 2343 2526 282

Bangkok, Thailand 8561 199 2774 34

Boston, USA 1406 7354 578 2230

Cairo, Egypt 3894 4866 1301 1507

Calcutta, India 7101 1659 2398 410

Chennai, India 8760 0 2808 0

Frankfurt, France 577 8183 268 2540

Hanoi, Vietnam 6505 2255 2115 693

Istanbul, Turkey 2238 6522 840 1968

Johannesburg, South Africa 1980 6780 944 1864

Karachi, Pakistan 6051 2709 1963 845

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 8760 0 2808 0

Manila, Philippines 8759 1 2808 0

Melbourne, Australia 558 8202 162 2646

Moscow, Russia 528 8232 175 2633

Munich, Germany 475 8285 252 2556

Mumbai, India 8417 343 2687 121

New Delhi, India 5227 3533 1844 964

Sau Paulo, Brazil 5226 3534 1911 897

Shanghai, China 3427 5333 1077 1731

Taipei, Taiwan 6073 2687 2117 691

Tokyo, Japan 2470 6290 973 1835

Vienna, Austria 648 8112 293 2515

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Observation from Bin Data Analysis
 As it is evident from the above data the free
cooling hours basis from one city to another, the
DOAS (Dedicated Outdoor Air System) should
be intelligently designed to decide its control
logic on the basis of free cooling available.

 This can be done by controlling various


parameters like supply air fan speed and bypass,
different component speed and cooling coil
temperature. An intelligent DOAS will offer a
logical solution to ably utilize advantage of free
cooling.

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Conclusion
 Through this paper we attempt to
elaborate free cooling from an HVAC
perspective and are inclined to find that
the most important criteria that governs
free cooling is the ambient and design air
condition.

 The HVAC equipment system design will


govern the way free cooling is applied in
the most effective manner.

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