You are on page 1of 20

FLOWNEX APPLICATIONS FOR

THE HVAC INDUSTRY


FLOWNEX APPLICATIONS FOR THE HVAC
INDUSTRY

Contents

1. Introduction .......................................................................................... 1
2. Heating................................................................................................... 2
2.1 Circulation Systems (Hydronic Systems) ................................. 2
2.2 Forced Air Systems ......................................................................... 4
3. Ventilation ............................................................................................. 5
4. Air Conditioning .................................................................................. 8
4.1 Refrigeration Cycle (Heat Pump)................................................ 9
4.2 Dehumidification and Humidification Systems ..................... 11
4.3 Evaporative Cooler ....................................................................... 13
5. HVAC System Integration, Fault Detection and Training ....... 14
......................................................................................................................... 14
5.1 HVAC System Integration........................................................... 14
5.2 Fault Detection and Training ..................................................... 15
6. Specialised HVAC Systems ............................................................. 16
6.1 Environmental Control Systems (ECS) .................................... 16
6.2 Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLS) . 17
7. Concluding .......................................................................................... 19

1. INTRODUCTION

As the name implies, the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning


(HVAC) industry is focused on three central functions namely heating,
ventilating and air-conditioning. These are interrelated in providing
thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air quality within reasonable
installation, operation, and maintenance costs. Additional to these
functions, control plays an important role in maintaining the required
HVAC conditions. HVAC systems can also reduce air infiltration, maintain
pressure relationships between spaces, humidify/dehumidify
environments as well as control air quality with regards to gasses and
other contaminants. HVAC considerations forms an important part in
the design of small, medium and large residential and industrial

1
buildings as well as other specialised systems such as aircraft and marine
environments where safe and healthy environmental conditions are
regulated with respect to temperature, pressure, humidity and air
quality. The HVAC industry relies heavily on thermal fluid systems to
operate, making Flownex ideal for design, optimisation and simulation in
this industry on component, system and complete product level.
Although interrelated, for the purpose of this document, typical Flownex
applications are presented in terms of heating, ventilation, air
conditioning, integration and specialised systems sections.

2. HEATING

Heating systems may form part of a complete HVAC system or may only
serve the single purpose of heating. Heating systems are typically
installed as single local heating units or as complete central heating
systems. Local heating systems typically comprise of a single unit used
to heat a single room by means of electricity or gas. Typical examples
are:

 baseboard heaters
 space heaters
 radiant heaters
 wall heaters
 furnaces (fireplace)
 heat pumps

Central heating systems use a single (or in bigger installations multiple)


heat source located at a central location from where the heat is
distributed throughout the system to the “consumption” points. Typical
systems are circulation systems and forced air systems.

2.1 CIRCULATION SYSTEMS (HYDRONIC SYSTEMS)

Circulating systems (hydronic systems) uses water, steam or oils to


transfer heat from the central heating source to the “consumption”
point. The heating of the circulation fluid is typically done in a type of
heat exchanger such as a boiler where coal, natural gas or other fuels
are burned. Different types of boilers with varying efficiencies are used
such as conventional and condensing boilers. Alternatively if a district
heating system is employed, the fluid may be directly circulated through
the central heating system or heat transferred via a heat exchanger to
the central heating systems’ circulation fluid.

2
Circulation in the system is achieved by means of a pump which
circulates the fluid through the system. In steam systems no pump is
required for circulation purposes. The circulation fluid is carried from the
heating point to the consumption points by means of a distribution
network. The network typically comprises of pipes, isolation valves, bleed
valves, automatic bypass valves, thermostatic control valves, feed and
expansion tanks and radiators. Systems utilising steam may also include
steam traps and pressure relieve valves. The radiators are heat
exchangers in which heat is transferred from the circulation fluid to the
air within the heated environment. Distribution networks may also
comprise of a number of tubes passing within the floor, therefore
heating the floor and the room accordingly. The heated circulation fluid
may also be used for other secondary uses such as heating water in
water heaters for domestic use.

Figure 1: Schematic of a hydronic central heating system

Flownex can be used for the simulation and system design of circulation
central heating systems. Its ability to simulate the temperature
dependence of oil’s (and other fluids’) viscosity and thermal capacity
enables the user to simulate and design the required heating and
pumping capacity of central heating systems. Flownex fundamentally
solves the flow distribution in multi parallel flow paths, thus enabling
system design to optimise distribution network layout for optimum
circulation fluid distribution. Flownex has advanced heat transfer
capabilities taking into consideration the thermal mass of the circulating
fluid as well as that of the distribution network material. Flownex heat

3
transfer capabilities also include conduction and convection heat
transfer as is typically found in radiators and boilers. Heat loss to the
surroundings for various insulating materials and thicknesses is also
calculated for the distribution network. Flownex has two phase fluid
capabilities, enabling the simulation and design of steam systems where
condensation and boiling occurs. The Flownex designer can be used to
optimise the complete system and the Flownex control library used to
simulate and design the systems’ control philosophies and control
components. Apart from Flownex's ability to simulate central heating
systems, it can further be used in the simulation and design of district
heating systems on a much larger scale, encompassing all the
phenomena encountered in central heating systems.

2.2 FORCED AIR SYSTEMS

In a forced-air system, air is used as the heat transfer medium. These


systems rely on ductwork, vents, and plenums for air distribution. The
system uses a central air handler to heat the air. The central air handler
comprises of a filtering system which, depending on the required air
quality, uses different methods to “clean” the air. Heat exchangers/coils
are used to heat the air, either by direct methods such as electrical
resistance heaters, gas firing and heat pumps or indirect heating
methods such as through hot water or steam from a boiler or district
system. The air handler can also employ humidification devices to
humidify the air which may become dehumidified as a result of
continuous heating. These systems may have a mixing chamber where
fresh outside air is introduced into the cycle and may also serve to
regulate the air supply temperature via dampers. These systems use a
fan (blower) to provide the required pressure differential to drive the
flow through the system. On larger air handler systems, heat recovery
devices may be installed to extract heat from the returning air which is
discarded and transfer it to the fresh incoming air. From the central air
handler, the heated air is fed to the supply plenum from where the air is
directed to the rooms which the system is designed to heat. Returning
air is collected via return vents and ducted to the central air handler for
re-heating. Thermostats are used to control the temperature and
distribution of the forced air heating systems.

Flownex can be used for the simulation and system design of forced air
central heating systems. Its ability to determine pressure loss and flow
distribution through multiple parallel flow paths enables the user to
design the system layout and component sizes, damper placement as
well as blower sizing. Flownex has advanced heat transfer capabilities
taking into consideration the thermal mass of the circulating fluid as well
as that of the distribution network material. Flownex heat transfer

4
capabilities also include conduction and convection heat transfer as is
typically found in air handler units. Heat loss to the surroundings for
various insulating materials and thicknesses is also calculated for the
distribution network. Flownex has the ability to simulate air and water
vapour mixtures, enabling the user to determine the relative humidity
throughout the system as well as condensation and evaporation
phenomena. This also enables the user to simulate the effect of
humidifier/dehumidifiers and their effect on the relative humidity. The
Flownex designer can be used to optimise the complete system and the
Flownex control library used to simulate and design the systems control
philosophies and control components.

Figure 2: Schematic of a central forced air central heating system

3. VENTILATION

Ventilation is the process of replacing air to improve indoor air quality


by means of controlling temperature, replenishing oxygen as well as
removing/introducing moisture to control humidity levels. Additionally
ventilation systems also serve to remove and control excessive moisture,
odours, smoke, heat, dust, airborne bacteria, and carbon dioxide as well

5
as to keep building interior air circulating thus preventing stagnation of
the air.

Methods for ventilating a building (or other spaces) may be divided into
natural ventilation and mechanical or forced ventilation. With natural
ventilation a building is ventilated with fresh outside air without the use
of a fan or other mechanical system. This can be achieved with open
able windows, trickle vents and other architectural systems where warm
air in the building can be allowed to rise (stack effect) and flow out of
the building thus forcing cool outside air to be drawn into the building
naturally through openings in lower areas of the building. These systems
use minimal or no energy but may not be able to maintain thermal
comfort in warmer humid climates. Error! Reference source not found.
shows a schematic of a natural draft ventilation system.

Figure 3: Schematic of a natural draft ventilation system

Another form of natural ventilation is the solar chimney. A solar chimney


is a structure which is exposed to the sun (solar irradiation), thereby
heating the chimney and accordingly the air inside the chimney. The less
dense warmer air in the chimney rises, forcing colder air in at the
bottom (buoyancy driven flows). The solar chimney can be used to
ventilate buildings or rooms, drawing in fresh air from the outside
through windows or ventilation openings. Alternatively fresh air can be
drawn in through a geothermal heat exchanger or evaporative cooler
(for example passive downdraft cooling tower), thereby further cooling
the incoming air. Figure 4 shows a schematic of a solar chimney
incorporated into a house design. Ventilation air is drawn in through a
geothermal heat exchange process, thereby aiding to keep the
buildings’ temperature constant.

6
Figure 4: Schematic of a solar chimney and geothermal heat exchange

Mechanical or forced ventilation utilizes fans and other mechanical


means to ventilate spaces by means of extraction or pressurizing the
ventilated environments. Ventilation can be focused on ventilating the
complete building or alternatively on specific high “contaminant” areas
such as local exhaust ventilation. Processes such as welding, machining
and chemical processes may require the removal of “contaminants” at
the point of origin. This may be done by focusing the extraction hood at
the source and extracting the contaminant by means of mechanical or
pressurized ventilation.

To prevent “sick building syndrome”, local and international standards


exist, specifying the ventilation rate. The ventilation rate is normally
expressed by the flow rate of fresh outside air being introduced into the
ventilated building. These may typically be based on a volume flow rate
per minute on a per person or per unit floor area basis or can
alternatively be expressed as the number of air changes per hour.

Ventilation system layout is dependent on type and the function they


have to perform. These systems typically comprise of a distribution
and/or extraction system consisting typically of fans, ducting, air control
components (dampers), distribution/collection vents, filters as well as
control and monitoring systems.

7
Figure 5 Schematic of a mechanical or forced ventilation system.

Flownex can be used for the simulation and system design of ventilation
systems. Flownex has advanced heat transfer capabilities taking into
consideration the thermal mass and buoyancy effects of warmer less
dense air, circulating due to buoyancy effects in solar chimney and
natural ventilation systems. Its ability to determine pressure loss and flow
distribution through multiple parallel flow paths enables the user to
design the system layout, component sizes, damper placement, filter
sizes as well as to perform blower sizing for mechanically ventilated
systems. Flownex has the ability to simulate air and water vapor
mixtures, enabling the user to determine the relative humidity
throughout the system as well as condensation and evaporation
phenomena and where it may occur. The Flownex designer can be used
to optimize the complete system by means of designing for user
specified parameters (for example maximum duct velocity or humidity).
The control library can be used to simulate and design the systems’
control philosophies, control components and monitoring systems as
well as to determine their optimal positions in the system.

4. AIR CONDITIONING

Air conditioning may be described as the process of altering the air


temperature, humidity and quality to more favorable conditions. Air
conditioning in essence is done by any form of cooling, heating,
ventilation or “cleaning” that modifies the condition of the treated air or

8
environment. Since air conditioning is interrelated to heating and
ventilation processes as discussed above, this section will focus
specifically on:

• Refrigeration cycle (Vapour compression cycle)


• Humidification and dehumidification
• Evaporative cooling

4.1 REFRIGERATION CYCLE (HEAT PUMP)

In a typical refrigeration cycle, a heat pump is used to transfer heat from


a low temperature heat source to a high temperature heat sink. This
operation is opposite to natural heat flow which occurs from a high
temperature heat source to a low temperature heat sink.

In a typical refrigeration cycle, the refrigerants’ liquid/gas phase change


at different pressures (and therefore different temperatures) is used to
transfer latent heat at a constant temperature to and from the air. In the
evaporator refrigerant, at a low pressure (and therefore low
temperature), evaporates and therefore absorbs heat from the primary
air stream, thereby cooling it. The evaporated refrigerant is compressed
by means of a compressor (energy input is required for the compression
process) to a high pressure (and therefore high temperature). The high
pressure refrigerant gas is condensed in the condenser and therefore
discards heat to the secondary air stream, thereby heating it.
Depending on the heat flow direction required, the refrigeration cycle
can either be used for heating or cooling of the conditioned area.

Refrigerant in the evaporator heat exchanger may be at a lower


temperature than the air’s dew point temperature. This will result in
vapour condensation, and therefore a reduction in the airs’ humidity.
The combination of cooling the air and condensing water vapour from
the air can be used effectively to control the conditioned area’s
temperature and humidity, therefore providing favourable conditions
according to requirements. Single stand-alone units can be used for
small areas. Larger refrigeration systems may be incorporated into
ventilation systems where the refrigeration system can switch between
heating or cooling mode, depending on the conditioned areas’
requirement and the systems’ control philosophy.

9
Figure 6: Schematic of a typical refrigeration cycle.

Changes in condenser/evaporator side air temperature have an impact


on the efficiency of heat pumps. In geothermal heat pumps, the
condenser/evaporator side (depending on cooling or heating mode) is
connected to a circulation loop buried underground at a depth where
the temperature is more or less equal to the regions’ yearly average
temperature. The circulation loop may employ water, water-glycol
mixtures or other heat transfer fluid which is circulated through the
system by means of a circulation pump and transfers heat to or from the
ground. In turn, the circulation loop exchanges heat with the heat pump
by means of a heat exchanger, thereby providing the heat pump with a
fairly constant condenser/evaporator temperature. This results in
increased heat pump efficiency when compared to air circulating units.

Figure 7: schematic layout of a geothermal heat pump used for residential heating/cooling.

10
Flownex can be used for the simulation and system design of
refrigeration systems. Its ability to simulate single phase flow (gas and
liquid) as well as two phase flow (gas and liquid mixture) enables
Flownex to simulate fluid conditions through the complete cycle. Heat
transfer in the evaporator and condenser can be simulated during the
phase change. Flownex has the ability to simulate the heat exchanger
material resistance as well as the thermal mass of the system which can
aid in the design of secondary circulation loops as is encountered in
geothermal heat pumps. Pressure losses and flow rates can be
simulated for the heat exchanger’s (air and refrigerant sides), enabling
the user to perform component sizing. Flownex has the ability to
simulate air and water vapour mixtures, enabling the user to determine
the temperature and the relative humidity through the system as well as
condensation and evaporation phenomena and where it may occur. The
Flownex designer can be used to optimise the complete system by
means of designing for user specified parameters. The control library
can be used to simulate and design the systems’ control philosophies,
control components and monitoring systems.

4.2 DEHUMIDIFICATION AND HUMIDIFICATION SYSTEMS

Humidification and dehumidification devices are used to regulate the


humidity of conditioned spaces. In areas of high humidity and
temperature, it is often necessary to reduce the humidity levels in order
to increase the comfort levels in conditioned areas. On the other hand,
in colder less humid areas, humidification may be required to create a
comfortable environment for the occupants in the conditioned area.

Dehumidification is typically done by means of passing humid air over a


cooling cool having a temperature lower than the air’s dew point
temperature. Water vapour in the air condenses and flows from the
cooling cools. The air is then reheated to its original dry bulb
temperature, but now has less water vapour and therefore a lower
humidity. The cooling and reheating processes may be done by means
of passing cold and hot water through tubes or alternatively heating by
an electrical heater. A method commonly used is to place both the
evaporator and condenser coils of a refrigeration cycle in the same air
stream which is to be dehumidified. The evaporator coil is placed first,
thereby cooling the air, causing condensation. The air is then passed
through the condenser coils where it is reheated. Due to the added
energy input from the compressor, this type of dehumidifier will have a
higher air outlet temperature when compared to the air inlet
temperature, therefore also acting as a heater. Dehumidifiers may be
used as stand-alone systems, used to dehumidify single rooms or small

11
areas. Alternatively they may be used in conjunction with large HVAC
systems for dehumidification of complete buildings.

Figure 8: Dehumidifier using the refrigeration cycle principle.

Humidification is done by adding water vapour to the air, thereby


increasing the humidity of the air. This can be done by means of boiling
water, vibrating piezo-electric transducers, vaporizing spray nozzles, as
well as wick and pad systems increasing the air water evaporation
interface. In essence these systems increase the air-water interface area,
thereby allowing the water to evaporate, effectively increasing the air’s
humidity. Humidification devices can be used as single stand-alone
systems, used to humidify a single room or small areas as well as larger
units incorporated into HVAC systems used to condition large building
or home environments. Error! Reference source not found. shows a
picture of an

Figure 9: ultrasonic humidifier, utilizing


a piezo-electric transducer to generate
water mist.

12
Flownex can be used for the simulation and system design of
humidification and dehumidification systems. Apart from the design of
dehumidifiers (section 4.1), the actual humidity distribution throughout
conditioned areas can be determined by means of Flownex. This
enables the user to determine the required humidification/
dehumidification to be conducted as well as the placement of these
devices in larger systems. The effects of changing environmental
conditions on the humidity and distribution thereof throughout the
system can also be determined. The control library can be used to
simulate and design the systems’ control philosophies, control
components and monitoring systems as well as to determine the correct
placement of measurement equipment.

4.3 EVAPORATIVE COOLER

Evaporative cooling uses the latent heat of vaporization of water to cool


air by means of evaporating water. This process is employed in an
evaporative cooler and is especially suited for warm dry climates. In
these dry weather conditions, the evaporative effect may also increases
the humidity of the air to more comfortable conditions.

A typical evaporative cooler comprises of a fan, drawing air through a


wetted medium. The wetted medium increases the air-water contact
area, thereby increasing the amount of water evaporated and therefore
the amount of cooling achieved by means of evaporation. Water is
continuously circulated through the wetted medium to ensure that it is
kept wet at all times. As water is evaporated by the system, it needs to
be replenished with fresh water to ensure that the system does not dry
out.

Figure 10: Evaporative cooler. 13


Flownex can be used for the system design of evaporative cooling
systems. As with humidification and dehumidification devices, Flownex
can be used to determine the temperature and humidity distribution
through ventilation systems employing evaporative coolers. The design
and component selection of the evaporative cooler can be optimised
using Flownex designer software. The effect of changing ambient
conditions on the evaporative coolers’ performance can be simulated
and the resultant effect on the complete ventilation system determined.

5. HVAC SYSTEM INTEGRATION, FAULT DETECTION AND


TRAINING

5.1 HVAC SYSTEM INTEGRATION

Although heating, ventilation and air conditioning is discussed as


separate sections above, these are typically integrated into a complete
HVAC system, comprising of all the above mentioned sections. Since all
of these systems have an influence on each other and ultimately
perform functions to provide thermal comfort and acceptable indoor air
quality, the integration of the individual systems needs to be optimised
to provide a complete HVAC system performing optimally and
according to the requirements.

Figure 11: schematic of a building employing


a complete HVAC system to provide thermal
comfort and acceptable indoor air quality to
the occupants.

14
Flownex can be used for the simulation and system integration design of
complete HVAC systems. Flownex has the ability to handle multi fluid
networks, enabling the simulation of refrigeration cycles, district heating
systems as well as the conditioned air and water vapour cycles in a
single complete network representing the HVAC system. This allows the
user the ability to determine the integrated performance and the effect
that the individual systems have on each other, thereby aiding in
component sizing, selection and HVAC system optimisation. The
Flownex designer and optimiser capabilities can be used to design the
system for specific parameters while other parameters are optimised to
reduce cost and increase performance. Flownex has transient solution
capabilities, allowing the user the ability to determine the HVAC systems’
performance with changing ambient conditions as well as to determine
the systems’ response to changing user thermal set-points and
individual sub systems performance variation. The Flownex control
library can be used to simulate control philosophies and measurement
positions of existing HVAC systems as well as to design new control and
measurement systems for new and existing HVAC systems.

5.2 FAULT DETECTION AND TRAINING

In large HVAC installations, system and component faults such as


leaking valves, stuck dampers and underperforming subsystems can go
undetected due to the systems’ control compensating for the fault.
These errors may result in increased power consumption and even
component or system degradation, resulting in increased energy cost
bills and costly HVAC system repairs.

Flownex can be used as a fault detection tool. Comparing the actual


HVAC systems’ performance to the Flownex models’ performance
prediction on a regularly basis, can effectively point out possible faults.
Depending on the level of detail the Flownex model is simulating, the
model can also be used to point out possible areas to focus on during
fault finding, reducing maintenance cost and system downtime.

The Flownex model of an existing HVAC system can additionally be


adapted to act as a training simulator for operating and maintenance
personnel. Such a model can be used for operator training on larger
HVAC systems without affecting the actual plant. Additionally it can be
used to investigate the effect on the complete system of component
downtime due to maintenance.

15
6. SPECIALISED HVAC SYSTEMS

Due to the complexity of certain HVAC systems, they may be regarded


as a specialised field on their own. Two examples are presented in this
section illustrate Flownex’s versatility in the complete HVAC industry.

6.1 ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL SYSTEMS (ECS)

Aircraft operate at varying altitudes, thus resulting in changes in ambient


pressure and temperature surrounding the aircraft. Environmental
Control Systems (ECS) control the temperature, pressure and air flow
into the aircraft, which is essentially a pressure vessel and includes the
cockpit, cabin and interior compartments. ECS also performs cabin
altitude and cabin pressure differential monitoring. Typical transport
aircraft ECS comprises various systems performing functions such as
bleed air supply, bleed air leak detection, air conditioning and
distribution, avionics cooling, cabin pressure control and oxygen supply.
The system may also encompass wing anti-ice systems.

In a typical ECS systems, bleed air is bled from a compressor stage in


the aircraft engine. The bleed air pressure is controlled with a pressure
regulating valve which may include reverse flow protection. Bleed air
temperature is controlled via a fan air valve which controls the fan (cold)
air flow through the pre-cooler, which is an air-to-air heat exchanger
used to cool the bleed air. The bleed air is then conditioned, which
involves the regulation of temperature and humidity of the air, and then
supplied to the cockpit and the cabin zones at the required mass flow
rate. Provision is also made for recirculation of a portion of the cabin air
whilst maintaining the required oxygen level and removal of particulate
and odours in the re-circulated air by means of filtering systems. A cabin
pressure control system regulates the pressure within the cabin by
controlling the outflow of air by means of one or more outflow valves
and a control system.

Flownex can be used for the design, optimisation and simulation of the
ECS. The components making up the ECS can be simulated with
Flownex, which allows simulation from basic design to detail design of
individual components up to systems level. Flownex’s ability to simulate
bleed air from the compressor, through the pressure regulating valve,
pre-cooler, air conditioning system including filers and dehumidifier
through to cabin pressure control makes it ideally suited for design and
optimisation of the complete system. Transient simulation capability
allows simulation and design of the system parameters during transient

16
events such as altitude change (change in system inlet pressure and
temperature as well as humidity levels) under normal operating
conditions as well as for abnormal (accident scenarios) conditions.
Flownex has the ability to mix gasses such as air and water vapour, thus
allowing the prediction of condensation and icing on components and
can also be used for humidity control design to achieve the required
humidity levels. The design of control philosophies for complete
systems or individual components can be done while control
philosophies for existing systems can be improved by means of
simulation before hardware is fabricated.

Figure 12: Schematic of a typical transport aircraft ECS.

6.2 ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL AND LIFE SUPPORT


SYSTEMS (ECLS)

The Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) systems aboard a


manned spacecraft or space station are responsible for maintaining a
liveable environment within a pressurized crew compartment. These
subsystems are required to sustain a liveable environment by providing

17
oxygen, drinking water, waste processing, temperature control,
ventilation and CO2 removal.

Typically most of these ECLS systems rely on thermo fluid cycles which
include pressurized gas containers, filters, heat exchangers,
humidifying/dehumidifying equipment, fans, control valves, pumps,
storage tanks, piping and ducting as well as control equipment to
manage and maintain the required conditions to sustain life.

Figure 13: ECLS system process flow diagram of the International Space
Station.

Flownex can be used for the design, simulation and optimization of


ECLS systems in spacecraft. Flownex has the ability to track the gas
concentration of multi gas mixtures in a system, thus enabling the user
to determine gas concentrations during transient events. Flownex also
has the ability to mix gasses such as air and water vapour, thus allowing
the prediction of condensation and icing on components and can also
be used for humidity control design to achieve the required humidity
levels. Flownex allows the simulation of multiple subsystems with each
other consisting of multiple fluids (gas, liquid and two phase fluids) in a
single network, thus assisting in the integration design of complete
ECLS. Flownex can assist with the design and simulation of insulation
systems in order to regulate, control and minimise temperature
variations within spacecraft. The Flownex control library can be used to
simulate and design control philosophies of the ECLS. The ability to
simulate complete systems allows the user to simulate off design and
accident conditions to determine subsystem interaction under abnormal
conditions.

18
7. CONCLUDING

In general, Flownex is well suited for the design and simulation of


thermal hydraulic networks such as those encountered in the HVAC
industry. Its standard library of components applicable to HVAC industry
networks (pumps, fans, valves, dampers, pipes, air ducts, custom losses,
heat exchangers, tanks, heat transfer elements, compressors etc.) can
easily be configured to resemble existing and/or design new thermal
fluid networks. Additional to these, a series of fundamental components
such as convective, radiative and conductive heat transfer components
as well as custom pressure loss and other custom components exist
which can be used to simulate components fundamentally.

Flownex has an extensive library of fluids applicable to the HVAC


industry. It enables the user to create gas mixtures as well as customised
fluids to allow tracking of gasses in a HVAC system. The two phase fluid
library has an extensive range of refrigerants, allowing the user the
capability to simulate refrigeration cycles. The fluid library also has air
and water vapour fluid mixtures, allowing the calculation of dry and wet
bulb temperatures, humidity as well as evaporation and condensation
processes throughout the HVAC system.

Flownex has a control and electrical library, thus enabling the user to set
up complete integrated networks of the whole system. The Flownex
designer capability allows the user to design for multiple parameters in a
single designer run. This allows the user to design for a number of
design specifications (such as maximum duct velocity and humidity) in a
single simulation.

In conjunction with the engineering model, a Graphical User Interface


(GUI) can easily be set up, enabling HVAC system optimisation and fault
finding as well as operator training for operational personnel of large
HVAC systems. The Flownex solver allows fast simulation speeds (in the
order of real time solution, depending on network size), thus enabling
fast and on site simulation and decision making.

19