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Psychrometrices deals with thermodynamic properties of moist air and uses these properties To
analyze conditions and processes involving moist air.
Psychrometry is the study of the properties of mixtures of air and water vapour.

Psychrometric ratio
The psychrometric ratio is the ratio of the heat transfer coefficient to the product of mass
transfer coefficient and humid heat at a wetted surface. It may be evaluated with the
following equation:
k y cs

• r = Psychrometric ratio, dimensionless
• = convective heat transfer coefficient, W m-2 K-1

• = convective mass transfer coefficient, kg m-2 s-1


• = humid heat, J kg-1 K-1

Important psychrometric properties:
Dry bulb temperature (DBT):
Dry bulb temperature (DBT) is the temperature of the moist air as
measured by a standard thermometer or other temperature measuring instruments.

Saturated vapour pressure (psat) :

Saturated vapour pressure (psat) is the saturated

partial pressure of water vapour at the dry bulb temperature. This is readily available in
thermodynamic tables and charts. ASHRAE suggests the following regression equation
for saturated vapour pressure of water, which is valid for 0 to 100oC.

ln( )=
Psat C1
+ C 2 + C3T + C 4T 2 + C5T 3 + C 6 ln T

psat = saturated vapor pressure of water in kiloPascals
T = temperature in K
The regression coefficients c1 to c6 are given by:
c1 = -5.80022006E+03, c2 = -5.516256E+00, c3 = -4.8640239E-02
c4 = 4.1764768E-05, c5 = -1.4452093E-08, c6 = 6.5459673E+00

Relative humidity (Φ):

Relative humidity (Φ) is defined as the ratio of the mole
fraction of water vapour in moist air to mole fraction of water vapour in saturated air at
the same temperature and pressure. Using perfect gas equation we can show that:

Φ pv
p sat

Where, =Partaial pressure of water vapour


=Saturation pressure of pure water vapour at same

p sat


Relative humidity is normally expressed as a percentage. When Φ is 100 percent, the air
is saturated.

Dew-point temperature:
If unsaturated moist air is cooled at constant pressure, then the
temperature at which the moisture in the air begins to condense is known as dew-point
temperature (DPT) of air. An approximate equation for dew-point temperature is given by:

4030( DBT + 235)
− 235
4030( DBT + 235) ln Φ

where Φ is the relative humidity (in fraction). DBT & DPT are in oC. Of course, since from its definition, the
dew point temperature is the saturation temperature corresponding to the vapour pressure of water vapour,
it can be obtained from steam tables or using Eqn

ln( )=
Psat C1
+ C 2 + C 3T + C 4T 2 + C 5T 3 + C 6 ln T

Degree of saturation μ:

The degree of saturation is the ratio of the humidity ratio W

to the humidity ratio of a saturated mixture Ws at the same temperature and pressure.

Ws t, p

The enthalpy of moist air is the sum of the enthalpy of the dry air and the
enthalpy of the water vapour. Enthalpy values are always based on some reference
value. For moist air, the enthalpy of dry air is given a zero value at 0oC, and for water
vapour the enthalpy of saturated water is taken as zero at 0oC.

h = ha + WH g = C p t + W (h fg + C pw t )

where , cp = specific heat of dry air at constant pressure, kJ/kg.K

cpw = specific heat of water vapor, kJ/kg.K
t = Dry-bulb temperature of air-vapor mixture, oC
W = Humidity ratio, kg of water vapor/kg of dry air
ha = enthalpy of dry air at temperature t, kJ/kg
hg = enthalpy of water vapor3 at temperature t, kJ/kg
hfg = latent heat of vaporization at 0oC, kJ/kg

The unit of h is kJ/kg of dry air. Substituting the approximate values of cp and hg, we obtain:

h = 1.005t + W ( 2501+ 1.88t )

Specific volume:

The specific volume is defined as the number of cubic meters of moist

air per kilogram of dry air. From perfect gas equation since the volumes occupied by the
individual substances are the same, the specific volume is also equal to the number of
cubic meters of dry air per kilogram of dry air.
Ra Ra T
v= T= m 3 / kg
Pa Pt − Pv

Psychrometric Processes
In the domestic and industrial air conditioning applications some psychrometric
processes have to be performed on the air to change the psychrometric properties of air
so as to obtain certain values of temperature and humidity of air within the enclosed
space. Some of the common psychrometric processes carried out on air are: sensible
heating and cooling of air, humidification and dehumidification of air, mixing of various
streams of air, or there may be combinations of the various processes.
Illustrating and analyzing the psychrometric properties and psychrometric processes by
using the psychrometric chart is very easy, convenient and time saving. In the next few
paragraphs we shall see some of the most commonly employed psychrometric processes
in the field of HVAC and how they are represented on the psychrometric chart.

Sensible Cooling of the Air

Cooling of the air is one of the most common
psychrometric processes in the air conditioning systems. The basic function of the air-
conditioners is to cool the air absorbed from the room or the atmosphere, which is at
higher temperatures. The sensible cooling of air is the process in which only the sensible
heat of the air is removed so as to reduce its temperature, and there is no change in the
moisture content (kg/kg of dry air) of the air. During sensible cooling process the dry bulb
(DB) temperature and wet bulb (WB) temperature of the air reduces, while the latent
heat of the air, and the dew point (DP) temperature of the air remains constant. There is
overall reduction in the enthalpy of the air.
In the ordinary window or the split air conditioner the cooling of air is carried out by
passing it over the evaporator coil, also called as the cooling coil. The room air or the
atmospheric air passes over this coil carrying the refrigerant at extremely low
temperatures, and gets cooled and passes to the space which is to be maintained at the
comfort conditions.
In general the sensible cooling process is carried out by passing the air over the coil. In
the unitary air conditioners these coils are cooled by the refrigerant passing through
them and are called also called evaporator coils. In central air conditioners these coils
are cooled by the chilled water, which is chilled by its passage through the evaporator of
the large air conditioning system. In certain cases the coil is also cooled by the some gas
passing inside it.
The sensible cooling process is represented by a straight horizontal line on the
psychrometric chart. The line starts from the initial DB temperature of the air and ends
at the final DB temperature of the air extending towards the left side from high
temperature to the low temperature (see the figure below). The sensible cooling line is
also the constant DP temperature line since the moisture content of the air remains
constant. The initial and final points on the psychrometric chart give all the properties of
the air.

Sensible Heating of the Air

Sensible heating process is opposite to sensible
cooling process. In sensible heating process the temperature of air is increased without
changing its moisture content. During this process the sensible heat, DB and WB
temperature of the air increases while latent of air, and the DP point temperature of the
air remains constant.
Sensible heating of the air is important when the air conditioner is used as the heat
pump to heat the air. In the heat pump the air is heated by passing it over the condenser
coil or the heating coil that carry the high temperature refrigerant. In some cases the
heating of air is also done to suit different industrial and comfort air-conditioning
applications where large air conditioning systems are used.
In general the sensible heating process is carried out by passing the air over the heating
coil. This coil may be heated by passing the refrigerant, the hot water, the steam or by
electric resistance heating coil. The hot water and steam are used for the industrial
Like the sensible cooling, the sensible heating process is also represented by a straight
horizontal line on the psychrometric chart. The line starts from the initial DB temperature
of air and ends at the final temperature extending towards the right (see the figure). The
sensible heating line is also the constant DP temperature line.

Industrial applications
Although the principles of psychrometry apply to any physical system consisting of gas-
vapor mixtures, the most common system of interest is the mixture of water vapor and
air, because of its application in heating, ventilating, and air-
conditioning and meteorology. In human terms, our comfort is in large part a
consequence of, not just the temperature of the surrounding air, but (because we cool
ourselves via perspiration) the extent to which that air is saturated with water vapor.