Fundamentals of Duct Design

Velocity or Air Velocity Static Pressure Velocity Pressure Total Pressure Friction Losses Aspect Ratio

Air Velocity
It is the velocity of air at which air flows thru the ducts. Generally expressed in FPM or MPS. It is limited based on:
Application of ducting Application of space Sound Level First Cost Operating Cost

Determine the total external static pressure available from the unit at the selected airflow. Determine the available static pressure for duct system by subtracting the grill/diffuser, terminal coil and accessories. Proportion the available static pressure between supply and return air system. – Supply - 75 % and Return - 25 %.

Velocity Reduction Method Equal Friction Method Static Regain Method

Velocity Reduction Method
Step -1 Assign velocity at each section of the duct.The velocity is highest at the fan outlet Selected velocity should not be more than recommended velocity. The velocity will be lowest at the end of the duct Step -2 Obtain circular duct diameter and friction loss from Circular Duct Friction Chart by using air velocity and airflow.

Equal Friction Method
Step -1 Select starting velocity at fan discharge duct. Selected velocity should not be more than recommended velocity. Step -2 Obtain circular duct diameter and friction loss from Circular Duct Friction Chart by using air velocity and airflow.

Equal Friction Method
Step -3 Select equivalent rectangular duct size from Table -6 using the circular duct diameter and equivalent area based on available space Step -4 Select the next duct section by maintaining the same friction loss rate which has been obtained in previous duct section.
Cross check the velocity should not exceed the recommended velocity. Repeat the method for consecutive section

Static Loss Calculation
The static losses of ducts are calculated to determine static pressure of fan required to flow the air thru ducts. The adequate flow can only occur when fan has the flow capacity and static capacity to overcome the Total losses in the duct system. In other words, Fan should be capable enough to produce:
– – Air flow required. and the static energy required to overcome the losses in duct system.

Static Losses
Total Static Losses thru the Ducts are the sum of following losses. Friction losses in Straight ducts Friction & Dynamic losses in Duct fittings Friction & Dynamic losses in duct’s accessories Outlet Terminal Losses (Outlet Pressure)

Static Losses
Frictional Losses thru straight ducts These Losses /100 feet of duct can be obtained directly from Friction Loss Chart at specified flow and size of the ducts selected. Friction & Dynamic Losses thru Duct Fitting These occurs mainly at fittings where velocity or direction of flow changes. The losses in the fittings are more than the straight duct of equal length due to dynamic losses. These are expressed in terms extra equivalent length of ducts. Friction & Dynamic losses in duct’s accessories Losses in attenuators, Terminal Heating coils and fire dampers etc. Taken from manufacturer catalogues

Static Losses
(Frictional Losses)
Total losses are calculated thru the longest duct run including all elbows and fittings.
Effective Eq.Length of Longest Duct run X Friction Loss /100 Feet = -------------------------------------------------------------------------------100

Total Effective Eq.Length = Duct Measured Length + Eq. Length of fittings

Fittings Eq.lengths are obtained from Table -10 & 12.
Friction Loss/100 feet It is the friction loss which was selected/obtained from chart while sizing the ducts.

Total Static Losses
Sum of the losses in supply air ducts and return air ducts. Supply air Ducts losses = S.A.Duct loss + accessories loss + Terminal pressure Return air duct losses = R.A.Duct loss + accessories loss + intake pressure drop

The basic principle is to size a duct run so that the increase in static pressure (due to Velocity reduction) at each branch or air terminal just offsets the friction loss in succeeding section of ducts. The static pressure is then the same before each terminal and at each branch. Static pressure regains due to reduction in velocity.

Axial flow fans produce pressure from the change in velocity of air passing thru the impeller,with none being produced by centrifugal force. In axial flow fan, air flows axially thru the impeller. Type
– – – Propeller fan. Tube axial fan. Vane axial fans (Tube axial fan with vanes)

Fan Laws


AHUs Selection Criteria
Application Availability of space Cooling Capacity Airflow (CFM or L/S) System Static Pressure Loss (Inches of WG or PA) Noise level Location of AHU w.r.t to space Economic Factors

Fan Selection Criteria
Application Availability of space. Air flow Duct System Static loss Noise level Location of Fan w.r.t. conditioned space. Economic factors

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