AMCA International Technical

Seminar 2009

System Effects
Presented by:
Joe Brooks, AMCA International, Inc.

The Air Movement and Control Association
International (AMCA), has met the standards and
requirements of the Registered Continuing
Education Providers Program. Credit earned on
completion of this program will be reported to the
RCEPP. A certificate of completion will be issued to
each participant. As such, it does not include
content that may be deemed or construed to be an
approval or endorsement by NCEES or RCEPP.

System Effects, Slide 2

Learning Objectives

 Describe system resistance of components
 Know how a fan interacts with the system
 Define System Effect and System Effect Factor
(SEF)
 Know how to avoid system effect factors

System Effects, Slide 3

Two Components of System Design
 Calculate flow resistance losses for each
component in the system
 Select and position fan to avoid system
effect loss
 If loss cannot be avoided, estimate loss and
select fan for higher pressure

System Effects, Slide 4

Ductwork Example
System Effect Controlled by Inlet and Outlet Conditions

System Resistance
System Effects, Slide 5

Causes of Non-Performing Systems
 System resistance miscalculated.
 Fan not properly selected.
 Defective fan (or fan rating).
 There is a system effect loss.

System Effects, Slide 6

Fan Manufacturer’s Responsibility
 Provide accurate fan performance ratings.
 Provide a fan built within tolerance so that
it is capable of meeting its rating.

System Effects, Slide 7

What is System Effect?
 A factor used to correct for system
induced installation effects.
 The difference in performance between a
fan tested in the laboratory and one tested
in a real installation.

System Effects, Slide 8

Inlet Connections

ASHRAE Guidelines
System Effects, Slide 9

Outlet Connections

ASHRAE Guidelines
System Effects, Slide 10

Outlet Connections

ASHRAE Guidelines
System Effects, Slide 11

What is Missing?
 Only guidelines to avoid losses.
 No way to quantify losses.

System Effects, Slide 12

AMCA Publication 201-02
The bible of
system effects
Generated from
ASHRAE funded
research

System Effects, Slide 13

Credibility Gap
 Are system effects just fudge factors that
the fan manufacturers made up?
 System effect video.

System Effects, Slide 14

Definition of System Effect
 Fan ratings are established using AMCA
210 test codes that are close to ideal
conditions.
 Fans in actual systems are often less than
ideal.
 The difference in performance for the
same fan tested in both conditions is the
“System Effect”.

System Effects, Slide 15

Purpose of Discussion
 Aimed primarily at the fan system
designer
There are two goals:
 Avoid poor fan system configurations
 When optimum conditions cannot be met,
use the “system effect” factors to
estimate any losses during system
design.
System Effects, Slide 16

Why System Effect is Important
 May have to accept deficient performance,
or...
 Speed up the fan (if possible)
 May require more energy to meet performance
 May exceed motor horsepower limit

 Many cause excessive noise
 Many cause excessive vibration

System Effects, Slide 17

D
e
s
i
g
n
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

Normal System Performance

1

Calculated duct system curve
Fan curve

Design volume

System Effects, Slide 18

Deficient Performance With System Effect
System effect at actual
flow volume

 Operating point is at
point 3
 Operating point is not
on fan curve!

D
e
s
i
g
n
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

4
1
3

Calculated duct system
with no allowance for
system effect
Original fan curve

Design volume

Deficient volume
System Effects, Slide 19

Correcting For System Effect
System effect at actual
flow volume

2

Calculated duct system
with no allowance for
system effect
System effect loss at
design volume

4
D
e
s
i
g
n
p
r
e
s
s
u
r
e

Actual duct system with
system effect

1
3

New fan curve
Original fan curve

Design volume

Deficient volume
System Effects, Slide 20

With System Effects Added:
 The fan will be selected for the higher
pressure (no need to speed up).
 The motor will be selected to include the
anticipated loss.

System Effects, Slide 21

What are the Causes of the Losses?
 Inlet losses are caused by:
 Unequal loading of the fan blades (eccentric
flow).
 Improper fan blade attack angle.
 Turbulence which disrupts the flow.

 Outlet losses are caused by:
 Loss of conversion of local high velocity into
pressure.

System Effects, Slide 22

Inlet vs. Outlet Losses
 Inlet induced losses tend to be higher
than outlet losses.
 Losses induced on the inlet can often
exceed 20%.
 Losses as high as 50% have been
reported.

System Effects, Slide 23

Good Flow Conditions for a Fan:
 Straight uniform flow directed only in the
axial direction--on the fan inlet
 For Ducted fans - a straight length of
outlet ductwork

System Effects, Slide 24

AMCA Publication 210-07
Defines standard
methods of testing
fans for rating
purposes

System Effects, Slide 26

How are the Losses Quantified?
 AMCA 201 publishes data for a variety of
configurations
 Most identify a “Loss Curve” which is
based on the configuration and identified
by a letter
 Most also need the air velocity as a parameter.

System Effects, Slide 27

System
Effect Curves

Curve T

Add 0.55
to Static
Pressure

4000 FPM
System Effects, Slide 28

Outlet System Effects
 In addition to the flow velocity, may need
to know:
 effective duct length
 blast area

System Effects, Slide 29

System Effect Curves for Outlet Ducts Axial Fans

System Effects, Slide 30

Fan Outlet Velocity Profile - Centrifugal

System Effects, Slide 31

System Effect Curves for Outlet Ducts Centrifugal Fans

System Effects, Slide 32

Outlet Duct Elbows - Centrifugal Fans
WORSE

BAD
System Effects, Slide 33

S. E. Curves for Outlet Elbows on Centrif.

System Effects, Slide 34

System Effects, Slide 35

S. E. Curves for Outlet Elbows - Axial

System Effects, Slide 36

S. E. Curves for Inlet Elbows - Axial

System Effects, Slide 37

Percentage of Unobstructed Inlet Area

System Effects, Slide 38

Fans and Plenum – Two Losses

Distance L / (Inlet Dia.) gives one loss
Loss factors given for 0.3 to 0.75
clearance

Keep inlet
centerline on
centerline of unit

Note: Spacing for two fans is
important

No loss factors
given
System Effects, Slide 39

Elbows Change the Velocity Profile

Fan inlet here will
create a system effect
loss for any type of
fan

System Effects, Slide 40

Right Angle Turns At Fan Inlet

Inlet with 3-piece
elbow

Inlet with rectangular
inlet Duct
(POOR)

Inlet with special
designed inlet box

All methods will induce some system effect
loss. Some methods are better than others

System Effects, Slide 41

System Effect - Round Inlet Ducts
System Effect Curves
R/D
System Effect Curves
R/D

No
2D
Duct Duct

--

N

5D
Du ct

P

R-S

No
2D
Duct Duct

0.5

O

Q

0.75

Q

1.0

S

R/D

No
2D
Duct Duct

5D
Duct

0.5

P-Q

R-S

T

R-S T-U

0.75

Q-R

S

U

R

S-T

U-V

1.0

R

S-T U-V

2.0

R-S

T

U-V

2.0

R-S

T

U-V

3.0

S

T-U

V

3.0

S-T

U

V-

D
Length
of Duct

5D
Duct

System Effect Curves

D
Length
of Duct

D
Length
of Duct

R

R

R

2 piece mitered
round section

3 piece mitered
round section

4 or more piece
mitered round section
System Effects, Slide 42

Forced Inlet Vortex (Inlet Spin or Swirl)

Pre-Rotating
Inlet Swirl

Counter-Rotating
Inlet Swirl

System Effects, Slide 43

Corrections for Inlet Spin

System Effects, Slide 44

Normalized Pressure-Volume Curve
Note that this is
similar to a variable
system effect.
A new curve is
generated at each
vane setting

System Effects, Slide 46

Pressure Drop Multipliers for Volume
Control Dampers on a Fan Outlet

System Effects, Slide 47

Measured Inlet Sound Power
Vaneaxial Fan System Effect

110

Blade Pass - 135 Hz

100
90
80
70

63

Fan Only

125

250

500 1000 2000 4000 8000

2 PC Elbow on Inlet

2 PC Elbow 3 De
System Effects, Slide 48

System Effect Factors are Real
 When designing your fan/system, do
everything possible to avoid a “system
effect” for efficient use of energy
 When conditions leading to system effect
cannot be avoided, add the calculated
loss to the fan pressure requirement at
the system design stage.

System Effects, Slide 49

Thumb Rules
 Minimum of 2-1/2 Duct Diameters on
Outlet,
 Minimum 3 to 5 Duct Diameters on Inlet,
and
 Avoid Inlet Swirl

System Effects, Slide 50

System Effects, Slide 57

Questions?

System Effects, Slide 59

System Effects, Slide 60