# HVAC System Design. The Sequential Process for Calculating Loads, Sizing Appliances & Designing Distribution Systems

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1 HVAC System Design The Sequential Process for Calculating Loads, Sizing Appliances & Designing Distribution Systems Mark Hutchins Conservation Services Group

2 ACCA Method ACCA - Air Conditioning Contractors of America Publish a series of manuals with step by step instructions detailing how to size and design a residential heating and cooling system Manual-J - heating & cooling loads Manual-S - sizing appliances Manual-D - sizing duct systems Manual-T - termination devices/locations

3 Manual-J Step by step process to calculate heating & cooling loads Simple approach for dealing with infiltration Breaks cooling load into sensible and latent loads for proper A/C sizing Output should have necessary information to properly size appliances

4 Heat Transfer How does the heat/cooling get in or out Conduction: transfer of heat when two materials touch each other Convection: movement of heat on air currents (drafts) Radiation: Movement of heat between two objects that aren t touching All 3 types must be accounted for in H/C Calculation

5 Step 1: What are the Loads on the House? Conductive Convective Latent Loads Internal Gains Duct Losses & Gains Ventilation (if necessary)

6 Calculating Conduction Heat Transfer UAT- U A delta T is the basic formula for calculating heat transfer due to conduction. HTM- Manual J combines the u-value and the delta T and calls it a heat transfer multiplier. Manual J has complete set of tables with HTMs listed for windows, walls, doors, floors and ceilings for both heating and cooling. Cooling HTMs take radiation gains and losses into account for windows. Orientation matters.

7 Calculating Convective Losses/Gains Determine ACHnat for summer and winter (BD or Table 5). ACH, Volume and Delta T are used in a series of simple equations to calculate convective HTM for heating & cooling. These HTMs are multiplied by the window and door area. Summer infiltration is broken into latent and sensible gain.

8 Manual-J Worksheet 1 Name of Room Entire House 2 Running ft. of Exposed Wall 3 Room Dimension, ft 4 Ceiling Ht, Direction Room Faces TYPE OF Exposure 5 Gross a Const. No. HTG HTM CLG Area or Length HTG Btuh CLG Exposed Walls and Partitions b c d 6 Windows and Glass Doors (Heating) a b c d

9 Plan or Site Takeoffs Need to calculate the area of the exterior walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors These areas in conjunction with the HTMs for that component, give us the load per hour in BTUs for that assembly Blower Door and Duct Leakage Tests Can do a whole house calculation for appliance sizing Room by Room for duct design or length of baseboard needed in a room

10 Duct Losses Duct Losses (heating) are in Table 7A. Use air delivery temp to decide if Case1 (below 120) or Case 2 (above 120) Duct location Level of insulation Winter Design Temp Derive a multiplier to use on house, zone or room load

11 Duct Gains Duct Gains are listed in Table 7B Delivery temp. is not a factor Location Insulation Level Modifier to multiply house, zone or room cooling load

12 Room by Room Loads Entire house loads allow us to size appliances Room by Room loads allow us to size distribution systems

13 Manual-S Using Calculated Loads to Size Heating & Cooling Appliances

14 Step 2: How Do I Get Started? Accurate load calculation (no rules of thumb) Operating conditions at the building site

15 Operating Conditions at Building Site The capacity of DX coils will be affected by outdoor air temp. for air source The capacity of water source cooling will be affected by entering water temp. Should choose the Manual-J 2 ½ % dry bulb temp for AS. (some exceptions) For water source, local groundwater temp for open loop or for closed loop the water temp of the circulating water.

16 Estimating Cooling CFM Calculate the sensible heat ratio (SHR) sensible load/total load Determine best temperature for supply air - SHR is high, LAT can be warmer (58 F) - SHR is low, LAT has to be cooler (54 F)

17 SHR, LAT & DT How are they related? -SHR <.80, the LAT=54 and the DT is 21 F -SHR>.80 but<.85, the LAT=56 and the DT is 19 F -SHR >.85, the LAT=58 and the DT is 17 F

18 Sensible Heat Equation Once the TD is calculated the cooling CFM can be calculated. CFM = Sensible Load/1.1 x TD - Cooling CFM will determine blower size

19 Blower Performance Data Supplied by the equipment manufacturer Can be a table or fan curve Should show the designer -Model number and btu capacity -CFM flow at different speeds -CFM flow should vary by ESP

20 Sample Blower Table Model Speed.4 ESP.5 ESP.6 ESP Footnotes 1. Filter pd included 2. DX coil not included HC40-60 Low Med High HC40-80 Low Med High HC60-80 Low Med High

21 Equipment Selection Summary Data Design Loads: Latent & Sensible, Heating Room Conditions: Dry bulb cooling, relative humidity, dry bulb heating Outdoor Conditions: Summer dry & wet bulb, winter dry bulb Indoor Coil: Dry bulb cooling, wet bulb cooling, dry bulb heating Air Flow Estimate: TD from Table 1-4 & CFM from equation Water Temperature: Late Summer, late Winter

22 AHRI Certification Data AHRI data is only for comparing performance of various makes and models of cooling units and heat pumps It is not the same as manufacturer s data AHRI only provides a units TC not its latent or sensible capacities Coil performance is based on CFM, AHRI no data AHRI data is not site specific

23 Choosing the Appliances Has to satisfy BTU (both heating and cooling (latent & sensible)) Fan has to be able to supply needed CFM at a reasonable ESP Read the footnotes on the table/chart, these will tell you what air side devices have or have not been accounted for

24 Air Source Heat Pumps Sizing should be based on the cooling load After equipment selection a balance point diagram can be used to evaluate heating Equipment selection for ASHP cooling is same as for cooling only

25 Balance Point Diagram Balance point of a system is when the capacity of the heat pump = the load on the structure. The balance point can be found by graphing the structure heat load and the system heating capacity on the same graph. The intersection is the balance point.

26 Manuals D & T ACCA Manual D Method for Sizing Heating & Cooling Ducts

27 Manual D Loaded with very good information that every residential HVAC designer should know If you only ever read a few chapters, make it 3 & 8 Appendix 3 is crucial to process Appendix 1 has all of the design equations

28 Design Considerations Rambling Floor Plans: Have very diverse loads at diverse times. Should zone. Multi-Level Plans: Connected by open stairwells or balconies. Heat stratification is a problem. Careful design and continuous low speed fan operation can minimize this. Incompatible Construction Features: Rooms on slabs, conditioned basements, attic rooms, etc. Incompatible Glass Areas: East glass vs. West glass, thermostat placement etc. Summer Loads vs. Winter Loads: Seasonal branch damper adjustments Occupants

29 Supply Duct System Types Classified by Geometry, Supply Outlet Location, and Material 1. Geometry: Trunk & Branch, Radial, Perimeter Loop (pros & cons Sect. 1-6,7,& 8) 2. Supply Outlet Location: Perimeter, Ceiling, Inside Wall. (ACCA Manual T) 3. Material: Many different materials. Generally see hard duct, flex duct, duct board, PVC (high velocity)

30 Return Duct System Types Return duct systems primarily described by number of return openings. 1. Central 2. Multiple 3. Every Room

31 Secondary Return Classifications Location: High Wall, Low System (floor or low wall) Place returns where convenient and aesthetic. Returns DO NOT affect air movement or patterns in the room (Manual T, section 7). Geometry: like supplies, they can be trunk & branch, radial, perimeter

32 Duct Efficiency Try to place appliances and ducts in conditioned space. If ducts are run in unconditioned space they must be sealed and insulated. Thoroughly sealed, lots of insulation Cooling ducts must have vapor retarders Seal and insulate the ducts

33 Air Side Devices Secondary equipment consists of optional components that are added to the base system. DX coils Dampers Humidifiers Media, HEPA, or Electro-Static Filters Secondary equipment causes an increase in the resistance to the air flow. This must be accounted for.

34 Duct Performance The resistance that the blower works against is created by the air side devices and the duct work. Duct performance can be graphed also. When duct performance and blower performance are plotted on the same graph, we get the system operating point. If the system operating point does not supply the required CFM: Change the fan speed Alter the duct geometry Change the duct material (flex to hard)

35 Pressure Drop vs. Friction Rate Pressure Drop is equal to the total pressure loss that occurs between any two points in a system (expressed in IWC). Friction Rate is equal to the pressure loss that occurs between two points in a system that are separated by a specific distance. Friction charts and slide rules use 100 as the reference distance (expressed in IWC/100). To use the duct calculator, pressure drop data must be converted to the friction rate that is associated with 100 of duct run.

36 Step 3: Friction Rate Equation Friction rates are not chosen Friction rates are calculated a 6-inch duct will deliver 100 cfm I always design my system using.1 as the friction rate FR= Available Static Pressure x 100 TEL

37 Basis for Calculating Available Static Pressure Based on Blower Performance Data Air Side Accessory Device Pressure Drop Data These two sets of data are used to determine Available Static Pressure (ASP) ASP is the amount of pressure left over after all of the air side device pressure drops have been subtracted from the ESP that a fan can produce.

38 Determining TELs The effective length of a duct run is calculated by adding the straight lengths and the equivalent lengths associated with fittings or configurations. Fitting and configuration lengths are listed in Appendix 3 of Manual D. It is not necessary to calculate length of every run. Only the longest run of the supply and return. Sometimes longest runs can be determined by inspection Don t jump to conclusions, fittings can have a major impact on length. Friction Rate is determined only by the longest runs. Add the longest supply and return runs to determine system TEL.

39 A Few Miscellaneous Items It is not recommended to design systems with a friction rate below.06 or above.18. The velocity of the air inside the system is an important consideration. Supply velocities between feet per minute (fpm) Return velocities below 700 fpm There should be a few bends between the fan and the return grille for sound attenuation. When trunk velocity drops to half of the original trunk velocity, it is time to reduce the trunk. New trunk size can be obtained by placing friction rate on remaining CFM in trunk and reading the size off the duct sizing scale.

40 CFM vs. Velocity Noise caused by excessive velocity or poor throw caused by too low a velocity are important considerations. Final duct size may be a compromise between getting adequate airflow and keeping the run quiet. A duct sizing worksheet has been developed to help with this process.

41 TEL Worksheet

42 Sizing Worksheet

43 Designer Responsibilities Ensure that the pressure drop associated with the longest possible circulation path (longest supply TEL + longest return TEL) does not exceed the ASP. Ensure that the velocity that is associated with any section does not exceed the recommended limit.

44 Balancing Dampers Systems could be designed with multiple friction rates, each rate applying to a particular run. very time consuming to design velocity would be an issue non-standard run out sizes would be required These factors make this impractical, therefore a properly designed system will not be selfbalancing. Balancing dampers must be installed at the BEGINNING of each supply run out.

45 Manual T Definitions -Primary air: air from the supply -Secondary air: room air -Throw: distance supply air travels before its velocity drops to a specified rate (usually 50 fpm) -Drop: distance bottom edge of air stream falls by the time it reaches throw distance -Net Free Area: actual opening area in a grille, register or diffuser

46 Too Much Information Manual-T is loaded with detailed information about how termination devices affect primary and secondary air entrainment. Way too much info. to detail here, so let s hit the most important points

47 Returns Return grilles (how big): CFM/desired velocity. Residential velocity around 300 fpm for gross area (400 for net free), so if we needed to move 1000 cfm/300fpm=3.33 square feet of gross area or 2.5 square feet of net free area. Consider natural convective air movement when considering return locations.

48 Supplies Perimeter floor supplies for heat in cold climates (less important for tight, well insulated homes). Near windows to warm/cool surfaces offset radiant cooling/heating. Exact location determined by HVAC equipment location, building configuration and architecture. Specific model and size by manufacturer s spec. -must be able to deliver desired CFM -noise level must be acceptable (velocity<700 fpm) -Check throw keep velocity below 50 fpm in occupied zone -Check pressure drop (form Manual-D ASP calculation)

49 Final Step: Balance the System Even a well designed and installed system will not perform satisfactorily if it is not balanced. Balance by the Percentage of Load method. Need the load calculation Need a method of accurately measuring register air flow.

50 Contact Information Conservation Services Group

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