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DA13 Review 2012 Public Review Draft AIRAH

AIRAH DA13 - FANS SELECTION, APPLICATION, OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE PUBLIC REVIEW Draft 301112 Page 1
AIRAH APPLICATION MANUAL
DA13 - FANS SELECTION, APPLICATION, OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
PUBLIC REVIEW DRAFT
Introduction
This draft is open for industry/public review from 30
th
November 2012 until 5pm 11
th
January
2013. The draft is available in WORD and PDF formats.
Comments are invited on the technical content, wording and general arrangement of the DA.
Comments may be submitted using WORD (track changes), PDF (comment facility) or
separately from the document. Please indicate relevant clause numbers for each comment.
Where you consider that specific content is too simplistic, too complex or incorrect please
suggest an alternative. Please provide supporting reasons and suggested alternative
wording for each comment. Where appropriate, changes will be incorporated before the
manual is published. If the draft is acceptable without change, an acknowledgment to this
effect would be appreciated.
If you know of other persons or organisations that may wish to comment on this draft
Standard, please advise them of its availability.
Further copies of the draft are available for download from AIRAH www.airah.org.au

All comment should be submitted to vince@airah.org.au before

5pm 11
th
January 2013



Vince Aherne
Project manager

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Mechanical Engineering Services Application Manual
FANS SELECTION, APPLICATION, OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE
________________________________________________________________________
Contents
1. SCOPE AND INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................... 5
1.1. INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................................... 5
1.2. SCOPE ...................................................................................................................................................... 5
1.3. PURPOSE .................................................................................................................................................. 5
1.4. APPLICATION ............................................................................................................................................. 6
1.5. THE SYSTEMS APPROACH ............................................................................................................................. 6
1.6. FAN TERMINOLOGY ..................................................................................................................................... 7
2. FANS, AN OVERVIEW ............................................................................................................................... 8
2.1. SECTION INTRODUCTION .............................................................................................................................. 8
2.2. HOW A FAN WORKS .................................................................................................................................... 8
2.3. FAN TYPES ................................................................................................................................................ 8
2.4. CENTRIFUGAL FANS .................................................................................................................................... 9
2.5. AXIAL FANS ............................................................................................................................................. 13
2.6. JET FANS ................................................................................................................................................. 16
2.7. MIXED-FLOW FANS ................................................................................................................................... 16
2.8. ROOF MOUNTED FANS .............................................................................................................................. 17
2.9. CROSS-FLOW/TANGENTIAL-FLOW FANS ........................................................................................................ 17
2.10. HIGH PRESSURE FANS............................................................................................................................ 17
2.11. SMOKE-SPILL FANS ............................................................................................................................... 18
2.12. BIFURCATED FANS ................................................................................................................................ 18
2.13. INDUSTRIAL FANS ................................................................................................................................. 18
2.14. FAN DRIVES ........................................................................................................................................ 21
2.15. ELECTRIC MOTORS ............................................................................................................................... 22
2.16. MOTOR VENTILATION AND PROTECTION ................................................................................................... 24
2.17. FAN ACCESSORIES ................................................................................................................................ 25
2.18. OTHER ACCESSORIES ............................................................................................................................. 28
2.19. STANDARD FAN ARRANGEMENTS ............................................................................................................. 28
3. FANS AND ENERGY USE ......................................................................................................................... 30
3.1. SECTION INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................ 30
3.2. FANS AND ENERGY .................................................................................................................................... 30
3.3. FAN MOTORS AND ENERGY ......................................................................................................................... 30
3.4. MINIMUM ENERGY PERFORMANCE STANDARDS ............................................................................................. 31
3.5. BCA SECTION J ........................................................................................................................................ 31
3.6. SYSTEM DESIGN AND ENERGY ...................................................................................................................... 32
3.7. SELECTING FANS FOR OPTIMUM ENERGY USE ................................................................................................. 34
3.8. FAN CONTROL AND ENERGY ........................................................................................................................ 35
3.9. RIGHT SIZING ........................................................................................................................................... 35
3.10. FAN EFFICIENCY ................................................................................................................................... 35
3.11. ESTIMATING FAN ENERGY USE ................................................................................................................ 35
3.12. CALCULATING ENERGY SAVINGS WITH VARIABLE SPEED DRIVES (VSDS) ........................................................... 36
3.13. CALCULATING RETURN ON INVESTMENT .................................................................................................... 37
3.14. LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS (LCA) ................................................................................................................... 38
4. FAN PERFORMANCE .............................................................................................................................. 39
4.1. SECTION INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................ 39
4.2. FAN TESTING ........................................................................................................................................... 39
4.3. TEST CONFIGURATIONS .............................................................................................................................. 40
4.4. FAN PERFORMANCE .................................................................................................................................. 40
4.5. FAN PERFORMANCE CURVES ....................................................................................................................... 41
4.6. PUBLISHED AND CERTIFIED PERFORMANCE CURVES.......................................................................................... 43
4.7. FAN SELECTION AIDS ................................................................................................................................. 43
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4.8. INTERPRETING FAN MANUFACTURER DATA .................................................................................................... 43
4.9. DERATING MANUFACTURERS DATA .............................................................................................................. 44
4.10. FAN LAWS .......................................................................................................................................... 44
5. SYSTEM DESIGN AND SPECIFICATION .................................................................................................... 46
5.1. SECTION INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................ 46
5.2. CONSTANT AIR VOLUME ............................................................................................................................ 46
5.3. VARIABLE AIR VOLUME .............................................................................................................................. 46
5.4. THE SYSTEMS APPROACH ........................................................................................................................... 46
5.5. THE SYSTEM EFFECT ............................................................................................................................... 48
5.6. SAFETY FACTORS ...................................................................................................................................... 49
5.7. DEFICIENT FAN/SYSTEM PERFORMANCE ........................................................................................................ 49
5.8. FANS IN SERIES ........................................................................................................................................ 50
5.9. FANS IN PARALLEL .................................................................................................................................... 51
5.10. FAN STALL .......................................................................................................................................... 53
5.11. FAN SURGE ......................................................................................................................................... 53
5.12. SYSTEM HUNTING ................................................................................................................................ 53
5.13. SYSTEM STABILITY ................................................................................................................................ 54
5.14. OPTIMISING SYSTEM DESIGNS ................................................................................................................. 54
6. FAN SELECTION...................................................................................................................................... 55
6.1. SECTION INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................ 55
6.2. FAN SELECTION ........................................................................................................................................ 55
6.3. FANS AND SYSTEMS .................................................................................................................................. 55
6.4. FAN PERFORMANCE .................................................................................................................................. 55
6.5. THE SYSTEM RESISTANCE CURVE .................................................................................................................. 55
6.6. OPERATING POINT .................................................................................................................................... 56
6.7. BEST EFFICIENCY POINT (BEP) .................................................................................................................... 57
6.8. MATCHING FANS TO SYSTEM DUTY .............................................................................................................. 57
6.9. SELECTION FOR SMOKE-SPILL APPLICATIONS ................................................................................................... 59
6.10. FAN NOISE .......................................................................................................................................... 59
7. CONTROLLING FANS .............................................................................................................................. 62
7.1. SECTION INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................ 62
7.2. THE CONTROL IMPERATIVE ......................................................................................................................... 62
7.3. METHODS OF CONTROLLING FANS ............................................................................................................... 62
7.4. FACTORS AFFECTING CHOICE OF CONTROL METHOD......................................................................................... 62
7.5. SPEED CONTROL ....................................................................................................................................... 63
7.6. VARIABLE SPEED ELECTRIC MOTORS .............................................................................................................. 64
7.7. MULTI-SPEED CONTROL ............................................................................................................................. 65
7.8. ON-OFF CONTROL .................................................................................................................................... 65
7.9. VARIABLE PITCH BLADES ............................................................................................................................ 65
7.10. INLET VANE CONTROL ........................................................................................................................... 65
7.11. MULTI-STAGED FAN OPERATION ............................................................................................................. 66
7.12. CONTROL BY CHANGING FAN CHARACTERISTICS .......................................................................................... 66
7.13. CONTROL BY VARYING SYSTEM RESISTANCE ............................................................................................... 66
7.14. CONTROL USING A BYPASS ..................................................................................................................... 67
7.15. MEASUREMENT FOR CONTROL ............................................................................................................... 67
7.16. INTELLIGENT FANS ................................................................................................................................ 67
7.17. MONITORING FANS .............................................................................................................................. 68
8. INSTALLATION AND COMMISSIONING .................................................................................................. 69
8.1. SECTION INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................ 69
8.2. GENERAL INSTALLATION REQUIREMENTS ....................................................................................................... 69
8.3. INSTALLATION SPECIFICATION ..................................................................................................................... 69
8.4. FAN INSTALLATION ................................................................................................................................... 69
8.5. COMMISSIONING ..................................................................................................................................... 70
8.6. COMMISSIONING RECORDS ........................................................................................................................ 72
8.7. DESIGNERS ROLE IN COMMISSIONING ........................................................................................................... 73
8.8. OPERATING AND MAINTENANCE MANUALS .................................................................................................... 73
9. OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE .......................................................................................................... 75
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9.1. SECTION INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................ 75
9.2. TRANSITION FROM CONSTRUCTION TO OPERATION.......................................................................................... 75
9.3. OPERATION ............................................................................................................................................. 75
9.4. MONITORING OPERATIONS ........................................................................................................................ 76
9.5. INTELLIGENT FAN/SYSTEM DIAGNOSTICS ....................................................................................................... 76
9.6. MAINTENANCE ........................................................................................................................................ 77
9.7. SYSTEM TUNING ....................................................................................................................................... 79
9.8. SYSTEM MANAGEMENT ............................................................................................................................. 79
9.9. RECOMMISSIONING .................................................................................................................................. 80
9.10. UPGRADES ......................................................................................................................................... 80
9.11. OPTIMISING EXISTING FAN SYSTEMS ......................................................................................................... 80
10. THE FAN DUTY AND SYSTEM EFFECT ................................................................................................. 82
10.1. SECTION INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................... 82
10.2. THE SYSTEM EFFECT ............................................................................................................................. 82
10.3. FAN INSTABILITY .................................................................................................................................. 82
10.4. SYSTEM EFFECT FACTOR ........................................................................................................................ 82
10.5. SYSTEM EFFECT FOR DUCTS AT THE FAN INLET ............................................................................................ 83
10.6. SYSTEM EFFECTS AT FAN OUTLET ............................................................................................................. 86
10.7. SYSTEM EFFECT OF PLENUMS OR ENCLOSURES ........................................................................................... 90
10.8. EXAMPLE CALCULATION OF SYSTEM EFFECT .............................................................................................. 93
APPENDICES................................................................................................................................................... 95
APPENDIX A FAN LAWS ............................................................................................................................. 96
APPENDIX B MEASURING PRESSURE AND FLOW ...................................................................................... 97
APPENDIX C SPECIFYING FANS ................................................................................................................ 101
APPENDIX D FAN PERFORMANCE TROUBLE SHOOTING .......................................................................... 105
APPENDIX E GLOSSARY AND ACRONYMS ............................................................................................... 107
APPENDIX F INGRESS PROTECTION AND IMPACT RESISTANCE RATING .................................................. 109
APPENDIX G RESOURCES ......................................................................................................................... 111

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1. Scope and introduction
1.1. Introduction
Welcome to the AIRAH Application Manual on the selection, design, installation, operation
and maintenance of fans, fan products and fan systems.
Fans are an increasingly important consideration in new building design and existing building
renovation because of direct links to thermal comfort, indoor air quality, building performance
and energy management. Fans are an essential feature of most HVAC&R systems.
Whether installed in a free intake, free discharge or ducted configuration, fans move the air
necessary to ventilate and to achieve the heat transfer required in both internal climate
control and external heat rejection. Building ventilation systems, toilet and kitchen exhausts,
air conditioning systems, car park ventilation systems and the list goes on; fans surround us.
Fans are ubiquitous in modern society and, combined, consume significant quantities of
electrical energy.
Fan energy use is now a significant issue for the Heating, Ventilation Air conditioning and
Refrigeration (HVAC&R) industry. The primary energy efficiency opportunities for fan
applications include the use of high efficiency motors, the application of speed variation for
system control, improved design and installation of the air distribution system, and the
sealing of ducts and buildings to achieve the full system performance potential.
New fan motor designs and minimum energy performance standards, new international fan
classification standards, new control strategies, new or revised energy efficiency
requirements for fan applications in the National Construction Code, and mandatory
requirements for smoke spill fans are all issues that need to be considered and understood
by system designers, installers, operators and maintainers.
This Application Manual provides an overview of the entire fans in HVAC&R story. The
manual begins with first principles and examines some of the fundamentals of fans. It then
addresses the issues around implementing fans in systems including, system design and
optimisation, fan selection and specification, system installation and commissioning
continuing through to handover, operation and maintenance.
1.2. Scope
Fans are ubiquitous in modern society and are particularly common in HVAC&R systems
where they are used to promote heat transfer or move air. This Application Manual outlines
a generic process for the design and implementation of fans and fan systems in HVAC&R
applications and includes specific detailed and technical information relating to fans for
HVAC&R and related services as they are applied in buildings, including industrial ventilation
applications. The principles and processes outlined in this Application Manual can generally
be applied to any fan system and to any building type or size.
1.3. Purpose
The primary purpose of this Application Manual is to standardise and promote best practice
design and installation practices within the HVAC&R industry. The overall objective is to
assist industry to improve the sustainability of fan applications in the HVAC&R and
associated industries by addressing the following issues:
- Provide new information on fan and motor technologies, new fan designs and
applications (jet fans, plug fans, fire/smoke fans) and typical best practice
efficiencies.
- Promote speed control over other forms of fan control.
- Discuss mandatory energy requirements, minimum energy performance standards
(MEPS), National Construction Code (NCC) minimum fan energy standards,
International fan classification standards, and energy reporting options for fans and
fan applications.
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- Address the evaluation and optimisation of existing fan systems.
- Outline the role of monitoring and maintenance in achieving efficient fan system
operation.
- Underpin the skills and update the knowledge of HVAC&R system designers,
installers, operators and maintainers.
- Improve the accessibility of best practice fan design, installation and operating
information and expand the content of the application manual for non-technical users.
1.4. Application
Depending on the readers requirements and area of interest, reading this Application
Manual from front to back may not be the most effective way to extract the required
information. Table 1.1 provides a guide to the application of the various sections and
appendices of this Application Manual, and directs readers and stakeholders in fans to
where they may find the information most relevant to their fields of interest.
Table 1.1 APPLICATION OF DA13
Stakeholder Sections of most relevance


Topic Location


Drafting note: to be filled in at publication stage
1.5. The systems approach
All ventilation and air distribution systems have the following five fundamental components:
1. The driving force The fan, motor and drive combination that imparts energy to the
air
2. The distribution system Ducts in a ducted system (but may be just vanes and
grilles) including the fan suction and discharge connections.
3. The inlets and outlets Locations for air to enter and exit the system
4. The system controls Monitors, sensors, electronic controllers, supervisory systems.
5. The air path If air is introduced to a space there must be a path for it to leave (air
relief or return), if air is exhausted from a space there must be a path for it to enter
(make-up/infiltration or supply).
If all five system components exist and are operating properly, the ventilation system will be
working under defined design conditions. Solutions to most ventilation problems are found
by identifying which of the system components is missing or operating improperly.
Best practice fan application in the HVAC&R industry requires practitioners to take a
systems approach to fan selection, control, installation and commissioning. In a systems
approach attention shifts away from individual components to focus on total system
performance. Best practice fan application methods should include the following steps:
- Document system operating conditions and system performance or outcome
requirements (in conjunction with owner or client).
- Develop designs and design options that achieve the performance requirements or
optimise the system outcomes (see Section 5, 6, 7 for design development)
- Assess alternative designs and options and select and document the option which
provides the most benefits for the least cost (see Section 3 for energy and life cycle
cost assessments)
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- Implement the selected option in accordance with the design documentation (install,
commission and handover system, see section 8)
- Assess installed system energy consumption and relate it to system performance
(see Section 3)
- Monitor and fine tune the system over time (see Section 7 for monitoring and 9 for
system assessment information)
- Operate and maintain the system for optimum performance (see Section 9 for
operation and maintenance information)
In particular the fan selection, the fan connection to the system (discussed in detail in
Section 10), and the method of fan control can have a significant impact on the system
performance outcomes.
1.6. Fan terminology
A list of the acronyms used in this application manual and a glossary of common terms
related to fans is provided for reference in Appendix E.
























Figure 1.1 Best practice fan application in HVAC&R systems
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2. Fans, an overview
2.1. Section Introduction
This section provides an overview of fan types, motor types and fan accessories, including
their application and effect on system performance. The first point in the fan story is to look
at how a fan works.
2.2. How a fan works
A fan is a rotating bladed machine which continuously supplies energy to the air or gas
passing through it. There are three main components in a fan: the impeller (sometimes
referred to as the wheel or rotor), the means of rotating it (the motor), and the casing or
volute it is contained inside, if any. Some fan types do not include casings but may include a
rotating diffuser that aids air separation from the blades converting velocity pressure to static
pressure.
Energy is transferred to the air by rotation of the impeller which may be of the centrifugal,
axial, mixed-flow or cross-flow type. In centrifugal fan types it is the centrifugal force
generated by the mass of air contained within the impeller at any one instance, as well as
the force exerted by the angle of the blades to the entering air, which gives it both static and
velocity pressure and therefore moves the air through the system. In the axial types there is
little or no centrifugal action; the blades, being set at an angle relative to the direction of air
entry, generate a lift or pressure difference. In mixed-flow and cross-flow types energy is
imparted to the air in a combination of centrifugal force and lift.
The casing must not be regarded only as an enclosure for the impeller to channel the air in a
certain direction. It plays a very important part in the aerodynamic performance, particularly
in the case of centrifugal, cross-flow and mixed-flow fans when it is often the major element
which converts velocity energy to useful potential energy (static pressure) and in axial fans
where impeller tip clearance is important.
For the purpose of this manual it is assumed that the flow through the fan follows the
adiabatic process and therefore is incompressible. To satisfy this condition the total
pressure developed by the fan should not exceed 2500 Pa. To forecast with reasonable
accuracy the installed performance of a fan the designer must know:
- The performance characteristics of the fan
- The resistance characteristics of the system/application
- The effects the system/fan connections will have on the fans performance.
Each fan has an individual performance characteristic and fans in different ventilation
products have differing performance characteristics. Fans of different types and fans of the
same type but supplied by different manufacturers may not interact with the system in
exactly the same way. In all cases the system design and fan selection should be based on
the performance characteristics of the proposed fan and not an assumed generic
characteristic based on a specified fan type, size or manufacture.
2.3. Fan types
In order to cover a very wide range of applications, fans are manufactured in a variety of
configurations or types. The various types of fans can broadly be classified under following
categories:
1. Centrifugal with either forward-curved, radial, backward-curved, backward-
inclined (backward-flat) or aerofoil blading.
2. Axial with or without (inlet and/or outlet) guide vanes.
3. Mixed-flow in essence a combination of centrifugal and axial types.
4. Cross-flow special centrifugal fans with a forward-curved blade
5. High pressure fans utilising high speed centrifugal or turbo technology.
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Axial and centrifugal fans are the most common fan types used in HVAC&R applications.
Within these broad fan types are many variations and these are discussed in the following
clauses.
2.4. Centrifugal fans
In centrifugal fans air enters the impeller axially and is discharged radially generally into a
volute casing but also into a plenum or chamber. Duties covered are generally medium to
low volume flow rates at medium to high pressures. The main varieties are characterised by
the type and angle of the impeller blades.
Impeller blades can be configured in a variety of ways providing the fan with different
performance and operating characteristics. The performance of a flat blade can be
improved by curving the blade with further performance improvements available when an
aerofoil shape is used. Fan blades can be backward-curved, backward-inclined, backward-
inclined aerofoil, radial, and forward curved, see Figure 2.1.

Figure 2.1 Blade designs for centrifugal impellers.
Drafting note: Figure to be redrawn - The backward-curved blades should follow along
the same line as the backward-inclined although curved. The forward curved example
should have shorter blades and many of them. Should show radial tipped also. Also
hyphens.
Backward-curved impellers generally have between 6 and 16 blades and forward-curved,
between 30 and 60 blades. Centrifugal fans can be made single-width single-inlet (SWSI) or
can be manufactured with back to back impellers producing double-width double-inlet
(DWDI) devices. Backward-curved centrifugal fans are more tolerant of inadvertent stall
operation than other types of fans.
2.4.1. Backward-curved and backward-inclined fans
Backward-curved or backward-inclined fans may consist of aerofoil section blades or single
thickness blades, the latter being either curved or straight, that tilt away from the direction of
rotation. The impeller is characterised by few blades. The pressure curve has a non
overloading characteristic, see Figure 2.2. These fans are capable of very high efficiencies.
They are used in HVAC systems for low, medium and high pressure applications and are
supplied in a range of sizes from small to very large.
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Typical configuration Typical performance
Figure 2.2 Typical characteristics of a backward-curved centrifugal fan
Drafting note: Figure to be redrawn: Add image for backward-inclined impeller.
Normalise all fan curves to static (or other) pressure on y axis. Curves past the stall
point should be dotted and marked as unstable area of operation
Backward-inclined aerofoil blade fans are the most efficient of all centrifugal fan designs,
when static pressure is above 50 Pa. They are similar to standard backward-inclined fans
but operate at a higher speed and with increased performance and efficiency. Total
efficiencies of up to 90% are possible and the high efficiency operating zone also
corresponds to a stable operating area. The power characteristic of this configuration is
non-overloading, see Figure 2.3.



Drafting note: Separate figure required for aerofoil blading?





Typical configuration Typical performance
Figure 2.3 Typical characteristics of an aerofoil bladed backward-curved fan
Drafting note: Figure to be sourced: Normalise all fan curves to static/total pressure
on y axis.
2.4.2. Forward-curved fans
Forward-curved fans are characterised by a large number of curved shallow blades sloping
forward in the direction of rotation. These fans are used in HVAC systems for low volume,
low to medium pressure applications. Forward-curved fans handle relatively large volumes
of air at lower operating speeds and lower noise generation, but the total efficiency of up to
70%, is less than that of backward-inclined blading
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As the power curve rises steeply from zero flow to maximum flow, this fan is liable to
overload its driving motor if operated significantly beyond its rated operating point, see
Figure 2.4.

Typical configuration Typical performance
Figure 2.4 Typical characteristics of a forward-curved centrifugal fan
Drafting note: Figure to be redrawn: Normalise all fan curves to static/total pressure
on y axis.
2.4.3. Radial blade fans
Radial blades or radial tip blading produce a high pressure characteristic and a power curve
which is almost a straight line rising from a minimum at zero flow to a maximum at maximum
flow, i.e. power characteristic is the overloading type. The blades tend to be self cleaning
and can handle moderately dirty conditions. Efficiencies tend to be lower than other
centrifugal types (less than 70%) and these fans are not used widely in HVAC but do have
many industrial applications, see Figure 2.5.





Typical configuration Typical performance
Figure 2.5 Typical characteristics of a radial blade fan
Drafting note: Figure to be sourced: Normalise all fan curves to static/total pressure
on y axis.
2.4.4. Plug fans
Plug fans are specially designed centrifugal impellers that have no housing and can be used
directly in a plenum or duct. They provide some space advantages due to the lack of
housing, but with a reduced impeller efficiency compared to standard backward-bladed fans
with housings. Plug fans are direct drive and as a consequence have the advantage that
belt drive losses are eliminated. Plug fans draw air in through the inlet cone (in the same
way as a housed fan) but then discharges the air radially around the whole 360outer
circumference of the impeller. They can provide great flexibility in outlet connections (from
the plenum), meaning a reduced need for immediate bends or sharp transitions in the
ductwork connections.
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Because the plenum is used to convert the kinetic energy in the airflow into a velocity
pressure raising the static pressure capability, the operating efficiency will be very
dependent on the fans location within the plenum and the relationship of the fan to its outlet.
It is important to treat the plenum as part of the ductwork and the duct connection should be
as large as possible rather than reduced down to the fan discharge dimensions. Maximising
the duct opening will minimise the box losses and improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the
air movement system.
One of the major benefits of the plug fan is that the even velocity profile discharging from the
plenum allows bends to be fitted without a high pressure drop. Lack of turbulence in the
discharge also affords them with good acoustic performance. Substantially different
performance and different stabilities of operation will depend on the impeller type (aerofoil,
backward-curved etc). Plug fan designs vary greatly with standard backward-curved
impellers through to specialised high performance impellers designed specifically to operate
without the scroll enclosure used.
As the impeller is typically mounted directly on the motor shaft it is common for a variable
frequency drive (VFD) to be used to operate the fan at a speed required to meet the duty
point. Some plug fans are designed to operate far in excess of the motor name plate rating
without any issue with motor or impeller life. Plug fans are mainly used in air handling units,
computer room air conditioning units and industrial applications; although they have also
been used for car park exhaust systems, see Figure 2.6.
Note: If plug fans are used in industrial applications with elevated gas temperatures then direct drive
may not be suitable. Instead include belt drive with/without a heat slinger for bearing cooling.







Typical configuration Typical performance
Figure 2.6 Typical characteristics of a plug fan
Drafting note: Figure to be sourced: Normalise all fan curves to static/total pressure
on y axis.
2.4.5. In-line centrifugal
In-line centrifugal fans comprise a conventional aerofoil or backward-curved/inclined or
mixed-flow impeller but installed in a wide range of configurations including cylindrical,
square and rectangular housings. These fans are generally less efficient than the
conventional cased type centrifugal fans but the straight through casing design provides
some advantages, see Figure 2.7. In-line centrifugal fans are generally only used on low
pressure HVAC&R applications.





Typical configuration Typical performance
Figure 2.7 Typical characteristics of an in-line centrifugal fan
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Drafting note: Figure to be sourced. Normalised performance curves possible for
these fans?
2.5. Axial fans
In axial fans, air enters and leaves the fan axially in a straight through configuration. Duties
are usually medium to high volume flow rate at medium to low pressures. Most axial fan
types have non-overloading power characteristics although some with high pitch angled
impellers can overload, but not as severely as forward-curved centrifugals. Axial fans can
have very high efficiencies and the maximum efficiency is often achieved across a broad
operating range, see Figure 2.8.
Axial fans generate swirl in the discharge airstream and the removal of the swirl improves
fan efficiency. Swirl can be reduced by using guide vanes or by using twin impellers
independently driven in opposite directions within the same casing, see Clause 2.5.6.
Downstream guide vanes can increase the pressure development capability of the axial flow
fan by as much as 30% without any increase in the power required form the fan. Upstream
guide vane units can provide an even higher pressure development but the power
requirements increase correspondingly. The noise levels from the fan are generally
increased with the downstream guide-vane unit having the least impact, see Clause 2.5.3.
Many axial fans are reversible, i.e. they can operate in the both the forward and reverse
directions, often with a performance reduction when in reverse. The impeller blades can be
configured in such a manner that the fan can be deemed truly reversible, although the
performance achieved will not be as high as from an impeller with all blades installed in the
normal manner. However, the performance achieved from such an arrangement is higher
than that achieved from an axial fan simply rotated in the reverse direction. In all variations
from the standard configuration the efficiency is lower and noise levels are generally
increased, see Clause 2.5.5
Axial fans can exhibit stall at a lower static pressure than many other fan types and further
information on this is provided in Section 5. Axial fans generally rotate faster than
centrifugals to achieve the same airflow and they tend to generate more noise, particularly in
the higher frequencies, which are however easier to attenuate than the low frequencies
generated by centrifugals. Axial fans deliver more air at zero pressure than a centrifugal fan,
of the same size and running at the same speed, but the centrifugal fan will develop more
pressure. A significant feature of axial fans is their lower costs when compared to other
types of fans.

Typical configuration Typical performance
Figure 2.8 Typical characteristics of an Axial Fan
Drafting note: Figure to be redrawn. Normalise all fan curves to static/total pressure
on y axis. Should the adjustable pitch feature of the fan also be shown?
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2.5.1. Plate mounted fans
Plate mounted fans are basically an axial flow impeller running in a square or round plate
suitable for wall, ceiling or panel mounting.
Because of the air entry conditions they develop less pressure than an axial flow fan of the
same size and speed. Applications include moving air through a partition from one open
space to another and they are also widely used in heat exchange systems in HVAC&R and
industrial applications. These fans can move large volumes of air but only generate low
pressures, see Figure 2.9. Complex blade designs can be incorporated to address noise
and performance. The design of the orifice the impeller is mounted in can greatly affect the
efficiencies and noise generated by these fans. Plate mounted fans can have an adjustable
pitch impeller.









Typical configuration Typical performance
Figure 2.9 Typical characteristics of a plate mounted fan
Drafting note: Is this Figure required/available? Figure to be sourced: Normalise all
fan curves to static/total pressure on y axis.
2.5.2. Tube axial
In its simplest form a single impeller is direct-driven by a motor mounted within a cylindrical
frame. The fans (also called ducted propeller fans) move large volumes of air but only
generate small pressures.
In the tube axial configuration the axial fan is mounted centrally within a cylindrical casing
producing high flow rates at medium pressure generation. The discharge flow contains a
pronounced swirl which may, if not corrected, materially increase the resistance of the
downstream portion of the system. Used in low to medium pressure ducted HVAC where
downstream airflow pattern is not critical and industrial applications.
2.5.3. Vane axial fans
In vane axial fans the swirl is removed by fitting either upstream or downstream guide vanes.
The removal of the swirl can improve the fan efficiency and the downstream air distribution.
These fans can produce low, medium and high pressures in a ducted or in-line configuration
and are used in HVAC&R and industrial applications.
Upstream guide vanes can increase the pressure development of the axial flow fan, typically
by more than 30%, with an equivalent increase in power consumed. There is also an
increase in noise level. As the power increases at the same rate as the pressure
development increases, there is no increase in efficiency
Downstream guide vanes can increase the pressure development capability of the axial flow
fan, typically by more than 20%, with no increase in power consumed. This means an
increase in the fan efficiency however there is also an increase in noise level.
There is increase in the noise level generated with both guide vane configurations but more
with upstream guide vanes than with downstream guide vanes
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When applied to fans arranged in series the downstream guide vanes act as upstream guide
vanes for the fan following and improves pressure development for each additional fan.
This configuration provides less pressure development per double stage than multi-stage
axial flow fans (see Clause 2.5.7) but more flexibility and less noise.
2.5.4. Variable pitch fans
By varying the pitch of the blades of an axial fan the output can be varied while still
maintaining a high efficiency. Varying the pitch has two different applications:
- Controllable pitch fans (also called variable-pitch-in-motion fans) Adjustment of the
vane (blade) pitch during operation for automatic control purposes was once
common but with the advent of energy efficient motor speed control only very
specialised applications still require this technology and it is no longer a practical
economic solution in most HVAC&R applications.
- Adjustable pitch fans These fans have impeller blades whose angles can be reset
by manual adjustment with the fan at rest for a permanent performance adjustment.
This technique can be used during commissioning or when fine tuning the fan to
meet the system requirement.
2.5.5. Reversible axial fans
Although many fans are strictly unidirectional, axial fans can be operated in reverse in one of
two distinct methods.
- Standard fan - A normal fan may be reversed, with a reduction in performance
compared to standard flow performance.
- Reversible fan - known as a truly reversible fan, the impeller is configured to provide
equal performance in either flow direction.
Both methods have limitations and efficiency and performance are reduced in reversing
scenarios. Refer to Table 2.1 for an approximate or typical reduction in performance for
each method. As both methods alter the fans performance curve, it is also important to
verify stable operation in the reverse flow application and advice should be sought from the
manufacturer where necessary.
Table 2.1 Typical performance reduction for reversal of axial fans
Performance parameter
Reduction when compared to catalogue performance
Standard fan in reverse Truly reversible fan
Volume flow Reduced by 30% Reduced by 15%
Pressure developed Reduced by 55% Reduced by 25%
Power consumed Reduced by 25% Reduced by 20%
2.5.6. Contra-rotating axial fans
The contra-rotating axial flow fan typically has two separate impellers in series arranged to
have opposite rotation. Swirl developed by the first impeller is removed and converted into
useful static pressure by the second impeller. The resulting static pressure development is
more than twice, and can be up to three times, that developed by a corresponding single
impeller fan. These fans can be noisy when compared to other types.
2.5.7. Multi-stage axial flow fans
Axial flow fans can be mounted in series, generally with contra-rotating impellers. With a two
stage unit pressure development can be increased by approximately 2.5 times the pressure
capability of a single-stage fan because the second stage eliminates the swirl component
leaving the first stage. However, a 3-stage unit would re-impose the swirl but a 4
th
stage
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would eliminate it again and so on. The greater the number of stages the greater the
pressure developed.
2.6. Jet fans
Some axial and centrifugal fan designs are called a Jet Fan because a high velocity jet of
air is produced from the unit. The high velocity jet discharged by the fan entrains
surrounding air and these types of fans are commonly used in tunnel and car park ventilation
systems where air movement over a large area or distance is required.
The jet fans applied for tunnel ventilation are generally axial jet fans. The jet fans applied for
car park ventilation systems are generally mixed-flow or centrifugal jet fans. Noise is often
an issue when jet fans are applied in occupied areas.

Drafting note: Figure and/or curve required/available





Typical configuration Typical performance
Figure 2.10 Typical characteristics of a jet fan
2.7. Mixed-flow fans
Mixed-flow fans have an air path through the impeller which is between that of the axial and
centrifugal types. Mixed-flow fans are capable of being constructed to provide either axial or
radial discharge and they produce more pressure than a comparable axial flow fan.
Impellers are shrouded and more robust than axial impellers and most designs are of a
compact nature. They also have a less severe stall characteristic than axial fans, see Figure
2.11. Better efficiencies tend to be achieved with the radial discharge design, but these
types have an overloading power characteristic.

Typical configuration Typical performance
Figure 2.11 Typical characteristics of a Mixed-flow Fan
Drafting note: Normalise all fan curves to static/total pressure on y axis.
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2.8. Roof mounted fans
Roof ventilators, for exhaust applications, can be designed for vertical up-flow or down-flow
discharge and fitted with axial, backward-curved bladed centrifugal or mixed-flow impellers.
Roof ventilators for supply air applications are generally fitted with backward-curved bladed
impellers.





Drafting note: Figure and/or curve required/available?


Centrifugal Axial Mixed flow
Figure 2.12 Typical characteristics of a roof ventilator/exhaust fan
Drafting note: Normalise all fan curves to static/total pressure on y axis.
2.9. Cross-flow/Tangential-flow fans
Cross-flow or Tangential-flow fans are centrifugal fans with a forward curve bladed impeller
of very long axial length in relation to its diameter. The impeller is fitted to a special casing
wherein the air enters and discharges through the full length of the rotor and normally
through an outlet diffuser. Efficiencies and noise levels are typically low and these fans are
used where their long narrow rectangular inlets and outlets are advantageous. These fans
are of limited application in commercial HVAC&R but are used in wall mounted split air
conditioners and air curtains as well as used in industrial applications. Effectively a
rectangular fan in terms of inlet and outlet geometry, the diameter readily scales to fit the
available space, and the length is adjustable to meet flow rate requirements for the particular
application.

Drafting note: Figure and/or curve required/available?






Figure 2.13 Typical characteristics of a Cross-flow/Tangential-flow fan
Drafting note: Normalise all fan curves to static/total pressure on y axis.
2.10. High pressure fans
Known as high pressure fans, or industrial blowers, these fans have high discharge
pressures for relatively low flow rates. Common designs include the use of multi-stage
centrifugal or high speed turbo technologies. Rarely used in standard HVAC&R applications
but used in industrial applications such as combustion air, fluid bed aeration, blow off,
cooling, conveying, drying and high pressure industrial process systems, heat recovery,
incineration, process air, and pollution control.
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2.11. Smoke-spill fans
Fans utilised in smoke control systems that are designed to move smoke and the products of
combustion, are called smoke-spill fans. AS/NZS 1668.1 specifies minimum performance
requirements for these fans to ensure that they can continue to operate at high
temperatures. Different requirements are specified depending on whether the building is
protected by a sprinkler system or not, as smoke temperatures are expected to be lower in
sprinkler protected buildings. AS/NZS 1668.1 requires a longer duration but lower
temperature rating for application in sprinkler protected buildings and a higher temperatures
but shorter duration rating for application in non-sprinkler protected buildings. Refer to
AS/NZS 1668.1 for specific requirements.
2.12. Bifurcated fans
Bifurcated fans are axial fans constructed so that the direct drive electric motor is isolated
from the airstream, by being enclosed within a central pod. The motor is ventilated only
with ambient air delivered from outside the casing by means of a sideways tunnel or
bifurcation see Figure 2.14. They are often used in explosive, corrosive, high temperature or
aggressive applications, and selection requires an allowance to be made for the casing
losses.

Figure 2.14 Typical bifurcation arrangement
2.13. Industrial fans
Industrial fans can include the types of fans used in HVAC&R as well as high pressure fans.
Industrial applications include process ventilation applications, dust collection, pneumatic
conveying, spot cooling and ventilation, local fume exhaust and fume cupboards. The
design and construction of industrial ventilation systems and their fans should be in
accordance with the requirements of relevant regulations, standards, and industry
guidelines. In the absence of local requirements the recommendations of the American
Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Industrial Ventilation manual
should be adopted.
Where flammable atmospheres could be present as a consequence of dusts, gases or
vapours (e.g. grain milling, spray painting) the ventilation systems, including the fans, should
be designed and constructed to mitigate ignition, flammability or explosion risks.

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Table 2.2 Fan types and typical characteristics
Fan type Typical Characteristics Typical Applications
Centrifugal fans
Backward-
curved

and

Backward-
inclined
Low, medium and high pressure applications
Capable of very high efficiencies. Peak efficiency
at 50 to 75% of free discharge flow, total
efficiencies of 85 to 90%.
Aerofoil blades provide highest efficiency (also
highest cost and less durable than flat blade
fans). Dirty blades or erosion will reduce
performance.
Stable and efficient operating characteristic to the
right of peak pressure flow rate
Non-overloading power characteristic
- Used on large heating and ventilation
systems
- Large industrial/process applications (clean
air for aerofoil blade, plate blades more
robust)
- Used where energy use is significant design
criteria.
- Forced draft applications.
Forward-
curved
Works at a lower speed and with lower efficiency
Medium air volumes at low pressure/low noise
Light weight, low cost, small impeller
Limited mechanical strength
Pronounced stall region on fan curve
Has overloading power characteristic
- Used on Low pressure HVAC, room air
conditioners, small ducted ventilation and
heating systems
- Applications where low noise is important
- Only suitable for clean air
Radial
blade

and

Radial tip
Low/medium volume, high pressure applications
Least efficient centrifugal fan, radial tip design
improves efficiency
Self cleaning blades in dirty air streams
Simple design, low cost, simple to repair impeller.
High mechanical strength. Durable.
Overloading power characteristic
- Not common in HVAC&R
- Moderate to high pressure industrial
processes, materials handling, (dust
collection, pneumatic conveying).
- Induced draft applications

Plug fans Premium efficiency versions have rotating diffuser
and aerofoil blades.
Lower efficiency than backward inclined fans with
scroll.
Use less space than standard centrifugal and
have flexible choice of discharge position.
Significantly reduced pressure losses for bends
close to discharge.
Good acoustic characteristics.
Non-overloading power characteristic
- Used for high volume flow at medium
pressures applications such as:
- Air handling unit fans,
- Computer room air conditioner fans.
- Car park ventilation

In-line
centrifugal
Standard impeller in annular casing
Lower efficiency than conventional centrifugal
Some designs with forward curved blades may
exhibit stall.
Overloading and non-overloading power
characteristics, depending on design
- In-line configuration for ducted applications
- Low to medium pressure ducted HVAC, often
in return air or exhaust applications

Axial fans
Plate
mounted
High flow rates at low pressures
Generally low efficiencies with maximum at free
discharge. Efficiency significantly improved with
shroud and inlet bell.
Larger fans operate at lower speeds
Low power use, non-overloading characteristic
- Low pressure high volume non-ducted
applications such as air transfer, cooling/heat
exchange (coils and tubes) and air
movement.
- Cheap, basic product with medium efficiency
- Common in refrigeration plant.
Tube axial High flow rates at low to medium pressures
Produces turbulent downstream flow so potential
issue with noise.
Dip in fan curve indicates stall region
In-line configuration, quick to reach full speed
Compact fan often direct driven from motor
Non-overloading power characteristics
- Low to medium pressure small ducted HVAC
- Common in exhaust applications
- Low pressure Industrial ventilation including
drying ovens, spray booth ventilation, fume
exhaust.
- Used where reverse airflow is required, e.g.
emergency supply/exhaust systems
Vane axial Highest efficiency/pressure capacity of any axial
More compact than comparable centrifugal
Dip in fan curve indicates stall region
In-line configuration, quick to reach full speed
- Low, medium and high pressure supply and
exhaust ventilation
- Ducted HVAC
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Notes
1. For the purposes of this table Low, Medium, High pressure ranges are characterised as:
- Low pressure HVAC: 0-200 pa : Heat rejection, Air transfer, small scale supply and exhaust
ventilation
- Medium pressure HVAC: 201- 450 pa: Heat exchange, ventilation and air conditioning, car
park ventilation
- High pressure HVAC: above 450 pa: Industrial process, high pressure supply and exhaust,
pneumatic conveying.
2. Power characteristic: For fans with an overloading fan characteristic (e.g. Figures 2.4 and 2.5),
increasing power consumption with higher airflow rates may mean the driving motor will overheat or
burnout if not appropriately selected. Motor ventilation is particularly important when dealing with fans
that have overloading power characteristic.
Often belt driven from motor
Non-overloading power characteristics, except at
high pitch angles.
- Industrial supply and exhaust applications
- Emergency ventilation (quick response)
systems
- Used where reverse airflow is required
Contra-
rotating
2 to 3 times higher pressure development than
single fan
Compact design but can be noisy
- Medium and high pressure supply and
exhaust Ducted HVAC
- Industrial supply and exhaust applications
Jet fans
High velocity/high pressure airstream generated
High noise levels, may require attenuation
- Used in tunnel ventilation; road, rail, mining
- Car park ventilation/air movement, Loading
docs
Mixed flow fans
Medium - high pressure/Medium - high efficiency
Normally fitted with guide vanes.
Available in axial or radial discharge.
Axial discharge: shrouded impeller, non-
overloading power characteristic, higher pressure
and less severe stall than axial fans
Radial discharge: unshrouded impeller, more
efficient, overloading power characteristic, prone
to surge if misapplied
Axial discharge types:
- Small sizes used for low volume ducted
HVAC systems
- Larger sizes not common in HVAC&R

Radial discharge types:
- Used in industrial processes

Cross-flow fans
Low efficiency fans
Low volume and low pressure developed
Very quiet for the fan duty
- Used in residential air conditioning products

Roof mounted fan units
Centrifugal
Aerofoil or backward-inclined bladed impellers
High volume airflow at medium to high pressures
Non-overloading power characteristic
- Medium to high static pressure exhaust
systems
- Mainly ducted systems
Axial Axial impeller used to generate high volume
airflow at low to medium pressure
Louder than centrifugal units.
Non-overloading power characteristic (except at
high pitch angles)
- Most common configuration
- Low to medium static pressure exhaust
systems
- Mainly ducted systems
Mixed flow Multi-bladed shrouded mixed flow impellers offers
good compatibility with weather cowl.
Quieter than axial units
Non-overloading power characteristic
- Low to medium static pressure exhaust
systems
- Used for ducted systems
High pressure fans/blowers
Relatively low efficiencies
Low air volumes/high pressures
- Rare in HVAC&R
- Used in industrial for pneumatic conveying
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2.14. Fan drives
2.14.1. Power source
Prime movers or drivers for fans can include a variety of power sources including electric,
combustion, turbine, pneumatic and gearbox. Fan drive by electric motor is the most
common in HVAC&R applications. Fan drives are also classified by the configuration of their
connection to the impeller.
2.14.2. Direct-drive
In the directdrive configuration the fan impeller is either fitted directly onto the shaft of an
electric motor, or it may be connected via a separate shaft and a drive coupling (also known
as direct-coupled). The impeller speed is identical to the motor's rotational speed. With this
type of fan drive mechanism, the fan speed cannot be varied unless the motor speed is
adjustable. To enable speed adjustment motors are fitted with either voltage or frequency
controlled speed controllers or the motor is of EC construction. Due to the direct-drive
configuration transmission losses are minimised so efficiencies are higher than other
arrangements.
2.14.3. Belt-drive
In the beltdrive configuration a set of pulleys (which may have an adjustable operating
diameter) are mounted on the motor shaft and the fan impeller shaft. A belt (or number of
belts) transmits the mechanical energy from the motor to the fan. The impeller speed
depends upon the ratio of the diameter of the motor pulley to the diameter of the fan impeller
shaft pulley. As the drive energy passes through mechanical components transmission
losses occur, efficiencies are reduced and losses impact on overall fan efficiencies.
Belts used come in a range of designs; flat belt, V-belt, cogged V-belt and synchronous belt
and belt selection must account for the power of the motor as well as site specific factors
such as operating temperature, arc of contact (with the pulley) and service factor derating
(due to acceleration forces)
2.14.4. External motor terminal box
For axial fans, where the motor terminal box is moved to outside of the fan casing, less
resistance is imposed on the airflow and this can improve the performance of a small fan.
The magnitude of the performance improvement depends on the size of the impeller hub in
relation to the motor size and the size of terminal box removed from the design.
2.14.5. Motor mounting
Axial fans can be further differentiated according to the method of motor mounting as per the
following descriptors:
- T-piece mounting (using foot mounted motor) Where the foot mounted motor is
bolted to T-piece shaped plate longitudinally welded on the sides and bottom on the
inside of the fan casing.
- Spider rod mounting (using rod/pad mounted motor) - Where smaller motors are
provided with holes on the motor body for demountable feet. These holes can also
be used for threaded rods which would extend radially through holes in the casing
and secured to the casing and thus forming a spider mounting with the motor in the
centre.
- Flange mounting - where the motor flange of a flange mounted motor is bolted to a
mating fan casing mounting flange inside the fan casing.
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2.15. Electric motors
2.15.1. Single-phase alternating current motors
Single-phase alternating current (AC) power does not naturally create a rotating magnetic
field so single-phase motors include additional means to start the rotor moving. The moving
rotor then induces the magnetic field that maintains motor operation. In some single-phase
motors, the starting circuit is opened after the rotor reaches a predetermined speed. In
other types, the start circuit remains engaged. How single-phase motors are started affects
the torque generated, and is often the factor that determines which single-phase motor type
best fits the application.
Shaded pole motors have only one main winding and no start winding. Starting is
accomplished through a design that uses a copper ring around a small portion of each motor
pole. The shaded pole motor is electrically very simple and inexpensive. Speed can be
controlled by varying the voltage. These motors offer poor starting torque, typically 25 to 75
% of rated load, and very low efficiency. These motors typically have sleeve bearings.
Permanent split capacitor (PSC) motors have a run-type capacitor that is permanently
connected in series with the start winding. This makes the start winding an auxiliary winding
after the motor reaches running speed. Maintenance is low due to the lack of a starting
switch. The run capacitor must be designed for continuous use, it cannot provide the short-
term boost of a starting capacitor. Therefore, starting torque of a PSC motor is low, ranging
from 30 to 150 % of rated load, which makes the motors unsuitable for hard-to-start loads.
PSC motors can be designed for easy reversing, and can be speed controllable. They are
considered to be the most reliable single-phase motor, primarily because a starting switch is
not required. These motors typically have ball bearings.
Split phase motors have two types of coils; one is called the run winding and the other the
start winding. The start winding has much higher resistance than the run winding resulting in
different currents and magnetic fields in the two windings. These form a rotating field that
causes the rotor to turn. The split phase motor design is simple and typically less expensive
than other types and can be speed controllable. Starting torque is low; typically 100 to 175
% of rated load. The split phase motor develops high locked rotor current and has unreliable
thermal protection. These motors are usually designed for a single voltage and have ball
bearings.
Capacitor start motors are similar to a split phase motors, but have a much heavier starting
winding with a capacitor placed on the path of the electrical current to the winding to provide
a starting boost and are usually fitted with centrifugal switch to isolate the capacitor at
normal speed. These motors create more starting torque; typically in the range of 200 to
400% of rated load, with a lower starting current allowing higher cycle rates and reliable
thermal protection. Capacitor start motors are more expensive than a split phase design
(because of the additional cost of the capacitor and centrifugal switch) but the application
range is much wider. Capacitor start motors cannot be speed controlled. They typically
have ball bearings.
2.15.2. Three-phase alternating current motors
Three-phase alternating current (AC) power naturally creates a rotating magnetic field, no
additional windings or switches are needed within the motor for starting. The increase and
decrease of the current in each phase produces the rotating magnetic field. In turn, the
rotation of the magnetic field produces the twisting motion in the motor shaft. These motors
have high efficiencies and typically have ball bearings.
The most common three-phase motors used in fans for HVAC&R are squirrel cage designs.
They are suitable for both direct-on-line and star/delta starting. These motors come in a
range of sizes and efficiencies with the efficiency ratings tending to increase with increasing
motor size. Most can be speed controlled using Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs). VFDs
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not only vary the voltage like a speed controller, but they also change the frequency with the
voltage. Motors used in conjunction with VFDs require heavier insulation on the internal
wires, due to the extra heat generated within the windings when used with a VFD.
The use of three-phase external rotor motors is also very common, especially with
centrifugal impellers. These have a compact design, and are able to be speed controlled
using variable voltage control. They may also be controlled using VFDs fitted with suitable
electrical filters.
Table 2.3 outlines the major differences between single-phase and three-phase motor types.
Table 2.3 Comparison of single-phase and three-phase motors
Motor Type Capital
Cost
Nominal
Efficiency
Starting
Torque
Speed
Control
Reversible Application notes
Shaded
Pole
Lowest Lowest Lowest Yes No Used on small direct-
drive fans only
Permanent
split
capacitor
Low Low Low Yes Yes Constant torque
Used on small direct-
drive fans only
Split Phase Average Good Medium No Yes Separate start
windings to control
starting amps
Used on medium
sized fans
Capacitor
Start
Average 55% to
75%
depending
on motor
size
High No Yes Used for higher
starting torque
requirements
Used on medium and
large fans
Most common
Three-
phase
Average 65% to
97%
depending
on motor
size
High Yes Yes Efficient motor
Used on large fans
Wide range of
available motor options

2.15.3. Direct current motors
Direct current (DC) motors have a DC supply and utilise a permanent magnet rotor with
either brushed or brushless commutators. Motor sizes are typically available up to 500 W
and efficiencies are between 50 to 90 %. These motors are rarely used in stationery
HVAC&R fan applications but are used for transport refrigeration and air conditioning
applications.
2.15.4. Electronic commutation (EC) motors
Electronic commutation (EC) technology combines highly efficient DC motors with an AC
power supply. These motors convert AC supply to DC and switch the electrical supply at
varying frequencies to drive the permanent magnet brushless DC motors at the required
speed. EC motors produce reduced operating temperatures and can include integrated
control logic and integrated electronics to provide remote communication and control
possibilities. EC motors also contain internal motor protection so external contactors and
overloads are not required. Some also include visual fault diagnosis indication to simplify
trouble shooting should a fault occur within the motors. EC motors are available in sizes up
to 7.5kW and efficiencies are typically between 80 95%.
Table 2.4 outlines some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with EC motors
types.
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Table 2.4 Advantages and disadvantages of EC motors
Advantages Disadvantages
On-board motor protection Initial costs (can be offset by savings due to
reduced control equipment requirement)
Extremely high efficiencies May not be suitable for high temperature or
aggressive environments
Compact dimensions
Simple speed control/commissioning
On-board controls
2.16. Motor ventilation and protection
2.16.1. Open motors
An open motor has ventilation openings which permit the passage of cooling air over and
around the windings of the motor. The term open means having no restriction to ventilation
other than that necessitated by mechanical construction. Open motors are suitable for
indoor use in relatively clean dry atmospheres. They do not offer protection from airborne
dust or vapour. Open motors are typically used on small centrifugal roof fans with the motor
out of airstream where the air is clean and dry.
2.16.2. Totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motors
A totally enclosed fan cooled (TEFC) motor (also known as totally enclosed fan ventilated
(TEFV) motor) is equipped for motor cooling by means of a fan integral to the motor but
external to the enclosed parts. Air-cooled totally enclosed fan-cooled motors are inherently
self sufficient in the manner which cooling is provided as the ventilation fan is driven by the
motor shaft and no external cooling is required.
Note: Care needs to be taken if there is an adjustable motor speed to ensure adequate cooling if no
auxiliary motor cooling is provided.
2.16.3. Totally enclosed air over (TEAO) motors
TEAO motors are similar to TEFC motors but do not contain an integral cooling fan, relying
upon the airflow of the fan which they are driving to cool them. Where an axial fan is
provided with a direct-drive motor this may be of aerodynamic design and may not require
cooling fins. A totally enclosed air over motor is not self ventilated and in this case the
airflow provided by the fan acts to cool the motor.
In such applications a standard TEFC motor may be used with its integral cooling fan
removed provided the quantity of cooling air available is sufficient for motor cooling.
Generally in TEAO fan applications the process air quantity exceeds the motors cooling
requirements by a large margin, and in some cases it is possible to utilise this additional
cooling to allow motor output to be increased by up to 15% (also known as Airstream
rating). These motors are typically used on plate mounted propeller fans, direct-drive axial
fans, and vane axial fans, and can operate in either Form A (motor upstream) or Form B
(motor downstream).
2.16.4. Ingress protection ratings
Applications involving airstreams contaminated with dust or moisture can preclude the use of
some motors. Motors can be sealed for protection from contaminants. There are varying
degrees of motor protection against dust and moisture known as IP (Ingress Protection)
ratings. For further information on IP ratings refer to Appendix F.
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2.16.5. Hazardous location motors
There are various classes of hazardous environments in which fans and motors may be
required to operate. The correct classification of the hazard requires considerable skill and
judgement, particularly to the extent of the hazardous area, the probability of hazardous
materials being present and their likely concentrations. This is best carried out by a
specialist assessor.
Motors designed for one hazardous area are not necessarily suitable for use in another. In
many cases, hazardous location motors will not fit on the originally selected fan due to the
increased size.
When hazardous location motors are required, there are many classes, divisions, and
groups to consider. Commonly encountered Hazardous Classifications are:
- Exd (Flameproof) - An explosion resistant motor which is designed and constructed
to withstand an internal explosion of specified gases or vapours, and not allow the
internal flame or explosion to escape.
- Exe (Increased Safety)
- Exn (Non-Sparking)
- DIP (Dust Ignition Proof)
2.16.6. Motor service factor
The service factor is a measure of continuous overload capacity at which a motor can
operate without damage, provided the other design parameters such as rated voltage,
frequency, and ambient temperature are within specification. For example a 2kW motor with
a 1.15 service factor can operate at 2.3kW (2kW x 1.15 = 2.3kW) without overheating or
otherwise damaging the motor if the rated voltage and frequency are supplied. General
purpose open motors usually have a service factor greater than 1.0 and totally enclosed
motors usually have a service factor not exceeding 1.0.
2.17. Fan accessories
2.17.1. Effect on performance
Often factory fitted extras (such as belt-guards or control dampers) are fitted to the fan at the
request of the customer. These are sometimes specified with little thought or understanding
of the aerodynamic affects and the consequent reduction of fan performance.
Unless the fan manufacturers catalogue clearly states to the contrary, it should be assumed
that published fan performance does not include the effects of any accessories. If doubt
exists about performance effects, it is best to seek advice from the fan manufacturer.
The following comments primarily apply to centrifugal fans, but may apply to any fan type.
2.17.2. Drive accessories
Bearing supports in fan inlet
Certain fan arrangements require a bearing support in the fan inlet. In a large fan the effect
on the fan performance may be negligible, but in a small fan it can be significant.
Drive-guards
Drive guards are used on fans to:
- Protect people from moving hazards associated with the motor and drive (WH&S).
- Protect the fan, drive and motor from external and environmental damage.
These guards must be openable or removable so that the protected equipment can be
maintained, and should meet the relevant occupational health and safety design standards
where applicable.
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Certain fan arrangements require drive-guards close to the fan inlet for health and safety
reasons. Depending on fan size, air velocity at the inlet and the degree of openness of the
guard, the effects of the guard on the fan performance will vary. In the case of large
diameter pulleys, spoked construction is advantageous.
Belt-guards in axial flow fans
Axial flow fans driven by belts from an externally mounted motor usually have a belt guard
across the air stream which reduces the free area within the axial casing. Most
manufacturers include the effects of such guards in their performance ratings.
2.17.3. Inlet boxes
An inlet box is a device, designed and fitted by the fan manufacturer, to ensure optimum inlet
airflow characteristics, particularly where the air stream must be turned sharply through a
substantial angle. It may be used to facilitate the motor and bearings being located
completely outside an extremely hot or corrosive air stream. These accessories are
frequently used in industrial ventilation.
The system effect of inlet boxes can vary considerably. The type of fan impeller also has a
considerable effect. If an inlet box is required, this item should be supplied with the fan and
to a design proven to have the least effect on the fan performance or to a design such that
the manufacturer knows the impact on the fan performance. Inlet boxes are commonly used
in industrial ventilation applications.







Figure 2.15 Typical picture required?
2.17.4. Inlet box dampers
Inlet box dampers may be used to control the airflow volume through the system. Either
parallel or opposed blade types may be used.
The parallel blade type is installed with the blades parallel to the fan shaft so that, in a
partially closed position, a forced inlet vortex will be generated. The effect on the fan
characteristics will be similar to that of inlet vane control. (See below). The opposed blade
type is used to control airflow by changing the duct system resistance.
Fitting either parallel or opposed blade dampers will reduce the efficiency of the fan.







Figure 2.16 Typical picture required?
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2.17.5. Inlet vanes
To optimise fan efficiency in reduced flow conditions, airflow quantity can be controlled by
variable vanes mounted in the fan inlet. These are arranged to generate a forced inlet
vortex which rotates in the same direction as the fan impeller (pre-rotation).
Inlet vane arrangements may be of two different basic types:
- Integral (built in)
- Cylindrical (add on)
The system effects of such devices are typically available from the fan manufacturer. It is
also necessary to know if any effect is required to be taken into account when they are wide
open.




Figure 2.17: Typical picture required?
Note: Providing fan speed control is a more energy efficient method than control by inlet vanes.
2.17.1. Evas
An evas is a diffuser fitted at the fan outlet (a passage of gradually increasing area through
which the air discharged by a fan must pass) that gradually increases in area to decrease
the air velocity, converting kinetic energy to static pressure. This is in conjunction with the
change in velocity profile described in Clause 10.6.
Evass can be used with both axial and centrifugal fans but require appropriate design to be
effective, with the ideal slope of transition no more than 30total included angle. As a guide,
the following table demonstrates the range of static pressure recovery based on 3 typical
scenarios:







Note: These approximate recovery values assume type B or type D fan installation (ducted outlet).
For very short evass, the pressure recovery is negative which results in an addition to system
pressure. The practice of fitting an inlet cone to the fan discharge is therefore not recommended. For
appropriate advice the fan manufacturer should be consulted.
Figure 2.18 Typical static pressure recovery with an evas
Evas type
(Figure 2.18)
Pressure recovery range as a % of fan outlet
velocity pressure
Short unducted -30 to +15 %
Long unducted +20 to +40 %
Long ducted +40 to +70%
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2.18. Other accessories
Other accessories include:
Flanged inlets and outlets
Access doors
Shaft, bearing, and belt guards
Shaft cooler
Shaft/Casing seal
Inlet screen
Anti-vibration mountings
On axial fans Inlet Cones
On axial fans support Feet
Spark resistant construction
Extended life bearings
Special coatings
Silencers and insulation
Monitoring sensors
2.19. Standard fan arrangements
Standard fan arrangements and classes are adopted by industry to communicate the
operating condition that a fan is capable of, the location of the bearings, and the standard
drive configurations. Common fan standards that have been adopted for use in Australia
follow the AMCA (Air Movement and Control Association USA) Standard AMCA 99-2404-03.
2.19.1. Axial fans
Most axial fans are direct drive arrangement 4 (refer centrifugal arrangement) but also made
arrangement 1 (direct drive with coupling) and arrangement 9 (belt drive).
Axial fans can be further differentiated according to the direction of airflow as per the
following:
- Form A Airflow over motor first
- Form B Airflow over impeller first
External Rotor motor fans are typically described as either:
- V flow Blowing over stator, or
- A flow Sucking over stator.

Figure 2.19 External rotor motor airflow designation
2.19.1. Centrifugal fans
Single width single inlet (SWSI) and double width double inlet (DWDI) centrifugal fans are
generally fabricated to order to suit various standard configurations. Some of the standard
configuration common in the HVAC&R applications are shown in Figure 2.20.
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Figure 2.20 Drive arrangements for single width and double width centrifugal fans
Direction of Rotation
& Discharge Position
Direction of rotation
is determined from
drive side for both
SWSI& DWDI fans
CW.0
CW.45
CW.90
CW.135
CW.180
CW.225
CW.270
ACW.0
ACW.45
ACW.90
ACW.135
ACW.180
ACW.225
ACW.270
Optional Motor
Positions, Belt Drive
Motor positions Z & W
are standard. Additional
price for positions Y & X
Y X
Z
DWDI
Arrgt. 3
SWSI
Arrgt. 9
Z W
W
SWSI ARRGT. 1
Rotor overhangs bearing
pedestal. Can be
supplied with integral
motor base.
Drive Arrangements - SW & DW Fans
SWSI ARRGT. 8
Direct drive. Arrgt. 1
with extended pedestal
for motor and drive coupling.
SWSI ARRGT. 3
Rotor supported by
bearing located either
side of the motor. Not
recommended below
size 30.
DWDI ARRGT. 3
Rotor supported by bearings
in both inlets. Can be supplied
with integral motor base.
SWSI ARRGT. 4
Direct drive, rotor
overhangs pedestal,
and is located directly
onto motor shaft.
DWDI ARRGT. 7
Direct drive. Arrgt. 3
DWDI with pedestal for motor
and drive coupling.
SWSI ARRGT. 9
Arrgt. 1 fan with motor
located on bearing
pedestal.
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3. Fans and energy use
3.1. Section Introduction
This section provides an overview of all the issues that need to be considered when
considering the energy use of fan applications in HVAC&R systems.
3.2. Fans and energy
Fans consume between 15 -20% of all energy generated worldwide and so their correct
selection and application can have a significant impact on overall system efficiency and cost.
There is a strong link between fan selection, system design and system energy efficiency.
- Fans are ubiquitous in HVAC&R systems
- Fans are not always well selected or applied
- Systems are not always well designed
- Systems are not always well operated
- Fans use a considerable amount of power in HVAC&R systems
A fan option with the lowest absorbed power generally has the lowest life cycle cost.
To minimise energy use fans must be:
- Applied within an accurately designed distribution system
- Selected to operate at or near their best efficiency point
- Installed and commissioned correctly
- Correctly operated and maintained over the course of their working life.
Designers, installers, operators and maintainers all have a role to play in maximising system
efficiency and minimising system energy use.
Fans are the obvious energy user in ventilation systems, and are usually a major contributor
to annualised energy consumption in commercial, air conditioned buildings. At the design
and installation phase of any project, fan power requirements can be minimised by:
Reducing airflow (q) to the lowest rate required to achieve performance.
Reducing Total Pressure p
t
required by the duct system to meet airflow performance.
Note: Total Pressure p
t
= Static Pressure p
S
+ Velocity Pressure p
V

Static Pressure can be reduced by prudent duct design. Refer to DA03.
Velocity pressure can be reduced by selection of larger diameter fans.
Selection of fans with high fan efficiency

f
.
The relationship between these factors and required fan input power is:
P
i
= q x (p
v
+ p
s
)
P
i
= Fan shaft power input (Watts)

f
q = System airflow (m
3
/sec)
p
v
= Fan velocity pressure (Pa)
p
s
= System static pressure (Pa)

f
= Overall fan efficiency (Value between 0 & 1.0)

3.3. Fan motors and energy
Efficiency = power in (electricity supplied) / power out (useful work)
The efficiency of the system will depend on the efficiency of the fan (impeller/blade/casing
combination) and the efficiency of the motor and drive used to power it. Several phenomena
cause inefficiencies (energy loss) in motors and drives including:
- Friction at bearings supporting the shaft
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- Current flow induced through windings causes resistance heating
- Motors require cooling arrangements to remove heat generated
The efficiency of an electric motor will be dependent on the following:
- Efficiency varies with load motor peak efficiency does not occur at peak load.
- Efficiency varies with size larger motors tend to be more efficient that smaller
motors at their optimum loading. Oversized motors are often less efficient than those
correctly sized.
- Efficiency varies with component quality Higher quality electrical materials can
reduce resistance, heat build-up and improve efficiency
- Efficiency varies with power factor motors with a high power factor (i.e.
approaching unity) draw less reactive current and losses due to resistance heating
than motors with a lower power factor.
The link between motor efficiency and system energy efficiency is often overlooked by
designers and installers. Not all electric motors have the same efficiencies. The annual
energy consumption of HVAC&R systems can be significantly reduced by the selection of
high efficiency fan motors.
The relationship between motor efficiency and required electrical input power is:
P
e
= q x (p
v
+ p
s
)
x
1
P
e
= Electrical power input (Watts)

f

m

m
= Overall motor efficiency (Value between 0 & 1.0)

3.4. Minimum Energy performance standards
Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) programs are mandatory in Australia and
are enforced by state government legislation and regulations applicable to the relevant
Australian Standards. Regulations specify the general requirements for MEPS for
appliances and equipment, including offences and penalties if a party does not comply with
the requirements. Technical requirements for MEPS are set out in the relevant appliance or
equipment standard.
Three phase electric motors are currently regulated under MEPS. Three phase electric
motors from 0.73kW up to 185kW manufactured in or imported into Australia must comply
with the MEPS requirements set out in AS/NZS 1359.5. The MEPS requirements are set out
as minimum efficiency levels. The MEPS standard also defines a voluntary high efficiency
level for these motors. These MEPS do not apply to submersible motors, integral motor-
gear systems, variable or multi-speed motors or those rated only for short duty cycles.
Rewound motors are not required to comply with MEPS.
MEPS are regulated as minimum standards. It is important for designers to understand the
difference between a motor that meets the MEPS and a motor that exceeds the MEPS.
MEPS are designed to remove very inefficient equipment from the market not drive the
market to only use the minimum standard allowed.
Note: At the time of publication there are no MEPS set for fans in Australia. However, the
implementation of MEPS for fan-units (i.e. fan and motor combinations), based on European Union
(EU) regulations is currently under consideration. Since 2012 the EU has implemented minimum
efficiency regulations for fan-units driven by electric motors with an input power in the range of 125
Watts to 500 kW. The EU regulations are based on the fan performance test method ISO5801 and
the Fan Motor Efficiency Grades set out in ISO12759.
The Greenhouse and Minimum Energy Standards (GEMS) program aims to create a
national framework for MEPS, which will replace stated based MEPS regulations.
3.5. BCA Section J
Building regulations, through the National Construction Code (NCC) Volume One (Building
Code of Australia Class 2 to 9 buildings), limit the installed power that may be consumed by
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fans in ventilation, air conditioning and miscellaneous systems. Limits are set in Section J of
the Code.
For ventilation systems BCA Section J specifies maximum fan motor power (W) to airflow
rate (L/s) ratio requirements that need to be achieved by ventilation systems for compliance
with building regulations. These W/L/s requirements are designed to reduce the fan energy
consumption which is achieved by reducing or optimising the total system pressure drop and
by selecting an appropriate fan efficiency. Therefore complying with these targets generally
requires duct systems to be designed for low pressure drops and using high efficiency fans.
For air conditioning systems BCA Section J specifies that the total fan motor power of the
air-conditioning supply air and return air fans in the building, divided by the floor area served
by those fans, must be less than the maximum fan motor power limits specified in the code.
Fan motor power is defined as the power delivered to the motor of a fan, including the power
needed for any drive and impeller losses
Maximum fan motor power limits are specified in watts (W) per square meter (m
2
) of the floor
area of the air conditioned space. Specified limits are listed dependent on the air
conditioning sensible heat load (W/m
2
) of the conditioned space
Meeting the requirements of the NCC for fan power is dependent on a systems approach
including:
- The design of the ductwork and air distribution system (ducting, dampers, diffusers)
- The presence of filters, coils and other air handling components
- The selection of the fan and its motor
- The method of fan control
Designers should refer to the latest edition of the code relevant to the authority with
jurisdiction over the design to determine the specific requirements that should be applied to
a particular installation.
3.6. System design and energy
3.6.1. Size and extent
The system designer must decide on the size and extent of the system. The smaller the
duct and fitting size chosen the lower the costs to both purchase and install them. However
using smaller duct and fitting sizes results in a higher resistance to flow and therefore a
larger fan/motor than might otherwise be required. A larger fan means higher purchase and
installation costs and higher operating costs over the life of the system.
Decreasing duct size has the following effects:
- Decrease duct and component purchase and installation costs
- Increase fan procurement costs, including a larger motor and electrical supply
system.
- Increase operating costs and potentially reduce system life.
- Potential for higher noise levels with higher fan duty requirements
Similarly with increasing duct size, some costs increase and some decrease. An optimum
duct size may be found based on minimising the costs and maximising the benefits over the
life of the system, refer Clause 3.14
3.6.2. Flow rates
To minimise energy consumption it is best to move air at as low a flow rate as the system or
process can tolerate. Reducing flow rates reduces friction losses and ultimately reduces the
size of fan and motor required. In HVAC&R applications the airflow rate is often a function of
the heat load to be transferred which depends on:
- The energy released/absorbed by the transfer process
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- The properties of the air
- The heat transfer characteristics of the distribution
Some equipment manufacturers (e.g. coils, enthalpy wheels, dampers) will mandate
maximum and minimum flow rates to ensure the proper performance of their plant.
3.6.3. Air velocity
The air velocity and flow rate have a direct relationship to the duct sizes selected. In general
lower velocity through larger ducts provides a more energy efficient distribution option.
There are other design limitations on air velocities including:
- Minimum velocity for the application - e.g. throw at a supply grille.
- Maximum flow velocity to minimise noise and vibration in distribution system.
Refer to AIRAH DA03 and the AIRAH Technical Handbook for recommendations on air
velocity selection when sizing ductwork distribution systems.
3.6.4. Motor power and efficiency
Accurately calculating and specifying the size of motor (power) required for the particular fan
and application is an important design step from an energy efficiency point of view. The
efficiency of the motor and drive that will be specified with the fan has a significant effect on
system energy use. Motors, speed controllers and drive mechanisms should all be specified
to maximise the operating efficiency of the system.
Higher flow rates will occur if the system resistance is lower than anticipated. The operating
point of the fan will shift down and to the right on the fan performance curve. For fans with
an overloading power characteristic the required power can exceed the motor rated power
causing the motor overload protection to trip. Motors should be selected to be non-
overloading or a larger motor than required be specified to ensure that the fan will operate at
any point on the curve. The larger motor will not run at full capacity and hence there may be
a minor efficiency penalty. However the improved efficiency characteristics of larger motors
may offset this efficiency penalty somewhat.
3.6.5. Equipment quality
In many cases the quality of the fan and system components specified or purchased will
have an impact on the energy performance of the system. Fan manufacturers offer a range
of optional extras for standard fans and many, for a small increase in initial capital cost, can
have a significant effect on the energy consumed by the fan. Some of the issues to be
considered when specifying a particular fan include:
- Quality of manufacture and materials
- Wear rates for bearing or seals
- Impeller and casing coatings to improve performance and reduce corrosion
- Extent of embedded controls and monitors (e.g., EC fans)
3.6.6. Single, parallel or series operation
Designers need to decide the most efficient configuration to use for the system. Options
include:
- A single fan (with variable or multiple speed control)
- Equal fans operating in parallel
- Unequal fans operating in parallel
- Equal fans operating in series,
- Unequal fans operating in series.
Section 7 explores many of these design options in detail, including their energy
implications.
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3.6.7. Shut-off pressure
When the damper at the fan discharge is fully closed, a condition known as shut-off exists.
The pressure at shut-off produced by a centrifugal fan is only slightly above or below the
pressure at maximum efficiency. Closure of the fan discharge damper while the unit is
operating should be avoided, or only done with care and only for a very short time.
When operating in shut-off the fan will still consume energy which will cause heating in the
casing. As the impeller will be stalling; noise, vibration and severe radial loads on the shaft
may occur. With larger fans these effects can be severe and temperature rise can be rapid.
The advice of the manufacturer should be sought to ascertain whether, and for how long the
fan may be operated at shut off.
Designers should also verify that the peak pressure that could be developed by the fan at
shut-off is less than the rated pressure of all components located between the fan discharge
and the shut-off damper.
3.6.8. Equipment speed
Low speed equipment is generally the most efficient however slower fan impeller speed
leads to the selection of larger equipment.
3.6.9. System connections
The configuration of the connections between the fan and the duct network are also crucial
in achieving optimum fan performance and system efficiency. Poorly configured connections
will impose additional resistance to flow resulting in a larger or higher powered fan than
would otherwise have been required, see Section 10 for more information. Where
connections cannot be configured optimally, due to site or installation limitations, fittings are
available to help mitigate the effects.
3.6.10. Optional features
Many manufacturers have optional features that allow the designer to influence the fan
performance. Features like seals, wearing rings, couplings and internal coatings can all be
specified by the designer when appropriate to the project to ensure long term efficiency and
operability.
3.7. Selecting fans for optimum energy use
Fan efficiency is largely a factor of the energy losses inherent in the design which include:
- Mechanical losses resulting from friction of the shaft bearings
- Leakage losses air short circuiting within the fan or leaking at the shaft represents
an energy loss
- Hydraulic losses air friction, velocity changes and churning/turbulence within the
impeller and casing all represent energy losses
For a given fan there will only be one operating point associated with peak operating
efficiency, called best efficiency point. Where possible, fans should be selected so that they
are operating at their best efficiency point for the largest amount of time.
The key to specifying an efficient fan is to do so in terms of fundamentals including:
- Fan type, impeller design, fan diameter
- Required flow rate and pressure
- Minimum acceptable fan and motor efficiency (including power factor)
- Maximum acceptable fan power and speed.
- Specified fan/system components including inlet guide vanes, wearing rings and air
dampers (balancing, non-return.
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The performance of the fan is defined by the fan performance curve. The fan performance
curve is matched to the system resistance curve to determine the point at which the fan and
system will operate. Both the fan and system curves can be manipulated to ensure that the
operating point will be at optimal efficiency. Refer to section 6.
3.8. Fan control and energy
Energy management in HVAC&R is of growing interest and importance. Fans are at the
centre of many systems and provide an opportunity to reduce costs and improve reliability by
the application of design and operational solutions. Enhanced controls are at the centre of
many of these solutions which utilise speed control enhanced by intelligent monitoring and
management capabilities. Fan control is discussed in detail in section 7.
3.9. Right sizing
Correctly sizing the fan for the application ensures that the fan is operating at its best
efficiency point and is using the minimum energy required.
Oversized fans are generally either heavily throttled or do not operate at their best efficiency
point. Noisy fans generally indicate heavy throttling or excessive flow. Noise regenerated at
dampers and other components of the air distribution system generally indicate high
pressure drops which represent wasted energy. Oversized fans waste energy because
higher flows and pressures are provided than is needed by the system. Oversized fans lead
to higher initial capital costs and higher life cycle costs.
Applying excessive or multiple safety factors to fan and motor size is a common way for fans
to become oversized for the application. This is particularly relevant in the selection of
electric motors because motors operating well below design load are inefficient.
Under-capacity fans generally require excessive maintenance due to high operating
temperatures and stresses and increased wearing in bearings.
Fan sizing is discussed in detail in section 6.
3.10. Fan Efficiency
There are numerous separate efficiency factors that combine to make up an overall Fan
efficiency, some are controlled in manufacture and design and some are controlled in fan
application. Some of the separate efficiency factors that need to be considered include:
- The fan impeller/housing efficiency
- The fan bearing efficiency
- The transmission efficiency
- The motor efficiency
- The control efficiency
All of these separate efficiencies need to be considered when determining the efficiency of
the fan unit.
3.11. Estimating fan energy use
Estimating the energy use for different ventilation solutions can provide useful criteria for
assessing different proposals.
Energy use is often the largest cost element over the full working life of the fan. Fan energy
use can be estimated if the system operation or output pattern is known, or can be
accurately predicted.
The air power (P
u
) is given by multiplying the volume flow rate by the system pressure loss,
q
v
x p
t
. However, the electrical power input P
e
, is expressed in AS ISO 5801as
P
e
=
q
v
p
t

c

Equation 3.11a
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Where:
P
e
= the electrical input power, (W)
q
v
= the flow rate, (m
3
/s)
p
t
= fan total pressure, (Pa)

r
= fan impeller efficiency, expressed as a decimal between 0 and 1.0

b
= fan bearing efficiency, expressed as a decimal between 0 and 1.0

T
= transmission efficiency, expressed as a decimal between 0 and 1.0

m
= motor efficiency, expressed as a decimal between 0 and 1.0

c
= control efficiency, expressed as a decimal between 0 and 1.0.
All of these separate factors influence the power consumption of the fan and all require
consideration during the energy assessment of the whole fan assembly. Fan motor power
means the power delivered to a motor of a fan, including the power needed for any drive and
impeller losses.
If the system flow q
v
is constant then the calculation of power consumption is relatively
simple.
If the system flow q
v
varies over time then a time-based usage pattern needs to be
established before the input power required can be calculated. For instance, if a system
incorporates a variable speed motor then the fan will consume different levels of energy at
different efficiencies at different operating points. The efficiency or level of energy used
should be plotted on the same time base as the usage values. The area under the curve
then represents the total energy used by the system in kilowatt hours (kWh) for the selected
operating cycle. If there are differential power costs at different times of day or at different
power usage levels then these must be included in the analysis. The total cost of input
energy can then be calculated for each system or option under review and normalised to a
common time period.
Due to the complexity of these calculations computer software is commonly used to estimate
system energy use in variable flow systems. Where variable speed drives (VSD) are used to
vary the flow additional energy considerations are needed.
3.12. Calculating energy savings with variable speed
drives (VSDs)
Substantial energy savings can often be achieved by using variable speed drives (VSDs) to
vary the output of a fan in response to actual system demands. VSDs are not appropriate
for all applications, however. When deciding if the installation of a VSD is the right choice, it
is important to accurately calculate the potential energy savings. Part of such an analysis
involves applying a set of equations known as the fan laws (refer Appendix A). However,
other system effects of the variable speed drive also need to be considered. The best
practice approach is to carefully consider part-load efficiencies of the VSD, the motor, and
the fan itself, as well as drive losses.
Efficiency reductions at part-load are often not considered. Performance changes of the fan
generally represent the biggest loss in efficiency. This can be determined from the
manufacturers performance curve for the particular fan. Motor efficiency may also reduce
rapidly at loads less than 40%-50% of the rated full load. VSD efficiencies can be as low as
11% for small and very lightly loaded motors, and even at full load may range from 89%-97%
depending on motor size. Drive losses should also be considered and may vary from 2%-
5% for direct drives to as high as 10% for belt drives on small motors.
Of equal importance in deciding whether a VSD is an appropriate choice is an evaluation of
the required loads. If the loads do not vary substantially and the existing fan is simply
oversized (overcapacity), it is often more cost effective to replace the fan with a properly
sized unit rather than to install a VSD.
The best practice in calculating energy savings associated with VSDs is to apply the fan
laws and to carefully account for all losses in efficiency at part-loads.
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3.13. Calculating return on investment
For any investment option there is often a need to calculate the return on the investment
(ROI) in monetary terms, so that the economic outcomes of the proposal can be adequately
considered. There are many ways to calculate the return on investment for a particular
strategy, ranging from the very simple to the very detailed; the following brief explanations
are provided as an introduction to the topic.
3.13.1. Simple payback period
Calculating a simple payback period is the most basic of economic analysis tools and the
simplest to apply. It is most applicable in situations where a reduction in operating costs
relative to business as usual (or some other alternative) will be achieved. Simple payback
roughly calculates the number of years before capital is recovered but does not include
savings beyond that time, and therefore does not calculate return on investment (ROI).
Simple payback period can be calculated using the following equation:
Payback Period (Years) = Total Investment ($) / Savings per year ($)
The advantages of this simple payback analysis is that it is intuitive and easily understood,
does not rely on discounting and does not require a specified equipment or system life span.
3.13.2. Net present value analysis
Net Present Value (NPV) analysis calculates the net value of an alternative in todays dollars
terms so that direct comparisons can be made. It is the recommended tool for identifying the
optimal outcome among a number of options
The major benefit of NPV is that it acknowledges the time value of money; that is $1 today is
worth more than $1 in the future. The time value of money is represented in the calculations
by a Discount Rate which reduces the value of money in future years by a certain rate per
year (usually in the range of 5-10% depending on the application).
The ability to include discount and inflation rates (as well as other factors as required) results
in the generation of a good indication of the economic outcome of an alternative, however as
these rates are assumptions of future trends they can also introduce a degree of inaccuracy.
3.13.3. Internal rate of return
Internal Rate of Return (IRR) analysis is similar to NPV however rather than attempting to
calculate a monetary value as the output it identifies the discount rate at which the NPV is
zero. This eliminates one of the assumptions required for NPV calculations. IRR has
benefits over NPV but it does require some understanding of the underlying economics for
the output to be meaningful and is therefore not always effective when persuading others.
3.13.4. Life cycle costing
Life Cycle Costing (LCC) is a systematic methodology for assessing all the significant costs
of ownerships over a selected period expressed in equivalent monetary terms. It recognises
that the various operational elements within a HVAC&R system are inter-related over time.
A decision made today will not only affect present functioning but will also have an impact
over the working life of the system.
Apart from purchase and installation or capital costs, the ongoing life cycle costs are formally
titled "Cost-in-use" and comprise operating, maintenance, cleaning, alteration and
replacement costs. These costs often far exceed the initial capital cost when taken over the
useful life of a system. In addition choices may have other long term impacts (noise, air
quality, thermal comfort) than may be immediately apparent. There is an obvious incentive
towards the concept of life cycle costing for an owner-occupier whose interests are best
served by ensuring economics for the life of the plant as compared with a developer with
motivation towards selling or leasing. An application guide to life cycle costing is provided by
Australian Standard AS/NZS 4536.
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LCC is an appropriate method of comparing the financial implications of various technical
alternatives. Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) goes one step further; to compare financial and non-
financial aspects.
3.14. Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is a detailed analysis technique that aims to quantify all benefits
and costs, past, present and future, attributable to an action or product whether they are
direct or indirect. LCA goes beyond simply maximising economic returns, it also aims to
minimise environmental costs and quantify and value other long term system characteristics
such as noise, air quality or thermal comfort.
Any life cycle analysis needs to consider the total costs of ownership and operation over the
expected life of the system (or some defined calculation period) including:
- Initial costs Purchase costs for fan, ducts, components including
transportation, storage, insurance and the like.
- Installation costs Labour and material costs associated with installation and
commissioning.
- Energy costs The cost of purchasing/providing energy to operate the
system, present and future cost.
- Operating costs Any costs of system supervision and management
- Maintenance costs Labour and materials associated with maintenance.
- Failure costs Costs associated with fan failure.
- Environmental costs Any environmental costs incurred.
- Decommissioning costs the labour, transport and disposal costs associated
with decommissioning, removing and disposing of the system at end of its
useful life.
Many of these costs can be influenced by choices made by the system designer and
installer. For example maintenance costs will be a function of the time and frequency of
service and the materials required. The designer can influence these costs through the
materials of construction, quality of plant and components, and ease of access and facilities
provided for service.
It is rare that the selection based of lowest first cost provides optimal life cycle costing, and
the designer should remain aware of this when evaluating alternative options.

Figure 3.1 Typical life cycle costs of a fan

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4. Fan performance
4.1. Section Introduction
This section discusses the performance rating of fans, the tests used to rate performance,
how test data is turned into performance information, the limitations of the test methods and
the data produced. The section also discusses fan and system efficiency and the overall
impact of fans on system energy use.
4.2. Fan testing
In order that the performance of various products can be compared fan manufacturers must
rate the performance of their equipment in accordance with a recognised Code or Standard.
The following are the main fan test methods and standards used by fan manufacturers:
AS ISO 5801 deals with the determination of the performance of fans of all types except
those designed solely for air circulation e.g. ceiling fans and table fans. Estimates of
uncertainty of measurement are provided and rules for the conversion, within specified limits,
of test results for changes in speed, gas handled and, in the case of model tests, size, are
given. This standard allows the use of a star type straightener for ducted tests. AS ISO
5801 superseded AS 2936.
AS 4429 classifies smoke-spill fans and describes laboratory test methods and procedures
used to rate their performance (and that of their motors). Fans are rated in terms of their
suitability to operate continuously without significant loss of performance for a specified time
at a specified air temperature. This Standard deals only with laboratory type testing and
does not consider the testing of smoke-spill fans after they have been installed in a building.
Performance ratings are specified in AS/NZS 1668.1.
ANSI/AMCA 210 / ANSI/ASHRAE 51 Laboratory Methods of Testing Fans for Certified
Aerodynamic Performance Rating defines uniform methods for conducting laboratory tests
on housed fans to determine airflow rate, pressure, power and efficiency, at a given speed of
rotation. The standard also includes requirements for checking effectiveness of the airflow
settling means and testing for chamber leakage. This standard and test method(s) is
equivalent to but not identical with AS ISO 5801.
ISO 12759 specifies requirements for classification of fan efficiency for all fan types driven
by motors with an electrical input power range from 0.125 kW to 500 kW. It is applicable to
(bare shaft and driven) fans, as well as fans integrated into products. Fans integrated into
products are measured as stand-alone fans. It is not applicable to fans for smoke and
emergency smoke extraction; fans for industrial processes; fans for automotive application,
trains, aircraft, etc.; fans for potentially explosive atmospheres; box fans, powered roof
ventilators and air curtains or jet fans for use in car parks and tunnel ventilation.
ISO 5802 deals with the determination of the performance of fans as they are installed within
a system, i.e. an in-situ performance test method.
ISO 13347 deals with the determination of the acoustic performance of industrial fans. In
addition, it may be used to determine the acoustic performance of fans combined with an
ancillary device such as a roof cowl or damper or, where the fan is fitted with a silencer, the
sound power resulting from the fan and silencer combination
ISO 13350 deals with the determination of the performance of jet fans.
ISO 14695 describes a method of measuring the vibration characteristics of fans and ISO
14694 gives specifications for vibration and balance limits of fans of all types, except those
designed solely for air circulation.
ISO 1940 specifies balance tolerances, the necessary number of correction planes, and
methods for verifying the residual unbalance for rotors in a constant (rigid) state
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Recommendations are given concerning the balance quality requirements for rotors in a
constant (rigid) state, according to their machinery type and maximum service speed. A
balance quality grade of G6.3 is appropriate to most fans and a grade of less than G2.5 is
usually only achievable on very special equipment. ISO 1940.1 states acceptance criteria
for the verification of residual unbalances. Detailed consideration of errors associated with
balancing and verification of residual unbalance are given in ISO 1940.2.
4.3. Test configurations
Fan performance curves are produced by the manufacturer by testing a fan in standardised
conditions as prescribed by the relevant standard such as AS ISO 5801.
There are four standard test configurations that attempt to represent the range of basic fan
applications as shown in Figure 4.1. Roof ventilator fans are represented by Type A, roof
discharge fans by Type C. Centrifugal fans in air handling units or plenums are likely to be
represented by manufacturers as Type B. Type D is the one most likely to be closest to the
representation of both axial and centrifugal fans in many ducted ventilation and air
conditioning applications. Many heat rejection fan applications are represented by Type A.
Drafting note: change Category to Type

Figure 4.1 Fan test configuration Types
Centrifugal fan performances have usually been derived from measurements for fans with
free inlets and ducted outlets, but this depends on the size and type of fan. For axial fans,
ducted inlets and ducted outlets have usually been used. These methods have been
adopted for convenience since for double width centrifugal fans flow measurement at the
inlets would be difficult and for axial fans the presence of swirl at the outlet causes
complications. Flow straighteners are used to remove the swirl in AS ISO 5801.
4.4. Fan performance
Performance data may be presented either graphically (in a fan curve) or in tabular form (in
a rating table). Performance data is either listed for standard air temperature and pressure,
or the air temperature, density and pressure at which the tests were carried out are listed so
that appropriate adjustments to expe3cted performance can be made.
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Note: standard (air) temperature and pressure (STP) is defined as clean, dry air with a density of 1.2
kg/m, a sea level barometric pressure of 101.325 kPa and a temperature of 21 C.
It should be remembered that catalogued fan performance data is the result of testing
generally without any obstructions in the fan inlet or outlet and without any optional
accessories in place. Unless careful design of inlets, outlets and ductwork has been
undertaken, a fan will not perform in practice as per the catalogued performance data.
Appropriate pressure drop corrections should be applied when obstructions and accessories
exist and to account for the effect of the system connections. This is discussed in detail in
Section 10.
4.5. Fan performance curves
The fan performance or characteristic curve is a graphical representation of fan performance
and is one of the most useful tools for optimising fan selections. A series of performance
curves for a particular fan type is usually presented as a graph of flow versus pressure and
flow versus power with a separate curve for each particular speed.
Fan performance curves are developed based on standard tests measuring the output of a
fan, its volume flow rate and pressure, for a range of conditions. This concept is shown in
Figure 4.2, with tests ranging from the flow being fully closed off to when the air path is
completely open, all measured at a constant fan speed (although fan speeds do vary when
testing). At the same time, the power input to the motor is recorded.


Figure 4.2 The creation of a fan performance curve
Drafting note: X axis is static pressure. Change SP to p
s
and VP to p
v

The fan performance graph is generally composed of a series of separate performance
curves including:
Static pressure Vs Volume curve Called the fan performance or fan characteristic curve,
this is a plot of static pressure against volume at a constant speed/gas density.
Fan total pressure (p
t
) and velocity pressures (p
v
) are also plotted against volume.
Note: p
t
= p
s
+ p
v
, therefore p
t
can never be less than p
v
, so the fan performance curve
doesnt reach zero pressure, but rather p
v
. When volume flow is zero p
t
= p
s
and p
v
= 0
Power Vs Volume curve plot of the fan power drawn for any point on the performance
curve.
Efficiency Vs Volume curve plot of fan efficiency for any point on the performance curve.
The efficiency curve is produced by dividing air power (air power = pressure in Pa x volume
flow rate in m
3
/s) by the motor shaft power. This can be static efficiency (using Ps) or total
efficiency (p
t
).

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Total Efficiency % = airflow (m
3
/s) x Total Pressure (Pa)
10 x Power absorbed or shaft input Power, in kW
Static efficiency % = airflow (m
3
/s) x Static Pressure (Pa)
10 x Power absorbed or shaft input power, in kW
Note: ISO12759 allows for motor input power / air power.
Using the test data, a complete set of fan performance or fan performance curves is
produced as illustrated in Figure 4.3.
Fan performance curves offer a convenient method of fan selection as well as additional
information such as the amount of reserve pressure that exists between the design pressure
and peak available pressure, the maximum power the fan may draw and the likely efficiency
of operation.


Figure 4.3 Fan performance curves showing recommended selection range

Typical generic fan performance curves for common fan types are shown in Figure 4.4

Figure 4.4 Typical generic fan performance curves
Drafting note: add radial bladed fans, decrease vane axial performance to below
backward curved aerofoil
Optimum selection range
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Note: None of these curves would hunt as the system resistance curve would need to intersect the
fan curve at 2 points. However, a steeper vane axial fan curve to the left of peak pressure, would lead
to instability for certain specific system curves, hence the warning Possibly Unstable.
NOTE: Some designers prefer to select at 10-15% below peak pressure.
These typical curves are exaggerated and idealised indicative performance curves.
Individual (real) fans will perform differently from this, although the attributes will be similar.
This includes the areas of instability shown where the fan can flip between two possible flow
rates at the same pressure (hunting) or instability as a consequence of the fan stalling (refer
to section 7). Some axial flow fans have adjustable pitch blades of which the first 10-20
degrees have a non-stalling characteristic. Manufacturers will generally identify
recommended working ranges for their products within their technical literature.
4.6. Published and certified performance curves
The fan performance curves generated under test become the basis of the catalogue curves
and selection tables used by manufacturers to market their products. The manufacturing
process and associated tolerances are designed to ensure that a fan will match the
catalogued performance.
When purchasing or specifying a fan designers can request its certified performance curve
to ensure compliance with the published data. Unlike the published curve which represents
a general curve, or set of curves, for a fan model and size, the certified performance curve
reflects the actual test results for a particular fan.
4.7. Fan selection aids
4.7.1. Selection charts
A selection chart shows the performance map for a family of similar fans. They are often
formatted on semi-log or log-log scales to display a wide range of flow and pressure on a
single chart. The chart shows the various fan sizes/designs available and a selection is
made by evaluating the fans with a best efficiency point near the specified operating points.
Once the fan size has been selected the individual fan performance curve should be
consulted for full details of the fan performance, capability and characteristics.
4.7.2. Fan rating tables
Similar to fan selection charts multi-rating tables have traditionally been used for centrifugal
fans. Usually flow, pressure and power are tabulated, for equal increments of outlet velocity
for a given size of fan.
These tables can be used for fan selection although some interpolation may be required.
4.7.3. Computer selection programmes
More frequently used than traditional charts or tables, computerised data selection allows for
the rapid selection of many possible fans at the click of a button. The most appropriate
choice will still depend on the many factors described in this manual. Specifiers and
designers should review choices in detail rather than rely on a choice made from a brief
comparison summary table.
4.8. Interpreting fan manufacturer data
With a basic understanding of the fan performance curve, designers can predict the way the
fan performance would change if the fan characteristics were changed or if combinations of
fans (series and parallel) are used in a system (refer Section 5). However, designers need
to be aware of the following uses when interpreting performance curves:
- Fan performance curves are developed under controlled test conditions with the fan
installed with favourable inlet and discharge connections. These connection
conditions are often not able to be replicated in the field.
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- Fan performance curves are developed under a specified air condition (temperature,
pressure, density), the air conditions prevalent during the test. Check at what actual
conditions the fans have been tested at, do not rely on the term Standard to identify
this as this does vary between locations of the fan test centre.
- Fan performance curves are generally developed without any of the optional
accessories that may be available. Some accessories may alter the aerodynamic
performance of the fan and hence will vary from the standard performance curve.
- Fan noise is a function of the fan design, volume flow rate, total pressure and
efficiency. The sound power generation of a given fan performing a given duty is
best obtained from the fan manufacturers actual test data taken under standardised
test conditions. However test conditions vary and some manufacturers display actual
measured data without manipulation while others manipulate data to provide
example in-duct noise levels which changes for each different installation. The true
measured sound power data is the only way to compare how each fan will perform in
the specific installation. Manufacturers generally have available descriptions of how
the fans are tested and how the data is presented.
Different manufacturers may use different test standards to test their product e.g. ISO, AS,
EN, AMCA test standards etc. These standardised test methods are all similar but not
identical. When comparing fan performance it is important to understand the basis of the fan
performance curves.
It must also be remembered that any field testing (e.g. during commissioning) will produce a
different result to the laboratory testing carried out by the manufacturer. All appropriate
corrections must be made for all deviations from the ideal laboratory test configuration
before a valid comparison between test data can be made.
4.9. Derating manufacturers data
Apart from fan inlet or outlet obstructions or optional accessories there are other reasons
why a fans performance data may need to be derated for a particular application.
Ratings found in performance tables and curves are based on a nominated air temperature
and pressure. Selecting a fan to operate at conditions other than the nominated conditions
requires performance data to be adjusted.
Other reasons why a fans performance might need to be derated for a particular application
include:
- Fan speed Operating the fan at a speed not indicated on the performance curves
- Gases other than air Most fans are tested with standard air and if the application
involves a gas other than air corrections to performance need to be made.
- Contamination of air stream fans are tested with clean air and if the application
involves air contaminated with dust or moisture corrections need to be made.
Axial fans performance data is generally catalogued as Type D but there are manufacturers
who show the impact on the fan performance in Types A, B and C installations. It is
important to determine in what Type of installation configuration the performance data was
defined.
4.10. Fan Laws
4.10.1. About the fan laws
It is not practicable to test the performance of every size of fan in a manufacturers range at
all speeds at which it may be required to run, and with every gas density it may be required
to handle.
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Fortunately, by use of the Fan Laws, the performance of geometrically similar fans of
different sizes or speeds can be predicted sufficiently accurately for practical purposes.
Total accuracy would require that the effects of, surface roughness of the fan, the viscosity
of the gas and scale effect to be taken into account for example. For the vast majority of fan
calculations in HVAC&R applications this level of accuracy is not necessary.
It is important to note, however, that the Fan Laws apply to a given point of operation on the
fan characteristic. They cannot be used to predict other points on the fan performance
curve.
4.10.2. Applying the fan laws
The fan laws are most often used to calculate changes in flow rate, pressure and power of a
fan when the size, rotational speed or gas density is changed. In the following Laws the
suffix 1 has been used for initial known values and the suffix 2 for the changed values
and the resulting calculated value:
3
1
2
1
2
1 2
|
|
.
|

\
|

|
|
.
|

\
|
=
d
d
n
n
q q Equation 4.11.1
1
2
1
2
2
1
2
1 2
o
o

|
|
.
|

\
|

|
|
.
|

\
|
=
d
d
n
n
p p Equation 4.11.2
1
5
1
2
3
1
2
1 2
o
o

|
|
.
|

\
|

|
|
.
|

\
|
=
d
d
n
n
P P Equation 4.11.3
Where:
q = volume flow of air, m
3
/s
p = pressure developed by fan, Pa
= density of air, kg/m
3

n = fan rotational speed, m/s
d = diameter of impeller, m
P = power absorbed by fan, kW
When a significant change of density occurs between the fan inlet and discharge, the
arithmetic mean of the density and volume is used. For fans operating at pressures below
2.5 kPa the above fan laws may be taken to apply when using inlet volume and inlet density.
These laws are simplified when one or more of the variables remain unchanged. For
example when the gas density is constant, the ratio d
2
/d
1
equals 1 and can be omitted from
the equation.
Similarly, if the diameter is also constant as with an existing fan, D
2
/D
1
is 1 and this too can
be omitted. Only the speed variation laws then apply, as follows:
( )
( )
1
2
1 2
n
n
q q = Equation 4.11.4
( )
( )
2
1
2
2
1 2
n
n
p p =
Equation 4.11.5
( )
( )
3
1
3
2
1 2
n
n
P P =
Equation 4.11.6
A summary of the fan laws is provided in Appendix A.

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5. System design and specification
5.1. Section introduction
This section discusses the theory behind fan and air distribution system design. The system
resistance curve is explained and how the fan performance curve is used with the system
resistance curve to define fan operation. As well as discussing the performance and design
aspects of single fan systems the application and performance of fans operating in parallel
as well as fans operating in series is also explained.
5.2. Constant air volume
A constant air volume system will deliver an unchanging air flow. In HVAC&R applications
constant volume systems provide either, a consistent rate of ventilation or, with a varying
supply air temperature, air conditioning of an area with varying load demand can be
achieved.
5.3. Variable air volume
A variable air volume system will deliver a changing air flow in response to the system
demand. Supply air fans on variable air volume (VAV) systems are typically controlled to
maintain static pressure in the duct system at a given set point. Fans can also be controlled
on temperature or manual feedback.
5.4. The systems approach
5.4.1. System pressure requirements
Fans cannot be designed in isolation from the air distribution system and designers and fan
suppliers need to take a holistic systems approach.
As air is moved through a ducted system, the energy (pressure) given to the air by the fan is
progressively lost by friction of the air against the duct walls, by turbulence at bends,
dampers and changes of duct section and by pressure losses through heaters, coils, filters,
terminal units, diffusers and grilles or other items of equipment in the system.
The loss of pressure due to all these sources, known as the system resistance, is for
practical purposes proportional to the square of the velocity at the point of loss.
It should be noted that the assessment of system resistance is the sum of the total pressure
losses throughout the system. However, the value obtained is generally called static
pressure as the velocity pressure at the end of the system is generally a very low value.
5.4.2. System resistance calculations
Accurate system resistance calculations are necessary if the fan is to perform in accordance
with the required system design.
It is recommended that calculation of the system resistance be carried out by estimating
changes in total pressure throughout the system. Pressure losses in both the supply and
return/exhaust networks are additive and hence the total pressure always decreases from
the discharge of the fan through to the inlet. Static pressure, on the other hand, may change
in either a positive or negative sense depending upon changes in velocity in the system.
Figure 5.1 is a diagrammatic representation of a typical ductwork system and shows in
graphical form the changes in both static and total pressure (below and above atmospheric
pressure) which take place. The steep rise in both pressures near the centre of the diagram
represents the pressure rise through the fan.
For detailed information on calculating ductwork system resistance refer to the AIRAH DA03,
and for calculating the system effect refer to Section 10.
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5.4.3. HEPA filter resistance
A frequently encountered variation to the square of the velocity rule occurs where high
efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are included in the system. For HEPA filters the
flow/resistance relationship is approximately linear. This is because:
- The pressure drop over the filter is small when clean and high when dirty!
- The filter media velocity is small at all times which flattens the relationship profile
- The pressure drop represented on filter resistance curves is time related hence the
linear relationship
- HEPA filters exhibit a low Reynolds number through filter medium
In a system where the pressure loss across HEPA filters represents a significant proportion
of the total system loss, care should be taken to account for this linear relationship.


Figure 5.1 Graphical representation of pressure gradients through a typical fan system
Drafting note: Terms like TSP, FVP, FSP, SP, TP to be changed to the ISO Standard.


Figure 5.2 Fan and duct system curves showing design operation point
Drafting note: Design Static Pressure
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5.4.4. Effects of errors in estimating system resistance
Since fans are seldom installed in a manner identical to standard test conditions, the utmost
care must be exercised in designing the system, particularly that part close to the fan, so that
design performance can be achieved.
When system pressure losses and the system resistance curve have been inaccurately
estimated, or when undesirable fan inlet and discharge conditions (termed system effect)
exist, design performance may not be attained.
These situations are illustrated in Figures 5.3 and 5.4. Note that the interaction of the actual
system resistance curve and the fan performance curve determines the actual volume flow
rate.

Figure 5.3 Fan and duct system curves showing off design points
Drafting note: Design Static Pressure
Figure 5.3, Curve B shows a situation where an actual duct system has more resistance to
flow than was expected. The fan is operating as tested. This condition is generally the
result of practical variations from the designers estimate of system resistance to flow. This
can be a problem if the initial design estimation calculation of system resistance was
inaccurate or if the installation of the system has varied from the design. All losses must be
considered when calculating system pressure losses or the final system may impose a
greater resistance on the fan and actual flow rate will be deficient (Point 2).
If the actual system pressure loss is greater than design, as in System B, Figure 5.3, an
increase in fan speed may be necessary to achieve the design volume flow rate at Point 5.
Before attempting to increase fan speed, a check should be made with the fan manufacturer
to determine if the speed can be safely increased and also to determine the expected
increase in power and noise level. The connected motor may not be able to handle the
required increase in fan power.
Note: Fans are products that are manufactured repeatedly and so are basically similar within size and
model ranges. On the other hand, no two duct systems are the same. As a result, assuming a
reputable manufacturer has supplied the fan; problems are usually caused by incorrect system
resistance calculations or installation factors.
5.5. The System Effect
Very few duct-connected on-site fan installations are consistent with the manner in which the
fan performance was tested by the manufacturer. Losses due to duct, fittings and
accessories are known and can be calculated. The effect of less-than-ideal aerodynamic
connections on the fans performance (known as the System Effect) must also be allowed.
Point 1 in Figure 5.4 depicts the calculated design point with the system pressure losses
accurately determined and a suitable fan selected for operation at that point. If, however, no
allowance has been made for the effect of the system connections on the fans performance,
the actual system resistance curve may cut the fan performance curve at Point 4. To obtain
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the design airflow the fan should then be selected to operate at Point 2. To compensate for
this system effect it will be necessary to include additional losses in the calculated system
pressure loss to determine the total system resistance curve. The system effect factor is a
factor which, when multiplied by the velocity pressure, gives an estimate of the extra system
effect.
The system effect factor and ways to account for it in the system design process is
described in detail in Section 10.


Figure 5.4 Deficient system performance when System Effect is ignored
5.6. Safety factors
System designers sometimes apply Safety Factors to their estimate of the system
resistance to safeguard against inaccurate evaluation and design uncertainties. Design
uncertainties are associated with predicted airflows and pressure requirements, allowance
for future expansion, performance degradation over time, fouling effects and the like.
On occasion these Safety Factors may compensate for resistance losses that were
overlooked and the actual system will deliver design flow (Point 1, Figure 5.3). The usual
result, however, is that the estimated system resistance including the Safety Factors is in
excess of actual system resistance. Since the fan has been selected to design conditions
(Point 1), it will deliver more air (Point 3) because the actual system resistance at the design
flow rate is less than design (Point 4). This result may not necessarily be an advantage
because the fan may be operating at a less efficient point on the performance curve and
may require more power than at design flow. It may also result in much higher noise levels.
Under these conditions it may be necessary to reduce the fan speed, adjust a damper to
increase the actual system resistance (Curve C) to the value determined in the design
calculations (Curve A) or, if an axial fan, adjust the pitch angle of the impeller.
Note: Varying fan speed is preferred over varying system resistance (damper) for energy reasons and
specifying variable speed drives can significantly reduce or remove the need for additional safety
factors.
5.7. Deficient fan/system performance
5.7.1. Causes of deficient performance
The three most common causes of deficient performance of the fan/system combination are:
- Improper outlet connections
- Non-uniform inlet flow
- Swirl at the fan inlet
These conditions alter the aerodynamic characteristics of the fan so that its full flow potential
is not realised. They will occur if the fan inlet and/or outlet connections are not properly
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designed or installed. One bad connection can reduce the fan performance far below the
catalogue rating, refer to Section 10.
Other major causes of deficient performance are:
- Design or installation of less than optimal air distribution ductwork and duct fittings.
- The air performance characteristics of the installed system are significantly different
from the system design engineers intent (see Figure 5.3).
- The system design calculations do not include adequate allowances for the effect of
accessories and fittings in the system or the fan selection was made without due
allowance for fan accessories.
- The performance of the system is determined by inappropriate or inaccurate field
measurement techniques.
- The maintenance of filters, coils etc. is neglected. Dirty filters, dirty ducts, and dirty
coils will increase the system resistance and consequently reduce the airflow, often
significantly.
- The system performance has changed due to malfunction, adjustment or changes of
control elements used in the system.
- Incomplete sealing of ducts allowing air leakage into/out of the system between fan
and point of measurement.
5.7.2. Preventing deficient performance
The following design precautions should be made to prevent deficient performance:
- Design the connections between the fan and the system to provide, as nearly as
possible, uniform straight flow conditions at the fan outlet and inlet. (See Section 10).
- Use appropriate allowances in the design calculations when space or other factors
dictate the use of less than optimum arrangement of the fan outlet and inlet
connections.
- Include adequate allowances for the effect of all accessories and fittings on the
performance of the system and fan. If possible, obtain fan manufacturer data on the
effect of accessories on the fans performance.
- Use field measurement techniques which can be applied effectively on the particular
system. Be aware of the probable accuracy of measurement and the conditions
which affect this.
- Include fan operating and maintenance information in the system documentation.
- Document the design, function and interaction of control elements used in the
system.
5.8. Fans in series
5.8.1. General principles
Two or more fans may be connected together in series so that the flow passes through each
fan in turn. In this arrangement the flow is constant but the pressure is increased by each
successive fan. The series arrangement can be achieved either using separate machines or
a number of impellers on a common shaft.
Where separate machines are installed, these can have all impellers rotating in the same
direction or successively rotating in opposite directions.
The effect of adding a second stage to an existing fan is therefore given by moving up the
system resistance line from A to A1 in Figure 5.5. The relative increase in flow depends
on the point of operation on the characteristic as shown by other typical system resistance
lines B and C. Series operation can be used as a method of controlling the flow through
a system by shutting down fans as appropriate, but the resistance to flow of those fans not
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being driven should be allowed for in the calculations and reference should be made to the
fan manufacturers.

Figure 5.5 Characteristics of Two Fans in Series
5.8.2. Axial fans in series
For axial fans where the separate fan impellers rotate in the same direction, inter-stage
guide vanes must be present. This also applies to more than one impeller on the same
shaft. The guide vanes ensure that each impeller receives its flow with little or no pre-swirl,
and that each impeller absorbs approximately the same power. In practice this arrangement
results in each fan producing approximately the same static pressure rise. Thus the static
pressure rise for the complete machine approaches the sum of the static pressure rises of
each stage, less any interstage losses in connecting channels or ductwork.
Where the impellers rotate in the opposite direction, as is quite common on axial flow fans,
the static pressure rise for a pair of impellers can be as much as 2.5 to 3 times that for the
single impeller running without guide vanes. Such an arrangement permits relatively high
pressures and efficiency being achieved from a compact assembly. The air leaves the
assembly in an axial direction and without swirl.
Contra-rotating axial flow fans tend to have a higher noise level than a larger, single-stage
axial fan handling the same duty. They generally take up less space. Where required, more
than two stages can be assembled to develop even higher pressures. Again reference
should be made to the fan manufacturers for more information.
5.9. Fans in parallel
5.9.1. General principles
Where two or more fans receive air from and deliver into a common system they are said to
operate in parallel.
While it is fairly obvious that two identical fans designed to run in parallel in a system will
each handle half the air quantity being delivered, the addition of a second identical fan in
parallel to one in an existing system will not double the airflow through it because the system
resistance rises.
The actual effect is shown in Figure 5.6 where the air volume Q
a
handled by a single fan
operating at Point A is shown to increase to Q
a1
, when a second identical fan is introduced
in parallel to it. The operating point moves up the system resistance line from A to A1.
Relative increase in flow is governed by the point of operation on the characteristic as shown
by reference to two other typical system resistance lines B to B1 and C to C1.
Furthermore, if the actual operating point of a single fan had been D there would be no
increase in flow at all if a second fan were added in parallel.
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Figure 5.6 Characteristics of Two Fans in Parallel
NOTE: Most fan characteristics have a "positive" slope to the left of the peak pressure point and
parallel operation on this portion of the curve should be avoided since it can lead to unstable
operation. In the case of a forward-curved centrifugal fan such an unstable zone is shown to the left
of E in Figure 5.6.
Point D falls in this zone. The closed loop from point E is the result of plotting all possible
combinations of volume flow at each pressure point. Since the system resistance curve
intersects the fan performance pressure curve in the area enclosed by the loop, more than
one point of operation is possible. The unbalanced, or unstable, flow conditions reverse
readily with the result that the fans will intermittently load and unload. This phenomenon is
known as "hunting" with the result that pulsing occurs which generates noise and vibrations
that may damage fans and ductwork.
This problem gets worse as more fans are coupled in parallel. A way to avoid this is to
select a fan or a pitch angle where there is no stall dip and then combining these.
Sometimes this is not possible and then operation should be avoided in the looped area.
A similar type of instability or hunting can also occur when the system resistance curve and
the fan performance curve are almost parallel at the working point of the system.
Since the load is changing on the fans, motor power will also fluctuate and may cause
overload problems. Fans operated in parallel should be of the same type, size, speed and
with identical inlet and discharge flow conditions, otherwise undesirable performance
complications may result. It is strongly advised that the advice of the fan manufacturer be
sought when considering the use of fans in parallel.
Advantages:
- Can be beneficial where space (e.g. height) is restricted and the appropriate fan will
not fit.
- Allows for partial standby in the event of one fan failure.
- Volume capacity control. Switching on and off fans depending on volumes required.
- Stand-by capacity possible.
- Generally cheaper than one large unit.
Disadvantages:
- Additional installation cost including more complex ductwork and electrical needs.
- Noise generation may be excessive
- Non-return or motorised damper control required on fans designated for on/off
operation so that back draft through non-operating fan is not occurring.
For fans in parallel adequate distance between fans and walls must be provided to ensure
proper intake conditions.
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5.9.2. Control of parallel fans
With several, independently driven, fans working in parallel, some control over the total flow
can be obtained by switching off a suitable number of fans. If this form of control is used, it
is essential to provide isolating dampers or non-return valves on the inlet or outlet of all fans
to prevent short-circuiting of air through the stationary fans. Dampers are also required
when the parallel arrangement is used to allow a stand-by fan to be brought into action
quickly when, in the event of a failure of one fan, the remaining fan(s) can continue to supply
into the system.
5.9.3. Noise considerations
A noise problem often encountered with fans operating in parallel is beating. This is caused
by a slight difference in speed of rotation of the two theoretically identical fans. The resulting
low frequency beating noise can be very annoying and difficult to eliminate. The problem
can be likened to the stroboscopic effect of a fluorescent light illuminating a rotating wheel
with a slight difference between the frequencies of rotation of the wheel and the AC supply to
the light.
5.9.4. Axial fans in parallel
The use of axial flow fans in parallel presents very real potential noise problems unless
special measures are taken at the design stage; add-on noise control is not normally
possible.
5.10. Fan stall
Fans, like aircraft, follow basic laws of aerodynamics. If a fan is incapable of delivering the
pressure required by the system, flow separation may occur around the blade, resulting in
unpredictable performance, unstable operation and increasing noise levels.
The point on the fan performance curve where the pressure being generated stops
increasing and falls off is called the stall point (refer to figure 5.7). The tendency to stall is
largely dependent on blade design and some fan types are less prone to stall (or can
operate in partial stall) than others. Many axial fans have a stall region on their fan
performance curve which makes them unsuitable for systems with widely varying operating
points.
A fan operating at or near the stall point can have:
- Significant mechanical damage due to aerodynamic shock forces (particularly on the
blades).
- Varying flow over time.
- Severe increases in noise generation.
- Poor operating efficiency.
Centrifugal fans are less prone to damage from stall than axial fans.
5.11. Fan surge
Surge occurs within a fan when the energy imparted to the air alternates between creating
kinetic energy (air velocity) and potential energy (air pressure) resulting in an oscillating
effect that is audible. Surge can occur when the following conditions are met:
- High volume of pressurised air
- High velocity air in ductwork
- Fan operating at a point to the left of the peak pressure
5.12. System hunting
The term hunting applies to an under-damped control circuit. Where sensors are used to
control dampers, vanes or motor speeds, and the control system responds too quickly it will
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overcorrect and have to readjust in the other direction. Hunting refers to the condition where
the system is continually moving back and forth without finding a stable control point.
5.13. System stability
System stability refers to the ability of the system to return to its normal operating condition
after it has been temporarily displaced from that condition. Some fans are not stable at all
operating ranges and the fan will continue to operate at a displaced condition even though
the cause of the displacement has been removed. This is sometimes referred to as bi-stable
flow where the fan can operate at two distinctly different conditions in the same system.











Figure 5.7 Fan/System curve showing potential bi-stable flow points

5.14. Optimising system designs
Systems can be optimised for a variety of goals including energy efficiency, life cycle costs,
reliability and redundancy etc. Where energy optimisation is a key goal the following should
be considered:
- Reducing system resistance Index run (size, bends, routing, and components), low
pressure drop filters, coils, components, duct sizes and air velocities.
- Fan location Locate fans away from bends, transitions etc.
- Reducing air leakage Fan casing leakage, duct sealing, building sealing
- Control Controlling for energy efficiency outcomes, see Section 7.
- Commissioning Commissioning for energy efficiency outcomes, see Section 8.
- Maintenance and management Filter maintenance, duct cleaning, automatic and
remote monitoring, see Section 9.
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6. Fan selection
6.1. Section Introduction
6.2. Fan selection
Fan selection is a complex process that starts with a basic definition of the system operating
requirements and conditions such as airflows, pressures, temperatures, properties of air
stream, system layout and system operating profile. The primary factor driving fan selection
is performance and any fan selected will need to match the performance required by the
system. The fan selection is based on calculating the airflow and pressure requirement(s)
and then matching these to a fan of the appropriate design and materials.
Fans selections are then refined on the basis of a variety of criteria depending on the
application and required outcomes from the system. Competing selection criteria can
include
- First costs/Ongoing costs/Life cycle assessment
- Efficiency/Energy performance
- Range of operating conditions (temperature)
- Air/gas type, moisture content, contamination level
- Geometry, space constraints (e.g. drive arrangements) and structural constraints
- Maintenance characteristics, operating life
- Reliability, quality of materials, quality of components
- Power supply AC, DC, single-phase, three-phase
Often a fan is selected for non-technical reasons such as price, availability (lead times) or
familiarity. In HVAC&R applications fans are usually selected from a range of available
models and sizes and not specifically designed for the application.
6.3. Fans and systems
Fans cannot be designed in isolation from the air distribution system and designers and fan
suppliers need to take a holistic systems approach, refer to Section 5.
6.4. Fan performance
For an explanation of the Fan Laws refer to Section 4 and Appendix A.
For a fixed system, the Fan Laws state that the pressure required to pass a given volume of
air through the system will vary in proportion to the volume squared i.e. P Q
2
. Therefore,
to double the airflow, a pressure four times as great is required from the fan.
This is true only for a constant system and a constant air density. Should the system be
altered, by closure of a damper for instance, then this relationship does not directly apply.
Similarly, for a fixed system, the pressure loss or system resistance will vary directly with air
density.
Fan performance is defined by the fan performance curve, see Clause 4.5.
6.5. The system resistance curve
For a fixed air distribution network there will be a specific relationship between the airflow
through the network and the pressure required to produce the flow, independent of the fan
used. The first step in the design of any fan system should be the construction of this
pressure-capacity curve for the system, called the system resistance curve.
The plot of pressure loss versus volume flow for a given system is known as the system
resistance curve or system pressure loss curve. If the volume flow rate in the ductwork is
varied the pressure loss will be related to the square of the volume flow rate. This may be
simplified to p = RQ
2
where p is the system pressure drop (Pa), Q is the volume flow
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(m
3
/s) and R is a constant for the system relating to its resistance to airflow (the term
resistance, should not be confused with system pressure drop).
Using a calculated pressure drop at any particular flow rate, the value of R may be
determined and then a curve drawn for a range of volume flow rates against pressure drop,
as in the system resistance curve shown in Figure 6.1.

Figure 6.1 Fan performance and system resistance curves
Drafting note: delete required flow rate from this graph, fan efficiency is fan total
efficiency?
The fan performance curve is a series of points at which the fan can operate at a constant
speed. The system resistance curve is the series of points at which the system can operate.
The operating point for the fan-system combination is where these two curves intersect.
This provides the flow rate for this particular fan running at a particular speed within this
system.
Note: Selecting fans using fan total efficiency will not necessarily provide the fan that uses least
energy because of the influence of the velocity pressure.
6.6. Operating point
When a fan is connected to a system the flow will stabilise at the point where the fan
performance and system resistance curves intersect. This is represented by point A in
Figure 6.2, where the system resistance curve is seen to cross the fan pressure/volume
curve. Point A is called the operating point.
A change in the system resistance curve such as the dashed curves shown in Figure 6.2 will
result in different operating points B or C. This might be caused by changes of damper
position or variations in practice from the theoretical system resistance calculations.
An operating point that differs greatly from the design may lead to reduced or excessive fan
power depending on the type of fan.
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Figure 6.2 Effect of change in system resistance
6.7. Best efficiency point (BEP)
Ensuring that the design operating point occurs near the peak fan efficiency or best
efficiency point (BEP) will reduce the risk of performance problems and contribute to an
energy efficient installation. The assessment and selection of these criteria is termed the
fan/system best efficiency point. In order to select the best efficiency point the fan will most
likely need to be matched to the system duty.








Figure 6.3 Illustration of fan Best efficiency point
6.8. Matching fans to system duty
6.8.1. Change in Fan Speed
In a fan system a percentage change in fan speed will result in an equal percentage change
in air volume handled. The pressure will vary in proportion to the square of the speed
change and the power absorbed by the fan will vary in proportion to the cube of the speed
change. Thus, if it is desired to increase the volume of the flow rate by 10%, this can be
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done by increasing the fan speed by 10% (where facilities for speed change exist). The
pressure against the fan will increase by 21% and the power absorbed by the fan will
increase by 33%. The full and broken lines in Figure 6.4 illustrate such a change.

Figure 6.4 Variation in performance with 10% increase in fan speed
6.8.2. Change in Fan Size
If an increase in flow rate is achieved by replacing the fan with a larger one of the same type,
it is no longer possible to calculate the precise performance by referring to the fan and
system laws only. If the larger fan is geometrically identical, (or of the same homologous
series), the Fan Laws can be used to determine the volume/pressure, efficiency and power
curves. The intersection of the fan performance curve with the system resistance curve will
be at a different operating point and a new determination of both the operating point and the
power absorbed will have to be made. This is illustrated in Figure 6.5.

Figure 6.5 Effect of 10% Increase in fan size (Speed Constant)
6.8.3. Change in Air Density
A change in air density will change both the fan performance curve and the system
resistance curve in accordance with the fan laws as follows:
For a given volume flow rate pressure is proportional to the air density
System pressure loss is proportional to the air density
A change of air density from standard (1.2 kg/m
3
) to 20% below standard is illustrated in
Figure 6.6, where both the fan pressure and system resistance are reduced by 20% while
the volume flow rate remains constant. In accordance with the fan laws, the fan power will
vary directly as the air density. Refer Equation 4.11.3 and appendix A.
Note: Although the volume of flow is unchanged, the mass flow is changed (being proportional to
density). It is important to consider this in heat exchange calculations (air density changes as a result
of temperature changes) and for fans at high altitudes. Given the low altitudes in Australia altitude
adjustments generally doesnt need to be considered in most designs/locations.
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Figure 6.6 Variation in Performance at Constant Speed with Change in Density
(20% reduction)
6.9. Selection for smoke-spill applications
Smoke-spill fans are type tested in accordance with AS 4429 to the conditions specified in
AS/NZS 1668.1. Fans are selected to handle the design volumetric flow rate (calculated at
the smoke spill air temperature) at the installed system resistance under ambient
temperature conditions. Motors are selected so that they will not overload during testing at
ambient conditions. All safety devices apart from fuses and circuit breakers are overridden
during fire mode operation.
An appropriate allowance is made in axial flow fan impellers to allow for thermal expansion
of the blades under high temperature reducing the tip clearance and affecting performance.
6.10. Fan noise
Fans should be selected for quiet operation; ductwork should be sized to prevent excessive
air velocities, dampers and grilles should be selected to prevent noise regeneration. In this
application manual only the noise generated by the fans is discussed. The propagation,
distribution and attenuation of noise in the ductwork system is discussed in AIRAH DA03.
Noise propagation from the fan to the surrounding plant room and adjacent areas is
discussed in the AIRAH DA02.
Tonal noise has a prominent frequency and is characterised by a definite pitch. These
characteristics can make the noise more annoying than its noise level alone would suggest.
Tonal noise is generated by every fan but the impeller speed and number of blades will vary
the frequency and the effect on the installation.
6.10.1. Fan selection for noise
If the typical noise spectra for different types of fans are compared (see Figure 6.7), it can be
seen that centrifugal designs produce most of their noise at low frequencies, whereas axial
designs generate higher frequency noise. Most people will accept higher levels of low
frequency noise and this is one of the reasons why centrifugal fans are generally used if
noise is an important consideration.
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Figure 6.7 Comparison of typical centrifugal and axial fan noise spectra
It must be realised however, that the higher frequency tones can be more easily suppressed
using simple attenuator devices, whereas reducing the lower frequency noise usually
requires larger, more expensive solutions. It is sometimes possible to install a high speed,
small diameter axial flow fan fitted with an attenuator, less expensively than a slower speed
centrifugal fan generating similar noise levels and giving the same aerodynamic
performance.
Figure 6.8 shows how fan generated noise varies as the fan duty varies and emphasises
that fans are at their quietest when operating near their peak efficiency, and noisiest when
running at, or near, the stalled condition.

Figure 6.8 Fan generated noise versus fan duty
Care must be taken to ensure that the airflow into the fan impeller itself is uniform, otherwise
the fan will produce more noise than specified. Figure 6.9 shows arrangements which will
produce highly turbulent flow into the fan. Ways of correcting the problem are also shown.
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Figure 6.9 Factors Affecting Turbulent Flow in Axial Fans
Drafting note: Figure to be redrawn. Regarding bends the air will tend to hold to the
inside of the bend resulting in only part of the impeller operating and the other part
being partly starved of air. Also, the above are concentrated on the inlet side whilst
the outlet is also important.
6.10.2. Attenuation
If the sound power level of a fan is too high, and no other selection is possible, attenuation
must be introduced at appropriate locations in the system to prevent unacceptable noise
being transmitted to the occupied spaces.
Attenuation can be provided by a variety of means including inserting proprietary attenuator
units, changing the layout, using a plenum or by lining the ducts with absorptive material.
Duct lining, especially at bends, is often adequate, providing sufficient length of duct is
available. Bends are particularly useful for reducing high frequency noise, but are not very
effective at low frequencies, particularly if the duct dimensions are small. Acoustic lining
materials should not impart any particulate or gaseous contaminants to the airstream which
could adversely impact indoor air quality.
Specifically engineered duct mounted attenuators are also available to address specific
frequencies of in-duct sound. Fan noise and vibration can also be addressed by fan
mounting methods or installing sound baffles around the fan (while maintaining ventilation) to
absorb the sound energy.
6.10.3. System design for noise minimisation
Noise generation within an air distribution system is caused by aerodynamic turbulence. If
the system conforms to recommended design practice, with special attention to those areas
where turbulence is likely to occur, both aerodynamic efficiency and acoustic performance
will improve.
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7. Controlling fans
7.1. Section Introduction
There are several means by which the performance of a fan may be controlled. They divide
conveniently into those which are continuously variable and those which are adjusted
occasionally. When optimising fan systems for energy efficiency the method of control and
the effect that control has on system power consumption is a significant design issue.
7.2. The control imperative
It is frequently necessary to control the rate at which air is moved through a system. This
may be a one-off adjustment to suit actual operating conditions (commissioning or fine
tuning), an occasional adjustment to give, for example, a summer and winter condition, or a
continuously variable adjustment to maintain an environmental condition using variation in
airflow for control or to satisfy a process.
7.3. Methods of controlling fans
As described in Section 5, the rate of flow of air through a system is determined at the
intersection of the system resistance curve and the fan performance curve. Control may be
achieved either by changing the effective resistance of the system, or by altering the
performance of the fan. The method chosen will depend largely upon the changed running
costs at the changed flow rates, weighed against the capital cost of the changed system or
fan and drive. In some situations noise may also be a factor.
Methods of control discussed in the section include:
- Variable speed control (most efficient)
- Multiple speed control
- On-Off control
- Variable pitch control (no longer common)
- Inlet vane control (inefficient)
- Changing fan characteristic
- Varying system resistance (inefficient)
- Bypass control (inefficient)
7.4. Factors affecting choice of control method
The choice of method is one of assessing the change in power costs over the life of the fan
against the initial capital and ongoing maintenance costs, bearing in mind the degree of
control required and the frequency of its operation.
The following are some of the factors which can influence the choice:
- Power costs.
- Initial manufacturing and installation costs.
- Payback period on initial investment.
- Maintenance and replacement costs.
- Degree of control required, stepped or continuous.
- Accuracy and repeatability of control settings.
- Range of flow over which control is required.
- Temperature, toxicity or corrosiveness of gas handled.
- Period of time over which each setting is effective.
- The control system (if automatic operation is necessary).
- Noise levels.
The assessment of these factors is often complex, and it is suggested that the advice of the
fan manufacturer should be sought.
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7.5. Speed control
One of the most efficient methods of continuously controlling the performance of a fan is by
varying its rotational speed. When working in a constant volume duct system, the point of
operation will move down the system resistance curve as the speed is reduced. This has
the advantage of maintaining the fan's operating efficiency, resulting in a corresponding drop
in maximum power consumption and noise level as the speed is reduced. See Figure 7.1,
where the pressure, volume and power curves for three different speeds are illustrated.

Figure 7.1 Flow control by speed regulation
Controlling the speed of the fan may be achieved either by varying the speed of the motor or
by changing the ratio of the drive.
When a fan, fitted with an AC motor, has its speed reduced in a constant volume system the
impeller efficiency remains the same but the motor efficiency generally drops.
Examples of speed control methods include:
- Continuously variable speed electric motors.
- Multi-speed fan motors
- Diesel or petrol engine drive.
- Variable speed gearbox.
- Fluid coupling (not common in HVAC&R).
- Magnetic coupling (not common in HVAC&R).
- Variable ratio pulleys and belt-drive.
The majority of fan applications in HVAC&R are driven by electric motors.
Speed control methods for electric motors used for fans would include:
- On/off switches
- 2 speed switches
- 3 speed switches
- Capacitor control
- Electronic speed controllers
- Auto-transformer speed controllers
- Star/Delta switches
- Frequency Inverters
- Electronic commutation for DC motors
When assessing the power saving using these methods, due account must be taken of the
change in efficiency of the motor which may vary with speed or load. The benefits of speed
reduction are not limited to energy benefits as reduced speed also reduces wear on bearings
and shafts, noise and vibration.

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Table 7.1 Advantages and disadvantages of variable speed control
Advantages Disadvantages
Energy savings Resonant frequencies
Improved control Current ripple, parasitic torques, additional motor losses
and output waveform harmonics
Improved reliability of fans and
bearings
Increased system complexity with corresponding reduction
in reliability
Reduced noise and vibration Ventilation of electronics
Increased sensitivity to installed environment (temperature,
moisture and dust)
Additional cost
Additional maintenance requirements

7.6. Variable speed electric motors
Variable frequency drives (VFD) are the most common form of variable speed drive (VSD)
used in HVAC&R fan applications however alternative VSD technologies like variable
pitch/diameter belt drive systems, hydraulic clutches and electric clutches have also been
used in the past. When properly applied VSD technologies can improve the operating
efficiency of the fan and therefore the entire system.
Where electrical, magnetic or mechanical slip is involved (e.g. slipring motors, magnetic or
hydraulic couplings), the reduction in input power to the motor is roughly proportional to the
square of the speed (depending on type of motor), while motor output to the fan impeller
varies as the cube of the speed. Hence the efficiency of this type of speed conversion is
equal to the ratio of output and input speeds.
AC Variable Speed Drives (VSD) are a common means of fan speed control. This has
occurred due to the declining cost of such equipment and the enormous degree of flexibility
offered through direct digital control and integration with supervisory electronic control
systems. They do however have the potential to create new problems which, if not
addressed, may impact on the overall effectiveness of a fan installation.
An important consideration is the starting torque of larger heavy duty fans, particularly
centrifugal fans. The fan impeller acts as a fly wheel and can demand a considerable torque
to overcome starting inertia. Starting fans at reduced speeds through a VSD may not deliver
sufficient torque to achieve the operating speed within acceptable run-up times. This can
lead to overload failure. Careful matching of the load and motor size with the VSD will
overcome this difficulty. Reference should be made to each of the equipment suppliers.
Electronic VSDs control power by electronic switching of voltage and current. A by-product
of this type of control is the generation of voltage and current harmonics in both the input
and output of the drive. They affect both the mains supply and the driven motor. These
harmonics are superimposed on the normal supply output waveforms, and may adversely
affect both the motor and other users of the supply.
In AC drives, harmonics applied to the motor cause current ripple, parasitic torques and
additional losses in the motor. It is beyond the scope of this manual to explore in depth the
characteristics and behaviours of VSDs, however a user should be aware of motor derating
factors which may be applied dependent on the make and type of VSD being employed.
Whilst VSD technology is continuously improving, it is recommended that derating factors be
checked with the drive manufacturer.
Operating rotating machinery under a variable speed control may also cause certain
vibrations to occur at set operating points in the speed range. These vibrations occur within
narrow frequency bands and are known as resonant frequencies. VSD units today
commonly offer selectable skip frequencies that can be programmed into the VSD so that
the offending frequencies are by-passed during operation. This feature and the potential
problem should both be considered in conjunction with the fan manufacturer.
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Designers should require coordination between drive and motor manufacturers and suppliers
to ensure compatibility between equipment and minimise the application problems discussed
above.
7.7. Multi-speed control
Multiple speed motors are typically applied with two or more fixed speed options and so the
control profile is more stepped than the continuously variable speed option. Multiple speed
motors are less efficient and less effective than variable speed motors. Multiple speed
motors are wound differently and are consequently more expensive and less efficient than
single speed motors. Multiple speed motors may require complex switchgear to function,
which must be remembered when comparing costs of relative control methods.
7.8. On-off control
For simple systems on-off control may be appropriate. When the fan runs it does so at the
chosen best efficiency point and when it is off no energy is consumed. The frequency of the
stop-start cycle should be within the motor capability so that overheating does not occur.
7.9. Variable pitch blades
Mechanisms that permit continuous adjustment of the blade pitch angle of axial flow fans
offer a wide range of flow adjustment, with consequent reduction in energy consumption.
Under this method of flow control, the fan will not remain operating at the same efficiency as
selected for full flow operation, and while the motor remains operating at the same speed, its
efficiency will drop off significantly, especially below 50% of the full load.
Variable pitch fans are expensive and the energy savings are not as good as with speed
variation, so they are now rarely used in HVAC&R applications.
7.10. Inlet vane control
A second method of continuous control of fan performance is by the introduction of specially
designed adjustable vanes into the airstream entering the fan inlet so as to generate a swirl
of air in the direction of the impeller rotation. This produces a reduction in the performance
capability of the fan as indicated in Figure 7.2, which shows progressively reduced
pressure/volume and power curves as the vanes are closed moving the operating point to
positions 2, 3, 4 and 5 down the system resistance curve. Note however, that there is an
angle of the blades beyond which swirl will become ineffective and throttling will occur with a
resultant uneven change to the systems performance.
Inlet control vanes have many forms, but are usually part of the overall fan design and
should be supplied by the fan manufacturer.
When optimising fan systems speed control is the preferred option, because the power
reduction with inlet vane control is significantly less than that achieved with fan speed
control. It is for this reason that inlet vane control is no longer widely used in the fan
industry.

Figure 7.2 Flow Control by Inlet Vanes. (Fan at constant speed)
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Drafting note: Static pressure on X axis.
7.11. Multi-staged fan operation
Installing two or more fans in parallel is another energy efficient control option. Variation of
flow is achieved by switching fans on and off to meet system demand. Parallel fan
applications are used to achieve higher pressure and by plotting the fan performance curves
onto the same graph as the system resistance curve it is possible to determine the flow and
pressure achieved when running one, two, three or more fans in parallel. The combined fan
performance curve is obtained by adding the flow rates at a specified pressure. Variation of
flow is achieved by turning on and off the fans to meet system demand.
It is possible to run fans of different sizes in parallel. By arranging different combinations of
fans running together a larger number of system operating points can be met.







Picture here?
7.12. Control by changing fan characteristics
Where the adjustment of performance is required once only, or at infrequent intervals, this
can be achieved by an alteration to the fan (or drive) itself. This is particularly useful as a
means of adjusting the performance of the fan at the installation (commissioning or fine
tuning) stage to suit actual on-site operating conditions.
In belt-driven fans the speed of the fan can be adjusted by changing one or both of the drive
pulleys (very often belt-driven fans are chosen just for this facility).
Most axial fans have impellers which allow adjustment of the impeller blade angle and the
complete impeller can sometimes be changed on centrifugal fans.
With all these methods it is important to note that a reduction in performance can be
achieved with little difficulty. An increase in performance can only be made within the
mechanical and electrical capabilities of the fan and motor. Increased noise levels may also
occur. It is essential that the advice of the manufacturer be sought in these cases.
7.13. Control by varying system resistance
The simplest means of flow adjustment is by use of a valve or damper at a suitable point in
the ducting system.
Closing the damper will increase the resistance to flow and the quantity of air will fall as
dictated by the fan characteristic, see Figure 7.3. Dampers can be operated manually or by
an automatic control system.
Although cheap to install and a traditional control method, the inherent pressure loss across
a damper is a waste of energy and may create noise. A more efficient form of control is
achieved by adjusting the performance of the fan itself.
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Figure 7.3 Flow Control by System Damper Regulation for a Backward-curved
Centrifugal Fan. (Fan at constant speed)
7.14. Control using a bypass
In the bypass control method the fan operates continuously at the peak duty and the system
or load is controlled by bypassing air from the fan discharge to the fan suction. This control
method is energy inefficient because there is no reduction in fan power consumption with
reduced system demand.
7.15. Measurement for control
All controllers need an input on which to base the control decision. Monitoring flow and
pressure and using them to control a system are both common.
7.15.1. Placement of flow sensors
Flow should be sensed in ducts where airflow is constant and stable to allow for accurate
measurement. This can prove difficult to achieve on a standard installation and a fixed
calibrated orifice plate can be used. Some fan designs offer fixed calibrated orifice plates as
a standard feature.
7.15.2. Placement of pressure differential sensors
Another common requirement is to control the pressure across either upstream or
downstream equipment. An important consideration in the design of the control system is
the placement of pressure differential sensors.
Pressure tappings should be connected at the point where it is desired to control the
pressure.
7.16. Intelligent fans
Beyond using basic control strategies such as variable speed drives, adding intelligence to
the fan control solutions can provide additional benefits including:
- Linkages to building management and control systems to provide performance and
operational feedback in real time to assist identifying optimisation opportunities
- Monitoring fan operating conditions such as temperature, vibration, current draw,
pressure fluctuations and linking this data to a predictive maintenance program.
- Management of multi-fan systems to ensure optimised operation
- Enhanced fan protection, improving reliability and equipment life.
Options for intelligent fans include a VFD with embedded intelligence to control an individual
fan or a separate programmable logic controller to control a series of fans or an entire
system.
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7.17. Monitoring fans
Fans are monitored for a variety of reasons and in a number of ways. The primary reasons
for monitoring a fan include for:
- Fan performance assessment continuous assessment of the operating
performance of the system against its expected optimised performance criteria.
- Fan condition assessment as part of a condition monitoring maintenance program,
fan characteristics can be monitored to aid in the prediction and prevention of
mechanical failure.
Monitoring implies establishing and quantifying a characteristic of interest and comparing it
against a defined standard. Monitoring can be carried out visually or by measurement of key
performance indicators and comparing the result against expected benchmarks, goals or
predicted outcomes. Key performance indicators that can be monitored for fans include
flow, pressure, temperature, power, speed, vibration
7.17.1. Monitoring flow
Monitoring of flow is essential for fan performance assessment. Flow rate can be measured
using flow meters. The duct configuration immediately before and after the flow meter is
important for measurement accuracy and manufacturer instructions should be followed.
7.17.2. Monitoring pressure
Monitoring of pressure is essential for fan performance assessment and also useful in
condition monitoring. Pressure can be measured using pressure gauges or through
pressure transmitters. To adequately assess operating performance pressure tappings
should be installed at the fan suction and discharge. Pressure measurement is also used for
system control.
7.17.3. Monitoring temperature
Monitoring of air temperature is essential for fan/system performance assessment.
Temperature measurement using thermometers, thermocouples or resistance temperature
detectors is simple and will often be used for system control purposes. Measurement of fan
temperature is useful in condition monitoring and the operating temperature of bearings,
motor windings and casings are often monitored by thermocouples.
7.17.4. Monitoring power
Monitoring of power is used for fan performance assessment and in condition monitoring.
Absorbed power can be calculated from the electrical parameters of amperage, voltage and
power factor which are measured directly on the electrical supply to the motor. Mechanical
power can also be directly measured using torque meters or strain gauges installed between
the fan and drive.
7.17.5. Monitoring speed
Fan speed is monitored in systems which provide a variable airflow for system control
purposes and also to avoid operation near a critical speed (see Clause 7.6). Fan speed is
also monitored for condition monitoring purposes to check for speed degradation as an
indication of bearing or motor failure or a system resistance increase. Speed is measured
using fixed digital tachometers or portable measurement instrumentation.
7.17.6. Monitoring vibration
Vibration is monitored for condition monitoring purposes. Many different fan failure modes
can cause an increase in vibration and bearings, shaft and casing can all be monitored.
Vibrations are measured by accelerometers or velocity transducers and are generally
measured in the horizontal, vertical and axial directions.
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8. Installation and commissioning
8.1. Section Introduction
This section provides a brief overview of the fan and associated system installation and
commissioning process.
8.2. General installation requirements
Installation should be performed by competent personnel with the appropriate skills, tools
and equipment required to complete the work safely and in compliance with work rules
governing the site. Reference should be made to the installation instructions provided by the
fan manufacturer or supplier. Local regulations should also be complied with.
Installers need to coordinate site supervision with the equipment supplier. A complete
installation specification should be provided to the installer.
8.3. Installation specification
The system designer should document the system design and operating pressures and
temperatures; piping materials; pipe wall thickness or schedules; types of fittings to be used,
(e.g. butt weld, socket weld, or screwed) and the valve and flange pressure rating and
insulation requirements. In addition, the installation specification defines the fabrication,
examination, testing, inspection, and installation requirements, including the requirements for
system commissioning, inspection and documentation.
8.4. Fan installation
8.4.1. System connections
The fan inlet and outlet connections should be installed as per the designers instructions
and in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations. If, due to on-site limitations
the inlet and outlet connections are varied from the designed solution the designer should be
informed so that the effect on overall system performance can be determined and managed,
(see Section 10).
8.4.2. Isolation
Fans should be isolated from the building structure to prevent possible noise or vibration
issues. The fan should be adequately isolated from the building and the air distribution
system at all connection points. Primary connection points include the fan inlet, the fan
outlet, and the fan base. Secondary connection points include electrical and control wiring
and hydraulic connections.
8.4.3. Flexible connectors
Flexible connectors should be used to:
- Isolate any transfer of vibration or resonance between the fan and the duct system.
- Isolate the fan from the structural loads of the duct system.
- Compensate for small deviations in alignment between the fan and duct connection
- Compensate for expansion and contraction of the duct or fan due to temperature
changes
Flexible connections can be designed with acoustical properties to assist in managing fan
noise. Ideally flexible connections should not be installed with any slack, and should allow
concentric alignment of the fan and duct connection.
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8.4.4. Base mounted fans
The fan should be correctly levelled before securing to a stable base. Fans should be well
secured to the base in accordance with the manufacturers installation instructions so that
transmission of vibration is reduced. Fan weight, speed and size usually determine the base
requirements. Common installation methods used include:
- Grouting the fan to a concrete foundation of suitable mass
- Using a flexible pad (neoprene, silicone or similar) between the full contact surface of
the fan and the foundation
- Using a base isolation system such as rubber pads or springs
In all cases the method of isolation should be appropriate for the environmental conditions in
service, including temperature, humidity and chemical degradation.
8.4.5. Duct mounted fans
Duct mounted fans need to be independently supported from the ductwork.
8.4.6. Belt drives
Belts must be orientated correctly to the preferred direction of rotation, tensioned and
aligned correctly. There should be no slack on the drive side of the belt when operating.
Incorrect alignment will cause uneven wear and stress distribution causing slipping or
premature failure.
8.4.7. Wiring
All fans and associated electrical equipment should be wired in accordance with AS/NZS
3000. Control and monitoring instrumentation should be wired in accordance with the
manufacturer instructions and all relevant regulations.
Note: Refer AIRAH DA 27 for further information on the installation of control wiring.
8.4.8. Grounding
Fans installed in flammable environments must be properly electrically grounded (including
rotating components) to minimise sparking due to static electricity discharge.
8.4.9. Access
The provision of adequate access to the fan and its accessories for maintenance and service
is essential and is a requirement of AS/NZS 3666.1 which is a regulated requirement in
Australia through building and health regulations.
Large fans are often supplied with access points. If access panels or doors are being added
during installation the correct type should be used for the system operating pressure. In the
case of direct-driven axial flow fans, an access panel may be required in the fan casing,
particularly in larger fans.
8.5. Commissioning
System commissioning is an integrated process that is carried out progressively to a
schedule. The commissioning schedule is structured so that attention builds from the simple
to the complex following a testing hierarchy.
Early functional tests focus on components, such as the fans and connections, and can be
carried out in parallel with other component functional tests. Once functional tests are
completed, system testing and balancing (TAB) can be carried out. TAB can be carried out
in parallel with the TAB and functional testing of other systems. Systems integration tests
are carried out after functional and TAB tests confirm the readiness of each individual
system. Whole building tests and tuning tests follow, leading to ongoing monitoring, ongoing
tuning and eventual recommissioning tests.
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8.5.1. Pre-commissioning
Pre-commissioning refers to the work that needs to be done or checked prior to the systems
being tested, adjusted and balanced. Pre-commissioning work on air distribution systems
can include things like duct inspections and cleaning, duct leakage testing and ensuring that
the necessary facilities (power, water drainage) are available for the fan and system
commissioning.
8.5.2. Pre-functional checklists
Pre-functional checklists should be completed throughout construction during normal
commissioning site visits as installation of the various components and systems are
completed. Sensor and actuator calibration is typically considered to be part of the pre-
functional checklist.
8.5.3. Fan Functional testing
Prior to starting a newly installed fan the following preliminary checks should be made:
- Check the impeller clearances and that the impeller is firmly attached to the drive
shaft.
- Ensure that the bearings are lubricated with an appropriate lubricant.
- Ensure that impeller is free to rotate and that the direction of rotation is correct.
The fan will be supplied with manufacturers information to assist with commissioning and
the following recommendations should be followed:
- Check fan data plate against design requirements and electricity supply.
- Check that fan casing, impeller and duct system have been cleaned prior to start-up
- Ensure that fan impeller rotates in the correct direction and fan is installed in the
correct configuration.
- Check operation of rotor/impeller brake if installed.
- Check for vibration and isolate if any vibration is present, rebalance the fan as
necessary
8.5.4. Fan VSD testing
The fan should be run-in or exercised while under observation. Ramp the fan speed up and
down if control is by VSD or modulate the motorised dampers to see how the fan and system
responds.
8.5.5. Testing, Adjusting, Balancing (TAB)
Testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB) is the term applied to setting the air distribution
system up to deliver the design airflow rates. It is a dynamic test where the system is
measured and adjusted to deliver the specified measureable performance parameters, such
as flow, pressure or temperature.
TAB is an appropriate time for system resistance to be minimised on the index run.
Reducing the system resistance at this stage provides benefits over the life of the system. If
significant differences between the installed system resistance and the calculated design
resistance occur the fan selection and control strategy may need to be revisited.
8.5.1. System Testing
Successful execution of system tests is dependent on the operation of all related system
equipment including air handling units, heat pumps, process loads, chillers, boilers, cooling
towers, etc. At a minimum, the pre-functional checklists should be completed on the
components/systems served by the air system which should all be capable of safe operation.
Any reset strategies within control algorithms should be disabled and only one control
parameter should be varied at a time so that the basic system operation can be verified. Re-
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establish the resets for other control parameters progressively and verify system operation
remains stable.
Verify proper fan staging and VFD control (if applicable) in accordance with the system
designers sequence of operations.
System performance testing is intended to observe the entire system under normal operating
conditions. The plant sequencing, control set points and resets, control accuracy and
stability should all be verified during tests.
8.5.2. Integrated systems testing
System integration tests are carried out to ensure systems can interact with each other
appropriately. Typical system integration tests would address system performance during:
- System start-up and shut down.
- System power loss.
- Fire alarm or smoke management mode.
- System interlocks and control responses (response curves).
- All system control strategies.
8.5.3. Fine tuning
System tuning forms an important part of final commissioning and should be completed to a
documented tuning plan. System tuning typically comprises:
- Monitoring and analysis of system results with respect to the predicted performance
and performance benchmarks *energy, flow, pressure etc).
- System adjustments to suit the actual operational characteristics.
- Setting up BMCS trend logs and exception reporting.
- Tuning of control loops.
In the first few months of operation it is common to require a significant amount of system
tuning as the plant beds down.
System tuning reports should include a review of the tuning activities completed, system
performance observations, and recommendations for improving the system design,
installation or operation.
8.6. Commissioning records
8.6.1. Commissioning data
A commissioning checklist should be used for fan and system commissioning to ensure that
the fan and system is operating within the specified parameters. All of the data should be
recorded during the commissioning tests.
The final commissioning data should be recorded, offered for approval and signed off.
8.6.2. Fan data
Record final commissioning data such as:
- Fan data manufacturer, type, size, model, fan speed and blade pitch angle setting.
- Electrical data Motor power, amp draw, operating voltage, efficiency.
- Drive data belt type, belt size, centreline distances, tension rating, or coupling size,
type and rating.
- Bearing data manufacturer, type, size, lubrication requirements.
- Operating data system final flow rate, pressure, discharge velocity and fan motor
amperage, voltage draw and speed.
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8.6.3. Vibration data
Fans should be tested in accordance with ISO 1940.1 to a balance quality grade of G6.3 or
better. After installation, the vibration levels should be checked by personnel experienced
with vibration analysis and vibration analysis equipment.
8.6.4. VFD critical frequencies
Fans operating with VFD controllers may be susceptible to excessive vibration at particular
system critical frequencies. Fans have critical frequencies and the manufacturer should
have this data available for any impeller/ diameter combination. Fans should be manually
run from the minimum to the maximum design speed to check for any frequencies that result
in excessive vibration or resonance. Problem frequencies should be noted and the controller
should be programmed to bypass these frequencies.
The controller should also be locked to prevent the fan from operating beyond the
manufacturers stated maximum speed or current draw.
8.6.5. Commissioning adjustments
Any fan adjustments made during the commissioning process such as fan speed, impeller
trim, blade pitch and the like should be recorded for future information.
8.7. Designers role in commissioning
A primary commissioning focus for designers is the documentation of the design intent and
system functionality. Designers need to provide a system design narrative and operational
sequences for other stakeholders to facilitate system integration. They need to allow for
commissioning in their designs, in their specifications, and in their fee structures.
Designers are largely responsible for the commissionability of their designs, the quality of
components, system documentation, and system performance requirements. They need to
facilitate the peer review of their designs and fully engage in discussions for modifications or
improvements. Documenting design changes and resolving design conflicts is also an
important commissioning role for system designers who are often solution orientated.
Designers review installation documentation and site work and advise the commissioning
manager of any defects. Designers also assist with the detailing of requirements for the
development and review of operating and maintenance manuals, as installed drawings and
training materials.
8.8. Operating and maintenance manuals
Detailed operation and maintenance manuals should be prepared by the installer, approved
by the designer and supplied to the owner or operator. The provision, content and format of
operating and maintenance manuals is discussed in AIRAH DA19 and these are mandatory
for systems that are required to comply with AS/NZS 3666.1.
Every system should be provided with comprehensive system information in the form of
operating and maintenance (O&M) manuals and include:
- System designers contact details.
- System installers contact details.
- Installation team.
- Scope and system description.
- Design intent and functional descriptions of the systems.
- Design and performance criteria.
- Control strategy descriptions.
- Controls, power and wiring diagrams.
- Operation protocols.
- Manufacturers literature and service contact details.
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- Certification details.
- Recommended maintenance plan.
- Trouble shooting and fault finding instructions.
- Emergency procedures.
- Recommended system tuning plan.
- System commissioning records.
- As-installed documentation.
Preparation of the operating and maintenance manual by the system installer should be
integrated within the overall project management process and commence in the early
phases of the construction program, allowing it to be gradually completed as information
becomes available. The O&M manuals are finalised at the end of the building tuning period.
Comprehensive information on the benefits, content, and format of the operating and
maintenance manuals is provided in AIRAH Application Manual DA 19 HVAC&R
Maintenance.
A recommissioning plan (refer clause 9.9) should be developed and included within the
operation and maintenance manual.
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9. Operation and Maintenance
9.1. Section Introduction
This section provides a brief overview of the fan and associated system operation and
maintenance.
9.2. Transition from construction to operation
During the transition from construction to operation the system designer and installer need to
hand over the system to the operator or owner. One of the most important (and often
neglected) aspects of handover is knowledge transfer. Training and system documentation
must be sufficient to transfer the system knowledge from the designers/installers to the
system owners/operators.
9.2.1. Training
Training is a critical aspect of the hand over process. The intended operation and control of
the fan and system must be explained to the operators. Operating and maintenance
manuals can usefully form the basis of the training. Training sessions can be recorded and
training materials retained for reference by future operators.
9.2.2. System documentation
Detailed operation and maintenance manuals should be supplied to the operator, see
Clause 8.8.
9.2.1. Defects liability
The defects liability period, is the period stated in the contract immediately following the date
of practical completion, during which the contractor is required to complete any minor
outstanding works and to remedy any defects or faults. The contract sets out how and when
the contractor must remedy defective work which becomes apparent during the defects
liability period. System fine tuning activities typically run concurrent with the building defects
liability period.
Care should be taken not to void the warranties or contractors responsibility during the
defects or warranty period, for example by using another subcontractor to undertake repair
activities on works or equipment associated with the main contract. For smaller projects, a
defects liability period of 6 months is often used while for larger projects a period of 12
months is common.
9.3. Operation
A fan system should be operated using established procedures to minimise maintenance,
failures and unexpected downtime.
9.3.1. Start up
A checklist should be included in the operating and maintenance manual detailing all the
safety precautions, equipment and damper settings, manufacturer recommendations and
instrumentation connections that should be made prior to starting a fan.
9.3.2. Shut down
It is important to follow an established shutdown sequence for safety and system control and
to prevent flow related problems, pressurisation or depressurisation or the tripping of other
equipment within the system,
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9.4. Monitoring operations
9.4.1. Why monitor?
The way that a fan system is operated is critical to its energy use and the daily/weekly
operating cycle within HVAC&R applications generally varies widely. Monitoring fan
operation is an effective tool in system energy management. In order for a system to be
effectively monitored and managed there must be a method of metering key inputs and
outputs and a method of comparing the monitoring results with some pre-defined goal or
acceptability data.
9.4.2. Metering fans
A metering system is composed of one or more discrete meters installed to monitor the
performance of a system or piece of plant. Prior to the design of a metering system, key
performance indicators (KPIs) need to be determined so that the results of the system
monitoring can be compared over time.
- Fan KPIs Can include system temperatures, energy use, speed, noise
- System KPIs Can include system energy use, operational trend logs, etc.
- Building KPIs Building rating systems such as NABERS or energy benchmarking
within a portfolio.
9.4.3. Benchmarking
Benchmarking of systems establishes the actual performance in operation of a fan or fan
system and trending this information is useful for monitoring system performance over the
long term.
Benchmarking of systems can also create a feedback loop to designers and installers,
enhancing knowledge transfer and lessons learned and driving a system of continual
improvement in the system design and delivery process.
9.4.4. Measurement verification
Accurately measuring performance parameters is an essential tool if the current
performance is to be established. Only then will the ability to accurately measure the results
of any system fine tuning or equipment upgrades be available.
The accuracy of measurement depends on the quality and capability of the monitoring
equipment being used, the configuration of the sensor installation, the frequency of the
measurement cycles and the calibration and maintenance of the sensors.
9.4.5. Performance reporting
Once a metering and monitoring system is in place a formalised reporting system should be
established to ensure that the data collected is turned into useable information and that the
information is readily available for use.
9.5. Intelligent fan/system diagnostics
Intelligent diagnostic systems are the next step on from metering and monitoring systems.
These systems use flow, temperature, pressure, voltage, current draw and vibration sensors
to collect data on the operating system. The values of monitored parameters are tracked
over time and any unexpected (or out of range) changes are highlighted.
System assessment programs use this information to assess the current state of the fan.
Predictive maintenance systems use this data to diagnose or predict fan or component
failures. Preventative maintenance programs can use this information to reschedule
preventative activities and assess the effectiveness of the maintenance program.
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9.6. Maintenance
9.6.1. The maintenance imperative
It is essential that fans are maintained throughout their service life. Fan manufacturers
supply maintenance instructions and these should be readily accessible to service
personnel.
Most fan maintenance centres around checking drives and belts for wear, performing
preventative or predictive maintenance activities on bearings, ensuring correct alignment
and proper motor condition and function.
However, maintenance regimes also need to extend beyond the fan itself and for many
HVAC&R applications system maintenance is crucial for ensuring the energy efficient
operation of the fans. For example cleaning or replacing the filters in an air conditioning
system reduces system resistance and reduces fan energy use.
9.6.2. Mandatory maintenance (BCA)
Maintenance of fans in some applications is a mandatory requirement including fans covered
by NCC Volume One (BCA Class 2 to 9 Buildings) Section J and fans covered by AS/NZS
3666.2. Fans which operate as part of the buildings Essential Fire Safety Measures under
the requirements of AS/NZS 1668.1, Section E2.2b of the BCA or Section G3.8 of the BCA
are required by state legislation and AS 1851 to be maintained and routinely tested for
satisfactory performance.
9.6.3. Access for maintenance
In order for a fan to be maintained there must be adequate access provided for service
personnel and for parts and fan replacement. Where adequate access for maintenance is
not provided then maintenance will most likely not be carried out.
9.6.4. Preventative maintenance
Maintenance requirements vary with the type of fan, the type of installation and the system
application. Maintenance recommendations specified by the manufacturer should take
precedence.
Preventative routine maintenance extends the life of the fan and the performance of the
system. Maintenance routines comprise checking and periodically replacing the wearing
components.
9.6.5. Predictive maintenance
Predictive maintenance goes one step further and is generally applied to critical systems
where failure is costly or unacceptable. Predictive maintenance includes continuously or
periodically monitoring the fan key performance indicators such as flow, temperature,
pressure, current draw and vibration and using that data to predict future failure or reduction
in performance. Fan problems are detected and resolved early, prior to any critical failures.
9.6.6. Scheduled maintenance
Mandatory and preventative maintenance routines are generally carried out to a scheduled
frequency. The frequency required for a particular fan will vary by application, i.e. duty,
location, corrosiveness of environment etc.
Fan manufacturers have developed comprehensive maintenance procedures which
maintenance personnel should follow, in the interest of the owner and the continued reliable
operation of the equipment. As many fans run for extended periods without being switched
off it is essential that the critical components are checked in accordance with the
manufacturers schedule or the recommendations from AIRAH DA19.
It is often necessary to install a stand-by unit so that the regular maintenance can be carried
out without losing use of the system.
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The following recommendations for scheduled fan maintenance are reproduced from
Schedule A22 Fans from AIRAH DA19:
This section covers all types of fans. Only those action items applicable should be used.
Schedule A22 Fans (reproduced from AIRAH DA19)
Action Interval
(Months)
Explanation

1. Adjust belt tension as necessary,
check for wear.
1 See schedule A17 (DA19) for the steps to be
taken.
2. Check drive and drive shaft guard
firmly in place.
1 All drives should be checked in accordance
with schedule A17 (DA19).
3. Check fan operates. 1
4. Check for vibration, bearing noise or
overheating.
1 Vibration can be due to out of balance of the
fan rotor or failure of one of the bearings.
Heat or noise from the bearing will confirm
that this is the source of the problem and
appropriate steps can be taken to replace the
offending bearing. It is frequently necessary
to replace both bearings as vibration from
one can cause damage to the second.
5. Check mounts and holding down
bolts for security.
1
6. Lightly lubricate bearings to
manufacturers recommendation
where possible.
6
7. Spray or coat belts, where required,
with commercial compound to reduce
pulley slip.
6
8. Check access panels for air leakage
and seal.
12
9. Check drive alignment. 12
10. Check that impeller and drive are
tight on shafts.
12 This is carried out by physical examination of
keys, keyways and locking bolts. Any
movement in these components can lead to
wear on the shafts with resultant expensive
replacement of the component becoming
necessary.
11. If accessible, check cleanliness of
fan blades and scroll or casing and
record/report if cleaning is required.
12 Where possible, inspect the internal surfaces
of the fan casing and the runner for any build
up of dirt grime grease etc. Steam cleaning
or high pressure water jets can be used to
restore the surfaces to an as new condition.
The surfaces should then be examined for
corrosion and if necessary and possible they
should be repainted.
12. Inspect for evidence of corrosion,
wear on flexible connections and
other deterioration, clean and repair
minor corrosion and report where
repairs are necessary
12
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Action Interval
(Months)
Explanation

13. Replace flexible drive components. 36 Replace with new matched sets. This could
refer to belts, in belt drives, buffers, in direct
drives, or any other item which is provided
for flexibility in the drive. If replacement
becomes necessary in less than 36 months,
due to normal wear, then the maximum
replacement period restarts from the time of
replacement.
9.6.7. Maintenance records
A comprehensive and progressive record of all maintenance activities should be kept for
each fan detailing maintenance interval, components checked, preventative maintenance
performed, and any operational issues and future maintenance recommendations.
Maintenance records should be kept in a building log book and made available for future
review.
9.6.8. Maintenance procurement
The selection of maintenance service provider is the key to satisfactory maintenance, which
will result in reliable plant performance, good plant life and reasonable expenditure. Lowest
tender price is the least appropriate way to select a service provider. Value for money
should be the determining factor. The ideal situation is where the customer and service
provider establish a partnering relationship, recognizing that the service provider needs to
make a profit and the customer needs to contain the costs.
Thus a potential maintenance service provider should have the following attributes:
- Competent, committed and well trained technicians.
- Appropriate licenses, insurances and accreditation.
- Appropriate level of resources.
- Efficient and accurate maintenance management system.
- Informative reporting system.
- Accurate and timely invoicing.
- Economical and reliable after hours service.
- Quality, environmental and safety management systems.
The assessment of maintenance contractors should include an evaluation of their
sustainability practices. It is important to incentivise maintenance contractors to consider the
energy efficiency of the system during maintenance inspections. Refer to AIRAH DA 19 for
detailed information on HVAC&R system maintenance.
9.7. System tuning
In a typical HVAC&R system chillers, pumps, valves, fans, and the like are all required to
operate together in coordination to achieve a space temperature which is within
specification. System tuning and the maintenance of controls are crucial to achieving this.
Prior to any tuning taking place, key performance indicators for equipment and systems and
condition responses need to be established.
9.8. System management
There should also be some procedures or protocols put in place to manage the system over
time. Consideration should be given to how the following issues are managed:
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- System access The persons who have access to the system plant or controls
should be limited to the nominated individuals so that changes cannot be made to the
system without being properly documented and approved.
- Documenting changes any changes made to the system should be documented;
the as-installed drawings and the operating and maintenance manuals should be
updated to reflect the changes made.
- Verifying improvements any changes made to the system should be verified
against the stated goals or objectives of the change. Simply assuming that the
changes made have achieved the required objectives is insufficient and a positive
feedback should be encouraged to verify the performance of any implemented
improvements.
9.9. Recommissioning
Systems change over time, components wear, set points are altered, control calibrations
drift, often resulting in a deterioration in system performance. Recommissioning is intended
to bring a system back to its original performance and operating efficiency and is carried out
periodically (every 3 to 5 years) or in response to operating problems. Recommissioning
activities include tuning, calibrating, testing and verification and generally follows the tests
and methodology developed for the original commissioning program.
Recommissioning begins with a review of the system operating requirements to determine
what, if any, changes in requirements have occurred. The system operating requirements
need to be updated or confirmed prior to any recommissioning activities commencing.
If changes have occurred, systems are reviewed to establish if corresponding changes to
equipment, controls or operation procedures are required. Systems are then fully surveyed
and a list of findings or issues compiled. System trend logs or functional performance tests
may be used to determine if the system meets the performance defined in the reviewed
operating requirements.
Where changes to operating requirements or installed plant are extensive system
retrocommissioning may be required.
Refer to AIRAH DA 27 for full details on recommissioning and retrocommissioning protocols.
9.10. Upgrades
Fan or plant replacement can occur for a number of reasons including due to failure,
degraded performance, and changed system goals. Fan replacement could even be
considered at initial commissioning if due to excessive margins the selected fans are so
oversized the system needs to be excessively throttled.
When upgrading or replacing a fan the system requirements should be revisited and a fan
selection process entered into. Do not simply replace like for like.
A facility upgrade strategy might schedule the replacement of inefficient fans and associated
equipment with modern high efficiency alternatives However, the load/system requirements
should always be reviewed for changes.
9.11. Optimising existing fan systems
Many existing fan systems operate sub optimally, i.e. their performance outcomes can be
improved. Many system problems arise from incorrect fan selection and operation. The
indicators of a sub optimal fan system can include:
- Highly throttled dampers in use.
- Frequent on/off cycling of a fan in a constant flow application.
- Presence of excessive noise or vibration.
- Multiple fan systems where all fans are continuously running.
- No means for measuring system flow, pressure or fan power.
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- Fan systems that have been modified or extended over time.
The first step in the optimisation process is to assess the current system for deficiencies.
Next the system pressure and flow rate requirements and the installed fan capabilities are
quantified. Part of this process is to collect system performance data over time; logging data
such as flow rate, discharge pressure and energy consumption is essential in diagnosing for
optimum system performance.
Comparing the system requirements with the fans performance characteristic it is possible to
determine if the fan is over or under sized for the application. In many cases the fan
performance can be better tailored to the system requirements. Maximum efficiency and
minimum power consumption will be achieved by ensuring that the flow and pressure at the
fan best efficiency point closely match the system operating point.
Modelling the system using analytical or CFD models is useful when designing and
evaluating potential system improvements. Modelling can help evaluate the impact of
proposed changes to the fan, distribution systems or controls on a common platform.
To evaluate an existing fan system you must be able to:
- Audit the system installation for inappropriate flow and pressure characteristics.
- Understand the existing operation and control of the system or process.
- Identify potential system issues over a range of operating conditions.
- Use and interpret historical data available for the system or plant.
- Capture field data and analyse and interpret that data.
Some of the solutions to sub-optimal fan systems include
- Oversized fan trim impeller, smaller impeller, variable speed drive, two speed drive,
lower rpm.
- Undersized fan Replace fan or reduce system resistance (optimise flows).
- Multiple fans operating continuously review and update control system.
- High maintenance costs Match fan capacity with system requirements.
- High flow rates adjust system operating temperatures to maximise temperature
differentials and reduce airflow rates.
- Over throttled system Modify fan performance to reduce the need for throttling
- High power use Re-balance system to minimise flows and remove throttling.
- Provide instrumentation To measure pressure, flow and power use.
- Replace old fans with modern energy efficient replacements.
- High pressure drop Reduce system resistance by upsizing ducts and fittings and
installing low pressure drop plant.

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10. The Fan Duty and System Effect
10.1. Section introduction
Catalogue ratings of fans are generally based on idealised laboratory conditions particularly
in regard to outlet and inlet duct connections. These idealised conditions are rarely achieved
in practice and an additional pressure loss is thus imposed on the fan. If this additional loss
is not allowed for in system calculations, the fan will not be capable of handling the design
air quantity.
The additional pressure loss due to the actual inlet and outlet configuration of the fan is
known as the System Effect. A method of evaluating this effect and allowing for it within the
system design calculations and fan selection is discussed in this section.
10.2. The System Effect
A fan seldom operates under the ideal conditions prevailing in the laboratory when its
performance is determined. The most common causes of deficient performance of the
fan/system combination are:
- swirling of the air at the fan inlet
- non-uniform inlet flow
- improper outlet connections
- badly fitting flexible connections
- misaligned ductwork on both the inlet and discharge
- swirl at the discharge of axial flow fans, especially close to bends
- bends close to the fan intake or discharge
- fans mounted too close to obstructions such as walls
If insufficient straight duct is provided at the fan outlet the velocity profile in the duct will not
be equalised and stabilisation of the outlet velocity profile will not be achieved, (see Figure.
10.1). In addition, interaction will occur with the duct fittings downstream resulting in higher
pressure losses.
The difference between the fan performance under ideal conditions and its performance in
an actual installation is known as the system effect p
syst
, and is proportional to the other
system resistances.
10.3. Fan instability
In addition to the system effect, certain inlet configurations will cause a discontinuity in the
pressure characteristic of the fan which will result in unstable performance at particular
operating conditions. The fan performance becomes unpredictable and the pressure
fluctuations cause objectionable duct rumbling noises and vibration. With axial flow fans,
blade stall can occur at considerably lower system pressures.
In general, round and rectangular mitred bends (without turning vanes or splitters) on the
inlet to either centrifugal or axial flow fans causes this instability.
10.4. System Effect Factor
The system effect is expressed in terms of a system effect factor as follows:
P
syst
= x p
v
Equation 10.4.1
Where = system effect factor
p
v
= the velocity pressure at the nominal inlet or outlet of the fan
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In the following clauses the system effect factor is tabulated for various inlet and outlet
configurations. The values quoted are intended as guidelines only. Some have been
obtained previously by individual fan manufacturers, and many represent the consensus of
engineers with considerable experience in the application of fans.
Fans of different types and even fans of the same type, but supplied by different
manufacturers, will not necessarily react with the system in exactly the same way. It is
therefore necessary to apply judgement, based on actual experience, in applying the system
effect factors.
Figure 10.2 is a chart of system effect against various velocities for a range of system effect
factors. By entering the chart at the appropriate air velocity the system effect in Pascals may
be read off for the appropriate system effect factor for the fan configuration. This figure must
then be added to the total system pressure when determining the fan duty.
The velocity figure used in entering the chart will be either the inlet or the outlet velocity of
the fan. Most catalogue ratings include outlet velocity figures but, for centrifugal fans, it may
be necessary to calculate the inlet velocity. The necessary dimensioned drawings are
usually included in the fan catalogue.
The System Effect chart is for standard air at a density 1.2 kg/m
3
. Since the System effect is
directly proportional to density, values for other densities can be calculated thus:


Figure 10.2 System effect for various system effect factors
10.5. System Effect for ducts at the fan inlet
Fan inlet swirl and non-uniform inlet flow can often be corrected by inlet straightening vanes
or guide vanes. Restricted fan inlets located too close to walls or obstructions, or restrictions
caused by a plenum or cabinet will decrease the useable performance of a fan.
Non-uniform flow into the inlet is the most common cause of deficient fan performance. An
elbow or a 90duct turn located at the fan inlet will not allow the air to enter uniformly and
will result in turbulent and uneven flow distribution at the fan impeller. Air has weight and a
moving air stream has momentum and, therefore, the air stream resists a change in direction
within an elbow as illustrated in Figures 10.5 and 10.6.
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Figure 10.3

Figure 10.4
The system effect factor for various inlet bend configurations for centrifugal fans is given in
Fig 10.3 through 10.6.
For the square 90bends in Figure 10.6 the maximum permissible angle of any element in
the transition is 15convergent and 7.5divergent.


Figure 10.5 Figure 10.6
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Another major cause of reduced performance is an inlet duct condition that produces a
vortex or spin in the air stream entering the fan inlet. An example of this condition is
illustrated in Figure 10.7.
Figure 10.7
The ideal inlet condition is one which allows the air to enter axially and uniformly without spin
in either direction. Swirling of the air in the same direction as the rotation of the fan reduces
the fan performance. Uncontrolled swirling of the air in the opposite direction of the fan inlet
may cause instability and pulsation. Proprietary inlet guide vanes supplied by the fan
manufacturer are sometimes used to increase or control fan performance, but all types of
system-generated swirl should be avoided.
Inlet spin may arise from a great variety of approach conditions and sometimes the cause is
not obvious. Some common duct connections which cause inlet spin are illustrated in Figure
10.8, but since the variations are many, no System Effect Factors are tabulated. It is
recommended that these types of duct connections be avoided, but if this is not possible,
inlet conditions can usually be improved by the use of turning vanes as illustrated in Figure
10.9 and splitter sheets to break the spinning vortex.
Figure 10.8
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Figure 10.9
10.6. System Effects at fan outlet
Fans intended primarily for use with duct systems are usually tested with an outlet duct in
place. In most cases it is not practical for the fan manufacturer to supply this duct as part of
the fan but the rated performance will not be achieved unless a comparable duct is included
in the system design. The system design engineer should examine catalogue ratings
carefully for statements defining whether the published ratings are based on tests made with
outlet ducts, inlet ducts, both, or no ducts.
Figure 10.1 shows the changes in velocity profiles at various distances from the fan outlet.
For 100% recovery of uniform velocity profile the duct, including the transition, should extend
at least two and one half equivalent duct diameters and will need to be as long as six
equivalent duct diameters at outlet velocities of 30 m/s and higher.
If it is not possible to use a full length outlet duct, this must be accounted for when
determining the system effect to be added to the system total pressure loss. Values of
system effect factor for outlet ducts are given in 10.1, applicable to centrifugal fans.
For axial fan installations, system effect factors will vary depending on the sophistication of
the axial fan manufacture. It is now common that axial fan manufacturers supply correction
data for various outlet and inlet conditions, i.e. AS ISO 5801 Standard tests which requires
data to be presented in Types A, B, C and D
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Figure 10.1
Blast Area
Outlet Area
No
Duct
12%
Effective
Duct
25%
Effective
Duct
50%
Effective
Duct
100%
Effective
Duct
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1.0
2.0
2.0
1.0
0.8
0.5
0.25
-
1.0
1.0
0.7
0.4
0.25
0.15
-
0.4
0.4
0.35
0.15
0.1
-
-
0.2
0.2
0.15
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-

-
-
Table 10.1 System Effect Factors for outlet ducts for centrifugal fans (effective duct
length is as defined in Figure 10.1.)
The ratio of blast area to outlet area is not usually included in fan catalogue data and it will
be necessary to obtain this from the fan manufacturer. Refer Figure 10.1 for definition of
blast and outlet area.
Fans are often connected to ducts with a cross sectional area A
K
which is larger than the
nominal outlet area A
N
, e.g. a fan discharging into a plenum or air handling unit. The system
effect factors for this configuration are as indicated in Table 10.2
Table 10.2 System Effect Factors for Fan Discharge into a Plenum
Blast Area
Outlet Area
AK
AN
1 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1.0
-
-
-
-
-
-
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
1.3
0.9
0.7
0.5
0.4
0.25
1.6
1.2
0.9
0.7
0.5
0.4
1.8
1.4
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.5
The velocity profile at the outlet of a fan is not uniform and a bend located at or near the fan
outlet will, therefore, develop a pressure loss greater than its handbook value.
The amount of this increased loss will depend upon the location and orientation of the bend
relative to the fan outlet. In some cases the effect of the bend will be to further distort the
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outlet velocity profile of the fan. This will increase the losses and may result in such uneven
flow in the duct that branch take-offs near the elbow will not deliver their desired airflow.
Wherever possible a length of straight duct should be installed at the fan outlet to permit
diffusion and development of a uniform flow profile before a bend is inserted in the duct. If a
bend must be located near the fan outlet then it should have a minimum radius to duct
diameter ratio of 1.5 and should be arranged to give the most uniform airflow possible.
Table 10.3 gives System Effect Factors which can be used to estimate the effect of a bend
at the outlet of an SWSI centrifugal fan. It also shows the reduction in losses resulting from
the use of a straight outlet duct.
Table 10.3 System Effect Factors for bends at fan outlet for SWSI fans
Blast Area
Outlet Area
Outlet
Elbow
Position
No
Outlet
Duct
12%
Effective
Duct
25%
Effective
Duct
50%
Effective
Duct
100%
Effective
Duct
0.4 A
B
C
D
3.0
4.5
5.5
5.5
2.5
3.8
4.5
4.5
1.8
2.5
3.0
3.0
0.8
1.2
1.6
1.6
System
Effect
Factor
is zero






0.5 A
B
C
D
2.0
2.8
3.8
3.8
1.6
2.3
2.8
2.8
1.2
1.8
2.3
2.3
0.6
0.8
1.0
1.0
0.6 A
B
C
D
1.6
2.0
2.8
2.5
1.4
1.6
2.3
2.0
1.0
1.2
1.8
1.4
0.4
0.6
0.8
0.7
0.7 A
B
C
D
0.7
1.0
1.4
1.2
0.6
0.8
1.2
1.0
0.4
0.6
0.8
0.7
0.2
0.3
0.35
0.35
0.8 A
B
C
D
0.8
1.2
1.6
1.4
0.7
1.0
1.4
1.2
0.5
0.7
1.0
0.8
0.25
0.35
0.4
0.35
0.9 A
B
C
D
0.7
1.0
1.2
1.0
0.6
0.8
1.0
0.8
0.4
0.6
0.7
0.6
0.2
0.3
0.35
0.3
1.0 A
B
C
D
1.0
0.7
1.0
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.8
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.6
0.6
0.3
0.2
0.3
0.3
For DWDI Fans, determine System Effect Factor using the above tabulation for SWSI Fans. Next determine
System Effect (p) from Figure 10.2, and then apply appropriate multiplier from tabulation below:
Bend Position B = p x 1.25
Bend Position D = p x 0.85
Bend Position A and C = p x 1.00
Refer to Figure 10.10 for bend position designations
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Figure 10.10
Dampers are often furnished as accessory equipment by the fan manufacturer, but in many
systems a volume control damper will be located in the ductwork near the fan outlet.
Volume control dampers are manufactured with either opposed blades or parallel blades.
When partially closed, the parallel bladed damper diverts the airstream to the side of the
duct. This results in a non-uniform velocity profile beyond the damper and flow to branch
ducts close to the downstream side may be seriously affected.
The use of an opposed blade damper is recommended when volume control is required at
the fan outlet and there are other system components, such as coils or branch takeoffs,
downstream of the fan. When the fan discharges into a larger plenum or to free space, a
parallel blade damper may be satisfactory.
For a centrifugal fan, the best air performance will usually be achieved by installing the
damper with its blades perpendicular to the fan shaft. Published pressure losses for control
dampers are based upon the uniform approach velocity profiles. When a damper is installed
close to the outlet of a fan, the approach velocity profile is non-uniform and much higher
pressure losses through the damper can result. Figure 10.11 lists multipliers which should
be applied to the damper manufacturers catalogued pressure loss when the damper is
installed at the outlet of a centrifugal fan.

Blast Area
Outlet Area
Static
Pressure
Multiplier
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
7.5
4.8
3.3
2.4
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0.8
0.9
1.0
1.9
1.5
1.2
Figure 10.11 Pressure loss multipliers for volume control dampers
mounted at fan discharge
10.7. System Effect of plenums or enclosures
Fans within plenums or next to walls should be located so that air may flow unobstructed into
the inlets. Fan performance is reduced if the space between the fan inlet and the enclosures
is too restrictive. It is common practice to allow at least one impeller diameter between an
enclosure wall and the fan inlet. 1 impeller diameter is the minimum for axial fans and
should be the target for centrifugal fans too.
The inlets of multiple fans located in a common enclosure should be at least one impeller
diameter apart if optimum performance is to be expected. Figures 10.12, 10.13 and 10.14
illustrate fans located in an enclosure and the System Effect Factors for restricted inlets are
listed in Table 10.4.
The manner in which the air stream enters an enclosure in relation to the fan inlets also
affects fan performance. Plenum or enclosure inlets or walls which are not symmetrical with
the fan inlets will cause uneven flow and/or inlet spin. Figure 12-60D illustrates this
condition which must be avoided to achieve maximum performance from a centrifugal fan. If
this is not possible, inlet conditions can usually be improved with a splitter sheet to break up
the inlet vortex as illustrated in Figure 12-60E.
A reduction in fan performance can be expected when an obstruction to airflow is located in
the plane of the fan inlet. Structural members, columns, butterfly valves, blast gates and
pipes are examples of more common inlet obstructions. Some accessories such as inlet
boxes, fan bearings, bearing pedestals, inlet vanes, inlet dampers, drive guards and motors
may also cause inlet obstruction, if their size or location differs from the manufacturers
standard designs. It is desirable that a drive guard located in a fan inlet be furnished with as
much opening as possible to allow maximum flow to the fan inlet.
Obstruction at the fan inlet may be classified conveniently in terms of the unobstructed
percentage of the inlet area. Because of the shape of inlet cones of many fans it is
sometimes difficult to establish the area of the fan inlet. Figure 12-60F illustrates the
convention adopted for this purpose. Where an inlet collar is provided, the inlet area is
calculated from the inside diameter of this collar. Where no collar is provided, the inlet plane
is defined by the points of tangent of the housing with the inlet cone radius.
The unobstructed percentage of the inlet area is calculated by projecting the profile of the
obstruction onto the profile of the inlet. The adjusted inlet velocity obtained is then used to
enter the System Effect chart (Figure 10.2) and the System Effect determined from the factor
listed for that unobstructed percentage of the inlet area in Table 10.4.
To maintain fan efficiency at reduced flow conditions, airflow quantity is often controlled by
variable vanes mounted in the fan inlet.
These are arranged to generate a forced inlet vortex which rotates in the same direction as
the fan impeller (pre-rotation).
Inlet vanes may be of two different basic types:
- Integral (built in)
- Cylindrical (add on)
The System Effect of wide open inlet vane must be accounted for in the original fan
selection. This data should be available from the fan manufacturer. If not, the following
System Effect Factors may be applied in making the fan selection:
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Table 10.4 System Effect Factors for fans located in plenums for various wall to inlet
dimensions
L = distance between the inlet
and the wall
syst
0.75 x D
0.5 x D
0.4 x D
0.3 x D
0.2 x D
0.25
0.4
0.6
0.8
1.2

Figures 10.12, 10.13 and 10.14
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Figure 10.15

Table 10.5 System Effect Factors for Obstructions at the Fan Inlet
Percentage of Unobstructed
Inlet Area
System Effect Factor
100
95
90
85
75
50
25
NO LOSS
0.3
0.4
0.53
0.8
1.6
2.0
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Figure 10.16 and 10.17
10.8. Example calculation of System Effect
A centrifugal fan is to be connected to a ducting system with, on the supply side a square
outlet duct, dimension a x a, of length a leading into a 90 bend with position B (Figure 12-
70B). On the fan inlet, a circular duct is connected with a radiused bend R/D = 1 located two
diameters away from the fan inlet.
On both sides, the fan is connected to ducts of the same cross-sections as the terminal
flanges of the fan. Determine the resulting system effect.
Given:
The outlet velocity V
N1
based on the nominal outlet area A
N
, is 17 m/s. Inlet velocity V
N2
= 10
m/s. The ratio of blast area (A
B
) to outlet area (A
N
) is 0.7.
Solution:
INLET SIDE
(a) Bend upstream of the fan inlet.
The connection conditions correspond to Figure 12-50A
R/D = 1 (given)
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Duct length L = 2D (given)
From the table in Figure 10.5
syst
= 0.7
From Figure 10.2, at 10 m/s and
syst
= 0.7, the system effect p
syst
is 42 Pa
OUTLET SIDE
(b) Duct downstream of the fan.
Figure 10.1 illustrates how the effective duct length L
E
is defined.
t
t
a 7 4a
1) (2.5 m/s 17 at L
2
E100
= + =
Actual duct length L = a
Actual effective duct length L
E
= L/L
E100

% 3 . 25 100
7a
a
= =
t

From Table10.1,
syst
= 0.15 at L
E
= 25% and A
B
/A
N
= 0.7
From Figure 10.2 at V
N
= 17 m/s and
syst
= 0.15, the system effect p
syst
is 25 Pa.
(c) Bend downstream of the fan outlet.
The connection conditions correspond to bend orientation B (Given)
A
B
/A
N
= 0.7
Actual effective duct length = 25% (see above)
From Table 12-70C,
syst
= 0.6
From Figure 10.1 at 17 m/s and
syst
= 0.6, the system effect p
syst
is 105 Pa
The resulting system effect which is to be added to other system resistances will then be:
(a) + (b) + (c) = 42 + 25 + 105 = 172 Pa


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Appendices

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Appendix A Fan Laws
A1 Introduction
This Appendix provides a summary of the fan law equations.
When changing a single fan characteristic the fan laws can be used to predict the changes in
performance in accordance with the following summary:
Variable Constants Law
Formula
Rotational
speed
Air density,
impeller diameter,
distribution system
1. Volume flow is directly proportional to
the rotational speed
2. Pressure developed is directly
proportional to the square of the
rotational speed (or flow)
3. Power absorbed is directly
proportional to the cube of the
rotational speed (or flow)
q
1
/q
2
= n
1
/n
2


p
1
/p
2
= (n
1
/n
2
)


P
1
/P
2
= (n
1
/n
2
)
Impeller
diameter
Air density,
distribution system
4. Volume flow and Power absorbed are
directly proportional to the square of
the impeller diameter
5. Rotational speed is inversely
proportional to the impeller diameter
6. Pressure developed remains
constant
q
1
/q
2
= P
1
/P
2
=
(d
1
/d
2
)

n
1
/n
2
= d
2
/d
1


p
1
= p
2

Impeller
diameter
Air density,
rotational speed,
distribution system
7. Volume flow is directly proportional to
the cube of the impeller diameter
8. Pressure developed is directly
proportional to the square of the
impeller diameter
9. Power absorbed is directly
proportional to the fifth power of the
impeller diameter
q
1
/q
2
= (d
1
/d
2
)

p
1
/p
2
= (d
1
/d
2
)


P
1
/P
2
= (d
1
/d
2
)
5

Air density Pressure
developed,
impeller diameter,
distribution system
10. Rotational speed, volume flow and
power absorbed are inversely
proportional to the square root of air
density
n
1
/n
2
= q
1
/q
2
= P
1
/P
2

= (
2
/
1
)
Air density Rotational speed,
impeller diameter,
distribution system
11. Pressure developed and power
absorbed are directly proportional to
the air density
12. Volume flow remains constant
p
1
/p
2
= P
1
/P
2
=
1
/

2


q
1
= q
2

Where:
q = Volume flow (m/s); n= rotational speed of fan (rev/s); p= pressure developed (Pa)
P = power absorbed (W); d= Impeller diameter (m); = Air density (kg/m)
Notes:
1. Total pressure (p
t
) = Static pressure (p
s
) + Velocity pressure (p
v
)
2. P = p x q
3. Fan Laws apply to geometrically similar fans operating at the same point on the fan
performance curve.
4. Characteristics of fans with aerofoil blades are likely to be Reynolds number
dependent.
5. System resistance varies nearly as the air velocity squared.

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Appendix B Measuring pressure and flow
B1 Measuring pressure
Static pressure in a stream of moving air can only be determined accurately by measuring it
in a manner such that the velocity of the air has no influence on the measurement at all.
This is done by measuring it through a small hole or series of holes arranged at right angles
to the flow in a surface lying parallel with the lines of flow. The surface must not cause any
disturbance to the flow apart from friction. A measurement of static pressure is made by
connecting a tube from a static tapping on the measuring device to one side of a
manometer, with the other side open to ambient atmosphere.
Total pressure is measured by connecting a manometer to a tube with its open end facing
directly into the flow. Again, for this measurement, the other side of the manometer is open
to ambient atmosphere.
Velocity pressure cannot be conveniently measured directly, but can very easily be
measured as the difference between total pressure and static pressure by joining the total
pressure connection to one side of a manometer and the static pressure connection to the
other. This is sometimes referred to as a differential pressure and it is nearly always
measured, in fan applications, by an inclined tube manometer.
The Pitot-static tube, often referred to simply as a Pitot Tube, is a convenient form of probe
for inserting into a duct to provide, in a single instrument, both static pressure holes and a
forward facing (total pressure) tube so that static pressure and velocity pressure may be
measured simultaneously on two separate manometers suitably connected, refer Figure B1.
Other methods of static pressure measurements are available.

Figure B1 A Measurement of Air Pressure by Pitot Tube and Inclined Manometer
B2 Measuring flow
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B2.1 Flow rates and their measurement
The quantities of air passing through the various sections in a ductwork system may be
measured at the entrance to, exits from, or at locations within the system.
B2.2 Measurement by calibrated intake device
The inlet nozzle is the most satisfactory calibrated intake device, but it must be made
accurately to proven proportions. A proven inlet as per AS ISO 5801 is comparatively easy
to manufacture and has a well proven entry co-efficient. The flow rate can be calculated
from a single static pressure measurement taken at a specified distance downstream of the
nozzle. Another alternative is the orifice plate, also specified in AS ISO 5801.
B2.3 Measurement by static pressure measurement at the entry to a duct system
If a lower order of accuracy is acceptable, a meaningful measurement of airflow within
approximately 10% can be made by measuring the static pressure or suction just
downstream of the entry to a duct system which is exhausting from a space provided the
area of the wall in which the duct entry is located is much larger than the duct entry.
A considerable amount of reliable information is available for entry coefficients of many
alternative types of entry and using this data together with a static pressure or suction
measurement the flow can be calculated.
s T
P AK Q =
Equation B2.1
for air with a density of 1.2 kg/m
3
Where:
Q = airflow, L/s
A = cross sectional area of duct, m
2

K
T
= co-efficient of entry
P
s
= static pressure, Pa
P
v
= velocity pressure, Pa
The entry co-efficient is
s
v
T
P
P
K = Equation B2.2
A variety of entry configurations are shown in Figure B2 together with their appropriate entry
coefficients.
For values of K
T
for a number of other intake devices refer to AIRAH DA03.
Various information has been published on K factors for calculating losses of various
ductwork system components. The K factor is the total pressure loss in terms of the number
of mean velocity heads at the section considered. If a particular shaped entry has a known
K factor, the entry co-efficient can be derived as follows:
1 K
1
K
T
+
= Equation B2.3

Plain end of pipe
Rectangular or circular
K
T
0.72

Flanged end of pipe
Rectangular or circular
K
T
0.82

Plain end of pipe
Plus small radius
Elbow bend
K
T
0.62

Flanged end of pipe
Plus small radius
Elbow bend
K
T
0.74
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Exhaust Booth K
T
0.82

Sharp edged orifice K
T
0.60

Tapered cone or
Rectangular to Round
K
T
0.90
(approx)

HOODS
(A) Where
Area Pipe
Area Face Hood
= 2 or more
( ) opening Flanged 180
140 100
100 10
in Angle Included





80 . 0
85 . 0
90 . 0

82 . 0
90 . 0
95 . 0
K Entry
T
r Rectangula Circular

(B) Where
Area Pipe
Area Face Hood
= 1.2 to 2
Short Taper < Face Diameter K
T
0.95
Long Taper > Face Diameter K
T
0.85
Figure B2 Entry Coefficients for various entry Configurations
Drafting note: CIBSE has very comprehensive data on fitting losses and maybe worth
looking at. They do, however, go much deeper into the subject but that isnt a bad
thing
B2.4 Measurement by Pitot-Static Tube
B2.4.1 In Duct
Where there is a portion of ductwork system that has a straight parallel section for at least
six duct diameters or six duct widths downstream at any bend, obstruction or abrupt change
of section, an accurate measure of airflow is possible by traversing the section using a Pitot-
static tube in conjunction with a sensitive sloping manometer. The total pressure and static
pressure connections are made to the opposite ends of the manometer, which will then
indicate velocity pressure.
The air velocity at the point of measurement can be calculated from:
v
p v 291 . 1 = (m/s) Equation B2.4
For standard air of density1.2 kg/m
3
(Standard air is 21C, 101.325 kPa barometric pressure,
65% relative humidity).
For non standard conditions
t
v s
P
v
o
o
= 291 . 1 (m/s) Equation B2.5
Where:
v = air velocity (m/s)
p
v
= velocity pressure (Pa)

s
= standard air density = 1.2 kg/m
3

t
= air density in duct (kg/m
3
)
The Pitot-static traverse pattern for circular ducts is shown in Figure B3.
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Figure B3 Location of Positions for Transverse Measurements in Standardised Airways
At each testing point of the traverse pattern, the velocity pressure is read after allowing
sufficient time for the manometer fluid to steady. The mean air velocity at the test section is
obtained by averaging the air velocities at each point.
The flow rate is derived by multiplying the mean velocity by the cross sectional area.
B2.4.2 At Duct Discharge
Measuring by means of a Pitot-static tube at the air discharge point is relatively easy if the
flow is uniform and straight but if any outlet louvers or other obstructions are fitted, which is
the normal situation, reliable readings are very difficult to obtain.
B2.4.3 Measurement by Anemometer
It is possible to use an anemometer at a duct discharge, but significant experience is
necessary to obtain meaningful results. Unless the air being discharged is substantially of
uniform velocity and parallel to the duct axis, the anemometer readings will require extensive
corrections and interpretation. As a result this method is not very accurate and multiple
readings need to be taken and the average recorded to improve accuracy results.
It is also essential than an anemometer is re-calibrated regularly as it loses its accuracy
quite quickly
B3 Other methods
Other specialised air velocity instruments are available, but they are outside the scope of this
manual.
Drafting note: What about direct reading manometers?
Accurate airflow measurements other than in long straight lengths of ductwork, or with
calibrated inlet nozzles, are extremely difficult to obtain.

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Appendix C Specifying fans
C1 Introduction
Certain essential information is required for a fan manufacturer to be able to supply
equipment that best meets the function for which it is intended.
In addition, further information, though not essential, may prevent an unsuitable machine
being supplied or will ensure that the best selection from a number of alternatives is made.
It is clearly in the interest of the fan user to provide all the information set out below.
C2 Essential Information
C2.1. Flow rate
The volume flow requirement (the actual volume of air/gas per unit time entering the fan
inlet) and any possible future increases.
Units: litres per second (L/s) (preferred unit), cubic metres per second (m
3
/s)
For a fan that is to be controlled for reduced output, the lower duty operating points should
also be nominated.
C2.2 Pressure
Fan total pressure
Fan static pressure
Units: kilopascals (kPa) (preferred unit), pascals (Pa)
C2.3 Discharge velocity
Fan discharge velocity.
Units: metres per second (m/s)
C2.4 Inlet gas density
Density of air/gas entering the fan inlet in mass per unit volume.
Units: kilogram per cubic metre (kg/m
3
)
C2.5 Altitude of fan installation/site
Units: metres (m)
C2.6 Nature of gas
Composition (if not air), temperature at which flow rate, pressure and discharge velocity
apply.
Units: degrees Celsius (C)
Whether gas is toxic, explosive, corrosive or has entrained solids.
C2.7 Noise
The maximum noise level that can be tolerated from the fan. Preferably it should be the in-
duct sound power level in each octave band. Often the fan casing radiated sound power
level is an important consideration, but unfortunately very little data on this is readily
available from manufacturers.
Units: (dB re 10
-12
Watts)
Note: In duct measurements are usually calculated numbers based on true measured data. A better
design solution may be to have the raw sound pressure ratings for the fan available so acoustic
engineers can simply add this data to full system assessments.
C2.8 Fan type and arrangement
Details on inlet and discharge positions, preferred bearing arrangement, size of inlet and
outlet ducts to which the fan is to be connected.
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C2.9 Drive
Particulars of the type of drive on the fan, whether horizontal or vertical shaft, details of
electrical supply, etc., whether a vibration isolating base is required, life and type of
bearings, type of bearing housing.
In belt-drive fans the position of the motor should be indicated, left or right, inside or outside.
It is assumed, unless otherwise advised, that the above details are the actual conditions
under which the fan will operate, i.e. that all corrections for temperature, density, etc. have
been made by the user. If there is doubt about any requirements, then the designer should
advise the fan manufacturer.
C3 Additional Information
Additional information may include:
- Brief details on the fans application, e.g. induced draft, paint spray exhaust.
- If a fan is to handle hot gasses, information on the ambient conditions to which the
bearings will be subjected should be stated.
- Whether the fan or drive is to be weather proofed (e.g. IP rating).
- Is allowance to be made for future increases in speed?
- Is the fan application extra arduous on the drive, necessitating additional safety
factors in the design?
C4 Fan Selection Considerations
Consideration to the type of fan required to perform a particular duty based upon a given set
of selection criteria provides the starting point for good fan selection. Table C1 below
provides a guide to fan type, which may be used to assess the options and best fan type.
Table C1 Guide to fan selection criteria
Criteria Fan Selection
Low first cost Propeller / Axial Fan.
High efficiency Centrifugal fan with backward-inclined blades and
preferably with aerofoil blade design, or premium efficiency
plug fan.
Low noise level For low system pressures Axial or plate mounted fans.
For medium or high system pressures Backward-inclined
centrifugal fans.
Space constraints Axial type, forward-curved centrifugal or plug fan.
Flexibility in volume capacity Adjustable pitch axial fan or incorporate means of speed
adjustment i.e. belt-drive or variable speed drive, plug fan
with VFD or EC motor.
High pressure systems Backward-inclined centrifugal fan, plug fan or contra-
rotating axial fans.
Medium pressure systems Backward or forward-inclined centrifugal, plug or axial fans.
Low pressure systems Plate mounted or axial fans.
Non-stall characteristics Mixed-flow, centrifugal or low pitch angle axial.
Reversible flow Axial fan truly reversible impeller.
Note: In the case of axial flow fans in particular, because of the relatively high discharge air velocity,
the total efficiency result is distorted. Selections made using static efficiency, or air kW will, always
give a more efficient selection.
Having selected the right fan type, choosing the right fan size will optimise performance.
Selection data may be presented in a tabulated format or by computer printout. For the
optimum selection, reference should always be made to the fan performance curve. This
acts as a visual check on the operating point and by ensuring the operating point occurs
near the peak fan efficiency (best efficiency point) it will reduce the risk of performance
problems and contribute to an energy efficient installation.
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Often confusing criteria are offered as a basis of comparison. It is important for comparative
purposes that the data is presented in its most fundamental form. Operating parameters
such as fan speed, outlet velocity or unqualified sound pressure levels do not provide a true
comparison between fan selections, makes and models. These characteristics may be
peculiar to a fan design or open to broad interpretation. Outlet velocity does not allow for
truly efficient fan selections.
The best comparative information, (before price and physical size are considered), are the
parameters of efficiency and sound power level. These two criteria will have the greatest
effect on installation operating costs and environmental impact. Scroll fan efficiency data
often only relates to impeller efficiency, making true comparison of published efficiency
levels difficult. Consumed energy for the fan at the duty is the only true comparison on
operating costs of the installed system.
C4 Worked Example of Typical Fan Selection
The example (Figure C1) is a system where the fan supplies filtered heated air to a
conditioned space.
Following are the pressure loss calculations for the system (based on total pressure) for a
volume flow of 1500 L/s. Fan discharge velocity is 20 m/s and its velocity at the inlet is 15
m/s. Figures, fittings and tables referred to below are taken from AIRAH DA03.
Inlet Losses (Pa)
Filter -50
Contraction 60, Fitting No. 309 (0.6 x 0.07 x 15
2
) -10
Straight duct into elbow -70
Elbow 4 piece mitred, R/D = 1, Figure6-30A (0.6 x
0.34 x 15
2
) -46
Inlet System Effect and fan inlet, Figure 7-50C (0.6
x 1.2 x 15
2
) -162
Total Inlet Loss = Total fan pressure at inlet -338
Outlet Losses
Abrupt expansion fan discharge to plenum, Figure 6-
30B (0.6 x 1 x 20
2
) 240
Outlet system effect for no fan outlet duct
Blast Area/Outlet Area = 0.8: Plenum Area/Outlet
Area = 3: Table 7-70B (0.6 x 0.04 x 20
2
) 192
Perforated Plate 40
Heater 63
Contraction 45, Fitting No. 307 (0.6 x 0.04 x 15
2
) 5
Supply ductwork from heater to outlet 150
Velocity pressure loss at outlet (0.6 x 15
2
) 135
Total outlet loss = Total pressure at fan outlet 825

Fan Total Pressure p
t
= 825 (-338) =1163 Pa
Fan Static Pressure p
s
= 1163 0.6 x 20
2
= 923 Pa
Select fan manufacturers catalogue for 1500 L/s at 923 Pa p
s
and use recommended speed
and power.
Note: Because fan static pressure is a function of the velocity pressure at its outlet, a fan with a
different outlet velocity connected to the same system will have a fan static pressure different to that
calculated above.
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If the fan arrangement could be designed to have a straight run of ductwork to the fan inlet
and a length of 4 duct diameters (Figure 7-70A) between fan outlet and heater, and the
perforated plate excluded, there would be a reduction in pressure loss of approximately:
Elbow 46
Elbow system effect 162
Outlet system effect 192
Abrupt outlet expansion 240
Perforated plate 40
680
This means the fan could easily be operated at a reduced speed to deliver the same volume
flow rate and consequently there would be a reduction in absorbed power of 73%. The
revised selection point at the reduced speed would result in a quieter installation.

Figure C1 Pressure characteristics of a simple system

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Appendix D Fan Performance Trouble Shooting
Fans are often accused of underperforming and not achieving the specified duty. However,
it must be understood that the fan is a mechanical machine, which if correctly designed, built
and tested will unfailingly deliver the catalogued performance data. It must be further
understood that very few site installations reflect the standard test design. Every duct
installation is different. Site conditions must be taken into consideration when assessing fan
performance.
Given that all else is in reasonable order the fan may be inspected for defects or improper
operation. However, before checking the common fan faults listed below it would be wise to
ensure that no debris or other obstructions occur within the fan or duct system and that the
fan size supplied and installed is correct and as per design requirements. A confirmation of
fan diameters and discharge sizes is a good preliminary exercise. Otherwise the following
points could be considered:
Axial Fans
1. Excessive tip clearance. Axial fans develop pressure through tight
clearance between the case and blade tip. Check with the
manufacturer for the recommended clearance for the tested fan
design.
2. Impeller installed backwards. In effect this will run the impeller in the
incorrect direction. This will reduce the volume flow rates
dramatically. Check that the leading edge of the impeller makes the
first contact with the incoming air stream and in the direction of
rotation.
3. Fan running backward. The effect will be as for item 2 above. Check
the direction of rotation and that the leading edge of the fan blade
makes the first contact with the incoming air stream.
4. Incorrect pitch angle. The pitch angle is normally set on a jig. If the
pitch angle is suspect contact the manufacturer for checking and re-
setting if required.
5. Motor support too close to impeller. This causes separated flow
through the fan and reduces the volume flow. Check with the
manufacturer for their recommendations on tested design
parameters.
6. Wrong fan speed. With direct-drive fans, check that the motor speed
is in accordance with the selected and ordered fan details. Should
the fan be indirect-drive, check the fan and motor pulley combinations
and motor speed are all correct to deliver the right fan speed.
Centrifugal Fans
For both single width, single inlet (SWSI) and double width, double inlet (DWDI) fans, check
the following:
1. Wrong fan speed through incorrect pulley combinations on belt-drive
fans or incorrect motor selections. Check the fan speed at the fan
shaft and confirm the fan and motor pulley combinations and motor
speed are all correct to deliver the desired fan speed.
2. Insufficient belt tension causing belt slippage.
3. Fan running backward. Check that the leading edge of the impeller
with respect to rotation makes the first contact with the incoming air
stream. Fans running backward still induce an airflow in the required
direction, however the volume flow rate is substantially reduced and
power consumption may increase dramatically.
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4. Incorrectly fitted inlet cone allowing excessive gap between impeller
eye and the cone trailing edge. Figure D1 is a guide to typical limits
and variances which may impact on fan performance.
<<INSERT FIGURE D1 Drafting note figure known/available??
For double width, double inlet fans, the following points should also be checked.
5. Check the fan impeller is central to the fan case. A non-centric
impeller will cause uneven loading on the fan impeller and affect the
fan performance results.
6. Check that the drive arrangement does not excessively decrease the
fan inlet area, i.e. drive guards are sufficiently aerated or couplings
and bearings allow adequate inlet clearance.
7. The inlets of a DWDI fan may also be obstructed by close proximity of
walls or other machinery if installed on an open plenum arrangement.
The important criteria is a balanced or equal restriction on both sides
of the fan and uneven conditions may arise if an obstruction is within
two impeller diameters of either inlet without treatment of the
opposing inlet. Also conditions of airflow into the fan may induce a
pre-swirl, which will derate the fan performance. Refer to Section 10
for the treatment of these conditions.

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Appendix E Glossary and acronyms
Drafting note: To be completed at publication
E1 Glossary of terms
In this Appendix some of the more common terms relating to fans are described with cross
references to relevant text in the manual.
Drafting note: What additional terms need to be defined?
Altitude the difference above (or below) sea level.
Attenuation Absorption of sound pressure by reducing amplitude of sound wave leaving the
frequency unchanged.
Axial fan A fan design where air is discharged predominately parallel to the impeller
rotational axis.
Best efficiency point (BEP) The operating condition at which the fan transfers energy to
the air stream most efficiently.
Blast area The fan outlet area less the projected area of the cut-off.
Centrifugal fan A fan design where air is discharged predominately perpendicular to the
impeller rotational axis.
Evas A diffuser at the fan outlet that increases in area to decrease air velocity, converting
kinetic energy to static pressure.
Fan performance curve A graphical representation of the fan pressure/flow performance
characteristics which may also indicate fan efficiency and power input, (also called fan
characteristic curve or simply fan curve).
Input power
Output power The power delivered by a motor shaft to a driven device (motor size in kW).
Fan motor power means the power delivered to a motor of a fan, including the power needed
for any drive and impeller losses.
Impeller efficiency
Index run
Fan efficiency
Motor efficiency
Friction loss resistance to airflow through ducts, fittings and components, expressed as a
static pressure loss.
Impeller The rotating bladed wheel within the fan that imparts energy to the air stream.
Impeller diameter The maximum diameter measured across the impeller blades.
Inclined manometer A metering device used to measure pressure.
Instability Refers to a condition where the fan will hunt or pulse providing a variable and
unpredictable performance.
Make-up air Air that is replaced because of exhaust air requirements.
Pressure definitions
Fan Total Pressure The algebraic difference between the mean total pressure at the fan
outlet and the mean total pressure at the fan inlet.
Fan Static Pressure The fan static pressure is a defined quantity used in rating fans and
cannot be measured directly. It is the fan total pressure minus the velocity pressure
corresponding to the mean air velocity at the fan outlet. Note that it is not the difference
between the static pressure at the outlet and the static pressure at the inlet i.e.: it is not the
external system static pressure.
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Gauge pressure The pressure differential between atmospheric pressure and that
measured within the system.
Heat slinger A metal rotor that is bolted to a high temperature fan shaft, designed to
dissipate heat conducted along the shaft and induce air movement around the bearings.
Oversized A fan or motor that has a higher capacity than required.
Static Pressure The difference between the absolute pressure at a point in an airstream or
a plenum chamber and the absolute pressure of ambient atmosphere, being positive when
the pressure at the point is above the ambient pressure and negative when below. It acts
equally in all directions, is independent of velocity and is a measure of the potential energy
available in an airstream.
Shroud The fan casing or housing.
Sound pressure is a pressure disturbance in the atmosphere whose intensity is influenced
not only by the strength of the source, but also by the surroundings and the distance from
the source to the receiver, usually expressed in newtons per square meter.
Sound power The total sound energy radiated by a source per unit time, usually expressed
in watts.
Stall Describes unpredictable performance, unstable operation and higher noise due to flow
separation occurring around the blade of the impeller, caused because the fan is incapable
of delivering the pressure required by the system.
System resistance curve A graphical representation of the pressure/volume characteristics
of an air distribution system, (also called system curve).
Total Pressure The algebraic sum of static and velocity pressure. It is a measure of the
total energy available in an airstream.
Variable speed drive
Variable frequency drive
Velocity Pressure Is a measure of the kinetic energy available in an airstream and is
always positive.
Tonal Noise

E2 Acronyms
Other key terms that needs to be defined?
AC Alternating current
AHU Air Handling Unit
ASHRAE American Society of
Heating, Refrigerating and Air
Conditioning Engineers
BCA Building Code of Australia
BMCS Building Management and
Control System (also BMS, BAS,
BACS)
COP Coefficient of Performance
DDC Direct Digital Control
DWDI Double width double inlet
DC Direct current
HEPA High Efficiency Particulate
Air filter
HVAC&R Heating, Ventilation, Air
Conditioning and Refrigeration
IAQ Indoor Air Quality
IEQ Indoor Environment Quality
KPI Key Performance Indicator
M&V Measurement and
Verification
NCC National Construction Code
O&M Operation and Maintenance
WHS Work Health and Safety
ROI Return on Investment
RTS Room Temperature Sensor
SAT Supply Air Temperature
SWSI Single width single inlet
TAB Testing, Adjusting, Balancing
VAV Variable Air Volume
VFD Variable Frequency Drive
VSD Variable Speed Drive

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Appendix F Ingress protection and impact resistance rating
F1 The Ingress Protection (IP) Code
The IP Code (or Ingress Protection Rating, sometimes also referred to as International
Protection Rating) consists of the letters IP followed by two digits. As defined in international
standard IEC 60529), the IP Code classifies and rates the degrees of protection provided
against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust,
accidental contact, and water.
The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms
such as waterproof. The digits (characteristic numerals) indicate conformity with the
conditions summarized in the Tables below. The first digit indicates the enclosures degree
of protection against solid objects while the second digit indicates a degree of protection
against liquids. Where there is no protection rating with regard to one of the criteria, the digit
is replaced with the letter X.
Table F1 Summary of IP Code
First
IP
Digit
Degree of Protection (Contact
hazard and foreign object
penetration)
Second
IP Digit
Degree of Protection (Water
hazard and penetration)
X Not tested for this criterion. X Not tested for this criterion.
0 No special protection. 0 No special protection.
1 Protected against penetration of
solid objects larger than 50mm
diameter, (e.g. accidental contact
with the hand). No protection
against intentional access.
1 Protected against drops of water
falling vertically (dripping water,
1mm rainfall per minute).
2 Protected against entry of solid
objects larger than 12mm diameter,
(eg. accidental contact with finger).
2 Protected against drops of water
falling at up to 15 from the vertical
(dripping water, 3mm rainfall per
minute).
3 Protected against entry of solid
objects larger than 2.5mm
diameter, (eg. tools and wires).
3 Protected against drops of water
falling at up to 60 from the
vertical, (indirect spraying water,
0.7 litres per minute at 80100
kN/m).
4 Protected against entry of solid
objects larger than 1mm. (eg. fine
tools and wires).
4 Protected against splashing water
from all directions, (direct spraying
water, 10 litres per minute at 80
100 kN/m).
5 Protected against quantities of dust
that could interfere with satisfactory
operation. Ingress of dust is not
totally prevented.
5 Protected against jets of water
from all directions, (water jets,
6.3mm nozzle, 12.5 litres per
minute at 30 kN/m and 3m).
6 Completely protected against dust.
Dust tight and full contact
protection.
6 Protected against jets of water of
similar force to heavy seas,
(flooding, water jets, 12.5mm
nozzle, 100 litres per minute at 100
kN/m and 3m).
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7 Protected against the effects of
immersion, (up to 1 m of
submersion for 30 mins).
8 Protected against the effects of
submersion, (continuous
submersion, depth specified by
manufacturer).

F2 Mechanical impact resistance/IK number
A separate IK number specified in EN 62262 is used to specify the resistance of equipment
to mechanical impact. This mechanical impact is identified by the energy needed to qualify a
specified resistance level, which is measured in joules (J).
Table F2 Summary of IK Number
IK number Impact energy
(joules)
Equivalent impact
00 Unprotected No test
01 0.15 Drop of 200 g object from 7.5 cm height
02 0.2 Drop of 200 g object from 10 cm height
03 0.35 Drop of 200 g object from 17.5 cm height
04 0.5 Drop of 200 g object from 25 cm height
05 0.7 Drop of 200 g object from 35 cm height
06 1 Drop of 500 g object from 20 cm height
07 2 Drop of 500 g object from 40 cm height
08 5 Drop of 1.7 kg object from 29.5 cm height
09 10 Drop of 5 kg object from 20 cm height
10 20 Drop of 5 kg object from 40 cm height


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Appendix G Resources
Drafting note: To be completed at publication
G1 Referenced documents
AIRAH
DA02 Noise Control in and around buildings
DA03 Ductwork for air conditioning
DA 19 HVAC&R Maintenance
DA 27 Building commissioning
DA28 Building Management and Control Systems
AIRAH Technical Handbook
Standards
AS 1851 Routine service of fire protection systems and equipment
AS/NZS 3000 Electrical installations - (Known as the Wiring rules)
AS/NZS 3666
AS 4429 Methods of test and rating requirements for smoke-spill fans
AS ISO 5801 Industrial fans - Performance testing using standardized airways
ISO 5802 Industrial fans -- Performance testing in situ
ISO 12759 Fans - Efficiency classification for fans specifies
ISO 13347 Industrial fans -- Determination of fan sound power levels under
standardized laboratory conditions
ISO 13350 Industrial fans -- Performance testing of jet fans
ISO 14694
ISO 14695
EN 62262
IEC 60529
ANSI/AMCA 210 Laboratory Methods of Testing Fans for Certified Aerodynamic
Performance Rating (also designated ANSI/ASHRAE 51)
NCC
G2 Additional resources
Resource documents
CIBSE (2006) TM42 Fan application guide, Chartered Institute of Building Services
Engineers, London
BSRIA
ASHRAE (2007) Fundamentals Handbook, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and
Air-Conditioning Engineers Inc, Atlanta
ASHRAE (2009) Heating Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Applications Handbook, American
Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers Inc, Atlanta
AMCA Publication 201 Fans and Systems
DA13 Review 2012 Public Review Draft AIRAH
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G. McMahon Selection Criteria for AC Variable Speed Drives AIRAH Journal, Feb 1994
Phoenix Fan Manual Introduction to Fans
Buffalo Forge Company: Fan Engineering
ACGIH Industrial Ventilation: A Manual of Recommended Practice for Design
ACGIH Industrial Ventilation: A Manual of Recommended Practice for Operation and
Maintenance
Woods of Colchester Woods Practical Guide to Fan Engineering

Websites
http://www.airah.org.au/
http://www.ashrae.org/
http://www.cibse.org.au/
http://www.fmaanz.com.au


End of Draft