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Your Source for HVAC&R Professional Development

Fundamentals of
Heating Systems
(I-P Edition)
A Fundamentals of HVAC&R Series
Self Directed Learning Course

1791 Tullie Circle NE Atlanta, GA 30329 www.ashrae.org

covers.indd 1 6/10/2013 9:57:51 AM


1791 Tullie Circle, NE Atlanta, GA 30329-2305 USA Tel 404.636.8400 Fax 404.321.5478 www.ashrae.org

Karen M. Murray Email: kmurray@ashrae.org


Manager of Professional Development

Dear Student,

Welcome to the ASHRAE Learning Institute (ALI) Fundamentals of HVAC&R Series of self-directed or group
learning courses. We look forward to working with you to help you achieve maximum results from this course.

You may take this course on a self-testing basis (no continuing education credits awarded) or on an ALI-moni-
tored basis with credits (PDHs, CEUs, or LUs) awarded. ALI staff will provide support and you will have
access to technical experts who can answer inquiries about the course material. For questions or technical assis-
tance, contact us at 404-636-8400 or edu@ashrae.org.

Skill Development Exercises at the end of each chapter will test your comprehension of the course material.
These exercises allow you to apply the principles you have learned and develop a deeper mastery of the subject
matter. If you take this course for credit, please complete the exercises in the workbook and send copies from
each chapter to edu@ashrae.org (preferred method) or ASHRAE Learning Institute, 1791 Tullie Circle,
Atlanta, GA 30329-2305.

Please include your student ID number with each set of exercises submitted. Your student ID is composed of the
last five digits of your Social Security number or other unique five-digit number you create. We will return
answer sheets to the Skill Development Exercises and maintain records of your progress. Please keep copies of
your completed exercises for your own records.

When you finish all exercises, please submit the course evaluation, which is located at the back of your course
book. Once we receive all chapter exercises and the evaluation, we will send you a Certificate of Completion
indicating 35 PDHs/LUs or 3.5 CEUs of continuing education credit. Please note: The ALI does not award par-
tial credit for self-directed learning courses. All exercises must be completed to receive full continuing educa-
tion credit. You will have two years from the date of purchase to complete each self-directed learning course.

We hope your educational experience is satisfying and successful.

Sincerely,

Karen M. Murray
Manager of Professional Development
ASHRAE Continuing Education

Fundamentals of
Heating Systems
(I-P Edition)

Prepared by
William E. Murphy, Ph.D., P.E.
University of Kentucky

ASHRAE
1791 Tullie Circle NE Atlanta, GA 30329
ISBN 978-1-931862-31-8

2000 ASHRAE
All rights reserved.

ASHRAE is a registered trademark in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, owned by the American Society of
Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.

No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from ASHRAE, except by a reviewer who
may quote brief passages or reproduce illustrations in a review with appropriate credit; nor may any part of this
book be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, photo-
copying, recording or other) without written permission from ASHRAE. Requests for permission should be sub-
mitted at www.ashrae.org/permissions.
ASHRAE has compiled this publication with care, but ASHRAE has not investigated, and ASHRAE expressly
disclaims any duty to investigate, any product, service, process, procedure, design or the like that may be described
herein. The appearance of any technical data or editorial material in this publication does not constitute endorse-
ment, warranty or guaranty by ASHRAE of any product, service, process, procedure, design or the like. ASHRAE
does not warrant that the information in this publication is free of errors. The entire risk of the use of any infor-
mation in this publication is assumed by the user.

ASHRAE Education Department:


Tanya R. Fisher, Manager of ASHRAE Learning Institute/Education
Bruce Kimball, Managing Editor
Halcyone Williams, Secretary

For course information or to order additional materials, please contact:


ASHRAE Learning Institute
1791 Tullie Circle NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 404/636-8400
Fax: 404/321-5478
Email: edu@ashrae.org

Comments, criticism and suggestions regarding the subject matter are invited. Any errors or
omissions in the data should be brought to the attention of Bruce Kimball, Managing Editor.

Updates/errata for this publication will be posted on the


ASHRAE Web site at www.ashrae.org/publicationupdates.
Errata noted in the list dated 12/15/11 have been corrected.
x: 1

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction
Instructions
1.1 Course Overview
1.2 Terminology
1.3 Reference Materials
Bibliography

Chapter 2 Overview of Heating Systems


Instructions
Study Objectives of Chapter 2
2.1 Basic Heating System Components
2.2 Fuel Source
2.3 Energy Conversion Plant
2.4 Energy Distribution System
Summary
Skill Development Exercises

Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria


Instructions
Study Objectives of Chapter 3
3.1 Basic Selection Criteria
3.2 Occupancy and Comfort Considerations
3.3 Thermal Envelope
3.4 Ventilation Requirements
3.5 Regional Preferences
3.6 Availability of Fuels
Summary
Bibliography
Skill Development Exercises

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Table of Contents


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Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems


Instructions
Study Objectives of Chapter 4
4.1 Commercial Building Types
4.2 Central Multizone Systems
4.3 Forced Air Furnaces and Unitary Heating Systems
Summary
Bibliography
Skill Development Exercises

Chapter 5 Industrial Heating Systems


Instructions
Study Objectives of Chapter 5
5.1 Basic System Considerations
5.2 District Heating and Cooling
5.3 Waste Heat Recovery
5.4 High Temperature Water and Steam Systems
Summary
Bibliography
Skill Development Exercises

Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


Instructions
Study Objectives of Chapter 6
6.1 System Types
6.2 Single-Family Systems
6.3 Multifamily Systems
6.4 Cooling Towers
Summary
Bibliography
Skill Development Exercises

Table of Contents Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


Instructions
Study Objectives of Chapter 7
7.1 Energy Estimation Methods
7.2 Installation Costs
7.3 Operating and Maintenance Costs
7.4 Simple Payback Calculations
7.5 Lifecycle Cost Calculations
Summary
Bibliography
Skill Development Exercises

Chapter 8 Codes and Standards


Instructions
Study Objectives of Chapter 8
8.1 What Are Codes and Standards?
8.2 Safety Codes and Standards
8.3 Performance Standards
8.4 Code- and Standards-Writing Organizations
Summary
Bibliography
Skill Development Exercises

Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance


Instructions
Study Objectives of Chapter 9
9.1 Heating System Design Summary
9.2 Commissioning of Heating Systems
9.3 Maintenance Requirements
Summary
Bibliography
Skill Development Exercises

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Table of Contents


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Appendices
Appendix A Terminology
Appendix B Bibliography

Skill Development Exercises for All Chapters

Table of Contents Fundamentals of Heating Systems


1: 1

Chapter 1
Introduction

Contents of Chapter 1

Instructions
1.1 Course Overview
1.2 Terminology
1.3 Reference Materials
Bibliography

Instructions

This chapter is introductory in nature and contains little technical material beyond the intro-
duction of terminology and the units that will be used in this course. You should review the
terminology in Appendix A to learn the terms that are used. Also, an extensive list of refer-
ences is included in Appendix B if you desire more in-depth analysis of this material.

1.1 Course Overview

This course begins with an overview of the various options available for heating system
design, including the distribution system within the building, the energy conversion plant
and the fuel source. While these three components are discussed separately, often the selec-
tion of one of the three will limit the number of options available for the other two compo-
nents in the system. While some solid fuel heating systems will be discussed, most heating
plants in use today utilize gas (natural or propane), electricity or oil as the fuel. Large indus-
trial systems (which may utilize coal or other solid fuels) are discussed insofar as they may
be used for space heating. Their application for process heating or high pressure steam
generation is beyond the scope of this course, which addresses primarily residential and
commercial building heating systems.

Before a heating system can be designed, numerous other factors must be considered. These
include the building occupancy, the building envelope, outdoor air ventilation requirements,
regional preferences for certain types of systems, and the availability of fuels. These param-
eters will dictate the size of the system, the type of distribution systems that are appropriate,
and the ultimate annual operating cost. The amount of outdoor air that is specified will
usually depend on the occupancy of the space and local building codes. Most ventilation

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 1 Introduction


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codes in the United States are based on ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, Ventilation for Accept-
able Indoor Air Quality.1 The 1989 revision of this standard increased the minimum out-
door air requirement from 5 cfm per person to 15 cfm per person. This increase in the
ventilation air has a significant impact on system design, as it makes heat recovery systems
more economically attractive in heating dominated climates while the efficiency of the heating
plant has more impact in lifecycle analyses.

A significant portion of this course addresses the many types of heating systems that are
used in commercial buildings. The great variety of commercial systems attests to the many
applications for which heating systems are needed, and to the fact that these systems are
practically always designed by engineers. These are two primary reasons why commercial
heating systems are often far more complex than those found in residential applications.
Commercial systems will usually be designed to take advantage of certain features in the
distribution system or the heating plant to more closely match the requirements of the occu-
pants or the building envelope.

A large class of heating equipment falls in the category of unitary systems. These are sys-
tems that are fabricated at the factory and are installed largely intact at the site. Unitary
systems encompass practically all types of distribution systems, heating plants and fuel
types, but are usually smaller in size because of practical limitations in transportation and
erection. The very large systems will normally be field-erected from many large compo-
nents according to the engineers design.

On the basis of sheer numbers, there are many more residential heating systems than com-
mercial, industrial and all other types combined. While larger commercial buildings will
typically have a space cooling system installed, a significant number of houses, particularly
in Europe, will only have a heating system. Air-conditioning of houses in the United States
exceeds 80% in new construction, and so must be a primary consideration in the type of
distribution system that is selected for the heating system. The vast majority of air-condi-
tioning systems utilize a forced air delivery system, making a forced air heating system a
logical choice to keep installed costs reasonable. Solar energy does hold some promise for
certain residential applications, although it is quite difficult to justify economically for larger
applications. The economics of heating systems addressing installation, operating and
maintenance costs are covered in Chapter 7, which also addresses lifecycle costs. It is
becoming increasingly important for customers to understand the total costs associated with
their heating systems, not simply the installed cost at the time of construction or renovation.

The final two chapters in this course address codes, standards and the commissioning and
maintenance of heating systems. Building codes are revised approximately every five years,
so this course will simply attempt to make you aware of the sources of these codes and the
implications they have on the design of heating systems. When designing heating systems,
you should always be familiar with the current local codes that apply to that particular job.

Chapter 1 Introduction Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Commissioning and maintenance have received more attention in ASHRAE as heating sys-
tems have become more complex. Large commercial HVAC systems do not come with an
owners manual for complete operating and maintenance instructions, so it is not always
obvious whether they are operating as they were designed. Independent companies that can
conduct system performance analysis and/or system balancing are often an important step
in turning over the completed project to the new building owner or operator.

1.2 Terminology

Many of the terms used in this course are listed in Appendix A. An understanding of the
HVAC&R terminology is important for a clear understanding of heating system operation.
These terms are taken from Terminology of Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning & Re-
frigeration.2

The engineering units used throughout this course are inch-pound (I-P) units. While the
United States is steadily converting to the metric-based SI system, progress is slow in the
HVAC&R industry where equipment life typically exceeds 30 years. Table 1-1 lists the
most common units that are used for the many variables in this text, while Table 1-2 gives
factors to convert between the I-P and SI units.

1.3 Reference Materials

A list of general references is included in Appendix B if you want to go into depth in any of
the topics covered in this course. This is only intended as an introductory course to the
subject of heating systems. Once completing this course, you should review some of the
references for further study in these areas.

Bibliography

1. ASHRAE. 1989. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor


Air Quality. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

2. ASHRAE. 1991. Terminology of Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration.


Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 1 Introduction


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Table 1-1. Dimensions and Units Commonly Used in


Air-Conditioning Applications

Dimension SI Unit IP Unit

Acceleration m/s 2 ft/sec2


Area m2 ft 2
Density kg/m3 lbm /ft3
Energy Nm, Joule (J) Btu, ftlb f
Force (kgm)/s2 , Newton (N) pound (lbf )
Length m, meter (m) foot (ft)
Mass kg, kilogram (kg) pound mass (lbm )
Power J/s, Watt (W) Btu/h
Pressure N/m2 , Pascal (Pa) psi
Specific Heat J/(kgC) Btu/(lbm F)
Time second (s) second (sec)
Temperature (absolute) degree Kelvin (K) degree Rankine (R)
Temperature degree Celsius (C) degree Fahrenheit (F)
Thermal Conductivity W/(mC) Btu/(hftF)
Thermal Flux Density W/m2 Btu/(hft 2 )
Velocity m/s ft/sec, ft/min, fpm
Volume m 3
ft 3
Volume Flow Rate m3 /s ft3 /sec, ft3 /min, cfm

Chapter 1 Introduction Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Table 1-2. Unit Conversion Factors

Dimension SI Unit IP Unit

Length 1 m = 3.281 ft 1 ft = 0.305 m


Area 1 m2 = 10.76 ft 2 1 ft2 = 0.0283 m2
Volume 1 m3 = 35.32 ft 3 1 ft3 = 0.0929 m3
Mass 1 kg = 2.205 lb m 1 lbm = 0.435 kg
Force 1 N = 0.2248 lb f 1 lbf = 4.448 N
Energy 1 kJ = 0.9478 Btu 1 Btu = 778.2 ft lb f = 1.055 kJ
1 J = 0.7376 ftlb f 1 ftlb f = 1.356 J
1 kWh = 3.412 10 3 Btu 1 Btu = 2.93010 -4 kWh
Specific Energy 1 kJ/kg = 0.4298 Btu/lb m 1 Btu/lb m = 2.326 kJ/kg
Specific Enthalpy
Power 1 W = 3.412 Btu/h 1 Btu/h = 0.293 W
1 kW = 1.341 hp 1 hp = 2545 Btu/h = 0.746 kW
1 kW = 0.2844 ton refrigeration 1 ton = 12,000 Btu/h = 3.516 kW
Pressure 1 Pa = 1.45010 -4 psi 1 psi = 6.897103 Pa
1 atm = 101 kPa 1 atm = 14.7 psi = 29.92 in. Hg
Temperature 1C T = 9/5F T 1F T = 5/9C T
yC = [(9/5)y + 32]F yF = (y 32)(5/9)C
K = C + 273.15 R = F + 459.67
Velocity 1 m/s = 1.969 10 2 ft/min 1 ft/min = 5.079 10 -3 m/s
Mass Density 1 kg/m3 = 6.243 10 -2 lbm/ft 3 1 lbm /ft3 = 16.02 10 1 kg/m 3
Mass Flow Rate 1 kg/s = 2.205 lb m/sec 1 lb m/sec = 0.4535 kg/s
1 kg/s = 7.93710 3 lb m/h 1 lb m/h = 1.260 10 -4 kg/s
Volume Flow 1 m3/s = 2.11910 3 cfm 1 cfm = 4.71910 -4 m 3/s
Rate 1 m3/s = 1.585 10 4 gal/min 1 gal/min = 6.30910 -5 m 3/s
Thermal 1 W/(m C) = 1 Btu/(h ftF) =
Conductivity 0.5778 Btu/(hftF) 1.731 W/(mC)
Heat Transfer 1 W/(m 2C) = 1 Btu/(h ft 2F) =
Coefficient 0.1761 Btu/(h ft 2F) 5.679 W/(m 2C)
Specific Heat 1 J/(kgC) = 1 Btu/(lb mF) =
2.38910 -4 Btu/(lb mF) 4.18610 3 J/(kg C)

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 1 Introduction


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Chapter 2
Overview of Heating Systems

Contents of Chapter 2

Instructions
Study Objectives of Chapter 2
2.1 Basic Heating System Components
2.2 Fuel Source
2.3 Energy Conversion Plant
2.4 Energy Distribution System
Summary
Skill Development Exercises

Instructions

Read the material in this chapter for general content, and re-read the parts that are empha-
sized in the summary. Complete the skill development exercises without consulting the
text, then review the text as necessary to verify your solutions.

Study Objectives of Chapter 2

Chapter 2 introduces the basic structure of heating systems in their simplest form: the source,
plant and system. It addresses the issue of how selecting one component in the system may
limit the options for the other parts of the system. The various options that are in common
usage for each component in the heating system will be discussed briefly. You should com-
plete this chapter with an appreciation of the many options that are available to heating
system designers.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 2 Overview of Heating Systems


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2.1 Basic Heating System Components

While there are dozens, and in some cases hundreds, of components that comprise heating
systems, they can be categorized into three basic functions:
Fuel Source. This includes the fuel itself and also the infrastructure needed to
deliver it to the heating plant at the building site.
Energy Conversion Plant. This is the collection of equipment needed to convert
the fuel into a useful form of heat energy that can be distributed to the different
parts of the conditioned space.
Energy Distribution System. The system of pipes, ducts, fans, pumps, controls,
coils, mixing boxes and dampers is perhaps the most complicated part of the
heating system, and the part most likely to fail to meet its design goals. The
energy distribution system is usually designed exclusively for the particular
project in which it is installed.

2.2 Fuel Source

The choice of fuel is perhaps the most fundamental decision that must be made before the
heating system can be designed. For instance, a small industrial plant located in rural Penn-
sylvania may have access to cheap coal that it uses to generate steam for its process applica-
tions. For this application, the specification of a steam heating system for the office areas
that uses the plant's coal-fire generated steam may be a very good economic selection.

In contrast, if that same industrial plant was located in downtown Pittsburgh, the fuel of
choice may be natural gas or fuel oil due to space limitations, surface water runoff regula-
tions, air pollution restrictions, fuel transport logistics, or other factors. As another example,
there may not be many fuel options for the condominium owner who lives on the fifth floor
of a Pittsburgh high-rise building. Coal is obviously out of the question, although its basic
cost per million Btu may be the most economical by far.

The major difficulties with solid fuels are handling, storage, ash removal and transportation
to the plant. Of possibly equal concern today would be pollution control. Several states
have restricted the burning of wood or coal in new residential homes strictly on the basis of
pollution control. Commercial and industrial users may also be subject to stringent restric-
tions on particulate emissions. Few new commercial establishments are designed to use
solid fuels for their heating needs due to fuel and ash handling problems as well as air
pollution concerns. Coal and wood heating plants are primarily limited to large basic indus-
tries as well as plants where the burning of wood waste is an economically attractive dis-
posal option.

Chapter 2 Overview of Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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The delivery of electricity and natural gas to the heating plant is practically invisible to the
end-user. While not every facility will have a natural gas line buried in its front yard, a
growing percentage of commercial establishments are choosing natural gas as the primary
heating fuel. The gas curtailments of the 1970s, when US natural gas supplies were artifi-
cially limited due to federal regulations, have been replaced by abundant supplies and stable
prices in the 1990s after the industry was deregulated in the 1980s. Dual fuel options are
sometimes pursued to minimize the utility component of plant operating costs. Variable
rate structures add complexity to the fuel selection decision as electric utilities often give a
preferred rate for all-electric facilities. In facilities with large lighting or motor loads and
modest heating loads, the cost savings from the all-electric rate on these other electrical
loads could offset any cost savings from using the cheaper natural gas for only the heating
load component.

The use of solar energy as a heating option in the United States greatly diminished once the
Department of Energy demonstration programs of the 1970s were concluded. Solar energy
is a viable option for domestic water heating where gas and electricity costs are high and
there is a high availability of sunlight. However, the added complexity of solar space heat-
ing systems (requiring thermal storage and having highly variable daily or monthly load
profiles) makes the economics of such systems difficult to justify in the stable fuel environ-
ment of the 1990s. While the development of solar thermal systems has shown few signifi-
cant improvements since the 1970s, the development of photovoltaic (PV) technologies has
progressed significantly. Pricing for PV systems was still not competitive with conven-
tional energy sources in 1996, but the cost has been dropping rapidly to the point that some
common applications may begin to look attractive in higher fuel cost areas by the year
2000.

Table 2-1 lists the fuel source options that are available to heating system designers and
gives the advantages and disadvantages of each. Because few facilities ever change their
fuel source during their useful life, it is important to closely examine the fuel options and
perform appropriate cost analyses (including expected replacement and maintenance costs)
before committing that facility to a particular fuel source. Because of local variations in fuel
cost and availability, you should become familiar with the fuel options in the area where the
facility is located.

When evaluating fuel options for a particular installation, you should not fall into the trap of
simply weighing installation cost versus annual fuel costs. Maintenance costs can factor
heavily into the total owning and operating costs for many of these systems, especially the
solid fuel and solar heating systems. Generally, the more mechanically complex the system,
the larger the system will need to be to justify the added maintenance costs.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 2 Overview of Heating Systems


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Another consideration not listed in Table 2-1 is owner convenience. Wood heating systems
were popular with homeowners in the United States in the 1970s during the so-called en-
ergy crisis. However, the inconvenience of having to cut and transport the wood, continu-
ally load the stove, and remove the ashes caused many wood stoves to be removed or left
idle after just a few years of operation. In industrial or commercial solid fuel systems, the
added cost of a part-time or full-time operator who handles fuel loading and ash removal
must be factored into overall system cost.

Chapter 2 Overview of Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 2 Overview of Heating Systems


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2.3 Energy Conversion Plant

The heart of any heating system is its energy conversion plant, where the fuel is converted
into thermal energy for distribution to the conditioned space. The most common conversion
processes can be summarized in four basic categories:
Chemical energy conversion to thermal energy by combustion;
Electrical energy conversion to thermal energy;
Electrical energy driving a heat pump which moves thermal energy; and
Solar (radiation) energy conversion to thermal energy.

The combustion process will vary with the fuel type and its characteristics. In general, solid
fuel furnaces must be properly designed by the manufacturer and carefully operated to pro-
vide proper fuel combustion while minimizing emissions of ash and other pollutants. Oil,
natural gas and propane systems generally burn much cleaner, with simpler burner configu-
rations. All types of combustion systems must be provided with adequate air for the com-
bustion process. Oil and gas systems, due to their simplicity, can even be located in the
middle of a conditioned space. In these cases, combustion air may be required by code to be
ducted into the furnace closet or enclosure. In situations where outdoor combustion air is
not provided to indoor furnace systems, you should be careful that the heating system pro-
duces adequate draft to exhaust the combustion products.

Special consideration must be given to waste incinerators, whether solid waste, waste oil or
biomass (agricultural waste). The fuel will often include a variety of materials not intended
for ordinary combustion. The systems must be designed to prevent air pollution by appro-
priately high combustion temperatures, particulate removal from the flue gases, and toxic
gas scrubbing. The solid waste systems are probably the most difficult to control in this
regard, because the fuel source is difficult to regulate or control reliably. These heating
plants must be large in size to justify the special controls and pollution control systems
while still able to take advantage of the low cost fuel.

Electricity is a very high grade manufactured energy source that can be converted into heat
with no losses at the site using very compact resistance elements. These elements are small
enough to be inserted into water heaters or air ducts without special enclosures or cabinets.
They have no combustion products, so they require no flue or outdoor air vent. Resistance
heat requires heavy gauge electrical conductors and additional electrical transformers and
breakers to carry the extra current consumed by these systems.

Because of the very high cost per Btu of electricity, a heat pump system is often used where
an electric heating system is advantageous. As its name implies, a heat pump "pumps" heat

Chapter 2 Overview of Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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from a low temperature heat source to the conditioned space at a higher temperature, usu-
ally by means of a vapor-compression refrigeration cycle. A domestic refrigerator is a type
of heat pump, where the heat source is the cold cabinet (which gets its heat by conduction
through the cabinet walls) and the unit discharges its warm air directly into the conditioned
space.

Figure 2-1 depicts the basic elements of a vapor-compression system. When the cooling
effect is the desired output, the unit would be termed an air conditioner or chiller. When the
heating effect is desired, it is called a heat pump. A heat pump is not an energy conversion
device, like an electric resistance heater or a combustion device. It simply moves heat from
an area of low temperature and dissipates it in an area of high temperature as a result of the
circulating refrigerant undergoing changes in its working pressure. Because it is not an
energy conversion device, it is not limited by conventional thermodynamic efficiencies of
100% or less. Heat pumps can deliver two to four units of heat energy for every unit of
energy needed to power them. The efficiency of a heat pump is usually referred to as its
Coefficient of Performance or COP.

Figure 2-1. Components in a Vapor-Compression Refrigeration Cycle

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 2 Overview of Heating Systems


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The COP is calculated by:

Heating COP = Heat Output Rate/Power Consumption

where the numerator and denominator on the right side of the equation are expressed in the
same units.

The COP of a particular unit will vary with the temperature of its heat source and the condi-
tioned space temperature. The heat source of a heat pump can be the outside air, or any
other infinite heat source such as a large body of water or the earth. Additional piping and
an intermediate circulating fluid are usually required to exchange heat with these more
remote heat sources. There are heat pumps that are driven by reciprocating engines with
heat recovery from the hot exhaust gases, as well as heat pumps that utilize absorption
technology. If you are interested in learning more about heat pumps, refer to any introduc-
tory engineering thermodynamics text and the ASHRAE HandbookFundamentals.

2.4 Energy Distribution System

Just as the fuel type affects the type of heating plant that is utilized, so will the energy
distribution system. There are four broad categories of energy distribution systems:
Hot water systems;
Steam systems;
Warm air systems; and
Radiant systems.

There are typically several options within each of these categories that are in widespread
use.

Hot water systems utilize the good heat transfer and economical cost of water to move heat
from the plant to the different utilization points within the conditioned space. The boilers
for these systems usually operate at temperatures and pressures such that the water never
vaporizes. Circulating pumps move the hot water through the remote heat exchanger de-
vices in the various zones and back to the boiler. Practical limitations on hot water tempera-
tures will keep the boiler temperature below 250F, which is adequate for any space heating
application.

Steam systems also utilize a boiler, although one that vaporizes the water. The design of a
steam boiler is very different from a simpler hot water boiler, where water treatment and
makeup water may be needed if steam is bled off for process applications. A feedwater

Chapter 2 Overview of Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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pump injects the liquid water into the steam boiler, where the liquid is then vaporized into
steam. The steam pressure generated in the boiler causes the steam to flow to its remote heat
exchanger devices. The steam will normally condense in the heat exchangers at the point of
ultimate use, releasing its latent heat of vaporization at a constant temperature. The conden-
sate is returned to the boiler feedwater pump by either gravity flow or by condensate pumps
to repeat the cycle.

Higher temperatures are possible with steam systems, although these heating systems are
less popular than in the past for space conditioning applications due to potential problems
with control, safety and noise. Steam systems are most common where steam is being gen-
erated for process applications anyway, as well as in older buildings.

Warm air systems transport their heat using air ducts distributed through the space. One
advantage of the warm air system is that it is easily combined with air-conditioning (com-
fort cooling), which almost always uses forced air distribution. This combination permits
separate zones to be heated or cooled simultaneously. In residential applications, the forced
air system is usually the lowest cost to install because the heating and cooling systems can
utilize the same fan and duct system. Ducted air systems have the heat exchange devices
located at or near the main heating plant, and so tend to make repair or replacement easier to
perform and less disruptive of activities in the conditioned spaces.

A major advantage in commercial spaces is the ease with which outdoor makeup air can be
introduced into the system and distributed to the various zones in the space. For spaces with
many occupants, this amount of outdoor air can be substantial and would need a separate
duct and conditioning system (to preheat or precool the outdoor air before introducing it
into the space) for non-ducted heating systems. One last benefit is that the central air stream
can be used to clean or humidify the air in the space without having small air moving
systems in each zone. Combination forced air and hot water systems are common, usually
where cooled air produced at the central air handler is ducted to zone mixing boxes where
tempering or reheating is provided by a hot water coil.

Radiant heating systems utilize large, warm surfaces to heat the space by raising the mean
radiant temperature of the space. The radiating surfaces can be the floor, walls or ceiling, or
smaller, high temperature combustion surfaces. The term radiator applied to a hot water or
steam heat exchanger located in the space is actually a misnomer, as it transfers most of its
heat to the space by convection.

Radiant surfaces can be heated by electric resistance elements, by plastic tubing through
which hot water flows, or by metal tubing through which combustion gases flow. The elec-
tric resistance type may have the elements embedded in gypsum wallboard panels that are
integral parts of the ceiling or walls, or they may be long flat elements placed adjacent to the

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 2 Overview of Heating Systems


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ceiling or floor. Electric radiant panels are also available in various forms that are stand-
alone devices for retrofit applications. The hot water tube types are usually placed under the
floor or cast within the concrete slab.

Radiant systems should be perfectly quiet as they need no forced air movement to perform
their heating operation. They transfer their heat by radiation only (ceiling type) or by con-
vection and radiation (wall or floor type). The floor type provides a particularly uniform
temperature distribution in the space as the warmed air at the floor gradually rises to the
ceiling by natural convection.

There are also radiant heating systems that utilize combustion to produce a high tempera-
ture surface. These may have a tube through which combustion gases flow (usually vented
to outdoors) or a red-hot burner face (often unvented). Because of the higher temperatures
of these devices, less surface area is needed to provide the required radiant heat transfer.
These devices are typically located overhead to eliminate the risk of burns to occupants.

Radiant systems on their own cannot address outdoor makeup air, air cleaning or humidifi-
cation. Certain types of radiant heating systems are often used in spaces where no open
flame or spark can be permitted due to the presence of dust or other flammable or explosive
materials.

Solar heating systems can be in either the hot water or the warm air category, depending on
the type of solar collector that is used. The solar collector essentially replaces the heating
plant used in other conventional systems. The hot water type must incorporate drain-back
controls or use an antifreeze mixture to prevent freezing of the circulating fluid in the col-
lectors and piping outside of the heated space at night during cold weather.

Installation and operating costs are obviously important concerns when selecting any type
of heating system. There are several methods available to compare or rank the overall cost
effectiveness of one system to another. The simplest technique is referred to as simple
payback. In its most general sense, simple payback can be calculated from:

Simple Payback (in years) = Cost Differential/Annual Operating Cost Savings

where the payback is expressed as the number of years that it takes for the cost savings to
repay the extra cost of the more efficient system. This rather simplistic way to rank the
performance of systems usually does not account for maintenance costs or equipment life in
the operating cost savings.

A more realistic method to compare actual costs of various systems is called lifecycle cost
analysis. This method will be covered more extensively in Chapter 7, but it involves con-
verting all estimated future costs into a single present-day cost. This technique can then

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account for high recurring maintenance costs, low or escalating fuel costs, equipment re-
placement at some future time, the time value of money, etc. The single cost figure is equiva-
lent to the amount of money you would need to have available today to install and operate
a system for either a fixed number of years or for the life of the equipment.

Summary

There are three main components to consider when designing a heating system: the fuel
source, the energy conversion plant, and the energy distribution system. The three are not
completely independent of each other, as certain fuels or distribution systems are more
appropriate with specific types of plants.

Solid fuels are most appropriate for use with large industrial or commercial plants where
maintenance and operating staff are available to service the fuel and ash handling systems.
Waste fuels (such as used lubricants or agricultural waste products) can be used where their
low costs will compensate for possibly higher heating plant installation and maintenance
costs and where costs would likely be incurred for their disposal.

Most residential and commercial buildings are heated with fossil fuels (natural gas, propane
or LP gas or fuel oil) or electricity largely because of their ease of handling and their suit-
ability for automated systems. LP gas or fuel oil are often used where natural gas is not
available. Electric resistance heating systems are very small and reliable, but the direct
conversion of electricity to heat is quite expensive. Heat pump systems provide two to four
units of heat energy for every unit of energy consumed. The electric heat pump makes the
economy of electric heat more competitive with the fossil fuel options, as well as providing
capabilities for comfort cooling in hot weather. Solar heating systems have no fuel cost, but
the limited availability of sunlight requires storage and backup systems that make the over-
all cost of these systems quite high despite having a free energy source.

The energy conversion plants can be divided into four categories: combustion systems,
electric resistance, heat pumps and solar energy. Combustion systems convert the chemical
energy in the fuel into thermal energy during combustion. Electric resistance is a direct
conversion of electric energy into heat energy. Heat pumps move heat from a lower tem-
perature area to a higher temperature area. Solar (radiant) energy is converted to thermal
energy when it is absorbed by the collector absorber plate.

The energy distribution systems can be divided into four categories: hot water, steam, warm
air and radiant systems. The hot water and steam systems circulate water or steam through
pipes to remote heat exchangers in the different zones in the space. These steam or hot

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water heat exchangers may use convection, radiation or forced warm air to deliver the heat
to the space. Warm air systems use air ducts to move heated air either directly from the
heating plant to the individual zones, or from local zone air handlers to the individual spaces.
Warm air systems are very common in residential applications because the same ducts can
be used for both heating and cooling applications. Radiant systems use either large surfaces
at low to moderate temperatures or smaller surfaces at high temperatures to provide the
radiant heat flux to the space. One major disadvantage of radiant systems is that they cannot
provide for outdoor air to comply with building codes.

Lifecycle cost analysis is a more representative method of comparing the total installation
and operating costs of different systems. Simple payback analysis normally uses only en-
ergy cost differences and so does not account for recurring maintenance or equipment re-
placement costs.

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Skill Development Exercises for Chapter 2

Complete these questions by writing your answers on the worksheets at the back of this
book.

2-01. Name the three major components of any heating system.

2-02. Coal costs $50 per ton and has a heating value of 14,000 Btu/pound. Oil costs $0.90
per gallon and has a heating value of 135,000 Btu/gallon. Electricity costs $0.075
per kWh. Calculate the cost per million Btu of heat supplied from a coal boiler that
is 85% efficient, from an oil furnace that is 70% efficient, and from an electric
resistance duct heater that is 100% efficient.

2-03. An electric heat pump has an overall COP of 3.0 at a certain operating point. If it
delivers 50,000 Btu/h of heating capacity, what is its power consumption in kW? If
electricity costs $0.07 per kWh, what is the cost per million Btu of heat supplied by
this heat pump?

2-04. You are given the task of renovating a small six-room doctors office that has 8-ft
ceilings and no plenum above the ceilings. It is on the ground floor of a three-floor
building. The office is located in northern Minnesota where air-conditioning is not
needed. Would you choose a hot water distribution system or a warm air distribu-
tion system? Explain your answer.

2-05. A high efficiency gas furnace is 95% efficient while your existing furnace is 78%
efficient. Last year, you spent $620 on gas to heat your house during an average
winter. If it would cost $1,800 to have a high efficiency furnace installed, what is
the simple payback period, in years?

2-06. A school building will need 15 cfm of outdoor air per pupil to meet current building
codes. Which distribution systems would make it easiest to provide this outdoor air
to the space?

2-07. A high bay garage is used to work on large trucks. What types of heating and distri-
bution systems might you choose to heat this space if no combustion system can be
used because of the possibility of gasoline spills?

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Chapter 3
Basic Selection Criteria

Contents of Chapter 3

Instructions
Study Objectives of Chapter 3
3.1 Basic Selection Criteria
3.2 Occupancy and Comfort Considerations
3.3 Thermal Envelope
3.4 Ventilation Requirements
3.5 Regional Preferences
3.6 Availability of Fuels
Summary
Bibliography
Skill Development Exercises

Instructions

Read the material in this chapter for general content, and re-read the parts that are empha-
sized in the summary. Complete the skill development exercises without consulting the
text, then review the text as necessary to verify your solutions.

Study Objectives of Chapter 3

When selecting a heating system for a certain application, there are three criteria that must
always be remembered:
The system must provide comfortable conditions for the occupants as they use
the space;
The system must provide the heat output that is necessary for the building; and
The system should be cost effective.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria


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Another important consideration in selecting and sizing the heating equipment is the amount
of outdoor air that will be required. Using 15 cfm/person as specified by ASHRAE Standard
62-1989, the outdoor air load will typically be 15% to 25% of the annual HVAC cost for
commercial buildings. Some final selection criteria deal with fuel availability and what
may be called regional preferences.

The objectives of this chapter are to discuss these selection criteria and look at the impact
on lifecycle costs. You should develop an appreciation for the necessity of accurate build-
ing load calculations and an understanding of comfort requirements. Outdoor air require-
ments will be covered as well as their impacts on indoor air quality and operating costs.
The chapter will conclude with a discussion of fuel selection and regional preferences for
heating systems, so you should develop an understanding of why some systems are com-
monly found in certain parts of the country and not in others.

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3.1 Basic Selection Criteria

While it is rare that only one type of heating system can adequately satisfy the comfort
conditioning needs of a buildings occupants, many systems have been unsatisfactory be-
cause the heating system was not properly matched to the building load. This load matching
does not merely account for total system capacity or output, but also includes how the heat
is distributed and the air quality within the space. A completely successful system must also
be economical to operate because few applications can afford heating comfort at any cost.
Design engineers must make system design and equipment selection decisions based on
their experience with certain types of systems in similar applications, their understanding of
how a certain system would perform in a different application, and the installation and
operating budgets and maintenance personnel that will be available.

Many heating system designs get modified (or shortcuts are taken) after the initial design
was finalized but before installation, to keep total building costs within budget. Such steps
often result in an overall unsatisfactory system, however, it may be difficult to convince the
building owner that a system they never see is critical to the building's operation. Many
other heating systems are modified at some point after occupancy to reduce excessive oper-
ating costs, usually compromising system performance for the sake of necessary operating
economy. Schools are a prime example, where the HVAC system first-cost is usually con-
strained by a tight construction budget, while HVAC operating costs represent a large part
of the total building operating budget (including personnel salaries). With such tight eco-
nomic constraints, it is critical for you to understand the appropriate system selection crite-
ria and their economic consequences.

With so many options to choose from, how can you make an intelligent decision about
which heating system is best for your application? Selection of a heating system is some-
what like buying an automobile. There are many models of cars to choose from and they all
provide the same basic function of transporting you from point A to point B. However,
every car buyer places different values on the different features that are offered in different
cars. If everyone had a common set of values, we would all drive the same car model.
Building heating systems also have different features that we can choose from. Some have
ductwork and some do not. Some circulate water and some circulate air. Some burn gas and
some use electricity to run a compressor. With so many options, it is not surprising that we
have so many different types of heating systems in common usage.

One quantifiable characteristic of all heating systems is their lifecycle cost. (If you are not
familiar with the concept of lifecycle cost, refer to any text on engineering economics.)
Briefly, lifecycle cost analysis is a relatively simple way to combine all the costs associated
with owning and operating a building or a heating system into a single cost number. Each

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria


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type of heating system will have its own lifecycle cost based on its installed cost and debt
service, annual operating costs, recurring maintenance costs, replacement cost and scrap
value. Some of these cost items are quite difficult to evaluate when you are at the design
phase of a project, and in some cases, you must rely on the experience of seasoned engi-
neers or building operators. Some parameters (such as interest rates over the life of the
equipment) can never be known in advance. However, if reasonable, honest representations
of these cost parameters are used in the lifecycle cost analysis, meaningful comparisons can
be made of the overall owning and operating costs of the different systems being compared.

There will still be many tangible features whose values must be assessed by the building
owner or the design engineer without being able to assign dollar values to them. Just as we
can quickly zero in when car shopping by looking at the prices of Cadillacs, Chevrolets and
Geos, a lifecycle cost analysis of several heating system options lets the building owner or
engineer focus on a short list of systems from which to choose.

In practice, detailed lifecycle cost comparisons are not often performed. While it may be
likened to buying a car by shopping at only one dealer, there are several cases where lifecycle
costs may not reflect the actual cost situation, such as speculation construction where low
first-cost is a primary consideration for quick sale upon completion, and landlord/tenant
situations where the landlord pays for the heating system while the tenants pay the operat-
ing costs. In a perfect world, the operating costs of the heating system would be reflected in
the price of the building and the rents that are charged. However, such is not the case in the
real world, so we have many buildings with inefficient heating systems where the occu-
pants pay high monthly utility costs.

3.2 Occupancy and Comfort Considerations

Except for special cases of industrial process control, the primary reason for heating build-
ings is to maintain acceptable occupant comfort. The designer should develop an under-
standing of the following occupancy considerations for the space:

Hours of occupancy;
Number of occupants in each zone;
Total number of occupants in the building;
Special considerations (such as age, activity, manner of dress, etc.); and
Desired indoor conditions.

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The hours of occupancy will indicate whether automatic setback control options would be
economical. Buildings occupied only during normal business hours from 8:00 am to 5:00
pm are unoccupied nearly 75% of the time, and so present opportunities for heating energy
conservation during those unoccupied periods. The use of automatic setback controls
impacts the required system capacity as well as the overall system control characteristics.
Thermostat setback produces a lower temperature difference between indoors and out-
doors, resulting in proportionately less heating requirements during the setback period.
Figure 3-1 illustrates how the mean space temperature may vary during the setback period
and the following recovery period. Obviously, the indoor air temperature does not immedi-
ately drop down at the time of setback, as shown in Figure 3-1. However, the actual tran-
sient cool down and the transient recovery portions of the indoor temperature curve would
somewhat cancel each other out, yielding approximately a rectangular temperature
response curve as representative of the overall process. The time it takes for the space
temperature to drop down to the setback temperature will depend on the outdoor conditions
as well as the thermal capacitance of the structure. During mild weather, the space temper-
ature may never reach the setback temperature and the heating system will not need to
operate at all.
An important consideration when using setback is the length of time needed for recovery.
The system should be set to begin the recovery process at an appropriate time in advance of
building occupancy. Some energy management systems can perform this setback function
according to preselected schedules, and can even adjust the recovery schedule based on

Figure 3-1. Thermostat Setback for Heating Energy Savings

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outdoor temperature conditions. Heating system capacity may need to be increased by 15%
to 20% to ensure a reasonable recovery time when at or near design outdoor temperature
conditions. Intelligent energy management control systems can identify such severe out-
door conditions when setback should not be used to avoid the 15% to 20% oversizing needed
for setback recovery at design conditions. Such controls can also be applied to existing
systems to avoid setback when the system capacity is not adequate for recovery.

It is a popular misconception that thermostat setback does not produce a net savings of
heating energy. The amount of energy saved will be in proportion to the amount of setback
and how long the space is kept at the lower setback temperature. A steady-state energy
balance on the heated space would yield:

q&sensible = (UA)(Ti To ) + m& o c p,air (Ti To ) q& internal 3-1

where the summation term on the right side of the equation accounts for all the conduction
losses through the components of the building envelope, the middle term accounts for air
infiltration, and the final term subtracts off the internal heat being generated in the space.
From Equation 3-1, it is obvious that the sensible heating requirements of a structure will be
reduced if the indoor to outdoor temperature difference is reduced. If the internal heat gains
are negligible, the reduction in heat losses will be directly proportional to the reduction in
the temperature difference. As long as the heating requirements are greater than zero during
setback conditions, Equation 3-1 indicates that the actual reduction in space heating re-
quirements will be the same regardless of the value of internal heat generation, although the
percentage reduction will depend on the relative magnitude of the internal heat sources.
Setback energy savings are illustrated in Example 3-1.

EXAMPLE 3-1

Problem: The thermostat in a small office building is set back from 72F to 62F during the
hours of 6:00 pm to 7:00 am Monday through Friday, and all day Saturday and Sunday.
Estimate the percentage savings from thermostat setback at average outdoor temperatures
of 30F and 50F. First assume that there are no internal heat gains during the setback
period, then repeat the calculations for the case of constant internal heat gains equal to 30%
of the total heat loss when it is 30F outdoors.

Solution: A simple analysis of the setback situation illustrated in Figure 3-1 indicates that
for the case of no internal heat generation, the heating energy savings would be proportional
to the reduction in area between the Ti and the To curves. Total hours of setback are 13

Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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hours per day on Monday through Friday, plus 48 hours on the weekend. Using the concept
of areas between the two temperature curves, the setback area reduction during one week is:

hours
Area reduction = 13 5 days + 48 hours 10 F = 1130 F hours
day

The total area between the Ti and the To curves, without setback and with no heat genera-
tion, would be:

hours
Total area = 24 7 days (72 30) F = 7056 F hours
day

In the absence of any internal heat gains, the percent savings will be the percentage reduc-
tion in the area between the indoor and outdoor temperature curves:

1130
Percent heat savings = = 16% when 30 F outdoors
7056

For the milder temperature conditions of 50F outdoors,

hours
Total area = 24 7 days (72 50) F = 3696 F hours
day

The percent savings at this milder heating condition is then:

1130
Percent heat savings = = 31% when 50 F outdoors
3696

If the internal heat gains reduce the heating requirements by 30% when it is 30F outdoors,
that is an equivalent area reduction of 30% of 7056 Fhours, or 2117 Fhours. The percent
savings at 30F outdoors for the case with internal heat generation is then:
1130
Percent heat savings = = 23% at 30 F outdoors
7056 2117

At the milder outdoor conditions:

1130
Percent heat savings = = 72% at 50 F outdoors
3696 2117

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This example shows the order of magnitude of savings that can be expected from thermo-
stat setback during unoccupied periods. From a percentage viewpoint, the savings are dra-
matic during mild heating conditions. The actual seasonal percentage savings will be closer
to the percentages at the more severe heating conditions because much more heat is used at
lower outdoor temperatures, and relatively little is used at the mild heating conditions. Pro-
portionately greater savings are produced if lower setback temperatures can be used while
still providing a reasonable recovery time.

Human comfort is a condition in which the bodys heat losses match its heat generation rate
at a neutral deep body temperature of approximately 98.6F. Comfort is a difficult quantity
to measure because it incorporates many elements: most importantly, temperature, humid-
ity, radiation exchange and air movement. Efforts to quantify human comfort date back to
the early 1900s and extensive work continues to this day. Based on work by Fanger1 and
others, comfort is generally considered to be a condition where 80% of a group of people
are satisfied with their environment, recognizing the virtual impossibility of achieving 100%
satisfaction due to differences in metabolism, dress and other factors.

Maintaining occupant comfort has been a challenge ever since a caveman built the first fire.
An individuals personal comfort depends on air temperature and humidity, mean radiant
temperature, air velocity, amount of clothing, activity level and their current individual
metabolic rate. Comfort conditions are often shown on a psychrometric chart, as given in
Figure 3-2 from ASHRAE Standard 55a-1995.2 The almost vertical bounding lines of the
comfort regions are based on effective temperatures, which attempt to account for tempera-
ture, humidity and air movement effects. Indices have been developed to qualitatively esti-
mate the thermal resistance of clothing and the metabolic rate as a function of activity level.
The clo is defined in terms of the thermal resistance of the clothing ensemble between the
surface of the skin and the outer surface of the garment. Table 3-1 lists clo values for differ-
ent dress ensembles. The met is defined as the metabolic rate that produces 18.4 Btu/h per
ft2 of body surface area. For an average person, met = 1.0 for a seated, at rest, level of
activity. Table 3-2 lists several values of met for various activities.

While most office buildings and dwellings are designed for occupants considered to be
either sedentary or performing light work, there are applications where higher metabolic
rates may be maintained, such as with assembly lines or exercise rooms. For these applica-
tions, temperatures may be maintained below the normal comfort conditions shown in Fig-
ure 3-2. An empirical relation can be used to estimate the effect of clothing and metabolic
levels (for 1.1<met<3) on comfortable effective temperatures:

Tactive = Tsedentary 5.4(1 + clo )( met -1.1) 3-2

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where the temperatures are expressed in F. While clothing and metabolic levels are beyond
the control of the heating system design engineer, they should be considered in the design
process in those cases where one or both may be atypical.

Figure 3-2. Acceptable Comfort Conditions

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Table 3-1. Values of Clo for Different Clothing1

Clothing Ensemble clo


Nude 0
Shorts 0.1
Shorts, open neck short sleeve shirt, light socks, sandals 0.3-0.4
Long light-weight trousers, open neck short sleeve shirt 0.5
Light-weight underwear, cotton shirt and trousers, cushion sole
0.7
socks, combat boots
Typical business suit 1
Typical business suit plus cotton coat 1.5
Cotton underwear with long legs and sleeves, shirt, wool socks,
1.5
shoes, suit including trousers, jacket and vest
Heavy wool pile ensemble (polar weather suit) 3-4

Table 3-2. Metabolic Rates for Different Activities 3

Metabolic
Activity Rate (in
mets)
Reclining 0.8
Seated quietly 1
Sedentary activity (office, home, lab, school) 1.2
Standing, relaxed 1.2
Light activity, standing (shopping, lab, light industry) 1.6
Medium activity, standing (shop assistant, housework, machine
2
work)

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EXAMPLE 3-2

Problem: It is difficult to provide satisfactory heating in a small store for all occupants
because of their manner of dress. Consider a pet store where the customers keep on their
coats when indoors on a cold day, yet the cashiers are required to wear the short sleeve store
uniform. The customers have a metabolic rate of met = 1.5 while they are walking around
the store and their coats have a clo value of 2.5. The cashiers have met = 1.2 and their clo
value is 0.7. What would be the temperature difference between thermostat settings that
would satisfy the customers and the cashiers?

Solution: Equation 3-2 can be used to estimate the comfortable temperature for both sets of
occupants to see how different they would be. For the cashiers,
. (1 + clo)( met 11
Tactive = Tsedentary 54 .)
. (1 + 0.7)(1.2 11
= Tsedentary 54 .)
= Tsedentary 0.9 F

For the customers still in their overcoats when it is a cold day outside,
. (1 + 2.5)(1.5 11
Tactive = Tsedentary 54 .)
= Tsedentary 7.6 F

The cashiers would need the temperature to be nearly 7F warmer than the customers would
prefer so that their short sleeve uniform shirts would be comfortable. The active shoppers,
still in their coats, would soon feel uncomfortably warm if the thermostat was set to a
temperature at which the store employees would be comfortable. Such comfort problems
are not easy to resolve when you have short-term occupants and long-term occupants with
very different manners of dress occupying the same space.

The number of occupants in each zone and the total number of occupants in the building
will impact the building heating requirements due to their body heat. Perhaps more impor-
tantly, the number of occupants also dictates the amount of outdoor air that is required by
local ventilation codes. Densely occupied spaces may require that little or no heating be
supplied during occupied periods, even at design conditions outdoors, because of internal
heat gains from people, lighting and appliances.

In most cases, the building design heating load is assumed to occur when the building is
unoccupied, or at the time of first occupancy before the internal heat gains are realized. The
design engineer must understand the capabilities of the system to deliver acceptable com-
fort during occupied periods as well as economical operation during the unoccupied peri-

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria


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ods, and be able to explain these characteristics to the building owner or operator. This
transfer of information about the system characteristics and capabilities from the design
engineer to the building owner or operator should occur during the commissioning process.
Such a transfer of information is critical to the successful operation of most large building
systems, and is discussed further in Chapter 9.

The design engineer should be aware of special considerations that will often influence the
type of distribution system. For example, a building located in a heating-dominated climate
that serves as a day-care center for children up to four years old should be designed so that
the floor can be kept warm. A conventional forced air delivery system with ceiling registers
will probably not be acceptable for this application because the heated air stays at the ceil-
ing, producing severe stratification and cold floors.

Indoor swimming pool areas usually require radiant heat around the pool because of the
exposed, wet bodies of swimmers outside of the water. Radiant heat works best in such
applications because forced air will produce drafts at normal temperature settings. Indus-
trial workplaces may be sparsely occupied and could be best served by spot heating of the
workstation areas if uniform temperature is not essential to the process. These special con-
siderations may not be present in every application, but as in the child day-care example,
they could make the difference between satisfied and unsatisfied occupants.

The occupancy of a building will impact lifecycle costs in three ways. Ventilation air will
be proportional to occupancy, and will result in larger (and more expensive) equipment and
higher operating costs at all load conditions as the number of occupants increases. The
length of occupied periods can have an influence on equipment maintenance costs. An
office occupied 25% of the time should not require the same number of equipment run
hours per year as a restaurant that is open 24 hours per day. The reduction in maintenance
costs would likely be a much smaller factor in a lifecycle cost analysis than the effect of
equipment size and operating costs due to ventilation air.

3.3 Thermal Envelope

The heating system in a building is designed to compensate for the heat losses of the struc-
ture by conduction and air infiltration as well as to heat outdoor air brought in for ventila-
tion. The building is the ultimate recipient of the heating systems output energy, so if the
building is inherently inefficient in retaining heat, the heating system will be expensive to
operate regardless of its design or built-in efficiency.

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From an energy conservation perspective, the first issue to address is the building envelope.
The building should be relatively airtight and adequately insulated. What are considered
appropriate insulation levels depend on the building design and its use, as well as the local
climate. Buildings with low occupant densities (such as houses, with as much as 1,000 ft2
per person) will need high insulation levels to prevent excessive heat losses. Buildings with
high occupant densities and lighting loads may require less insulation, particularly in
milder climates, because they will likely be cooling dominated from their internal heat
gains. Building envelope heat losses may actually reduce total annual energy consumption
of such buildings because they reduce the amount of air-conditioning that is required to
remove the internal heat that is generated in mild weather.

The average heat loss characteristics of a building due to thermal envelope effects are shown
in Figure 3-3. The straight line heat load curve essentially averages out the variations in air
infiltration rate, solar radiation and wind effects over the heating season. The load curves
are usually generated by simply drawing a straight line between the design load point and
the point at which the heating load diminishes to zero. Figure 3-3 shows two curves to
illustrate the effect of internal heat gains from occupants, lighting and appliances. The ben-
efit of estimating the building heat losses at off-design conditions usually comes into play
when estimating seasonal or annual energy usage. If the output and efficiency of the heating

Figure 3-3. Typical Building Load Characteristic Heating Curves

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria


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system changes with outdoor temperature (such as with heat pumps), then the variable per-
formance of the heating system can be considered over the entire range of operating condi-
tions. The technique that employs the straight line load curve to compute annual operating
costs is usually referred to as the bin method and will be discussed more in Chapter 7. It
should be noted that the impact of setback can also be shown with curves, such as given in
Figure 3-3. A lower curve, corresponding to the load line at the lower setback temperature,
would represent the lower bound of the building load curve. The actual building load curve,
accounting for the setback effect, would be between the two curves. Its location would
depend on the percent of the time that setback is implemented.

When designing the heating equipment, the design operating condition is often given pri-
mary consideration, while off-design conditions are considered secondary. Such reasoning
has proven to be costly in HVAC system design in the past. Some systems (such as dual
duct, terminal reheat and multizone systems) may actually use more energy for comfort
conditioning at mild outdoor conditions than is needed for design heating or design cooling
conditions. These systems are designed to compensate for the decreased thermal envelope
load by mixing either heated or cooled air with the primary conditioned air. The net result
may be to have supply air that is practically neutral in temperature, but which required both
chilled water and hot water to produce the neutral temperature. Because the majority of
hours of most buildings usage is when weather conditions are mild, ignoring the off-design
operating characteristics of the system may result in excessive utility costs for the building
owner or occupants.

A good procedure for designing a heating system is to use the design load conditions to
determine the maximum capacity of the system, but to design the distribution and control
systems to be capable of providing suitable conditioning with lower operating costs during
milder, off-design conditions. The different distribution systems and their impact on oper-
ating costs are discussed at length in the ASHRAE home-study course Fundamentals of
HVAC Systems4 and in the 1996 ASHRAE HandbookHVAC Systems and Equipment.5

The thermal envelope may have the greatest impact on overall operating costs of a building.
This includes the insulating value of the envelope materials, and also the exterior building
area and directional orientation. In heating-dominated climates, residential buildings can
greatly benefit from passive solar construction. This type of construction is really little
more than placing most of the windows in south-facing walls, providing adequate roof
overhangs or other exterior shading devices to limit summertime window solar gains, and
ensuring that there is enough thermal mass in the structure (concrete floors, brick or ma-
sonry interior walls, etc.) to dampen the temperature swings produced by daytime sunlight
and nighttime window heat losses. Passive solar design may not be appropriate for large
buildings with large internal loads, as such buildings may require cooling even in exterior
zones on relatively cool days. The passive solar features will simply add to the cold weather
cooling load.

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It is important for architects and design engineers to evaluate the impact of orientation and
solar gains on building performance before the building and HVAC equipment designs are
finalized. There are several sophisticated software packages that can perform these calcula-
tions on an hour-by-hour basis over the entire year of operation. Because every building
will be different in terms of its thermal envelope and its occupancy and appliance heat
gains, these analyses should be performed on every large building with engineered HVAC
systems.

A detailed energy analysis will require sophisticated software and computational capabili-
ties (a powerful desktop PC is needed, although a workstation would be preferred), but the
design load of modest size commercial buildings and all residential buildings can be per-
formed adequately using manual procedures. The manual CLTD/CLF method outlined in
McQuiston and Spitler6 provides for relatively simple design load calculations using tables
and charts. Block building loads would be quite reasonable to calculate in this manner,
although the repetitive nature of room-by-room or zone-by-zone design loads will usually
make the computerized process much faster and simpler. Somewhat more simplified proce-
dures are also available from ACCA in its Manual J and Manual N procedures for residen-
tial and commercial buildings, respectively.7,8

The building envelope usually has the greatest opportunity for reductions in heating system
lifecycle cost. Something so simple as a window facing north rather than south can make a
meaningful difference in operating costs over a 20-year period of comparison. However,
the functionality and aesthetics of the building often override lifecycle economics. A lifecycle
study may say that a corner office should not have windows to have the lowest lifecycle
cost. However, a corner office with large windows may rent for twice the value of a win-
dowless corner office, if the windowless office could be rented at all.

The lifecycle cost analysis must be put in perspective with the total costs of the business,
including salaries, worker productivity and public image. The cost to heat and cool a build-
ing may represent a very small fraction (less than 5%) of the salaries paid to those that work
in the building. A change in the HVAC system that uses 20% more energy, but that in-
creases worker productivity by a modest 3%, could have tremendously positive consequences
to the companys bottomline. Lifecycle costs might reveal that windowless concrete bun-
kers are the most cost-effective structures that we could build; however, our sense of prac-
ticality would tell us to design a nice exterior appearance to ensure future occupancy and
good public acceptance. Lifecycle analysis applied to heating costs as a result of building
envelope options must be used with reason so that the numbers do not drive the process to
the point of impracticality.

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3.4 Ventilation Requirements

Indoor air quality has been an issue for many years, but only recently has ventilation air
been dictated in local building codes as a solution to indoor air quality problems. In re-
sponse to the energy crisis of 1974 to 1982, minimum building outdoor ventilation air was
reduced to 5 cfm per person. It was not until a variety of new buildings that were con-
structed under these guidelines that the term sick building syndrome also began to enter the
American vocabulary.

The primary effect of the adoption of ASHRAE Standard 62-1989 was to triple the mini-
mum outdoor ventilation air from 5 to 15 cfm per person, with a similar impact on the
outdoor ventilation air load.9 The additional energy costs of the ventilation air should be
viewed as a necessary cost of doing business, because without adequate amounts of ventila-
tion air, the building would soon become uninhabitable. Many buildings that were built
when codes required a minimum of 5 cfm per person have had to be retrofitted to provide
additional outdoor air. In those buildings that have not been retrofitted, either the poorer air
quality is simply tolerated or else the building design permits larger quantities of outdoor
air to enter by means of infiltration.

While the heat gains from occupants are not credited when the size of the heating system is
determined, the outdoor air requirement per occupant must certainly be factored into the
sizing calculations. Even if the outdoor air can be controlled by some type of occupancy
sensor (such as measurement of carbon dioxide as an indicator of occupancy), there may
need to be full use of outdoor air capacity in the first hours of early morning occupancy
when the heating system is operating at design capacity.

Table 3-3 shows some values taken from Standard 62-1989 for outdoor air requirements
for various applications. Outdoor air provides oxygen for occupant respiration, dilutes car-
bon dioxide levels, and flushes out offending particulate and gaseous materials in the air.
The different values of recommended outdoor air in Table 3-3 result from differences in
typical occupancy density in the various applications, as well as the generation of particu-
late and gaseous contaminants. The following example illustrates the potential for energy
savings that can be realized if outdoor air can be controlled based on the variable occupancy
of the space.

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Table 3-3. Outdoor Air Requirements from ASHRAE Standard 62-1989


Est. Maximum* Outdoor Air Requirements
Application Occupancy cfm/ L/s
P/1000 ft2 or 100 m 2 person person cfm/ft2 L/s m2 Comments

Offices
Office space 7 20 10 Some office equipment may require local exhaust.
Reception areas 60 15 8
Telecommunication/
data entry areas 60 20 10
Conference rooms 50 20 10 Supplementary smoke removal equipment may be
required.

Retail Stores/Floors
Basement & street 30 0.30 1.50
Upper floors 20 0.20 1.00
Storage rooms 15 0.15 0.75
Dressing rooms 0.20 1.00
Malls & arcades 20 0.20 1.00
Shipping & receiving 10 0.15 0.75
Warehouses 5 0.05 0.25
Smoking lounges 70 60 30 Normally supplied by transfer air, local mechanical
exhaust; exhaust with no recirculation recommended.
Specialty Shops
Barber 25 15 8
Beauty 25 25 13
Reducing salons 20 15 8
Florists 8 15 8 Ventilation to optimize plant growth may dictate
requirements.
Clothiers,furniture 0.30 1.50
Hardware, drugs, fabric 8 15 8
Supermarkets 8 15 8
Pet shops 1.00 5.00
Sports and Amusement
Spectator areas 150 15 8 When internal combustion engines are operated for
Game rooms 70 25 13 maintenance of playing surfaces, increased ventilation
Ice arenas (playing areas) 0.50 2.50 rates may be required.

Swimming pools/areas 0.50 2.50 Higher values may be required for humidity control.
Playing floors (gymnasiums) 30 20 10
Ballrooms & discos 100 25 13
Bowling alleys (seat areas) 70 25 13

Theaters Special ventilation will be needed to eliminate special


Ticket booths 60 20 10 stage effects (such as dry ice vapors, mists, etc.).
Lobbies 150 20 10
Auditorium 150 15 8
Stages, studios 70 15 8

Transportation Ventilation within vehicles may require special consider-


Waiting rooms 100 15 8 tions.
Platforms 100 15 8
Vehicles 150 15 8

* Net occupiable space.


This table prescribes supply rates of acceptable outdoor air required for acceptable indoor air quality. These values have been chosen to control carbon dioxide and other contaminants with an
adequate margin of safety and to account for health variations among people, varied activity levels and a moderate amount of smoking.

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EXAMPLE 3-3

Problem: A small office building has 25 staff members with normal customer occupancy of
five additional people. The design sensible heating load of the structure (conduction plus air
infiltration) is computed to be 100,000 Btu/h at an outdoor design temperature of 5F and
an indoor design temperature of 72F. Determine the outdoor air sensible heating load at
design conditions as a percent of the total equipment load.

Solution: The problem situation is shown in Figure 3-4. From Table 3-3, it is necessary to
provide 20 cfm of outdoor air per occupant. Because it is assumed that five customers (not
necessarily the same five) are in the building at all times, the total occupancy is 30 people,
requiring 600 cfm of outdoor air. The energy required to warm up the outdoor air to room
temperature is given by:
q& sensible = out Qout ( hroom hout )
= out Qout c p,air ( Troom Tout )
3-3

where and Q are air density and flow rate, respectively, h and T are air enthalpy and
temperature, and cp,air is the specific heat of the air. Subscripts out and room refer to outdoor
and room conditions, respectively.

Figure 3-4. Outdoor Ventilation Introduced into HVAC System

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The air density may be estimated from the Ideal Gas Law and assuming standard atmo-
spheric pressure (refer to any thermodynamics text for more information on this topic, if
needed):
lb f in.2
P 14 .7 144 lb
= abs = in.2 ft 2 = 0.085 m3
Rair Tabs ft lb f ft
5334
. ( 460 + 5) R
lb m R

Specific heat for air will be approximately 0.24 Btu/lbmF. Thus,

lb m ft 3 min Btu
q& sensible = 0.085 3
600 60 0.24 ( 72 5) F
ft min h lbm F
= 49,200 Btu / h

The total equipment load is the sum of the room or building conduction and infiltration
loads plus the outdoor air load. As a percent of the total equipment load:

q&out 49,200 Btu / h


= = 33%
q&eqpt (100,000 + 49,200) Btu / h

The magnitude of the outdoor air load contribution compared to the total equipment heating
load may be somewhat surprising. While the actual percentage that the outdoor air load
comprises will vary for every case, this computed value is reasonably typical for such appli-
cations at design heating conditions. It illustrates the importance of good occupancy esti-
mates so that the heating equipment is not grossly oversized or undersized.

3.5 Regional Preferences

As you travel around the country or the world, you will find that certain types of heating
systems are used in some locations and not in others even though the same weather condi-
tions and types of fuel may be present in each location. The reason for the different applica-
tions may best be categorized as regional preferences. There are often specific reasons for
such regional use of certain heating systems. A common example may be the use of coal-
fired boilers in parts of the country where coal is mined and is abundant and cheap.

In other cases, the relative heating to cooling requirements may dictate heating system type.
For example, forced air systems are very common throughout the south and southwest United

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria


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States, partly due to the desire for air-conditioning. Because air-conditioning is practically
always performed with a forced air system, the total system cost is cheaper if the heating
system uses the same forced air ductwork and fans.

However, in some cases, the causes for the regional preferences may not be clearly defined.
You may find that a local company or engineering firm had championed a particular type of
heating system. Once the design and installation skills were in place for that particular
heating system, it may have become economically competitive to install and people will
continue to accept it due to its familiarity. Because many types of heating systems can often
give acceptable results, the regionally preferred type may actually be the best choice if there
are local skilled contractors who are knowledgeable and can competitively install and main-
tain those systems.

The impact of regional preferences on lifecycle cost analysis is difficult to assess across the
board. For example, hydronic systems are generally considered to be expensive first-cost
systems because you need forced air ductwork and air handlers for cooling and also hy-
dronic components for heating. However, because labor is a major part of any system in-
stallation, if a certain region has a competitive work environment where hourly rates are
half the national average for skilled plumbers, then the hydronic system may have very
attractive lifecycle numbers. Variability in fuel costs combined with fuel availability, pre-
vailing wage rates, material costs and other regional cost factors make lifecycle cost analy-
sis a regional comparison that cannot be applied universally.

3.6 Availability of Fuels

Fuel availability is often a major deciding factor in the type of heating system that is most
economically effective. Oil furnaces and boilers are very common in the northeastern United
States because natural gas pipelines did not extend to that part of the country for many
years, while oil was readily available from local refineries. Coal is still a common fuel in
many industrial and commercial facilities in the Appalachian region as well as in parts of
the western United States. Wood is still a common home heating fuel in many forested parts
of the country where it is free for the cutting.

There are still many homes in the United States that are electrically heated as a result of the
push by electric utilities in the 1950s and 1960s to capture a greater share of the home
heating market. These electric resistance heating systems are often still in use where elec-
tricity costs have been relatively stable, such as in the Pacific Northwest, the area served by
the Tennessee Valley Authority, and where electric utilities have access to cheap coal sup-

Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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plies. Where electric prices have increased dramatically since the 1970s, these resistance
heating systems have been replaced by heat pump systems or possibly gas furnaces if nat-
ural gas later became available.

Many new commercial buildings still use electric boilers for their heat source, despite the
apparent fuel cost advantage of natural gas. Electric utilities often have a reduced all-elec-
tric rate that, when applied to the lighting, air handlers and other electrical loads in the
building, negates the savings from using natural gas for the small heating load of a cooling-
dominated building.

The most dramatic switch in fuel preference in the United States has occurred since the
mid-1980s. Natural gas was a government regulated fuel for many years until it was dereg-
ulated in the early 1980s. Prior to deregulation, the artificially low price imposed by the
federal government limited the suppliers' profit margins. With little financial incentive to
risk the large amounts of capital needed to discover new supplies and lay major pipelines
to growing markets, the available supply of natural gas to customers was reduced. Many
gas supply companies imposed moratoriums on new installations in the 1970s and early
1980s. Once natural gas was deregulated, the supply greatly increased, new pipelines have
been laid, and prices have been quite stable. The result of the greater fuel availability is
clearly shown in Figure 3-5 where natural gas and electricity have switched places since
1985 as the dominant fuel in new home construction in the United States.

Figure 3-5. Primary Heating Fuels Used


in US New Home Construction, 1985-1994

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria


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The switch to natural gas has also extended to many industrial and commercial facilities
that had previously used coal or oil fuels. The incentive of these large users to switch fuel
may have been partly driven by a more stringent Clean Air Act that would require expen-
sive stack filtering or sulfur dioxide scrubbing equipment on coal- or oil-burning equip-
ment. Even electric utilities are using gas turbine generators with cogeneration or heat re-
covery for new capacity base-load applications because of the more stringent air pollution
requirements. The clean burning characteristics of natural gas, combined with its abundant
domestic production and reasonable cost, may drive this trend for some years to come.

The greatest uncertainty in the utility business is what impact deregulation will have. If
distribution lines can be used to transport energy from the cheapest supplier to a user in any
part of the country, there will be no local monopoly by energy service providers. Wheeling
of electricity or transmission of gas by other companies' pipelines will make the countrys
interconnected electric lines and gas pipelines like a giant energy supermarket, where cus-
tomers can buy their energy from one supplier and have it delivered to their locations by a
different supplier.

One perceived implication of utility deregulation is the need for economies of scale. There
have been many mergers or buyouts of major utilities and many more will yet occur. While
small residential customers may not be able to shop around for their energy in a deregulated
market, it will surely be an opportunity for major industrial and commercial users to reduce
their energy costs still further. There will no doubt be complications from deregulation as
higher cost distribution companies lose market share and are forced out of business. The
question then becomes what company should buy them out so their connected customers
can continue to receive energy that may be provided by many different suppliers. A com-
petitive energy market can provide energy to consumers at the lowest cost, but it may pro-
duce some temporary dislocations during periods of market adjustments.

Fuel costs can have significant lifecycle cost implications, especially for larger systems.
The larger the system, the more impact fuel costs will have relative to maintenance costs
and other lifecycle components. For instance, a college campus may be able to justify the
expense of a central district heating system if it can burn cheap coal in its steam plant. The
option of burning coal may not necessarily be tied to the size of available boilers, but possi-
bly to the availability of pollution control equipment. Such a system may have very expen-
sive installation costs, but the lifecycle cost may be attractive due to the large amounts of
cheap fuel that can be utilized.

The difficulty of using fuel options in lifecycle comparisons is the need to predict fuel cost
trends over long periods of time. Fuel cost escalation rates that were often used to justify
solar energy systems in the 1970s sometimes resulted in predicted future energy costs going
so high that the hot water needed to wash a shirt would cost more than a new shirt. In the

Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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stable energy price environment of the 1990s, it is difficult to project when the next sudden
escalation in energy prices will occur and what the relative escalation rates for the different
fuel types may be.

Conservative estimates for fuel escalation rates should be used in lifecycle comparisons so
that the compounding effect of prices forecast 20 years into the future does not distort the
lifecycle numbers. There are several government and private organizations that forecast
future energy trends, such as the Department of Energy, the Gas Research Institute and the
International Energy Agency. Their resources may be helpful in projecting long-term en-
ergy costs.

Table 3-4 contains higher heating values for various common fuels used for space heating.

Table 3-4. Fuel Heating Values

Product Unit Heat Value (Btu)


Anthracite coal ton 25,400,000
Bituminous coal ton 26,200,000
Coke ton 24,800,000

Natural gas (dry) CCF 103,500


Butane gal 102,000
Propane gal 91,500

Crude oil bbl 5,800,000


Diesel fuel gal 138,238
Distillate fuel oil gal 138,690
Gasoline gal 125,071
Jet fuel gal 135,000
Kerosene gal 135,000

Electricity kWh 3,413

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria


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EXAMPLE 3-4

Problem: Determine the energy costs of delivering 200,000,000 Btu of heat energy for the
following systems:

Coal boiler that is 80% efficient, burning $30/ton bituminous coal


Natural gas boiler that is 80% efficient, burning $6.00/MCF natural gas
Propane furnace that is 78% efficient, burning $1.20/gal propane
Oil furnace that is 70% efficient, burning $1.00/gal fuel oil
Kerosene space heater that is 95% efficient, burning $1.35/gal kerosene
Electric baseboard heater that is 100% efficient, using $0.07/kWh electricity
Heat pump with a 2.3 average seasonal COP, using $0.07/kWh electricity

Solution: The cost to deliver heat energy depends on the conversion efficiency, the heating
value of the fuel, and the cost per unit for the fuel. The basic energy conversion relation is
given by:
qoutput = ( Unit of Fuel) ( HHV of Fuel) Efficiency

Because we are interested in the cost, which will be the product of total units of fuel con-
sumed and cost per unit,
$
qtotal
$ Unit
Cost = ( Units of Fuel) =
Unit HHV Efficiency

For the first case,

Coal Cost =
(200 10 6
)
Btu ($30 / ton)
= $286
6 Btu
26.2 10 (0.80)
ton

A summary of the computed values is:


80% efficient coal boiler, $30/ton bituminous $286
80% efficient natural gas boiler, $6/MCF gas $1450
78% efficient propane furnace, $1.20/gal propane $3363
70% efficient oil furnace, $1.00/gal fuel oil $2060
95% efficient kerosene heater, $1.35/gal kerosene $2105
100% efficient electric baseboard, $0.07/kWh $4102
2.3 COP heat pump, $0.07/kWh electricity $1784

Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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These system efficiencies are not intended to represent the state-of-the-art in these heating
technologies, but instead to give representative values for relative heating costs for some
different fuel types. Although prices may vary drastically by region and by utility, these
numbers confirm the usual trend that high efficiency heat pumps are competitive with gas
systems, while electric resistance, propane, kerosene and oil systems are significantly more
expensive. The fuel cost for coal, in regions close to where it is mined, may be a small
fraction of the fuel cost for any other type of fuel. These numbers illustrate why large en-
ergy intensive industries use coal as a fuel source, while smaller industries and commercial
buildings often use natural gas whenever it is available.

Summary

An important requirement when selecting a heating system is to properly size the unit's
capacity to the heating load of the space, with proper distribution systems to deliver the heat
energy to all parts of the building. There are many different characteristics to consider when
choosing a heating system, but perhaps the most quantifiable is the systems lifecycle cost.

Occupancy and comfort are important considerations in heating equipment selection. The
hours of occupancy may permit thermostat setback to be implemented during unoccupied
periods if the system can recover in a reasonable amount of time. Energy savings can aver-
age 15% or more, depending on the outdoor temperature conditions and internal heat gen-
eration rates. Internal design conditions are often kept around 72F and 30% RH, which is
at the lower end of the comfort zone for sedentary activities. Comfort conditions can vary
significantly depending on the individuals clothing and activity level.

The thermal envelope is a critical part of the total building system design as it is the ultimate
source of heat loss. Insulation levels should generally be much higher for low occupant
density residential structures than for higher occupant density commercial facilities. While
the heating system must be able to meet the building envelope heat losses and the ventila-
tion load at the design condition, it should also provide for economical operation at mild,
off-design conditions where it operates most of the time. Several sophisticated software
packages are available to analyze in detail the structure heat losses and their effect on an-
nual heating and cooling costs.

Required outdoor air ventilation rates have increased significantly with the adoption of
ASHRAE Standard 62-1989 by code bodies. The increased amount of outdoor air increases
the size of the heating system as well as the operating costs. The increased ventilation
generally provides for greatly improved air quality in the workplace.

There are some heating system selections that are based on regional preferences. These
systems have been accepted in certain areas for any number of reasons (such as availability
of fuels, specialized skilled labor, low cost materials, etc.).

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria


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Fuel availability is a critical part of the heating system design process. Coal is used prima-
rily in large industrial applications where the low fuel cost can justify the expensive stack
filtering and flue gas scrubbing that is needed. Natural gas has regained a leading position
in residential construction due to its low cost and clean burning attributes. High efficiency
electric heat pumps are competitive with gas, but are used most extensively where natural
gas is not available. Commercial buildings may use electric heating systems, especially
when they are cooling-dominated and the effect of the lower all-electric rate outweighs the
savings from using cheaper natural gas for the small heating load. Deregulation in the util-
ity industry will present opportunities for large energy users to shop around for their fuel
supplier, while still connected to their local utility for the actual fuel delivery.

Lifecycle cost analysis is the best way to compare the total owning and operating costs of
different heating systems. It may be difficult to specify exact maintenance and replacement
costs, but it still should be a good gauge of how two systems compare cost-wise. Fuel
escalation rates should be kept fairly conservative under current energy pricing situations
so that the lifecycle cost analysis is not distorted by exhorbitant fuel prices in the later years
of the analysis.

Bibliography
1. Fanger, P. 1970. Thermal Comfort. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
2. ASHRAE. 1992. ASHRAE Standard 55-1992, Thermal Environmental Conditions for
Human Occupancy. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.
3. ASHRAE. 1997. HandbookFundamentals. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.
4. ASHRAE. Fundamentals of HVAC Systems (home-study course). Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.
5. ASHRAE. 1996. HandbookHVAC Systems and Equipment. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.
6. McQuiston, F., Spitler, J. 1992. Cooling and Heating Load Calculation Manual. Atlanta,
GA: ASHRAE.
7. ACCA. 1986. Manual JLoad Calculation for Residential Winter and Summer Air Con-
ditioning. Washington, DC: Air Conditioning Contractors of America.
8. ACCA. 1990. Manual NLoad Calculation for Commercial Buildings. Washington, DC:
Air Conditioning Contractors of America.
9. ASHRAE. 1989. ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air
Quality. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE

Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Skill Development Exercises for Chapter 3

Complete these questions by writing your answers on the worksheets at the back of this
book.

3-01. Briefly explain how the size of the heating system for a particular installation is
determined.

3-02. What is one of the few quantifiable comparisons that can be made between different
types of heating systems?

3-03. Name two ways that building occupancy can influence heating system size and op-
erating cost.

3-04. An automatic setback thermostat in a house with a gas furnace is programmed to


drop from 72F to 58F from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm during weekdays when no one is
home. The design heat loss of the house is 60,000 Btu/h at an outdoor design tem-
perature of 2F. Estimate the monthly cost savings from a 78% efficient gas furnace
when gas costs $5.50 per million Btu, and the average outdoor temperature is 35F.

3-05. Estimate a comfortable thermostat setpoint for an aerobics gym where the activity
level is about met = 2.8 and the participants dress have clo = 0.4.

3-06. Is more insulation always the best answer when constructing a building? If not,
explain when it may not be. Should mild weather off-design conditions be consid-
ered when designing a building heating system?

3-07. For what types of building loads might you perform manual design load calcula-
tions? Would you perform the energy analysis in the same way?

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria


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3-08. A bowling alley is designed to accommodate 80 people continuously for up to six


hours. On a night when it is 0F outside and indoors is maintained at 70F, what is
the outdoor ventilation air heating load?

3-09. Give two reasons why natural gas heating system installations have greatly increased
since the early 1980s.

3-10. If a fuel escalates at a 2% annual rate, how much does its price increase in 20 years?
How much price increase does a 5% escalation rate produce in 20 years?

Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Chapter 4
Commercial Heating Systems

Contents of Chapter 4

Instructions
Study Objectives of Chapter 4
4.1 Commercial Building Types
4.2 Central Multizone Systems
4.3 Forced Air Furnaces and Unitary Heating Systems
Summary
Bibliography
Skill Development Exercises

Instructions

Read the material in this chapter for general content, and re-read the parts that are empha-
sized in the summary. Complete the skill development exercises without consulting the
text, then review the text as necessary to verify your solutions.

Study Objectives of Chapter 4

The largest variety of heating system types can usually be found in commercial buildings.
This large variety exists because of the many building types included in this building cat-
egory, which covers small churches to domed stadiums and everything in between. Because
of the many different building types and the many different uses of these structures, you can
expect to find hot water, steam, warm air and combinations of these distribution systems
used in certain types of these buildings. Smaller commercial buildings are likely candidates
for one or more unitary systems, which are factory fabricated and delivered to the job site
essentially intact.

The objectives of this chapter are to help you develop an appreciation for the large number
of building types and uses that must be accounted for when trying to understand heating
system design and performance. You should develop a basic understanding of hot water,
steam and warm air distribution systems. In addition, many types of unitary systems will be
discussed to illustrate the variety of options that designers have available to them.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems


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4.1 Commercial Building Types

There are many reasons to categorize building types other than to characterize them for
heating system design. In the United States, the Census Bureau has an extensive informa-
tion database that includes building types. Other agencies (such as government energy agen-
cies) also compile such statistics. It will always be difficult to combine many different types
of buildings into just a few categories. For most situations, buildings are considered as
being either industrial, commercial or residential.
In this context, commercial buildings are facilities in which some governmental or business
activity is being conducted, although usually not related to a manufacturing or assembly
process. Such buildings include fast food restaurants, shopping centers, branch banks, of-
fice buildings, theaters, convention centers, grocery stores, hotels, post offices, and many
others. For this chapter, only three subcategories will be considered: office, institutional and
high-rise residential buildings. These three subcategories represent a significant portion of
the total commercial building category and offer contrasting load characteristics.

OFFICE BUILDINGS

Office buildings are generally characterized by multiple work spaces with very similar space
design and area. These work spaces may be completely separate rooms or zones, or they
may be a large open floorplan with movable partitions. The building type may range from a
small, stand-alone structure that houses a single business to a high-rise building occupied
by many different businesses.
Occupancy and comfort considerations. Office buildings are typically occupied during a
daytime workshift, which will be from about 7:00 am to 5:00 pm. Normal occupancy of
these buildings may represent no more than 30% of the total hours in the week. Custodial
and security staff may also be present during other times, however, only in small numbers
relative to the daytime occupancy. The office space may vary from about 80 ft2/person to
150 ft2/person. Because various types of business activities are being performed, there will
be a need for high quality lighting and numerous heat generating appliances (such as per-
sonal computers, printers, photocopiers, etc.).
The workers in these buildings are usually present for long periods of time and wear busi-
ness attire (such as a suit or dress) on a year-round basis. The activity level of these workers
would not be as strenuous as for factory workers because they often are involved in commu-
nications and paperwork activities. Because of the nearly constant dress and work require-
ments, the indoor space temperature of large commercial spaces may be set the same in
winter as in summer. Larger office buildings will have a significant portion of their space in
interior zones with no exterior exposure. Consequently, these interior zones will have no
heating requirements at all, and will usually have only cooling capabilities installed.

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Thermal envelope. Office buildings are generally characterized with large exterior glass
areas. The extra glass often serves several purposes, such as providing dramatic views in
high-rise buildings, giving the architect opportunities to design pleasing exterior and inte-
rior aesthetics, and providing useful daylighting as a way to control building energy con-
sumption. Large buildings will have cooling-dominated space conditioning loads due to the
internal heat gains from the occupants, lighting and appliances. While the inner core spaces
must be cooled 365 days a year, the outer spaces with exterior exposures will require heat-
ing on cold days. If insulation levels comparable to what is used in single-family residences
were used in the exterior envelope of large buildings, the annual space conditioning costs
may actually increase.

The heating balance point the temperature at which the exterior heat losses equal the
internal and solar heat gains will often be 50F or below due to the typically high internal
gains. Outdoor temperatures between this heating balance point and the indoor space tem-
perature reduce the space cooling load as a result of heat losses from the exterior zones.
High levels of insulation would lower this balance point even further. If an economizer
cycle is not utilized to provide space cooling with cool outdoor air, the low balance point
may actually increase annual cooling costs by not allowing more of the internal heat gains to
be dissipated through the building envelope. Every building and every climate will differ
with regard to the impact that exterior insulation will make on annual cooling costs.

Windows also provide the opportunity to use natural daylighting to reduce electrical light-
ing loads. Reflective or tinted glass will normally be used in south and west exposures
because of the potential for severe peak cooling loads and indoor glare during summer
daylight hours. In general, reflective surfaces are more effective at reducing solar heat gains
than heat absorbing windows and so are more often used in modern commercial buildings.

Tall buildings (over five stories) have the potential for very high infiltration rates in cold
weather due to the buildings stack effect. Such high infiltration rates are aided by loading
docks in the basement, multiple elevator shafts and open stairwells. The stack effect can be
reduced by using revolving doors at the entrance, keeping delivery doors closed as much as
possible, and tight construction of the building envelope and stairwell doorways.

Ventilation requirements. Most office spaces do not generate the large quantities of pollut-
ants that may be found in industrial plants. Most pollutants in offices come from emissions
from carpets, furnishings and occupants (including tobacco smoke). Outdoor ventilation
rates will commonly be 15 to 20 cfm/person for most office building applications. Special
interest is being given to variable ventilation rates using carbon dioxide (CO2) monitors to
control the outdoor air ventilation rates. The CO2 serves as an indicator of the level of
occupancy and the need for additional ventilation.

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INSTITUTIONAL BUILDINGS

Institutional buildings are commercial structures that are used for special purposes other
than ordinary office and business functions. Examples include hospitals, schools, churches,
dormitories, libraries, laboratories, clinics and correctional facilities. Compared to office
buildings, they are characterized by either their unusual occupancy patterns or the special-
ized equipment that they house. They are generally occupied by a single company or organi-
zation, although activities may vary greatly within the building. Special considerations must
often be given to high occupant densities or ventilation requirements.

Occupancy and comfort considerations. Institutional buildings have little in common with
regard to their occupancy and comfort considerations. Churches may have 1,000 people or
more in a large sanctuary for two hours one day per week while a nursing home may have
one person per room with continuous occupancy. People in a church may leave their coats
on inside in the winter while patients in a hospital may spend a lot of time in a loose gown
as they are taken to have tests performed.

Acceptable noise levels may also vary considerably with different institutional applications.
Concert halls will need to be especially quiet, while sports arenas or exhibition centers will
have much louder background noise and so can tolerate noisier HVAC systems. Each insti-
tutional facility must be evaluated on the basis of its own usage patterns and the occupants
that will be present. You should refer to the ASHRAE Air-Conditioning Systems Design
Manual,1 the 1995 ASHRAE Handbook-HVAC Applications2 or other references with spe-
cific information on institutional building applications.

Thermal envelope. The thermal envelope for institutional facilities will vary with applica-
tion. It may vary from a building with few outside windows (such as a prison or an audito-
rium) to a church with massive, stained glass windows. New construction will usually differ
dramatically from older facilities used for the same purposes. Schools (which may represent
the largest single segment in this category) often consist of multiple identical units that can
seat about 30 students. The building will be one to two stories tall and will often be con-
structed of masonry block with flat roofs. The insulation levels used in smaller facilities
will normally be higher than for the very large facilities (such as hospitals and large univer-
sity buildings) for the same reasons as for large office buildings.

Ventilation requirements. As with occupancy, the ventilation requirements of institutional


facilities will vary greatly depending on the application. Classrooms will have few pollut-
ants generated and so will require only the minimum 15 cfm/person of outdoor air, while air
can be recirculated throughout the facility from a central air handler. Hospitals may require
100% outdoor air in areas with contagious diseases, or may permit recirculation but only
within a particular zone so that air from one zone cannot be mixed with air from other

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zones. Temporary occupancy may also permit reductions in outdoor air ventilation rates
relative to maximum occupancy capacity. It is usually necessary to review local building
codes to determine applicable ventilation rates for specific buildings.

HIGH-RISE RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS

As countries become more urban, there is an increasing need for concentrations of housing
units within the inner cities. The traditional single family home is often not the most appro-
priate housing choice for single individuals, the elderly, low income households, families
that relocate frequently, or households without automobile transportation. For these people,
the traditional multiple unit apartment or condominium building answers their basic need
for affordable and convenient housing. Many of these facilities are privately owned and
operated in the United States, while they may be built by the local or federal government in
other parts of the world. The high-rise residential building is often considered to be any-
thing that is four stories tall or higher. Most fire and building codes in the United States
categorize multifamily buildings greater than four stories as being commercial buildings
rather than residential.

Occupancy and comfort considerations. The occupant density of apartments will differ a lot
between the United States and some developing countries. Many dwelling units in the United
States have about 500 ft2 of floor area per person, while this figure may be less than 100 ft2
per person in government-built units in developing countries. The rule-of-thumb of two
persons per bedroom would apply for private, US units, but this figure may be too low for
government subsidized housing, even in the United States. Comfort considerations are com-
parable for any household situation, regardless of occupant density.

Thermal envelope. The thermal envelope varies depending on the structure's size. Masonry
block will often be used for exterior walls of smaller structures, while various types of
curtain walls may be used for the very tall structures. Panelized construction is becoming
more common where many units of the same design are in a single building. In some cases,
entire units may be fabricated at the factory and stacked on top of each other at the site.
Insulation levels usually depend more on the local climate than on any particular construc-
tion type. Exterior glass areas will usually be no more than 10% to 15% of floor area.

Ventilation requirements. High-rise residential structures of four stories or more are usually
considered to be commercial buildings in most local building codes. As such, the ventila-
tion air will be specified according to the local codes. However, ventilation air is simpler to
specify and deliver when a central air handling system is used, as compared to the separate
individual zone units that are most common in high-rise residential applications.

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Many console-type unit or fan coil heaters have variable outdoor air vent openings that can
be controlled by the occupants. These systems can permit the occupants to provide much
more outdoor air than the minimums specified in the applicable code. ASHRAE Standard
62-1989, on which most building codes are based, specifies 0.35 air changes per hour of
outdoor air for living areas in residential facilities, but not less than 15 cfm/person.3

Because residential units will almost always have exposures to outdoors, some or all of this
outdoor air may be considered to come from natural air infiltration and thus may not require
mechanical ventilation. In all cases, local codes should be observed in categorizing and
designing heating equipment for such residential applications.

EXAMPLE 4-1

Problem: A church sanctuary is designed to seat 400 people. It is rectangular in shape, and
is 60 ft wide by 150 ft long, with 15-ft ceilings and has a heated space below the sanctuary.
The overall U-value for the sanctuary envelope is 0.10 Btu/hft2F and its infiltration air
change rate is 0.5 air changes per hour in winter. Lighting levels are 1.0 W/ft2. Estimate the
balance point temperature of the church sanctuary when it is fully occupied, when it is half
occupied, and when it is empty with the lights on. Assume that a separate makeup air heat-
ing system conditions the ventilation air and neglect solar heat gains from the windows.

Solution: The overall heat loss of the structure is the sum of the conduction heat losses,
characterized by the overall U-value, and the outdoor air infiltration rate. The heat conduc-
tion accounts for heat losses through the walls, ceilings, doors and windows. There are no
heat losses through the floor of the sanctuary because there is heated space below it.
Infiltration loss (sensible) = o Qo c p ,air ( Ti Tb )
Conduction loss = UA(Ti Tb )

The area of the sanctuary exterior wall and ceiling surfaces is [2 x (60 + 150) x 15] + 60 x
150 = 15,300 ft2 . The outdoor air change rate is 0.5/h x (60 x 150 x 15)ft3 = 67,500 ft 3/h. The
outdoor air density will depend on the balance point temperature, which can be found from
the Ideal Gas Law:
P
o =
Rair Tabs
lb f in.2
14.7 144
= in.2 ft 2
ft lb f
53.34 (460 + Tb ) R
lb m R
39.7 lb m
= 3
460 + Tb ft

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The balance point is where the internal sensible heat gains equal the sensible heat losses of
the structure. The internal heat gains are:
q&i = q& people + q&lights
Btu / h W
= 250 400 people + 10
. ( 60 150) ft 2
person ft 2

Btu
q&i = 100,000 Btu / h + 9,000 W 3.413
Wh
= 130,700 Btu / h

Setting the building heat losses equal to the internal heat gains yields:

UA(Ti Tb ) + o Qo c p,air (Ti Tb ) = 130,700 Btu / h

Btu 39.7 lb m ft 3
.
01 15,300 ft 2
( 72 F Tb ) + 67 ,500
h ft 2 F 460 + Tb ft 3 h
Btu
0.24 (72 F Tb ) = 130,700 Btu / h
lb m F

Solving for Tb from this equation yields, Tb = 26F.

When the sanctuary is half full, the internal heat gains are only 80,700 Btu/h. With this
value on the right side of the above equation, Tb = 43F. When the sanctuary is empty, but
the lights are on, the internal heat gains are 30,700 Btu/h and yield a value of Tb = 61F.

These calculations neglect the thermal storage effects of the structure, and so would apply
most accurately when the church is occupied with the lights on for a long period of time
(probably about 8 hours). It should also be noted that the outdoor ventilation air would have
a dramatic effect on the value of the balance point temperature if it was included. The heat
conduction and infiltration terms above are approximately equal, but 15 cfm/person of ven-
tilation air would equal more than five times the air infiltration rate if full occupancy is
considered. While ventilation air is an equipment heating load, it is not a building load
because the outdoor air is conditioned prior to being taken into the conditioned space. The
temperature controller in the space would sense only the internal heat gains, the conduction
losses and the air infiltration losses, and so would call for heating from the central plant
based on the combined net effect of those loads.

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4.2 Central Multizone Systems

Many commercial buildings use central heating systems to take advantage of the economies
of scale of a large heating plant. Central systems will generally be more complex than uni-
tary or single zone heating devices. Distribution systems must be capable of delivering
adequate heating capacity to each zone at design conditions, while also controlling space
conditions at all part-load conditions. Most large buildings in the United States will utilize
air-conditioning as well, so modern systems must have the capability of heating in one zone
while cooling in another.

Because cooling is most often performed with forced air delivery, many large commercial
buildings are now built with forced air heating systems as well to economize with a single
distribution system. Central systems may involve complex control systems to provide part-
load and simultaneous heating and cooling capabilities. Maintenance of such systems can
require factory-trained personnel to diagnose control problems or to repair components on
the large central plants. The design of central systems will typically involve extensive engi-
neering effort to properly size and lay out the distribution piping or ductwork, incorporate
control systems that can adequately heat all the zones under all conditions, and operate with
economical energy costs.

HOT WATER AND GLYCOL SYSTEMS

One of the oldest types of central heating systems that was used in large buildings is the hot
water system. The basic design heats water in a boiler and circulates the hot water to the
various zones where it is used in some sort of terminal heat transfer unit to heat the indi-
vidual space. These systems are usually referred to as hydronic heating systems.

Hydronic heating systems can be coupled with a chilled water cooling system to provide the
total heating/cooling capabilities usually required in modern commercial buildings. Glycol
(either ethylene glycol or propylene glycol) may be used as an antifreeze agent in the chilled
water or even the hot water distribution systems to prevent freeze damage to heat exchanger
coils when large amounts of ventilation air are brought in during extremely low outdoor
temperatures. Table 4-1 lists the freezing points provided by various concentrations of gly-
col in the circulating fluid. Propylene glycol is considered a food-grade antifreeze and may
need to be used in applications where food processing is performed in the building.

Water systems can be categorized by several design parameters: maximum water tempera-
ture; water prime mover; maximum water pressure; water piping configuration; and mul-
tiple pump configuration. Early generations of water-based heating systems used the natural
convective force of the hot water to move the water through the distribution system. Prac-

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Table 4-1. Freezing Points for Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol Solutions

% Mass Glycol Ethylene Glycol (F) Propylene Glycol (F)

10 26 26

15 22 22

20 18 18

25 13 12

30 7 6

40 -8 -9

50 -29 -34

60 -55 <60

tically all modern systems are forced flow systems, using one or more pumps to deliver the
water to the various terminal units.

Four basic hot water systems are commonly found in commercial buildings:

The low temperature (LT) system has a maximum temperature of 250F and a
maximum boiler pressure of 160 psig, although working pressures below 30
psig are most common.
The medium temperature (MT) system has a maximum temperature of 350F
and a maximum boiler pressure of 150 psig. The MT system usually is rated for
the 150 psig working pressure.
The high temperature (HT) system has a maximum temperature over 350F and
maximum pressures of about 300 psig. Design supply temperatures are com-
monly in the 400 to 450F range with the HT system.
The dual temperature (DT) system is one that circulates both hot and chilled
water to common terminal units to provide both heating and cooling capabili-
ties. These usually operate at the LT temperature and pressure limits, with the
chilled water at 40 to 50F supply temperatures.

Many older buildings have hydronic heating systems but use central forced air or window
air conditioners because cooling was not designed into the building heating system at the
time of construction.

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The various types of heating systems (low, medium or high temperature) are normally used
in specific system capacity ranges. The LT heating systems are most commonly found in
systems with heating capacities of less than 5 million Btu/h. These encompass most com-
mercial buildings. The MT systems are often used in very large commercial buildings and in
industrial applications where process steam or hot water is available. These would typically
have heating capacities from 5 to 20 million Btu/h. The HT systems are usually limited to
industrial applications where high pressure steam is generated, or in multiple-building dis-
trict heating systems with heating capacities greater than 10 million Btu/h.

There are five major components of hydronic heating systems: the terminal heat transfer
units; the piping distribution network; the pumping system; the boiler; and the control sys-
tems. These components will be discussed in terms of their basic design characteristics.

Terminal heat transfer units. The terminal heat transfer units for hot water systems may be
finned tube baseboard convectors, cast iron radiators, finned tube fan coil units, unit heat-
ers, unit ventilators or multizone air-handling units. The selection of the type of terminal
heat transfer unit depends on whether or how cooling is to be performed, the size of the
space to be heated, and available space for the terminal unit, as well as noise and aesthetic
considerations. In addition to the space heating units, a water-to-water converter (or heat
exchanger) is often used to generate domestic hot water from the main space heating boiler.
Selection and sizing of the terminal units will depend on the water temperature that is avail-
able and the design temperature difference at which the unit will operate. The actual operat-
ing condition (temperature and flow) of any terminal unit will be a relatively complex func-
tion of the pump capacity, control valve settings, piping network and terminal unit heat
transfer and pressure drop characteristics.

Perhaps the simplest terminal units are convectors, baseboard and finned tube units, and
radiators. Figure 4-1 illustrates several types of convector and radiator configurations that
are usually placed around the outside walls of a building, especially in high load areas such
as under windows and in entrance foyers. These units heat the space by a combination of
radiation to the space and convection to the air within the space. In most of these types of
heating units, a finned tube carries the hot water and convects the heat to the air that flows
by natural convection up the enclosure space and out of the top grille. The only moving part
to these systems may be a manual damper that is used to regulate the air flow through the
system. Other baseboard convectors may be mounted internally to the wall with a flush-
mounted metal housing or grille. When placed along the entire outside wall, these heating
systems reduce the normal floor-to-ceiling temperature gradient by counteracting the con-
vective currents normally produced when room air is cooled by the outside wall and win-
dows and falls to the floor.

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Figure 4-1. Hot Water Radiators, Convectors and Baseboard Heating Units

The cast iron radiator is seldom installed in new construction anymore, but it is still in
widespread use. A variety of steel panel and flat pipe radiators are also in common use.
Although sometimes recessed in areas where there may be high traffic, radiators are usually
exposed next to outside walls (usually under windows or near exterior doorways) to coun-
teract the downward draft of cold air. Their popular name is somewhat of a misnomer be-
cause much of their heat is given off by convection rather than radiation. They are con-
structed in sections, and so can be made larger by simply adding additional sections as the
room load dictates.

If it is not possible or desirable to place a terminal heating unit near the outside wall, a
forced air unit can be located either within the space or remotely from the space, with the
warm air ducted into the heated space. Fan-type unit heaters, as shown in Figure 4-2, are
popular in work areas with relatively high ceilings. The hot water runs through a finned tube
heat exchanger and the fan directs the heat to a relatively localized area. Due to their limited
air distribution pattern, these systems should not be used where a very uniform space tem-
perature needs to be maintained. They work well to counteract drafts in buildings where
open doors let in a lot of cold outdoor air.

The unit ventilator shown in Figure 4-3 is a small air handler that is capable of providing
heating, cooling and outdoor air. Commonly arranged in a console cabinet against the out-
side wall, it can bring in outdoor air through an opening in the wall and mix the outdoor air

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Figure 4-2. Horizontal-Blow Fan Forced Air Unit Heater

Figure 4-3. Typical Unit Ventilator System

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with recirculated air from the heated space. The air is heated by a finned tube hot water coil.
Cooling can be provided by either a separate chilled water coil or by the same coil used for
heating (in a two-pipe arrangement, to be discussed later). The air discharges directly out of
the top grille of the cabinet into the space. These systems are often found in hotels and
schools where many identical rooms can be heated with identical units. Due to the location
of the fan and the need for compact sizes, these systems are often relatively noisy at design
air flow conditions. In applications where air-conditioning is not included, these systems
can provide some cooling relief by ventilation with outdoor air when the outdoor tempera-
ture is below room temperature.

Single zone or multiple zone air handling units with ducted supply air can be used to re-
move the heating unit from the heated space. The unit can be located in the rooms ceiling
plenum space, in an adjacent hallway ceiling plenum space, or in a mechanical closet or
equipment room. Such arrangements are often specified to reduce noise in the space, to
provide for uniform forced air heating and cooling, or to use a central source of outdoor
ventilation air where a separate makeup air tempering unit or heat recovery heat exchanger
can be used.

These air handler units can range in capacity from a few cfm up to hundreds of thousands of
cfm. These air handlers could still be considered terminal units because they may be one of
many that are provided with hot water from a central boiler and are located in or near the
zones they serve instead of in a central mechanical equipment room, with the air being
ducted long distances. Although larger in size and with ducted output, they function much
the same as the unit ventilator, with a heating coil, a cooling coil, outdoor air intake and
return air intake.

Piping distribution network. The piping network to be used with these systems will depend
on the size of the network and the complexity of the control system to be used. The most
common types of piping networks are:

Series loop
One-pipe
Two-pipe reverse return
Two-pipe direct return
Three-pipe
Four-pipe

The first four types may be found in smaller applications, while combinations of several
types may be used in main distribution piping and branch circuits of large systems.

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The series loop is shown in Figure 4-4 where the terminal units represent part of the flow
loop. The water temperature will obviously drop as it flows from the first terminal unit to
the last, so care should be used in sizing the terminal units to the space load. These systems
utilize a minimum of controls (often just a manual valve on older systems) and work best in
small buildings with few zones and multiple exterior exposures per zone. Individual termi-
nal unit capacity control is best achieved by using some type of control on the air side of the
unit. Older natural convection units used manual dampers while face-and-bypass dampers
can be used with fan coil systems. A series loop may be used as a branch circuit of a larger
network if flow balancing valves or a secondary pump are used to regulate flow.

The one-pipe system is shown in Figure 4-5 where the main supply pipe is shown with the
terminal unit connections. The diverting tee on the supply side produces enough pressure
drop to permit the return water to re-enter the same pipe downstream. There are also some
diverting tees that are unique in that the water supply and return to and from the terminal
unit are provided in a single special diverting tee connection. These diverting tees direct
some of the flow into the terminal unit and produce enough pressure drop at the tee to
permit the water to flow through the unit and discharge back into the downstream side of the
tee. Manufacturers performance specifications for the diverting tees are critical to proper
system design. Because the terminal unit water supply and return come from the same pipe,
the unit must be able to operate with very low pressure drop and relatively low flow rates.

Figure 4-4. Split Series Piping Arrangement for Hot Water Heating System

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Figure 4-5. One-Pipe Network for Hot Water Heating System

Capacity control of the terminal units is often limited to simple on-off controls due to the
limited pressure and flow capacities.

A two-pipe reverse-return system is shown in Figure 4-6. The reverse-return concept is


used to provide nearly equal flow lengths for water flowing through any of the branch termi-
nal units, as illustrated in Figure 4-7. With nearly equal flow lengths and similar pipe and
terminal unit sizing, the network would be self-balancing with equal flow through each
terminal unit and with no balancing valves. This design greatly simplifies system controls
when multiple zones with similar load profiles are adjacent to each other. Variable capacity
may be best achieved on the air side, as water flow regulators would defeat the purpose of
the reverse-return design. The reverse-return design requires more pipe than the direct-
return design.

A two-pipe direct-return system is shown in Figure 4-8. Because the flow paths are differ-
ent for water flowing to each terminal unit, balancing valves are necessary for each circuit.
Flow regulating valves can be used to modulate the output capacity of the terminal units.
Pressure will be lowest at the unit on the longest run from the pump. A pressure sensor
located at that unit can be used to regulate pump output or to ensure that adequate pressure
is available at all other terminal units.

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Figure 4-6. Two-Pipe Reverse-Return Piping Network

Figure 4-7. Reverse-Return and Direct-Return Piping Networks

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Figure 4-8. Two-Pipe Direct-Return Piping Network

The pumping power of the direct-return system will be greater than for the reverse-return
system as a result of having balancing valves in the system. When a reverse-return arrange-
ment is applied to a similar system (as shown in Figure 4-9a), the short branch circuit will
need either a balancing valve or its own zone pump to establish proper flow in each terminal
unit. The zone pump (as shown in Figure 4-9b) may be the best choice depending on the
load characteristics of the short branch unit relative to the reverse-return units.

Figure 4-9a. Reverse-Return Network


With a Short Side Branch and Balancing Valves

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Figure 4-9b. Reverse-Return Network


With a Short Side Branch and Zone Pumps

A three-pipe system is shown in Figure 4-10. The three-pipe system can be used in a dual-
temperature system where a common return is used for both the boiler and the chiller. The
three-pipe system is a much simpler design than the four-pipe, but it suffers from high
operating costs because of the boiler and chiller fighting each other; at low load condi-
tions, some terminal units may be heating while others are cooling. The return water stream
is a mixture of the chilled water return and the hot water return, which results in a warm
return temperature for the chiller and a cool water temperature for the boiler. In effect, the
chiller is loading the boiler (and vice versa) by some of the return chilled water entering the
boiler feedwater. This effect is most pronounced at essentially a no-load condition.

The four-pipe system is also shown in Figure 4-10. Four-pipe systems are used where si-
multaneous heating and cooling capabilities in different zones are important. The major
problem with the two-pipe design is that it cannot easily switch from heating to cooling.
The changeover usually requires manual operations with a series of actions, such as open-
ing and closing various valves, opening and closing dampers, and starting up or shutting
down chillers or boilers. The worst condition for the two-pipe design is where the building
switches from heating to cooling and then later has cool days again that require heating. The
shoulder months (mild weather conditions) also pose a problem for the two-pipe system
because it can respond with heating-only or cooling-only in all zones. Consequently, the
two-pipe design cannot provide true year-round comfort conditioning. Because the four-
pipe design offers chilled and hot water continuously to each terminal unit, it provides the
greatest flexibility in system design and performance of any of the water systems, but usu-
ally with higher installation and operating costs.

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Figure 4-10. Two-Pipe, Three-Pipe and Four-Pipe Systems

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Pumping systems. The obvious key to achieving acceptable performance from each termi-
nal unit is to provide adequate amounts of supply water flow at the proper temperature for
each unit. Water pressure and temperature are important at all load conditions, not just at
design heating conditions. To understand what flow condition will actually result from a
particular piping network design, it is important to understand piping system characteristics
and pump curves. The basic relationship for a simple piping system can be represented by:

P = aQ 2 4-1

where P is the network pressure (or the pump pressure) and Q is the volume flow rate. The
coefficient a is simply a proportionality constant that is a composite result of friction, fit-
ting, coil and other pressure losses. The overall system characteristic can also be repre-
sented in a form like Equation 4-1 when parallel branch circuits are represented by an equiva-
lent single element, and all series elements are added together.

An example of a system characteristic curve is shown in Figure 4-11, where full flow design
conditions are shown as Curve A while Curve B may represent a part-load condition where
control valves may be partially closed. When a balancing valve is adjusted or a flow control
valve changes setting, the system curve will change from a given design condition. As flow
control valves close, the system becomes more restrictive, producing lower flow rates and
higher system pressures, with the entire system curve shifting to the left.

Figure 4-11. Pressure Drop Versus Flow Rate for Piping Systems

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The selection of the appropriate pump for a system depends on the flow rates that are re-
quired for the total system capacity and the pressure that is necessary to deliver that flow
through the piping network. The intersection of the system curve with the pump curve de-
termines the operating point for a given combination. Figure 4-12 shows how two different
sized pumps would produce different pressure and flow rates in the same piping network.
The energy consumption of a large pump will drop somewhat as its flow rate decreases, but
at low flow conditions, its efficiency begins to drop off rapidly and the motor drive power
decreases little.

Figure 4-12. Piping System Curve and Pump Curve Performance Matching

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems


4: 22

When flow rates are expected


to vary over a significant range
as the heating load conditions
vary, it is best to use a vari-
able speed pump or to use
multiple smaller pumps that
can be staged as the system
load increases. When pumps
are placed in parallel, their
flow rates add together at a
given pressure, so the com-
bined pump characteristic is
shown in Figure 4-13 for the
parallel pump case with two
identical pumps. The impact
on system flow rate and pres-
sure can be seen when the sys-
Figure 4-13. Performance Curve of
tem characteristic is overlaid Two Identical Pumps in Parallel
on the pump characteristics, as
in Figure 4-14. Pumps can
also be placed in series, with
the resulting effect shown in
Figure 4-15. The pressures of
two pumps in series will add
together at a given flow rate
through both pumps. Figure
4-16 illustrates the impact on
system pressure and flow
when series pumping is imple-
mented with equal size pumps.

Recent developments in elec-


tronic motor speed control per-
mit variable speed pump mo-
tors to be used where once they
were prohibitively expensive.
A variable speed pump is Figure 4-14. System Operating Characteristics
equivalent to having an infinite With a Single Pump or Two Pumps in Parallel
number of pump curves to

Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


4: 23

choose from. The system op-


erating point simply follows
the system curve to the vari-
ous speed conditions. A pump
operating initially at 500 rpm
and then raised to 1,000 rpm
would produce a pump curve
similar to the curve represent-
ing two identical 500 rpm
pumps in series, as in Figure
4-15. Obviously, all the oper-
ating conditions at intermedi-
ate speeds are also available
compared to being limited to
the one-pump or two-pump
options of the multiple pump
Figure 4-15. Performance Curve of
arrangement. Two Identical Pumps In Series

Figure 4-16. System Operating Characteristics


With a Single Pump and Two Pumps in Series

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems


4: 24

EXAMPLE 4-2

Problem: Consider the split series hot water system shown below. Based on representative
flow rates, you determine the following pressure-flow relationships from the piping geom-
etry and manufacturers specification sheets for the boiler and terminal units: Pcd =3 ft wg
at 20 gpm, Pab = 2 ft at 20 gpm, Pboiler = 15 ft at 20 gpm, PLeft = 20 ft at 10 gpm, PRight =
30 ft at 10 gpm. Determine the overall system characteristic for this piping network when
both balancing valves are assumed to be fully open.

Solution: This piping network problem has flow loops with some portions in parallel (the
left and right side loops) and others in series (boiler and pipe mains). The results will be
shown graphically, but the loop analysis will be performed algebraically to illustrate how
such calculations can be performed by hand or by using a computer. The piping network can
be reduced to a simplified diagram as shown below.

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4: 25

The calculations will be performed using the general pressure-flow relationship given in
Equation 4-1. For the parallel flow paths (left and right side loops):
PL = a L QL2

PR = a R QR2

and subject to the restrictions:


PL = PR

where, QTot = QL + QR

By using the expressions for PL and PR to solve for total combined flow rate through the
parallel branches, we get:

PL P 1 1
QTot = QL + QR = + R = + PR
aL a R a L a R

Solving for pressure yields:


2


1 aL aR
PR = QTot
2
= QTot
2
1 1
a + a
( aR + aL )
2

L R

The flow resistances for the boiler and the pipe mains, which are in series with the parallel
loops, can be added to the equivalent pipe resistance for the parallel components:

aseries = a B + aa d + a Par

We are ready to begin calculating the various coefficient values for the different compo-
nents using the head losses and flow rates that are given:

PB 15 ft
aB = = = 0.0375 ft / gpm2
QB ( 20 gpm)
2 2

5 ft
aa d = = 0.0125 ft / gpm2
(20 gpm) 2

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4: 26

20 ft
aL = = 0.20 ft / gpm2
(10 gpm) 2

30 ft
aR = = 0.30 ft / gpm2
(10 gpm) 2

The equivalent parallel resistance term is:

a Par =
a L aR
=
(0.2)(0.3) = 0.061 ft / gpm2
( ) ( )
2 2
aR + a L 0.2 + 0.3

aseries = a B + aa d + a Par = 0.0375 + 0.0125 + 0.061 = 0111


. ft / gpm2

The overall circuit flow and pressure relationship is then:


ft
PTot = aseries QTot
2
= 0.111 2
QTot
2

gpm

The pressure versus flow characteristic curves for the individual system components and
the total combined system are shown in the graph below. The same results could have been
obtained by combining the parallel and series components using graphical methods, al-
though certainly the results would not have been as accurate.

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EXAMPLE 4-3

Problem: You have the following pump operating points:


20 ft at 40 gpm
30 ft at 30 gpm
38 ft at 20 gpm
45 ft at 10 gpm
Using this pump with the piping network from Example 4-2, determine the total boiler flow
rate and the flow rates through the two parallel flow branches.

Solution: The operating point that results when a particular pump is connected to a particu-
lar piping network is found from the intersection of the pump curve and the system charac-
teristic curve. The four operating points for the pump are shown on the graph below along
with the total system characteristic curve computed in Example 4-2.

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4: 28

From the intersection point, total flow rate is estimated to be 19 gpm while the pump pres-
sure is about 39 ft of water. To find the flow through the parallel branches, the series pres-
sure loss part of the total pressure must be subtracted from the total pump pressure to get the
parallel branch pressure. Then the flow rate can be computed for each branch from the
branch loss coefficient:
P(boiler + mains ) = ( a B + aa d )QTot
2

ft
2 (
19 gpm)
2
= 0.050
gpm
= 18 ft
Pbranch = PTot Pboiler + mains
= 39 ft 18 ft
= 21 ft wg

Now the flow in each branch can be computed using the flow coefficient for each branch:

aL 21 ft
QL = = = 10.3 gpm
PL 0.20
ft
gpm2

21 ft
QR = = 8.4 gpm
ft
0.30
gpm2

This procedure would need to be followed to determine the flow rate through each branch
of a complex piping network. Fortunately, there are computer programs available that can
perform many of these detailed calculations. At this point, the pumps efficiency, horse-
power and motor kW could be determined from either graphical or tabular data to evaluate
its appropriateness for this network.

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Boilers. Boiler safety requires that pressure in the system be held below the system's maxi-
mum pressure rating. As water temperature increases, its density decreases, requiring more
volume for a given mass of water. The piping and boiler will also expand somewhat with
temperature, but usually not enough to compensate for the decrease in water density. Ex-
pansion tanks are a necessary part of hot water heating systems to compensate for the extra
internal volume needed when water temperatures change.

Figure 4-17 illustrates typical basic boiler connections to provide safe operation, including
the expansion tank. The required volume for a closed expansion tank can be determined
from the water volume in the system and the temperature change that it undergoes. Proce-
dures are outlined in the ASHRAE Air-Conditioning Systems Design Manual.1 Open ex-
pansion tanks are vented to the atmosphere. They permit the water to expand with no re-
striction or impact on system pressure, and so they are not size sensitive. However, open
expansion tanks can be used only on systems operating at temperatures less than 180F due
to the hot water flashing, evaporation losses and corrosion problems.

Figure 4-17. Basic Boiler Connections and Water-Side Safety Components

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Boilers can be a combustion type, fired by practically any available fuel. They can also be
electrically heated. The primary disadvantage of an electric boiler is the high electricity
cost. However, they are very compact, have no venting or combustion air requirements, and
can be located practically anywhere in the mechanical equipment room. In relatively small
commercial buildings, the reduction in installation costs for an electric boiler, combined
with lower electric rates for an all-electric facility may compensate for the higher electricity
costs. In larger facilities, the lower fuel costs can usually justify the added expense of a
combustion boiler. The ready availability of natural gas in metropolitan areas makes it the
fuel of choice for large boilers because it should require no pollution controls. Use of solid
fuel boilers is becoming increasingly rare in new commercial buildings, although coal boil-
ers may still be found in parts of the country where coal is abundant and cheap. Propane or
oil may be used as boiler fuels, although their higher fuel costs per Btu may make the
simpler electric boiler more competitive with them.

Control systems. There is a very wide variety of control devices that can be used with hot
water systems, mostly dependent on the size of the system and the type of terminal heat
transfer unit that is used. Small systems may have the boiler and pump energized together in
response to a call for heat from the thermostat in the heated space, although the boiler most
commonly is energized in response to a thermostat controller in the boiler water. Small
natural convection terminal units will need thermostats that energize the system pump. Small
systems with forced convection units may also require the system air handler fan to be
energized if it does not run continuously for ventilation.

Conventional low voltage thermostats that control electronic relays in the equipment are
commonly used for such simple on-off control applications. Pneumatic thermostats are com-
monly used in larger commercial buildings where pneumatic valves regulate the water flow
rate to either free convection or forced air terminal units. Most larger commercial buildings
built since 1990 have digital control systems with electronic control valves. One major
advantage of digital systems in larger commercial buildings is that they can easily be moni-
tored and controlled by central energy management systems.

A dual-temperature two-pipe system requires more complex valving and controls because it
must serve both heating and cooling functions, ideally at all part-load conditions. Figure
4-18 shows a simple two-pipe dual-temperature system using a single pump with a boiler
and a chiller. The two-position valves are needed to isolate the boiler when the chiller is in
use, and vice versa. The modulating valves permit the boiler and chiller to follow the load of
the building when the terminal units are not at design load conditions. Alternatively, the
modulating valves can be located at the zones, as shown in Figure 4-19, where they can
respond individually to one or more terminal unit loads.

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Figure 4-18. Two-Pipe Dual Temperature System With Boiler and Chiller

Figure 4-19. Two-Pipe Multizone Dual Temperature System With Zone Valves

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems


4: 32

An alternate method is the use of zone pumps, where each terminal unit pump draws from
the main water loop the amount of water needed for the load requirements of the one or
more units served by that pump. The two-pipe zone pump arrangement is shown in Figure
4-20.

Figure 4-20. Two-Pipe Multizone Dual Temperature System With Zone Pumps

The biggest disadvantage of the two-pipe system is the need for twice-a-year switchovers
between heating and cooling. The simplest way to accomplish this two-pipe switchover is
to have two-way valves on the boiler and chiller that can close off the component not cur-
rently needed, as shown in Figure 4-21. A more complex valve arrangement is typically
used for safety and to provide better part-load control during mild load conditions.

A two-pipe system will normally not meet the building load at all times due to the effort
needed to convert from heating to cooling. A three-pipe or four-pipe system can be designed
that does not need to be switched with the change in seasons. Figure 4-22 shows the basic
piping arrangement needed for a typical multizone three-pipe system. The more common
design is the four-pipe system, shown in Figure 4-23, although either design should be able
to provide comfortable conditions in any zone at any time of the year. The significant energy
penalty produced by the common return of the three-pipe system can usually justify the use
of the somewhat more complex four-pipe design.

Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


4: 33

Figure 4-21. Simple Changeover Controls Using Two-Way Valve on Boiler

Figure 4-22. Three-Pipe Dual Temperature System

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems


4: 34

Obviously, quite a bit of expertise is required to design the hot water system for a large
commercial building with many zones. The designer must be familiar with the local codes
regarding plumbing materials, contractor certification and inspection requirements. As will
be seen later, there are numerous other options to using hot water systems to heat a building,
some of which may have lower first-cost and equal or lower operating costs.

Figure 4-23. Four-Pipe Dual Temperature System With Single Coil


(Interior Zones) and Double Coil (Exterior Zones) Terminal Units

Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


4: 35

EXAMPLE 4-4

Problem: Consider the piping network and pump of Example 4-3. The flow through the left
branch is too high, so the balancing valve must be closed down somewhat to reduce the
flow rate. If the flow should be about 8 gpm in the left branch, determine the new branch
flows if the left branch flow resistance is increased by 20% as a result of closing down the
balancing valve.

Solution: By simply increasing the left branch flow resistance coefficient by 20%, one would
hope that QL would be reduced by a similar amount. Replacing the value of aL with 1.2 x
0.20 = 0.24 ft/gpm2, and reproducing the calculations of Example 4-2, we arrive at:
a par = 0.067 ft / gpm2

aTot = 0117
. ft / gpm2

Using the total piping network coefficient, we can plot another system characteristic curve
(shown below), which is based on the graph from Example 4-3. Note that partly closing one
valve caused the overall flow rate to drop and the pump pressure to increase. The intersec-
tion with the pump curve gives:
QTot = 18.3 gpm
PTot = 39.2 ft

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems


4: 36

Repeating the calculations of Example 4-3 for these conditions, we arrive at:

PPar = 22.5 ft

22.5 ft
QL = = 9.7 gpm
ft
0.24
gpm2

22.5 ft
QR = = 8.7 gpm
ft
0.30
gpm2

It should be interesting to note that even though the flow resistance of the left branch was
increased by 20%, the flow rate in that branch decreased by only about 5%. At the same
time, the flow rate in the right branch increased by about 4%. When flow resistance is
increased in one branch of a parallel network, some of the flow will shift to other parts of
the parallel network.

Manual balancing of piping networks over a wide range of necessary flow conditions can be
quite difficult, because a simple adjustment in one flow control valve can affect the flow
rate and pressure through every other part of the network. To reach the target of 8 gpm in the
left branch of this problem, the left balancing valve would have to be made much more
restrictive, while the balancing valve in the right branch would also have to be closed down
somewhat to keep the flow rate in that branch from increasing significantly. Automatic
controllers must continually receive feedback so they can adjust in response to setting changes
of controllers in other parts of the system.

Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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STEAM SYSTEMS

Although hot water and steam heating systems are yielding ground to all-air and combined
air-water heating and cooling distribution systems, there will always be applications where
the water or steam system is needed. All-air heating systems provide for simple distribution
of outdoor air to all zones and are easily integrated with forced air cooling systems. How-
ever, there are many retrofit cases where adequate space needed for the large duct systems is
not available, and only the much smaller water or steam pipes can fit in the limited overhead
or wall spaces. An approximate rule-of-thumb to remember is that a 1 in. hot water pipe can
carry three times the heating capacity of a 12 in. round air duct, and requires only about 20%
of the prime mover energy.

Steam-based heating systems take advantage of the phase change latent heat of water to
deliver heat from the boiler to the terminal units. Steam applications are mechanically sim-
pler in design than hot water systems. No pump is required as a prime mover because the
steam provides its own pressure source when generated in the boiler. Many of the same
design piping techniques used for hot water systems can be used to ensure uniform steam
delivery to multiple terminal units. The boiler itself will require additional safety devices to
prevent possible explosive situations from developing.

One of the major accomplishments of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers has
been its steam boiler safety codes that were initiated in the 19th Century when scores of
deaths occurred annually from steam boiler explosions both in buildings and in mobile
applications. Today, all boilers and heat exchangers in steam heating systems should be
constructed and labeled according to the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code.

Steam heating systems have the same basic components as hot water systems, except for the
main pump. A few components are unique to steam systems, such as steam traps and air
vents. The terminal heat transfer units are essentially the same for steam as for hot water,
although the internal piping may differ to accommodate the flow of the steam condensate
from the unit. Due to steams low density relative to water, steam can be used in high-rise
applications without the high hydrostatic pressure buildup in the lower floors that is pro-
duced by hot water systems.

Steam systems fit only two basic types: the low pressure system for working pressures of 15
psig or less; and high pressure systems with working pressures of 15 psig and greater. Steam
is appropriate for use in heating systems when there are process applications for the use of
steam in the facility and where the medium must travel long distances (such as district
heating applications). It can also be used advantageously where the heating loads may change
dramatically, as steam systems can more easily follow wide swings in the load conditions
than hot water systems.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems


4: 38

The main components of steam heating systems are the terminal heat transfer units, the
piping network, the boiler and the control system. Additional components are steam traps
(which essentially replace the flow valves in hot water systems) and condensate pumps.
Steam systems are often used with waste heat recovery (such as in cogeneration) and so may
require a special heat recovery generator rather than a conventional boiler.

Terminal heat transfer units. The same type of terminal heat transfer units can generally be
used with steam heating systems as with hot water systems. Because steam systems usually
operate at higher temperatures than the low temperature type of hot water systems, the heat
output of natural convection terminal units will usually be greater. Because the same units
may be used for either, different heat rating factors must be considered for the different
temperature fluids. Table 4-2 gives the I=B=R factors for heat output comparisons of finned
tube baseboard terminal units when using hot water versus low pressure steam.

Table 4-2. Factors to Convert I=B=R


Steam Capacity Ratings to Hot Water Ratings*

Water Water
Factor Factor
Temperature (F) Temperature (F)
100 0.15 185 0.73

110 0.2 190 0.78

120 0.26 195 0.82

130 0.33 200 0.86

140 0.4 205 0.91

150 0.45 210 0.95

155 0.49 215 1

160 0.53 220 1.05

165 0.57 225 1.09

170 0.61 230 1.14

175 0.65 235 1.2

180 0.69 240 1.25

*For finned tube natural convection terminal units having water velocities of 3.0 fps and at the average
temperatures listed.

Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


4: 39

Piping network. The steam piping system will be substantially different from the hot water
piping network. Steam piping should have a downward pitch in each run so that the conden-
sate will collect and be trapped so it can flow into the condensate return pipe. While there
are several different types of steam traps (as shown in Figure 4-24), the most common is
one of the mechanical types where a float mechanism opens a drain orifice once the conden-
sate reaches a certain level.

Figure 4-24. Mechanical Acting Steam Traps

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems


4: 40

The steam trap is an integral part of the steam piping system as it serves to retain the steam
pressure on the supply side of the system while allowing the liquid condensate to flow into
the condensate return line. A faulty steam trap can permit steam to blow through the trap,
resulting in low steam pressure throughout the system and steam returning to the boiler
feedwater pump. In a worst case situation, the steam could be vented or leak from deterio-
rated condensate return piping in an out-of-the-way location, producing a tremendous loss
of energy and water while going undetected for a long time.

Figure 4-25 shows a one-


pipe system where the steam
main also serves as conden-
sate return in a single con-
tinuous loop. The more com-
mon type is the two-pipe sys-
tem, shown in Figure 4-26.
The main supply pipe has to
be trapped, as well as each
terminal unit, to drain off the
Figure 4-25. One-Pipe
condensate. The condensate
Steam Distribution System
can return by either gravity
or by using a condensate
pump. Only in relatively
small systems with short pipe
runs can a gravity condensate
return work reliably. It is
more important to insulate
steam lines than hot water
system piping because the
steam temperature is nor-
mally higher and will pro-
duce greater heat losses.

Figure 4-26. Two-Pipe


Steam Distribution System

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4: 41

Steam boiler. The steam boiler will be somewhat different from the hot water boiler in that
it must have a blowdown or blowoff capability to discharge the accumulation of water
hardness compounds left behind after the liquid water has evaporated. When steam is vented
or used for process applications, the compounds (carbonates, nitrates, etc.) that were dis-
solved in the water remain behind in the boiler and must be discharged before they precipi-
tate out as a solid. In addition, the boiler water level must be maintained for proper heat
transfer and temperature control.

Figure 4-27 illustrates the various controls or connections that must be made at the boiler
for proper operation. Pressure is generally used to control boiler operation, although tem-
perature can also be used because the pressure and temperature are related via the saturation
properties of water. Steam pressure in the 0-15 psig range is usually adequate for space
heating applications. The additional investment needed for a high pressure class of equip-
ment is seldom necessary for space heating systems unless there are also process heating
applications requiring higher temperatures.

Figure 4-27. Pipe Connections for a Steam Boiler

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Control systems. Steam control by necessity must be quite different from hot water control-
lers that regulate either water temperature or water flow rate. The methods to control the
heat output of steam terminal units are: provide intermittent steam input to the terminal
unit; vary the steam temperature to each unit; or vary the quantity of steam delivered to each
unit.

Intermittent flow controllers essentially cycle the steam on and off at the terminal unit in
response to a signal from the space thermostat. The valves usually operate full open or full
closed. The controllers can be integrated into computer control systems and may be capable
of intelligent recovery after nighttime setback. Thermostatic valves regulate the steam flow
in response to the thermostat signal using variable opening valves actuated either electri-
cally or by pneumatic pressure. These valves can be operated by a centralized control sys-
tem. Steam temperature, and hence heating capacity, in the terminal units can also be con-
trolled by regulating the steam pressure within the unit. Variable vacuum systems maintain
a certain vacuum level in the supply and return lines to control the steam condensing tem-
perature. Pressure differential controllers use orifices to regulate steam mass flow rate in
combination with either manual or automatic pressure regulating control valves.

CENTRAL WARM AIR SYSTEMS

The application of air conditioning (comfort cooling) to practically all large commercial
buildings in the United States has resulted in a trend away from hot water or steam heating
systems toward the use of all-air systems. Comfort cooling will virtually always be per-
formed with a forced air system, so a hot water or steam piping system results in two dis-
tinct heating and cooling distribution systems in the same building. Because most large
commercial buildings will be cooling dominated, the HVAC design often goes to an all-air
system, which often sacrifices some measure of heating comfort in the space. Hot water or
steam heating systems are more commonly used in severe heating climates where heating
and cooling requirements are more balanced, or where heating may dominate.

Because cooling often is the dominant load in larger commercial buildings and heating may
not be needed at all in the interior core areas, larger all-air systems may be designed around
cooling operation. Interior core areas will usually be served by a different distribution sys-
tem than the exterior zones. Smaller buildings will usually have a single distribution system
because interior core spaces may constitute a small part of the system load.

The types of systems that fit into the all-air category are: single zone, reheat, variable air
volume (VAV), dual duct and multizone. The primary feature that is common to all these
systems is that all the heating and cooling functions are performed remote to the zone to be

Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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conditioned and the warm or cool air is ducted to the zone. Return air is ducted back to the
central air handler from the zone. The air handling equipment and ductwork can become
quite large as the building gets beyond 50,000 ft2 in size, so the equipment is often placed in
basement mechanical rooms or rooftop penthouses to reduce noise levels in the occupied
space and the loss of expensive habitable space.

To understand why there are so many types of all-air systems, you must understand how
basic heating and cooling are performed. The heating effect of an air stream is the product of
the air flow rate and the energy difference between the supply (entering) air and the return
(leaving) air. To control the heating effect, you can either regulate the duration of the air
flow (on-off controls) or the volume of the air flow (VAV) when the supply air temperature
is held constant or is unregulated. Alternatively, you can provide constant air flow (constant
volume) and regulate the temperature of the supply air.

The different all-air systems perform these heating methods in different ways that are con-
sistent with the need for simultaneous cooling and heating in different zones and the system
complexity that would be affordable to construct and operate. The supply air temperature
can be regulated by electric resistance heaters or hot water coils in the zone or by mixing hot
and cool air. In most cases, the regulation process is controlled by the zone thermostat. The
air mixing process can use either neutral air (from the space) or cold air from the chiller.

A central multizone system will have a fairly standard air handler, such as shown in Figure
4-28. Depending on the system's size, there may not be a return fan. For constant volume
systems, the supply fan runs at essentially a constant speed without any type of control
system to regulate speed or fan pressure. The bypass damper is often set to provide a cool-
ing economizer cycle, where the relief air and outdoor air dampers can be fully opened
while the bypass damper is closed. These damper positions provide 100% outdoor air when
the outdoor conditions are appropriate for free cooling.

As illustrated in Example 4-1, there are many hours when cooling is required even though
the outdoor air temperature is much lower than the indoor setpoint temperature. Even if the
outdoor air is not cool enough to properly cool the space, it would still reduce chiller energy
consumption as long as the outdoor air energy content is below the energy content of the
return air. The economizer cycle thus opens to 100% outdoor air whenever the outdoor
temperature is below the return air temperature, but above the normal cool air supply tem-
perature. Below the normal supply air temperature, the outdoor air and bypass dampers are
modulated to mix the two air streams to produce the normal supply air temperature without
need for the chiller. There will be an outdoor temperature below which the dampers should
be set to minimum outdoor air flow rates so that the hot water or chilled water coils do not
freeze up. The dampers are usually set to minimum outdoor air flow whenever the outdoor

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems


4: 44

Figure 4-28. Components in a Typical Central Air Handler

air temperature is above room temperature. The potential for a centralized economizer cycle
gives the central all-air system a potentially big advantage in operating cost over cooling
systems without the economizer cycle. There are very few applications where a heating
economizer cycle is possible.

Perhaps the simplest central multizone system is the single-duct, electric terminal reheat
system. A single duct carries cooled air from the air handler to each zone, as shown in
Figure 4-29. A zone thermostat energizes the electric reheat coil to raise the supply air
temperature as needed to provide the necessary heating or cooling. In this application, the
chiller is called to run continuously at or near its design capacity, even when only one zone
in the space may need cooling.

Electric terminal reheat systems were popular in the United States in the 1960s and early
1970s when energy prices were very low. These systems are very energy inefficient and
costly to operate because the heating and cooling systems are working against each other at
all but design cooling conditions. However, they are very simple to control and inexpensive
to install because they use a single duct and low cost electric heating elements. Electric
terminal reheat systems provide excellent space conditioning, producing the ultimate in
zone flexibility and temperature, humidity and IAQ control. Many commercial buildings

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Figure 4-29. Terminal Reheat System

with electric terminal reheat were retrofit to other systems in the late 1970s and early 1980s
when energy prices increased. Other terminal reheating sources can be used, such as a hot
water coil, but the added expense of the coil and water piping would negate much of the
first-cost advantage of the reheat system.

The counterpart to the single-duct constant volume terminal reheat system is the single-duct
VAV system. As can be seen in Figure 4-30, this system looks much the same as the termi-
nal reheat system, except that instead of varying the supply temperature with an artificial
heating load, the VAV system varies the air flow rate while holding the supply air tempera-
ture constant. Reheat may be necessary at very low zone cooling loads to prevent overcooling
the space. The variable air damper should not be able to reduce the supply air flow rate
below about 30% to 40% of design flow rate to maintain acceptable air movement and
outdoor ventilation air. The VAV system works well in cooling-only mode, but still requires
a double expenditure of energy in most heating conditions. It also provides an important
operating economy in fan energy.

In most large buildings, the annual energy consumption for air moving devices may ap-
proach 40% of the total building HVAC consumption. The VAV system not only allows the

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Figure 4-30. VAV System With Terminal Reheat

chiller to follow the building cooling load (as air flow rates drop, it takes less chiller capac-
ity to provide a certain supply air temperature), but also saves fan horsepower in the pro-
cess. The power consumption of fans and pumps ideally vary as the flow rate is raised to the
third power. That means if flow rate is doubled, the fan horsepower goes up to 23 or eight
times the power consumption. Conversely, if the air flow rate is cut in half, the fan power
drops to 1/8 of what it was at the full flow level. VAV systems will usually have a fan system
with some kind of variable speed control to take advantage of the potential for fan energy
operating savings. Actual fan energy savings will be less than this amount due to higher
pressure requirements of dampers and flow controllers at the lower flow conditions, as well
as the fact that real fans will not follow the fan law relationships exactly.

The next level of equipment options deals with dual duct designs where both warm air and
cold air are provided to each zone. Figure 4-31 illustrates the constant volume dual duct
concept, where a mixing box located in each zone takes the two air streams and mixes them
according to what is needed for that zones space conditioning requirements. The zone
thermostat regulates the mixing process by means of dampers in the mixing box. This type
of system is also particularly energy wasteful at part-load conditions because it mixes heated
and cooled air to produce a moderate supply air temperature. For example, if there are

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Figure 4-31. Dual Duct System

absolutely no heating or cooling requirements in any zone, the chiller and the boiler would
each still be running at nearly 50% load just to cancel each other out. Essentially, the mixing
process uses the chiller or the boiler to produce an artificial load on the other system for the
sake of flexibility and system control. However, there are ways to make these systems more
economical. For example, the hot deck temperature can be lowered in summer when little,
if any, heating is needed, or the cold deck temperature allowed to rise in winter when the
outdoor air is naturally drier anyway.

A variation on the dual duct system is the multizone system which performs the exact same
mixing process for an individual zone, but the mixing occurs at the air handler in the me-
chanical room rather than at the zone itself. Figure 4-32 shows a comparison between the
dual duct and the multizone systems. Because the multizone performs the mixing in the
mechanical room, only one duct runs to each zone. However, the multizone has definite
limitations on how many zones can be accommodated from a single air handler before the
space taken up in the mechanical room and the space for the many individual duct systems
become too cumbersome. Both of these systems should provide excellent flexibility and
control, just like the terminal reheat system, with likely better humidity control due to the
coil bypass. The dual duct and multizone system are somewhat more economical because
their chillers and boilers follow the building load somewhat, while the terminal reheat chiller
runs at full capacity constantly.

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Figure 4-32. Comparison of Dual Duct and Multizone Systems

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Control of a dual duct or multizone system occurs by means of a throttling temperature


range. This is illustrated in Figure 4-33, where the air from the two ducts is linearly mixed
between the heating and the cooling setpoint temperatures, providing a constant air flow
rate to the zone at all times. The throttling range essentially compresses the entire range of
the zone heating and cooling load within a narrow temperature range, where the lower end
of the range is the full design heating condition and the upper end is the full design cooling
condition. Zone temperatures outside of the throttling range should occur only when ex-
treme conditions produce loads larger than the equipment was designed to handle. Supply
air temperature will be equal to the hot deck temperature whenever the zone temperature
drops to the lower throttling temperature or below. It will be equal to the cold deck tempera-
ture whenever the zone temperature rises to the upper throttling temperature or higher. The
supply air temperature will be a linear mix of the hot and cold deck temperatures at zone
temperatures in between the two ends of the range.

A variation of the standard dual duct or multizone system is the three-deck multizone sys-
tem, whereby a neutral, or unconditioned, air duct is added to the supply air distribution
system. The neutral deck temperature will depend on the zone temperatures, the outdoor
temperature and the percent of outdoor air that is being brought into the system. This three-
deck multizone system is illustrated in Figure 4-34. The reason for introducing the third air
duct is that it prevents having to mix the hot deck air with the cold deck air to produce a
neutral supply air at low zone load conditions. When the zone heating/cooling load is zero,

Figure 4-33. Air Flow in a Constant Volume Dual Duct System

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Figure 4-34. Constant Volume Three-Deck Multizone System

the three-deck system performs only the cooling or heating that is needed to overcome the
load of the outdoor air that is in the neutral air stream. In this system, a portion of the
outdoor air is conditioned in the zone mixing boxes rather than entirely in the central air
handler as in most other central all-air systems. The neutral deck is used to temper the hot
air when heating and the cold air when cooling, but the hot and cold air streams are never
mixed together.

This concept is illustrated in the throttling schematic shown in Figure 4-35. It should also
be noted that the zone temperature range will, almost by necessity, be expanded to accom-
modate the two different mixing processes. This system overcomes the inefficiency of mix-
ing two conditioned air streams at part-load conditions. It permits the chiller and the boiler
to follow the actual room and outdoor air load exactly without introducing an artificial load
to balance the system. The added cost to achieve this level of efficiency is the extra ductwork
and more complicated mixing boxes and control systems.

The final variation of the dual duct system is the VAV dual duct arrangement. In Figure
4-31, instead of the single constant volume fan in the central air handler, two variable vol-
ume fans are used, one for each air stream. Figure 4-36 shows the mixing process that is

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Figure 4-35. Air Flow in a Constant Volume Three-Deck Multizone System

Figure 4-36. Air Flow in a VAV Dual Duct System

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produced by this VAV arrangement. At design heating load, the hot deck air flows into the
zone at full design capacity. As the heating load decreases, the hot air flow rate decreases
accordingly until a lower air flow limit is reached. To keep adequate air movement and to
introduce adequate outdoor air into the space, a minimum air flow rate must be maintained.
At that condition, cold air is gradually mixed in so that the combination will always main-
tain the minimum air flow. At zero load, the hot air and cold air streams mix about equally
at a combined rate of the minimum air flow. As the cooling load increases, the hot air flow
decreases and the cold air flow increases, until the cold air flow equals the minimum air
flow rate, at which point the hot air flow stops. For cooling loads beyond that point, the cold
air flow rate increases up to the design cooling load condition.

At first, this VAV dual duct system may seem to be little different than the regular dual duct
system, but with just a different throttling range. The important effect is that, ideally, fan
power consumption varies as flow rate is raised to the third power. Over most of its operat-
ing time, this VAV dual duct system will operate at combined flow rates equal to the mini-
mum flow condition, and so should experience substantial savings in fan energy, possibly
on the order of 20% of total annual HVAC energy consumption.

Central all-air systems obviously have the potential to exactly follow the building heating
and cooling demands, but at the expense of system cost (extra ductwork and controls) and
complexity. The design engineer must weigh these factors together when designing an all-
air system for each application to determine which provides the best match for the building
owner and occupants.

EXAMPLE 4-5

Problem: Consider a commercial building with a design block heating load of 1,000,000
Btu/h and a design block cooling load of 840,000 Btu/h. It has a boiler with an average
efficiency of 80% and the chiller has an average efficiency of 0.7 kW/ton, including auxil-
iaries. The air handler is rated at 400 cfm/ton of cooling and the fan consumes 350 W per
1,000 cfm for the given duct system at full air flow. Electricity costs $0.07/kWh and gas
costs $5.00 per million Btu. Plot the operating costs per hour as a function of net building
load for: constant volume electric reheat; constant volume dual duct; three-deck multizone;
and dual duct VAV systems (40% minimum flow). Do not account for outdoor air loads or
cooling economizer cycles because they will depend on local climate and should apply
equally to all of these systems.

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Solution: A number of the operating cost components can be computed and used in com-
mon with all the systems:
400 cfm
Air flow: 840,000 Btu / h cooling = 28,000 cfm
12,000 Btu / h

0.7 kW $0.07
Cooling: 840,000 Btu / h = $3.43 / h electricity costs
12,000 Btu / h kWh

1,000,000 Btu / h $5.00


Heating: = $6.25 / h gas costs
0.8 1,000,000 Btu

0.35 kW $0.07
Fan power: 28,000 cfm = 9.8 kW = $0.69 / h
1,000 cfm kWh

Because the heating and cooling design capacities are not equal, the percent air flow from
either the hot or cold deck of one of the systems will not translate to the equivalent net load.
That is, if there was equal air flow from the hot deck and the cold deck of the dual duct
system, these flow streams would still provide a net heating capacity of (500,000 - 420,000)
= 80,000 Btu/h. The flow fraction can be easily found by combining the gross heating or
cooling effects to produce the net effect:
F (840,000) (1 F ) (1,000,000) = Net Load

where F is the fraction of the total air coming from the cold deck. Solving for F gives:
1,000,000 + Net Load
F=
1,840,000

In this equation, because we are solving for the fraction of the air coming from the cold
deck, a net cooling load is considered positive and a net heating load is given a negative
sign. For a net load of zero, the air would split 54.4% from the cold deck and 45.6% from
the hot deck.

Constant Volume Electric Resistance Terminal Reheat: For this system, the
chiller runs constantly at full capacity. The electric reheat goes from zero at full
design cooling to a maximum at full design heating. At the design heating con-
dition, it must compensate for both the 1,000,000 Btu/h building heat losses, but
also the chiller capacity of 840,000 Btu/h. The fan power is constant over all
conditions. The plot of operating costs versus load is shown in Figure EX4-5.1.

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Total costs are the sum of the electric resistance reheat, the chiller load and the
fan power. From this graph, it is obvious that electric resistance terminal reheat
systems should not be employed in a cold climate.
Constant Volume Dual Duct: Because the dual duct system varies the air flow
linearly between all heating and all cooling, we get simple straight line relation-
ships between the heating design conditions and the cooling design conditions,
with constant fan power. Figure EX4-5.2 shows the cost relationships for this
system.
Three-Deck Multizone: This system does not mix air from the hot and cold air
decks, so the boiler and chiller loads reflect the actual building load. Some out-
door air load would be conditioned in the zone mixing box, but this is not con-
sidered here because we are considering the outdoor air load as being equivalent
in all these examples. Figure EX4-5.3 gives the operating cost relationships for
the three-deck multizone system.

Figure EX4-5.1 Electric Terminal Reheat Operating Costs

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Figure EX4-5.2. Constant Volume Dual Duct Operating Costs

Figure EX4-5.3. Three-Deck Multizone Operating Costs

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VAV Dual Duct: This system will allow the boiler and chiller to follow the
building load down to the 40% load condition, at which point it mixes the two
streams so it can maintain the 40% minimum air flow rate. For this variable fan
power case, the full-load fan power is multiplied times the percent air flow rate
raised to the third power. At the 40% flow condition,
Ideal VAV Fan Power = Full Load Power ( % Flow )
3

= 9.8 kW ( 0.40)
3

= 0.63 kW
Because of the cubic power relationship, fan power drops off rapidly from
either design condition. The graph for the VAV dual duct system is shown in
Figure EX4-5.4.

Figure EX4-5.4. VAV Dual Duct Operating Costs

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Figure EX4-5.5 com-


pares the total system
costs for each of these
distribution systems.
From this example, you
can conclude that mix-
ing of two air streams
that you paid to condi-
tion is a costly way to
handle part-load condi-
tions in a building. The
three-deck and the VAV
dual duct systems most
closely follow the
building load without
much mixing of air
streams and so should
be the most economical
to operate. The termi-
nal reheat system
should not use electric
resistance heat because
it is by far the most ex-
pensive heat source,
even though it may be
the cheapest to install.
A cooling economizer
cycle would be able to
Figure EX4-5.5. Operating Cost
reduce the cooling re- Comparisons of All System Types
quirements of these
buildings. Due to the
occupancy and lighting loads of most commercial buildings, the hours per year at which the
heating conditions are experienced may be relatively few, primarily when the building is
unoccupied.

These graphs are based on the overall block load of the building, but must be interpreted
differently if simultaneous heating and cooling are being used. The boiler and chiller curves
can be used for cumulative heating zones and cooling zones added separately, but the fan
power would have to be added to the total. For instance, with the CV dual duct system, if

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cooling zones totaled 200,000 Btu/h and heating zones totaled 700,000 Btu/h, the chiller
costs would be about $2.20 for the cooling zones and $0.55 for the heating zones. The boiler
costs would be about $2.15 for the cooling zones and about $5.25 for the heating zones. The
overall fan cost would be the same regardless of the split between heating versus cooling.

The analysis can get more complicated with the VAV system because some zones may be
above the minimum flow condition while others are in the mixing flow part of the curve.
These curves are intended to show general trends. If accurate operating costs are really
needed, an hour-by-hour computer model should be implemented on a zone-by-zone basis
to treat the zones individually while producing the combined cumulative effect on the chiller
and boiler.

COMBINED SYSTEMS

As illustrated in Example 4-5, if mixing of heated and cooled air streams is necessary, it is
important to use a low cost heating fuel. In addition, the cost of multiple sets of large air
ducts in the space can make the overall dimensions of the building increase, adding to total
project costs. A more optimum arrangement may be to have a single duct system that carries
cooled air, and mix the cooled air in the individual zones with heat from a hot water system
as necessary. This arrangement reduces the volume occupied by ductwork within the build-
ing, and permits the use of a single large boiler to take advantage of economies of scale and
cheaper heating fuels.

Such systems would be similar to the electric resistance terminal reheat system, except for
the heat source in the zone. It can be noted that if the heat source for the terminal reheat
system in Example 4-5 was hot water from the boiler rather than electric resistance heat, the
total cost at design heating conditions would have been about one-third what is shown in
Figure EX4-5.5.

There are several types of combined systems where air and water are delivered to the zones
for heating and cooling. They have several features in common. The air stream ducted to the
zone from the central air handler is cooled and dehumidified and is referred to as the pri-
mary air. It usually has a constant volume flow rate and contains the preconditioned out-
door air for the buildings ventilation air needs. There can be either a hot water heating coil,
or both heating and cooling coils in the zone unit. If a cooling coil is used in the zone unit,
the primary air may be dehumidified sufficiently to prevent any condensate from being
formed on the cooling coil in the zone unit, thereby simplifying the unit design and elimi-
nating the need for condensate drains in the zones. Figure 4-37 illustrates the role of the
primary air in these combined air and water systems.

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Figure 4-37. Primary Air System in a Combined Air-Water System

A major reason for providing cooled primary air and another cooling coil in the zone unit is
to reduce the size of the air ducts in the space and to minimize the mixing of heated and
cooled air. For example, water flowing in a 1 in. pipe can carry essentially the same heating
or cooling capacity as air in a 2 ft diameter duct. Thus, using the ducted primary air only for
outdoor air and humidity control minimizes the duct sizes and reduces the building space
lost to mechanical systems. Most of the air that passes through the zone air handling unit for
comfort conditioning is recirculated from within the zone and is never ducted back and
forth between the zone and the central air handler.

The most common types of air and water combined systems are induction systems and fan
coil systems. Both types may have a single heating coil or both heating and cooling coils in
either two-pipe or four-pipe configurations. The fan coil unit is sometimes referred to as a
fan powered box.

The induction system is shown in Figure 4-38. The principle of operation of the induction
unit is that primary air forced through flow nozzles in the unit creates a low pressure zone
that can then draw in, or induce, additional air from the room over the heat exchanger coil.
This system has no powered components in the zones, but obviously requires more power-
ful primary air fans to produce the pressures needed to induce adequate air flow. The bal-
ancing damper can be used to further regulate the induction air. A condensate pan may be
inside the unit, but it may serve as a temporary holding pan and not be drained away.

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Figure 4-38. Air-Water Induction System

The primary air should be dry enough to normally prevent the steady production of conden-
sate. The induction unit may be floor-mounted near a window and function like a unit ven-
tilator. The unit can have the primary air shut off during winter and still provide adequate
heated air movement by natural convection to prevent freezing conditions when the space is
unoccupied. The induced pressures in these systems are so low that air filters cannot be used
as they would restrict the flow too much. These units also tend to be noisy and require
sound-absorbing linings because of the high nozzle velocities needed for adequate flow
induction.

The fan coil unit, or fan powered box, is the most common air and water system. It provides
the flexibility to circulate adequate, and possibly variable, amounts of air in the zone, to
filter the air, and easily perform both heating and cooling functions. An example of a con-
sole unit mounted on an outside wall that draws in outdoor air directly is shown in Figure
4-39. These units may also be installed in overhead ceiling spaces or in small interior me-
chanical closets if primary air is ducted to them. They may be vented directly into the space
or have short ductwork to one or more supply registers. With adequate heating and cooling
capabilities in each zone, the primary air temperature may be permitted to rise from summer

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Figure 4-39. Fan Coil Air-Water System

to winter and reduce the central chiller load in winter when outdoor humidity levels are low.
Because of the distributed fan coil units, there is little chance that a cooling economizer
cycle can be implemented in the small zone units. The economizer cycle can be used by the
central air handler with the primary air, but its overall effectiveness is reduced due to the
limited volume of the primary air stream.

Two-pipe or four-pipe arrangements can both be implemented with these fan coil units. The
two-pipe arrangement is simpler to install, but as with the all-water systems, it cannot con-
trol the space conditions during variable loads like the four-pipe system. Satisfactory per-
formance depends on the switchover temperature and the consistency of weather conditions
afterwards. Figures 4-40 and 4-41 show examples of two-pipe and four-pipe systems with
separate circuits for the primary water loop circuit and the chiller. Figure 4-42 shows a four-
pipe system where the primary and secondary water loops are mixed. Because of the vari-
able water flow rates that may be needed in the fan coil units and the impact that variable
flow may have on the performance of the chiller, it is usually much simpler to keep the two
flow streams separated by a heat exchanger.

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Figure 4-40. Two-Pipe Air-Water System


With Separate Chiller and Zone Water Circuits

One parameter that is useful in determining the proper switchover point for a two-pipe
system is called the Air-to-Transmission (A/T) Index. The transmission part of the index is
the steady state heat transmission per degree Fahrenheit (the space UA value), while the air
part of the index is the primary air flow rate. This A/T index is useful to categorize the
different zones so it will be known which zone may be overcooled by the primary air on
mild cooling days, or which zone will lack sufficient heat on mild heating days after switch-
ing the primary air to cooling. The typical changeover range may be in the 30 to 40F
range.

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Figure 4-41. Four-Pipe Air-Water System


With Separate Chiller and Zone Water Circuits

Figure 4-42. Four-Pipe Air-Water System


With Mixed Chiller and Zone Water Circuits

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Figure 4-43 shows typical primary air and secondary water temperatures that may be used
in system changeover. The primary air will be warm in winter and cool in summer, while
the secondary water will be cold in summer and hot in winter. In two-pipe designs, the
secondary water coil in the fan coil unit carries the entire heating load in winter and is
tempered by the cooler primary air. For interior zones without heating requirements, the
primary air must be adequate to cool the interior spaces in winter without a cold secondary
water supply. In summer, the primary air provides some sensible cooling and all the dehu-
midification for the zone, while the secondary water coil carries most of the sensible cool-

Figure 4-43. Primary Air and Secondary


Water Temperatures for Two-Pipe Air-Water Systems

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ing. The changeover should occur when outdoor temperatures are expected such that the
heating capacity of the primary air will not be exceeded nor the cooling capacity of the
secondary water. Varying amounts of primary air may be needed for different zones depend-
ing on solar radiation exposure and internal loads.

Four-pipe systems are more expensive to install than two-pipe designs because they have
twice the amount of piping and valves and more complex automated controls. However,
they can provide acceptable room control regardless of the season and need not have special
zoning of primary air. Because they have the full heating and cooling capacity in their sec-
ondary coils, the primary air is cold and is circulated at the same temperature year-round.
The primary air quantity is less than that used for the two-pipe design because it mostly
provides outdoor air and dehumidification. The A/T ratio described for the two-pipe system
to determine switchover conditions obviously does not apply to the four-pipe case.

In some cases, a single primary air system can be used for both interior and exterior zones
with little loss of performance in the exterior zones during heating conditions. Without a
summer to winter changeover required, the maintenance of these systems should be simple
and not require highly trained personnel. Efficiency of the four-pipe system should be greater
than the two-pipe design because the primary air does not have to be sized to deliver either
full heating or full cooling capabilities. The four-pipe fan coil unit carries most of the space
conditioning load and can more closely match the unit output to the zone load.

4.3 Forced Air Furnaces and Unitary Heating Systems

A very large class of heating equipment falls into the category of forced air furnaces, and a
nearly equally large class is referred to as unitary equipment. These systems are usually
shipped from the factory and arrive at the site as units or single packages. That description
is not always precisely true because many unitary air-conditioning and heating systems
arrive with indoor and outdoor sections that are then connected by piping on the site. How-
ever, no significant field fabrication is usually needed with either the forced air furnace or
the unitary system.

There are many advantages and disadvantages of these relatively small prepackaged sys-
tems. Some of the advantages are:

Simple control systems.


Individual and independent room or zone control.
Manufacturer-matched components often with performance certification ratings.
Factory quality control is often better than for site-assembled systems.

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Standardized installation procedures reduce errors.


Equipment diversity reduces the impact of small mechanical failures.
Warranty and service are provided by a single manufacturer and contractor.
Equipment can be turned off in unoccupied spaces.
Equipment can be operated by untrained personnel.
No significant mechanical equipment room is needed.
Mass production makes equipment costs lower than for custom fabrication.
Equipment energy consumption can be metered individually for tenants.

The disadvantages of these systems are:

There are limited options other than standard factory specifications.


Systems are not usually designed for critical temperature or humidity control.
Simple two-position (on-off ) controls produce swings in space temperature.
Some equipment component life expectancies may be short.
Energy efficiency may be relatively low for the sake of low first-cost.
Utilization of a cooling economizer cycle is often not practical or possible.
Limited air distribution options.
High noise levels due to the proximity of compressors, burners and air handlers.
Equipment is often placed in highly visible areas.
High efficiency air filtration options are more limited.
Multiple, often different, systems may add to maintenance difficulties.

Furnaces and unitary systems are often thought of as residential, however, such systems are
also used in commercial buildings. For example, many large government buildings in Wash-
ington, DC, have hundreds of window air conditioners in buildings that were not designed
for central cooling. However, for commercial building heating applications, there are two
basic types of these prefabricated systems in use: gas- or oil-fired forced air furnaces; and
vapor-compression cycle heat pump systems. There are also some specialized applications
that can be used for heating, such as heat recovery from refrigeration units in grocery stores.
However, such specialized systems will not be covered in this course.

Gas or oil furnaces are usually placed within the conditioned space and their exhaust vented
outside, or they can be placed on the flat roof of the building (referred to as a rooftop unit)
and their heated air ducted down into the space. Rooftop units commonly come with gas- or
oil-fired heating equipment combined with electric air-conditioning in the same cabinet.
Figure 4-44 shows a rooftop unit that could have its air ducted straight down below it or off
to the side. Because of the quick installation and low first-cost, rooftop units are often used

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Figure 4-44. Typical Rooftop Heating and Cooling System

in single-floor stores and office buildings with their supply air ducted directly below them
into a dropped ceiling space where the air may be distributed through several registers, as
shown in Figure 4-45. These systems can be used in multistory applications with appropri-
ate ducting, although the size of the needed equipment may quickly outgrow the package
equipment size that is available. Such applications are appropriate when there is no avail-
able space on the ground for outdoor units or cooling towers. Figure 4-46 depicts a rooftop
unit on a multistory building. Multiple zoning of the space makes part-load regulation of the
furnace output more important for efficiency and comfort control considerations.

The major complaint about rooftop systems is that their noise and vibrations are often trans-
mitted throughout the building. Such a unit mounted on a roof has been likened to a trampo-
line, with the roof acting like a big bass drum. Because the unit is rigidly mounted on the
roof curb for waterproofing purposes, it transmits vibration from the fans and the air-condi-
tioning compressor directly to the building structure. It is not uncommon that a low fre-
quency noise can be heard several floors below the roof where vibrations are able to pass
through certain structural components and culminate some distance away from the unit.
The rooftop location makes venting of gas or oil furnaces particularly easy, however, the
cabinet may show wear from exposure to sun, rain, hail and other elements. Maintenance
may not be performed with appropriate regularity because the unit is located where access
may be difficult.

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Figure 4-45. Rooftop Heating and Cooling System With Interior Ducting

Figure 4-46. Rooftop Heating/Cooling System for a Multistory Building

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Commercial furnaces are generally classified as light commercial for heating capacities of
less than 320,000 Btu/h and as large commercial above 320,000 Btu/h. The smaller, indi-
vidual forced air furnaces with capacities from 50,000 to 175,000 Btu/h can be placed in
many locations because they are relatively compact devices. They can be located in base-
ments, in attic or ceiling spaces, or in small mechanical rooms depending on local codes.
Figure 4-47 illustrates some of the many configurations these units can have.

One important issue that arises with the location of these units is the provision for combus-
tion air. Because these devices produce carbon monoxide (CO) in their exhaust, most build-
ing codes specify that combustion heating products have one or more openings to outdoors
to provide the necessary combustion air. For this reason, it becomes quite difficult to use the
individual single zone forced air furnace in a multistory application, such as an apartment
complex. Larger furnaces are often used in big spaces with few zones because the furnace
output is difficult to regulate. New developments in burner technology may soon lead to a
variable capacity furnace, but currently most small forced air furnaces are single capacity.

Furnace efficiency often depends on the type of draft used in the furnace. Natural draft
furnaces use the buoyancy effect of the hot exhaust gases to produce the air flow through the
combustion zone and up the vent. The higher efficiency units use an induction fan to draw
the combustion gases through the unit, enhancing the heat transfer and permitting larger
heat transfer surfaces. Condensing furnaces, where the combustion gases are taken below
their dewpoint, are quite common in the smaller size equipment. The National Appliance
Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) of 1987 restricted the manufacture of smaller gas fur-
naces with Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiencies (AFUE) below 78%. However, this figure
does not apply to commercial classes of furnaces.

With higher efficiencies have come greater problems with exhaust vents. Most high effi-
ciency equipment have the exhaust gases entering the flue at or very near their vapor satura-
tion point. Contact with the cooler walls of the flue produces condensation, resulting in
corrosion in non-stainless ferrous metal lined flues and water saturation in masonry flues.
New guidelines developed by the Gas Research Institute specify the pertinent venting de-
sign parameters to avoid either of these problems.4

Oil furnaces are used in some places where natural gas is not readily available. Being a

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Figure 4-47. Different Configurations for Forced Air Furnaces

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liquid fuel, oil must be pumped into the furnace for combustion. Figure 4-48 shows the
components of a fuel oil furnace: a fuel pump, atomizing nozzle, electrode ignition assem-
bly and voltage transformer. The nozzle produces a very fine mist of oil droplets, making
for rapid combustion of the oil once ignited by the electrode ignition system.

A different class of forced air heating system is the electric resistance furnace. It is not used
as much as in the past when electricity prices were much lower. However, it is still used in
the form of duct heaters in many larger buildings that have small heating loads. The electric
heaters are often used primarily to preheat a space prior to occupancy, where internal heat
gains will require cooling under most conditions. The high energy costs are somewhat com-
pensated for with the extremely low cost to install these very simple systems.

Unitary (vapor compression) heating systems are usually referred to as heat pumps. A heat
pump uses the vapor compression refrigeration cycle, but with the condenser heat discharged
into the heated space. The evaporator absorbs heat from a lower temperature medium, usu-
ally outdoor air or a water stream. Most heat pumps have a reversing valve that permits the
same unit to provide both heating in winter and cooling in summer. Heating-only heat pumps
(without a reversing valve) are also available. Cooling-only heat pumps are commonly re-

Figure 4-48. High-Pressure Atomizing Oil Burner Unit

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Figure 4-49. Air Source Heat Pump

ferred to as air conditioners. The basic components of the heat pump cycle are shown in
Figure 4-49 where the reversing valve position is shown to produce the indoor heating or
cooling effect.

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The efficiency of smaller heat pumps is given in terms of either a steady state Coefficient of
Performance (COP) or a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) that accounts for
winter outdoor temperature variations, equipment cycling and outdoor coil defrosting. The
COP is a dimensionless number and can be interpreted as the ratio of the units of useful heat
delivered by the heat pump to the units of heat consumed by the compressor and fans. For
air source heat pumps, COP values from 2 to 4 are common at typical operating conditions.

HSPF has dimensions of Btu/Wh, and so is not dimensionless. The conversion factor of
3.413 Btu/Wh must be used to convert COP to the HSPF units. HSPF values range from
about 6 to 9 for air source equipment. The cooling efficiency ratings of heat pumps are also
somewhat confusing, as the steady state efficiency is given by an Energy Efficiency Ratio
(EER) with units of Btu/Wh, while the annual average cooling efficiency is given by a
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER), also in Btu/Wh.

The efficiency of a heat pump is closely related to the temperature of the heat source from
which it extracts its heat. Figure 4-50 compares the COP of the ideal Carnot heat pump
cycle to the COP of available equipment. While heat pump COPs may vary from 2 to 4, the
Carnot heat pump COP would go to infinity as the source temperature approaches the con-
ditioned space temperature. The heating capacity of an air source heat pump drops as the
outdoor temperature drops, so an auxiliary (usually electric resistance) heating system is
usually required to pick up the increasing heating load on the building below the heat pump
balance point.

Figure 4-50. Heat Pump COP Variation With Source Temperature

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This concept is shown in Figure 4-51 where the heat pump balance point is 28F for that
example. A larger heat pump could be specified to lower the balance point and reduce the
heat provided by the electric resistance auxiliary heating system. However, much of North
America has much larger design heating requirements than cooling requirements for the
buildings in which heat pumps are commonly installed. A compromise must be made on
how to size the heat pump for a heating design load that may be double the buildings
cooling design load. One guideline calls for the heat pump to be oversized on cooling no
more than 25% so as to provide adequate run hours for proper dehumidification in summer.

Figure 4-51. Heat Pump and Building Load Characteristic Curves

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Because of their ability to both heat and cool in a single low cost package, heat pumps have
found a big market in multi-unit residential applications. The indoor unit can be placed in a
small mechanical closet in the apartment and the outdoor unit can be placed on the flat roof
of the building. A multistory apartment complex may have dozens of these units on the roof.
In some applications, heat pumps may be installed to provide summertime cooling and the
units indoor coil mounted with a forced air furnace. This dual fuel heating combination can
provide an optimal efficiency arrangement if the heat pump operates only above tempera-
tures of about 40F, but the energy savings alone will hardly ever justify this redundant
configuration.

There are two effects that seriously degrade the efficiency of a heat pump. The temperature
of the heat source limits its practical COP while the formation of frost on an outdoor air coil
tends to restrict heat transfer and consumes energy in the defrost cycle. Water source heat
pumps, such as shown in Figure 4-52, avoid such problems by using a nearly constant
temperature water source with which to exchange heat, and which does not get below its
freezing point. Water source heat pumps have been used for many years in commercial
buildings where there are multiple small and nearly similar zones.

A pipe carrying water runs through the building from which each heat pump draws its water
for a heat source or sink. A boiler provides heat to the circulating water when most of the
heat pumps are heating and have a net extraction of heat from the water loop. A cooling
tower dissipates the excess heat from the water when most of the heat pumps are cooling
and have a net rejection of heat to the water loop. The ideal situation is when zones on one
side of a building are heating while zones on the other side are cooling. The heat pumps that
are cooling reject heat to the water while the heat pumps that are heating remove heat from
the water, leaving the water loop at a nearly neutral temperature after circulating through the
building.

There are also several ways in which the heat pumps can be coupled to the ground, either
through ground water or by heat transfer through a closed circulating fluid loop buried in
the ground or immersed in a deep body of water. This type of heat pump is often referred to
as a geothermal heat pump because it extracts its heat from the earth. These systems have
several inherent advantages over air source systems: no exposed outside units; a very com-
pact refrigerant system; no defrost cycle needed; inherently higher efficiencies due to the
heat transfer characteristics of water versus air; and all mechanical equipment is located
indoors, making maintenance easy in all weather conditions. There are several guidebooks
available for details on installation of these systems, such as NRECA/OSU,5 ASHRAE Hand-
bookHVAC Applications,2 and Kavanaugh and Gilbreath.6 These geothermal systems are
becoming increasingly popular in the United States and Canada for school buildings, as
much for their mechanical simplicity and low maintenance as for their energy efficiency.7

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Figure 4-52. Water Source Heat Pump

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Summary

Commercial buildings can be categorized into several basic types depending on their func-
tion. Office buildings are characterized by relatively few occupied hours per week, but high
internal heat gains when they are occupied. They typically have a lot of window area and
range from a single story to the tallest building in the world. Institutional buildings are
characterized by specialty functions, which may include large gatherings of people for very
short periods of time. Often they will require very high, perhaps even 100%, outdoor air due
to dangerous pollutants. High-rise residential buildings are becoming more common as
urban populations increase around the world. Comfort is a highly variable issue that may
depend on the locality or whether the landlord is paying the utility bill.

Central multizone heating systems are more complex than smaller units, but can take ad-
vantage of economies of scale. Hot water heating systems are commonly used in buildings
where air-conditioning will not be used. Hot water is an efficient way to transfer energy
within a building in a small pipe, versus air in a much larger duct. An antifreeze (such as
glycol) may need to be added for freeze protection from cold outdoor air brought in for
ventilation.

Most commercial buildings would use a low temperature hot water system with a maxi-
mum water temperature of 250F or a dual temperature system with both heating and cool-
ing functions. Terminal heat transfer units receive the hot water and transfer the heat to the
air in the zone. They are typically either natural convection or fan coil units.

There are at least six different ways that the water distribution piping can be laid out. The
most common are the two-pipe reverse return system and the four-pipe system. The four-
pipe system can provide year-round conditioning while the two-pipe must be changed over
in spring and fall. Pumps can be used either singly or in multiples, and placed either in
parallel or in series with each other. Variable speed pumps can use much less power at part-
load conditions due to the cubic relationship between pump power and flow rate. The pip-
ing network should be analyzed and its characteristic overlaid on a pump curve to determine
the system operating point.

Boilers are usually either natural gas fired or electrically heated, depending on the relative
cost of the fuel and ease of installation. Low temperature hot water boilers operate at pres-
sures of 160 psig and below. The control systems used in hot water systems must control
water flow rates at many points in the system, because changing the flow rate in one branch
will change the flow in all others too.

Steam systems may be used for tall buildings, district heated spaces that are spread over
large distances, or simply where steam is available for other purposes. Steam can be used in
hot water heat exchange coils, normally with somewhat greater heat transfer than would

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have been produced with hot water. Steam traps are the primary steam flow control device,
as they prevent steam from simply blowing through the system.

Central all-air systems are often used to provide heating and cooling in one mechanical
package. Cooling is normally given the primary consideration because it dominates most
large buildings. There are several types of ducted distribution systems. The most inefficient
ones mix hot air and cold air together to produce the desired supply air conditions. The most
efficient systems reduce the mixing of hot and cold air streams as well as reduce fan power
by lowering the air flow rate. The most efficient types are the three-deck multizone and the
VAV dual duct system where mixing of the hot and cold air streams is minimized.

Combined air-water systems are used to reduce the size of ducts in the building yet still be
able to provide centralized makeup air and the cooling economizer cycle. The most com-
mon terminal unit for this application is the fan coil unit or the fan powered box. The four-
pipe arrangement can maintain comfort conditions all year long. The two-pipe system can-
not maintain setpoint temperature during the spring and fall periods when heating and cool-
ing conditions change back and forth.

Smaller systems like the forced air furnaces and unitary heat pumps provide economical
cooling on a smaller scale. Most furnaces are gas- or oil-fired, though some electric resis-
tance systems are still used. Multiple individual furnaces are difficult to use in large com-
mercial buildings due to combustion air requirements. Heat pump systems can be used
effectively in multiple zone applications, either as air source or water source equipment.
Rooftop units with gas heat are common in commercial buildings, although they have many
problems with noise and vibration to overcome. Oil furnaces are usually used when natural
gas is not available. Heat pumps are rated for heating efficiency by their coefficient of
performance (COP), and they typically have COPs from 2 to 4. Water source heat pumps,
including geothermal heat pumps, have become increasingly popular due to their low main-
tenance and high efficiencies.

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Bibliography

1. ASHRAE. 1993. Air-Conditioning Systems Design Manual. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

2. ASHRAE. 1995. ASHRAE HandbookHVAC Applications. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

3. ASHRAE. 1989. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor


Air Quality. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

4. GRI. 1992. Venting Guidelines for Category I Gas Appliances with Fan-Assisted Com-
bustion Systems. Chicago, IL: Gas Research Institute.

5. NRECA. 1988. Closed-Loop/Ground-Source Heat Pump Systems Installation Guide. Na-


tional Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Research Project 86-1. Stillwater, OK: Inter-
national Ground Source Heat Pump Association.

6. Kavanaugh, S., Gilbreath, C. 1995. Cost Containment for Ground-Source Heat Pumps.
Report to Alabama Universities TVA Research Consortium and the Tennessee Valley
Authority. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama.

7. Caneta Research Inc. 1995. Operating Experiences with Commercial Ground-Source


Heat Pumps. ASHRAE Research Project RP-863. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

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Skill Development Exercises for Chapter 4

Complete these questions by writing your answers on the worksheets at the back of this
book.

4-01. List 10 different non-residential buildings that you were in this past week. Catego-
rize them according to the types used in this chapter. Note one special feature about
each one that would make it somewhat unique when sizing a heating system.

4-02. Suppose you host a party in your home and have 10 people over for a few hours.
Estimate the balance point temperature at which your houses internal heat gains
equal its heat losses with this level of occupancy. Assume you also have on every
light in the house. Use an R-value of 13 for your walls, R-19 for floors, R-30 in your
attic, and R-2 for windows and doors.

4-03. Name two advantages of a convector terminal unit versus a unit ventilator terminal
unit. Name two disadvantages of the convector terminal unit. If you were designing
an office building, on the basis of these advantages and disadvantages, which type
of system would you use? Support your decision.

4-04. In discussing four-pipe versus two-pipe all-water systems, the four-pipe system
seemed to perform much better in every way. Why would anyone even design and
install a two-pipe system today?

4-05. What is the main reason that a three-pipe hot water heating system is hardly ever
used anymore?

4-06. In Example 4-2, increase the flow resistance in the left branch by 50% from its
original value. What is the new pump flow rate from Example 4-3 and how much
flows through each branch?

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4-07. Consider a steam piping network like the one shown in Figure 4-26. If one of the
steam traps is stuck open, what would be the impact on the performance of the
terminal units in the other parts of the system?

4-08. A steam baseboard system will be converted to a hot water system. If the water
temperature is 140F, will this retrofit work? If not, what can be done to make it
work?

4-09. Consider the system in Example 4-5. What air flow rate from the dual duct hot deck
and the cold deck will produce a net cooling effect of 100,000 Btu/h? A net heating
effect of 100,000 Btu/h? In the VAV system, what is the percent fan power reduction
when air flow is reduced 20%?

4-10. What are the two most serious reasons not to use induction units in a companys
conference room?

4-11. Building codes require that combustion appliances have outdoor air openings for
combustion. What could happen if the openings were omitted or covered up? Is that
a serious problem?

4-12. A heat pump has a COP of 3.2, a capacity of 70,000 Btu/h, and electricity costs of
$0.06/kWh. How much does it cost to run this unit for one hour?

4-13. How does a geothermal heat pump increase its COP over an air source unit? What
would be a good year-round entering water temperature for a heat pump that must
both heat and cool?

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Chapter 5
Industrial Heating Systems

Contents of Chapter 5

Instructions
Study Objectives of Chapter 5
5.1 Basic System Considerations
5.2 District Heating and Cooling
5.3 Waste Heat Recovery
5.4 High Temperature Water and Steam Systems
Summary
Bibliography
Skill Development Exercises

Instructions

Read the material in this chapter for general content, and re-read the parts that are empha-
sized in the summary. Complete the skill development exercises without consulting the
text, then review the text as necessary to verify your solutions.

Study Objectives of Chapter 5

While industrial heating systems are fewer in number than other categories, they represent
a large percentage of the total energy consumption because of their very large size. The
proximity of many buildings to a large central heating plant can produce economies of scale
that permit the use of low cost fuel sources as well as waste heat recovery. A prime example
is cogeneration, where electricity is produced from a gas turbine or reciprocating engine but
the exhaust gases can still be used to provide the low-level heating (or cooling, using ab-
sorption equipment) needed for space conditioning. Industrial processes that require cool-
ing of product or equipment can also generate substantial quantities of low-level heat that
may be adequate for either direct or indirect (by heat recovery or by using heat pumps)
heating of buildings.

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The objectives of this chapter are to introduce the criteria used in designing large-scale
industrial systems, including district heating and cooling options, distribution methods and
heating media. You should develop an appreciation for the economies of scale that make
the use of low cost fuels and heat recovery economically viable for these large systems.
You will be exposed to cogeneration and other heat recovery methods as ways in which
waste heat can be utilized for low-level space heating. Finally, the criteria for whether to
use water or steam will be presented for comparison.

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5.1 Basic System Considerations

Before an industrial heating system can be designed, the appropriate design conditions must
be properly established. Industrial space conditioning can be used for either worker comfort
and productivity or for process control. Acceptable worker comfort conditions are specified
in ASHRAE Standard 55a-1995, Addendum to Thermal Environmental Conditions for Hu-
man Occupancy.1 However, the challenge may be to characterize the level of activity that
certain job functions may require. For example, an operator monitoring the performance of
a large machine may be at a nearly sedentary metabolic rate, while a worker supplying the
raw materials for the same machine may have a metabolic rate double that of the operators.
The challenge is to determine a space condition that would be a reasonable compromise
between the comfort needs of most workers in that facility.

While worker comfort is desirable from an employee satisfaction perspective, it may also
be beneficial from the company's perspective if increased productivity and improved em-
ployee morale are direct results. While space conditioning costs may be quite substantial
for large industrial areas, their costs may be quite small when compared to either the value
of the finished goods that are produced in the plant or the total wages paid to employees.

For instance, a small industrial plant may use $1.50 per ft2 of floor area per year for space
conditioning, both heating and cooling. A 50,000 ft2 plant may employ 100 workers over
three shifts. At a typical industrial wage rate of $15 per hour, the total wages paid to the
employees come to $3 million per year, or $60 per ft2. The products made at the plant may
represent four times the cost of the labor, or $240 per ft2. While $1.50 per ft2 in energy costs
are not small by many standards, they are certainly small compared to $240 per ft2 for the
value of the plant output. If the company could spend an extra $0.50 per ft2 (an increase of
33% in space conditioning costs) and get only a 1% improvement in worker productivity,
the company would increase its product output by $2.40 per ft2, a return on investment of
nearly five times.

It is difficult to predict or even to quantify the impact on worker productivity caused by


workspace environmental conditions. Obviously, a workspace would be more productive
where the workers do not have to take frequent stops for drinks of water to replenish body
fluids, to warm up cold fingers, or even to pour hot coffee to keep warm. The cost of hiring
and retraining new employees to replace workers who leave the company because of work
conditions can also be a very substantial cost to the company. In most closed work environ-
ments, it is usually cost effective to provide a moderate work environment for employees.
Many older plants in the US industrial heartland had particularly inefficient heating sys-
tems (air-conditioning is a relatively new practice in large industrial facilities in the north-
ern half of the United States) and building envelopes, but these were accepted when energy
was cheap and heating costs represented such a small fraction of the plant output.

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Space conditioning for process control may be even more critical for many products than
worker comfort and productivity. Some of the first applications of industrial cooling were
in cotton and paper mills where the products are very sensitive to both temperature and
humidity. Components in todays modern computer systems require not only precise tem-
perature and humidity control, but an almost perfectly clean environment free from micro-
scopic dust and lint. Space conditions outside of certain tightly controlled, specified ranges
may result in inferior products that may produce costly failures and require replacement,
and they may not even be acceptable by any customers. It is critical for the design engineer
to clearly understand the requirements for the space conditioning equipment, as well as the
potential costs in worker productivity and product value, when these conditions are not met.

5.2 District Heating and Cooling

The use of a large central heating and cooling plant to provide steam, hot water or chilled
water to many different buildings is referred to as a district heating and cooling system.
These systems are very common in large industrial plants, on university campuses and in
many congested downtown areas. However, the reasons for each application may be differ-
ent. For large industrial plants, there is often a need for large quantities of high or medium
pressure steam for process applications. The same boiler plant can often be inexpensively
scaled up in size to accommodate the space heating needs of the entire plant. Many univer-
sity campuses started their district heating systems when coal was their primary fuel. The
central plant permitted a cleaner campus with a centralized maintenance site. Chillers (ei-
ther centrifugal or absorption) were added later as comfort cooling became standard prac-
tice in classrooms, laboratories and dormitories.

District heating in downtown buildings arose from the need for a more efficient use of
expensive land in crowded city centers. As buildings got larger and taller, it became more
difficult to include heating plants in each building, especially if coal was used for fuel. A
prime example of how early downtown district heating systems evolved is in Chicago,
where an interconnected basement tunnel system below the downtown district was even
used to transport the coal between the different heating plants. Modern day downtown dis-
trict heating and cooling plants are often associated with a municipal waste-to-energy plant
or some other form of heat recovery, such as a cogeneration facility that produces large
quantities of low grade heat. Mesko gives a thorough analysis of the economics of large
district heating and cooling plants.2

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A multiple-building district heating and cooling plant of almost any size represents a mul-
timillion dollar investment in the plant building, equipment, controls and underground pip-
ing network. While it may appear that the economics could never favor such a system, there
are several advantages of the central system:

The central plant has greater flexibility to utilize heat recovery, low cost solid
fuels, computerized system controllers and other features that become economi-
cally attractive only with large-scale systems.
There is less space taken up in the individual buildings by the heating and cool-
ing systems.
The large systems are often more efficient and longer-lived than individual smaller
systems.
A central facility will usually require less total capacity than individual heating/
cooling units due to zone and building diversity.
Incremental capacity, whether for permanent or temporary loads, can be pro-
vided at a low cost due to the lower incremental cost of large equipment.
Central plants will usually have several steps in capacity by using several pieces
of equipment that can be staged. This capacity staging will be more efficient
than by having many smaller units operating at very low capacity.
Control systems for large equipment will normally be more effective and pro-
vide more precise control than the simpler systems that are more commonly
used with smaller units.
Equipment maintenance becomes concentrated in one area that is generally re-
moved from the public, with an overall reduction of maintenance staff needed.
Also, fuel handling is limited to the single plant, making for cleaner, safer and
longer-lived generation and distribution systems.

There are obviously some significant drawbacks to such systems as well:


The piping distribution system can be quite expensive and must normally be
initially sized to accommodate future expansion of the system at the outer bounds.
Service of buried distribution systems is difficult. To circumvent this problem,
tunnels and underground chases are used, further increasing the distribution net-
work cost.
There are added heat losses and pumping costs over individual building systems.
The maximum capacity of the initial central plant may be reached some years
earlier than was planned, requiring a second plant to be built and the two plants
interconnected.

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DESIGN CRITERIA

A major design criteria of district heating and cooling systems is the capability for future
expansion. Rarely are such facilities built in what would be considered completed cam-
puses. Even in downtown districts, many smaller, older buildings that may have been con-
nected to the system are torn down and replaced by large, high-rise buildings because of the
valuable land. In anticipation of such expansion, distribution piping is often installed to
meet some future capacity. Then, by definition, the distribution piping of such heating and
cooling systems will be oversized under most circumstances until all planned expansions
are complete.

A primary advantage of the central plant is its lower fuel costs. The central plant must be
able to operate more cost efficiently than individual heating/cooling plants in each building.
This constraint often dictates the use of low cost solid fuel sources, most commonly coal.
The designer must anticipate the need for pollution control systems, as well as the infra-
structure needed for the fuel storage and handling, and ash handling and disposal at the
central plant.

The distribution system must be designed for some type of periodic inspection. Appropriate
manhole accesses with covers, tunnels, underground chases and the like must be used to
permit routine inspection and adequate access for possible replacement of certain compo-
nents. The corrosiveness of the soil should be known so that alternatives to buried piping
may be considered. Steel condensate lines tend to deteriorate faster than either steam or
water supply lines, so their replacement should be anticipated within the life of the rest of
the system. Lines should not be buried under buildings or anything that cannot be excavated
or removed.

Leaks are an inevitable reality and the entire system must be somewhat accessible for re-
placement or repair. Buried lines can be scanned from the surface with infrared equipment
to detect leaks. Temperature measuring devices can also be placed at regular intervals to
isolate the approximate locations of leaks. Steam leaks can usually be found from the steam
escaping to the surface, but often only after a considerable loss of steam has occurred.

SYSTEM ECONOMICS

The economic comparison of a district heating and cooling plant to individual building
systems can be quite complicated and should be performed only with detailed input from
the ultimate owner or operator. The following costs should be considered when performing
the overall system lifecycle cost.

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Central plant system:


Central plant building and site, including access roads and utilities.
Distribution tunnels.
Excavation costs including highway crossings, sidewalk and parking lot repair.
Distribution piping, insulation and backfill, including hauling costs.
Heat losses from distribution piping.
Central plant equipment, including cooling towers and a central control system.
Maintenance requirements for central plant equipment and distribution system.
Fuel costs using central point of sale rate, if applicable.
Primary fuel storage, if needed, as well as backup fuel storage.
Centralized control system from the central plant to every building, including
monitors.
Pollution control systems, if necessary.
Licensed operators needed for large equipment operation.

Individual building systems:


Total cost of individual systems for all buildings, including mechanical rooms.
Fuel costs for all systems, possibly using individual building metered rates.
Maintenance requirements for all individual systems.
Replacement costs of existing older equipment, or short-lived smaller systems.
Individual pollution control systems, if necessary.
Individual primary fuel storage and backup fuel storage, if necessary.
Additional electrical substations and distribution capabilities to each building.
Concealment walls, shrubbery, etc., to hide cooling towers, condensers, etc.
Maintenance and operating personnel required for all individual systems.

There are obviously other factors that should be considered, but they are difficult to account
for in an economic sense. For instance, reliability of the individual systems versus the cen-
tral plant should be addressed when making system selections. While the individual build-
ing systems would have little chance of many coincident failures comparable to a failure by
the central plant, appropriate backup systems and constant monitoring of the central plant
should prevent unscheduled total outages from occurring. Major repair or replacement work
in central plants can be difficult to schedule when the buildings that are served represent
very diversified uses, such as may be found in a downtown district heating system.

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There are two major cost savings with the central district heating and cooling plants. Fuel
costs may be substantially lower and the HVAC system space requirements in each build-
ing should be much less because individual boilers and chillers are not needed in every
building. This latter cost is not inconsequential, as most large buildings cost well over $100
per ft2 to construct.

While air handlers and other peripheral equipment must be located in each building, the
space normally allocated to chillers, boilers, cooling towers and related equipment would
not be needed. Elimination of a relatively modest 30 ft by 40 ft mechanical room would
typically save over $100,000 in building costs, or else make that much space available for
other useful purposes.

Fuel costs will normally be lower for a central plant even if the same fuel is used throughout
the system. The unit cost for a single large-volume user is virtually always cheaper than the
rate for many smaller users. If coal or some other low cost solid fuel can be used in the
central plant, fuel costs could be much lower than if natural gas, oil or electricity were used
in each building.

EXAMPLE 5-1

Problem: Three buildings in a university campus are heated by different individual sys-
tems. Building A has a natural gas boiler that is rated at 80% efficiency, Building B has a
fuel oil boiler that is rated at 75% efficiency, and Building C has multiple air source heat
pumps with HSPFs of 7.0 Btu/Wh. Each building is 50,000 ft2 in size and has 60,000 Btu/
ft2/year heat loss through its envelope. Determine the annual heating fuel costs for each
building if natural gas costs $4.50 per million Btu, oil costs $1.10 per gallon, and electricity
costs $0.035 per kWh plus a demand charge of $10 per kW per month. Then compute the
cost from a central plant using: $30/ton coal in an 80% efficient boiler; and $3.50 per mil-
lion Btu natural gas in an 83% efficient boiler. Assume 15% distribution losses for the
central system.

Solution: The basic heating requirements for each building are:

Btu
Annual heat losses = 60,000 2 50,000 ft
2

ft year
Btu
= 3.0 109
year

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Building A:

3.0 109 Btu $4.50


Heat cost = 6 = $16,875
0.80 10 Btu

Building B:

3.0 109 Btu 1 gal $1.10


Heat cost = = 28,840 gal = $31,725
0.75 138,690 Btu gal

Building C:

3.0 109 Btu


Heat cost = = 4.29 108 W h
Btu
7.0
Wh
$0.035
= 429,000 kWh = $15,015
kWh

However, this represents only the energy costs for electricity. The demand cost must be
estimated. For this example, let us consider the heating season to be four months long and
assume that the peak demand each month is twice the average monthly demand.

3.0 109 Btu 1 kW


Average kW = = 149 kW
Btu 30 day 24 h 1000 W
7.0 4 mo
W h mo day

$10
Electrical demand cost = 149 kW 2 4 mo = $11,905
kW mo

Total heat pump electricity cost = $15,015 + $11,905 = $26,920

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Gas-Fired Central Plant:


9 109 Btu $3.50
Heating cost = 6 = $44,649
( 0.83)(0.85) 10 Btu

Coal-Fired Central Plant:

9 109 Btu $30


Heating cost = = $15,155
(0.80)(0.85) 26,200,000 Btu

The total cost for the three separate buildings adds up to $75,520. The gas-fired central
plant saves $30,871 per year (41%) while the coal-fired central plant would save $60,365
per year (80%). This example assumes that the central plant would receive a more favorable
rate on larger volumes of natural gas than would be charged to the individual building.
While the pump (feedwater and condensate) costs in the central plant design may be some-
what balanced by pumps in the buildings with the gas and oil boilers, there are no pumps in
the building with the forced air heat pumps. Thus, the savings above are overstated for the
heat pump building as pumping power for the central plant system would have to be added
to the base central heating cost for Building C.

The implication of this example is that there can be substantial fuel cost savings with a large
central plant, even though the total fuel consumed may be greater due to the distribution
losses. The savings from a solid fuel heating plant can be very substantial, although this
example obviously did not consider maintenance, pollution control, fuel handling, ash dis-
posal, backup fuel storage and other costs associated with solid fuel central plants. As the
central plant gets larger in size, the fuel savings can often justify these other costs associ-
ated with solid fuels.

DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS

The key element in any district heating and cooling system is the energy distribution net-
work from the central plant to the satellite buildings. This energy transport is usually ac-
complished by using high temperature hot water or steam for the heating system. Chilled
water is almost universally used for cooling. Figure 5-1 illustrates the piping network for a
chilled water system. A nearly identical system would be utilized for a hot water system,
whereas a steam distribution system would not use either primary or secondary pumps.
Steam systems would usually need condensate return pumps located in each building to
pump the condensate back to the central plant.

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Figure 5-1. Piping Network for a District Cooling System

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Several factors must be considered in designing any distribution network:

Metal pipes must be protected from corrosion by cathodic devices or other means.
A durable insulation that can tolerate thermal expansion should be used on the
pipes.
A protective casing around the insulation should protect it from water, corrosion
and other structural damage.
The pipe, insulation and casing should be capable of being restored to their origi-
nal condition in the event of flooding or exposure to a water or steam leak.

The most common piping material used for district heating and cooling systems is steel
pipe. Water treatment can protect the inside of the pipe from corrosion by the transport
fluid, but the outside of the pipe can still be attacked by the dampness in the soil or by leaks.
A sacrificial cathodic device attached to the piping system at regular intervals will provide
corrosion protection of the steel by oxidizing the cathodic device instead. These devices
must be replaced regularly as they disintegrate over time.

Heat gains to the chilled water are usually minor compared to the heat losses from hot water
or steam because the temperature difference between the ground and the transport medium
is so much greater for the hot water or steam. The mean ground temperature at a 4 to 6 ft
depth varies from 32F in winter and 60F in summer in Minnesota to 70F in winter and
80F in summer in Florida. Significant insulation levels would be needed to reduce heat
losses from steam or hot water in either of these cases, while chilled water would have very
little heat transfer with the ground in Minnesota.

Figure 5-2 shows a general schematic of a steam, hot water or chilled water distribution
piping system. Because the insulation forms a cylindrical shape, its surface area (and, hence,
its rate of heat loss or gain) will depend on its outer radius. Distribution pipes can be run
overhead, buried in the ground, placed within a larger buried conduit, or run within a buried
trench or tunnel. The controlling temperature in the heat transfer calculation is the outside
air temperature, because it is the cold air that acts as the heat sink to which the steam or hot
water transfers its heat. Burial depth will determine the relative thermal resistance provided
by the soil overburden in underground systems.

Figure 5-3 shows a case where two buried pipes may be placed in the same vicinity. This
arrangement would be beneficial for two hot pipes (such as steam and hot water), but would
be detrimental for steam and chilled water pipes. The overall heat loss from two similarly
hot pipes would be reduced in such an arrangement while the heat gain from a chilled water
pipe in the vicinity of a steam pipe would be substantially increased. Increased insulation

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Figure 5-2. Typical Piping Used in District Heating/Cooling Systems

Figure 5-3. Heat Losses from Buried Pipes in Close Proximity

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levels may be necessary for instances where costs dictate close physical proximity of steam
and chilled water lines. If multiple pipes are to be buried in a trench in a large system, a
detailed finite element numerical analysis of the heat losses for different insulation levels
would be justified.

For larger and more complex central systems, it may be cost effective to use prefabricated
pipe and insulation systems provided by a specialty piping system manufacturer. The pip-
ing manufacturer can provide expertise in the area of piping system design, heat transfer
and maintenance to design a system that will need less recurring maintenance, have lower
heat losses, and may be easier overall to install. Various types of factory-fabricated piping
systems are available, as well as different types of field-fabricated systems.

Different types of insulation can be poured around the pipe as it lays on supports in the
trench, and even spray foams can be used. Concrete trenches can be made just large enough
to hold the piping system, and have removable concrete covers for service access. For some
applications, such a system could be used as a sidewalk where the heat loss from the steam
or hot water lines helps to melt snow in winter. Proper drainage is required as well as
surface sealing to prevent surface water from flooding the trench.

The ultimate distribution arrangement would be to have a tunnel that is accessible by work-
ers. These are very expensive to construct if dedicated just for the piping system. If under-
ground walkways and other below-grade enclosures are to be built, an additional enclosure
for piping can be added for reasonable costs. While a trench or tunnel adds extra cost to the
distribution system, some of the extra costs can be recovered by being able to use less
expensive pipe insulation and protective jacket materials.

Dry soil (less than 4% moisture content) has a very low thermal conductivity, approaching
that of some insulations. The thermal conductivity of damp soil (15% to 20% moisture
content) may be from 5 to 10 times as high as dry soil. Sand tends to dry out much faster
than clay in well-drained areas. The design engineer may wish to evaluate the cost effec-
tiveness of backfilling with quantities of sand as a low cost insulation material in areas
where standing water is not likely to occur, as shown in Figure 5-4.

HEAT TRANSFER MEDIUM

By far, the most common heat transfer fluids used for heating applications are steam and
hot water. Other fluids (glycol-water mixtures or special heat transfer fluids) are used in
special applications where corrosion resistance or very high liquid temperatures may be
needed. Water has a high specific heat (1.0 Btu/lbmF), providing a high heat rate with a
smaller temperature differential. Many other heat transfer liquids have specific heats that

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Figure 5-4. Use of Sand as an Insulating Medium for Buried Pipes

are about one-half that of water. Steam has a very high latent heat of vaporization of about
1,000 Btu per pound, yielding very high heat transfer rates at essentially a constant tem-
perature and with a very small temperature differential required.

There are certain applications where either hot water or steam may be preferred. Steam is
preferable where the satellite building is a long distance from the central plant or where
there are tall buildings involved. Because of its high latent heat, steam can move larger
quantities of heat with much smaller amounts of the transfer medium. The boiler provides
the pressure, so there is no need for a mechanical pump to distribute the steam. Also, be-
cause the steam has a low density relative to water, it does not build up a large hydrostatic
head in vertical pipes. As an example, a water pipe that runs to the top of a 30-story building
would produce a pressure of over 130 psi at ground level just from hydrostatic pressure.
The hydrostatic pressure increase of steam would be almost negligible (less than 1 psi) in
this case. Steam can also be used to generate domestic hot water in a converter (shell-and-
tube heat exchanger) at the satellite building site.

Hot water would be preferable if baseboard heat is to be used. Steam pipes tend to produce
a lot of noise as they shrink and expand with the large temperature changes that occur
during part-load conditions. Hot water from the central plant could be piped directly through

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the baseboard heating units in the building. The heat output of a fan coil unit is much easier
to control with hot water as the heating fluid compared to steam. An additional benefit of
hot water is that water control valves tend to be much more reliable at regulating flow rate
than steam traps. An open steam trap can cause an imbalance in the entire piping system,
while a closed trap can block off a particular unit. If individual meters are used to charge for
the consumption of a particular building, a hot water meter will usually be more accurate
and cost less than a steam flow meter.

5.3 Waste Heat Recovery

Modern industry runs on heat energy. Whether it is a refinery, a steel mill or a plastics
processing plant, many applications involve heating a material to a specified condition. In
almost all cases, the heat energy in the material is later allowed to dissipate either inside or
outside the plant. The heat used in industrial process applications can sometimes dwarf the
heat energy used for space conditioning in adjoining offices or manufacturing areas.

It often makes good economic sense to recapture some of the low grade process heat for use
in space heating. While it may be very difficult to provide all of the space heating from
industrial process heat recovery, it is often quite easy to recover 50% or more, especially
when combined with an outdoor air preheat system. The temperature of the waste heat and
its medium will dictate whether the fluid medium can be used directly for heating, or whether
a heat pump is needed to boost the temperature to useful space heating levels.

COGENERATION

Cogeneration is the recovery of waste heat for beneficial use as a necessary byproduct of
the generation of electricity. Large-scale power plants have used a form of cogeneration for
years in their plants. Feedwater heaters and regenerators reduce the amount of heat energy
that must be dissipated in the condenser. However, most of the energy (over 60%) released
in the power plant furnace or reactor is ultimately discharged to a river or the air, at tem-
peratures ranging from 60 to 100F. This heat discharge is necessary according to the
Second Law of Thermodynamics, but it is little used in large central power stations because
there are usually no applications nearby that could use the vast quantities that are produced.

Many large industrial plants have begun to generate their own electricity on a smaller scale
and to recover some of the waste heat that is produced during the generation of electricity.
A plant that uses large quantities of hot water or steam for process applications is a prime

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candidate for cogeneration. The exhaust gases from a gas turbine or reciprocating engine
are at a suitably high temperature to produce hot water or even low pressure steam for a
variety of uses (such as space heating). Matching the electrical demand with the waste heat
utilization can be quite difficult, if not impossible. In many cases, the electrical generation
is performed at a base load capacity, with the waste heat used whenever possible to make
the economics favorable. Electricity is purchased from the utility provider at times of greater
demand.

Since the late 1970s, electric utilities in the United States have been obliged to purchase
excess power from their connected users/generators. If the engine is a primary source of
steam for stable process loads, the unit can be sized for the base steam load and excess
electrical power can be sold to the grid. In general, the price paid for this excess electricity
is at the utilitys avoided cost, which is usually quite low. The grid interconnect equipment
is also quite expensive. Such arrangements usually are cost effective only when fuel costs
are relatively low and electricity costs are relatively high.

The most common prime mover for cogeneration applications is a reciprocating engine.
These engines vary in size from a few hundred horsepower to as much as 30,000 horse-
power. They can operate as spark ignition or compression ignition, depending on the fuel
mixture, and can use a wide range of fuels from natural gas to the various grades of liquid
fuel oil. Natural gas is the preferred fuel because it requires no on-site storage, is usually
cheapest per Btu, and is cleanest burning.

Combustion gas turbines are gaining acceptance as prime movers, even down to as small as
100 horsepower or less. They can use a wide range of fuels and can even change from one
fuel to another without loss of service. The efficiency of the electrical conversion process is
only 15% to 30%, with the rest of the fuels heat energy discharged in the units exhaust gas
stream. These high temperature exhaust gases out of the combustion turbine can be used to
produce hot water or steam, much the same as combustion gases in a regular boiler. Figure
5-5 illustrates a typical cogeneration gas turbine system that produces low pressure steam
for heating, process applications, domestic hot water and absorption cooling.

Figure 5-6 shows a somewhat comparable application for a reciprocating engine where the
engine cooling water is also used as a first-stage heat source. Figure 5-7 illustrates the heat
energy that is available from reciprocating engines at part-load conditions. At any given
loading of the engine, the energy components shown will add up to 100%. However, be-
cause engine efficiency is not constant with engine speed, the exhaust and jacket water
temperatures will vary, hence changing the availability of energy from each source. For any
application, the higher the desired temperature of the recovered heat, the smaller the per-
centage of the input heat that can actually be recovered.

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Figure 5-5. Cogeneration Gas Turbine with Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery

Figure 5-6. Cogeneration Diesel Engine with Jacket and Exhaust Heat Recovery

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Figure 5-7. Energy Balance for Reciprocating Cogeneration Engine

Heat recovery can easily be applied to the lubricating oil, the engine jacket water coolant
and the exhaust gases. The oil and jacket water heat recovery is usually in the form of hot
water, although the jacket water can be designed to operate at pressures of 30 psig to yield
temperatures as high as 250F. Water at this temperature is adequate for absorption cooling.
Cogeneration heat recovery can thus be used to produce both hot and chilled water, depend-

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ing on the seasonal demand. While virtually all the excess energy in the jacket water or
lubricating oil can be recovered, such is not the case with the exhaust gases. Only 50% to
60% of the available exhaust heat can be recovered because the flue gases must remain
above their condensation dewpoint temperature. The recommended minimum exhaust tem-
perature for diesel engines is 250F, although many heat recovery boilers are designed for
minimum exhaust temperatures of 300F to avoid the possibility of condensation. Most
exhaust heat recovery boilers also act as silencers because the exhaust gases must be muffled
to reduce noise levels.

When the recovered heat is added to the electrical power that is produced by a cogeneration
system, the overall efficiency can reach 75% or more. As with any power generation sys-
tem, fairly complex controls are needed to properly respond to all the possible operating
conditions that might arise. When the unit is designed to operate in parallel with the electric
grid, synchronizing controls must be used to make the exported power consistent with the
power from the utility. These controls must also be capable of controlling the system should
the interconnection with the utility suddenly be lost. Voltage and frequency must be con-
trolled within very narrow ranges even for use in isolated systems where motors and other
devices are designed for stable 60 Hz power.

Reciprocating engines have the lowest thermal energy to electrical power ratio, with the
recovered heat usually in the form of hot water below 250F. Gas turbines provide higher
quantities and qualities of recovered heat, capable of easily producing low pressure steam
for direct process or space conditioning applications. If the system is to be sized for the
electric base load, past electric consumption records should be examined to properly deter-
mine the size of the unit. If additional heat recovery is desired and an expensive intercon-
nection with the grid is not, the engine size can be increased and then operated at part-load
conditions whenever the electrical demand drops below the rated power output.

HEAT RECOVERY FROM PROCESS WATER AND AIR

The many heating and cooling processes that are required in industrial settings often present
opportunities for heat recovery to replace fossil fuel combustion as a heat source for space
heating and cooling. The ability to use recovered heat is often limited only by fundamental
economics and the imagination of the HVAC design engineer. Obviously, the HVAC engi-
neer must work closely with the plant engineers so that no interference with normal operat-
ing conditions occurs.

Several types of heat recovery systems are in common usage. For air streams, there are heat
recovery wheels, plate heat exchangers, heat pipe systems and run-around loops. Heat re-

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covery from liquid streams is usually by means of a liquid-to-water heat exchanger, al-
though liquid-to-air heat exchangers could be used under certain conditions. For the great-
est versatility, heat recovery heat pumps (sometimes called applied heat pumps) can be
used when the temperature difference is too low to provide economical heat recovery by
passive heat exchange. The heat pump extracts heat from one fluid stream and efficiently
transfers it to another fluid stream at a temperature higher than the extraction temperature.
In certain ideal situations, the heat pump can even provide two desirable effects by heating
one fluid stream while simultaneously cooling another. In some applications, the heat pump
is used to recover heat from building exhaust air prior to discharge from the plant or build-
ing.

The effectiveness of air-to-air heat recovery equipment using normal heat exchange is speci-
fied in ASHRAE Standard 84-1991.3 The effectiveness, , is defined as:

actual transfer for a given device 5-1


=
maximum possible heat transfer for the smaller flow stream

Using the flow stream notation in Figure 5-8, this effectiveness is:

Ws ( X 1 X 2 ) W ( X X3) 5-2
= = e 4
Wmin ( X 1 X 3 ) Wmin ( X 1 X 3 )

Figure 5-8. General Notation for Heat Exchanger Effectiveness

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where the subscripts s and e denote supply and exhaust, respectively, and min refers to
whichever flow stream has the smaller flow rate. The parameter X may refer to dry-bulb
temperature, humidity ratio or enthalpy, depending on the type of heat or mass exchange
that the device is capable of performing. Because the effectiveness of a given device de-
pends on the heat exchanger surfaces, flow characteristics and other features, it must be
determined from manufacturers performance specifications.

The rotary heat


recovery device,
or heat wheel,
can be consid-
ered as in Figure
5-9. These circu-
lar devices are
mounted such
that half of the
wheel is across
one air duct
while the other
half is across an-
other air duct.
Appropriate
seals and air
locks prevent air
from the exhaust
duct from enter-
ing the supply
duct. The wheel
turns slowly and Figure 5-9. Rotary Heat Recovery Device
when a portion
of the wheel ro-
tates into the exhaust duct, it exchanges heat with the exhaust air until it approaches the
exhaust air temperature. When that part of the wheel then rotates into the supply air duct, it
exchanges heat with the supply air until it approaches the supply air temperature. In this
manner, the heat from the exhaust air is transferred to the supply air by using a solid mate-
rial that steadily moves back and forth between the two air streams.

The effectiveness of heat wheels can be 60% to 85%, while having small air side pressure
resistance. However, they are relatively large devices and, when combined with the two air

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ducts, they may be hard to physically situate inside a building. Due to their size and their
common application for preheating or precooling outdoor ventilation air using exhaust air,
they are often located in rooftop penthouses. Special surface coatings can be applied to
exchange both sensible and latent energy.

Plate heat exchangers are devices in which multiple flow passages are separated by metal
(or other material) plates. The two different flow streams are on opposite sides of each
plate, causing heat to be transferred through the plates. Fins can also be attached between
the plates to provide structural rigidity and to further increase heat transfer effectiveness.
Figure 5-10 depicts some of the air flow options through this type of heat exchanger. The
air side flow resistance can be quite high for these devices, although effectiveness can be
75% or higher. They are generally not used for high volume air streams.

The heat pipe heat exchanger uses heat pipes to transfer heat between two adjacent ducted
streams without the use of mechanical moving parts. Figure 5-11 illustrates how heat pipes
work and how they are arranged in a coil configuration to exchange heat. The fluid con-
tained in the tubes will evaporate on the hot side of the heat pipe and its vapor pressure
carries it to the opposite end where colder temperatures cause the vapor to condense at a

Figure 5-10. Plate and Plate-Fin Heat Exchangers

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Figure 5-11. Inner Workings of a Heat Pipe

slightly lower pressure. A wicking surface carries the liquid back to the warm side to repeat
the process. Large amounts of heat can be transferred due to the heat of vaporization of the
transfer fluid.

A similar device, without the wicking surface, is referred to as a thermosiphon, and relies
solely on gravity to return the liquid condensate to the warm end of the tube, as shown in
Figure 5-12. For this device, heat transfer can occur in only one direction because the liquid
collects in the bottom of the tube and is stable when the cold duct is physically below the

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Figure 5-12. Sealed-Tube Thermosiphon

warm duct. Thermosiphons can be used horizontally, although they are very sensitive to
even slight deviations from a true horizontal orientation. These devices can provide effec-
tiveness values of 60% or better, with reasonable air side pressure resistance.

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A major limitation in all of the preceding heat recovery devices is that the supply and ex-
haust air streams must be physically adjacent to each other. Where that is not possible, two
heat exchangers with a circulating fluid flowing through connecting piping can be used.
This system is often referred to as a run-around loop, and is shown in Figure 5-13. A small
pump circulates water or another appropriate heat transfer fluid between the heat exchang-
ers mounted in the two air streams. Obviously, this device is a sensible-only heat recovery
system. Effectiveness values range from 60% to 75% depending on the relative flow rates
of the two streams.

Heat recovery from liquid streams is usually easier to accomplish because liquid piping is
more compact and can be run over longer distances without excessive pumping power.
Standard shell-and-tube heat exchangers can usually be used, or tube-in-tube heat exchang-
ers for more compact applications. Special attention may be required for possible freezing
conditions, so an antifreeze or brine solution can be used in those instances. Similar atten-
tion may be needed if the hotter fluid temperature is above the boiling point of the other
fluid. Air-to-water and water-to-air heat recovery devices are similar to one-half of the run-
around loop.

Figure 5-13. Run-Around Coil Heat Recovery Device

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When the temperature difference is not large enough to provide adequate heat transfer, a
heat pump can be used to boost the heat exchange rate. Heat pumps can be used for virtually
all types of heat recovery applications, as shown in Figure 5-14. A heat pump not only
transfers heat, like the run-around loop, but it can also transfer heat against the regular heat
flow direction. For instance, if air from a conditioned space is to be exhausted at 80F, it can
still be used as a heat sink to cool incoming ventilation air that may be at 70F. Such a
design may not be energy efficient, as lower temperature heat sinks may be available. But,
the heat pump can be used where the temperature of either flow stream may fluctuate and
yet it will still deliver relatively stable performance over a fairly wide range of tempera-
tures. Heat pumps can be used off-the-shelf for liquid-to-air, air-to-air and liquid-to-liquid
applications. COPs of 2 to 5 are common, and can be even higher if both fluids are near the
same temperature.

A prime example for heat recovery is the heat dissipated by cooling towers, as shown in
Figure 5-15. The cooling tower water by itself is not adequate for specific heating applica-
tions. However, using the heat pump to boost this waste heat energy to a higher temperature

Figure 5-14. Industrial Heat Recovery Options with a Heat Pump

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Figure 5-15. Using Condenser Water Waste Heat


to Generate Higher Temperature Heat

makes this energy (which was only appropriate to be dissipated outdoors) useful for space
heating or reheat applications. Heat pump systems can overcome the problems of air streams
that are not in close proximity to each other because refrigerant piping can be run several
hundred feet if necessary.

5.4 High Temperature Water and Steam Systems

Ordinary space conditioning does not require high temperature heat sources above 250F.
In fact, temperatures above 250F must be handled with more care because of the greater
risk from overpressurization and burns from leaks. However, if an industrial plant generates
high pressure steam for process applications or has bleed steam available from steam power
turbines, high pressure steam can be used for heating applications with suitable reductions
in pressure to make it safer and compatible with lower temperature systems and controls.
The important process of pressure reduction may be done in two stages if there is a need for
steam at an intermediate pressure.

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Figure 5-16 shows a double reduction system where high pressure steam is reduced to low
pressure conditions for safe use in the building heating systems. Note that an intermediate
pressure steam can also be taken off this arrangement if needed. Relief valves are necessary
in the high pressure system and should be made to open in case the pressure reducing valve
does not operate properly. Local codes may require safety valves in each reducing stage.
High pressure steam mains may be desirable in the distribution system of a district heating
system. High pressure steam will reduce the steam mass flow rate requirement for a given
load and deliver larger quantities of steam for a given piping system.

High temperature water is defined as having a temperature above 350F and maximum
pressures of about 300 psig. The maximum design supply water temperature at 300 psig
would be about 450F. These systems are usually in very large systems (such as those used

Figure 5-16. Pressure Reduction Valve Arrangement


for Use of High Pressure Water

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in large district heating applications) and are used to reduce the water flow rates and pipe
sizes in the distribution mains. Low temperature hot water systems can still be used for
space heating in the individual buildings by using a converter (heat exchanger) at each
satellite building, as shown in Figure 5-17.

Figure 5-17. High Temperature Water Used to Generate


Lower Temperature Water for Satellite Buildings

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Summary

Industrial space conditioning may take on a whole new importance over simple comfort
conditioning. The economic impact of worker productivity and product quality may dwarf
the total space conditioning budget.

District heating and cooling systems take advantage of economies of scale when many
large users are located within a relatively small area. The large central plant can use long
life, high efficiency equipment and will often receive a more attractive fuel rate due to the
volume of fuel purchased. The central plant also provides an excellent opportunity to exer-
cise energy management with a central control system. The distribution network in these
systems will, almost by definition, be oversized because they must be sized for additional
capacity expansion in future projects.

The primary advantage of the district heating concept is cheaper fuel costs. The distribution
network must be designed for periodic inspection and component replacement. Corrosion
of buried pipes is a major issue that must be addressed.

Comparing the system economics of a district heating and cooling system to individual
units in each building is quite difficult because of all the different cost components. Solid
fuels may be inexpensive per Btu to purchase, but they will require additional pollution
control expenses as well as fuel and ash hauling capabilities. Another major cost savings of
the central plant is reduced mechanical equipment space requirements in each building.

Heat losses from steam and hot water distribution lines are a major consideration in district
heating systems. Heat losses to the soil and to chilled water lines in close proximity may
require a sophisticated heat transfer analysis to optimize the piping insulation materials.
There are a variety of insulation systems that can be used in buried piping networks.

Steam is a common working fluid in district heating systems. It requires much less mass
flow rate because of the very large latent heat of vaporization that is released upon conden-
sation of the steam. Steam is often not used as the actual heat transfer medium inside build-
ings due to the noise produced by steam pipes expanding and contracting under part-load
conditions. Steam traps are a major maintenance issue with steam systems, and are critical
to the systems performance.

Waste heat recovery often represents an opportunity to produce space heating without hav-
ing to actually pay for the source of heat. Low grade heat (below 100F) may be used
directly for outdoor air preheating or other similar applications. Heat pumps can be used
with a low grade heat source to boost its temperature to a more useful level. Cogeneration is
the simultaneous generation of electricity and thermal energy from a single prime mover

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 5 Industrial Heating Systems


5: 32

device. Gas-fired combustion turbines and reciprocating diesel engines are the most com-
mon prime movers. An overall system efficiency of 75% or more is possible with a good
application of the waste heat that is generated from the engine.

Heat recovery from process fluid streams can be accomplished with several types of heat
exchangers, such as a heat wheel or heat pipes. The necessity of having the two air streams
in close proximity is often a major drawback, so a run-around coil can also be used for heat
recovery. The effectiveness of these systems will range from 60% to 80%. Liquid-to-liquid
heat recovery is often performed with shell-and-tube or tube-in-tube heat exchangers.

High temperature water and steam systems are usually found where a large system needs to
keep the distribution mass flow rate low so that pipe network costs do not become exces-
sive. Both types usually go through a converter, or heat exchanger, within the building so
that low pressure components can be used with the space heating systems.

Bibliography

1. ASHRAE. 1995. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55a-1995, Addendum to Thermal Environ-


mental Conditions for Human Occupancy. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

2. Mesko, J. 1975. Economic Advantages of Central Heating and Cooling Systems: Under-
ground Heat and Chilled Water Distribution Systems. Washington, DC: National Institute
of Standards and Technology.

3. ASHRAE. 1991. ASHRAE Standard 84-1991, Method of Testing Air-to-Air Heat Ex-
changers. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

Chapter 5 Industrial Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


5: 33

Skill Development Exercises for Chapter 5

Complete these questions by writing your answers on the worksheets at the back of this
book.

5-01. An automotive assembly plant has 1 million ft2 under roof and is heated. $2.50 per
ft2 per year is spent for heating the plant. It has 2,000 employees in the assembly
area and produces 480 cars per day, five days a week. The employees earn $18 per
hour, including fringe benefits, and the cars cost on average $22,000 each. Express
the annual space conditioning costs as a percent of the annual wages and as a per-
cent of the annual product value.

5-02. Licensed boiler operators are often required at all times for large boilers above cer-
tain sizes. How do you think these annual operator costs would compare to typical
operator requirements for smaller boilers in 10 buildings of 30,000 ft2 each?

5-03. Name two major negative aspects of buried steam piping networks.

5-04. Would fiberglass pipe insulation with a thin aluminum covering be appropriate for
insulating a buried steam line? If not, explain why not.

5-05. How many gpm of hot water would be needed to provide the equivalent heating
capacity provided by 100 pounds per hour of 15 psig steam? Consider the hot water
to undergo a 50F drop in the terminal unit.

5-06. An industrial plant requires 20,000 cfm of outdoor air on a constant basis for venti-
lation. Estimate the energy savings during the month of January from a 70% effi-
cient heat wheel. During the month, assume the average outdoor air temperature is
30F. An 80% efficient boiler burning $5 per million Btu gas is the heating system
in the plant.

5-07. A 500 hp engine is used in a small cogeneration system. Estimate the minimum heat
output in Btu/h from the cooling jacket water using Figure 5-7.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 5 Industrial Heating Systems


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Chapter 6
Residential Heating Systems

Contents of Chapter 6

Instructions
Study Objectives of Chapter 6
6.1 System Types
6.2 Single-Family Systems
6.3 Multifamily Systems
Summary
Bibliography
Skill Development Exercises

Instructions

Read the material in this chapter for general content, and re-read the parts that are empha-
sized in the summary. Complete the skill development exercises without consulting the
text, then review the text as necessary to verify your solutions.

Study Objectives of Chapter 6

Although individually small in size, the residential market represents perhaps 100 times as
many systems as all commercial and industrial heating systems combined. The residential
market is sensitive to homeowner preferences and first-costs, particularly in the lower and
middle price ranges. This market requires simple systems due to the owners sensitivity to
maintenance costs and the possibility of infrequent maintenance visits. There are many
similarities yet some substantial differences between designing heating systems for a single-
family home versus a multifamily building.

The objectives of this chapter are to introduce many of the heating systems available for the
residential market and discuss their appropriate uses. In addition, the different options avail-
able to high-rise residents are presented, along with their advantages and disadvantages.
You should develop an appreciation for the limitations placed on residential heating system
design by first-cost constraints, which systems provide the greatest heating comfort, and
which are the most economical for combined heating and cooling operation.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


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6.1 System Types

While virtually every type of heating system in common usage in commercial applications
can also be found in residences, the residential system types can be divided into several
categories based on fuel types and energy distribution systems. Table 6-1 outlines these
different types of heating systems.

A large percentage of the homes built in the United States since World War II are heated
with natural gas using a central heating plant. Except for the energy crisis period from 1976
until about 1985 when there were restrictions on new gas connections in the United States,
natural gas has been the heating fuel of choice. This is due to its relatively low cost per unit
of energy, no required onsite storage, and its clean burning characteristics.

Homes built outside of urban areas served by natural gas pipelines will generally be heated
by electric heating systems, propane or oil. Certain rural parts of the country will have many
homes heated with wood where an abundance of low cost firewood is available. However,
even in those homes where wood is the main heating fuel used, there will usually also be a
primary heating system other than the wood stove. Oil heating systems are more common in
the northeastern United States due to the availability of local petroleum refineries, and the
lateness in which major gas pipelines from production areas in the south central part of the
country were able to serve that region. Solar space heating with active solar energy systems
has yet to become a significant part of the US residential market, although passive solar

Table 6-1. Residential Heating System Categories

Forced Air Hydronic Zonal


Gas Gas
Gas
Energy Oil Oil
Electric Resistance
Sources Electric Resistance Electric Resistance
Electric Heat Pump
Electric Heat Pump Electric Heat Pump

Heat Air
Distribution Air Water Water
Medium Refrigerant

Heat
Distribution Air Ducting Water Piping Ducting, Piping or None
System
Diffusers Radiators
Terminal
Registers Radiant Panels Usually an integral part of zonal units
Devices Grilles Fan-Coil Units

Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


6: 3

energy principles are being used in many new houses. The stable fuel prices since 1984
(which have actually declined in real terms) have reduced the attractiveness of systems
whose primary selling point is a reduction in energy costs usually at a much higher first-
cost.

The categories of heat delivery method include forced air systems, hydronic systems and
what may be called zonal systems. Central forced air systems have become popular in those
parts of the country where central air-conditioning is desired. Gravity flow heating systems
(basement or floor furnaces) have largely gone out of favor with the increasing demand for
ducted central cooling. Central air-conditioning was used in 80% of new homes built in the
United States in 1995, and a very high percentage of those homes will also use some type of
forced air heating system. The primary advantage of such systems is that the same ductwork
is used for both heating and cooling; this reduces the overall installation cost of the HVAC
system.

Hydronic heating systems are used primarily in homes where air-conditioning is not de-
sired, and which usually have very high heating requirements. Hydronic systems can pro-
vide greater heating comfort than forced air systems due to the dedicated heat delivery
method. While forced air systems must locate air registers and grilles to provide acceptable
air flow and comfort during both heating and cooling modes, hydronic systems are designed
based on heating considerations only. The quiet, uniform heat delivery makes these systems
the premium heating systems in the residential market. When air-conditioning is required, a
completely separate ducted system must be used, resulting in a very high total installation
cost for the two systems.

Zonal systems use multiple heating units and thermostats for the different rooms or zones in
the house. The lines between central and zonal systems have blurred as controls technology
has advanced. Central forced air and hydronic systems are now commonly divided into
zones with multiple thermostat controllers. However, the zonal systems in this instance are
those with completely separate heating units in each zone. Zonal systems can be either
electric or gas. There is a variety of gas room heaters, either unvented or vented through the
wall. Electric ceiling radiant or baseboard heat fits in this category because each room has
its own heating unit and thermostat. Hydronic systems will normally not be in this category
because the economics of individual boilers are prohibitive relative to the cost of a central
boiler and zone controls. Through-the-wall or window heat pumps are also in this category,
although these are often a retrofit selection due to either high electric resistance heating
costs or a desire for summertime cooling. A hybrid central/zonal system is the multiple
indoor section direct expansion heat pump, which has separate thermostat controllers and
air handling devices in each room or zone but a common outdoor unit and compressor.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


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4.2 Single-Family Systems

Of the approximately 97 million houses in the United States, about 69% can be classified as
single-family units.1 Most of these single-family houses are detached, separate units. About
25% are multifamily units, either apartment units, condominium, townhome, duplex or
fourplex. The remaining 6% are mobile homes (now referred to as HUD-Code homes).

The type of heating system that is most appropriate for a house depends on the type of
structure, where it is located and the type of fuel available. For instance, about 74% of the
households in the southern United States are single-family, versus 61% in the Northeast.
The annual heating degree-days for the South is about 3081F-days as compared to 5833F-
days for the Northeast. Without accounting for socioeconomic differences, you could there-
fore expect many more central forced air systems in the South and more hydronic heating
systems in the Northeast.

In 1995, 98% of new houses built in the South had central air-conditioning, virtually all of
which are forced air systems. In the Northeast, only 62% of the new houses had central
cooling, while 65% used warm air heating systems and 33% used hydronic heat. These
figures indicate that very few houses with hydronic heating systems will have central air-
conditioning. The availability of gas is 57% in the South and 73% in the Northeast, so the
operating economics often favor electric heat pumps in the South while gas boilers may be
the obvious choice in the Northeast.

Weather and building type may explain general design trends in various locations, but a
particular application must also account for the energy demand of the structure. Houses
constructed since 1980 will typically use one-half the energy of houses built before 19402
(as shown in Figure 6-1). The final pieces of the puzzle are local energy rates. Gas and
electric rates can vary within the United States by a factor of three. A combination of low
gas rates and high electric rates can force the economics to greatly favor gas heating sys-
tems, or vice versa.

The best heating system design for a house should account for the energy demand of the
structure and the local fuel costs to produce a comfortable space with reasonable installa-
tion and operating costs. Figure 6-2 shows how these factors can be combined to produce
the estimated heating energy costs for a particular system in a certain application. (It should
be noted that the AFUE rating does not include electrical energy input in its efficiency
calculation, which is why electrical energy costs must be accounted for separately.)

Different design decisions may be made whether the system is for a new house or as a
replacement in an existing house. As the housing stock in the United States gets older, a
greater percentage of heating and cooling systems are sold for the replacement market,

Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Figure 6-1. Heating Energy Requirements for US-Built Houses3


(Courtesy of the Gas Research Institute)

Figure 6-2. Inputs Needed to Estimate Gas System Annual Operating Cost3
(Courtesy of the Gas Research Institute)

which totaled $8.6 billion in 1994 versus only $6.4 billion in 1987.4 Some of these systems
represent replacement of failed systems, but many are installed to add capacity for addi-
tions, upgrade system efficiencies, and add central cooling.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


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WARM AIR SYSTEMS

The basic central warm air system will have a forced air furnace with a fan and connecting
ductwork to the individual rooms. The furnace can be fired with either natural gas, propane,
oil, electricity, wood or coal, although solid fueled systems are becoming quite rare in resi-
dential applications. Because of energy costs, electric furnaces have largely been replaced
by heat pumps where heating with electricity is desirable. Only in regions where heating
demand is very low or in structures with small heating loads should electric furnaces be
considered. The desirability of any heating fuel will depend on its availability and cost,
usually more so than the performance or reliability of the heating system itself.

The major components of a central gas furnace with a split cooling system are shown in
Figure 6-3. The air to be heated or cooled comes to the system through the return duct (1)
where it passes through a filtering device (2). Low efficiency media filters are used to keep
the heat exchanger surfaces clean and free flowing; however, electronic air cleaners are
often used to remove fine dusts, pollen, mold spores, tobacco smoke and other fine particu-
lates. The blower (3) is an integral part of the furnace (4), although it is also used when the
cooling system is operating. The air-conditioning evaporator coil (5) provides cooling and
dehumidification in hot weather. Refrigerant lines (6) connect the evaporator coil with the
outdoor condensing unit (7). The condensate removed in the dehumidification process (as
well as condensate from condensing furnaces) must be drained away through a small pipe
or tube (8) to a drain. The outlet (supply) air enters the supply duct system (9) where it is
distributed to the rooms by a duct system that should be sized to automatically distribute the
air according to the needs of the individual rooms. In very cold or very dry locations, a
humidifier (10) may be needed for wintertime comfort. Humidifiers tend to be high mainte-
nance items due to the deposits caused by the chemicals dissolved in the water. For this
reason, many homes will use a small freestanding humidifier that is easier to clean and
service rather than one that is an integral part of the heating system.

Most combustion furnaces use natural gas as the fuel source. Nationwide, about 53% of all
homes use natural gas as the heating fuel, 5% use propane (LP gas), 10% use fuel oil, 27%
use electricity, and 5% use other fuels such as wood or coal or use no heating system at all
(such as in Hawaii or southern Florida). Of the natural gas-fired heating equipment, Figure
6-4 illustrates the relative market share for the various types of new equipment shipped in
the United States. While shipments of room heaters, wall and floor furnaces, and boilers
have stayed nearly constant from 1985 to 1995, the growth in the gas-fired market has been
due to increased installations of central forced air furnaces. The projections anticipate this
trend to continue as the combination gas furnace/central air conditioner becomes more wide-
spread throughout all parts of the country.

Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Figure 6-3. Typical Residential Central Gas Furnace/Air-Conditioner System

In 1995, 67% of new houses used a warm air furnace (natural gas, propane or oil), 25% used
a heat pump, and 5% used hydronic heating systems.4 Of these new homes, 80% had central
cooling systems. Natural gas or propane were the heating fuels in 67% of the new homes,
electricity in 28%, and oil in only 4%. Natural gas and propane furnaces are practically
identical in design and operation, and so will not be treated separately in this chapter.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


6: 8

Figure 6-4. Sales of Residential Gas-Fired Heating Equipment in the US3


(Courtesy of the Gas Research Institute)

Gas furnaces generally fall into three categories: standing pilot natural draft, mid-efficiency,
and high-efficiency condensing types. The standing pilot natural draft furnace uses a stand-
ing pilot (small gas flame) to ignite the primary gas stream once the valve opens on a call for
heating from the thermostat. The mid-efficiency systems are practically all mechanical draft
furnaces, although a few are natural draft and use electronic ignition to improve the annual
fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating. The high-efficiency condensing furnaces are ex-
clusively mechanical draft and use a secondary heat exchanger to take the combustion gases
below their dewpoint. By condensing some of the water vapor in the flue gases, some of the
latent heat of vaporization of the water vapor produced in the combustion process can be
recovered. The higher heating value (HHV) of a fuel includes this latent heat effect, so only
by condensing some of the water vapor in the flue gas can the efficiency of the furnace ever
exceed about 91% based on HHV. Figure 6-5 gives the breakdown of these different gas
furnace models that are listed in the 1995 GAMA Directory.5

If you examine the GAMA Directory, you would see a gap in furnace offerings with efficien-
cies (AFUE) between about 82% and 89%. This is a zone where condensate would start to

Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


6: 9

Figure 6-5. Gas Furnace Offerings in 19953


(Courtesy of the Gas Research Institute)

be formed in the flue gases under certain operating conditions and natural draft buoyancy
effects become too small to properly vent the flue gases. To go beyond an AFUE of 82,
manufacturers must use condensing technology, which requires stainless steel heat exchang-
ers, induction fans for mechanical draft (or pulse combustion technology), a condensate
drain, and different options for flue vent materials. These more expensive components will
not normally be found on units with AFUE ratings below 90.

The condensation of flue gases will impact the vent system as well as the furnace itself. Flue
gases at their dewpoint that are exhausted into an ordinary flue or chimney will produce
additional condensation on the flue lining and the potential for corrosion or moisture dam-
age. Consequently, the new gas furnace technologies also require new venting technologies.
The vent requirements for various furnace efficiencies are illustrated in Figure 6-6, while
Figure 6-7 shows these vents in different applications.

The 1987 National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) directed the US Depart-
ment of Energy to review minimum efficiency levels of residential appliances and establish
higher minimum efficiencies when the technology permits economic feasibility. On Janu-
ary 1, 1992, the first set of minimum efficiency standards took effect in the United States
and established an AFUE of 78 as the lowest efficiency for which gas furnaces could be
sold. This efficiency floor virtually eliminated natural draft furnaces; however, it also has
had the effect of establishing 78 AFUE as the standard for most applications.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


6: 10

Figure 6-6. Furnace Venting Requirements for Different Levels of Efficiency3


(Courtesy of the Gas Research Institute)

Figure 6-7. Residential Venting Strategies for Gas Appliances3


(Courtesy of the Gas Research Institute)

Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


6: 11

In an effort to encourage higher efficiency levels, the US Environmental Protection Agency


(EPA) has initiated its Energy Star program whereby high efficiency appliances are permit-
ted to carry the Energy Star logo as a marketing tool.6 To qualify for the Energy Star desig-
nation, gas furnaces must have an AFUE of 90 or higher. The Air Conditioning Contractors
of America (ACCA) has joined with the EPA to produce Good Practices Guidelines to
which contractors selling Energy Star equipment will be asked to subscribe to ensure that
the benefits available from the high efficiency equipment are consistently achieved.

Modern gas furnaces are more complex than the standing pilot natural draft furnaces that
were the industry staple for many years. Figure 6-8 shows a cutaway view of a gas furnace
with three different heat exchanger designs illustrated. While either so-called clamshell or
tubular primary heat exchangers can be used, a finned tube secondary heat exchanger will
usually be needed for the condensing phase of the heat transfer process. The induction fan
permits downflow of the combustion gases for a more efficient counterflow arrangement

Figure 6-8. Modern Gas-Fired Forced Air Furnace3


(Courtesy of the Gas Research Institute)

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


6: 12

with the popular upflow furnaces. Furnaces that utilize pulse combustion technology will
also have an acoustic resonator device to muffle the noise produced by the pulse combus-
tion process. A side-benefit of the high efficiency condensing furnaces is that the low tem-
perature PVC flue pipe is easy to install and can be vented through side walls as well as the
more traditional way through the roof.

Although gas furnaces are inherently very clean burning appliances, they do produce small
amounts of nitrogen oxides (NOx) as a result of the oxidation of some of the nitrogen in the
combustion air at the high burner temperatures. The state of California has enacted limits on
NOx emissions at 40 nanograms per Joule (ng/J) of useful heat output for furnaces and water
heaters. Most modern gas furnaces that are properly tuned should meet these requirements
with little difficulty. No other state or country has such emissions regulations that impact
residential gas-fired heating systems. (More information on this topic can be found in a
1992 report from the Gas Research Institute.)7

Fuel oil furnaces fit into the system shown in Figure 6-1 in the same manner as a gas
furnace. These units have a self-contained pump and ignitor system, so only the piping from
the external fuel oil storage tank and electrical power are needed. It is more difficult to
achieve efficiencies in excess of 90% with oil furnaces due to the spray combustion pro-
cess. There are some condensing oil furnaces on the market, but the majority that are sold
have efficiencies in the low 80% range.

The oil pump pressurizes the oil so that it leaves the atomizer nozzle as a fine mist that
easily burns. The ignitor includes a stepup voltage transformer and an electrode that intro-
duces a spark in the proximity of the fuel mist. As with gas furnaces, oil furnaces contain a
flame safeguard sensor that stops fuel flow in the event that a flame is not established within
a few seconds after startup. Fuel oil furnaces have not seen major growth in recent years due
to fuel price volatility and periods of high fuel prices. In addition, the diesel-powered car
market began to compete for the same grade of petroleum distillate, further raising the price
of fuel oil during the 1980s. Only in the Northeast are oil-fired systems of any type seriously
considered for new houses, with 31% using oil in houses completed in 1995.

Accurate sizing of a gas or oil-fired furnace to the building load is not especially critical to
the operating efficiency of a modern residential combustion heating system. With controlled
combustion air, cycling losses will usually be minimal. The main issue to consider is the
variable comfort that may result from short-cycling of a unit during mild weather. A prop-
erly sized gas furnace or boiler will have an output capacity about 70% greater than the
design heating load to provide capacity for thermostat setback and abnormally cold condi-
tions.3

Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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The most common type of electric warm air heating unit is the heat pump system, with a
typical split-system air source heat pump configuration shown in Figure 6-9. Other than the
basic differences between a heat pump and a cooling-only air conditioner, this arrangement
is very similar to the furnace/air conditioner arrangement without the furnace. The same
coil that provides cooling in summer provides heating in winter. Heat pumps will usually
need auxiliary resistance heaters (5) for severe heating conditions when the reduced capac-
ity of the heat pump cannot meet the increased heating requirements of the space (refer to
Figure 4-51 for an illustration of heat pump performance characteristics). The same resis-
tance heaters can be used for emergency heat in the event of a major failure with the heat
pump system.
The NAECA minimum efficiency for heat pumps is a cooling seasonal energy efficiency
ratio (SEER) of 10.0 Btu/Wh and heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) of 6.8
Btu/Wh. The Energy Star efficiency level is a SEER of 12.0 and an HSPF of 7.0 Btu/
Wh.
Proper sizing of the
heat pump and the
resistance heaters is
critical for year-
round comfort and
low operating costs,
and is usually based
on the cooling
requirements of the
structure. ASHRAE
and ACCA recom-
mend that the heat
pump sensible cool-
ing capacity at the
design cooling con-
dition not exceed the
design sensible cool-
ing requirements by
25% to ensure ade-
quate run-times
needed for proper
cooling dehumidifi-
cation. Humidity is
not controlled
directly in cooling
mode, so during low Figure 6-9. Residential Central Heat Pump System
sensible load con-

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


6: 14

ditions, the unit will run enough to satisfy the sensible load (as determined by the thermo-
stat) but it may not run enough to satisfy the latent load.

Because much of the United States has design heating loads that are two to three times the
design cooling load, it is common for heat pumps to have heating balance points in the 20
to 25F range (25 to 30F in the north). This use of higher cost resistance heaters does
impact annual heating costs, generally in proportion to the length and severity of the heating
season. The incremental cost of the resistance heaters would vary from practically zero in
the southern United States to perhaps 25% of the annual heating cost along the Canadian
border. At outdoor temperatures below the balance point, the resistance heaters are cycled
on and off by the two-stage heat pump thermostat to satisfy the space load while the more
efficient heat pump runs continuously to carry the bulk of the space heating requirements.

A relatively new development in heat pump systems is the ground-coupled heat pump, some-
times referred to as a geothermal heating and cooling system. Although the concept was
developed and tested in the 1940s,8 it did not become economically attractive until the
1980s when heat fusible plastic pipe was used as the ground heat exchanger. The most
popular design uses a circulating water/antifreeze mixture that flows through the buried
pipe. The pipe can be buried in a horizontal trench, in a U-tube arrangement down a back-
filled vertical borehole, or placed on the bottom of a lake. Open systems, where water is
pumped out of the ground and used on a once-through basis before disposal, are common in
parts of the country where adequate supplies (3 gpm per ton of capacity) of good quality
groundwater are available. Direct expansion systems are common in Canada where cooling
requirements are small. These types pipe the refrigerant directly through copper tubes bur-
ied in the ground, with no intermediate heat transfer fluid.

The primary advantages of ground-source systems are their very high efficiencies, no vis-
ible external equipment, low maintenance, mechanical simplicity (compared to air source
heat pumps), low noise level, and the opportunity for economical waste heat recovery using
desuperheater domestic hot water heaters. They are generally 25% to 50% more expensive
than high efficiency conventional furnace/air conditioner or air source heat pump systems;
however, costs vary dramatically with local contractor competitiveness. Because of their
very high efficiencies and factory-sealed refrigerant systems, the US Department of Energy
and the EPA are promoting their use as an environmentally friendly alternative to conven-
tional HVAC systems. The primary advocate for these systems is the International Ground
Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) located in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Until recently, virtually all residential heat pumps were driven by an electric motor. In 1995,
a three-ton gas-fired engine-driven heat pump became commercially available in the United
States. Such systems are quite widespread in Japan, as more than 100,000 were installed in

Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


6: 15

Japan before the first unit was sold commercially in the United States. These are very en-
ergy efficient systems, but the added complexity of a reciprocating engine to replace a simple
electric motor makes service and maintenance a primary concern. Cooperating gas utilities
are working to establish the service infrastructure needed for successful introduction of
these new and more complex systems.

Another hybrid warm air product is the so-called dual fuel heating and cooling system. It is
essentially the gas furnace/electric air conditioner system shown in Figure 6-1, except the
cooling-only unit is replaced by a heat pump. The heat pump is allowed to provide the
heating as long as the outdoor air temperature is above some economic balance point. This
is the temperature at which the efficiency of the heat pump drops to where the heat pump
costs more to operate than the gas furnace at the local gas and electric rates. This balance
point is often between 35 and 40F where the heat pump must initiate defrosting. The
roughly $400 additional cost of the heat pump over the cooling-only unit can supposedly be
paid back in several years by the energy savings of this optimal system.9

At least one manufacturer offers a dual fuel system complete with customized thermostat
controller. These systems are often promoted by electric utilities and opposed by gas utili-
ties because they use electricity during the mild weather conditions and gas only during
peak heating times. The appropriate heat pump and gas furnace efficiencies will depend on
local gas and electric rates as well as the cost of the equipment compared to a conventional
system.

The final hybrid warm air system that is commercially available is often referred to as a
triple function system, which provides heating, cooling and domestic hot water. There are
heat pumps that can provide all of these functions, however, most triple function systems
have separate gas heating and electric cooling units housed in the same cabinet. The water
heating would likely be accomplished with gas heat, although a desuperheater in the cool-
ing lines can also be used. The operating costs of these systems are quite variable and hard
to predict because the highly variable domestic hot water load is included. The sales of
these systems, including the heat pump types, have been quite small.

Electric furnaces were commonly installed in the southern United States in the 1960s and
1970s before the energy crisis, and today are still used somewhat in regions with very short
heating seasons. These furnaces use electric resistance heating elements mounted in the
cabinet where the indoor coil is shown in Figure 6-9. Electric furnaces have a very low
installed cost due to their simplicity, with correspondingly low maintenance. However, they
use perhaps the most expensive fuel source per unit of energy delivered. Electric furnaces
will usually be substantially more expensive to operate than electric baseboard or electric
radiant systems even though they all use resistance heating elements. Air leaks into and out

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


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of duct distribution systems located in unconditioned spaces put the forced air furnace at a
disadvantage over the baseboard or radiant systems. Also, the baseboard and radiant sys-
tems are zonal systems, permitting easier differential control of each room and allowing the
occupant to use long-term thermostat setbacks in unused spaces as necessary.

A major drawback to warm air systems is the often poorly designed or installed duct system.
The ductwork is to the heating system as arteries and veins are to the blood circulatory
system in our bodies. Various studies have shown that 20% to 50% of the air flow delivered
by the air handling unit may not reach the conditioned space due to leaks from ducts located
in unconditioned spaces. Leaks into return ducts located in unconditioned spaces have a
similar, but smaller, impact on operating costs as leaks out of the supply ducts.

There is a small industry of duct doctors that inspect and seal forced air ductwork. They
generally use a small fan system to pressurize the ductwork to locate the leakiest segments,
then apply mastic or other sealants on the metal duct joints. Based on before and after utility
bills, they commonly report reductions in heating and cooling costs of about 20% to 40% in
addition to improved comfort during severe load conditions. Many utilities now have duct
sealing programs where they encourage and possibly rebate a portion of the cost of duct
inspections and sealing.

Another part of this service involves insulation of ductwork. It is common to apply 1 in. of
fiberglass insulation around ductwork located in an attic, yet have 10 in. of fiberglass insu-
lation on the attic floor. The combination of leaky duct joints and poor insulation produces
a thermosiphon effect, creating a steady flow of cold air into the house through the duct
system when the air handling fan is not in operation. Many innovative builders are now
finding ways to place the ductwork within the conditioned space so that leaks into or out of
the system have less negative impact on the system's energy efficiency.

Leaking ductwork may have several impacts on the house indoor air quality other than a
loss of heating or cooling capacity. Figure 6-10 depicts a typical duct system in a two-story
house with a below-grade basement. The first floor is supplied by floor registers from the
basement while the second floor is supplied by ceiling registers from the attic. The air
handling unit in this schematic has a central return, but such systems may have return air
grilles connected to the first floor hallway and possibly even to the second floor hallway.

Leaking air from the supply ducts located in the attic will have the effect of placing the rest
of the house, but primarily the basement, under a negative pressure to make up by infiltra-
tion the air that leaked out of the system. This infiltration air may come from many sources,
but most commonly it comes from the soil through subfloor drainage tile and poorly sealed
sumps, through backdrafting of natural draft flues such as with gas water heaters, from floor
drains where the water trap has evaporated, or through windows and cracks above grade. In

Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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many parts of the country, leaking duct systems are a primary cause of radon gas drawn into
the house from the soil. As houses are built tighter, this leakage effect can cause backdrafting
problems in natural draft water heaters with the potential for disrupting the normal flow of
flue gases when the burner activates. In the best case scenario, only additional infiltration of
outdoor air results, producing a greater heating load on the structure than anticipated. In the
worst case, elevated levels of carbon monoxide can be produced in the house.

Even if the attic ducts were perfectly sealed, a leaky return air duct system located in an
unconditioned space can cause similar effects, although now causing the house to be posi-
tively pressurized. For example, if hallway return grilles are used and bedroom doors are
kept closed, the bedrooms will become positively pressurized when the fan operates, forc-
ing air to leak out of those rooms. Air must leak into the rest of the house (now at a negative
pressure) to compensate for the outflow of air from the pressurized bedrooms.

Figure 6-10. Residential Forced Air Duct System

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An ideal duct system would have perfectly tight and equally sized supply and return ducts to
each space, with no ductwork located outside the insulated building envelope. Although
such an ideal duct system is difficult to design into a house and would be more expensive to
install, several studies indicate that such a duct system would have a significant impact on
both indoor air quality and operating costs as compared to current practice for forced air
heating and cooling systems.

Another increasingly important issue involving duct systems is how to maintain their clean-
liness, particularly when moist air is circulated through them (especially the return ducts)
when in cooling mode. Just as the industry of duct doctors grew in response to the energy
inefficiencies of duct systems, so has an industry of duct cleaners that utilize various types
of brush and vacuum systems.

Of particular concern regarding indoor air quality are ducts with fibrous insulation materi-
als as the inner lining. These porous materials make a perfect breeding ground for many
molds and bacteria, given the proper temperature and humidity conditions. Such materials
cannot be cleaned, and may have to be physically removed to remedy severe cases of sick
building syndrome caused by biological growth inside the duct system. Control of exces-
sive indoor humidity, both in summer and in winter, and maintaining clean ducts have been
shown to be the key to minimizing the likelihood of such growth from getting started.4,10

The duct industry is rapidly changing as these IAQ issues are addressed and sources of the
problems are identified. The movement away from porous lining materials is quite rapid
and the industry will likely eventually agree to using solid inner surfaces in all duct systems
even if local codes do not require them. Other IAQ problems may be associated with hu-
midifiers, as deaths have resulted from Legionella bacteria growing in humidifier reser-
voirs.11 While forced air heating systems are increasing in popularity, more IAQ problems
are being attributed to these versatile systems, causing changes in their basic design and
maintenance from what was accepted practice as recently as 1990.

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EXAMPLE 6-1

Problem: A single-story house with a slab floor has a central forced air furnace located in an
interior closet. The furnace has a single central return and all of its supply ducts are located
in the attic. A blower door test of the house indicates that the attic supply ductwork will leak
15% of the systems rated air flow. The gas furnace has a rated air flow of 1,200 cfm, and a
supply air temperature of 110F at design conditions of 70F indoors and 0F outdoors.
Neglect duct conduction losses. What is the furnace output, in Btu/h? What is the delivered
heat to the space, in Btu/h? If the furnace AFUE is 92, what is the net efficiency of the total
system including the ductwork?

Solution: The furnace output (sensible) is simply the product of air flow rate, specific heat
and temperature rise from the return to the supply side of the furnace.

q& F ,out = m& a c p ,a (TS TR ) = a Qa c p,a (TS TR )

lb m ft 3 min Btu
q& F ,out = 0.075 3 1,200 60 0.24 (110 70) F
ft min h lb m F
= 51,800 Btu / h

The input rate to the furnace can be approximated by:


q& 51,800 Btu / h
q& F ,input = F ,out = = 56,300 Btu / h input
AFUE 0.92

The delivered heat to the space will be 85% of the furnace output (the other 15% of the
supply air flow, and heat capacity, are leaked into the attic):
q&del = 0.85 51,800 Btu / h = 44,000 Btu / h

To determine the net effect of the furnace, the increased infiltration of outdoor air into the
house (caused by the duct leakage in the attic) must be accounted for and that extra load
subtracted from the furnace output:

q& Infil = a QLeak c p,a (Tr TO )

lb ft 3 min Btu
q& Infil = ( 015
. ) 0.075 m3 1,200 60 0.24 ( 70 0) F
ft min h lb m F
= 13,600 Btu / h

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This infiltration load is the amount of heat needed to warm the outdoor air that leaks in as a
result of the house becoming negatively pressurized due to the air leaks into the attic. The
actual net heat output from the furnace to the house is the delivered heat rate minus the
amount needed to heat the additional infiltrating air caused by the furnace operation:
q& F ,net = q& del q& Infil = (44,000 13,600) = 30,400 Btu / h

The net system efficiency is based on the net heat output from the furnace that can be used
to condition the space divided by the gross heat input rate:

q& F , Net 30,400 Btu / h


Net = = = 54%
q& F , Input 56,300 Btu / h

Of the total gas energy that enters the furnace, the energy balance breaks down as follows:

8% - Flue loss
14% - Duct loss
24% - Heating needed for extra infiltrating air caused by the leaking ducts
54% - Net heat to the conditioned space

In this example, a 15% air flow leakage rate translates to a decrease in operating efficiency
from 92% to 54%, or a loss of 38% at this set of design conditions.

EXAMPLE 6-2

Problem: Consider the same furnace in Example 6-1, but now it is installed in a system
where the ductwork is located in an unheated crawlspace with the same design conditions.
In this system, the supply ducts have been very well sealed but the return ducts were un-
treated and leak 15% of the rated flow rate. What are the air temperatures entering and
leaving the furnace? What is the delivered heat to the space? What is the net efficiency of
the total system?

Solution: When the cold air from the crawlspace leaks into the return duct, it will mix with
the return air and the mixture will be below room temperature, in proportion to the amount
of air that leaks in. For these purposes, assume that the crawlspace is vented, so that on the
design day, the crawlspace air temperature is essentially the same as outdoor air. By per-
forming an energy balance on the mixing process occurring in the duct, the mixture tem-
perature entering the furnace can be computed by:

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Qtot Tmix = (QR TR ) + ( QLeak TO )

Q Q
Tmix = R TR + Leak TO
Qtot Qtot
= (0.85 70 F) + (015
. 0 F)
= 59.5 F

Thus, the 15% leakage rate lowered the air temperature entering the furnace by over 10F.
In reality, the capacity and efficiency of the furnace will be a function of the return air
temperature. Without having specific performance data, we will assume that the furnace
capacity is the same with the lower entering air temperature, implying that there will be the
same 40F temperature rise as before. Thus, the leaving (supply air) temperature will be
approximately 59.5F + 40F = 99.5F. While this air temperature would still feel warm to
the touch, once the air leaves the supply registers and begins mixing with the 70F room air,
it may begin to raise some concern from the occupants about cold supply air temperatures.
This supply air temperature will obviously vary with the outdoor air temperature.

Although the capacity of the furnace is the same as before (51,800 Btu/h), this will not be
the delivered heat to the space even though the supply ducts are perfectly sealed. The full
1,200 cfm of air flows into the heated space, but at the lower temperature of 99.5F rather
than the 110F of the previous example. 1,200 cfm of air also flows out of the heated space,
but only 85% of it goes into the return air grilles, with the other 15% being leaked out of the
house (pressurized) through cracks in the building envelope. The equation for the furnace
capacity from Example 6-1 still applies, but with the lower supply air temperature. (Note:
the air density entering the furnace will be slightly different from the room air density in
Example 6-1. In reality, the volume flow rate through the fan will also change with air
density. For this example, we will assume these two effects produce the same mass flow rate
and so will use the same density and volume flow rate from Example 6-1.)

lb m ft 3 min Btu
q& F ,net = 0.075 1,200 60 0.24 (99.5 70) F
ft
3
min h lb m F
= 38,200 Btu / h

Because the supply ducts are perfectly tight, this is also the net delivered heat capacity to the
heated space.

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The net efficiency of the system is the delivered heat capacity divided by the total fuel heat
capacity (56,300 Btu/h from Example 6-1). For this case:
q& F ,net 38,200 Btu / h
net = = = 68%
q&input 56,300 Btu / h

You may wonder why this system with the return air leaks has a higher system efficiency
(although still 24% lower than the furnace AFUE) than the same system with equal supply
air leaks. The difference between the two is the temperature at which the air leaks out of the
system (and hence, the amount of energy that leaks out of the system). The supply ducts leak
air to outdoors at the supply temperature of 110F, while the system with the return duct
leak caused room air at 70F to leak out of the house. In both cases, the same quantity of
outdoor air entered the system. In the first case, the outdoor air entered the house as addi-
tional infiltration, while in this case, the outdoor air entered the return duct system directly.

It should be mentioned that with this leaking return duct system, the actual heating effect
may be slightly greater than what was shown if the pressurization of the house reduces the
amount of outdoor air infiltrating into the space. Detailed information about the house leak-
age characteristics must be known to be able to estimate this effect. It would be expected
that this effect may be significant in very tight houses, but probably almost negligible in
very leaky houses.

Examples 6-1 and 6-2 illustrate the rather dramatic impacts that duct air leaks in uncondi-
tioned spaces can have on operating efficiency, comfort and cost. The impact on cooling
performance may be even more severe, because humidity levels and their effect on net
latent capacity must be considered. For any return ductwork located in or having any access
to attic spaces, the impact of return air leaks is amplified due to the high attic temperatures
caused by roof solar gains. An added complication of locating air handlers and coils in attics
is the potential for mold growth inside the air handler during the cooling season due to the
presence of the condensate pan and the warm temperatures during the off cycles.

Mechanical ventilation is usually not provided in single-family residences, except where


extremely tight construction is necessary in cold climates. Most houses in the United States
will leak enough outdoor air through cracks in the building envelope to provide the ventila-
tion air needed for normal occupancy conditions. While the fan in warm air systems would
be a simple way to introduce outdoor ventilation air into a home, it is rarely used in this way.
Mechanical ventilation, when applied, will normally be accomplished with simple exhaust
fans, or with a separate heat recovery ventilator with small fans that take in outdoor air and
exhaust indoor air through a heat exchanger. One challenge to using heat recovery ventila-
tors is the potential for frost formation during cold weather. As buildings are built to tighter

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standards, mechanical ventilation may become necessary and may eventually be incorpo-
rated in the central air handling unit.

Zonal systems eliminate the problems associated with ductwork, however, they may multi-
ply the equipment and maintenance costs. These heating systems could include wall-mounted
gas-fired vented heaters, electric thermal energy storage systems, unvented radiant or con-
vection gas-fired room heaters, window-mounted heat pumps, and vented or unvented gas
fireplaces. In many applications, these zonal heaters were not in the building design when
the original building was constructed, but are used for additions or where an inadequate
central heating system cannot satisfy the heating requirements. The total installed cost of
zonal units would generally be substantially greater than the cost of a single central system,
although operating costs may be lower because of the individual zone control.

Two types of zonal units merit some discussion. The electric thermal energy storage (TES)
zonal units are console-type systems filled with ceramic bricks or other materials that can
absorb heat from embedded electric heating elements.12 These bricks may reach well over
1000F during the energy charging period, although the insulated cabinet should pose no
burn hazard. TES systems are promoted by electric utilities as load leveling devices and
substantial discounts (up to 40%) on regular kWh rates are given for their energy usage. At
a 40% discounted rate, they are as energy cost effective as a heat pump with a COP of 1.7,
with little maintenance required for the simple components.

The utility establishes time-of-day rates during which the TES systems can be charged at
the discounted rates, usually during nighttime hours. They are then discharged during the
daytime peak load hours, with only a small fan for power consumption. These systems have
been popular in Europe as utility load leveling devices and are promoted most in the United
States by utilities with poor load factors due to a high residential mix in the customer base.

The other zonal heaters worthy of discussion are the unvented combustion heating systems,
ranging from gas fireplaces to small room heaters. Many of these systems are advertised as
being 99.9% efficient, based on the essentially complete combustion of the natural gas.
However, to actually reach these efficiency levels (as discussed with the gas furnaces), the
flue gases would have to condense to release their latent heat of vaporization. In practice,
some of this water vapor can be considered beneficial as a moisture source during the dry
winter. It is doubtful that anyone actually performs a latent load analysis of the house to see
whether all the vapor that is generated from these units can be absorbed by the dry air in the
house. Although zonal units in general may eliminate the negative IAQ aspects of ductwork,
unvented zonal systems that are used as a primary heating source should be analyzed for
their impact on moisture buildup in the house.

Another class of warm air heating system is a multifunction or combination heater. These

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


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units vary considerably in their design and performance, but they generally provide heating,
cooling and domestic hot water in one package. While they can be based on an electric heat
pump/water heater combination, the most popular usually have gas heat, electric air-condi-
tioning and gas-fired hot water. Some offer hot water generated by a desuperheater in the
air-conditioner cycle. Sales volume of these systems is still a small fraction of total residen-
tial system sales, but they are becoming more widely accepted for residential applications.

HOT WATER SYSTEMS

Residential hot water systems are quite similar to those used in commercial buildings (de-
scribed in Chapter 4). Small boilers (either gas, oil or electric) heat the water and a frac-
tional horsepower pump circulates the hot water to the terminal devices, usually either ra-
diators, baseboard convectors or tubing under the floor. Hot water fan coil systems can be
used if central cooling is desired.

A gas-fired boiler is shown in Figure 6-11, with the two most common types of heat ex-
changers that are used in these boilers. The cast iron boilers often use modular heat ex-
changers, where additional segments can be added to increase the system's capacity. Most
residential boilers use natural draft venting, and a vent damper is a common way to control
flue losses when the burner is not firing. These dampers will close (in response to either an
electrical signal or on the basis of flue temperature) when the burners shut off and prevent
air from passing through the boiler and up the flue when the system is in standby mode.

Tests indicate that vent dampers will increase seasonal efficiencies by several percentage
points. The NAECA minimum AFUE efficiency level for hot water boilers is 80%, while
the Energy Star efficiency is 85%. Figure 6-12 shows the different types of boilers that are
on the market, with only a small fraction that are condensing types. Venting of 80% AFUE
boilers can normally be achieved with conventional chimneys when using a draft hood that
lowers the dewpoint of the flue gases by diluting them with air. Some boilers can also
provide domestic hot water when supplied with an additional pump and domestic hot water
heat exchanger. The domestic hot water is generated from a heat exchange process, as the
potable water and the boiler circulating water cannot mix. This arrangement should be evalu-
ated closely because the combined summertime standby energy losses of the boiler and the
water heater may quickly overcome any reduction in first-costs.

Except for the size and number of the components, residential hot water systems are de-
signed nearly the same as commercial systems. Zoning of residential systems is possible,
although many older systems still in use have manual controls on the terminal devices.
Electric resistance boilers are still commonly used in commercial applications where the
heating requirements are often small compared to the cooling requirements. Electric boilers
would be quite expensive in residential applications and are infrequently used.

RADIANT SYSTEMS

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Figure 6-11. Residential Gas-Fired Hot Water Boiler3


(Courtesy of the Gas Research Institute)

Figure 6-12. Gas Boiler Offerings in 19953


(Courtesy of the Gas Research Institute)

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


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Residential radiant heating systems consist of two primary types: hydronic pipes imbedded
in or under the floor; and electric resistance heating cables imbedded in the ceiling or floor.
Although fairly common in certain commercial applications, there are few indirect fired gas
radiant systems available for residential applications, likely due to the cost of the multiple
units needed for individual rooms. There is a far greater variety of radiant systems used in
commercial and industrial applications. Electric radiant panels are usually zone controlled,
while hydronic systems may be a central system either with or without zone controls.

A controlled-temperature surface is referred to as a radiant panel if more than one-half of its


heating effect is produced by radiation exchange with the surroundings. Radiant panels are
generally divided into two categories: low-temperature panels that operate below 300F;
and high-temperature panels that operate above 300F. The radiant systems used in residen-
tial houses are the low-temperature variety, and typically operate with surface temperatures
of 90F or below. Small portable radiant heaters using propane are available for residential
use, but are usually used only for emergency heating and are not considered a primary
heating source.

There are several reasons why radiant heaters might be used in houses. If air-conditioning is
not needed, the interior space that would be needed for the air handlers and ductwork of a
warm air system can be saved. There are no terminal units (such as radiators or baseboard
convectors) to disrupt wall and window treatments or furniture placement and the system
should be perfectly quiet. Finally, because the heat is transferred uniformly by radiation
with some convection, there are no air drafts to cause local discomfort in winter.

The disadvantages include having to use a separate ducted system if air-conditioning is


desired and the high fuel costs associated with the electric radiant panels. Hydronic radiant
panels can be used for cooling; however, care must be taken to prevent condensation or
mold growth on the cool surfaces. Their use for cooling is appropriate only where there is
virtually no need for dehumidification, such as in high altitude or desert climates. Because
air-conditioning is being installed in a much higher percentage of new homes, radiant sys-
tem market share is dropping.

Radiant panel heating systems are somewhat more difficult to size than forced air systems
because their radiation exchange is with the solid surfaces in the space, not to the air. They
generally have a significant convective component as well, so two modes of heat transfer
must be accounted for. The design process can be simplified to a two-surface approxima-
tion if the room surface temperatures are combined into a single average unheated surface
temperature (AUST) by:

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N 6-1
A k k k T
k p
AUST = N

where, A
kp
k k

AUST = an area-weighted average temperature of the unheated surfaces, R


Ak = area of surfaces (unheated) other than the panel, ft2
k = surface emissivity of the unheated surfaces, dimensionless
Tk = temperatures of the unheated surfaces, R

When typical values of surface emissivities and room dimensions are used to calculate the
radiation exchange factor between the radiant panel and the rest of the room surfaces, an
approximation of the heat transfer rate is given by:

Tp 4 AUST 4 6-2
q&r = 015
. A p
100 100

where Tp is the average panel surface temperature in R. Although there are several inherent
assumptions in Equation 6-2, it is usually acceptable for a design estimate for typical room
applications. Obviously, it should not be used for unusual room geometries or surface mate-
rials.

Figure 6-13 illustrates the results of Equation 6-2 and eliminates the need to perform the
final computation. For instance, if the AUST for a room is 70F while the radiant panel is
90F, there would be about 20 Btu/h of radiant heat transfer per ft2 of the panel. If this was
a heated ceiling in a 12 ft x 14 ft room, that would provide about 3,400 Btu/h of radiant heat.

Warm radiant surfaces will obviously give off heat by convection to the air in the room.
This form of heat transfer will be especially important to consider for heated floors, because
the convection heat transfer is enhanced by the warm air rising from the floor. Experimental
tests give the following correlations for heated ceilings and floors:

( )
1.25
q&c ,ceiling = 0.021 Ap Tp Ta 6-3

( )
1.31
q&c , floor = 0.32 Ap Tp Ta 6-4

where Ta is the room air temperature. Figure 6-14 depicts these relationships. The differ-
ence between what is shown as the ceiling design condition and the laboratory experiments

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


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Figure 6-13. Radiant Heat Transfer from Heated Ceilings

for ceiling panels is caused by air movement that naturally occurs in occupied spaces, while
the heated ceiling in a controlled lab environment would have no convective air movement
at all. Even still, convection heat transfer from the floor will be several times greater than
from the ceiling. Using the same 90F surface temperature and 70F room temperature as
before, the ceiling would convect about 4 Btu/h per ft2 while a floor would convect about 17
Btu/h per ft2. Note that even with the substantial convective component, the floor still fits in
the category of a radiant surface, because radiation accounts for over 50% of its heat trans-
fer at this temperature. Heated wall panels are used in Europe but not as much in the United
States due to the possibility of puncture or short-circuiting from nails driven into walls on
which to hang pictures.

Figures 6-15 and 6-16 show design criteria for combined radiation and convection heat

Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Figure 6-14. Convective Heat Transfer from Heated Ceilings, Floors and Walls

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


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output from radiant ceilings and floors, and include the effects of the thermal resistance of
floor coverings or ceiling treatments. Various ceiling and floor component R-values are
listed in the 1996 ASHRAE HandbookHVAC Systems and Equipment.13

Figure 6-15. Ceiling Panel Design Total Heat Transfer


Versus Mean Water Temperature

There are several ways that floor hydronic heating systems can be designed, depending on
the type of floor to be used. For a concrete floating slab floor, the hot water pipes are laid out
and held in place while the concrete is poured over them, embedding the pipes in the con-
crete slab. This technique is illustrated in Figure 6-17. For any heated floor, there should be
insulation below and on the edge of the floor to prevent excessive heat losses from the sides
and bottom of the floor. Wooden joist floors can be heated quite easily by placing the hot
water pipes under the floor decking, as shown in Figure 6-18.

As with the concrete floor, adequate insulation should be placed below the hot pipes to
reduce downward heat losses. Reflective metal heat emission plates may also be placed
under the pipes to reduce the downward radiant heat transfer that can penetrate into typical
porous insulations like fibrous glass. The local warm spots that can occur in the wooden
floor can be reduced by use of a thin layer of a lightweight concrete mix poured over the hot
pipes on top of the wooden floor deck, as shown in Figure 6-19. This application is appro-
priate for renovations where floor irregularities must be addressed anyway. The floor must
be sturdy enough to support the extra weight of the thin concrete underlayment, although it
is lighter than conventional concrete.

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Figure 6-16. Floor Panel Design Total Heat Transfer


Versus Mean Water Temperature

Polybutylene pipe has been the preferred pipe for residential hydronic radiant heating appli-
cations. However, the polybutylene pipe industry suffered a costly class action legal settle-
ment in the 1990s regarding potable water piping, so polybutylene pipe is not available in
the quantities or the price that it once was. Various types of pipe materials are being tested to
replace polybutylene (such as cross-linked polyethylene), but the future direction of the
type of material used in hydronic radiant systems is still uncertain.

Many homes in the United States built before 1974 still have radiant ceiling (electric ceiling
cable) heating systems. This option was popular in parts of the country where electricity
was very cheap, usually where hydropower or local abundant coal supplies were available.
The most common application is where the electric heating cables are permanently imbed-
ded in sheets of gypsum board that are put in place like an ordinary sheet of gypsum board.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


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Figure 6-17. Hydronic Heating Tubes Embedded in a Concrete Slab on Grade

Figure 6-18. Hydronic Heating Tubes Under a Subfloor

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Figure 6-19. Hydronic Heating Tubes


Embedded in a Lightweight Concrete Underlayment

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


6: 34

Figure 6-20 shows the general arrangement for an electrically heated ceiling. Flat resistance
tape can also be placed on top of the ceiling material and covered with insulation. Usually
no extra insulation is needed for these systems, because attics with adequate insulation for
local weather conditions will have adequate insulation for heated ceiling applications. Elec-
trical heating cables can also be embedded in a concrete slab similar to how the plastic pipes
are utilized. Radiant systems in general are losing marketshare due primarily to the demand
for central cooling.

An important consideration in selecting any radiant heating system is the time delay in
reaching setpoint temperature. Radiant systems are not designed to be setback on a frequent
basis. For example, the time lag of a heated concrete floor may be on the order of several
hours. For that reason, their best application is where the house will be continuously occu-
pied. Temperature limiting controls may be used with the electric systems to prolong the life
of the heating cables, so the response time to sudden thermostat changes will also be limited
by the acceptable maximum surface temperature and the heat transfer rate that it can pro-
duce. Because of the time lag associated with heated concrete floors, an ordinary air sensing
thermostat should not be used. Instead, a thermostat with a sensing element in the slab will
provide the most stable control. For optimum comfort, the floor temperature is usually held
below a maximum temperature of 80 to 85F.

Figure 6-20. Electric Heating Panel Arrangement for a Wet Plaster Ceiling

Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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EXAMPLE 6-3

Problem: An hydronic heated floor that was originally covered with linoleum (R = 0.5) is
later covered with a thick carpet and pad (R = 1.9). If the room design temperature is 70F
and the mean water temperature stays the same at 140F, estimate the reduction in heat
capacity of the system.

Solution: From Figure 6-16, the original heat transfer rate from the floor is about 78 Btu/h
per ft2 of floor area. With the carpet and pad (probably laid over the linoleum), the heat
transfer rate with a combined R-value of 2.4 drops to about 24 Btu/h per ft2. This represents
a 70% reduction in heating capacity due to the insulating effect of the carpet and pad.

In actual practice, the reduction would not be quite so large because the mean water tem-
perature would rise as heat transfer goes down. If the system was designed for a 20F tem-
perature drop (150F out, 130F in at the boiler), the temperature drop would be reduced to
about 6F with the 70% reduction in heat transfer. If the boiler is regulated on the basis of its
output temperature (which would then be the same for both cases), the mean water tempera-
ture would rise to about 147F. From Figure 6-14, this new water temperature indicates a
heat transfer rate of about 27 Btu/h per ft2, only slightly larger than our earlier estimate.

This example illustrates the sometimes dramatic impact of surface finish thermal resistance
on radiant panel performance.

SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEMS

The energy crisis of the 1970s spurred a renewed interest in the use of solar energy for space
heating applications. However, many of those systems have been removed since the mid-
1980s when energy prices stabilized. Active solar energy systems use external collectors
and mechanical heat transfer devices (pumps, fans, heat exchangers) to control the heating
of the space. Passive solar energy systems use the direct heat gain of solar radiation entering
the space through exterior window areas. Passive systems control the space heating by use
of window orientation, external overhangs, thermal mass built into the structure, and possi-
bly by movable interior shading devices.

Although the stable fuel prices since 1985 have reduced the economic incentive of these
systems, there are still certain people who want to use these systems when possible. Loca-
tions such as Hawaii are prime candidates for solar hot water systems, although the limited
heating conditions make a space heating system impractical. An active system requires con-
siderable expense for the collectors and mechanical components. Passive systems are usu-
ally designed to augment the conventional heating system by reducing the net heating load

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on the space, and require minimal additional costs over non-passive construction methods.
To properly design either system, even for a residential application, it is essential to have a
thorough understanding of the suns position relative to the house and solar collectors as
well as appropriate data on solar collector materials. There are several references that have
excellent resources for such design calculations.14-17

Active solar energy systems. Space heating is one of the more difficult applications of solar
energy technology because the greatest building heating loads occur at times when little or
no solar energy is available. Consequently, a sizable thermal storage system is critical to the
performance of an active solar energy space heating system, and may actually dictate the
overall design of the system. Because it is common to have extended periods of time (one to
two weeks) with little or no direct sunshine in winter, some type of conventional heat source
is necessary because a collector and thermal storage could not economically be installed for
such a long period. The thermal storage and dual heating systems combine to increase the
overall cost for active solar energy systems.

There are two basic types of solar space heating systems based on the intermediate energy
transfer medium: water type and air type. The water type uses a circulating water loop to
transfer the energy from the collector to the storage device. The air type uses air as the
transfer fluid. In either case, the space heat may be taken from the storage device or directly
from the collectors, depending on energy availability. There are four major components to
these systems: collector; storage medium; pump or fan for the primary loop to the collector;
and pump or fan for the secondary loop to the house. Water type systems will need an
additional hydronic terminal device to heat the space air, such as a fan coil unit or a radiant
floor system.

The most common type of collector for space heating applications is the flat plate collector.
Figure 6-21 shows an exploded view of a water type flat plate collector. The air type collec-
tor would have a simple flat absorber plate and duct connections at each end so that air
could flow between the absorber plate and the cover plate. Although conceptually simple, it
has been difficult to achieve an economical collector design able to withstand weather con-
ditions for a long life. The decision to use one or two glass cover plates will depend on the
temperatures that the collector needs to achieve. Two plates reduce convection losses from
the system top cover plate, but adding the second plate reduces the solar energy reaching the
absorber by about 15% while also increasing the cost and weight of the collector.

There are dozens of flat plate collector designs. However, an important element in all of
them is to have a spectrally selective coating on the absorber plate. This selective coating
must have a high absorptivity in the solar part of the spectrum to absorb as much of the
incident solar radiation as possible, while having a low emissivity in the infrared part of the

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Figure 6-21. Cross-Section of a Water Type Solar Collector

spectrum. These coatings greatly reduce the radiation loss from the absorber plate to the
cover plate, with a corresponding increase in collector efficiency.

The most common way to represent the efficiency of a particular collector design is a graph
of collection efficiency for perpendicular incident solar radiation versus T divided by solar
intensity, as shown in Figure 6-22. The horizontal axis represents the primary parameters
governing heat losses from the collector and heat inputs to the collector. Designs with high
efficiencies generally operate at lower temperatures to reduce the heat losses from the col-
lectors. Space heating generally fits in these low temperature categories where maximum
collector efficiency should be in the 50% to 60% range.

The thermal storage systems most commonly used with active solar energy systems are

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Figure 6-22. Collector Steady-State Efficiency Characteristic Curve

packed rock beds for air type systems and water tanks for water type systems. Optimum
design of rock bed storage is quite complex, involving factors such as flow and pressure
drop characteristics, standby heat losses, total heat capacity versus collector capacity, loss
of indoor space and initial costs. While water storage tanks are inherently simple, they are
also often superior in performance to the rock bed. Rock has a heat capacity per unit mass
that is only about 20% as high as waters heat capacity, so the water storage tank can be
made smaller than the rock bed. Water is readily available and easy to fill the tank, while the
rock must be clean, reasonably uniform in size, and requires difficult manual labor to fill the
storage bin. Water also is a much better heat transfer medium compared to air, so heat
exchangers for water systems are inherently much smaller than for air systems.

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A schematic of a water type solar energy heating and hot water system is shown in Figure
6-23. Conventional heat sources for both the space heating and the domestic hot water must
be used for extended periods of low solar energy availability. The primary loop water pump
is controlled by a temperature sensor in the collector, while the secondary loop pump is
controlled by the space thermostat. The auxiliary space heating device would be controlled
by a two-stage thermostat, similar to those used with heat pumps with electric resistance
auxiliary backup. The auxiliary device could be almost any type of boiler system, such as a
gas-fired boiler, electric resistance boiler or a heat pump system. This system has com-
pletely separate primary and secondary flow streams, so the primary stream could contain
an antifreeze mixture to prevent freezing of the water in the collector at night. If potable
water is run directly through the collector, some type of drain-back control system must be
used to drain the water out of the collector when it is not receiving solar energy. Obviously,
appropriate vents and/or expansion tanks as stipulated by plumbing codes are required for
this type of system.

Figure 6-23. Typical Water Type Solar Heating and Hot Water System

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


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An absorption chiller can be added to the solar collection system to provide a complete
heating and cooling package that uses solar energy as the primary fuel. The absorption
system may double the total cost of the overall system, but in mixed climates, it may permit
a greater utilization of the collection system because peak cooling days usually coincide
with times of peak solar radiation. The collector system design may have to be modified to
provide adequately high temperature water for proper operation of the absorption system. In
general, there is a very limited selection of absorption equipment available for residential
applications such as this. A cooling tower must be used to reject the heat from the absorp-
tion chiller, and so represents another component that will require regular service and main-
tenance.

An air type collector system is shown in Figure 6-24 where a domestic hot water preheater
is included. The selection of heated air from the collector or from the storage bed is per-
formed by Damper A on a signal from the main controller. Damper B in this system is a
manual bypass damper to prevent heat from the rock bed from entering the conditioned
space during summer operation for domestic water heating only. While air is a simple fluid
to work with, it is also more difficult to contain. The performance of an air type system will
be very sensitive to having all ducts and systems properly sealed from air leaks.

Figure 6-24. Typical Air Type Solar Heating and Hot Water System

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Passive solar energy systems. Passive solar energy systems function by using the structure
itself as the solar energy collector, eliminating the need for mechanical components and
separate exterior collectors. The basic principles behind passive solar design are quite simple.
Windows are designed to permit solar energy into the space in winter when heating is needed,
while they block out solar radiation in summer when it is not needed. The solar blocking
effect is usually accomplished by external roof overhangs for windows in vertical walls.

Windows are placed in a south facing wall (in the northern hemisphere) to permit this selec-
tive summer versus winter solar control, taking advantage of the difference in solar altitude
from summer to winter. East and west facing windows provide much less solar heating
potential due to the shorter days in winter. Such windows are also difficult to shade from the
summer sun when it is low in the sky in morning and evenings, resulting in excessive cool-
ing loads in summer. Glass or transparent roofing (often used in an attached greenhouse or
sunroom) must use interior shades to regulate the solar energy in summer. Special glass
coatings that filter out certain ultraviolet radiation are usually desirable to reduce fading of
fabrics inside the building.

Passive solar heating is usually quite difficult to regulate, but is most often used to supple-
ment the conventional heating system. To reduce the daytime peak and the nighttime drop
in temperature, massive building elements such as brick or masonry are used indoors. These
mass elements can be applied in very conventional ways, such as brick interior walls or
ceramic tile on a concrete floor. The mass absorbs and stores the excess solar energy during
the day and then releases that heat at night as the indoor temperature starts to drop.

For passive systems to be most effective, the indoor air temperature must be allowed to float
so that a significant mass storage effect is achieved. In many cases, passive sunrooms are
designed to be closed off from the main house so that more closely controlled temperatures
can be maintained in the main part of the structure. Appropriate considerations must be
given to glare from the sun and even overheating in mild weather. Removable indoor win-
dow insulation can be used to reduce nighttime heat losses from the large glass areas and
increase the net effectiveness of the passive solar system. Extensive data on passive solar
design and energy savings can be found in Balcomb, et al.14

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6.3 Multifamily Systems

Large urban areas where transportation is difficult, especially outside of the United States,
may have more multifamily dwellings than single-family houses. In most of the United
States, many multifamily dwellings may be in the form of apartments or condominiums in
buildings that are three stories or less in height. In larger cities, there are many more resi-
dential buildings taller than five stories, and many even higher than 20 stories in major
metropolitan areas.

A multifamily high-rise building providing permanent housing should present no more tech-
nical design difficulties for a heating system than should a similar high-rise hotel or com-
mercial office facility (such as described in Chapter 4). However, a major consideration in
permanent housing is that each unit should be billed separately for its energy usage. Conse-
quently, in designing the HVAC systems for permanent housing, systems that can be sepa-
rately metered for their energy consumption are usually preferred.

Central all-air units would require large amounts of outdoor air if designed to handle worst
case odor generation in each unit. The cost to condition this centralized makeup air would
be quite high and would be difficult to properly proportion to each unit. Another important
consideration that may limit certain types of systems are local building codes that will gen-
erally be more restrictive in high-rise buildings than in single-family residences.

UNITARY SYSTEMS

The most popular heating system is a type of unitary system that requires no field fabrica-
tion and where the same type or model can be used in many nearly identical housing units.
Such systems make the design of the building much simpler because only a few different
sizes may be needed for hundreds of units, with each having the same utility connections.
Electric unitary heat pumps are popular for these applications because a single fuel source is
used that would already be present and metered and a single unit provides both heating and
cooling.

Split air-source systems can be used for buildings under about five stories tall, with the
outdoor units mounted on the roof. Limitations on the connecting piping length and eleva-
tion differences often prevent their use on taller buildings. Each unit will have the small
central indoor unit in an interior closet and connecting ducts to the different rooms. Refrig-
erant piping may be run in a common chase to the roof. These systems will operate under
thermostat control like conventional single-family systems. All system operating costs are
metered directly in the individual units.

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A somewhat different innovation in air source heat pumps is a package unit designed to be
mounted within the conditioned space, with the outdoor air ducted to the unit. Originally
designed for mobile home applications, they have been used in a multistory apartment building
where a central air chase was provided for outdoor air. The only common cost to these
systems is the central chase fan. They are designed to fit in a small central closet with ducted
supplies to each room.

A more energy efficient design that can be used in very tall buildings is the water source
heat pump. Each individual heat pump unit draws water from a circulating water loop and
discharges the hotter or cooler water into a return water loop. If the heat pump units have
their own water pumps, a single central water loop can be used. Certain codes permit the
water sprinkler supply piping to be used for such purposes, reducing the net cost of the
system. An external cooling tower and boiler will be needed to balance out the loads during
extreme heating or cooling load conditions, but during mild weather there will be little
outside energy required due to building load diversity. The water source equipment should
have a long life due to the narrow operating range of the water loop temperature. Most of
the operating costs will be metered directly in the individual units, but the costs of the
cooling tower and boiler will be a common expense. Economies of scale should keep the
cost of the boiler and cooling tower very economical.

Package terminal units can be placed through the outside walls of each housing unit to
handle one to two rooms each if the dwelling has adequate exterior exposure. These units
are generally noisier and deliver poorer air distribution than the systems with interior duct-
ing. They can be either heat pumps or air-conditioning units with resistance heat, although
the heat pumps would be much more economical in climates with significant heating loads.
Because multifamily units have much smaller heating requirements than detached houses
(the middle floors may have only one exterior exposure), electric resistance heat is com-
monly installed as far north as Chicago.

Combustion furnaces are used in many smaller multifamily dwellings where venting of
combustion gases can be easily achieved. The primary design challenge with these systems
is to develop an economical means of providing the combustion air to each unit that is
mandated in building codes and safely exhausting the flue gases. Even though sidewall
venting may be possible with condensing furnaces, it may violate codes due to proximity to
operable windows. Many codes may also prevent the use of a common flue for such appli-
cations. Because air-conditioning is often demanded in these types of units, some sort of
unitary system would still have to be installed to handle the cooling requirements. Triple-
function combination heating/cooling/hot water units are quite appropriate due to their com-
pact design, as are package units using gas heating and electric cooling.

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One problem with multifamily buildings is the potential for odor generation from cooking,
bathrooms or poor humidity control. Most such dwelling units open into a closed interior
hallway, and receive little outdoor ventilation through the dwelling even if the hallway door
was opened. Such ventilation practices also compound the problem of distributing odors
from one dwelling unit to another.

A common practice is to provide central makeup air to the hallways. The makeup air pres-
surizes the hallways and has the effect of isolating the dwelling units by forcing air from the
hallway into each individual unit. Separate exhaust fans or vents for the kitchens and bath-
rooms relieve this pressure and provide for spot ventilation at the generation source of most
odors. The cost of conditioning the makeup air would be a common expense to all occu-
pants.

CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS

The most common central heating systems for multifamily dwellings are those that permit
easy metering of energy usage. In general, water flow is much easier to meter than air flow,
so most central systems use water as the energy transport medium. In addition, many codes
prohibit central air returns from individual dwelling units to a common supply fan, so cen-
tralized all-air systems are generally not used. Two-pipe systems can be used to provide
both heating and cooling, but these systems are generally not very satisfactory due to load
variability caused by the individual dwelling unit orientation and differences in internal
loads.

An alternative is to have a two-pipe system with a small amount of electric heat built in to
compensate for early switchover from heating to cooling. Four-pipe systems would be most
appropriate for large multifamily buildings, but would also be the most expensive due to the
potential for simultaneous heating and cooling. They generally have the most expensive and
complex control equipment, although they can provide better humidity control in the spring
and fall. These types of systems are described in Chapter 4.

A central two-pipe arrangement that is commonly used is hot water baseboard convectors
for heating and window air-conditioners for cooling. The occupants absorb some of the
HVAC equipment costs directly when they purchase the window units at their discretion.
Window air-conditioners are a noisy cooling option, with poor air distribution and rela-
tively short longevity. However, they are generally economical to operate and may not be
used much in colder climates. One major drawback to such designs is the impact on exterior
appearance of the building with multiple different window units.

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A similar alternative would be to have the two-pipe hot water feeding hot water coils in
PTAC units. These systems would standardize the outside appearance of the building and
eliminate the baseboard terminal units, although now the full cost of the HVAC system is in
the building construction cost. The hotter the climate, the greater the likelihood that unitary
systems with interior ducting in the dwelling will be used to improve the air distribution
when cooling.

When energy is provided to multiple spaces from a central distribution plant, the consump-
tion of energy in each space is important when the individual space occupants are billed
separately for their energy use. In addition, energy usage in common areas (hallways, foy-
ers, offices, etc.) must be equitably allocated among the various occupants. Recommended
procedures for allocation of metered and unmetered energy consumption in multiple-occu-
pancy residential buildings are presented in ASHRAE Guideline 8-1994.18

Metering of energy consumption with central water distribution systems can be accom-
plished most accurately using a calibrated thermal energy meter (Btu-meter) or, more ap-
proximately, by simply measuring water flow. A thermal energy meter integrates the prod-
uct of a measured water flow rate and the temperature difference between the inlet and
outlet streams to determine net energy consumption. The building owner or the operator of
the central heating plant would invoice the occupants for their monthly usage to cover the
cost of providing the energy services.

The installation costs and calibration requirements of thermal energy meters prevent their
widespread usage in multiple-occupancy residential buildings. The use of timers on fan
motors is a low cost way to estimate primary energy consumption from forced-air systems.
However, such indirect methods usually require an estimate of heat exchanger effectiveness
or system COP to correctly estimate energy consumption. The inaccuracies of most water or
air source energy meters are such that the total amount billed in any month may be signifi-
cantly higher or lower than the actual consumption, and subject to occupant complaints.
Any of these measurement methods adds another layer of metering cost and complexity to
the occupants that is often not justified based on the energy savings from economies of scale
from the central plant.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


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Summary

A wide variety of heating systems are used in residential housing, based on local fuel cost
and availability, the desire to include central air-conditioning, installation cost and other
factors. The growing trend toward central air-conditioning has resulted in a higher percent-
age of warm air systems being installed. Hydronic systems provide the most uniform heat
and are still popular in colder climates where air-conditioning is not needed.

In the United States, there are over 65 million single-family houses, which represent the
majority of all heating and cooling units in the country. Although gas furnace installations
decreased from 1976 to 1985, they have once again become the primary residential heating
source in new construction. Electric heat pumps are used more in warmer climates where
air-conditioning requirements are greater and heating costs are less. Propane and oil repre-
sent a small part of the new housing market, although they have a sizable installed base with
a large replacement market.

The NAECA requirements for minimum efficiency specify that all warm air furnaces ex-
ceed 78% AFUE, boilers must have an 80% AFUE, and heat pumps must have a SEER of
10 and HSPF of 6.8. These efficiencies have almost eliminated standing pilot furnaces, and
most warm air furnaces now use mechanical draft. Condensing furnaces have efficiencies
that exceed about 88%. There are far fewer condensing oil-fired furnaces and boilers than
gas-fired furnaces, partly due to technical issues as well as their much smaller market.

The air source heat pump is popular in warmer climates where its operation and efficiency
are best. There is a growing demand for ground-source (or geothermal) heat pumps, al-
though they are still a small part of the market and have highly variable costs associated
with local contractor expertise. They are being promoted by the DOE and EPA as an envi-
ronmentally friendly heating and cooling system. A highly efficient engine-driven heat pump
is also commercially available in the United States, although the service infrastructure needed
for its different prime mover has yet to be fully developed.

Some heat pumps provide heating and cooling as well as domestic hot water. Other systems
use gas heating components with electric air-conditioning in the same cabinet. Dual fuel
systems (using a heat pump with a gas furnace) are becoming more popular and represent a
redundant heating system that can minimize annual heating costs. Triple function combina-
tion units provide gas heat, electric air-conditioning and domestic hot water in a single
package.

A major drawback to warm air systems is their ductwork. Traditionally, ducts have been
poorly installed and have caused many high bills, poor system performance and various
indoor air quality problems. Leaking metal duct joints and poor flexible duct installation

Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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practices are a major part of the problem, as are porous duct insulation liners. Many compa-
nies are now available to inspect and seal duct systems as well as clean them to improve the
system efficiency and the house indoor air quality.

Boilers are often used with baseboard or radiant floor heating systems where air-condition-
ing is not desired. Gas and oil boilers have a long life expectancy while electric boilers have
no moving parts at all other than the electrical contactors. Electric boilers are rarely used in
houses due to the high fuel costs.

Radiant systems include both ceiling and floor heating systems and can be either hot water
or electric resistance type. The pipes or heating elements can be embedded in the ceiling
wallboard or in the concrete floor when it is poured. The pipes can also be placed under the
floor with adequate insulation to prevent downward heat losses. There is a big difference
between the heat capacity of a heated floor versus a heated ceiling due to the convection
component. The insulating effect of floorcoverings can also greatly impact the heat output
of heated floor systems.

Active solar energy heating systems are very infrequently installed due to current stable fuel
costs and their high installation costs. Either water- or air-type collection systems can be
used, including absorption cooling if so desired. A large storage medium must be used to
effectively utilize the available solar energy when it is needed the most. Passive solar design
incorporates windows facing south, with roof overhangs to shade out the unwanted summer
sun. Thermal mass in the interior house structure provides a dampening effect on the tem-
perature peaks on sunny days and the drop in temperature on cold nights.

Multifamily permanent housing often uses unitary heating and cooling systems due to the
ease of design, simplicity of construction, and the ability to submeter individual energy use.
A major first-cost issue in using individual combustion furnaces in large multifamily build-
ings is providing individual combustion air and venting of the flue gases. Circulating water
systems can be used with water source heat pumps to serve as the heat source or heat sink.
Central boilers can be used with packaged terminal air-conditioner units with a hot water
coil or with baseboard convectors and window air-conditioners. Central all-air systems are
generally not used due to difficulties in metering air flow and code requirements against
taking return air from multiple dwelling units. Preferences are often given to systems that
require no external common energy sources.

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Bibliography

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8. Baker, M. 1953. "Design and performance of a residential earth heat pump." ASHVE
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Heating & Refrigeration News. Troy, MI: Business News Publishing Co. June 24.

10. Bas, E. 1996. "Solving indoor air problems broadens duct-cleaning work." Air-Condi-
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New York, NY: American Society of Mechanical Engineers. September.

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14. Balcomb, J., et al. 1984. Passive Solar Heating Analysis A Design Manual. Atlanta,
GA: ASHRAE.

15. Kreider, J. 1989. Solar Design: Components, Systems, Economics. New York, NY: Hemi-
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16. Duffie, J., Beckman, W. 1974. Solar Energy Thermal Processes. New York, NY: John
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Skill Development Exercises for Chapter 6

Complete these questions by writing your answers on the worksheets at the back of this
book.

6-01. What is the most common type of heating system in new houses built in the United
States? Give two reasons why this system is so popular.

6-02. Name five parameters that influence the operating cost of gas-fired heating systems.
What does the acronym AFUE stand for and what does it mean? Give two situations
when electric heat pumps would be installed rather than gas furnaces. Does the
operating efficiency of a heating system impact the total annual heating cost more in
a new house than in one that is 40 years old? Explain.

6-03. Why are there no gas furnaces available with AFUE ratings of 86%? What did
NAECA do to impact the sale of heating systems in the United States? Which are
usually more efficient, natural draft furnaces or mechanical draft furnaces? Why?

6-04. An 80% efficient gas furnace is to be installed in a 100-year-old house with a brick
chimney. The old standing pilot furnace was connected to the brick chimney and the
contractor plans to use the same connection. What could go wrong with this ar-
rangement?

6-05. Is accurate matching of a gas furnace to the building design heating load critical for
efficient operation? How about load matching for heat pump systems? What is the
sizing criteria for gas furnaces and what is the criteria for heat pumps?

6-06. What does the acronym HSPF stand for and what does it mean? What is the NAECA
minimum HSPF for heat pumps sold in the United States? Name two other types of
heat pumps that are different than the conventional air-source type. What is a dual
fuel system?

6-07. Is it important to seal return ducts or is it acceptable to just seal the supply ducts?
How can a leak from a supply duct in your attic cause radon to be pulled into your
house? What is a major drawback to fibrous glass insulation duct lining? Does it
make any difference where ducts are located, whether indoors or in unconditioned
spaces? Explain.

6-08. Are gas-fired hot water boilers generally more efficient than gas furnaces? Are there
more mechanical draft boilers than natural draft boilers? When does it make good
economic sense to use a hydronic system in a house?

Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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6-09. Give three advantages to radiant heating systems. Do radiant floors or radiant ceil-
ings give off more heat for the same surface temperature? How do surface finishes
of radiant floors or ceilings impact their heating performance? Should a radiant
floor be insulated? If so, where and why?

6-10. Which is the best type of solar collector, a water type or an air type? Explain. If you
cannot mount a flat plate collector exactly facing south, but are within about 20 of
south, would it make any difference in collector performance? Are rock bed storage
systems best for water type collectors or air type collectors?

6-11. Are passive solar energy systems more expensive than active solar energy systems?
How do passive solar energy houses control sunlight in the summer months? How
do these houses prevent mid-day temperature spikes on sunny days? What is the
best type of temperature control for an attached passive solar sunroom?

6-12. Give two reasons why central all-air systems are seldom used in multifamily hous-
ing. Why do water loop heat pump systems need a boiler and cooling tower? Are
packaged terminal units appropriate for large multifamily dwelling units? Why or
why not? What is a primary reason that individual gas furnaces are not used more in
multifamily buildings?

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


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Chapter 7
Heating Cost Calculations

Contents of Chapter 7

Instructions
Study Objectives of Chapter 7
7.1 Energy Cost Estimation Methods
7.2 Installation Costs
7.3 Operating and Maintenance Costs
7.4 Simple Payback Calculations
7.5 Lifecycle Cost Calculations
Summary
Bibliography
Skill Development Exercises

Instructions

Read the material in this chapter for general content, and re-read the parts that are empha-
sized in the summary. Complete the skill development exercises without consulting the
text, then review the text as necessary to verify your solutions.

Study Objectives of Chapter 7

While part of the rationale for the design of a heating system is that it be functional, an
important criteria is how much one type of system will cost to own and operate when com-
pared to a different unit with similar performance characteristics. Simple payback has been
in the American vocabulary since the energy crisis of the 1970s, but this simple calculation
method does not account for maintenance and replacement costs.

A more accurate economic gauge is a lifecycle cost comparison where the time value of
money is accounted for. This type of analysis can determine equivalent costs for very dif-
ferent money flow streams for direct comparisons between different options. The lifecycle
method also incorporates operating, maintenance, depreciation, property taxes, disposal
values and other expenses that the simple payback method does not account for.

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The objective of this chapter is to introduce you to the different methods that are used to
evaluate economic cost-effectiveness. Basic time-value of money concepts are introduced.
You should become comfortable with the concept of the simple payback method and also
be able to perform a simple lifecycle analysis. References are given on sources of informa-
tion that deal with operating and maintenance costs.

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7.1 Energy Cost Estimation Methods

The actual energy consuming devices in an HVAC system are the prime energy conversion
devices (whether a furnace, heat pump, air conditioner, boiler or other system) plus the
auxiliary devices (like fans, pumps and controls). Their energy consumption over a period
of time will depend on their rate of consumption, governed by their capacity and efficiency,
and the number of hours or percent of design capacity that they operate. A systems capac-
ity and efficiency characteristics (while certain equipment is impacted by outdoor condi-
tions) will largely be controlled by the equipment design and can be estimated using perfor-
mance data from the manufacturer. However, the hours of operation or percent of design
capacity that the system is required to operate will depend predominantly on the building
load to which it is matched. The building load is dependent on the weather, occupancy
schedules, system setpoints and other variables beyond the control of the HVAC system
itself.

For certain systems (such as combustion furnaces and boilers), the capacity and efficiency
characteristics will be largely independent of the many parameters that impact the building
load and can often be considered essentially constant over an entire season. However, any
system that exchanges heat with the ambient (such as vapor-compression cycles, absorp-
tion systems, heat recovery systems or desiccant-based systems) will have operating char-
acteristics that are very dependent on weather conditions. The outdoor air ventilation load,
while not a building load in the strictest sense, impacts all types of systems and is obviously
weather-dependent.

There are numerous building load-based energy estimation methods. Their accuracy usu-
ally increases with their degree of complexity. The method that is most appropriate for a
particular application will depend on the accuracy that is desired and the level of effort that
the building owner is willing to pay for to have the analysis performed. Energy analyses
were performed very frequently in the 1970s and early 1980s when energy escalation rates
were high, but routine demand for them has declined considerably since fuel prices stabi-
lized in the mid-1980s. Few detailed energy analyses are performed in the 1990s except for
the very largest buildings.

The most common energy cost estimation methods, in their order of complexity, are:

Single-Measure Methods
- Degree-day
- Variable-base degree-day
- Full-load hours

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Multiple-Measure Methods
- Temperature bin
- Modified bin
Hour-by-Hour Methods
- Energy balance
- Transfer function

They range from the single equation, six parameter degree-day calculation to the hour-by-
hour computer programs that were developed on large mainframe computers. The simpler
methods are more appropriate for smaller applications like low-rise residential buildings.
Only the complex hour-by-hour method should be used in high-rise buildings with multiple
zones and multiple heating and cooling systems. While the potential accuracy of the hour-
by-hour methods is better than the simpler methods, they require a trained engineer to un-
derstand the complex software as well as the hundreds of system inputs to the software.
There can be variations of 10% or more even when different expert engineers use the same
software package because of differences in assumptions and interpretations of building plans
and specifications.

SINGLE-MEASURE METHODS

The simplest energy estimating methods are referred to as single-measure methods because
they use a single value of overall efficiency or heating requirements. They are all based on
local weather data and are most appropriate for use with residential houses, although they
can be extended with somewhat less confidence to simple types of small commercial appli-
cations.

The degree-day method is based on the simple assumption that the instantaneous heat loss
of a structure will be proportional to the indoor-to-outdoor temperature difference (see Equa-
tion 3-1). With this assumption, the rate of heat loss, in Btu/h, from a structure can be
represented by:
q&loss = C1 T q& internal
7-1

where C1 is a composite coefficient accounting for both conduction and infiltration charac-
teristics for the structure. The energy loss, in Btu, over a period of time is the integrated
value of Equation 7-1, and can be written as:

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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qloss = q&lossdt 7-2

= (C1T )dt q&internal dt

A graphical representation of this process is shown in Figure 7-1 where the integrals of
Equation 7-2 are represented by areas on the graph. The first integral on the right side of
Equation 7-2 is the area between the indoor temperature curve and the outdoor temperature
curve. The internal heat gain integral is the area represented by a constant temperature
difference (assuming a constant, or average, internal heat gain). The net integrated heat loss
is then the first area with the internal heat gain area subtracted off.

When data on energy usage versus average outdoor air temperature were first being col-
lected for houses in the 1930s, the linear graph that resulted most commonly intercepted the
axis (heating load equal to zero) at about 65F. Such results implied that the average inter-
nal and solar heat gains compensated for heat losses such that the heating system would be
required only at outdoor temperatures below 65F rather than at room temperature (of about
72F).

Figure 7-1. Temperature Difference Versus Time

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


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The net area of Figure 7-1 between 65F and the outdoor air temperature is proportional to
the energy used over that period of time, and is the integral of T over time. The unit of this
integral is the product of temperature multiplied by time, or when day is the time unit,
F-day. Hence the origin of the methods name, degree-day. Weather stations in the United
States began tabulating these values many years ago as a correlation of wintertime heating
requirements and they are available on both monthly and annual bases.

To go from the degree-day value to an annual energy consumption estimate is quite straight-
forward. To determine the value of the buildings heat loss characteristic, the value of C1
from Equation 7-1 is solved for using the design conditions from a design load calculation:
q&loss,design 7-3
C1 =
Tdesign

To arrive at an operating cost estimate, the heat loss of the structure over some time period
would have to be first divided by the average energy conversion efficiency ( heater ) of the
heating system to get the energy input to the system, then divided by the higher heating
value (HHV) of the fuel to get the units of fuel consumed and, finally, multiplied by the cost
per unit of fuel to produce heating cost:
C1 DD 24 $ 7-4
Heating cost =
heater HHV unit of fuel

The 24 factor in Equation 7-4 is simply for unit conversion between the hour unit used in
the heat loss term (Btu/h) and the day unit used in the degree-day term.

While Equation 7-4 is the original form of the degree-day method, a modified degree-day
method incorporates a correction factor multiplier, CD . This correction factor must be ap-
plied to modern homes because greater internal loads, higher insulation levels and more
window area admitting greater amounts of solar radiation give homes built since the 1960s
a balance (zero load) point temperature that is often well below the 65F that was the basis
for degree-day data that were tabulated for many years. Figure 7-2 shows the relationship
for this correction factor as a function of degree-day, with values typically around 0.6 to
0.7.1 Studies of housing types other than detached dwellings indicate that even lower values
of this correction factor may be appropriate in many cases.

The average energy conversion efficiency may be a difficult value to determine. While
small unitary products may have ratings in terms of the annual fuel utilization efficiency
(AFUE) or the heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF), these efficiency values are
more useful for comparing unit A to unit B than projecting the actual efficiency that the unit

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Figure 7-2. Degree-Day Correction Factor Variation with Degree-Days1

will demonstrate in any particular application. Larger systems will normally have only their
steady state ratings provided, which may never be approached in the field due to part-load
conditions, cycling, poor air flow, heat exchanger fouling, improper maintenance or all of
the above.

One study in St. Louis, Missouri, tested hot water and low pressure steam boilers that ranged
in age from three to over 20 years old.2 The average apparent efficiency of these 23 boilers
was 57%, compared to steady-state ratings that all likely exceeded 70%. Without proper
maintenance and water treatment, any water cooled equipment or boiler system can demon-
strate a 10% to 15% drop in efficiency due to fouling of heat exchanger surfaces. A high
percentage of gas furnaces use natural draft venting and operate at an average efficiency of
about 60% when they are properly adjusted and maintained.3 Significant deviations from
rated performance values are also typically experienced in vapor compression systems that
do not have the optimal refrigerant charge. Heat pumps may experience a 20% or greater
degradation in efficiency with no more than a 10% deficit of refrigerant charge. Combining
cycling and other effects with duct losses, forced air heating systems of all types can expect
significant deviations from the efficiency rating of the heating unit itself.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


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EXAMPLE 7-1

Problem: A small detached branch bank building has a design heating load of 100,000
Btu/h at an indoor setpoint of 72F and an outdoor temperature of 2F. This bank is located
in Louisville, Kentucky, where the annual heating degree-days are 4,660. Estimate the an-
nual heating costs for the following options using the modified degree-day method:

Gas furnace, AFUE = 78, gas cost = $0.56/100 ft3 (HHV = 1,020 Btu/ft3)
Electric radiant ceiling panels, electricity cost = $0.070/kWh
Heat pump, HSPF = 6.8, electricity cost = $0.070/kWh

Solution: From Figure 7-2 at 4,660 heating degree-days, the value of CD is about 0.62.
Using Equation 7-4 with the correction factor,

F - day h
(100,000 Btu / h) 4,660 24
year day $0.56
Cost = (0.62) = $697 / year
(
(70 F)(0.78) 1,020 Btu / ft 3 ) 100 ft 3

This case is for the NAECA minimum efficiency gas heating system with the 1994 national
average gas costs. The real advantage of the simple degree-day method is that it can give a
very quick estimate of a relative comparison between different types of systems if proper
efficiencies can be determined.

Assuming the radiant panels to be 100% efficient in converting electricity to heat,

F - day h
(100,000 Btu / h) 4,660 24
year day $0.07
Cost = (0.62) = $2,032 / year
(70 F)(10
. )(3,413 Btu / kWh) kWh

This example uses the 1994 national average electricity costs, yet still is nearly triple the
natural gas cost due to the significantly higher cost per site Btu for electricity compared to
natural gas.

Taking the HSPF value as the average heating efficiency for the heat pump,

F - day h
(100,000 Btu / h) 4,660 24
year day $0.07
Cost = (0.62) = $1,020 / year
(70 F)(6,800 Btu / kWh) kWh

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Note that the HSPF has units of Btu/Wh. It has been multiplied by 1,000 in the above
equation to convert it to Btu/kWh to be consistent with the electricity cost term. This ex-
ample illustrates that, in regions with the national average gas and electricity rates, NAECA
minimum efficiency heat pumps will likely cost 40% more to operate than the NAECA
minimum efficiency gas furnace. However, be aware that the AFUE rating does not account
for the cost of the electricity to power the furnace fan and auxiliaries, but only the natural
gas fuel. A later example will take those electrical auxiliaries into account.

The variable-base degree-day method is an improvement over the modified degree-day


equation with its CD correction factor. The variable-base method computes the balance
point temperature of the structure (the lower horizontal temperature line in Figure 7-1) and
then determines the degree-days (area between the lower temperature line and the outdoor
temperature curve) using that temperature as the base temperature rather than 65F.

The concept of correcting degree-day data is not as simple as it may seem, depending on
how the degree-day numbers are computed. If the degree-day values are computed by tak-
ing the daily average temperature and subtracting it from 65F, the degree-day values can
be easily modified. For this case, any day with an average daily temperature at or above the
building balance point temperature would be ignored as having no heating degree-days.
However, if the degree-day calculation is made on an hourly basis, then average daily tem-
peratures will not reflect brief temperature excursions above the balance point which are
ignored in the degree-hour computation method.

For the case shown in Figure 7-3, where the daytime temperature exceeds the building
balance point temperature, those times are not included in arriving at the daily degree-day
number. Such corrections would have to be made on hourly temperature data over the long-
term periods used for the average degree-day calculations. Such degree-hour data for se-
lected base temperatures are available from ASHRAE,4 the Department of Energy,5 or in
Balcomb, et al.6

The balance point temperature of a building can be computed from Equation 7-1 where the
heat loss is set equal to zero:
q& internal 7-5
Tbalance = Tindoor
C1

While this equation is correct only for steady-state conditions, it is assumed to be accept-
ably accurate for long-term average values. A heat gain utilization efficiency multiplier
should be applied to the internal heat gain term for areas where average outdoor tempera-
tures during heating season are within 10F of the building balance point temperature.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


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Figure 7-3. Outdoor Temperature Exceeds Building Balance Temperature

The average internal heat gains must be evaluated on the basis of occupancy and use of
lighting, appliances and equipment. The average solar heat gains can be estimated from
monthly solar heat gain factors used for cooling design load calculations, accounting for
internal and external shading effects as well as the percent possible sunshine during the
heating months (available from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offices).
A good example of a somewhat complicated balance temperature calculation is included in
the 1989 ASHRAE HandbookFundamentals.1

Once the balance temperature is computed, the original degree-day equation is modified to:

C1 DDTb 24 $
Heating cost = 7-6
heater HHV unit of fuel

where the term DDTb is the degree-day value based on the computed building balance tem-
perature. All other terms in the equation remain the same.

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EXAMPLE 7-2

Problem: Consider the same bank building from Example 7-1. The building has 3,500 W of
lighting, 2,600 W in electrical equipment, and usually averages 12 people in the building
during business hours. The bank is open 50 hours per week. To simplify this example,
assume that the average solar gains through windows and sol-air effects on walls lower the
building balance temperature by 7F. The degree-day data at other balance temperatures
are: 3,592 at 60F; 2,682 at 55F; and 1,906 at 50F. Recompute the estimated heating costs
for the three cases in Example 7-1 using the appropriate variable-base degree-day value.

Solution: The building balance temperature is found from Equation 7-5, where C1 can be
found from the design heat load figures. From Example 7-1:

q&design 100,000 Btu / h


C1 = = = 1,429 Btu / h F
Tdesign ( 72 F - 2 F)

The bank is occupied 50/(7 x 24) = 30% of the time. The balance temperature is then:

( 0.30)[(6,100 W)( 3.413 Btu / W h) + 12 persons ( 250 Btu / h person)]


Tb = Ti 7 F - = 60 F
1,429 Btu / h F

This balance temperature gives a degree-day value of 3,592 at 60F. The degree-day equa-
tion gives us:

Btu F day h
1,429 3,592 24
h F year day $0.56
Heating cost = = $867 / year
(
(0.78) 1,020 Btu / ft 3 ) 100 ft 3

Btu F day h
1,429 3,592 24
h F year day $0.07
Heating cost = = $2,526 / year
(1.0)(3,413 Btu / kWh) kWh

Btu F day h
1,429 3,592 24
h F year day $0.07
Heating cost = = $1,268 / year
(6,800 Btu / kWh) kWh

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


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These cost estimates are greater than those from the earlier modified degree-day method.
That can be expected for a poorly insulated building with a relatively low internal load, as
used in this example. Using the ratio of the listed variable-base degree-day values given
above to the standard 65F base case, a balance temperature of about 56F is needed to yield
the same results as the modified degree-day method with a CD of 0.62. Such balance tem-
peratures, or even lower, are not uncommon in well-insulated detached houses, while even
lower values in the 40s may be expected in small, reasonably well insulated, commercial
buildings with fairly high internal loads. The same comments regarding furnace electrical
auxiliaries in Example 7-1 apply to this method as well.

The last single-measure energy estimating method is the full-load run hours method, which
can be used for both heating and cooling energy requirements for residential or small com-
mercial buildings. The product of heating load hours and the design heating load for the
building gives the annual heating requirements of the building. This procedure relies on a
weather map that shows the expected number of hours of operation that the HVAC system
would need to operate for a full heating or cooling season. The full-load hours map must
incorporate the entire heating season effects into a single number, much the same as the
degree-day number. The heating load hours are, in fact, computed from degree-day figures
by the relationship:
24 ( DD) 7-7
Heating load hours =
65 - To,design

Figure 7-4 shows the map of full-load heating hours for the United States based on Equa-
tion 7-7 and degree-day weather data.7 It is implicit in Equation 7-7 that the heating system
would be properly sized according to a consistent set of criteria for the buildings design
load.

With the full-load hours map for heating, there are three methods that can be used to esti-
mate energy requirements, depending on what information is known. The simplest and
most direct method would multiply the heating load hours by the building design heating
load to estimate the annual building energy usage. Then, like the degree-day method, the
annual building energy usage is divided by the average heating system efficiency and the
fuel HHV to determine total input units of fuel. The cost estimate is the result of multiply-
ing the units of fuel by the cost per unit. This method assumes that the average heating
system efficiency can be appropriately estimated for the given match of heating system and
building load.

If the building design load is not readily known, but the heating system performance char-
acteristics are known, then the full-load hours can be multiplied by the heating system fuel

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Figure 7-4. Full-Load Hours for Heating Systems7


(Courtesy of the Gas Research Institute)

consumption rate to estimate annual fuel consumption. Costs are obtained by multiplying
the annual fuel consumption by the cost per unit of fuel. The assumption implicit in this
method is that the heating system is perfectly matched to the design load of the building. If
the heating unit was significantly oversized (as is typically the case for combustion fur-
naces) or undersized (as is normally the case for heat pumps), the heating system would not
operate for the number of hours given by the heating load hours.

Combustion furnace or boiler systems are assumed to be oversized by 70% in the DOE test
procedure that applies to such small heating systems. This oversizing factor permits reason-
able recovery after setback, as well as providing adequate capacity for infrequent severe
conditions. Such oversizing is not overly detrimental to the efficient operation of these
systems. This method uses the national average rated fuel energy use in MMBtu/year from
DOE ratings or the GAMA Directory8 for a particular system. An adjustment factor (essen-
tially the ratio of the local heating load hours to the national average value) is used to
correct the directory value of annual energy usage to local weather conditions. One advan-
tage of this method is that the directory values also include rated auxiliary electrical energy
inputs, so the electrical energy costs can also be estimated for combustion appliances. The
electrical energy will be a significant cost factor for high efficiency forced air furnaces, and
is not accounted for in the AFUE rating.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


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EXAMPLE 7-3

Problem: Estimate the annual heating costs for the bank building of Example 7-1 using the
heating load hours method. In addition to the three systems previously described, perform
the calculation using the following GAMA Directory8 data for a gas furnace:
Input = 218 MBtu/h
Heat capacity = 170,000 Btu/h
Rated electric energy usage = 1980 kWh/yr
Rated gas usage = 207.2 MMBtu/yr
AFUE = 78.0%

Solution: From Figure 7-4, the full-load heating hours for Louisville, Kentucky, are just
over 2,000, or about 2,050 hours per year. Multiplying this figure by the building design
load gives:

Annual energy usage = 2,050 hours 100,000 Btu / h = 205 MMBtu / h


Using this energy usage with the three heating systems gives:

Btu
205 106
year $0.56
Cost = = $1,443 / year
( )
( 0.78) 1,020 Btu / ft 100 ft 3
3

Btu
205 106
year $0.070
Cost = = $4,205 / year
(1.0)(3,413 Btu / kWh) kWh

Btu
205 106
year $0.070
Cost = = $2,110 / year
( 6,800 Btu / kWh) kWh

These numbers are obviously much larger than the previous estimates using the degree-day
methods. Note that this procedure does not account for any internal or solar heat gains
reducing the heating system requirements, because the design load that was multiplied times
the full-load hours would normally not include those effects.

The procedure whereby the heating load hours are multiplied by the heating system capac-
ity cannot be used in this instance because the capacities and fuel input values were not
given in Example 7-1.

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Using the GAMA Directory data from this example, the adjustment factor will be:

2,050 h 100,000 Btu / h


AF = = 0.986
170,000 Btu / h
2,080 h
1.7

In this case, the weather and sizing criteria are very near to the norms used in the national
average calculation:
6 Btu
207.2 10 (0.986)
year $0.56
Gas cost = = $1,122 / year
(
1,020 Btu / ft 3
) 100 ft 3

kWh $0.070
Electric cost = 1,980 (0.986) = $137 / year
year kWh

In this example, the electrical costs are about 11% of the total operating costs. Also note
that these estimates are significantly lower than those computed in the first part of this
example. The annual energy figures from the GAMA Directory account for some effects of
internal loads and solar gains because the heating load hours are derived from 65F-based
degree-day data.

The cost estimates for the 78% gas furnace for these single measure methods range from
$697 to $1,443 per year, a difference of more than a factor of two. Even the heating load
hours method using an AFUE efficiency rating varies from the GAMA Directory heating
load hours calculation method by more than 25%. These variations make a good argument
for the more detailed and complex cost estimation methods when a more accurate estimate
is required.

MULTIPLE-MEASURE METHODS

The methods with the next degree of difficulty in energy estimation are the simplified mul-
tiple-measure methods which evaluate energy usage based on several sets of operating con-
ditions. These methods include the bin method and the modified bin method. The main
reasons for using such methods are that they can provide more detailed off-design operating
results and they can account for variable heating system efficiencies.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


7: 16

A heating system that operates at essentially a constant efficiency would not require a mul-
tiple-measure method, because the multiple-measure result with the constant efficiency sys-
tem should mirror the output of the simpler single-measure calculation. The primary appli-
cations for the multiple-measure procedures are when using air source heating or cooling
equipment whose efficiency is directly linked to outdoor air temperature. The single-mea-
sure methods, due to their simplicity, are not recommended for cooling applications, so the
multiple-measure methods are generally regarded as the simplest procedures that can be
used for both heating and cooling.

The classical bin method calculation performs a steady-state energy balance calculation
with outdoor air temperatures being varied in 5F increments (bins). The performance of
the heating system is evaluated at the midpoint temperatures of these different outdoor
temperature bins. The results are weighted by the number of hours of occurrence per heat-
ing season when the outdoor temperature falls within each 5F temperature bin. Mean coin-
cident wet-bulb temperature data are also usually available with the dry-bulb temperature
bin data. Because this method can be used with commercial buildings with some reliability,
the bin data are available in three 8-hour shifts so that occupancy and internal load patterns
can be more accurately accounted for.9

The building and heating system performance data that are needed for a bin method calcu-
lation are shown in Figure 7-5, along with the efficiency characteristics of the heating sys-
tem. The adjusted capacity curve accounts for the capacity degradation produced by on-off

Figure 7-5. Building Load and Heat Pump Data for Bin Method Calculations

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Fundamentals of Heating Systems


7: 17

cycling of the heat pump and can be estimated for unitary equipment under 5 tons capacity
using Department of Energy cycling test procedure results. Of course, frosting effects should
also be accounted for in the detailed performance data of heat pumps. The bin method,
because it is based on outdoor temperatures, cannot directly account for solar radiation
effects because the hours of occurrence may occur over all the months of the heating sea-
son. This shortcoming is not a major problem with heating calculations for ordinary build-
ings, but does require some additional treatment for cooling bin calculations.

EXAMPLE 7-4

Problem: Perform a bin method heating energy analysis of the bank building of Example
7-1 with a heat pump system. Use the averaged building occupancy and solar heat gains
data for the building heating load profile. Use the total annual hours of occurrence, such as
are found in the 1989 ASHRAE HandbookFundamentals.1 The heat pump characteristics
are given in Figure 7-6 and the cycling degradation coefficient is given as 0.15.

Figure 7-6. Heat Pump Performance Data


and Building Load Curve for Example 7-4

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


7: 18

Solution: From Example 7-2, the balance temperature was determined to be 60F with a
heat loss rate of 1,429 Btu/hF. This intercept and slope determine the building heat loss
characteristic that is used in the 5F temperature bins. The building load curve is superim-
posed in Figure 7-6.

The simplest way to perform a bin analysis is by using a computer spreadsheet. Table 7-1
shows the resultant spreadsheet from this bin analysis using the bin data for Louisville.

When the heat pump capacity exceeds the building load, the cycling factor is given by:
Heating load
Cycling factor = 1 CD 1
HP capacity

where CD is the cycling degradation coefficient. This relationship comes from the DOE test
procedures for unitary heating and cooling systems, and is essentially the ratio of the sys-
tem efficiency accounting for cycling effects to the steady-state efficiency.

The reason for performing the bin analysis with computer spreadsheets is that the typical
spreadsheet software makes it so easy to input a simple formula, and then copy that formula
for an entire column while properly indexing the parameters that are used in the calculation.
It is also easy to change the system balance temperature and heat loss rate to reflect different
internal load or weatherization scenarios.

The results of the bin analysis give an annual cost that is very close to figures computed
from the degree-day procedure. However, the relationship between the very detailed perfor-
mance data used in the bin spreadsheet and the HSPF value is not easily obtained. The
HSPF values are determined from very specific tests with various assumptions made in its
calculation. For this heat pump with this set of weather conditions, the effective HSPF is
7.26. At the national average weather conditions (which are somewhat more severe than
those used for Louisville), the HSPF from the bin method would likely be closer to the 6.8
used in the degree-day calculation. Comparisons of different methods will always bring
into question the correct use of variable equipment performance data.

The bin method may not give dramatically different results than what the degree-day method
produces, however, it can give important insights into how the system will be required to
operate. For instance, Table 7-1 clearly shows how much the electric resistance backup
heaters have to operate and how much they actually cost compared to the heat pump vapor-
compression cycle costs. Sizing of heat pumps is always a compromise because the one
piece of equipment is called on to provide very different heating and cooling performance.
The heat pump in Table 7-1 has a balance point at about 25F. Although that may seem high
relative to the design temperature, the vast majority of the heating hours are at temperatures
above that value.

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Fundamentals of Heating Systems


Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations
7: 19

Table 7-1. Bin Method Calculation for Example 7-1 5-Ton Heat Pump System
Temp Bin Temp Diff Heat Loss Bin Hours HP Cap. Cyc. Factor Net HP Cap. HP Power Run Frac. HP Heat HP Power Heat Load Sup. Heat Total Elec. Cost
Deg. F Deg. F MBtu/h h/year MBtu/h MBtu/h kW MMBtu kWh MMBtu kWh kWh Dollars
57 3 4.3 654 65 0.860 55.9 7.6 0.077 2.8 381.2 2.8 0.0 381.2 $27
52 8 11.4 619 63 0.877 55.3 7.4 0.207 7.1 947.5 7.1 0.0 947.5 $66
47 13 18.6 634 61 0.896 54.6 7.3 0.340 11.8 1573.6 11.8 0.0 1573.6 $110
42 18 25.7 649 59 0.915 54.0 7.1 0.476 16.7 2194.6 16.7 0.0 2194.6 $154
37 23 32.9 703 57 0.936 53.4 6.9 0.616 23.1 2986.7 23.1 0.0 2986.7 $209
32 28 40.0 631 55 0.959 52.8 6.8 0.758 25.2 3254.6 25.2 0.0 3254.6 $228
27 33 47.2 332 53 0.983 52.1 6.8 0.905 15.7 2042.5 15.7 0.0 2042.5 $143
22 38 54.3 169 50 1.000 50.0 6.7 1.000 8.5 1132.3 9.2 213.0 1345.3 $94
17 43 61.4 97 47 1.000 47.0 6.6 1.000 4.6 640.2 6.0 410.6 1050.8 $74
12 48 68.6 45 44 1.000 44.0 6.5 1.000 2.0 292.5 3.1 324.2 616.7 $43
7 53 75.7 25 40 1.000 40.0 6.4 1.000 1.0 160.0 1.9 261.8 421.8 $30
2 58 82.9 8 36 1.000 36.0 6.3 1.000 0.3 50.4 0.7 109.9 160.3 $11
-3 63 90.0 3 32 1.000 32.0 6.3 1.000 0.1 18.9 0.3 51.0 69.9 $5
-8 68 97.2 1 28 1.000 28.0 6.2 1.000 0.0 6.2 0.1 20.3 26.5 $2

Fundamentals of Heating Systems


-13 73 104.3 0 24 1.000 24.0 6.1 1.000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 $0
Elec. Cost per kWh $0.070 TOTALS 119 15681 124 1391 17072 $1,195
7: 20

With the bin analysis built into a computer spreadsheet, changes to the heat pump, electric
rates or other parameters can be performed very easily. In particular, the sensitivity of the
annual cost to the size of the heat pump may be desirable. In Table 7-2, a 4-ton heat pump
has been used as compared to the 5-ton model in Table 7-1. The efficiency at each bin
condition has been held the same for the two cases. The difference in operating costs results
from slight differences in cycling effects and the amount of backup resistance heat that is
required. The reduction in size from 5-ton to 4-ton produced less than a 2% increase in
annual operating cost.

To evaluate the better cost alternative, you could use the first-costs and operating costs of
the two systems and implement a lifecycle cost analysis. While the cost of heating systems
is not linear with their capacity, this particular case would probably argue for the 5-ton
system if the reduction in installed cost exceeded $200. Of course, there are other design
factors (such as air flow rate, cooling capacity, dehumidification requirements, etc.) that
must also be considered, rather than just annual operating costs.

The single measure methods are generally adequate for heating systems with efficiency and
capacity characteristics that are essentially independent of outdoor temperature. Table 7-3
shows a bin analysis for a gas furnace with a constant efficiency for all outdoor tempera-
tures. When capacity and efficiency are constant, the system capacity and efficiency can be
factored out and all the operating hours can be added together to arrive at season average
conditions. The use of the bin method for constant efficiency systems does not tell a great
deal about the operating characteristics of the system.

The most unique information in Table 7-3 involves the electric power consumed by the
furnace fan and parasitics. This is another case illustrating the difficulty in using different
data in different calculation methods. The annual electric kWh in the bin analysis of Table
7-3 is very different from the data given in Example 7-4, even though the electric demand
was computed from the annual electricity consumption and the 2,080 annual average heat-
ing load hour figure. It should be noted that the degree-day method cannot give a break-
down between gas and electric consumption for a forced air furnace.

The bin method becomes somewhat more complicated for cooling, as it must account for
solar radiation effects on the building. For heating, these effects can be reasonably handled
by averaging the solar effects into the building load curve, as was done in Tables 7-1 to 7-3.

The modified bin method attempts to account for the shortcomings of the simpler bin method
by addressing the time variable components of the building load. There are two procedures
that are used to account for these load components which are not simple functions of out-
door temperature. The variable internal load components are addressed by using separate
bin temperature data for occupied periods and unoccupied periods. This technique elimi-

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Fundamentals of Heating Systems


Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations
7: 21

Table 7-2. Bin Method Calculation for Example 7-1 4-Ton Heat Pump System
Temp Bin Temp Diff Heat Loss Bin Hours HP Cap. Cyc. Factor Net HP Cap. HP Power Run Frac. HP Heat HP Power Heat Load Sup. Heat Total Elec. Cost
Deg. F Deg. F MBtu/h h/year MBtu/h MBtu/h kW MMBtu kWh MMBtu kWh kWh Dollars
57 3 4.3 654 54 0.862 46.5 6.3 0.092 2.8 379.5 2.8 0.0 379.5 $27
52 8 11.4 619 52 0.883 45.9 6.1 0.249 7.1 940.1 7.1 0.0 940.1 $66
47 13 18.6 634 50 0.906 45.3 5.9 0.410 11.8 1534.4 11.8 0.0 1534.4 $107
42 18 25.7 649 48 0.930 44.7 5.7 0.576 16.7 2130.7 16.7 0.0 2130.7 $149
37 23 32.9 703 46 0.957 44.0 5.5 0.746 23.1 2886.2 23.1 0.0 2886.2 $202
32 28 40.0 631 44 0.986 43.4 5.3 0.922 25.2 3083.1 25.2 0.0 3083.1 $216
27 33 47.2 332 42 1.000 42.0 5.1 1.000 13.9 1693.2 15.7 501.7 2194.9 $154
22 38 54.3 169 39 1.000 39.0 5 1.000 6.6 845.0 9.2 757.7 1602.7 $112
17 43 61.4 97 36 1.000 36.0 4.9 1.000 3.5 475.3 6.0 723.2 1198.5 $84
12 48 68.6 45 32 1.000 32.0 4.8 1.000 1.4 216.0 3.1 482.5 698.5 $49
7 53 75.7 25 28 1.000 28.0 4.7 1.000 0.7 117.5 1.9 349.7 467.2 $33
2 58 82.9 8 24 1.000 24.0 4.6 1.000 0.2 36.8 0.7 138.0 174.8 $12
-3 63 90.0 3 20 1.000 20.0 4.5 1.000 0.1 13.5 0.3 61.6 75.1 $5
-8 68 97.2 1 16 1.000 16.0 4.4 1.000 0.0 4.4 0.1 23.8 28.2 $2

Fundamentals of Heating Systems


-13 73 104.3 0 12 1.000 12.0 4.3 1.000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 $0
Elec. Cost $0.07 per kWh TOTALS 113 14356 124 3038 17394 $1,218
7: 22

Table 7-3. Bin Method Calculation for Example 7-1 Gas Furnace

Temp Bin Temp Diff Heat Loss Bin Hours Fur Cap. Cyc Factor Net Cap. Elec. Pow. Run Frac. Ht Load Elec Pow. Gas In Fan Heat Gas Cost Total Cost
Deg. F Deg. F MBtu/h h/year MBtu/h MBtu/h kW MMBtu kWh CCF MMBtu Dollars Dollars

57 3 4.3 654 170 1.000 170.0 1.1 0.025 2.8 17.5 34.5 0.06 $19 $21

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


52 8 11.4 619 170 1.000 170.0 1.1 0.067 7.1 44.1 87.1 0.15 $49 $52
47 13 18.6 634 170 1.000 170.0 1.1 0.109 11.8 73.4 144.9 0.25 $81 $86
42 18 25.7 649 170 1.000 170.0 1.1 0.151 16.7 104.1 205.4 0.36 $115 $122
37 23 32.9 703 170 1.000 170.0 1.1 0.193 23.1 144.1 284.2 0.49 $159 $169
32 28 40.0 631 170 1.000 170.0 1.1 0.235 25.2 157.4 310.6 0.54 $174 $185
27 33 47.2 332 170 1.000 170.0 1.1 0.277 15.7 97.6 192.6 0.33 $108 $115
22 38 54.3 169 170 1.000 170.0 1.1 0.319 9.2 57.2 112.9 0.20 $63 $67
17 43 61.4 97 170 1.000 170.0 1.1 0.361 6.0 37.2 73.3 0.13 $41 $44
12 48 68.6 45 170 1.000 170.0 1.1 0.403 3.1 19.2 38.0 0.07 $21 $23
7 53 75.7 25 170 1.000 170.0 1.1 0.446 1.9 11.8 23.3 0.04 $13 $14
2 58 82.9 8 170 1.000 170.0 1.1 0.488 0.7 4.1 8.2 0.01 $5 $5
-3 63 90.0 3 170 1.000 170.0 1.1 0.530 0.3 1.7 3.3 0.01 $2 $2
-8 68 97.2 1 170 1.000 170.0 1.1 0.572 0.1 0.6 1.2 0.00 $1 $1
-13 73 104.3 0 170 1.000 170.0 1.1 0.614 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.00 $0 $0

Gas Cost $0.560 per CCF TOTALS 124 770 1519 2.63 $851 $905
Elec. Cost $0.07 per kWh
GAS HHV 1020 Btu/cu. ft
AFUE 78%

Fundamentals of Heating Systems


7: 23

nates the necessity of averaging the internal loads over both occupied and unoccupied peri-
ods. One issue that cannot be addressed by using separate bin data is that the thermal stor-
age effects of the structure cannot be accounted for. The building thermal mass absorbs
some of the internal heat (and solar heat as well) generated during occupied hours and
dissipates that heat during the unoccupied period. The net effect of thermal storage is a
shifting of the building load from one time period to another. This modified bin method
should not be used for buildings where structural mass is a significant or dominating factor.
These include commercial buildings with poured concrete walls and floors, as well as build-
ings with heavy concrete exterior wall panels.

The time-dependent solar effects on building load are made a function of outdoor air tem-
perature by computing the distributed solar effects from direct solar radiation through win-
dows, as well as the solar energy impact on wall and roof conduction, at summer and winter
design temperature conditions. The solar effects at these two design points are used to de-
velop a straight line relationship where solar effects at intermediate temperature conditions
can be estimated using simple linear interpolation, as shown in Figure 7-7.10 Other time-
dependent loads are treated in a similar manner, with the overall objective being to produce
a suitably averaged building load profile as a function of outdoor air temperature so that a
spreadsheet similar to Table 7-1 can be generated.

Figure 7-7. Solar Load Profile for Modified Bin Method10

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


7: 24

The complexity of the modified bin method makes a sample problem prohibitive within the
scope of this text. A thorough explanation of this method, with illustrated examples and
computer code, is given in the ASHRAE publication, Simplified Energy Analysis Using the
Modified Bin Method.10 A more concise development of this method can also be found in
the 1993 ASHRAE HandbookFundamentals.11

The major advantage of the modified bin method over the simpler bin method is the ability
to analyze variable loads more accurately and to see the impact on the conditioning equip-
ment operation. Just as the simple bin method in Table 7-1 permits the evaluation of the use
of auxiliary resistance heat, the modified bin method can be applied to more complex build-
ings and used to analyze the use of reheat, heat recovery and economizer cycles.

HOUR-BY-HOUR METHODS

The most complex energy analysis methods are the hour-by-hour methods whereby all the
energy flows in a building are accounted for and tracked on an hourly basis. This procedure
can also account for the thermal storage effect of the building structure, and so is most
appropriate for large buildings with variable occupancy situations. In addition, most hour-
by-hour computer codes will also incorporate extensive plant simulations to account for
boilers, chillers, heat pumps, various air distribution systems and other common HVAC
components. While the earlier methods can be performed by hand calculations, the hour-
by-hour methods by necessity must be performed with a computer. The older codes were
developed to be run on large mainframe computers; however, modern versions have been
adapted to run on workstations or fast desktop personal computers.

These complex energy programs have undergone a lengthy evolution from the early days of
electronic computing. Ayres and Stamper have given a thorough history of how todays
detailed computer models evolved from earlier, simpler models as the need for greater ac-
curacy and detail increased along with computational speed.12 Table 7-4 and Figures 7-8
and 7-9 are taken from their article, showing the historical progress of these methods, and a
flow diagram of what is involved in such detailed analyses.

The energy balance method uses fundamental energy balances on each space in a building
to determine the energy exchanges that occur. In a typical room, there will be convective
heat transfer from the air to the four walls, ceiling and floor; radiative exchange between the
same six surfaces; convective exchanges between occupants and equipment to the room air;
radiative exchanges between occupants and equipment to the six surfaces; and energy stored
in the building structure. Each space can then be characterized by a series of at least eight
equations representing the heat transfer processes to or from the six room surfaces, the air in
the space, and occupants or appliances.

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Fundamentals of Heating Systems


7: 25

Table 7-4. Development of Energy Calculations Methods

Manual Calculation Methods


Degree-Day Method
Modified Degree-Day Method
Equivalent Full Load - Cooling Method
Bin Heating/Cooling Method

Automated Calculation Methods


1965 Automated Bin Method
ASHRAE Committee on Energy Consumption formed
APEC (Automated Procedures for Engineering Consultants) formed
1967 APEC Heating & Cooling Peak Load (HCC)
ASHRAE Task Group on Energy Requirements (TGER) formed
Room Thermal Response Factors developed
1968 TGER Loads developed
1969 TGER Simulations developed
Post Office program developed
1970 TGER Field Validation conducted
1971 TGER Loads updated
TGER Simulations updated
1972 TGER Weather Test-Reference Year (TRY) developed
1973 National Bureau of Standards Load Program (NBSLD) developed
1974 TGER Loads updated
TGER Field Validation conducted
NECAP (NASA Energy Cost Analysis Program, using transfer func-
tions)
1975 ASHRAE TC 4.7 Energy Calculations formed

Second Generation Loads/Energy Methods


1976 BLAST (Building Loads Analysis and System Thermodynamics, based
on NBSLD)
CAL/ERDA (based on NECAP)
1979 BLAST 2.0 released
DOE 2.0 released (upgraded from CAL/ERDA)
1983 ASHRAE Simplified Modified Bin method developed

Improved Energy Programs


1980 DOE 2.1 released
1981 BLAST 3.0 released
1996 DOE 2.1E released

*Adapted from Ayres and Stamper12

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


7: 26

Figure 7-8. Family Tree of Public Domain Software Programs12

These equations must be solved simultaneously to determine the heat transfer to or from
each element, with similar simultaneous equations being solved sequentially for each space
or zone. The solution of these equations can be developed in a systematic fashion using
vector-matrix algebra, but still requires extensive computational efforts for even modest
size buildings. The first major computer code that implemented this technique was devel-
oped in the early 1970s at the United States National Bureau of Standards (now the National
Institute for Standards and Technology) and was called NBSLD.13 This program was the
basis for many early building energy studies and was extensively compared to all other
energy estimating methods as well as measured building energy data.

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Fundamentals of Heating Systems


7: 27

Figure 7-9. Energy Analysis Computer Program Flow Diagram12

The transfer function method was also developed in the 1970s and was mathematically
simpler to program and execute. Essentially, all energy flows into or out of a building are
treated as an input to a transfer function type operator, with the output of a transfer function
operation being the contribution to the buildings heating or cooling load. For instance,

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


7: 28

solar radiation through a window would be treated as an input (referred to as a heat gain),
and when multiplied by the room transfer function operator would yield an output that is the
room cooling load contribution of that energy flow. The room transfer function operators
are not simple multiplier constants, but are rather time-series sets of coefficients that must
be multiplied by the hourly heat gain or loss input values (the rate at which energy enters or
leaves the air within the space) over a period of two to three hours prior to the time of the
calculation.

An example of the room transfer function equation applied to hourly values of general heat
gains or losses, q , and earlier hourly values of heating or cooling load, Q , is shown in
Equation 7-8. Values of the coefficients are listed in 1989 ASHRAE Handbook.1
k k
Q = ( vi q i ) ( wi Q i ) 7-8
i =0 i =1

For conduction through the building envelope, the energy flow must be handled in a two-
step transfer function process. First, the rate at which energy passes through the envelope
materials (referred to as a heat gain or loss) is computed using Equation 7-9. These values
are then operated on in Equation 7-8 to compute the room heating or cooling load. The
transfer function coefficients are specific to every type of wall, roof or floor. Extensive
tables of these coefficients for many common constructions are found in the 1989 ASHRAE
Handbook.1
m m
qe , n m

qe , = A bn (Te , n ) d n Trc cn
7-9
n =0 n =1 A n= 0

Solving Equation 7-8 or 7-9 involves a simple (multiple term) algebraic equation and is
very straightforward and quickly performed with a computer. This process is much faster
than the matrix algebra of the energy balance method, and so transfer function-based pro-
grams have generally replaced the energy balance type programs in common usage. There
have been numerous such programs developed over the years, but many have faded away as
the ongoing cost and effort to upgrade and keep them current were not justifiable. The two
most commonly used hour-by-hour building energy programs are DOE-2.1E14 and BLAST,15
both developed and maintained by agencies of the US government.

DOE-2 uses the transfer function method to perform the energy analyses. It descended from
an earlier program called CAL-ERDA,16 which in turn was a revision of the NASA Energy-
Cost Analysis Program (NECAP).17 The original program in this family tree was called the
Post Office Program, as it was funded by the US Post Office Department as a way to keep
the operating costs of its many buildings around the country under control. Versions of both

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Fundamentals of Heating Systems


7: 29

DOE-2 and BLAST can now be operated on high-speed desktop computers and have been
converted to modern operating systems to make the data input less cumbersome.

Although the two government developed programs are acknowledged as being the most
powerful of the energy programs, there are still some hour-by-hour energy programs that
were developed by private companies or organizations and are still supported. These in-
clude HCC by Automated Procedures for Engineering Consultants Inc. (APEC), TRACE by
the Trane Company, and HAP by the Carrier Corporation. TRACE and HAP may actually
be the most widely used of all hour-by-hour programs, as they are used by their companies
technical sales forces in support of their worldwide distribution efforts. As may be ex-
pected, these programs concentrate on providing excellent output and diagnostics of the
heating and cooling systems, with somewhat less emphasis on the building load side of the
problem.

The major drawback to using hour-by-hour energy programs is the extensive and detailed
building and occupancy data that must be input. Every building surface must be character-
ized, and hourly occupancy, lighting and equipment schedules must be constructed for ev-
ery space. A big portion of these programs computes the details involved in determining
components of the energy flows, such as solar angles relative to the various building sur-
faces, transmission and reflectance characteristics of windows with sunlight at a particular
incidence angle, heating and cooling equipment performance characteristics, and many other
parameters that change with time. Many of these supporting algorithms and computer codes
necessary for building energy calculations can be found in the 1976 ASHRAE publication
Procedure for Determining Heating and Cooling Loads for Computerizing Energy Calcu-
lations.18

There are many situations where energy analyses are needed for existing buildings, not just
when a building is being designed. Predictions of hourly energy usage are useful for HVAC
system diagnostics and control, as well as overall building operation and energy optimiza-
tion. Walk-through energy audits can assist a building operator to understand where the
potential energy uses may occur, but a detailed model will permit quick comparisons of the
different components contributions.

There are also various models that take as input the operating energy data from a building
and use it to calibrate the models predictions. These models are sometimes referred to as
energy signature or inverse models. One of the first such models was the Princeton
Scorekeeping Method (PRISM) developed at Princeton University.19 Many of these sophis-
ticated models today can give quite accurate results, based on a challenge competition called
the Energy Predictor Shootout.20 This competition, using data from a 324,000 ft2 university
classroom and office building, yielded six different models that produced coefficients of

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


7: 30

variance under 11% from the metered overall hourly data. Results would likely have been
even better for a building with consistent occupancy, because the sample building had a
two-week session between semesters when the building occupancy was unusually low.

Given the numerous methods of estimating energy usage of a building, which is best for a
given situation? What is best depends on how the results are to be used. There have been
many studies of residential energy usage using the DOE-2 hour-by-hour model where gen-
eral trends and other characteristics are the primary interest. However, no one would pay
the price of any hour-by-hour analysis of a house to optimize the size of its heating system.
While a full-blown hour-by-hour analysis may cost $1,000 or more per zone to perform, the
degree-day method can be performed on the back of an envelope by practically anyone with
a calculator. The single-measure methods are usually not acceptable for cooling situations
that are dominated by internal and lighting loads. Bin method calculations are fairly com-
mon, relatively easy to compute, and are used by numerous commercial software packages.
You should weigh the cost of the analysis against the projected energy savings benefits
before deciding on the model that is best for a certain building.

7.2 Installation Costs

While energy costs are difficult enough to estimate, installation cost estimating can be just
as difficult and uncertain. Pricing for materials will constantly change and the personnel
costs will depend on local wages, estimated installation time and many other issues. In
general, installation costs are estimated on a job-by-job basis as the total project work is
divided into smaller tasks. Means21 and other sources offer personnel time estimates for a
variety of jobs, from installing a copper tube elbow fitting in a water line to pouring a
concrete floor. The experience of seasoned cost estimaters cannot be underestimated in
arriving at good project cost estimates.

Installation costs will vary most due to local wage rates. Actual labor hours per task will
likely vary little from one region of the country to another. However, wages may vary by a
factor of two, particularly when comparing a union-dominated region versus an open shop
region. The impact of union representation may not only include higher hourly wage rates,
but also the required number of workers, crews or subcontractors needed to perform the
various tasks involved in the project. Extensive data are compiled for the many aspects of
HVAC systems and general construction activities, such as in Means.21,22

Installation costs can be greatly impacted by the design of the system. For instance, a small
cooling tower to be placed on the roof of a six-story building may seem to be no particular

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Fundamentals of Heating Systems


7: 31

problem, until it is realized, possibly too late in the design process, that portable cranes may
be able to extend only five stories high. The cost of a helicopter to airlift the cooling tower
to the roof may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars more than the crane, with possible
time delays.

Replacement and renovation costs are often much higher than new construction because
mechanical room doors and walls may have to be removed and replaced to remove old
equipment or bring in new additional equipment. In general, the designs of new buildings
and systems do not consider the eventual replacement and removal that may be required,
and so renovation costs can vary dramatically with each application.

7.3 Operating and Maintenance Costs

The operating and maintenance costs of HVAC systems can usually be divided into energy
costs and non-energy costs. The energy costs are based on the building load characteristics
(as described earlier in this chapter), combined with the plant and distribution efficiency
characteristics. The non-energy costs are everything else required to keep the system safely
running, from a full-time operator (such as for a large boiler or chiller) to routine mainte-
nance (such as filter changes and belt replacements). Maintenance costs will obviously vary
dramatically with the size and type of system.

Perhaps the most extensive study of HVAC system maintenance was conducted by
Dohrmann.23 After compiling data from 342 buildings, a simplified equation was devel-
oped to provide estimates of HVAC maintenance costs.24 The relationship that was pro-
posed is of the form:

Maintenance cost = 33.38 + 0.18n + h + c + d 7-10

where,

cost is given in cents per ft2 of building floor area (1983 dollars)
n = age of equipment in years
h = heating equipment adjustment factor
c = cooling system adjustment factor
d = distribution system adjustment factor

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


7: 32

The various adjustment factors are given in Table 7-5, taken from the 1995 ASHRAE Hand-
bookHVAC Applications.25 To convert maintenance costs to current monetary terms, the
value from Equation 7-10 can be multiplied by the ratio of the current Consumer Price
Index (CPI) to the CPI from July 1983 when the data were compiled (100.1). For compari-
son, the CPI for 1994 was 146.

One important aspect of current maintenance practice that is not covered in the adjustment
factors of Table 7-5 deals with current refrigerant recovery and recycling guidelines. Main-
tenance of high pressure systems that will require opening up the system will need consid-
erable extra time for system evacuation and recharging. In addition, the replacement cost
for refrigerant that has leaked from the system will be much higher today than in 1983.

Table 7-5. Annual HVAC Maintenance Cost Adjustment Factors*

Adjustment Parameters Adjustment Factors

Heating Equipment - h
Water tube boiler +0.77
Cast iron boiler +0.94
Electric boiler -2.67
Heat pump -9.69
Electric resistance -13.3

Cooling Equipment - c
Reciprocating chiller -4.0
Absorption chiller (single-stage)** +19.25
Water-source heat pump -4.72

Distribution System - d
Single zone +8.29
Multizone -4.66
Dual duct -0.29
Constant volume +8.81
Two-pipe fan coil -2.77
Four-pipe fan coil +5.80
Induction +6.82

* In cents per ft2 in 1983 dollars (CPI=100.1)25

**These survey results pertain to buildings with older, single-stage absorption chillers. The data from the
survey are not sufficient to draw inferences about the costs of HVAC maintenance in buildings equipped with
new absorption chillers.

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Fundamentals of Heating Systems


7: 33

Even if the system is currently operating according to its design specifications, major reno-
vations may be required to reduce refrigerant losses from purge systems or other conditions
that may violate regulations imposed by the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act. How
these individual cost components will impact the overall costs of a system depends on the
type and size of system.

Maintenance costs are a necessary part of the operating cost of a system. Routine mainte-
nance costs may be reduced by neglecting to perform many regular preventive procedures.
However, the ultimate cost of such maintenance neglect is usually a more rapid replace-
ment of a major component (such as a compressor) or possibly the entire system, with
higher overall lifetime costs. The greater costs, which may not be easily quantified, are
usually the lost productivity or customer dissatisfaction with the environmental control.
These costs (which would appear as either reduced income or a higher cost of business)
may dwarf the maintenance costs that were avoided. Facilities such as large office build-
ings, hotels and convention centers must give a higher priority to preventive maintenance
because a single failure of a major component could cost 100 times the maintenance ex-
pense in lost productivity or lost business opportunities.

7.4 Simple Payback Calculations

Economic competitiveness in the marketplace has resulted in many changes in the way that
companies do business. Cash flow analyses scrutinize where expenses occur and how they
can be reduced to maximize profitability. There is a somewhat different emphasis now than
in the 1970s during the energy crisis. With a greater emphasis on company profitability, all
expenses are closely evaluated in terms of return-on-investment. When capital is in short
supply, a major expense on an HVAC system upgrade may be competing with an expansion
in plant production capacity, a much needed new employee or delayed salary increases. The
ability to evaluate the cost effectiveness of various HVAC projects will make their success
more likely.

The simple payback method of cost comparison has been used for many years, but was
most commonly applied in the 1970s when old, inefficient systems were being considered
for replacement by higher efficiency systems. The argument was that the energy savings
would soon completely pay back the replacement cost, resulting in a net savings thereafter.
The simple payback concept was easy for average people to grasp and was used in many
product sales promotions of the time. The basic relationship for a simple payback calcula-
tion is:

Simple payback = Implementation costs/Annual energy savings 7-11

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The result of the simple payback calculation is the number of years that it will take the
cumulative savings to equal the costs. While maintenance or other costs can be added to the
energy savings, this type of calculation was generally kept quite simple without complicat-
ing it with maintenance, tax savings, depreciation and other accounting principles. The
primary use of this analysis should be to quickly compare two or more alternative invest-
ments.

EXAMPLE 7-5

Problem: Consider the bank building of Example 7-1. It currently uses electric radiant ceil-
ing panels for a heating system. Because the air-conditioning system needs replacement,
the owners would like to consider an alternative, lower cost heating system. Using the
estimated costs from that example, determine the simple paybacks for the other two options
when the gas furnace and air-conditioner will cost $8,000 while the heat pump will cost
$7,300 to install.

Solution: The annual savings will be the difference between the annual energy costs of the
more expensive radiant panels and the other two systems. The savings for the gas furnace
will be $2,032 - $697 = $1,335 per year. The savings for the heat pump will be $2,032 -
$1,020 = $1,012. The simple payback values are then:

$8,000
Gas furnace payback = = 6.0 years
($1,335 / year )

$7,300
Heat pump payback = = 7.2 years
($1,012 / year )

These particular numbers indicate that the system with the higher annual cost (the heat
pump) will also have a somewhat longer payback period despite its lower installation cost.
However, in many cases, the high-efficiency models that manufacturers use for marketing
purposes will not have the quickest payback due to their very high first-cost.

The costs associated with a project may be somewhat arbitrary. In this case, the entire
project cost was used to compute payback, even though the air-conditioning had to be re-
placed anyway. A possibly more correct analysis would be to look at the differential cost
between simply replacing the air-conditioning unit and installing these other heating and
cooling systems. Suppose the simple replacement cost of the air-conditioner was quoted at
$5,200. For this situation, the payback numbers are:

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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$2,800
Gas furnace payback = = 2.1 years
($1,335 / year )
$2,100
Heat pump payback = = 2.1 years
($1,012 / year )

By charging the air-conditioner replacement cost against the normal operation of the build-
ing, only the actual cost to change the heating system is being charged against the heating
energy savings. The building owner would look much more favorably on these 2.1-year
paybacks versus the 6- or 7-year paybacks when the entire project was being charged against
the heating energy savings.

These numbers are not intended to be representative of any particular system type or fuel
type, but to simply illustrate the methodology of the simple payback method of energy
analysis. The maintenance costs, comfort conditions, system reliability and other factors
will also be important parts of any such project decisions.

The concept of simple payback can be approximately translated into another commonly
used term, return-on-investment (ROI) or internal rate of return (IRR). ROI is the annual-
ized return resulting from a cash flow divided by the expense required to produce the cash
flow. In the absence of inflation and not considering the time value of money, the reciprocal
of simple payback is a simple ROI. For instance, a simple payback of 10 years would yield
a reciprocal of 0.10 per year, or an approximate 10% ROI.

In the 1970s and early 1980s, energy conservation projects would be turned down if they
could not show a 3- to 4-year simple payback because other competing investments could
provide better ROIs. Those rules-of-thumb have stayed with many energy managers and
building owners, even though interest rates have dropped from 20% to 5% and inflation has
dropped from 10% to 3%. In most cases, the ROI of competing projects will be much less
than 25% to 30% annually, so a simple payback of 3 to 4 years may be less valid in the
economic environment of the 1990s.

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7.5 Lifecycle Cost Calculations

There are several different methods of lifecycle cost analysis, but a simple form is the
present worth analysis where all costs are converted to an equivalent present value by dis-
counting future cash flows using acceptable interest rates. For example, suppose there is a
maintenance cost of $100 that occurs at the end of year 2. To discount that amount back to
an equivalent cost at year 0 would require that the cost be divided by a time discounting
factor:
Valuet + n
Valuet = 7-12
(1 + i )n

where n is the number of years between the times that the values are considered, and i is the
interest, or discount, rate. The discount rate is often taken as the current cost of borrowing
money. For an 8% discount rate, the $100 charge at the end of year 2 would be equivalent to
an expense of $100/1.1664 = $85.73 at year 0. This means that if $85.73 were invested at
8% interest at year 0, it would be worth $100 at the end of year 2 after interest is credited.

The term 1/(1 + i)n is often referred to as the single payment present worth factor. Its recip-
rocal is called the single payment capital recovery factor. If you multiply future values by
the present worth factor, it gives the equivalent present (year 0) value. If you multiply a
present value by the capital recovery factor, it gives the equivalent future value. There are
tables of present worth factors in most economics texts, however, they can be easily com-
puted with any scientific or business calculator.

Although monetary inflation is considered to be under control in the United States at less
than 3% per year, inflation is not so moderate in many other countries. When dealing with
a fixed quantity of goods or services (such as kWh of electricity or CCF of gas), inflation
does not have to be considered unless the cost of the kWh or CCF changes differently from
the overall inflation rate. However, if future cash flow streams are determined in terms of
future dollars, those future dollars must be discounted back to present value by accounting
for inflation as well as the time value of money. An effective discount rate is simply the
product of the interest and the inflation effects,

ieff = 1 (1 + i ) (1 + CPC ) = i + CPC + i( CPC ) 7-13

where CPC is the compound price change, or the general rate of inflation.26 When i and
CPC are both relatively small, the effective discount rate is essentially just the sum of the
discount rate and the inflation rate.

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Many costs are recurring expenses, such as energy costs. For the case where a fixed cost
occurs on a repeated basis, the capital recovery factor takes a different form:
1 (1 + i )-n 7-14
Present worth = Payment
i

where present worth is the value at year 0 and payment is a fixed recurring cost in year 0
dollars. Equation 7-14 can be used with any time period, either monthly or annually, pro-
vided the discount rate is based on the same time interval.

Not every commodity will increase in price equal to the overall inflation rate. The differ-
ence between the price escalation rate of a particular commodity and the overall inflation
rate is referred to as a differential escalation rate. To account for a differential escalation, e,
in recurring payments, Equation 7-14 becomes:

1 + e 1 + e
n
7-15
Present worth = P0
1
i - e 1 + i

where P0 is the value in year 0 dollars of the annual cost. It should be noted that when
dealing with costs for a fixed quantity of any item (such as energy), only the differential
escalation rate is necessary in a present worth analysis. The general inflation rate cancels
out when taking inflated future dollars back to year 0 present worth dollars.

As with all economic analyses, the accuracy of any estimate depends on how closely the
assumed discount rate compares to the interest rates that actually occur over the lifecycle.
These analyses are especially sensitive to differential escalation rates. Overestimating the
escalation rate will place too high a value on the later recurring energy costs relative to the
initial installation costs.

You can use the rule of 72 to get a quick feel for the impact of differential escalation. This
rule gives the years that it will take prices to double when dividing the number 72 by the
whole number interest rate. For instance, at 3% per year, prices would double in 24 years
(72/3). Using a 20-year lifecycle period, a 3% differential escalation rate would imply that
the recurring costs have nearly doubled at the end of the lifecycle period relative to the year
0 cost, even adjusted for inflation. If an overall inflation rate of only 3% was also assumed,
the actual inflated money paid for the commodity would double every 12 years.

A present worth lifecycle cost analysis simply translates all future costs to equivalent present
values so that an equivalent single cost figure is obtained for direct comparison to other
options having different cash flow streams. While tax considerations may complicate some
analyses, the cost items that must always be considered for an HVAC system analysis are:

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


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System installation cost


Recurring energy costs
Recurring maintenance costs
Disposal or scrap value
Depreciation tax deduction (for commercial or industrial systems)

Maintenance costs may include a part- or full-time operator for very large systems. They
may also include replacement costs for items that will need to be replaced before the end of
the lifecycle period. Disposal value may be zero if the system is to be used for its full life
expectancy.

EXAMPLE 7-6

Problem: Perform a 20-year lifecycle analysis of the bank buildings heat pump system in
Example 7-1. Use a cost of $10,000 (which includes the air distribution system), the annual
energy costs found in Example 7-1, a discount rate of 8%, a life of 20 years, no scrap value
and a tax rate of 42%. Assume that electricity escalates at a rate 1% above the general
inflation rate. For maintenance costs, use a single zone air distribution system, a building
area of 2,000 ft2, and a current CPI of 151.

Solution: The lifecycle costs for this system will consist of the installed cost at year 0, the
recurring energy costs, recurring maintenance costs, no scrap value and a depreciation tax
credit. From Example 7-1, the annual cost in year 0 dollars is $1,020. Using Equation 7-15
with a 1% electricity escalation rate,

1 + 0.01 1 + 0.01
20

Energy present worth = $1,020 1 = $10,864


0.08 0.01 1 + 0.08

Using Equation 7-10, with the factors from Table 7-5, for maintenance, (h = -9.69, d = 8.29,
A = 2000). The maintenance costs are a weak function of time (0.18n), so the annual costs
are not constant, nor are they escalating at a constant rate. For this example, an average
escalation rate will be used in the constant escalation equation:

151
Maintenance cost (year 0) = 2000[33.38 9.69 + 8.29] = $965 / year
1001
.

151
Maintenance cost (year 20) = 2000[33.38 + 0.18(20) 9.69 + 8.29] = $1,073 / year
.
1001

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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This difference translates to an increase of about 0.5% per year (not counting inflation).
Note that we are not accounting for general inflation in estimating the year 20 maintenance
costs as it would simply cancel out when reverting back to year 0 dollars:

1 + 0.005 1 + 0.005
20

Maint. Pres. Worth = $965 1 = $9,866


0.08 0.005 1 + 0.08

Salvage value is zero, and so can be ignored. The depreciation tax deduction will be found
using a straight line depreciation method over the 20-year period. The cost of $10,000 is
depreciated at ($10,000/20) = $500 per year. At a 42% tax rate, that presents a tax savings of
0.42 ($500) = $210 per year:

1 (1 + 0.08) 20
Tax Pres. Worth = $210 = $2,062

0.08

Total lifecycle costs are:

Energy $10,864
Maintenance $ 9,866
Tax Depreciation $ (2,062)
Installation $10,000
Total $28,668

While these numbers may not be completely realistic due to the maintenance costs being
higher for larger commercial applications than would be expected for this small system,
they do clearly show the general order of magnitude that first-cost has relative to the other
costs incurred over the lifetime of the system. In this example, the building owner pays
nearly equal amounts over the life of the heat pump system for the installation of the sys-
tem, the energy that it uses and the cost to maintain it.

Lifecycle analyses are not especially complicated, however, they may involve more de-
tailed calculations than the person making such financial decisions has an interest in per-
forming on a regular basis. The use of a computer spreadsheet can make repeated calcula-
tions quite simple to perform, such as when comparing various system costs and mainte-
nance cost alternatives. Setting up a spreadsheet will never be faster than a hand calculation
for a single analysis, but it can be a great time saver if multiple analyses must be performed
for different applications or weather conditions.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


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The advantages of using a spreadsheet for these types of analyses are that they are quick to
program and execute on desktop computers and most have powerful built-in graphics capa-
bilities for a quick display of results. Most of the major packages have comparable features
and more than adequate capabilities for such analyses. The actual structure of the spread-
sheet is not critical, and in fact should reflect the requirements of the user and the type of
energy analysis that will be used. Monthly average temperature and humidity values may
be needed for equipment performance computations. Costs for the different size HVAC
systems and the various components can be computed separately, by taking costs for a
small and a larger unit and linearly interpolating between those two points. Different types
of systems can be easily inserted into the spreadsheet cost columns to produce sets of out-
puts for different systems.

Other economic data are required, such as discount rate, electric rate, gas rate, tax rate, fuel
escalation rate, maintenance costs and depreciation schedule. While these parameters are
important to the analysis, many technical decisions based on comparative analysis will not
change due to small changes in these terms. Graphs of lifecycle cost versus some adjustable
design parameter that impacts system cost (such as building wall R-value) can be made
quickly for graphical comparison. The trends should demonstrate the classical upward slop-
ing curve with the minimum value at the point of minimum lifecycle cost.

Once the spreadsheet has been developed, many comparisons can be quickly performed and
graphed. The lifecycle cost versus first-cost relationship can be generated using wall and
roof R-value as the proxy independent variable impacting installation cost (controlling the
cost of the building as well as the size of the HVAC system). Figure 7-10 shows the classi-
cal results for a lifecycle analysis where first-cost and energy costs combine to produce a
point of minimum total cost. The numerical values are not so important in this example as
the general trends that are typical for such analyses. In practice, there will be many combi-
nations of parameters that impact the cost axis, depending on the nature of the project and
the components involved.

When evaluating lifecycle costs, it is often informative to vary one parameter while holding
all others constant. This technique permits the inspection of the sensitivity of the costs to
the one parameter. Other parameters that may be of particular interest are electric rates,
heating system efficiency and building cost. For the following graphs, the lifecycle cost
will be shown versus wall R-value with two cases of one of these other parameters. The
impact of heat pump efficiency on lifecycle costs is illustrated in Figure 7-11. The lower
COP unit was given a COP rating of 1.5 at 17F, while the higher efficiency unit had a COP
of 1.9. The analysis indicates that for this simple system, the difference in efficiency will
translate into at least a difference of $10,000 over the 20-year period. These numbers de-
pend on the choice of many parameters, but this example illustrates how this type of analy-
sis can be used as an input in making purchase decisions on HVAC system efficiency.

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Figure 7-10. Relationship Between Installation, Energy and Lifecycle Costs

Figure 7-11. Impact of Heat Pump Efficiency on Lifecycle Costs

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


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Energy costs are another important variable in design decisions. It becomes more economi-
cally justifiable to use higher R-values in building components and high efficiency equip-
ment when the energy costs are high. These principles are shown in Figure 7-12 where the
electricity rates are shown for $0.07/kWh on the lower curve and at $0.085/kWh on the
upper curve. For this selection of building costs and other parameters, the difference in the
economical wall R-value is not visible with the increments shown on the graph.

Another important comparison deals with the relative cost of the building and HVAC sys-
tem compared to the cost of energy. When the installation costs increase relative to energy
costs, the energy costs become less significant overall, and the minimum lifecycle cost will
be shifted toward lower first-cost, or less expensive building components.

The impact of the first-costs can be seen by increasing the cost per unit of R-value of the
building. Figure 7-13 shows how the lifecycle cost changes when the installation costs
increase rapidly. In this example, the cost of the building for the upper curve is twice the
cost used in the lower curve. Rather than the curve nearly flattening out as installation costs
gradually overcome energy savings, the curve is quite steep for a higher R-value (more
expensive) building. The minimum lifecycle point has shifted to the left to reflect the greater
impact of the installation costs. As installation costs get larger relative to energy costs, the
curve would shift farther to the left (which is where the United States was before the oil
embargo of 1974), representing lower cost but less energy efficient systems.

Figure 7-12. Impact of Energy Costs on Lifecycle Costs

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Figure 7-13. Impact of High Installation Costs


Relative to Energy Costs on Lifecycle Costs

The somewhat opposite effect can be seen if energy is assumed to escalate in price relative
to other commodities. For that scenario, the energy costs increase significantly, especially
in the later years of the analysis, making the low efficiency part of the curve somewhat
steeper. This scenario shifts the minimum lifecycle cost to the right, toward more expensive
and more energy efficient systems. This situation is shown in Figure 7-14 where electricity
was assumed to escalate at a 1% annual rate for the lower curve and 3% annually for the
upper curve.

Lifecycle cost analysis is a very powerful tool that, unfortunately, has not been used much
in recent years. It is usually implemented when a superior, but higher first-cost, technology
appears and must be sold on the basis of its lifecycle cost to overcome the normal tendency
to select the system with the low installation cost or construction bid. Several recent studies
use a lifecycle analysis, incorporating detailed maintenance, interest and operating cost
estimates for different HVAC systems in school buildings.27-30 When properly set up in a
spreadsheet, these analyses can be easily performed for various types of projects involving
different equipment options.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


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Figure 7-14. Impact of Energy Escalation Rate on Lifecycle Costs

Summary

The primary factor that dictates the energy consumption of heating systems is the heating
requirements of the structure served by the system. The heat losses will depend on the
structures weatherization, but the net heating requirements will be reduced by the free
solar heat absorbed by the structure, as well as the internal heat gains from light, appliances
and people.

The oldest and still most commonly used single-measure energy estimating procedure is
the degree-day method. It assumes that the heating requirement will be proportional to the
temperature difference from indoors to outdoors, after crediting the solar and internal heat
gains. When this procedure was first developed, these internal gains produced a building
load balance temperature of about 65F, but modern homes and buildings with more inter-
nal heat gains and better insulation have lower balance temperatures. The variable-base
degree-day method accounts for these lower balance temperatures by measuring the de-
gree-days from the balance temperature rather than from 65F.

The equivalent full-load hours method is used by DOE test procedures, but has a consider-
able degree of uncertainty when applied to an actual building and heating system. It as-

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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sumes that the heating system is properly sized to the building load according to a standard
guideline. In practice, the sizing may be much different from these guidelines, causing the
procedure to yield variable results.

The bin method assumes a straight line heat loss relationship with outdoor temperature.
This method breaks up this load line into 5F increments (bins) and uses hours of occur-
rence within the 5F temperature bins as weighting factors. The primary reason for using
this procedure is so heating equipment whose capacity and efficiency vary with outdoor
temperature can be properly accounted for. This procedure would be good for heat pumps
as well as other systems that exchange heat with the outdoor air.

The modified bin method breaks the bin data into several distinct time blocks so that the
loads of partially occupied buildings can be properly credited. In addition, the time-depen-
dent variables (such as solar radiation and internal heat gains) are accounted for in the
modified bin method by using a linear relationship between the winter design condition and
the summer design condition. This procedure is the simplest method that can compute cool-
ing energy with reasonable accuracy.

Hour-by-hour programs are needed for massive buildings where the weight of the structure
has a significant impact on shifting the heat losses and gains. The two most complex pro-
grams in widespread use are DOE-2.1E and BLAST. Other energy programs have been
developed by several private companies and are still being supported to assist their field
representatives. The hour-by-hour methods follow two techniques: the energy balance method
used by BLAST and the transfer function method used in DOE-2. There are also programs
that receive as input certain historical energy consumption data to calibrate the model. These
types of models can produce accurate results if the underlying assumptions for the input
parameters are valid.

Installation costs are available from numerous sources, but the Means books are generally
regarded as good references for installation costs and time. Such costs will depend on local
wage rates and familiarity with the systems being installed and, as a result, these costs can
vary by a factor of two or more from place to place.

Operating and maintenance costs will vary widely with the different types of heating sys-
tems. The ASHRAE HandbookHVAC Applications is a good reference for these types of
costs. One important factor not covered in the ASHRAE operating cost tables is the use of
alternative refrigerants. Higher costs of refrigerant and more complex refrigerant recovery
procedures will guarantee that any future work on vapor compression systems will have
higher costs than those reported in the ASHRAE HandbookHVAC Applications.

Simple payback cost comparisons have been used for many years, but the results are usu-
ally too simplistic for a large or complex heating system. This method does not normally

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


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account for other recurring expenses (such as maintenance or taxes). However, the simple
payback method is good for making quick estimates of relative suitability for the task at
hand, especially when short timeframes are involved. The payback value can be inverted to
yield an approximate return-on-investment (ROI).

Lifecycle analysis is the most accurate cost comparison procedure, but it is more complex
than the simple payback method. It can easily account for cash flows at any time during the
life of the system, and yields an equivalent value that can be compared to other lifecycle
analysis results or first-costs. Lifecycle methods permit a more detailed comparison of cost
impacts so that a minimum or optimum lifecycle configuration can be determined. Lifecycle
methods permit a comparison between first-costs and recurring costs that are not possible
by other procedures. As with the detailed energy simulations or any other model that must
project economic variables into the future, the accuracy of these methods depends on the
validity of the input parameters.

Bibliography

1. ASHRAE. 1989. "Energy estimating methods." ASHRAE HandbookFundamentals. At-


lanta, GA: ASHRAE. Chapter 28

2. Tierney, T., Fishman, C. 1994. "Real-world seasonal efficiency of gas-fired steam boil-
ers." ASHRAE Journal. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 36, No. 9, September.

3. Guarino, D. 1994. "High efficiency furnaces." Contracting Business. Cleveland, OH:


Penton Publications.

4. Colliver, D., et al. 1998. Updating the Tables of Design Weather Conditions in the ASHRAE
Handbook of Fundamentals. ASHRAE Research Project RP-890 final report. Atlanta, GA:
ASHRAE.

5. DOE. 1980. Passive Solar Design Handbook. Washington, DC: US Department of En-
ergy.

6. Balcomb, J., et al. 1984. Passive Solar Heating Analysis A Design Manual. Atlanta,
GA: ASHRAE.

7. GRI. 1996. GATCFocus. Columbus, OH: Gas Research Institute, Gas Appliance Tech-
nology Center. May.

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8. GAMA. 1995. Consumers' Directory of Certified Efficiency Ratings for Residential Heat-
ing and Water Heating Equipment. Arlington, VA: Gas Appliance Manufacturers Associa-
tion.

9. USAF. 1988. Engineering Weather Data. United States Air Force Publication AFM 88-29.
Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.

10. Knebel, D. 1983. Simplified Energy Analysis Using the Modified Bin Method. Atlanta,
GA: ASHRAE.

11. ASHRAE. 1993. ASHRAE HandbookFundamentals. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

12. Ayres, J., Stamper, E. 1995. "Historical development of building energy calculations."
ASHRAE Journal. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 37., No. 2, February.

13. Kusuda, T. 1971. NBSLD, Computer Program for Heating and Cooling Loads in Build-
ings. Gaithersburg, MD: National Institute of Standards and Technology.

14. LBL. 1979. DOE-2: Volume 1, Users Guide; Volume 2, Reference Manual; Volume 3,
Program Manual. Berkeley, CA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

15. Hittle, D. 1977. The Building Loads Analysis and System Thermodynamics Program,
BLAST. Champaign, IL: US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory.

16. Graven, R., Hirsch, P. 1977. CAL-ERDA Users Manual. Argonne, IL: Argonne Na-
tional Laboratory.

17. Henninger, R. 1975. NECAP, NASA's Energy-Cost Analysis Program. Washington,


DC: National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

18. ASHRAE. 1976. Procedure for Determining Heating and Cooling Loads for Comput-
erizing Energy Calculations. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

19. Fels, M., ed. 1986. "Measuring energy savings: The scorekeeping approach." Energy
and Buildings. Berkeley, CA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Vol. 9, Nos. 1 and
2.

20. Kreider, J., Haberl, J. 1994. "Predicting hourly building energy usage." ASHRAE Jour-
nal. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 36, No. 6, June.

21. Means. 1996. Open Shop Building Construction Cost Data. Kingston, MA: R.S. Means
Co.

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22. Means. 1996. Mechanical Cost Data. Kingston, MA: R.S. Means Co.

23. Dohrmann, D. 1985. Analysis of Survey Data on HVAC Maintenance Costs. Final re-
port for ASHRAE research project 382-RP. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

24. Dohrmann, D., Alereza, T. 1986. "Analysis of survey data on HVAC maintenance costs."
ASHRAE Transactions. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol.92, Pt. 2A, pp. 550-565.

25. ASHRAE. 1995. ASHRAE HandbookHVAC Applications. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

26. Kirk, S. 1979. "Life cycle costing: Problem solver for engineers." Specifying Engineer.
Chicago, IL: Cahners Publishing Co. June.

27. Bruce, J. 1994. Energy Study: Life Cycle Cost Comparisons for Schools. Lexington,
KY: Kentucky Utilities Co.

28. Kaiser, R. 1995. A Twenty-Year Life Cycle Comparison of HVAC Owning and Operat-
ing Costs Involving Five Different HVAC Systems for Fairview Park Branch, Cuyahoga
County, Ohio, Public Library System. Lexington, KY: Kaiser-Taulbee Associates. Novem-
ber.

29. Kaiser, R. 1996. A Twenty-Year Life Cycle Comparison of HVAC Owning and Operat-
ing Costs Involving Three Different HVAC Systems for Sylvania Junior High School,
Sylvania, Ohio. Lexington, KY: Kaiser-Taulbee Associates. February.

30. Kaiser, R. 1996. Your School and Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning. Lexing-
ton, KY: Kaiser-Taulbee Associates. March.

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Skill Development Exercises

Complete these questions by writing your answers on the worksheets at the back of this
book.

7-01. A house has a design heating load of 57,000 Btu/h at an outdoor temperature of -4F
where the heating degree-days are 8,400 per year. Compare the estimated annual
heating costs of a propane furnace with an AFUE rating of 78, with propane costing
$1.20 per gallon, to an electric heat pump with an HSPF of 6.8 and electric costs of
$0.075/kWh.
7-02. The house in Exercise 7-01 is very well insulated and has a number of south-facing
windows to let in solar energy. Its balance temperature is typically about 50F. The
degree-days at that base temperature are 6,600 per year. What is the difference in
operating costs for the propane furnace of Exercise 7-01 using the modified degree-
day method?

7-03. The house in Exercise 7-01 has a 4-ton heat pump that consumes on average about
3.5 kW of electrical power. If the heating load hours for this location is 3,700 hours,
estimate the annual cost for the heat pump system.

7-04. Perform a bin analysis for the house in Exercise 7-01 when it is located in Louis-
ville, Kentucky, where the design temperature is taken to be +2F. Use the heat
pump performance data from Figure 7-5. Estimate how many hours per year that
backup resistance heat is needed and the number of kWh per year that these heaters
consume. From these figures, estimate the diversified demand from the electric re-
sistance backup heaters.

7-05. Give three reasons why an hour-by-hour energy analysis may not be appropriate as
part of sizing a heating system for a house.

7-06. Perform a simple payback analysis with the data from Exercise 7-01 where the pro-
pane furnace costs $1,200 to install and the heat pump costs $2,800. What would be
the approximate return on your investment if you put your extra money into the heat
pump rather than the propane furnace? Is this a valid comparison?

7-07. The systems of Exercise 7-01 will have very different maintenance requirements. It
is estimated that the propane furnace will need only $40 per year while the heat
pump will require $125 per year in maintenance costs. Neglecting tax issues and
scrap value, what are the lifecycle costs for 15-year lives for the two heating sys-
tems when their first-costs are those given in Exercise 7-06? Use a discount rate of
8%. Do the relative results change when you use a discount rate of 7% or 10%?

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Chapter 8
Codes and Standards

Contents of Chapter 8

Instructions
Study Objectives of Chapter 8
8.1 What Are Codes and Standards?
8.2 Safety Codes and Standards
8.3 Performance Standards
8.4 Code- and Standards-Writing Organizations
Summary
Bibliography
Skill Development Exercises

Instructions

Read the material in this chapter for general content, and re-read the parts that are empha-
sized in the summary. Complete the skill development exercises without consulting the
text, then review the text as necessary to verify your solutions.

Study Objectives of Chapter 8

Safety codes have been in place since the days when steamboat boilers exploded with regu-
larity because there were no standard methods to determine safety. Today, virtually every
aspect of engineering that directly concerns the safety of the public will be regulated by a
code or standard. Since the 1970s, energy performance standards have also been developed
to protect the publics financial welfare. It was decided that individuals who lack the exten-
sive knowledge and expertise needed to make wise decisions about the thermal perfor-
mance of a building and its energy systems should be able to reference a group of people
selected by the industry who are knowledgeable about such things.

The objective of this chapter is to introduce you to some of the codes and standards that are
pertinent to HVAC&R systems. You should become familiar with the requirements of

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 8 Codes and Standards


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ASHRAE Standard 62 for ventilation, ASHRAE Standard 55 for human environmental con-
ditions, and ASHRAE Standard 15 for mechanical refrigeration rooms. You should also
become acquainted with residential and commercial building energy performance standards,
as well as the standard for unitary heating and cooling equipment. The different code-writ-
ing bodies will be introduced so you will know how these codes are promulgated and which
organizations are responsible.

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8.1 What Are Codes and Standards?

Codes and standards are two means by which the health, safety and certain economic inter-
ests of the public are safeguarded. Codes are the means by which local, state or federal
governmental authorities require mandatory compliance to building-related practices that
are considered safe and economically prudent. Standards are accepted procedures that are
normally used to evaluate the performance of a system or an individual component. Stan-
dards are most often used voluntarily by manufacturers in developing performance specifi-
cations or guidelines for use of their products. While a standard will typically specify exact
ways in which to perform a certain test or evaluation, there is no force of law that it be
followed in any actual application. However, standards may serve as the basis for all or part
of a certain code.

A third category, called guidelines, exists within ASHRAE-related activities. Guidelines


are similar to standards, but are developed in a less stringent manner without the same
requirements for committee balance and ASHRAE approval. Guidelines reflect what may
be considered the state-of-the-art in the industry from a committee of experienced industry
practitioners.

There are several code-writing organizations that develop comprehensive codes covering
the entire spectrum of building construction as well as the mechanical, electrical and plumbing
systems. Although these codes are often similar in nature, there are inevitable differences
that make it difficult for an engineering or contracting company to standardize on a given
practice for use in all parts of the country. The primary organizations that write building
codes in the United States are the Building Officials and Code Administrators International
(BOCA), the Council of American Building Officials (CABO), the International Confer-
ence of Building Officials (ICBO), and the Southern Building Code Congress International
(SBCCI).

Although there are many organizations with cognizant authority to develop various stan-
dards, the primary standards organization in the United States is the American National
Standards Institute (ANSI). ASHRAE and many other organizations develop standards that
are submitted to ANSI for their acceptance and adoption. ANSI has rigorous requirements
for process and procedures to ensure that appropriate consensus is obtained in the standards
development process. The analogous organization in Canada is the Canadian Standards
Association (CSA) and, in the United Kingdom, it is the British Standards Institute (BSI).

To expedite the process of producing building codes based on certain standards, ASHRAE
and other standards-writing bodies have begun the practice of writing their widely adopted
standards in code language form. Such standards can then be readily referenced and adopted
into building codes with little or no modification in wording or intent.

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8.2 Safety Codes and Standards

Most building-related codes or standards are written to safeguard the public and workers
from accidental harm. These safety codes usually pertain to building construction (struc-
tural and fire related), mechanical (HVAC, elevators, etc.), electrical (electric wiring, com-
munication and power systems), and plumbing (domestic water, fire protection and sewage
systems). Obviously, the mechanical codes are the ones that have the greatest impact on
HVAC system design. The primary objectives of safety codes are to provide mandatory
compliance to practices and specifications that will result in fewer accidents or injuries. By
their nature, codes will often usurp the design engineers prerogative to specify certain
critical details of the building or system design.

ASHRAE STANDARD 62

Few standards have raised the interest of the HVAC community like ASHRAE Standard
62-1989, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality.1 Although it is only 26 pages in
length, this standard specifies the procedures used to determine the amount of outdoor ven-
tilation air required for a particular application. For a general central forced air HVAC
system (as shown in Figure 8-1), Standard 62-1989 requires that the design engineer use
either a minimum outdoor air flow rate based on the building use and occupancy, or else
compute the outdoor air flow requirements based on the source strengths of indoor pollut-
ants, room mixing efficiencies, air cleaning efficiencies and outdoor air quality. Due to the
uncertainties and variability of these parameters, most design engineers choose to use the
prescribed minimum outdoor air flow for most design applications.

Figure 8-1. Central Forced Air HVAC System

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An abbreviated list of the minimum outdoor air flows in Standard 62-1989 is given in Table
8-1. These values are derived from physiological considerations, subjective evaluations and
professional judgments (see for instance, Janssen and Wolff,2 Raijhans,3 Berg-Munch, et
al.4 or Leaderer and Cain.5

One of the most difficult issues facing the building design community when addressing
IAQ is environmental tobacco smoke (ETS). In the early 1990s, numerous health studies
implicated second-hand or passive smoking (ETS) as a contributor to higher lung cancer
rates in non-smokers.6 ETS is thus considered to be a Class A carcinogen, or cancer-causing
agent. It is unknown how much of any carcinogen can be circulated within a building with-

Table 8-1. Selected Outdoor Air Ventilation Rates from Standard 62-1989

Application Max. Occupancy Air Flow Comments


(persons/1,000 ft2) (cfm/person)

Commercial laundry 10 25 Dry cleaning may require more air


Cafeteria, fast food 100 20
Bars, cocktail lounges 100 30 Supplementary smoke removal
equipment may be required
Hotel rooms 30 (cfm/room) Independent of room size
Office space 7 20 Some office equipment may require
local exhaust
Public restrooms 50 (cfm/wc or urinal) Mechanical exhaust with no
recirculation is recommended
Smoking lounge 70 60 Normally supplied by transfer air,
local mechanical exhaust; with no
recirculation recommended

Malls and arcades 20 0.20 (cfm/ft2)


Barber shop 25 15
Supermarkets 8 15
Sports arena, spectator area 150 15 When internal combustion engines
are operated for maintenance of
playing surfaces, increased
ventilation rates may be required

School classrooms 50 15
Hospital patient rooms 10 25 Special requirements or codes and
pressure relationships may determine
ventilation rates and filter effi
ciency. Procedures generating
contaminants may require higher
rates.

Autopsy rooms 0.5 (cfm/ft2) Air shall not be circulated into other
spaces.
Warehouses 5 0.15 (cfm/ft2)
Duplicating, printing 0.50 (cfm/ft2) Installed equipment must incorpo-
rate positive exhaust and control
(as required) of undesirable
contaminants (toxic or otherwise)

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out introducing additional health risks to the occupants. Because of the legal liability impli-
cations of ETS, many companies and government agencies have banned the smoking of
tobacco products in buildings. The tobacco industry and individual companies that manu-
facture or sell tobacco products have been vocal opponents of ventilation standards where
smoking is used to differentiate space utilization.

Because of the rapid developments in the understanding of IAQ issues, Standard 62 has
undergone some dramatic changes since the 1970s. The standard is undergoing continuous
changes from the 1989 version and, as expected, is generating many comments due to the
new calculations, requirements and different design criteria. The revised standard not only
addresses outdoor air requirements, but also deals with issues involving building commis-
sioning and startup, operation and equipment maintenance.7 The complexity of this stan-
dard will naturally tend to increase as the technology on which it is based becomes more
mature. The Standard 62 development committee already includes experts from the medi-
cal profession besides HVAC engineers and other technical disciplines, and may expand
even more as future scopes of the standard are added.8

ASHRAE STANDARD 55

ASHRAE Standard 55-1992, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy,


specifies the combination of indoor space conditions and personal factors that should pro-
vide acceptable comfort conditions for the majority of people.9 The personal factors of
activity level and clothing are just as important as the environmental factors, so correlations
are given that relate these parameters to an average persons overall comfort level.

Standard 55-1992 establishes procedures for estimating the expected comfort levels in a
space, given knowledge about surface temperatures, air movement, air temperature and
humidity, activity level and manner of dress. It also specifies procedures to measure these
various factors that influence human comfort. While most of the standard is concerned with
primarily sedentary activity of people dressed in typical indoor clothing, it does include
sections that address comfort levels for people engaged in higher activity levels with differ-
ent manners of dress. Several comfort indices are introduced to quantify the expected com-
fort level in the space for both winter and summer conditions.

The comfort conditions specified in Standard 55-1992 are considered to be those that would
be acceptable to 80% of the occupants. Due to individual differences in metabolism, activ-
ity levels and manner of dress, no single indoor condition can be expected to be completely
satisfactory to everyone in a typical group of people.

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Table 8-2 shows the clo values that can be used to approximate the thermal insulating
values of different clothing ensembles. The total ensemble clo value is simply the sum of
the clo values of the individual clothing articles, which automatically account for body area
coverage.

Table 8-2. Garment Insulation Values from Standard 55-1992


garment Iclu values)
Ensemble I cl = (
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Garment descriptiona I clo Garment description I clo


(clo) (clo)
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Underwear Dresses and skirts b (knee length)


Bra 0.01 Skirt (thin) 0.14
Panties 0.03 Skirt (thick) 0.23
Mens briefs 0.04 Sleeveless, scoop neck (thin) 0.23
T-shirt 0.08 Sleeveless, scoop neck (thick)
Half slip 0.14 i.e., jumper 0.27
Long underwear bottoms 0.15 Short sleeve shirt dress (thin) 0.29
Full Slip 0.16 Long sleeve shirt dress (thin) 0.33
Long underwear top 0.20 Long sleeve shirt dress (thick) 0.47

Footwear Sweaters
Ankle length athletic socks 0.02 Sleeveless vest (thin) 0.13
Pantyhose stockings 0.02 Sleeveless vest (thick) 0.22
Sandals/thongs 0.02 Long sleeve (thin) 0.25
Shoes 0.02 Long sleeve (thick) 0.36
Slippers (quilted, pile lines) 0.03 0.02
Calf length socks 0.03 Suit jackets and vests c (lined)
Knee socks (thick) 0.06 Sleeveless vest (thin) 0.10
Boots 0.10 Sleeveless vest (thick) 0.17
Single-breasted (thin) 0.36
Shirts and Blouses Double-breasted (thin) 0.42
Sleeveless, scoop neck blouse Double-breasted (thick) 0.44
Short sleeve, knit sport shirt 0.17 Double-breasted (thick) 0.48
Short sleeve, dress shirt 0.19
Long sleeve, dress shirt 0.25 Sleepwear and Robes
Long sleeve, flannel shirt 0.34 Sleeveless, short gown (thin) 0.18
Long sleeve, sweat shirt 0.34 Sleeveless, long gown (thin) 0.20
Short sleeve hospital gown 0.31
Trousers and Coveralls Short sleeve, short robe (thin) 0.34
Short shorts 0.06 Short sleeve, pajamas (thin) 0.42
Walking shorts 0.08 Long sleeve, long gown (thick) 0.46
Straight trousers (thin) 0.15 Long sleeve, short wrap robe (thick) 0.48
Straight trousers (thick) 0.24 Long sleeve, pajamas (thick) 0.57
Sweat pants 0.28 Long sleeve, long wrap robe (thick) 0.69
Overalls 0.30
Coveralls 0.49

Footnotes:
a - Thin refers to garments made of lightweight, thin fabrics often worn in the summer;
Thick refers to garments made of heavyweight, thick fabrics often worn in the winter.
b - knee length dresses and skirts
c - lined vests

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The combination of temperature and humidity that provide for comfortable conditions are
given using the psychrometric chart, as shown in Figure 8-2. It should be noted that the
comfort zone was changed slightly in an addendum to the original Standard 55-1992.10 The
previous comfort zones followed the 60% relative humidity lines as the upper boundary
rather than the 68F and 64F wet-bulb lines of Figure 8-2. The addendum eliminated the
impact of nonthermal environmental factors (dry skin, respiratory health, mold growth,
etc.) in establishing thermal comfort conditions. Thus, the comfort zones of Figure 8-2 may
include some environmental conditions that may not generally be considered desirable for
reasons other than occupant thermal comfort.

Figure 8-2. Acceptable Ranges of Operative Temperature and Humidity10

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Air movement is another important consideration in indoor comfort. Figure 8-3 may be
used to estimate the effective impact on temperature setpoint by use of increased air speed
over occupants. The practical air speed limit of 160 fpm is applied because air velocities
above that point tend to blow papers and would likely not be tolerated by occupants in most
cases. The standard stipulates that air movement can be used to affect changes in setpoint
temperature only if the occupant has direct control over the air speed.

Figure 8-3. Air Speed Required to Compensate for


Temperatures Offset from Normal Comfort Conditions9

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For situations where occupants are more active, indoor thermal comfort conditions can be
suitably adjusted to account for their higher metabolic rates. Figure 8-4 shows the range of
comfort conditions that can be applied for various activity levels. Activity levels corre-
sponding to the metabolic rates (met) on the horizontal axis are the same as those given in
Table 3-2. The equation for the relationship of Figure 8-4 is given by:

To ,active = To ,sedentary 5.4(1 + clo)( met 12


. ) 8-1

where clo and met represent the clothing insulating value and the metabolic rate of the
occupant, respectively. The sedentary comfort temperature is what would be selected from
Figure 8-3.

Standard 55-1992 specifies necessary instrument range and accuracy, locations and mea-
surements needed to evaluate the necessary parameters to compute the thermal environ-
ment comfort parameters for a particular application.

Figure 8-4. Optimum Operative Temperatures


for Active People in Environments with Low Air Speed9

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ASHRAE STANDARD 15

ASHRAE Standard 15-1994, Safety Code for Mechanical Refrigeration, is one of the few
standards that is directly specified as a code document.11 Its purpose is to promote the safe
design, construction, installation and operation of refrigerating systems. Standard 15 ad-
dresses safety issues involving the chemical characteristics of refrigerants as well as their
pressures and temperatures that occur in refrigerating systems. Safety issues resulting from
equipment ruptures, refrigerant releases, fires, suffocation, narcotic effects, toxic effects,
corrosive effects and freezing are all discussed in this standard. Standard 15-1989 was
revised in 1992, two years ahead of its normal five-year cycle because of the many new
refrigerants and blends that were developed as a result of the CFC and HCFC phaseouts.
Standard 15 was revised again in 1994 because of the rapid developments in refrigerants.

Standard 15-1994 defines different occupancy classifications for the building (such as in-
stitutional, public assembly, residential, etc.) because safety measures would apply differ-
ently to each facility. The refrigerating systems are also classified, relating the location of
the refrigerant to the occupied space. Refrigerants are also classified according to their
flammability and toxicity. High probability and low probability systems are defined in terms
of the likelihood of a refrigerant leak entering the occupied space.

Nine rules of refrigerant use are developed in Standard 15-1994, generally ranging from 1
applying to the least dangerous to 9 applying to the most dangerous, with various measures
being recommended for the different applications that are possible. Figure 8-5 shows the
safety grouping of refrigerants and their designations. Table 8-3 illustrates how the rules are
applied to the different system types in the different building classes. The refrigerant types
with their toxicity and flammability characteristics will often dictate what can be used in
certain situations. Table 8-4 shows a partial listing of refrigerants and the concentrations
that may be permissible in enclosed spaces. Obviously, some newer refrigerants are consid-
ered much more hazardous than the CFCs they replaced, and require a more conscious
effort on the part of service personnel to follow safety guidelines.

Because many refrigeration systems are factory-built, their safety is already determined
before they are installed. Several sections of ASHRAE Standard 15-1994 deal with design
and construction of the system and related pressure vessels, including pressure limiting
devices and pressure relief protection. These requirements will usually be accounted for in
the system design and satisfied before the equipment leaves the factory.

Installation requirements govern issues such as access, enclosures, illumination, electrical


safety, and piping and ducting systems. General requirements are also placed on machinery
rooms (such as refrigerant detectors, emergency egress requirements, venting, and location
of open flames). Also, various safety requirements are included (such as self-contained
breathing apparatus, refrigerant storage and maintenance of valves and pressure gauges).

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Figure 8-5. Refrigerant Safety Classifications11

Table 8-3. System Application Requirementsa


Occupancy

Refrigerant System Public Assembly, Residential,


Group Probabilityb Institutional Commercial & Large Mercantile Industrialc

A1 High 2 1 3
Low 4 4 4

A2 High 5 5 3
Low 7 7 7

A3 High 9 9 3
Low 9 9 7

B1 High 2,6 1,6 3


Low 4 4 4

B2 High 5,6 5,6 3


Low 7 7 7

B3 High 9 9 3
Low 9 9 7

a Numbers in the table under Occupancy refer to rules in Section 7.4


b See Section 5.2 for determining the system probability.
c Rule 8 is referenced when Rule 3 is applied.

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Table 8-4. Refrigerant Classifications and Permissible Amounts


Quantity of Refrigerant per Occupied Space

Refrigerant Lb per PPM


Number Chemical Name Chemical Formula 1000 ft 3 a,c by vol g/m3 a,c

Group A1
R-11 Trichlorofluoromethane CCl3F 1.6 4,000 25
R-12 Dichlorodifluoromethane CCl2 F2 12 40,000 200
R-13 Chlorotrifluoromethane CClF3 18 67,000 290
R-13B1 Bromotrifluoromethane CBrF3 22 57,000 350
R-14 Tetrafluoromethane CF4 15 67,000 240
(Carbon tetrafluoride)
R-22 Chlorodifluoromethane CHClF2 9.4 42,000 150
R-113 Trichlorotrifluoroethane CCl2 FCClF2 1.9 4,000 31
R-114 Dichlorotetrafluoroethane CClF2 CClF2 9.4 21,000 150
R-115 Chloropentafluoroethane CClF2CF 3 27 67,000 430
R-134a 1,1,1,2-Tetrafluoroethane CH2FCF 3 16 60,000 250
R-C318 Octafluorocyclobutane C 4F 8 35 67,000 550
R-400 R-12 and R-114 CCl2 F2/C2Cl2 F4 d d d
R-500 R-12/152a (73.8/26.2) CCl2F2 /CH3CHF 2 12 47,000 200
R-502 R-22/115 (48.8/51.2) CHClF2/CClF2 CF3 19 65,000 300
R-503 R-23/13 (40.1/59.9) CHF3 /CClF3 15 67,000 240
R-744 Carbon Dioxide CO2 5.7 50,000 91

Group A2
R-142b 1-Chloro-1,1,-Difluoroethane CH3CClF2 3.7 14,000 60
R-152a 1,1-Difluoroethane CH3CHF 2 1.2 7,000 20

Group A3
R-170 Ethane C 2H 6 0.50 6,400 8.0
R-290 Propane C 3H 8 0.50 4,400 8.0
R-600 Butane C4H10 0.51 3,400 8.2
R-600a 2-Methyl propane (Isobutane) CH(CH3)3 0.51 3,400 8.2
R-1150 Ethene (Ethylene) C 2H 4 0.38 5,200 6.0
R-1270 Propene (Propylene) C 3H 6 0.37 3,400 5.9

Group B1
R-123 2,2-Dichloro-1,1,1- CHCl 2CF 3 0.40 1,000 6.3
Trifluoroethane
R-764 Sulfur Dioxide SO2 0.016 100 0.26

Group B2
R-40 Chloromethane (Methyl Chloride) CH3Cl 1.3 10,000 21
R-611 Methyl Formate HCOOCH3 0.78 5,000 12
R-717 Ammonia NH3 0.022 500 0.35

a - The refrigerant safety groups in Table 8.4 are not part of ASHRAE Standard 15. The classifications shown are from ASHRAE
Standard 34, which governs in the event of a difference.
b - To be used only in conjunction with Section 7.
c - To correct for height, H(feet), above sea level, multiply these values by (1 - 2.42 x 10-6 H). To correct for height, h(km),
above sea level, multiply these values by (1 - 7.94 x 10-2h).
d - The quantity of each component shall comply with the limits set in Table 1 for the pure compound, and the total volume % of
all components shall be calculated per Appendix A (not to exceed 67,000 ppm by volume for any refrigerant blend).
e - The basis of the table quantities is a single event where a complete discharge of any refrigerant system into the occupied
space occurs. The refrigerant quantity is the most restrictive of a 19.5% minimum oxygen concentration or as follows:
Group A1 - 80% of the cardiac sensitization level for R-11, R-12, R-13B1, R-22, R-113, R-114, R-134a, R-500, and
R-502. 100% of the IDLH (21) for R-744. Others are limited by levels where oxygen deprivation begins to
occur.
Group A2, A3 - Approximately 20% of LFL.
Group B1 - 100% of IDLH for R-764, and 100% of the measure consistent with the IDLH for R-123.
Group B2, B3 - 100% of IDLH or 20% of LFL, whichever is lower.
f - It shall be the responsibility of the owner to establish the refrigerant group for refrigerants used that are not classified in
ASHRAE Standard 34.

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8.3 Performance Standards

While safety is often the uppermost consideration that must be applied when specifying
system design, performance has become increasingly important as system economics are
more closely scrutinized. The issue of building performance has become especially critical,
because the energy crisis of the 1970s made us aware of how costly it can be to occupy a
building for 50 to 100 years that was built to poor thermal performance standards.

While the HVAC systems themselves will likely not have the same life expectancy as the
building, it is not uncommon for many systems to have life expectancies of 25 to 40 years.
It becomes important to the ultimate customer who pays the utility bills (usually the build-
ing owner or occupant) to know that they are getting an efficient system. Because most
building owners or occupants are not knowledgeable of such technical issues involving
building construction or HVAC system design, ASHRAE has developed performance stan-
dards for residential and commercial buildings as well as standards for unitary heating and
cooling systems. (There are also standards for testing the performance of large chillers as
well as boilers, but these will not be addressed here.)

ASHRAE STANDARD 90.1

ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-1989, Energy Efficient Design of New Buildings Except New
Low-Rise Residential Buildings specifies design and construction procedures to ensure that
a building will have a reasonable energy consumption over its lifetime, yet still be func-
tional and easily maintained.12 The standard applies to all new buildings except for small
residential buildings. Most building codes in the United States have adopted Standard 90.1-
1989 as the basis for their energy codes.

The Standard 90 series originated in the 1970s, even before the oil embargo and energy
crisis caused fuel prices to increase sharply. In 1972, the National Conference of States on
Building Codes and Standards (NCS/BCS) requested the National Bureau of Standards
(NBS, now the National Institute for Standards and Technology, NIST) to work on what
could become the basis for a building energy code. NBS agreed to develop the design and
evaluation criteria, to be developed into a consensus standard. ASHRAE accepted the re-
sponsibility to develop the standard in 1974.

ASHRAE Standard 90-75, Energy Conservation in New Building Design was published in
August 1975. The standard was revised as ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90A-1980, which
was the first nine sections of the revision and was included with ASHRAE/IES Standard
90B-1975 and ASHRAE 90C-1977, which included the last three sections of the standard.

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Standard 90C, which dealt with energy estimating methods, was later spun off to its own
standard project committee. Standards 90A and 90B were later split along commercial and
residential lines to become Standard 90.1 (commercial) and Standard 90.2 (residential).
ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-1989 is the result of three public reviews and numerous sub-
stantive changes as a result of reviewer comments. The complexity of the issues involved
make the five-year revision process virtually impossible to meet due to the lengthy delib-
erations required to develop consensus on the committee, and then to respond to hundreds
of public review comments.

Standard 90.1-1989 addresses electric power, lighting, auxiliary systems and equipment,
the building envelope, HVAC systems, HVAC equipment, water heating equipment, en-
ergy management and the building energy cost budget method. In each case, the designer
has two options: whether to choose the prescriptive criteria; or to use the performance-
based energy cost budget method. The prescriptive method is much simpler to implement,
because it specifies minimum performance levels of each building component or system.
The performance-based design would be more difficult to evaluate, but it offers the advan-
tage of giving the designer more flexibility to use certain lower efficiency building or equip-
ment designs if the overall energy budget can be maintained by using higher efficiency
components or systems in other places. Computer software was also developed at one of the
national laboratories to assist in evaluating the compliance of certain performance-based
designs. Figure 8-6 illustrates the two paths that a designer could take in developing the
building and systems designs.

Electric power, lighting and auxiliary systems are addressed in the prescriptive method by
the specifications of minimum efficiency levels or maximum power consumption. As an
example, Table 8-5 illustrates the maximum prescriptive lighting levels that are acceptable
for various building applications. Although shown to three significant digits, these power
levels were somewhat arbitrary and represented the best judgments of the standard project
committee. Many of the other tables and other prescriptive specifications also are based on
realistic estimates, not necessarily based on any degree of technical feasibility.

The building component specifications are based on the heating and cooling degree-days
where the building is located. Obviously, from a total cost perspective, it does not make
economic sense to spend the same amount of money on building insulation and weatheriza-
tion for a building located in Minneapolis as for one in Atlanta. The building thermal char-
acteristic used in the prescriptive method is its overall U-value. Numerous tables of alter-
nate combinations of wall, roof and window U-values are presented based on internal load
densities and heating and cooling degree-day values.

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Figure 8-6. Alternative Methods to Achieve Compliance with Standard 90.1-1989

Chapter 8 Codes and Standards Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Table 8-5. Prescriptive Lighting


Power Allowances for Standard 90.1-1989a

Building Type 0 to 2,001 to 10,001 to 25,001 to 50,001 to


Or Space Activity 2,000 ft2 10,000 ft 2 25,000 ft2 50,000 ft2 250,000 ft2 >250,000 ft2

Food Service
Fast Food/Cafeteria 1.50 1.38 1.34 1.32 1.31 1.30
Leisure Dining/Bar 2.20 1.91 1.71 1.56 1.46 1.40

Offices 1.90 1.81 1.72 1.65 1.57 1.50

Retaila 3.30 3.08 2.83 2.50 2.28 2.10

Mall Concourse 1.60 1.58 1.52 1.46 1.43 1.40


multi-store service
Service Establishment 2.70 2.37 2.08 1.92 1.80 1.70

Garages 0.30 0.28 0.24 0.22 0.21 0.20

Schools
Preschool/Elementary 1.80 1.80 1.72 1.65 1.57 1.50
Jr. High/High School 1.90 1.90 1.88 1.83 1.76 1.70
Technical/Vocational 2.40 2.33 2.17 2.01 1.84 1.70

Warehouse/Storage 0.80 0.66 0.56 0.48 0.43 0.40

Notes:
a - Includes general, merchandising and display lighting.

This prescriptive table is for use in conjunction with Section 8 or 13 and is for compliance only. Its use is intended primarily for
core and shell (i.e., speculative) buildings or during the preliminary design phase (i.e., when the space uses are less than 80%
defined). The values in this table are not intended to represent the needs of all buildings within the types listed. This table shall not
be used without the option of using the system performance method in 6.6.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 8 Codes and Standards


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The prescriptive method specifies minimum efficiencies of heating and cooling systems,
with the minimum efficiency levels increasing on January 1, 1992 consistent with the Na-
tional Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987. Table 8-6 is one of the tables taken
from Standard 90.1-1989; in this case, for air-cooled unitary air conditioners and heat pumps.
Similar tables of minimum efficiencies are used to specify the water heater characteristics.

Table 8-6. Prescriptive HVAC Minimum


Performance Requirements for Standard 90.1-1989
Reference Subcategory & Rating Conditions Minimum
Standardsa Category (Outdoor Temperatures oF) Performance

ARI 210/240-89 <65,000 Btu/h Seasonal Ratingb


Cooling Capacity Split Systems 10.0 SEER
Cooling Mode Single Package 9.7 SEER

>65,000 and Standard Rating (95 db) 8.9 EER


<135,000 Btu/h

Cooling Mode Integrated Part-Load Value (80 db) 8.3 IPLV

<65,000 Btu/h Seasonal Ratingb


Cooling Capacity Split Systems 6.8 HSPF
Heating Mode (Heat Pump) Single Package 6.6 HSPF

>65,000 and Split System & Single Package


<135,000 Btu/h High-Temperature Rating (47db/43wb) 3.0 COP
Cooling Capacity Low-Temperature Rating (17db/15wb) 2.0 COP
Heating Mode

a - For detailed references, see Section 14.


b - Consistent with the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) of 1987 (Public Law 100-12).

Section 13 of Standard 90.1-1989 describes the performance-based method, referred to as


the building energy cost budget (ECB) method. Figure 8-7 illustrates the process of deter-
mining the energy cost performance of a proposed design and comparing it to the ECB. The
energy cost budget (ECB) is a numerical target for annual energy costs that is arrived at by
using simplified assumptions, not from a detailed model. The ECB depends primarily on
the local climate and the building height. The annual energy cost of the proposed building
design that is compared to the ECB must be computed with an hour-by-hour model that can
account for dynamic heat transfer through the building envelope, variable equipment effi-
ciencies, lighting and HVAC system controls, building operating schedule and other energy
conservation measures. While the standard indicates that DOE-2.0 and BLAST 3.0 are ac-
ceptable software programs for the energy analysis, it does not prevent the use of other
software programs that can perform similar computations.

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Figure 8-7. Steps Used in the Performance-Based


Energy Cost Comparison Method of Standard 90.1-1989

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 8 Codes and Standards


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As was the case with the other standards previously mentioned, the prescriptive method is
by far the most widely used procedure to determine compliance with Standard 90.1-1989.
Hour-by-hour energy models may require nearly the same effort to estimate the energy use
of smaller buildings as is needed to actually design the mechanical systems for the building.
Meeting specific building component U-values, HVAC and water heating efficiencies, and
lighting and electrical power levels is a much faster and simpler process.

As of December 1, 1997, Standard 90.1-1989 has been released for a second public review,
which will end on March 30, 1998. The first public review produced over 18,000 com-
ments. Although the final version that ultimately makes its way through the public review
process cannot be known at this time, some comments on the first public review draft may
indicate the direction that the revised standard appears to be headed.

The scope of the proposed revision to the standard was expanded to include new portions of
buildings and new equipment in existing buildings (retrofits). The language was written
directly in code-enforceable form. The second public review draft completely supersedes
the first public review draft.

ASHRAE STANDARD 90.2

ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.2-1993, Energy Efficient Design of New Low-Rise Residen-


tial Buildings, is the standard that applies to residential construction while Standard 90.1 is
for commercial applications.13 While the size and complexity of residential buildings are
simpler than for commercial buildings, nearly all the same components are still involved in
Standard 90.2 as in Standard 90.1. Standard 90.2 does not address electrical service or
lighting requirements. The two standards are structured very similarly, with both prescrip-
tive and performance options to compliance. The Standard 90.2 performance option does
not require solely the hour-by-hour energy analyses, but also permits simplified methods
such as bin and variable base degree-day methods.

The building envelope characteristics for residential buildings must account for one impor-
tant parameter that was not considered for commercial buildings, the option of having the
forced air duct systems located outside the conditioned space. Because of the significant
impact that duct location can have on system air flow and energy consumption, the charts
for acceptable component U-values are divided into two categories: one with ducts inside
the conditioned space and one with the ducts outside.

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An example of the difference that the duct location makes in the standard is shown in Fig-
ures 8-8A and 8-8B, with the ductwork located inside and outside, respectively. The net
effect of duct location is that less insulation can be prescribed when the ducts are located
inside the conditioned space. Similar results apply to wall and window U-values.

A - Inside the Conditioned Space

B - Outside the Conditioned Space

Figure 8-8. Prescribed Ceiling Insulation for Single-Family House With


Forced Air Ducts Inside (A) or Outside (B) the Conditioned Space13

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 8 Codes and Standards


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Due to the simpler nature of the equipment used in residential housing, the equipment side
of this standard is simpler than in Standard 90.1. The same efficiency ratings for unitary
equipment that were prescribed in Standard 90.1 are used in Standard 90.2, conforming to
the 1987 NAECA requirements. Unitary electric systems, gas- or oil-fired furnaces and
boilers, and electric resistance baseboard and radiant systems are addressed. Water heater
efficiency requirements similar to those in Standard 90.1 are specified in Standard 90.2.

While the objectives of the performance-based compliance procedures are the same as in
Standard 90.1, the methods that are acceptable for houses are much simpler. The variable
base degree-day method is specified to be used for climates with cooling degree-hours less
than 8,000. The bin calculation method is considered an acceptable alternative method in
any climate. Hour-by-hour methods are also acceptable provided they use the ASHRAE
weather data sets. The same method must be used for both the prototype house and the
design candidate house. Domestic hot water energy consumption is based on a design tem-
perature rise and an average water heater efficiency.

While Standard 90.2 potentially addresses many more structures than Standard 90.1, in
practice its scope of coverage is much more limited. Building codes and enforcement are
much more lax for residential construction, particularly in rural areas and smaller munici-
palities, while commercial buildings in virtually all areas must conform to one of the major
building codes. Certain government-backed loan programs require conformance to build-
ing codes based on Standard 90.2-1994, although these generally represent a small fraction
of the total residential market.

ASHRAE STANDARD 37

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 37-1988, Methods of Testing for Rating Unitary Air-Conditioning


and Heat Pump Equipment, is not applied to buildings.14 Instead, it is a method-of-test
standard that is applied to unitary cooling-only or heat pump systems and is followed by the
manufacturers when they conduct tests to rate their equipment. The relevance of this stan-
dard to this chapter lies in the importance of understanding the rating procedures used to
develop specifications for HVAC equipment used in buildings. This standard is the basis
for the DOE and the ARI unitary product rating methods.

Standard 37 can be applied to virtually all types of electrically-driven unitary systems re-
gardless of their heat source or heat sink or their package configuration (ASHRAE Stan-
dard 40 applies to heat activated equipment, such as engine-driven systems). Other stan-
dards cover the smaller room units and the larger chiller packages. These tests must be
conducted in special psychrometric chambers that have precise temperature and humidity
control capabilities. For this reason, such tests cannot be conducted on-site after the equip-

Chapter 8 Codes and Standards Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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ment is installed. In general, each unit off the assembly line is not subjected to these tests.
Rather, only a small sample of units is tested and then their results are applied to other units
of the same model and configuration.

For manufacturers to test heat pumps or air-conditioning units, they must be able to control
the environment of both the indoor part of the system as well as the outdoor section. Envi-
ronmental controls must regulate both temperature and humidity in the outdoor compo-
nents for the heating tests, and temperature and humidity in the indoor components for
cooling tests. In general, humidity control is important only when there is condensation of
vapor, such as from the indoor dehumidification process during cooling, and the formation
of frost on the outdoor coil during certain heating conditions. Humidity has only a very
minor effect for sensible heat transfer. For water cooled equipment, proper temperature
control of the water source is adequate.

Figure 8-9 depicts the test arrangement for the indoor section of a forced air system. In
general, there are two flow streams that can be measured to determine the indoor capacity.
Either the change in energy in the air stream or the change in energy in the refrigerant
stream can be measured. For a steady-state test, these two quantities must be identical by

Figure 8-9. Indoor Testing Arrangement to Measure System Capacity14

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 8 Codes and Standards


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definition. In some cases, it is necessary to measure only one of these energy streams, but
some tests require that two flow stream energy balances be performed as a check. In gen-
eral, the measurement instruments should not alter the flow condition that is being mea-
sured. While certain refrigerant flow meters can give quite accurate measurements, the un-
certainty of the refrigerant state when in the saturation, or two-phase, region makes the
refrigerant-based energy balance more difficult to achieve. Air stream temperatures can be
measured with a multiple point thermocouple grid or with a sampling grid and fan.

Latent cooling capacity is determined by humidity measuring devices that are sufficiently
accurate to compute the change in moisture content of the air stream. In this standard which
deals only with steady-state tests, dry-bulb and wet-bulb temperatures from an air sampling
grid are used for this purpose. Future versions of this standard may adopt other humidity
measurement techniques as electronic devices are becoming more accurate in measuring
moisture. In some cases, the most accurate method may be to collect and weigh the liquid
condensate during a measured time interval. The condensate collection process is used in
other standards for transient or non-steady-state tests.

Air flow from a constant volume fan can be measured with a fan-powered flow chamber
having ASME nozzles, and which is connected to the discharge side of the indoor section.
Energy balances on the outdoor section of an air cooled system are usually not performed
because the air flow is not contained (ducted). Once capacity is measured at the indoor unit,
system efficiency is easily determined for a given outdoor air condition by measuring the
electrical power consumption of the compressor and the indoor and outdoor fans.

These standard procedures are used in conducting the steady-state DOE and ARI rating
tests upon which the performance ratings used in sales literature are based. The DOE test
for unitary equipment with capacities less than 65,000 Btu/h (based on ASHRAE Standard
116)15 uses a cyclic test as well as a steady-state dry coil test to estimate annual efficiencies.
However, the fundamental test procedures are essentially the same as those in Standard 37.

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8.4 Code- and Standards-Writing Organizations

There are many standards-writing organizations that help to standardize many phases of our
lives. For example, if we did not have standards, we would not be able to buy a toaster and
expect its plug to fit into the electrical outlet. We would not be able to communicate with
FAX machines, use a satellite dish, choose from a dozen different types of motor oil for our
car, and many other things where standards help ensure compatibility and compliance with
minimum performance requirements.

In the area of building HVAC, there are relatively few standards-writing organizations.
Some standards are general methods of test that establish uniform procedures for the mea-
surement of certain performance characteristics, either of systems or of individual compo-
nents. Others are rating standards, where systems are tested at specified operating condi-
tions for the purpose of providing fair comparisons with other manufacturers products in a
competitive marketplace. The most complex standards are the building standards (such as
ASHRAE Standards 90.1 and 90.2), where the overall performances of many systems and
components are specified.

ASHRAE has many standards for heating and cooling products and for the components that
comprise those products. The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM)
covers smaller appliances, such as window air conditioners and heat pumps. The Air-Con-
ditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) establishes test standards for smaller central
systems, with the purpose of standardizing the specification of system performance. The
American Gas Association (AGA) develops standards for gas burning appliances and other
related equipment. Air-conditioning in non-stationary applications may be covered by some-
what unlikely standards organizations. Examples of this are the standards for helicopter air-
conditioning and commercial aircraft air-conditioning being published by the Society of
Automotive Engineers (SAE).

There are also components other than the heating and cooling system. The ductwork is
covered by the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association.
Underwriters Laboratory (UL) covers a variety of issues directly related to personal safety.
The Air-Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) publishes standards for procedures
related to whole systems or buildings, such as duct design or design load calculation meth-
ods for residential buildings. The necessary testing of products for commercial rating often
falls to ACCA or ARI. Gas boilers are specified using standards from the American Boiler
Manufacturers Association (ABMA). Electrical components are regulated by the National
Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). Safe installation of electrical systems often
falls under the scope of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 8 Codes and Standards


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Building codes may draw from 20 or more standards. The code writing agencies involved in
building code development are:
Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA)
Council of American Building Officials (CABO)
International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO)
Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI)
National Conference of States on Building Codes and Standards.
In the back of every ASHRAE Handbook, there are complete lists with mailing addresses
of all the standards- and code-writing organizations involved in building and/or HVAC
related areas. An abridged version of this list is given in Table 8-7.

Table 8-7. Associations That Develop HVAC-Related Codes and Standards

ABMA American Boiler Manufacturers Association


ACCA Air Conditioning Contractors of America
AMCA Air Movement and Control Association
ANSI American National Standards Institute
ARI Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute
ASHRAE American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and
Air-Conditioning Engineers
ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers
ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials
CTI Cooling Tower Institute
HYDI Hydronics Institute
IIAR International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration
NEBB National Environmental Balancing Bureau
NFPA National Fire Protection Association
SMACNA Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors
National Association

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Summary

Codes are documents that are intended to ensure the health and safety of the public by
requiring, under force of law, compliance to a standard set of procedures or methodologies
in the building construction and/or HVAC related areas. Standards are documents that specify
precise methods and techniques for measuring certain performance or operational param-
eters. Standards do not have the force of law behind them, however, they are often the basis
for which the codes are developed. Standards are adopted by a consensus procedure, with
opportunities for outside comments during public review periods. Codes are merely adopted
by local jurisdictional bodies, often with little or no input from the groups that they will
impact. Unfortunately, some building code bodies have their own, different ideas about
correct or necessary measurement techniques or procedures. These differences result in
multiple, nonstandard codes that are accepted in various parts of the United States.

The ASHRAE standards described in this chapter include the following:

Standard 62-1989 is essentially a safety code, where the outdoor air necessary
for healthy human occupancy is determined for a particular application. This is
a contentious standard, given the reluctance of government jurisdictions to regu-
late environmental tobacco smoke, a prime source of indoor air pollutants.
Standard 55-1992 specifies the temperature, humidity, air movement and mean
radiant temperature of the surroundings that will produce a feeling of thermal
comfort by most of the people for given manner of dress and activity levels.
Standard 15-1994 is a safety code for mechanical refrigeration systems. Stan-
dard 15 covers potential ruptures, refrigerant releases, fires, suffocation, nar-
cotic effects, toxic effects, corrosive effects and freezing. It was updated earlier
than scheduled because of the CFC phaseout and all the systems with new re-
frigerants that would be installed.
Standard 90.1-1989 is a general energy standard applied to commercial build-
ings. It covers lighting as well as HVAC topics and includes all energy-consum-
ing devices in the building. It also specifies minimum insulation levels of build-
ing envelope components for efficient operation.
Standard 90.2-1993 is a general energy standard applied to residential buildings.
Similar in scope to Standard 90.1, it targets those energy systems that are com-
mon in residential applications. It also specifies minimum insulation levels of
building envelope components.
Standard 37-1988 is a standard regulating the techniques used to measure the
performance of unitary heating and cooling systems. It is the basis for test stan-
dards that are used to rate the performance of these products for competitive
marketing and specification purposes.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 8 Codes and Standards


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Bibliography

1. ASHRAE. 1989. ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air
Quality. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

2. Janssen, J., Wolff, A. 1986. "Subjective response to ventilation." Proceedings of the IAQ
'86 Conference. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

3. Raijhans, G. 1983. "Indoor air quality and CO2 levels." Occupational Health in Ontario.
Toronto, Canada: Occupational Health and Safety Branch, Ministry of Labour. 4:160-167.

4. Berg-Munch, B., et al. 1984. "Ventilation requirements for the control of body odor in
space occupied by women." Environment International. Stockhom, Sweden: Third Interna-
tional Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate. Vol. 12, pp. 195-199.

5. Leaderer, B., Cain, W. 1983. "Air quality in buildings during smoking and non-smoking
occupancy." ASHRAE Transactions. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 89, Pt. 2B, pp. 601-613.

6. EPA. 1993. The Inside Story A Guide to Indoor Air Quality. Publication no. 402-K-93-
007. Washington, DC: Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation.

7. Taylor, S. 1996. "Determining ventilation rates: Revisions to Standard 62-1989." ASHRAE


Journal. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 38, No. 2, February.

8. Cain, W., et al. 1995. "The quest for negligible health risk from indoor air." ASHRAE
Journal. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 37, No. 7, July.

9. ASHRAE. 1992. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-1992, Thermal Environmental Conditions


for Human Occupancy. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

10. ASHRAE. 1995. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55a-1995, Addendum to Thermal Environ-


mental Conditions for Human Occupancy. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.
11. ASHRAE. 1994. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 15-1994, Safety Code for Mechanical Re-
frigeration. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

12. ASHRAE. 1989. ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-1989, Energy Efficient Design of New
Buildings Except New Low-Rise Residential Buildings. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

13. ASHRAE. 1993. ASHRAE Standard 90.2-1993, Energy Efficient Design of New Low-
Rise Residential Buildings. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

14. ASHRAE. 1988. ASHRAE Standard 37-1988, Methods of Testing for Rating Unitary
Air-Conditioning and Heat Pump Equipment. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

15. ASHRAE. 1995. ASHRAE Standard 116-1995, Methods of Testing for Seasonal Effi-
ciency of Unitary Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

Chapter 8 Codes and Standards Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Skill Development Exercises

Complete these questions by writing your answers on the worksheets at the back of this
book.

8-01. What are two major differences between a code and a standard?

8-02. What is the primary objective of a safety code?

8-03. What are two methods for specifying outdoor air quantities using Standard 62-1989?
Which option is most frequently used and why?

8-04. What are the factors that influence human thermal comfort? Which of these are
controlled by the HVAC system?

8-05. Why was there a need to update Standard 15 ahead of its regular revision schedule?

8-06. What aspects of building construction are affected by Standard 90.1? List several
reasons why it would be a controversial standard.

8-07. Standards 90.1 and 90.2 offer the user an option of a prescriptive or a performance-
based compliance procedure. Which is most commonly used and why? What would
be involved in the performance-based compliance method?

8-08. Would Standard 37 be used by homeowners to measure the performance of heating


or cooling units after installation in their homes? Does this standard produce annual
efficiency performance ratings that account for cycling and other transient effects?

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 8 Codes and Standards


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Chapter 9
Building Commissioning and Maintenance

Contents of Chapter 9

Instructions
Study Objectives of Chapter 9
9.1 Heating System Design Summary
9.2 Commissioning of Heating Systems
9.3 Maintenance Requirements
Summary
Bibliography
Skill Development Exercises

Instructions

Read the material in this chapter for general content, and re-read the parts that are empha-
sized in the summary. Complete the skill development exercises without consulting the
text, then review the text as necessary to verify your solutions.

Study Objectives of Chapter 9

When the heating system has been completed and the contractors have left the premises, the
building owner may have no idea how the system works nor what is needed to maintain it.
It is becoming widely recognized that commissioning and performing periodic maintenance
are two things that can greatly reduce owner dissatisfaction.

The objective of this chapter is to introduce you to the process of commissioning a new
building or heating system. You should understand what tests are appropriate to have per-
formed on a new system and what sort of maintenance program will be appropriate. You
should also develop an appreciation for the benefits of a standardized commissioning pro-
cedure as a way to ensure uniformity in the system design and equipment life.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance


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9.1 Heating System Design Summary

The process of constructing a building is considerably more complicated than simply pour-
ing concrete and putting up beams. So too, the process of providing space heating and
cooling is more complicated than simply installing a furnace or boiler system and air-condi-
tioner or chiller.

The process of constructing a building involves a major effort prior to the stage where the
HVAC engineer becomes involved. Figure 9-1 illustrates the phases of the building devel-
opment process. The building owner or developer first must establish the need for the build-
ing. This process may be as simple as a dentist wanting to locate an office in the suburbs or
a speculator who wants to develop a large
downtown tract with multiple facilities. The
larger and more complex the project, the
more effort must go into this concept stage
to determine ultimate usage and general
project cost estimates.

At that point, the owner or developer can ap-


proach financing institutions to obtain finan-
cial support for the project. The suburban
dental office would be a far easier sell, be-
cause the personal assets and income stream
of the dentist are considered in the financing
considerations. A major project will usually
engage several large financing companies to
distribute the risk. They will scrutinize the
developers concepts and business plans as
well as the local real estate market and eco-
nomic conditions. Their own market analysts Figure 9-1. Phases of the
will also assess the project's likelihood of suc- Building Construction Process
cess.

Once the owner or developer has the financial commitment to the project, they can ap-
proach the architect. Smaller projects may simply retain an architectural firm with whom
the owner has had previous successful interactions. Larger projects will sometimes be put
out to bid, with architectural firms submitting concept plans. The final decision for the
selection of the architectural firm often depends on the firm's reputation and its expertise
with the particular type of project being planned, as well as certain intangibles such as the
kind of statement the developer wants to make with the projects outward appearance.

Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Architectural fees tend to be quite competitive and so will likely not be a major deciding
factor in the selection process. The architect fees include all design costs, including all
HVAC and mechanical, electrical and plumbing design costs. Consequently, the engineer-
ing firms work directly for the architect and are paid by the architect for their engineering
design services.

The route the process then takes depends on the relationship between the architect and the
engineering firms. Some large firms offer both architectural and engineering (A&E) ser-
vices. In these firms, the two disciplines will often work together from the early stages to
develop building concepts that satisfy the owners needs. The architect must look at the
owners requirements for each space, and how the space will be utilized, along with any
restrictions for accessibility, noise, exterior visibility, occupancy, location relative to other
spaces, as well as building codes and deed restrictions. The A&E firm can have the engineer
involved in these early concept developments for input into space availability for the HVAC
systems and components.

When the architectural and engineering efforts are performed separately, often the architec-
tural work is quite advanced before the engineering design is begun. (The axiom that the
architect throws the design over the wall to the engineer may not be far from the truth.) In
such cases, the architect essentially designs the type of building that they want and instructs
the engineering firm to design the heating and cooling system for $X per square foot to keep
the project within budget. The engineer will often draw on previous work in similar facili-
ties to keep down their level of effort and cost.

In most cases, up to this point in the project, lifecycle or operating costs have not even been
considered. Only first-costs have been evaluated and only first-costs (design and construc-
tion) will be tracked as the construction project is put out to bid and as it progresses. Hardly
ever will the architect or the engineer be paid to evaluate different design options and how
they affect operating costs nor to make recommendations for greater efficiency.

Once the project has reached the engineer, its scope should be quite well established. The
engineer will first review the building scope documentation to determine occupancy pat-
terns, comfort requirements based on the use of the different spaces, and the anticipated
operating cost range that the owner/occupant can afford. Based on installation space avail-
ability and any stated owner preference, the engineer will likely have some HVAC system
type in mind as they begin the process of evaluating the building load and sizing the system.

The engineer will go through the steps outlined in Chapter 3 to select the heating and cool-
ing system that they feel is the most appropriate for the project and the owner/occupant. The
cost pressure to deliver a system design with the least possible design time will often force
the engineer to rely on the outcomes of previous similar projects. Unfortunately, this design

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance


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cost minimization pressure often results in repetitive project designs that may not truly fit
each application, but which can be performed quickly and economically. Oversized systems
are often specified to minimize occupant complaints during extreme weather conditions,
with the side-benefit (to the engineering firm) of boosting the engineering fees when they
are based on tons, MMBtuh or cost of installed capacity.

While the engineer will consider occupancy when sizing the load for the space, in many
speculative building projects, the occupancy will not be known because the space will be
custom-finished for tenants after the building shell and all mechanical systems are com-
plete. Therefore, the engineer must use conservative estimates for occupancy and other
internal sources of heat gain so that a wide variety of tenants can be satisfied by the HVAC
system. Detailed comfort criteria are usually not considered, unless possibly if the indoor
conditions of 75F and 50% RH cannot be reliably maintained.

The thermal envelope is often completely specified by the architect. Insulation levels can
sometimes be changed based on the design engineers recommendation if engineering is
brought into the project at the structural design phase. In some cases, the greatest single
influence on the building load introduced by structural design options is a result of solar
radiation effects. This may be true for both heating and cooling loads and energy consump-
tion. For a given structural design, the only option for the design engineer is to develop a
system design that can acceptably heat and cool the space, hopefully within the construction
budget and with reasonable annual operating and maintenance costs.

While this process may sound cumbersome, it is driven strictly on the premise of low first-
cost for the project. As stated in a 1994 ASHRAE Journal article:1
The largest consistent owners of buildings in North America are governments
(at all levels); their sole criteria for successful bid selection is cost Decisions
based on low bid are easy to defend. In North America, the construction para-
digm has shifted from craftsmanship to expediency, ignoring the economics of
quality.
While the process may be expedient, leaving the HVAC system design until after the build-
ing structural design has been essentially completed does not produce optimum results. A
survey conducted by the Architectural Institute of America (AIA) found that over 90% of all
building complaints arise from user comfort as it related to the operation of the climate
control systems.2
Recognizing the inherent shortcomings of the design and construction processes, there has
evolved a process called commissioning that provides a series of checks and balances to
prevent some of the design defects from being accepted, only to be replaced or repaired at
the building owners expense shortly after occupancy.

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9.2 Commissioning of Heating Systems

The process of accepting a new building just completed by the contractor is something akin
to someone buying a new car for the first time. Every building has a unique arrangement of
mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. Regardless of a persons familiarity with build-
ing systems, there must still be a learning process to become acquainted with the specific
equipment in the new building. Even if there is a warranty by the contractor to repair defects
during the first year of occupancy, it is much easier to detect and repair problems before the
building is occupied than to displace workers and interrupt the business to make repairs.
Just as a first-time car owner should not simply be thrown the keys and told to hit the road,
a building owner should not be given the keys to the building and wished good luck.

Commissioning is the transition process whereby the contractor, architect and engineer present
complete documentation on the building and its equipment to the owner, while the building
is examined for compliance with the owners specifications and acceptable construction
practices. This process has become important enough for ASHRAE to develop a guideline
on commissioning.3 The commissioning process has evolved from being synonymous with
building systems startup in the 1980s to more of a quality assurance process that examines
the entire building process.4

While every building owner or operator may have their own concept of what building com-
missioning should entail, a definition was reached at a national conference held in Sacra-
mento, California:5

Commissioning is a systematic process of assuring by verification and docu-


mentation from the design phase to a minimum of one year after construction,
that all building facility systems perform interactively in accordance with the
design documentation and intent, and in accordance with the owners opera-
tional needs, including preparation of operation personnel.
The design intent in this definition should include such things as building functions, occu-
pancy requirements, quality of materials used in construction, and environmental and en-
ergy management objectives. There is no doubt that a major reason for owner dissatisfac-
tion with a project stems from poor communication of these issues to the architect during
the project's program phase. ASHRAE Guideline 1-1996 states, Creating a clear design
intent is the most critical aspect of the HVAC commissioning process. Design intent defines
the benchmark that will judge the success of a project.3

Details of a thorough commissioning process cannot be included in this text, but are found
in ASHRAE Guideline 1-1996 for each of the design, construction and commissioning teams.
A simplified schematic is shown in Figure 9-2 that illustrates the major steps in the com-
missioning process and where they fit into the overall design and construction process. The

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance


9: 6

Figure 9-2. The Interface Between the Commissioning


and the Standard Design/Construction Processes1

Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance Fundamentals of Heating Systems


9: 7

commissioning team in this model may have representatives of all the major parties in-
volved, such as the owner, the architect, the engineer, the building operating and mainte-
nance department, and the general contractor.

The commissioning team should also have an individual (the commissioning authority)
who organizes and leads the team, and who has ultimate responsibility for the progress and
success of the commissioning process. The commissioning authority may be an employee
of the owner (if there are employees with such knowledge available), or a person who is
hired by the owner specifically for this duty. The step-by-step responsibilities of all parties
involved in the commissioning process are given in ASHRAE Guideline 1-1996. This de-
tailed list of duties and schedules is invaluable due to the extensive scope of most major
building projects and the rapid pace at which decisions and changes must be made.

The commissioning process may be viewed as an extra cost in the normal process of con-
structing a building. However, the expected costs for commissioning a new building range
from about 0.25% to 2% of the construction budget.6 This figure can be much higher for a
renovation project due to more complicated interactions of new and old systems. Lawson
estimates the figure for renovation projects can be as high as 20% of the construction bud-
get.7 However, when compared to the costs for major building renovations that may be
required for serious IAQ problems, even the 20% figure may not be an unreasonable expen-
diture.

The definition of commissioning adopted at the Sacramento conference clearly includes


training programs for the operations staff that will run and maintain the building. This step
cannot be ignored in a rush to occupy the building. Most building operators will normally
not have extensive equipment operation experience, and if they are given the task of run-
ning complicated modern HVAC systems, the result may be poorly maintained or ineffi-
ciently operated equipment with a shortened lifespan. This training should include basic
system design and layout, recommended preventive maintenance requirements and sched-
ules, and proper equipment operating schedules and conditions.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance


9: 8

9.3 Maintenance Requirements

An equally important part of the maintenance training is a complete set of equipment speci-
fications and maintenance documents, including a log of all maintenance performed on the
systems. Depending on the skill of the building operators, these documents may include a
complete set of shop drawings. However, in all cases, maintenance schedules and replace-
ment part specifications for the most commonly replaced items (such as filters, belts, fuses,
motors, pumps, fans, lights, etc.) should be included in a manual that remains in the build-
ing operators office.

For a large, complex building, the skill of the operator should be commensurate with the
complexity of the systems that will be operated and maintained. As the building complexity
increases, the documentation that is available to the building operator should also be more
comprehensive. For multiple building complexes, certain documentation may best be kept
in a secure central location or in engineering offices. However, a copy of the basic mainte-
nance specifications and schedules should always be kept in the building operators office.
Every building owner will need to establish their own requirements for equipment docu-
mentation and operator training, depending on the facility and the skill level of their main-
tenance staff.

Building maintenance is also an obvious critical issue, and so ASHRAE has established a
guideline to address maintenance issues. ASHRAE Guideline 4-1993, Preparation of Oper-
ating and Maintenance Documentation for Building Systems specifies the documentation
that is recommended for proper maintenance of HVAC equipment and systems.8 Large build-
ings with complex control systems will require either a highly trained staff, or that the
manufacturers service staff be called in for necessary maintenance. Even for these systems,
onsite staff can often perform relatively simple diagnostic tests to identify the source of a
problem. With such diagnostic capabilities, simple problems can often be identified and
resolved locally without the expense and delay of having to call in a service specialist.

System maintenance must not be perceived as simply an added expense. Tamblyn and
Khandekar report on a case study involving 120 school buildings where proper training of
service personnel coupled with proper system documentation resulted in a very short pay-
back due to reductions in operating and maintenance costs.9 These authors suggest that
maintenance is of equal importance to the building design, operation of the building, and
building occupancy in maintaining good IAQ, as shown in Figure 9-3. The true total cost of
any equipment is its initial cost plus its required maintenance costs and operating costs. The
total owning and operating costs can often be minimized by increasing the maintenance
cost component in the area of personnel training and appropriate preventive maintenance.

Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance Fundamentals of Heating Systems


9: 9

Figure 9-3. Influence of Maintenance and


Other Parameters on Building Indoor Air Quality9

Just as energy costs were addressed earlier, maintenance costs should also be put in per-
spective. For example, an office building with 100 professional employees will have an
annual payroll of roughly $5 million, plus another $1 million in benefits and other direct
costs. Their value to the company must be at least as great as their cost, and likely produces
a value that is double their total cost to the company. Thus, this building that is roughly
15,000 ft2 in size generates a value of about $12 million annually, or $800/ft2.

While annual energy costs may be a few dollars per square foot, most maintenance costs for
typical equipment may be about $1/ft2 per year. Poor maintenance that reduces occupant
comfort or IAQ and results in just a fraction of a percent in reduced worker productivity will
cost the company many times more in lost worker output than was saved from reduced
maintenance expenses. Even a single incident where a poorly maintained piece of equip-
ment causes a fire alarm that results in a half hour evacuation of the building will result in
lost productivity that may easily exceed 20% of the annual maintenance budget. These fig-
ures indicate the importance that should be placed on proper maintenance appropriations
and service personnel training.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance


9: 10

As most of the developed countries recognize the importance of total quality management
in all areas of business, there will no doubt be a trend toward improvements in building
commissioning and maintenance. These two areas are low cost components in the overall
building costs, yet are still often regarded as additional expenses. As we more fully under-
stand where the total costs of our buildings come from, more effort will be placed in these
two areas to ensure that the building and its systems properly maintain a safe and productive
work or living environment for its occupants. While the indoor environment includes more
than just IAQ, there is no doubt that the air quality is a major component in the overall
safety and satisfaction of the indoor occupant, and that commissioning and maintenance
play key roles in ensuring acceptable IAQ.

Summary

In the normal course of a building project, the building owner will develop the need for the
building and pursue funding options. Once funding is secured, an architect is hired to begin
finalizing the building program needs assessment. The engineers are hired by the architect
to provide the mechanical, electrical and plumbing design for the building. The HVAC
engineer often may have little input into the building thermal characteristics as they are
often specified by the architect before the engineer is involved. A&E firms will typically
have the architect and engineer working together earlier in the design phase of the project.

The entire construction process in North America is almost always dictated by low first-
cost, resulting in all phases of the project usually ignoring the economics of quality. Be-
cause of the importance of cost in the process, commissioning has taken on a new role.
While commissioning used to mean system startup, it now involves all aspects of the con-
struction project and is an integral part of total quality management for the project. The
commissioning team will represent all the major parties involved in the project and will
have definite objectives for each step in the process. ASHRAE Guideline 1-1996 gives de-
tailed summaries of the commissioning process and the responsibilities of each party.

Maintenance is an equally important part of the building process because it impacts the
actual performance of the HVAC system. No system can operate as designed without proper
periodic maintenance, so good IAQ and achieving acceptable thermal environments are
dependent upon a good maintenance program. Proper training of operating staff is one part
of the commissioning process for new buildings, and continued training and proper docu-
mentation are necessary, ongoing parts of building operations. ASHRAE Guideline 4-1993
outlines the system documentation that is necessary for operating and maintenance staff to
properly care for the equipment.

Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance Fundamentals of Heating Systems


9: 11

Maintenance is a necessary part of the total cost of the building. It has been shown that total
costs can often be minimized by increasing the maintenance budget for operator training.
Maintenance costs are a small fraction of the building's cost and the value produced by the
buildings occupants, so maintenance savings by taking short-cuts usually result in some
inordinate major equipment replacement expense or losses in worker productivity.

Bibliography

1. Dunn, W., Whittaker, J. 1994. "Building systems commissioning and total quality man-
agement." ASHRAE Journal. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 36, No. 9, September.

2. Lawson, C. 1989. "Commissioning and indoor air quality." ASHRAE Journal. Atlanta,
GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 31, No. 10, October.

3. ASHRAE. 1996. ASHRAE Guideline 1-1996, The HVAC Commissioning Process. At-
lanta, GA: ASHRAE.

4. Sterling, E., Collett, C. 1994. "The building commissioning/Quality assurance process in


North America." ASHRAE Journal. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 36, No. 10, October.

5. Portland Energy Conservation Inc. 1993. Proceedings of the First National Conference
on Building Commissioning. Sacramento, CA. April 28-30.

6. Trueman, C. 1993. "Cost and benefits of commissioning: One owner's perspective." Pro-
ceedings of the First National Conference on Building Commissioning. Sacramento, CA.
April 28-30.

7. Lawson, C. 1993. "Why commissioning?" Proceedings of the First National Conference


on Building Commissioning. Sacramento, CA. April 28-30.

8. ASHRAE. 1993. ASHRAE Guideline 4-1993, Preparation of Operating and Mainte-


nance Documentation for Building Systems. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

9. Tamblyn, B., Khandekar, S. 1994. "IAQ: An operation and maintenance perspective."


ASHRAE Journal. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 38, No. 2, February.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance


9: 12

Skill Development Exercises

Complete these questions by writing your answers on the worksheets at the back of this
book.

9-01. In a normal building construction project, what is the role of the architect relative to
the engineer and the general contractor? During what phase of the project do each of
these become involved?

9-02. Although commissioning is much more than just system startup, the proper opera-
tion of the system is obviously an important component of the commissioning pro-
cess. What measurements of a central all-air system would be required to determine
proper operation?

9-03. Who should be on the commissioning team? What is the role of the commissioning
authority in the process?

9-04. Consider an office building housing a tax accounting firm of 250 employees. The
average salary of all employees is $40,000 per year. The building uses a water tube
boiler and reciprocating chiller with a 4-pipe fan coil arrangement. If the building
space is about 200 ft2 per employee, estimate the annual maintenance cost per year
from data in Chapter 7 and compare this estimate to the annual payroll for the
buildings employees.

9-05. Name three routine building maintenance activities that would have a direct impact
on the building IAQ.

9-06. Consider the building in Exercise 9-04. Assume it cost $100/ft2 to construct and that
the HVAC system was 10% of the total construction costs. Suppose the annual main-
tenance costs that you computed in Exercise 9-04 can be reduced by 10% by reduc-
ing the frequency of preventive maintenance procedures. However, this reduced
maintenance schedule has the effect of reducing the life of the HVAC system by one
year, from 25 years to 24 years. Ignoring the impact on IAQ and comfort issues, how
does the 24 years of reduced maintenance costs compare to the pro-rata costs asso-
ciated with the one-year reduction in system life? For this problem, use simple totals
for recurring costs without taking into account the time value of money.

Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance Fundamentals of Heating Systems


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Appendix A: Terminology
Acceptable air quality - air in which there are no known contaminants in harmful concentrations, and with
which a substantial majority (usually 85%) of the people exposed do not express dissatisfaction.

Accumulator - (1) storage chamber for low pressure side liquid refrigerant; also known as a surge drum, a
surge header or a surge tank; (2) pressure vessel whose volume is used in a refrigerant circuit to reduce
pulsation.

ACH - air changes per hour.

ADPI - air diffusion performance index. A single number rating of the air diffusion performance of a
system of diffusers, as installed, at a specified air delivery rate and space load.

AFUE - annual fuel utilization efficiency. An efficiency rating for small, typically residential, combustion
heating systems.

Air - the atmosphere; the mixture of invisible, odorless, tasteless gases (nitrogen, oxygen, etc.) that
surrounds the earth.
Ambient air - the surrounding air (usually outdoor air).
Combustion air - air required to provide for the complete combustion of fuel, and usually
consisting of primary air, secondary air and excess air.
Conditioned air - air treated to control its temperature, relative humidity, purity, pressure,
movement, etc., to obtain a desired atmospheric environment.
Excess air - in combustion, percent of air greater than that required to completely oxidize the
fuel.
Exhaust air - air discharged from any conditioned space to outside the space.
Fresh air - air taken from outside a building to replace all or part of the air in a conditioned
space.
Makeup air - air brought into a building from the outside to replace that exhausted.
Outdoor air - air outside a building or taken from outdoors and therefore not previously circu-
lated through the system.
Primary air - air that is mixed with the fuel at or in the burner prior to ignition of flame.
Recirculated air - air taken from a space and returned to that space, usually after being passed
through a conditioning system.
Return air - air extracted from the conditioned space and totally or partly returned to the air-
conditioning equipment.
Secondary air - air for combustion supplied to the furnace to supplement the primary air (after
ignition).
Standard air - dry air at 70F and 14.696 psia. Under these conditions, air has a mass density of
0.075 lb/ft3. This is not the same as SI standard air.
Supply air - air supplied through ducts to a space.

Air change rate - air flow in volume units per hour divided by the building space volume with identical
volume units (normally expressed in ACH).

Air circulation rate - the volume of air circulated within a room per unit time divided by the volume of the
room.

Air cleaner - device used to remove airborne impurities from the air.

Air conditioner - assembly of equipment for the simultaneous control of air temperature, relative humidity,
purity and motion.
Packaged air conditioner - complete air-conditioning unit including refrigeration compressor,
cooling coils, fan, filter, automatic controls, etc., assembled into one casing.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Appendix A: Terminology


A: 2

Rooftop air conditioner - one mounted on a roof, the conditioned air being discharged directly
into the room below or through a short duct.
Room air conditioner - factory-made encased assembly designed for free delivery (without
ducts) of conditioned air to an enclosed space.
Unitary air-conditioner - one or more factory-made assemblies that normally may include an
evaporator or cooling coil, a compressor and condenser combination, and may include a heating
function.

Air-conditioning process - in enclosed spaces, combined treatment of the air to control, as specified,
temperature, relative humidity, velocity of motion, and radiant heat energy level, with consideration of the
need for removal of airborne particles and contaminant gases.

Air-conditioning system - assembly of equipment for air treatment to control simultaneously its tempera-
ture, humidity, cleanliness and distribution to meet the requirements of a conditioned space.
Central-fan air-conditioning system - system in which air is treated at a central plant and carried
to and from the rooms by one or more fans and a system of ducts.
Dual-duct air-conditioning system - system of a central plant that produces conditioned air at
two temperatures and humidity levels, to supply air through two independent duct systems to the
points of usage where mixing may be carried out.
Four-pipe air-conditioning system - multi-piping arrangement in which each fan coil unit is
fitted with supply and return pipes for hot and chilled water.
Heating air-conditioning system - specific air-treating combination, which may consist of means
for ventilation, air circulation, humidity control, air cleaning and heat transfer, with control means
for heating.
Packaged terminal air-conditioning system - self-contained air-conditioning system for through-
the-wall installation; often uses a wall sleeve.
Split air-conditioning system - air-conditioning system having the means for air circulation, air
cleaning, air cooling and the controls thereof; with such equipment provided in more than one
assembly (normally an outdoor unit and an indoor unit with connecting piping) with the separated
assemblies designed to be used together and rated on the basis of matched assemblies.
Three-pipe air-conditioning system - multi-piping arrangement in which each fan coil unit is
fitted with two supply pipes (hot and chilled water) and a single return pipe common to the central
heater and refrigerating system.

Air contaminant - substance (solid, liquid or gaseous) that is not found in the normal composition of the
atmosphere.

Air eliminator - in a steam distribution system, a device that is required to close if either steam or water is
present in the vent body, and to open when air or other non-condensables reach it.

Air handling unit - device, usually connected to ductwork, to move air, which also may clean and condition
the air.
Makeup air unit - factory-assembled fan-heater unit used to supply tempered outdoor air to
replace exhaust air. Centrifugal or axial fans are utilized with direct-gas-fired, steam, or electric,
or water heater sections.
Ventilating unit - unit that includes means for providing ventilation, and that may also include
means for other air-handling unit functions.

Air infiltration - uncontrolled inward leakage of air and entrained water vapor through cracks and inter-
stices in any building element and around windows and doors of a building; caused by the pressure effects
of wind or the effect of differences in the indoor and outdoor air density.

Air power - power required to move air at a given rate of flow against a given resistance. The ratio of air
power to fan or blower input power is termed efficiency.

Appendix A: Terminology Fundamentals of Heating Systems


A: 3

Air throw - horizontal or vertical axis distance that an air stream travels after leaving an air outlet before
the stream velocity is reduced to a specific, so-called terminal, level.

Air tightness - qualitative term describing the integrity of the building envelope relative to air permeation;
the resistance of the building envelope to the flow of air and entrained moisture.

Ambient air conditions - characteristics of the environment; for example, temperature, relative humidity,
pressure or motion.

Appliance - piece of equipment that draws electric or other energy and produces a desired work-saving or
other result, such as an electronic range, a radio or an air conditioner.
Space heating/water heating combination appliance - unit designed to provide space heating and
water heating from a single primary energy source.

Bellows - flexible fluid-containing vessel that will expand or contract as a result of a change in the pressure
of the contained fluid. Can be used to transmit force and/or motion in a pneumatic or hydraulic system, or
as a sensor of temperature or pressure when the bellows is sealed.

Bimetallic element - actuating element consisting of two strips of metal with different coefficients of
thermal expansion attached so that internal strains caused by temperature changes bend the compound strip
to open or close contacts or a pneumatic device.

Bin - in the bin method, a statistical class or category (sometimes class interval) for outdoor air tempera-
ture, with the class limits expressed in a temperature unit.

Bin method - energy calculation method, usually used in prediction, in which the annual (or monthly)
energy use of a building is calculated as the sum of the energy used for all the outdoor temperature bins.
The bin method allows heat pump (or other heater or cooler) performance, which is different for each bin,
to be accounted for.

Blowdown - discharge of water from a boiler or cooling tower sump that contains high proportion of total
dissolved solids so that the addition of makeup water will reduce the concentration of dissolved solids to
minimize their precipitation.

Blower - multibladed driven rotor enclosed so that air from an inlet is compressed to a higher discharge
pressure that depends upon conformation of blades and the shroud at a given rotational speed.

Boiler - closed vessel in which a liquid is heated with or without vaporization; boiling need not occur.
Cast-iron sectional boiler - assembly of individual hollow cast-iron sections connected with push
nipples, external headers or internal seals.
Firetube boiler - boiler with straight tubes that are surrounded by water and steam and through
which the fuel combustibles pass.
High-pressure boiler - boiler for generating steam at pressure in excess of 15 psig.
Low-pressure boiler - (steam or hot water) electric, gas or oil-burning appliance designed to
supply low-pressure steam or hot water for space heating applications. A low-pressure steam
boiler operates at or below 15 psig steam pressure; a hot water boiler operates at or below 160
psig water pressure and 250F water temperature.
Packaged boiler - boiler shipped complete with fuel burning equipment, mechanical draft
equipment, automatic controls and accessories; usually shipped in one or more major sections.
Scotch boiler - firetube boiler consisting of a cylindrical shell with one or more cylindrical
internal furnaces in the lower portion, and a bank of tubes attached to both end-enclosures.
Steam boiler - enclosed vessel in which water is converted into steam.
Watertube boiler - boiler in which tubes contain water and steam, with heat applied to their
outside surfaces.

Boiler-burner unit - boiler designed especially for gas and oil and sold integrally with the burner.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Appendix A: Terminology


A: 4

Boiler capacity - rate of heat output measured at the boiler outlet.

Boiler feedwater - water supplied to a boiler.

Boiler feedwater heater - apparatus for raising the temperature of boiler feedwater with waste steam.

Boiler horsepower - equivalent evaporation of 34.5 pounds of water per hour at 212F. This is equal to heat
output of 970.3 x 34.5 = 33,475 Btu/h, approximately 9809.5 W.

Boiler rating - rating of a steam boiler expressed as the total heat transferred by the heating surfaces, in
Btu/h. Sometimes expressed in horsepower or pounds of steam per hour.

Boiler water temperature control - device that senses boiler water temperature and controls the boiler
operation.

Brake power - actual power delivered by or to a shaft (from the use of a brake to measure power).

British thermal unit (Btu) - the heat energy in a Btu was defined in 1956 as exactly 1055.05585262 Joules,
and was related through specific heat to the calorie so that 1 cal/kgK = 1 Btu/lbF. The mechanical
equivalent energy of a Btu is approximately 778.169262 ftlb. The heat energy of a Btu is approximately
that required to raise the temperature of a pound of water from 59F to 60F.

Building envelope - outer elements of a building (including walls, windows, doors, roofs and floors) that
are in contact with earth.

Burner - part of a fuel-burning device (as a stove or furnace) where flame is produced.
Air-atomizing burner - burner in which the oil is atomized by compressed air that is forced into
and through one or more streams of oil, breaking the oil into a fine spray.
Atmospheric burner - gas burner in which air for combustion is supplied by natural draft and the
inspirating force created by gas velocity through orifices.
Forced-draft burner - burner with a fan capable of supplying all necessary air for proper combus-
tion with positive pressure in the firebox.
Mechanical-atomizing burner - burner that uses the pressure of the oil for atomizing.
Natural-draft burner - burner that depends primarily on the natural draft created in the chimney
or venting system to induce the air required for combustion into the burner.

Carnot cycle - ideal reversible thermodynamic cycle comprising two isothermal processes and two adia-
batic processes. It is representative of maximum theoretical conversion of heat energy into mechanical
energy.

Chiller - (1) refrigerating machine used to transfer heat between fluids; (2) complete, indirect refrigerating
system of compressor, condenser and evaporator with all operating and safety controls.
Absorption chiller - refrigerating machine using heat energy input to generate chilled water.
Mechanical chiller - refrigerating machine using mechanical energy input to generate chilled
water.

Chimney - one or more passageways, vertical or nearly so, for conveying flue gases to the outside atmo-
sphere.

Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) - generally any of several compounds comprised of carbon, fluorine and
chlorine, used chiefly as refrigerants and as blowing agents in plastic foams.

Coal - black to brownish-black combustible solid formed by the decomposition of ancient vegetation in the
absence of air, under the influence of biochemical action, moisture, pressure and heat.
Anthracite coal - dense hard coal with a very high percentage of fixed carbon, usually above
90%.

Appendix A: Terminology Fundamentals of Heating Systems


A: 5

Bituminous coal - soft coal containing from 10% to 20% hydrocarbons, yielding pitch or tar
when distilled and caking to a pitching or bituminous mass during combustion.
Lignite coal - soft coal having a bed moisture of 30% to 45% and is non-caking and non-coking.

Coefficient of performance (COP) - the measure of performance efficiency of a vapor compression cycle
found by dividing the useful energy stream (heating or cooling) by the gross power input, both expressed
in the same units.

Cogeneration - generation of electric power that is electrically compatible with the electric supply from the
serving utility at that voltage level. The resultant net flow of power between the utility system and the user
may be in either direction and the resultant reactive power flow may be either positive or negative.

Coil - cooling or heating element made of pipe or tube that may or may not be finned, formed into helical
or serpentine shape.

Combustion - rapid burning, rapid oxidation, combining of fuel and oxygen, to form heat and light.
Incomplete combustion - burning with an insufficient supply of air so that burning substance is
only partially consumed and could have been burned further with additional air supply.
Perfect combustion - fuel burning condition in which all combustibles are consumed with no
excess air so that only the theoretical amount of oxygen is used.

Combustion chamber - enclosure, with or without lines or baffles, into which fuel or gaseous derivatives of
fuel are discharged so that combustion can occur.

Combustion control - device or series of devices that control the flow of fuel and combustion air in the
desired ratio to provide efficient combustion.

Combustion detector - part of primary safety control that is responsive directly to flame properties.

Combustion products - effluents from the combustion of a fuel including the inerts, but excluding excess
air.

Combustion (gas) tests - sampling of combustion products to determine the percentage of constituents and
the temperature of the same.

Commissioning - the setting-up and pre-operational verification of an installation ready for use.

Compression cycle - (refrigeration) cycle comprising four principal states: vaporization of the refrigerant;
mechanical compression of the vapor; liquefaction of the vapor; and expansion of the liquid.

Compressor discharge - part of the compressor connected to the high pressure side.

Condensate - liquid formed by condensation of a vapor. In steam heating, water condensed from steam;
in air conditioning, water extracted from air, as by condensation on the cooling coil.

Conditioned space - space within a building that is provided with heated or cooled air, or both, or surfaces,
and where required, with humidification or dehumidification means to maintain conditions for an accept-
able thermal environment.

Control/controller/control system - device for regulation of a system or component in normal operation,


manual or automatic. If automatic, the implication is that it is responsive to changes of pressure, tempera-
ture or other variables whose magnitude is to be regulated.
Closed loop control - (feedback control) control system in which the control variable is mea-
sured and compared with a setpoint representing the desired performance. The error signal
representing the difference between the measured and desired value of the controlled variable is
used to generate an output signal to control some other device to adjust the value of the controlled
variable in such a way as to reduce the error signal.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Appendix A: Terminology


A: 6

Direct digital control - mode of control wherein digital computer outputs are used to control a
process directly.
Flame safeguard control - system for sensing the presence or absence of flame and for indicat-
ing, alarming or initiating control action.
Pneumatic-electric control - control device that interfaces pneumatic to electric systems.
Programming control - control system that provides for performing various operations in
predetermined sequences related to time or other variables.
Proportional-band control - change in the controlled variable required to move the controlled
device from one of its extreme limits of travel to the other. It is normally used in conjunction with
recording and indicating controllers and is expressed in percent of the chart or scale range.
Temperature controller - (thermostatic control) device that responds directly or indirectly to
deviation from a desired temperature by actuating a control or initiating a control sequence.

Controller - instrument that receives a signal from a sensing device and translates that signal into the
appropriate corrective measure. The correction is then sent to the system-controlled devices through the
transmission system.

Control point - actual value of a directly controlled variable at which the instrument is controlling.
Setpoint plus offset is equal to control point.

Convector - Surface designed to transfer its heat to a surrounding fluid largely or wholly by convection.

Cooling capacity - rate at which the equipment removes heat from the air passing through it under specified
conditions of operation, expressed in Btu/h.
Latent cooling capacity - rate (in Btu/h) at which equipment removes latent heat, or reduces the
moisture content, of the air passing through it under specified conditions of operation.
Sensible cooling capacity - rate (in Btu/h) at which equipment removes sensible heat, or reduces
the temperature, of the air passing though it under specified conditions of operation.

Corrosion inhibitor - chemical agent that slows or reduces chemical action; used principally in liquid
coolants to reduce corrosion of metal parts of a system.

Counterflow - in heat exchange between two fluids, opposite direction of flow, coldest portion of one
meeting the coldest portion of the other.

Cycle of concentration - in boilers, the ratio of chloride ion in the boiler water to the chloride ion in the
feedwater.

Declination of sun - angle of the sun above or below the equatorial plane. It is positive if north of the plane
and negative if south.

Defrosting cycle - duration of the off-cycle of a refrigeration system sufficient to permit defrosting of a
cooling coil.

Defrosting process - planned actions to remove or prevent accumulation of frost (ice) on coils of refrigera-
tion units.
Hot-gas defrosting - method that utilizes heat from inside the pipes of the evaporator, usually the
highly superheated vaporized refrigerant from the compressor.
Reverse-cycle defrosting - defrosting an evaporator by reversing its function with that of the
condenser of the system.
Time defrosting - defrosting process automatically and intermittently operated for a predeter-
mined period.

Defrosting system - equipment and controls designed to remove frost (ice) from cooling coils of a refrig-
eration system.
Demand defrost - automatic defrosting system in which the defrost cycle is initiated by a drop in
performance of the refrigerating system.

Appendix A: Terminology Fundamentals of Heating Systems


A: 7

Degree day - unit of accumulated temperature departure, based on temperature difference and time used in
estimating fuel consumption and specifying nominal heating load of a building in winter. For any one day,
the number of degrees of temperature difference between a given base temperature (usually 65F) and the
mean outside temperature over 24 hours.

Dehumidification - removal of water vapor from air.

Demand (electric) - rate at which electric energy is delivered to or by a system, part of a system, or a piece
of equipment; expressed in kilowatts, kilovolt-amperes or other suitable unit at a given instant or averaged
over any designated period of time.

Demand limiter - electrical/electronic, mechanical or electromechanical device that monitors user electric
power demand and causes that demand to be limited in a manner not to exceed a selected or programmed
maximum value.

Desiccant - absorbent or adsorbent, liquid or solid, that removes water or water vapor from a material.

Design conditions - specified conditions (such as temperature and humidity) required to be produced and
maintained by a system.

Design professional (HVAC) - architect, architect-engineer or engineer responsible for the design and
preparation of contract documents for the HVAC system.

Diaphragm - in pneumatics or hydraulics, the membrane separating the fluid pressure system from the
mechanical side.

Diffuser - circular, square or rectangular air distribution outlet, generally located in the ceiling and com-
prised of deflecting members discharging supply air in various directions and planes and arranged to
promote mixing of primary air with secondary room air.

Discharge line (hot gas line) - line through which refrigerant vapor flows from a compressor to the inlet of
a condenser.

Distribution system - conveying means (such as ducts, pipes, wires, etc.) to bring substances or energy
from a source to the points of use.

Draft - current of air (when referring to pressure difference) that causes air or gases to flow through a flue,
chimney, heater or space.
Balanced draft - two fans connected to a combustion unit, one to supply the combustion air and
the other to induce draft.
Forced draft - combustion air supplied under pressure to the fuel burning equipment.
Induced draft - fan exhaust of hot gases from the heat absorbing equipment.
Natural draft - air flow resulting from the difference between atmospheric density and some
lower density existing in the furnace or gas passages of heat generating unit, chimney effect.

Draft hood - device installed on gas-fired appliances designed to protect the appliance from chimney draft
disturbances.

Drier - (1) manufactured device containing a desiccant placed in the refrigeration system; (2) desiccant or
refrigeration device placed in the main air line of a pneumatic-control system to reduce moisture.

Drip - pipe (or a steam trap and a pipe considered as a unit) that conducts condensation from the steam side
of a piping system to the water or return side of the system.

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Duct - passageway made of sheet metal or other suitable material, not necessarily leak-tight, used for
conveying air or other gas at low pressure.
Flexible duct - flexible trunking used to connect an air distribution duct to an outlet or diffuser.
Warm air duct - in heating, ventilating and air conditioning, pipes or ducts for conveying warm
air into or out of a space or room.

Duct sizing - calculation of dimensions of ducting for a given air distribution system.
Equal friction method of duct sizing - method in which ducts are sized so that their friction
resistance per unit length is constant.
Static regain method of duct sizing - method in which ducts are sized so that the regain in static
pressure between two draw-off points equals the frictional resistance between the points.
Velocity reduction method of duct sizing - method in which ducts are sized so that selected
velocities occur in specific duct lengths.

Duty cycling - the process of turning off electrical equipment for predetermined periods of time during
operating hours to reduce energy consumption and demand.

Economizer - control system that reduces the heating and cooling load. Usually refers to use of fresh air for
free cooling, but with logic to maintain a fixed minimum of fresh air and to take only the minimum amount
of fresh air when the total heat of the return air exceeds the total heat of the fresh air.

Electrical demand - kW load averaged over a specified interval of time (usually 15 or 30 minutes). The
demand for any given interval is that value of power in kW which, if held constant over the entire interval,
will account for the same consumption of electrical energy as the actual measured power. The average of
the actual power over the demand interval. This is commonly identified as the block interval method.

Electrical resistance - opposition that limits the amount of current that can be produced by an applied
voltage in an electrical circuit, measured in ohms.

Electric current single-phasing - interruption of any one conductor in a three-phase system, resulting in loss
of two phases.

Electric power demand charge - part of an electric bill based on kW demand and the demand interval,
expressed in dollars per kW. Demand charges offset construction and maintenance of a utilitys need for
large generating capacity.

Electric power demand load - actual load on a circuit at any time. Sum of all loads that are energized. Equal
to the connected load minus the loads that are not energized.

Electric power demand period - time period of power consumption.


On-peak period - time of day during which creating electrical demand incurs a higher cost.
Off-peak period - time of day other than the peak period of electrical demand.

Electro-pneumatic device - one that converts an electric signal to a pneumatic signal.

Energy audit - identification and documentation of gross energy usage during a calendar period using any
of several means (such as source, department, product, equipment and cost).

Energy conservation - more effective use of energy resources. Energy conservation seeks to reduce energy
invested per unit of product output, service performed or benefit received through waste reduction. Energy
conservation and energy use reduction are not synonymous.

Energy efficiency ratio (EER) - measure of efficiency performance of a vapor compression air-condition-
ing system where the total cooling output (in Btu/h) is divided by the total electrical input (in W). Similar
to a cooling coefficient of performance, but not dimensionless (varies by a factor of 3.413 Btu/Wh).

Appendix A: Terminology Fundamentals of Heating Systems


A: 9

Energy management control system (EMCS) - computer/processor-based hardware and software system
with sensors, control devices and all the necessary components that perform some or all of the following
functions: measures conditions related to the use of various forms of energy by HVAC systems; controls
these conditions at selected setpoints; monitors and/or controls the energy use; provides status reports on
the HVAC system performances; and provides information for the management of the building environ-
ment, its energy efficiency and/or HVAC system maintenance.

Enthalpy - thermodynamic property of a substance defined as the sum of its internal energy plus Pv, where
P = pressure of the substance and v = its specific volume. The Pv term is referred to as the flow work term,
or the energy associated with the flow capacity of the fluid.

External equalizer - in a thermostatic expansion valve, a tube connection from a selected control point in
the low-side circuit to the pressure sensing side of the control element.

Equilibrium - a steady-state condition, during which the fluctuations of variables remain within prescribed
operating tolerances.

Evaporator - part of a refrigeration system in which the refrigerant is evaporated to absorb heat from the
contacting fluid.

Facility cost - one of various ways of computing equipment costs.


Lifecycle cost - cost of equipment over its entire life, including operating and maintenance costs.
Replacement cost - estimate of the cost to replace existing facilities either as currently structured,
or as redesigned to embrace new technology with facilities that will perform the same functions.

Fan - device for moving air by two or more blades or vanes attached to a rotating shaft.
Axial fan - fan that moves air in the general direction of the axis about which it rotates.
Centrifugal fan - fan in which the air enters the impeller axially and leaves it substantially in a
radial direction.
Exhaust fan - fan used to withdraw air from a space by suction.
Induced draft fan - fan exhausting hot gases from heat absorbing equipment by suction.
Vaneaxial fan - a disc-type wheel within a cylinder, with a set of air guide vanes located either
before or after the wheel, and including driving mechanism supports either for belt drive or direct
connection.

Fan coil unit - (or fan convector unit) fan and a heat exchanger for heating and/or cooling, assembled
within a common casing.

Fan curve - diagram giving the pressure versus volume flow rate characteristics of a fan.

Fan pressurization test - means for determining the air leakage characteristics of a building using a fan-
induced pressure difference.

Fan shroud - protective housing that surrounds the fan and that may also direct the flow of air.

Feedback - measurement of an output signal and sending it back as an input to modify the output.

Fenestration - in an external wall of a building, any area that allows light to pass; windows.

Filter-dryer - encased desiccant, generally inserted in the liquid line of a refrigeration system and some-
times in the suction line.

First-hour rating - amount of hot water that a water heater can supply in one hour of operation.

Fitting - system part used to join, adjust or adapt other parts, as in a pipe or duct system.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Appendix A: Terminology


A: 10

Flame impingement - condition that exists when the flame resulting from the combustion of the fuel comes
into contact with any interior surface of the furnace in such a way as to result in virtually complete com-
bustion of the fuel.

Flash point - minimum temperature to which a product must be heated for its vapors to ignite momentarily
in the presence of a flame when operating under standardized conditions.

Flow - continuous motion of a fluid in pipes, ducts or channels, or through openings.


Annular flow - form of two-phase flow in a pipe where the gas forms the core and the liquid
flows around the gas core (annularly) against the internal walls of the pipe.
Laminar flow - fluid flow in which all the particles move in substantially parallel paths.
Plug flow (slug flow) - form of two-phase flow in which plugs of gas and liquid flow alternately
in the pipe.
Stratified flow - a low velocity two-phase flow in horizontal pipes in which the free surface of
the liquid remains level between a gaseous and liquid phase above and below it, respectively.
Turbulent flow - fluid flow in which the velocity varies in magnitude and direction in an
irregular manner throughout the mass.
Two-phase flow - simultaneous flow of two phases of a fluid, usually gas-liquid flows.

Flue - passage through which gases pass from a combustion chamber to the outer atmosphere.
Chimney flue - chimney for conveying the flue gases to the outside atmosphere.
Dilution flue - flue designed to effect the dilution of flue gases with air before discharge from an
appliance; often for the purpose of reducing condensation potential within the flue.

Fossil fuel - organic material occurring in nature excluding wood, including but not limited to coal, oil and
natural gas.

Freon - tradename copyrighted by E.I. DuPont Company for its fluorocarbon refrigerants.

Friction loss - pressure loss due to friction between a flowing fluid and its contact surface.

Fuel input rate - rate at which fuel is supplied to an appliance. It may be expressed in Btu/h (Btuh),
thousands of Btu/h (Mbtuh); in cubic feet per hour (cfh); or thousands of cubic feet per hour (mcfh); in
therms (th) or dekatherms (dth) per hour, where a therm is 100,000 Btu/h.

Furnace - (1) part of a boiler or warm air heating system in which combustion of fuel occurs; (2) enclosed
chamber or structure in which heat is produced, as by burning fuel.
Attic-type central furnace - one designed specifically for installation in an attic or in a space with
low headroom, normally unoccupied.
Condensing furnace - one that recirculates the products of combustion and extracts available
heat to a point that causes condensation to occur. Some of this latent heat of vaporization is
recovered as usable energy, resulting in higher operating efficiency.
Downflow-type central furnace - one designed with air flow essentially in a vertical path,
discharging air at or near the bottom of the furnace.
Dutch-oven furnace - extended furnace with a refractory cover.
Forced-warm-air furnace - central furnace equipped with a blower that provides the primary
means for circulation of air.
Horizontal-type central furnace - one designed with air flow through the furnace, essentially in a
horizontal path.
Upflow-type central furnace - one designed with air flow essentially in a vertical path, discharg-
ing air at or near the top of the furnace.
Warm-air furnace - self-contained indirect-fired or electrically heated furnace designed to supply
heated air through ducts to spaces that require it.

Furnace firebox - combustion chamber in a furnace.

Appendix A: Terminology Fundamentals of Heating Systems


A: 11

Furnace stoker - device that automatically feeds solid fuel to a furnace (used mainly with coal).

Gas - any mixture, except atmospheric air, that exists in the gaseous state at normal atmospheric condi-
tions.
Flash gas - portion of the liquid refrigerant that is vaporized by sudden reduction of pressure.
Flue gas - (vent gas) products of combustion and excess air before draft hood or draft regulator;
consisting principally of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, oxygen and nitrogen.
Hot gas - refrigerant gas in the high pressure side of the system.
Ideal gas (perfect gas) - gas whose internal energy and enthalpy depend solely on temperature
and whose pressure, volume and temperature follow the ideal gas law, Pv = RT.
Inert gas - gas that neither experiences nor causes chemical reaction nor undergoes a change of
state in a system or process (for example, nitrogen or helium mixed with a volatile refrigerant).
Natural gas - naturally-occurring mixture of hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon gases found in
porous geologic formations beneath the earths surface, often in association with petroleum. The
principal constituent is methane, CH4.
Lean mixture - gas-air mixture of which the air content is more than adequate for complete
combustion, and the resultant combustion gases will contain an excess of oxygen.
Rich mixture - gas-air mixture of which the air content is not sufficient for complete combustion.

Gas demand - rate at which gas is delivered to or by a system, part of a system, or a piece of equipment,
expressed in cubic feet or therms or multiples thereof, for a designated period of time called the demand
interval.

Gas enrichment - increasing the heat content of a gas by mixing with it a gas with a higher heat of combus-
tion.

Gas load - amount of gas delivered or required at any specified point or points on a system; load originates
primarily at the gas-consuming equipment of the customers.

Ground coupling - in a thermal storage system or a heat pump, a closed loop of piping, plastic tubing or
ducting used as a heat exchanger between the ground (acting as a low-grade heat source) and a circulating
fluid.

HCFC - hydrochlorofluorocarbon; contains hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine and carbon; (see CFC).

Head - in fluid statics and dynamics, a vertical linear measure denoting pressure. Note: the terms head and
pressure are often used interchangeably; however, head is the height of a column of fluid supported by the
fluid flow, while pressure is the normal force per unit area.
Pressure head - pressure of a fluid at a given point in a conduit arising from the internal pressure.
Static head - the static pressure of a fluid expressed in terms of the height of a column of the
fluid, or of some manometric fluid, that it would support.
Total head - the sum of static head and velocity head.
Velocity head - in a moving fluid, the height of the fluid or of some manometric fluid equivalent
to its velocity pressure.

Head-loss - during flow, the reduction in the velocity head.

Heat - form of energy that is exchanged between a system and its environment or between parts of the
system induced by temperature differences existing between them.
Latent heat - change of enthalpy during a change of state.
Latent heat of vaporization - heat energy required to cause a change of state of a substance from
a saturated liquid to a saturated vapor, measured in Btu/lb.
Mechanical equivalent of heat - one Btu equals approximately 778.16 ftlb of work.
Metabolic heat - heat produced by oxidation of food elements (metabolism) in man or animal.
The met represents the average heat produced by a sedentary man; approximately 350 Btu/h.
Radiant heat - heat that is transferred by radiation.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Appendix A: Terminology


A: 12

Recoverable heat - portion of thermal input to a prime mover that is not converted to mechanical
power and can be reclaimed for utilization.
Sensible heat - heat that causes a change in temperature.
Specific heat - ratio of the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of a given mass of
any substance by one degree to the quantity required to raise the temperature of an equal mass of a
standard substance (usually water at 59F) by one degree.
Waste heat - unused heat rejected from a system (usually a heat engine) to its surroundings.

Heat anticipation - ability of a thermostat to terminate heating at a lower temperature and in advance of the
time that the air temperature at the thermostat would normally cause the thermostat to terminate heating.

Heat balance - statement that shows the changes in a system from heat and work input to output losses.

Heated slab - concrete slab-on-grade floor containing wires, cables, pipes or ducts that transfer heat to a
conditioned space above it.

Heated space - space within a building that is provided with a positive heat supply. Finished living space
within a building, or registers or heating devices to supply heat to a building space automatically define
that space as heated space.

Heater - apparatus or appliance designed to supply heat to a space or a fluid.


Blast heater - set of heat transfer coils used to heat air that is drawn or forced through it by a fan;
a unit heater.
Direct-fired heater - fuel burning device in which the combustion gases are directed into the
space to be heated with no intermediate heat exchanger.
Electric heating element - unit assembly of a resistor, insulated supports and terminals for
connecting the resistor to electric power.
Indirect-fired heater - one in which combustion products do not come in contact with the
material to be heated; heating of the material is accomplished by radiation or conduction from the
heated surface.

Heat exchanger - device to transfer heat between two physically separated fluids.
Counterflow heat exchanger - heat exchanger in which fluids flow in opposite directions
approximately parallel to each other; inlets for the two fluids are at opposite ends of the ex-
changer.
Crossflow heat exchanger - heat exchanger in which fluids flow perpendicular to each other.
Direct-contact heat exchanger - apparatus in which the fluids exchanging heat are brought into
contact with each other.
Double pipe (tube-in-tube) heat exchanger - two pipes arranged concentrically, one within the
other, and in which one fluid flows through the inner pipe and the other fluid flows through the
annulus between them.
Heat pipe heat exchanger - tubular closed chamber containing a volatile fluid in which heating
one end of the pipe causes the liquid to vaporize, to transfer and to dissipate its heat to the other
end where it condenses into liquid that flows back towards the hot end by gravity or by means of a
capillary wick.
Parallel-flow heat exchanger - heat exchanger in which fluids flow in directions approximately
parallel to each other.
Plate heat exchanger - fixed plates that separate the hot and cold fluids and keep them separate.
Rotary heat exchanger - apparatus in which the heat exchange surface rotates.
Run-around heat exchanger - finned tube coils (closed system) or spray chambers (open system)
in which a liquid is circulated by gravity or pump action through a heat source exchanger and then
through a heat sink exchanger. Antifreeze may be used in the coil loop and a desiccant in the
spray system.
Shell-and-tube heat exchanger - nest of tubes or pipes, or a coil of tube or pipe, contained in a
shell or container. The pipe (or pipes) carries a fluid through it, while the shell is also provided
with an inlet and outlet for flow of another fluid.

Appendix A: Terminology Fundamentals of Heating Systems


A: 13

Heat exchanger heating surface - area intended for transferring heat.


Extended surfaces - consisting of fins, pins or ribs that receive heat by conduction from the
prime surface.
Primary surface - surface that is in direct contact with both the heat absorbing and heat emitting
media; or the portion exposed to radiation from the fire that transfers heat directly to the air being
heated.
Secondary heating surface - portion of the heat exchanger not exposed to direct radiation from
the fire that transfers heat by direct convection from the combustion products to the air to be
heated. The area of the outer casing, inner lining or any radiation shields are not considered
heating surfaces.

Heat flow - passage of heat from one point to another or one space to another by one or more of the three
modes: conduction, convection and radiation.

Heat flow rate - quantity of thermal energy flowing per unit time.

Heat gain - quantity of heat absorbed by an enclosed space or system.


Solar heat gain - solar energy flowing into a building, through both windows and structural
materials.

Heating - process of adding heat energy, causing a rise in temperature.


District heating - heating of numerous buildings from one central heating plant.
Electric space heating - permanently installed electric heating as the principal source of space
heating throughout an entire dwelling or business establishment.
Reverse cycle heating - heating using a reversed refrigeration cycle or a heat pump.

Heating coil - heat exchanger supplied with either hot water or steam, designed to heat fluids (air, gas or
liquids).

Heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) - a measure of heat pump heating efficiency; found by
dividing the estimated total heating season heat output (in Btu/h) by the total heating season electrical
consumption (in W).

Heating stack loss - sensible heat carried away by the flue gas and the sensible and latent heat carried away
by the water vapor in the flue gas.

Heating system - one in which heat is transferred from a source of heat through a distribution network to
spaces to be warmed.
Central heating plant - one serving all or most of the rooms in a building, as distinguished from
individual room heaters.
Dual-fuel heating system - heating system utilizing two fuel or energy sources (such as gas, oil,
coal or electric power), either as alternate sources or with one as a booster to the other.
Heat-of-light system - system in which heat due to high lighting intensity is utilized for heating
spaces in a building.
Radiant comfort heating - system in which temperatures of room surfaces are adjusted to control
the rate of heat loss by radiation from subjects within the room.
Series-perimeter-loop heating system - hot water heating system in which each radiator is
connected in series with the next, and all flow returns to the boiler in the loop.
Wet-heating systems - one employing water or steam as the heating medium as opposed to dry
heat or warm air systems.
Wet-return heating system - steam heating system in which a return pipe carries condensate. The
pipe usually is located below the level of the water line in the boiler, although not necessarily so.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Appendix A: Terminology


A: 14

Heating value - amount of heat produced by the complete combustion of a unit quantity of fuel. The higher
heating value (HHV) is obtained when all the products of combustion are cooled to the temperature
existing before combustion, causing the water vapor formed during combustion to condense. The lower
heating value (LHV) is obtained by subtracting the latent heat of vaporization of the water vapor formed by
the combustion of the hydrogen in the fuel from the higher heating value.

Heat losses -
infiltration losses - energy required to warm outdoor air leaking in through cracks and crevices
in the building envelope or coming in through open doors or windows.
transmission losses - heat transferred through the confining walls, glass, ceilings, floors and
other exterior surfaces.

Heat pump - vapor compression refrigeration cycle where the heat from the condenser is used for space
conditioning while the evaporator is usually located outdoors to absorb heat from the colder outdoor air,
water, soil, etc. Heat pumps can usually also operate as cooling devices by a simple change in the reversing
valve.
Heating-only heat pump - a heat pump system designed primarily to utilize the heat rejection
from the system for a desired heating function.
Thermo-electric heat pump - a heat pump based on the Peltier effect.

Heat pump balance point - temperature at which the heat pump capacity and the building heat requirements
are equal.

Heat recovery - heat utilized that would otherwise be wasted from a heat utilization system.

Heat trap - energy conserving arrangement of the hot water piping leaving the water heater; constructed to
counteract the convective forces of the heated water (thermosyphoning) during stand-by periods.

HFC - hydrofluorocarbon; contains only hydrogen, fluorine and carbon, with no chlorine.

Horsepower - unit of power done at the rate of 550 ftlb per second.

Hot deck - hot-air chamber forming part of an air handler.

Humidifier - a device to add moisture to air or gases.


Central humidifier - device that humidifies air to be circulated through ducts in an air-condition-
ing system.
Room spray humidifier - air humidifier that sprays atomized water directly into the room.

Humidity - water vapor within a given volume of air.


Relative humidity - ratio of the partial pressure or density of the water vapor to the saturation
pressure or density, respectively, at the same dry-bulb temperature and barometric pressure.
Humidity ratio - ratio of the mass of water vapor to the mass of dry air in a moist air sample.
Specific humidity - ratio of the mass of water vapor to the total mass of the moist air sample.

Hunting - in a control system, a condition that occurs when the controller, controlled device and system,
individually or collectively, continuously overshoot the control point, with resulting fluctuation and loss of
control of the condition to be maintained.

Hydronics - science of heating and cooling water.

Hydrostat - device for controlling the level of a liquid in a reservoir.

Hygrometer - instrument responsive to relative humidity, usually relative humidity in the atmosphere.

Hysteresis - in control systems, the difference between the response of a system to increasing and decreas-
ing signals.

Appendix A: Terminology Fundamentals of Heating Systems


A: 15

Indoor air quality - (IAQ) attributes of the respirable atmosphere (climate) inside a building including
gaseous composition, humidity and contaminants.

Infrared radiation - radiation in that portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between visible light and radio
waves, originating from either incandescent or non-incandescent hot bodies or from flames. The energy is
utilized as a means of direct heat transfer from the source to the object, or objects, to be heated without
materially heating the intervening air.

Injector - device for forcing water into a boiler against the pressure of the boiler by means of a steam jet.

Input rating - fuel burning capacity of an appliance in Btu/h as specified by the manufacturer. Appliance
input ratings are based on sea level operation and need not be changed for operation up to 2,000 ft altitude.

Inspection authorities - persons designated by governing codes to inspect installed systems for code
compliance.

Integral draft diverter - device that is an integral part of a heating appliance that is designed to: exhaust the
products of combustion in the event of no draft, back-draft or stoppage beyond the draft diverter; prevent a
back-draft from entering the unit; and neutralize the effect of stack action of the chimney or gas vent upon
the operation of the unit.

Integrated heater - boiler operated in conjunction with an indirect fired storage water heater or an external
storage tank in which domestic water, heated by the boiler, is stored.

Intelligent building - building in which direct digital control systems are employed to control mechanical,
electrical and elevator systems; fire and smoke systems; and security systems for a complete, integrated
building automation and display, for operation and maintenance.

Interruptible load (electric) - (1) commercial and industrial: those loads that by contract can be interrupted
by the supply system in the event of a capacity deficiency in the supply system; (2) load management:
those loads that by user agreement can be interrupted in the event of a capacity deficiency in the supply,
transmission or distribution systems, or for load deferral.

Interruptible rate (electric) - price rate normally covering reduced pricing for a supply of electricity that can
be interrupted at the utility's option, either instantaneously as required or with advance notice.

Interstitial space - space between two zones, rooms or floors of a building.

I-P units - inch-pound units using inches, pounds and other designations; as opposed to SI units in the
metric system. Examples are: foot, Btu, horsepower and gallon.

Irradiance - radiant flux density.


Background irradiance - the irradiance at the entrance aperture of the infrared sensing system
which is not radiated directly from the object being investigated.
Irradiance (at a point of a surface) - the quotient of the flux incident on an element of a surface
containing the point, by the area of that element, measured in Btu/hft2.
Beam irradiance - irradiance received from the sun without significant change of direction from
the apparent position of the sun.
Global (hemispherical) irradiance - quantity of solar energy incident upon a unit surface area in
unit time through a unit hemisphere above the surface, expressed in Btu/hft2.
Integrated average irradiance - quantity of solar radiation incident on a unit surface area during a
specified time period divided by the duration of that time period.
Spectral irradiance - density of the radiant flux that is incident on a surface per unit of wave-
length.
Total irradiance - quantity of radiant energy incident upon a surface over all wavelengths.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Appendix A: Terminology


A: 16

Irradiation - quantity of radiant energy incident on a surface of unit area in unit time.

Isentropic process - thermodynamic change of state during which entropy remains constant.

Isobaric process - thermodynamic change of state during which pressure remains constant.

Isolated combustion system - an installation in which a unit is installed indoors but all combustion and
ventilation air is admitted through grilles and ducts from outdoors and all such air does not communicate
with air in the conditioned space.

Isothermal process - thermodynamic change of state during which temperature remains constant.

Jacket - sealed space around a piece of equipment or a store, through which a thermal medium can be
circulated.

Joule - a unit of measurement:


electric: work done by one ampere flowing through a resistance of one ohm for one second;
1 J = 1 Ws (Watt-second)
mechanical: work done by a force of one Newton acting over one meter; 1 J = 1 Nm.

Leader - in gravity warm air heating, the duct running horizontally from the furnace to the riser or stack.

Leakage area - equivalent amount of open area (assuming unit discharge coefficient) that would let pass the
same quantity of air as would pass collectively through the building envelope at a reference pressure of 4
Pascal.

Limit stop - physical stop or device that prevents an operator from adjusting the setpoint of a controller
beyond a maximum or minimum setting, often for safety.

Linear regression - finding of a straight line that best fits the data points, commonly by use of the least
squares technique.

Liquid line - tube or pipe carrying the refrigerant liquid from the condenser or receiver of a refrigerating
system to a pressure-reducing device.

LNG regasification plant - plant for vaporizing liquified natural gas (LNG) where and when it will be used.

Load - amount of heat per unit time imposed on the heating or cooling system by the required rate of heat
removal or addition.
Cooling load - amount of cooling per unit time required by the conditioned space.
Design load - peak instantaneous load that a system is expected to meet based on certain
specified severe operating conditions.
Heating load - heating rate required to replace heat losses from the space being controlled.
Latent heat load - cooling load to remove latent heat (dehumidification).
Pickup load - reserve capacity needed for heating the space following a period of thermostat
setback.
Resistive load - electric load with all energy input converted to heat.
Sensible heat load - cooling load to remove the sensible heat.

Load management - deliberate control or influencing of user loads to shift the time of use of electric power
and energy.

Load shedding (electric power) - control method of stopping selected power users to avoid overloading
power supply, or to avoid demand charges.

Machine room - or engine room; a room in which mechanical equipment is permanently installed and
operated.

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A: 17

Maintainability - specific time that a system or facility can operate to an economically fully restored
condition.

Maintenance (maintenance program) - maintenance concept in terms of time and resource allocation. It
documents the objectives and establishes the criteria for evaluation and commits the maintenance depart-
ment to basic areas of performance such as prompt response to mechanical failure, maintenance and
attention to planned functions that protect the capital investment, and minimize downtime or failure
response.
Corrective maintenance - classification of expended or reserved resources used to predict and
correct impending failure. Corrective action is strictly remedial and always performed before
failure occurs.
Planned maintenance - classification of maintenance department resources that are invested in
prudently selected functions at specified intervals. All functions and resources attributed to this
classification must be planned, budgeted and scheduled. It embodies two concepts: preventive and
corrective maintenance.
Predictive maintenance - function of corrective maintenance. Statistically supported objective
judgment is implied. Nondestructive testing, chemical analysis, vibration and noise monitoring, as
well as visual inspection and logging are all classified under this function, providing that the item
tested or inspected is part of the planned maintenance program.
Preventive maintenance - classification of resources allotted to ensure proper operation of a
system or equipment under the maintenance program. Durability, reliability, efficiency and safety
are the principal objectives.

Manometer - instrument for measuring pressures; basically a U-tube partially filled with a liquid (usually
water, mercury or light oil) so constructed that the difference in level of the liquid legs indicates the
pressure exerted on the instrument.

Manufactured home - a building normally assembled or fabricated off-site and intended to be used as a
dwelling. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has adopted a detailed legal
definition, found in 42 USC 5402.

Mass flow rate - mass of a substance flowing past a certain point per unit time.

Mechanical properties - properties of a material that reveal the elastic and inelastic reaction when force is
applied, or that involve the relationship between stress and strain; for example, the modulus of elasticity,
tensile strength and fatigue limit.

Melting point - for a given pressure, the temperature at which the solid and liquid phases of the substance
are in equilibrium.

met - unit of metabolic rate of people. One met is defined as 18.4 Btu/hft2, which is equal to the energy
produced per unit surface area of a seated person at rest. The surface area of an average man is about 19 ft2.

Methanol - methyl alcohol (CH3OH); a colorless, toxic, flammable liquid that boils at 148F.

Mixing box - (blending box or mixing unit) compartment into which two or more air supplies mix together
before being discharged into the conditioned space.

Modeling - representing a process, device or concept in mathematical simulation.

Modem - acronym for modulator/demodulator. Hardware device used for changing digital information to
and from an analog form to allow transmission over voice-grade circuits.

Modulate - (1) to adjust by increments; (2) to vary a voltage or other variable with a signal.

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Moisture - (1) water vapor in air; (2) water in a medium such as soil or insulation; but not bulk water or
flowing water.
Grains of moisture - unit of measurement of actual water vapor contained in a sample of air;
(7000 grains = 1 pound).

Mold - minute fungi preferring humid growing conditions, using organic matter for a food source.

Motor - that which imparts motion; a prime mover, such as a steam engine, windmill or engine.

Motor overload protection - devices utilized to automatically disconnect motor power when predetermined
unsafe temperatures or overcurrent conditions exist.

Multizone - (1) spatial divisions of a building having different air-conditioning loads; (2) an air-condition-
ing unit capable of handling variable loads from different sections of a building simultaneously.

Nameplate rating - full-load continuous rating of a generator, prime mover or other equipment under
specified conditions, as designated by the manufacturer and usually indicated on an attached plate.

Natural air circulation - air circulation induced by density differences produced by temperature differences.

Natural ventilation - movement of air into and out of a space through intentionally-provided openings, such
as windows and doors; or through non-powered ventilators; or by infiltration.

Net positive suction head (available) - (NPSH) pressure at the pump inlet greater than the vapor pressure at
the operating temperature of the liquid being pumped.

Noise criteria curves (NC curves) - curves that define the limits that the octave-band spectrum of a noise
source must not exceed if a certain level of occupant acceptance is to be achieved.

Nondestructive test - procedure that evaluates equipment fitness and integrity without altering physical
state or arrangement.

Odor - the property of a substance that affects the sense of smell; any smell, scent or fragrance.

Office building - building or structure for office, professional or service-type transactions, such as a
medical office, bank, library or business; including governmental offices.

Oil - various viscous, combustible, water-immiscible liquids that are soluble in certain organic solvents,
and may be animal, vegetable, mineral or synthetic in origin.
Distillate oil - light fraction of oil, separated from crude oil by fractional distillation.
Fuel oil - products of petroleum graded according to energy content and viscosity (No. 1 to 6);
No. 6 is residual oil, with the highest energy content and viscosity rating.

Open loop control system - control system in which the system outputs are controlled by system inputs
only, and no account is taken of actual system output.

Operating life - expected useful life of a device, usually expressed in number of operations or years,
months or hours of typical operation.

Optimization - (1) collection of data in a control system to produce the best possible output, usually
according to what is most economical; (2) procedure used in the design of a system to maximize or
minimize some performance index. May entail the selection of a component, a principle of operation, or a
technique.

Orifice meter - instrument that measures fluid flow by recording differential pressure across a restriction
placed in the flow stream and the static or actual pressure acting on the system.

Appendix A: Terminology Fundamentals of Heating Systems


A: 19

Orifice plate - relatively sharp-edged flat ring used for the calculation of fluid flow rates from measure-
ments of the pressure difference between the two sides of the orifice.

Orsat apparatus - gas analyzer based on absorption of certain gases (carbon dioxide, oxygen, etc.) by
separate chemicals that have a selective affinity for each of those gases.

Output rating - heating output capacity of a fuel-burning appliance.

Overshoot - condition in a control system where the controlled variable exceeds the desired setpoint as a
result of approaching that setpoint too quickly.

Penthouse - roofed structure incorporating louvers or louver blades in all or part of the walls, and usually
designed to be on the roof of a building.

Perforated ceiling - one composed of perforated panels used to distribute the air uniformly throughout the
ceiling or portion of the ceiling.

Phase change - shift of a material or system from one phase to another, such as liquid to gas, solid to gas,
etc.

Phase-change material - substance that undergoes changes of state while absorbing or rejecting thermal
energy at constant temperature.

Photovoltaic - capable of generating an electrical voltage and current as a result of exposure to visible light
or other radiation.

Photovoltaic cell - device that detects or measures electromagnetic radiation by generating a potential at a
junction (barrier layer) between two types of material, upon absorption of radiant energy.

Physical properties - properties discussed in physics, exclusive of those described under mechanical
properties; for example, density, electrical conductivity and coefficient of thermal expansion.

Pitot tube - small bore tube inserted perpendicular to a flowing stream with its orifice opening facing the
stream to measure total pressure. Presently, the term is often used for a double-tube instrument (a Pitot-
static tube) from which the flow velocity can be calculated with one orifice opening facing the flowing
stream to measure total pressure and the other perpendicular to the stream to measure static pressure.

Plenum chamber - in an air distribution system, that part of the casing, or an air chamber furnace, to or
from which the air duct system delivers conditioned air.

Power - time rate of doing work, usually expressed in horsepower (mechanical) or kW (electrical).

Precipitator - device to remove fine ash, tars, dusts or smoke particles from flue gases or other gaseous
streams; the device may employ mechanical, electrostatic or chemical means, or a combination of these.
Electrostatic precipitator - device for removing dust from the air by inducing an electric charge
on the dust particles.

Pressure - force exerted per unit area.


Absolute pressure - pressure above a perfect vacuum; the sum of gauge pressure and atmo-
spheric pressure.
Atmospheric pressure - standard atmospheric reference pressure (assumed at sea level) is defined
as 101.325 kPa. This is approximately 14.696 psi, or 29.291 in. of mercury at 32F.
Gauge pressure - pressure above atmospheric pressure.
Saturation pressure - for a pure substance at a given temperature, the pressure at which vapor
and liquid, or vapor and solids, can exist in equilibrium.
Static pressure - pressure exerted by a fluid at rest. In a flowing fluid, it is the pressure compo-
nent perpendicular to the flow direction.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Appendix A: Terminology


A: 20

Pressure loss - change in total pressure due to friction and turbulence.

Pressure relief - the designed automatic reduction of excessive pressure in a vessel.

Pressure relief device - valve or rupture member designed to relieve excessive pressure automatically.

Pressure vessel - container for fluids at a pressure different from atmospheric pressure (vacuum to high
pressure) capable of withstanding the associated stresses.

Process - change in state that can be defined as any change in the properties of a system. A process is
described by specifying the initial and final equilibrium states, the path (if identifiable), and the interactions
that occur across the system boundaries during the process.

Psychrometer - instrument for measuring relative humidities with wet- and dry-bulb thermometers.
Aspirated psychrometer - psychrometer having mechanical means for rapidly circulating air to
be tested over dry and wet bulbs.
Sling psychrometer - hygrometer of two matched thermometers, one with its bulb wetted and the
other dry, capable of being whirled rapidly to indicate the temperature differences related to
relative humidity.

Psychrometric chart - graphical representation of the properties of moist air, usually including wet and dry
bulb temperatures, specific and relative humidities, enthalpy and density.

Pump - machine for imparting energy to a fluid, causing it to do work, by drawing the fluid into itself
through an entrance port and then forcing the fluid out through an exhaust port. Main types are air lift,
centrifugal, diaphragm, positive displacement, reciprocating and rotary.
Boiler feed pump - pump that returns condensed steam, makeup water or both to the boiler.
Condensate return pump - pump used to return condensate to a boiler; usually installed with a
receiver tank and a float valve.

Pyranometer - instrument that measures the combined solar irradiance and diffuse sky irradiance by means
of a radiation-sensing element.

Pyrheliometer - radiometer used to measure the direct or beam solar irradiance incident on a surface
normal to the sun's rays.

Quasi-steady state (solar collector) - condition of operation of the collector and/or system in which the
measured solar irradiance flow rates and thermodynamic states of temperature and pressure at various
points in the collector and/or system do not vary significantly during the period of test measurements.

Radiator - terminal unit used in hot water or steam systems to deliver heat to a space.
Baseboard radiator - heating device located at or replacing a room baseboard.
Finned tube radiator - heater with numerous fins bonded to a tube, usually carrying steam or hot
water.

Rating conditions - set of operating conditions under which a single level of performance results, and
which causes only that level of performance to occur.

Reflectance - the portion of the incident radiation upon a surface that is reflected from the surface.

Reflectivity - a property of a material expressed as the portion of the radiation striking a unit area of the
surface that is not absorbed or transmitted by the substance.

Refrigerant - fluid used for heat transfer in a refrigerating system that absorbs heat at a low temperature and
pressure of the fluid and transfers heat at a higher temperature and pressure of the fluid, usually involving
changes of state of the fluid.

Appendix A: Terminology Fundamentals of Heating Systems


A: 21

Azeotropic refrigerant - blend of refrigerants whose equilibrium vapor phase and liquid phase
compositions are the same at a given pressure.
Drop-in refrigerant - refrigerant that has the exact same properties as the refrigerant being
replaced, and does not require air-conditioning or refrigerant equipment to be redesigned.
Zeotropic refrigerant - blend of refrigerants whose equilibrium vapor phase and liquid phase
compositions are different at a given pressure.

Refrigerant charge - (1) actual amount of refrigerant in a closed system; (2) amount of refrigerant required
for proper functioning of a closed system.

Refrigerant metering device - device that controls the flow of liquid refrigerant to an evaporator.

Refrigerant processing
Reclaim - to reprocess refrigerant to new conditions, by means that may include distillation.
May require chemical analysis of the contaminated refrigerant to determine that appropriate
process specifications are met. This term usually implies the use of processes or procedures
available only at a reprocessing or manufacturing facility.
Recover - to remove refrigerant in any condition from a system and to store it in an external
container without necessarily testing or processing it in any way.
Recycle - to clean up refrigerant for re-use by oil separation and single or multiple passes
through moisture absorption devices, such as replaceable core filter driers. This term usually
implies procedures implemented at the field jobsite or at a local service shop.

Refrigerant pump out system - dedicated apparatus for transfer of refrigerant from a refrigerating system to
a separate and distinct storage vessel.

Refrigerating system - system that, in operation between a heat source and a heat sink (in the thermody-
namic sense) at two different temperatures, is able to absorb heat from the heat source at the lower tem-
perature and reject heat to the heat sink at the higher temperature.
Absorption refrigerating system - refrigerating system in which refrigeration is created by
evaporating a refrigerant in a heat exchanger (evaporator), with the vapor then absorbed by an
absorbent medium (usually liquid) from which it is subsequently expelled in vapor phase by
heating at a higher partial vapor pressure (in a generator) and condensed by cooling in another
heat exchanger (condenser).
Direct expansion refrigerating system - refrigerating system in which the cooling effect is
obtained directly from the refrigerant.
Unitary refrigerating system - complete factory-assembled and tested refrigerating system
comprising one or more assemblies that may be shipped as one unit or separately, but which are
designed to be used together.

Refrigerating capillary tube - a tube of small bore (down to 0.020 in. i.d.) Used for simultaneously
metering the refrigerant and accomplishing the expansion process between condenser and evaporator in
refrigeration systems.

Refrigeration heating system - interconnected parts forming a closed circuit in which refrigerant is circu-
lated, and having the condenser located to transfer heat to the zone to be heated (a heat pump).

Regulator - control device to establish or adjust the time, amount, degree or rate of a unit or process.
Barometric draft regulator - counterweighted damper set so that variations in chimney baromet-
ric pressure will cause the damper to open or close gradually to maintain a constant draft directly
upstream of the damper.
Draft regulator - device installed in the breeching between a fired appliance and the chimney to
control chimney draft.
Power operated draft regulator - device that can maintain a constant pressure in a furnace under
all normal operating conditions and also has a low-draft cut-off that will shut off the burner when
the draft falls below the pre-selected minimum.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Appendix A: Terminology


A: 22

Reheat - application of sensible heat to supply air that has been previously cooled below the temperature of
the conditioned space.

Retrofit - modification of existing equipment or systems to incorporate improved performance or updated


operation, or both.

Rotating blackouts - process of deliberately interrupting preselected loads from a power system for the
purpose of matching demand to temporarily limited supply. This is a nonroutine remedy of energy man-
agement implemented through transmission supervision and substation automation, on a substation bus or
distribution feeder basis in a sequentially timed pattern.

R-value - in thermal insulation, resistance to the flow of heat energy through insulation materials or
constructions; the reciprocal of thermal conductance.

Saturation - condition for coexistence in stable equilibrium of a vapor and liquid, or a vapor and solid
phase of the same substance; for example, steam over the water from which it is being generated.

Scrubber - system to reduce noxious substances from a flowing stream, as in chimneys or process dis-
charges.

Seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) - overall cooling performance efficiency index, expressing the
ratio of the total annual cooling effect (in Btu) divided by the total annual electrical energy consumption (in
Wh).

Sensor - (1) device or instrument designed to detect and measure a variable; (2) device placed in a medium
to be measured, that has a change in output signal related to a change in the sensed medium.

Setback (electric) - reduction of heating or cooling during hours when a building is unoccupied.

Short-cycling - excessive frequency of starting and stopping in an operating system.

Sick building - building in which volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of various types are present in
concentrations sufficient to act synergistically on many occupants, resulting in sick building syndrome,
usually when concentrations are too high. This syndrome does not conform to a particular illness and is
difficult to trace to any specific source.

Signal converter - device that changes one set of codes, modes, sequences or frequencies to a different set.
Analog-to-digital converter - device that converts a signal that is a function of a continuous
variable into a representative number sequence (digital format).
Digital-to-analog converter - device that transforms digital data into analog data. In data process-
ing, a device that converts an input number sequence into a continuous variable.

Solar collector - device designed to absorb incident solar radiation and to transfer the energy to a fluid
passing through it.
Concentrating collector - solar collector that uses reflectors, lenses or other optical elements to
concentrate the radiant energy passing through an aperture onto an absorber of which the surface
area is smaller than the aperture area.
Flat-plate collector - non-concentrating solar collector in which the absorbing surface is essen-
tially planar.

Solar collector absorber - part of the solar collector that receives the incident radiation energy and trans-
forms it into thermal energy. It may possess a surface through which energy is transmitted to the transfer
fluid; however, the transfer fluid itself can be the absorber.

Solar collector drain back - system in which the collector fluid is allowed to drain back to storage whenever
solar energy is not being collected, (for example, when the fluid circulating pump is not operating).

Appendix A: Terminology Fundamentals of Heating Systems


A: 23

Solar collector instantaneous efficiency - ratio of the energy removed by the transfer fluid per unit of
collector area to the total solar radiation incident on the collector per unit area during a test period for
which the condition of the test corresponds to the steady state or quasi-steady state.

Solar collector tilt angle - angle between the horizontal plane and the plane of the collector aperture.

Solar constant - solar radiation incident on a surface normal to the sun's rays outside the earth's atmosphere
at a distance from the sun equal to the mean distance between the earth and the sun. Its value is approxi-
mately 1667 W/m2.

Solar energy system - configuration of equipment and components used to absorb, convey, store, convert
and distribute the energy from the sun.

Solar noon - instant at which the sun reaches its maximum altitude at any given location.

Solar time - time of day as indicated by the apparent position of the sun.

Specific gravity - ratio of the mass of a given volume of a substance to the mass of an equal volume of
water, usually at 39F. Obsolete term as density is most often used.

Specific volume - volume of a unit mass of a material. Usually expressed in terms of cubic feet per pound.
The reciprocal of this term is density.

Spinning reserve - reserve electrical generating capacity connected to the utility bus and ready to take load.

Stack - structure that contains a flue, or flues, for the discharge of gases.

Standard conditions - set of physical, chemical or other variables of a substance or system that defines an
accepted reference state or forms a basis for comparison.

Standard cubic feet per minute - volumetric rate of flow of air at standard conditions (dry air at 70F and
14.696 psia).

Standard rating - capacity in energy units per unit time based on tests performed under standard conditions.

Steady state - state of a system in which movement of matter or energy phenomena are occurring, when the
various physical phenomena read at any point in this system, are independent of time.

Steam - water in the vapor phase.


Dry-saturated steam - steam at the saturation temperature corresponding to the pressure and
containing no water in suspension.
Superheated steam - steam at a temperature higher than the boiling temperature corresponding
to the pressure at which it exists.
Wet-saturated steam - steam at the saturation temperature corresponding to the pressure and
containing water particles in suspension.

Steam quality - fraction of vapor in a mixture of liquid and vapor, expressed as a percentage.

Steam separator - device used to remove moisture from steam after it leaves the boiler.

Steam trap - device for allowing the passage of condensate and preventing the passage of steam, or for
allowing the passage of air as well as condensate.

Submetering - re-metering of purchased energy by a customer for distribution to his tenants through
privately-owned or rented meters. Also used in determining energy consumption for multiple component
systems in commercial or industrial applications.

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Superheat - extra heat in a vapor when at a temperature higher than the saturation temperature correspond-
ing to its pressure.

System effects - conditions in a distribution system that affect fan and pump performance and related
testing, adjusting and balancing work.

Temperature - thermal state of a substance that determines its ability to exchange heat with other sub-
stances. Substances in contact that do not exchange heat are at the same temperature. Temperature scales
are Kelvin and Rankine for absolute temperatures, and Celsius and Fahrenheit for ordinary temperatures.
Absolute temperature - zero point on an absolute temperature scale. The point at which all
molecular movement ceases and which is impossible to obtain.
Ambient temperature - temperature of the medium (air, water or earth) surrounding an object.
Celsius temperature - temperature scale used with the SI system on which the freezing point of
water is 0C and the boiling point is 100C.
Condensing temperature - temperature of a fluid at which condensation occurs.
Dewpoint temperature - temperature at which water vapor is saturated (100% rh).
Dry-bulb temperature - temperature of air indicated by an ordinary thermometer.
Evaporating temperature - temperature at which a fluid vaporizes in an evaporator.
Fahrenheit temperature - temperature scale on which at standard atmospheric pressure, the
freezing point of water is 32F and the boiling point is 212F.
Flue temperature - temperature of the flue gases leaving the boiler or furnace, and priot to any
dilution caused by draft control devices.
Ignition temperature - temperature at which a combustible material will unite with oxygen in the
atmosphere, and combustion will begin.
Kelvin temperature - absolute temperature scale on which the triple point of water is 273.16 K
and the boiling point is about 373.15 K. (1 K = 1C)
Rankine temperature - absolute temperature scale conventionally defined by the temperature of
the triple point of water equal to 491.68 R, with 180 divisions between the melting point of ice
and the boiling point of water at standard atmospheric pressure. (1 R = 1F)
Stack temperature - temperature of the flue gases entering the exhaust stack or chimney, after
any dilution.
Triple point temperature - the temperature and pressure at which three different phases of one
substance can coexist in equilibrium.
Wet-bulb temperature - temperature of air as indicated by a thermometer where the bulb is
covered with a water-saturated wick over which air is caused to flow at approximately 900 fpm to
reach equilibrium temperature of water evaporating into air when the heat of vaporization is
supplied by the sensible heat of the air.

Thermal conductivity - time rate of heat flow through unit thickness of a flat slab of a homogeneous
material in the perpendicular direction to the slab surfaces induced by unit temperature gradient. Measured
in Btu/hftF.

Thermal energy meter - metering system capable of measuring the energy added to or extracted from a
liquid stream. Also called a Btu meter, heat meter or thermal meter.

Thermal environment - for human exposure, the surrounding atmosphere characterized by parameters such
as air temperature, wet-bulb temperature, dewpoint temperature, water-vapor pressure, total atmospheric
pressure, relative humidity and specific humidity.

Thermal input - heating or cooling effect delivered to a storage device.

Thermal storage - (1) temporary storage of high or low temperature energy for later use; (2) accumulation
of energy in a body or system in the form of sensible heat or latent heat.
Heat storage - technology or systems used to store heating capacity.
Stratified storage - thermal storage vessel in which a thermocline exists.

Appendix A: Terminology Fundamentals of Heating Systems


A: 25

Thermistor - thermo-electrical element in which the electrical resistance falls appreciably with a rise in
temperature; often used as a thermometer.

Thermocline - a layer of fluid in which the temperature and density gradient is greater than, and which
separates, the cooler fluid below it and the warmer fluid above it.

Thermocouple - junction of two wires of dissimilar materials, not necessarily metal, but with the property
of generating an electromotive force (voltage) related to the temperature of their junction.

Thermopile - several thermocouples in a bundle with all junctions at each end exposed to the same tem-
perature so that the emf output is the emf of one couple multiplied by the number of thermocouples.

Thermostat - automatic control device responsive to temperature used to maintain constant temperature; an
instrument that responds to changes in temperature and that directly or indirectly controls temperature.
Aquastat - thermostat designed for use in water.
Two-stage thermostat - thermostat that handles two separate circuits in sequence. Typical for
heat pump operation with backup heaters.

Thermostat night setback - manual or automatic reset of temperature control point of a thermostat, usually
coupled with a start-up time for restoration of desired daytime temperature level.

Time constant - in control theory and practice, for the output of a first order (lag or lead) system forced by
a step or impulse, time constant is the time required to complete 63.2% of the total rise or decay.

Ton - (of refrigeration effect) time rate of cooling equal to 12,000 Btu/h.

Transducer - (1) device that converts energy from one form to another (for example, a loudspeaker
transforms electrical energy to acoustical energy); (2) element that receives information in the form of one
physical quantity and transmits that information in the form of another physical quantity.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation - zone of invisible radiation beyond the violet end of the spectrum of visible
radiation. Because UV wavelengths are shorter than the visible wavelengths, their photons have more
energy, enough to initiate some chemical reactions and to degrade most plastics.

Unconditioned space - space within a building that is not conditioned.

Vacuum - state in which the gas pressure is lower than atmospheric pressure.

Valve - device that can regulate or stop the flow of fluid in a pipe or equipment.
Automatic-expansion valve - a controlling device for automatically regulating the flow of
volatile refrigerant into a cooling unit, actuated by changes in evaporator pressure and superheat
of the refrigerant leaving the cooling unit. The basic response is to the superheat.
Check valve - valve allowing fluid flow in only one direction.
Constant pressure expansion valve - an expansion valve that maintains a constant output
pressure regardless of the input pressure.
Electronic expansion valve - controlling device for regulating flow of refrigerant into a cooling
unit. It is actuated electrically, based on evaporator and superheat conditions, and typically
controlled by a microprocessor. The basic response is to the superheat or to the liquid-vapor
interface.
Float-type expansion valve - expansion valve operated by a change in liquid level.
Pressure relief valve - valve held closed by a spring or other means and designed to automati-
cally relieve pressure in excess of its setting; also called a safety valve or relief valve.
Reversing valve - (1) in a refrigerating system, a device that enables reversing the evaporator
and the condenser for hot gas defrosting by the reversed cycle system; (2) in a heat pump system,
a device to effect change-over between heating and cooling cycles.

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Service valve - (1) valve intended to isolate an apparatus from the rest of the system; (2) device
used by service technicians to check pressures and charge refrigerating units.
Solenoid valve - valve that is closed by gravity, pressure or spring action and opened by the
magnetic action of an electrically energized coil, or vice versa.
Thermostatic expansion valve - controlling device for regulating flow of refrigerant into a
cooling unit, actuated by the changes in evaporator pressure and superheat of the refrigerant
leaving the cooling unit. The basic response is to the superheat.
Three-way valve - valve having either a single inlet and two outlets (diverting) or two inlets and
a single outlet (mixing), in which either one or the other is open.

Vapor pressure - pressure exerted by a vapor. If a vapor is kept in confinement over its liquid or solid so
that the vapor can accumulate above the substance with the temperature constant, the vapor pressure
reaches a maximum called the vapor pressure.

Variable volume, variable temperature (VVT) - the combination of varying both air flow and temperature
in response to space load, with the objective of resetting temperature to maintain air flow to the space
higher than a true variable volume system.

VAV box - variable air volume terminal device.


Reheat VAV box - true VAV box with a reheat coil mounted on the discharge of the unit.
True VAV box - terminal device that regulates the amount of conditioned air entering a space.
Control typically is a function of space temperature.

Ventilation - process of supplying or removing air by natural or mechanical means to or from any space.
Such air may or may not have been conditioned.

Ventilator - device for replacing air inside a room by outside air.


Unit ventilator - fan coil unit package devised for applications in which the use of outdoor and
return air mixing is intended to satisfy tempering requirements and ventilation needs.

Viscosity - property of semifluids, fluids and gases by which they resist an instantaneous change of shape
or arrangements of parts. It causes fluid friction whenever adjacent layers of fluid move relative to each
other.
Absolute viscosity - force per unit area required to produce unit relative velocity between two
parallel areas of fluid unit distance apart, also called coefficient of viscosity or dynamic viscosity.
Kinematic viscosity - ratio of absolute viscosity to density of the fluid.

Wall sleeve - an opening in a wall having a shroud insert to accept the chassis of an air-conditioning unit.

Wall unit (heat) - either of two major types: (1) electrical wiring embedded in glass or ceramic tile to
radiate heat; (2) fixture recessed into a wall deep enough to enclose resistance coils and sometimes fans.

Warming up allowance - addition to the capacity of a heating system (as calculated for heat loss) to provide
for quick warm-up in the morning.

Water - transparent, odorless, tasteless liquid; a compound of hydrogen and oxygen (H2O) containing
11.188% hydrogen and 88.812% oxygen by weight; freezing at 32F; boiling at 212F.
Chilled water - water used as a cooling medium (particularly in air-conditioning systems or in
processes) at below ambient temperature.
Circulating water - water that circulates repeatedly around a loop, used in a water-cooled or
water-cooling or heating device.
Domestic hot water - potable hot water as distinguished from hot water used for house heating.
Makeup water - water supplied to replenish the water of a system.
Process hot water - hot water needed for manufacturing processes other than the domestic hot
water that is for the personal use of industrial workers.
Soft water - water that is free of calcium and magnesium salts.

Appendix A: Terminology Fundamentals of Heating Systems


A: 27

Water column - tubular column located at the steam and water space of a boiler to which protective
devices, such as gauge cocks, water gauge and level alarms are attached.

Water draw rate - rate at which hot water is withdrawn from the system over a specified period at a
specified time.

Water heater - appliance for heating domestic hot water.


Instantaneous water heater - one that has an input rate of at least 4,000 Btu/h per gallon of self-
stored water. Automatic control of heating is obtained by water-actuated controls, thermostatic
control, or a combination of both.
Storage water heater - closed vessel in which water is heated by the combustion of fuels,
electricity or any other source and is withdrawn for use external to the system at pressures not
exceeding 160 psig, including the apparatus by which heat is generated, and all controls and
devices necessary to prevent water temperatures from exceeding 210F.
Tankless water heater - heat exchanger for indirect heating of domestic water that is designed to
be used without a domestic water storage tank. It may be attached directly to the boiler or installed
external to the boiler and connected by piping.

Water treatment - process that removes impurities from water.

Watt (power) - the work done or energy generated by one ampere induced by the emf of one volt; 1 W = 1
VA.
Thermal Watt - heat energy generated or consumed equal to that of one ampere flowing under
the emf of one volt; 1 W = 1 J/s.

Wind chill factor - equivalent temperature resulting from the combined effect of wind and temperature.

Zone - space or group of spaces within a building with heating or cooling requirements sufficiently similar
that comfort conditions can be maintained by a single controlling device.
Comfort zone - range of effective temperatures under which most of a group of people feel
comfortable.
Occupied zone - (1) the region within an occupied space between planes 3 in. and 72 in. above
the floor, and more than 2 ft from the walls or fixed air-conditioning equipment; (2) in air-
conditioning, the space in which people, animals and/or processes are maintained.

Zoning - practice of dividing a building into smaller sections for control of heating and cooling. Each
section is selected so that one thermostat can be used to determine its requirements.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Appendix A: Terminology


B: 1

Appendix B: Bibliography

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Air Conditioning Contractors of America.
ACCA. 1986. Manual JLoad Calculation for Residential Winter and Summer Air Condi-
tioning. Washington, DC: Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

Anon. 1996. "Shining the light on ductwork mold may cure building illness." Air-Condi-
tioning, Heating & Refrigeration News. June 10. Troy, MI: Business News Publishing Co.

Anon. 1996. "Contractors: Know when to offer dual fuel as an option." Air-Conditioning,
Heating & Refrigeration News. June 24. Troy, MI: Business News Publishing Co.
ASHRAE. 1997. Fundamentals of HVAC Systems (home-study course). Atlanta, GA:
ASHRAE.
ASHRAE. 1997. ASHRAE HandbookFundamentals. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1996. ASHRAE Guideline 1-1996, The HVAC Commissioning Process. Atlanta,
GA: ASHRAE.
ASHRAE. 1996. ASHRAE HandbookHVAC Systems and Equipment. Atlanta, GA:
ASHRAE.
ASHRAE. 1995. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55a-1995, Addendum to Thermal Environmen-
tal Conditions for Human Occupancy. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1995. ASHRAE HandbookHVAC Applications. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1995. ASHRAE Standard 116-1995, Methods of Testing for Seasonal Efficiency
of Unitary Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1994. ASHRAE Guideline 8-1994, Energy Cost Allocation for Multiple-Occu-
pancy Residential Buildings. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1994. ASHRAE HandbookRefrigeration. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1994. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 15-1994, Safety Code for Mechanical Refrig-
eration. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1993. Air-Conditioning Systems Design Manual. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1993. ASHRAE Guideline 4-1993, Preparation of Operating and Maintenance


Documentation for Building Systems. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Appendix B: Bibliography


B: 2

ASHRAE. 1993. ASHRAE HandbookFundamentals. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1993. ASHRAE Standard 90.2-1993, Energy Efficient Design of New Low-Rise
Residential Buildings. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.
ASHRAE. 1992. ASHRAE HandbookHVAC Systems and Equipment. Atlanta, GA:
ASHRAE.
ASHRAE. 1992. ASHRAE Standard 55-1992, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Hu-
man Occupancy. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1991. ASHRAE Standard 84-1991, Method of Testing Air-to-Air Heat Exchang-
ers. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1991. Terminology of Heating, Ventilation, Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration.


Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1989. ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62-1989, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air
Quality. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1989. ASHRAE Guideline 1-1989, Guideline for Commissioning of HVAC Sys-
tems. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1989. ASHRAE HandbookFundamentals. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1989. ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-1989, Energy Efficient Design of New Build-
ings Except New Low-Rise Residential Buildings. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1988. ASHRAE Standard 37-1988, Methods of Testing for Rating Unitary Air-
Conditioning and Heat Pump Equipment. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1987. ASHRAE HandbookHVAC Systems and Applications. Atlanta, GA:


ASHRAE.

ASHRAE. 1976. Procedure for Determining Heating and Cooling Loads for Computeriz-
ing Energy Calculations. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

Ayres, J., Stamper, E. 1995. "Historical development of building energy calculations."


ASHRAE Journal. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 37., No. 2, February.

Baker, M. 1953. "Design and performance of a residential earth heat pump." ASHVE Trans-
actions. New York, NY: American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers.

Balcomb, J., et al. 1984. Passive Solar Heating Analysis A Design Manual. Atlanta, GA:
ASHRAE.

Appendix B: Bibliography Fundamentals of Heating Systems


B: 3

Bas, E. 1996. "Solving indoor air problems broadens duct-cleaning work." Air-Condition-
ing, Heating & Refrigeration News. Troy, MI: Business News Publishing Co. May 27.

Bas, E. 1996. "Controlling moisture: Key to controlling microorganisms." Air-Condition-


ing, Heating & Refrigeratinon News. Troy, MI: Business News Publishing Co. June 17.

Beckman, W., et al. 1977. Solar Heating Design by the f-Chart Method. New York, NY:
John Wiley and Sons.

Berg-Munch, B., et al. 1984. "Ventilation requirements for the control of body odor in
space occupied by women." Environment International. Stockhom, Sweden: Third Interna-
tional Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate. Vol. 12, pp. 195-199.

Bruce, J. 1994. Energy Study: Life Cycle Cost Comparisons for Schools. Lexington, KY:
Kentucky Utilities Co.

Cain, W., et al. 1995. "The quest for negligible health risk from indoor air." ASHRAE Jour-
nal. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 37, No. 7, July.

Caneta Research Inc. 1995. Operating Experiences with Commercial Ground-Source Heat
Pumps. ASHRAE Research Project RP-863. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

Colliver, D., et al. 1998. Updating the Tables of Design Weather Conditions in the ASHRAE
Handbook of Fundamentals. ASHRAE Research Project RP-890 final report. Atlanta, GA:
ASHRAE.

DOE. 1995. Household Energy Consumption and Expenditures 1993. DOE/EIA-0321.


Washington, DC: US Department of Energy. October.

DOE. 1980. Passive Solar Design Handbook. Washington, DC: US Department of Energy.

Dohrmann, D. 1985. Analysis of Survey Data on HVAC Maintenance Costs. Final report for
ASHRAE research project 382-RP. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

Dohrmann, D., Alereza, T. 1986. "Analysis of survey data on HVAC maintenance costs."
ASHRAE Transactions. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol.92, Pt. 2A, pp. 550-565.

Duffie, J., Beckman, W. 1974. Solar Energy Thermal Processes. New York, NY: John
Wiley and Sons.

Dunn, W., Whittaker, J. 1994. "Building systems commissioning and total quality manage-
ment." ASHRAE Journal. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 36, No. 9, September.

EPA. 1993. The Inside Story A Guide to Indoor Air Quality. Publication no. 402-K-93-
007. Washington, DC: Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Appendix B: Bibliography


B: 4

Fanger, P. 1970. Thermal Comfort. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Fels, M., ed. 1986. "Measuring energy savings: The scorekeeping approach." Energy and
Buildings. Berkeley, CA: Lawrence berkeley National Laboratory. Vol. 9, Nos. 1 and 2.

GAMA. 1995. Consumers' Directory of Certified Efficiency Ratings for Residential Heat-
ing and Water Heating Equipment. Arlington, VA: Gas Appliance Manufacturers Associa-
tion.

Graven, R., Hirsch, P. 1977. CAL-ERDA Users Manual. Argonne, IL: Argonne National
Laboratory.

GRI. 1996. Baseline Projection Data Book: 1996 Edition of the GRI Baseline Projection of
US Energy Supply and Demand to 2010. Chicago, IL: Gas Research Institute.

GRI. 1996. GATCFocus. Columbus, OH: Gas Research Institute, Gas Appliance Technol-
ogy Center. May.

GRI. 1992. Technical and Legislative Background Relating to Efficiency and Emissions of
Gas Heating Appliances. Chicago, IL: Gas Research Institute.

GRI. 1992. Venting Guidelines for Category I Gas Appliances with Fan-Assisted Combus-
tion Systems. Chicago, IL: Gas Research Institute.

Guarino, D. 1994. "High efficiency furnaces." Contracting Business. Cleveland, OH: Penton
Publications.

Haines, R. 1988. HVAC Systems Design Handbook. Blue Ridge Summit, PA: Tab Profes-
sional and Reference Books.

Henninger, R. 1975. NECAP, NASA's Energy-Cost Analysis Program. Washington, DC:


National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Hittle, D. 1977. The Building Loads Analysis and System Thermodynamics Program, BLAST.
Champaign, IL: US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory.

Hydronics Institute. 1971. I=B=R Testing and Rating Code for Baseboard Radiation. Ber-
keley Heights, NJ: The Hydronics Institute.

Hydronics Institute. 1966. I=B=R Testing and Rating Code for Finned Tube (Commercial)
Radiation. Berkeley Heights, NJ: The Hydronics Institute.

Incropera, F., DeWitt, D. 1985. Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer. New York, NY:
John Wiley and Sons.

Appendix B: Bibliography Fundamentals of Heating Systems


B: 5

Janssen, J., Wolff, A. 1986. "Subjective response to ventilation." Proceedings of the IAQ
'86 Conference. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE.

Jennings, B. 1978. The Thermal Environment. New York, NY: Harper & Row Publishers.

Kaiser, R. 1996. A Twenty-Year Life Cycle Comparison of HVAC Owning and Operating
Costs Involving Three Different HVAC Systems for Sylvania Junior High School, Sylvania,
Ohio. Lexington, KY: Kaiser-Taulbee Associates. February.

Kaiser, R. 1996. Your School and Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning. Lexington,
KY: Kaiser-Taulbee Associates. March.

Kaiser, R. 1995. A Twenty-Year Life Cycle Comparison of HVAC Owning and Operating
Costs Involving Five Different HVAC Systems for Fairview Park Branch, Cuyahoga County,
Ohio, Public Library System. Lexington, KY: Kaiser-Taulbee Associates. November.

Kavanaugh, S., Gilbreath, C. 1995. Cost Containment for Ground-Source Heat Pumps.
Report to Alabama Universities TVA Research Consortium and the Tennessee Valley
Authority. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama.

Kirk, S. 1979. "Life cycle costing: Problem solver for engineers." Specifying Engineer.
Chicago, IL: Cahners Publishing Co. June.

Knebel, D. 1983. Simplified Energy Analysis Using the Modified Bin Method. Atlanta, GA:
ASHRAE.

Kreider, J., Haberl, J. 1994. "Predicting hourly building energy usage." ASHRAE Journal.
Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 36, No. 6, June.

Kreider, J., Rabl, A. 1994. Heating and Cooling of Buildings: Design for Efficiency. New
York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Kreider, J. 1989. Solar Design: Components, Systems, Economics. New York, NY: Hemi-
sphere Publications.

Kusuda, T. 1971. NBSLD, Computer Program for Heating and Cooling Loads in Build-
ings. Gaithersburg, MD: National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Lawson, C. 1993. "Why commissioning?" Proceedings of the First National Conference


on Building Commissioning. Sacramento, CA. April 28-30.

Lawson, C. 1989. "Commissioning and indoor air quality." ASHRAE Journal. Atlanta, GA:
ASHRAE. Vol. 31, No. 10, October.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Appendix B: Bibliography


B: 6

LBL. 1979. DOE-2: Volume 1, Users Guide; Volume 2, Reference Manual; Volume 3,
Program Manual. Berkeley, CA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Leaderer, B., Cain, W. 1983. "Air quality in buildings during smoking and non-smoking
occupancy." ASHRAE Transactions. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 89, Pt. 2B, pp. 601-613.

L'Ecuyer, M., et al. 1993. Space Conditioning: The Next Frontier. Washington, DC: US
Environmental Protection Agency.

Mahoney, T. 1996. "Statistical panorama." Air-Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News.


April 15. Troy, MI: Business News Publishing Co.

Mahoney, T. 1996. "Energy Star seals to promote top efficiency HVACR equipment." Air-
Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News. June 17. Troy, MI: Business News Publish-
ing Co.

McQuiston, F., Parker, J. 1994. HVAC Analysis and Design. New York, NY: John Wiley
and Sons.
McQuiston, F., Spitler, J. 1992. Cooling and Heating Load Calculation Manual. Atlanta,
GA: ASHRAE.

Means. 1996. Open Shop Building Construction Cost Data. Kingston, MA: R.S. Means Co.

Means. 1996. Mechanical Cost Data. Kingston, MA: R.S. Means Co.

Mesko, J. 1975. Economic Advantages of Central Heating and Cooling Systems: Under-
ground Heat and Chilled Water Distribution Systems. Washington, DC: National Institute
of Standards and Technology.

NFPA. 1990. NFPA 70-90, National Electrical Code. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protec-
tion Association.

NFPA. 1989. NFPA 90A-89, Standard for the Installation of Air-Conditioning and Venti-
lating Systems. Quincy, MA: National Fire Protection Association.

NFPA. 1988. NFPA 92A-88, Recommended Practice for Smoke Control Systems. Quincy,
MA: National Fire Protection Association.

NRECA. 1988. Closed-Loop/Ground-Source Heat Pump Systems Installation Guide. Na-


tional Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Research Project 86-1. Stillwater, OK: Inter-
national Ground Source Heat Pump Association.

Appendix B: Bibliography Fundamentals of Heating Systems


B: 7

Portland Energy Conservation Inc. 1993. Proceedings of the First National Conference on
Building Commissioning. Sacramento, CA. April 28-30.

Raijhans, G. 1983. "Indoor air quality and CO2 levels." Occupational Health in Ontario.
Toronto, Canada: Occupational Health and Safety Branch, Ministry of Labour. 4:160-167.

Rizzi, E. 1980. Design and Estimating for Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning. New
York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

SMACNA. 1988. Installation Standards for Residential Heating and Air-Conditioning Sys-
tems. Vienna, VA: Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors' National Association
Inc.

SMACNA. 1983. HVAC Systems: Testing, Adjusting and Balancing. Vienna, VA: Sheet
Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors' National Association Inc.

SMACNA. 1983. Testing, Balancing and Adjusting of Environmental Systems. Vienna,


VA: Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors' National Association Inc.

Sterling, E., Collett, C. 1994. "The building commissioning/Quality assurance process in


North America." ASHRAE Journal. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 36, No. 10, October.

Stoecker, W., Jones, J. 1982. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning. New York, NY: McGraw-
Hill.

Tamblyn, B., Khandekar, S. 1994. "IAQ: An operation and maintenance perspective."


ASHRAE Journal. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 38, No. 2, February.

Taylor, S. 1996. "Determining ventilation rates: Revisions to Standard 62-1989." ASHRAE


Journal. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 38, No. 2, February.

Tierney, T., Fishman, C. 1994. "Real-world seasonal efficiency of gas-fired steam boilers."
ASHRAE Journal. Atlanta, GA: ASHRAE. Vol. 36, No. 9, September.

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New York, NY: American Society of Mechanical Engineers. September.

Trueman, C. 1993. "Cost and benefits of commissioning: One owner's perspective." Pro-
ceedings of the First National Conference on Building Commissioning. Sacramento, CA.
April 28-30.

USAF. 1988. Engineering Weather Data. United States Air Force Publication AFM 88-29.
Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Appendix B: Bibliography


Skill Development Exercises

Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction (no questions)


Chapter 2 Overview of Heating Systems
Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria
Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems
Chapter 5 Industrial Heating Systems
Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems
Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations
Chapter 8 Codes and Standards
Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance

Instructions

After reading each chapter, answer all of the questions pertaining to that chapter on the
following worksheets. Be sure to include your name and address.

Fundamentals of Heating Systems Skill Development Exercises


2: 1

Skill Development Exercises for Chapter 2

Name

Company/Department

Address

City State Zip

Telephone Fax

Student E-Mail

Student Number

2-01. Name the three major components of any heating system.

Question Sheet Chapter 2 Overview of Heating Systems


2: 2

2-02. Coal costs $50 per ton and has a heating value of 14,000 Btu/pound. Oil costs $0.90
per gallon and has a heating value of 135,000 Btu/gallon. Electricity costs $0.075
per kWh. Calculate the cost per million Btu of heat supplied from a coal boiler that
is 85% efficient, from an oil furnace that is 70% efficient, and from an electric
resistance duct heater that is 100% efficient.

2-03. An electric heat pump has an overall COP of 3.0 at a certain operating point. If it
delivers 50,000 Btu/h of heating capacity, what is its power consumption in kW? If
electricity costs $0.07 per kWh, what is the cost per million Btu of heat supplied by
this heat pump?

Chapter 2 Overview of Heating Systems Question Sheet


2: 3

2-04. You are given the task of renovating a small six-room doctors office that has 8-ft
ceilings and no plenum above the ceilings. It is on the ground floor of a three-floor
building. The office is located in northern Minnesota where air-conditioning is not
needed. Would you choose a hot water distribution system or a warm air distribu-
tion system? Explain your answer.

2-05. A high efficiency gas furnace is 95% efficient while your existing furnace is 78%
efficient. Last year, you spent $620 on gas to heat your house during an average
winter. If it would cost $1,800 to have a high efficiency furnace installed, what is
the simple payback period, in years?

Question Sheet Chapter 2 Overview of Heating Systems


2: 4

2-06. A school building will need 15 cfm of outdoor air per pupil to meet current building
codes. Which distribution systems would make it easiest to provide this outdoor air
to the space?

2-07. A high bay garage is used to work on large trucks. What types of heating and distri-
bution systems might you choose to heat this space if no combustion system can be
used because of the possibility of gasoline spills?

Chapter 2 Overview of Heating Systems Question Sheet


3: 1

Skill Development Exercises for Chapter 3

Name

Company/Department

Address

City State Zip

Telephone Fax

Student E-Mail

Student Number

3-01. Briefly explain how the size of the heating system for a particular installation is
determined.

Question Sheet Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria


3: 2

3-02. What is one of the few quantifiable comparisons that can be made between different
types of heating systems?

3-03. Name two ways that building occupancy can influence heating system size and op-
erating cost.

Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria Question Sheet


3: 3

3-04. An automatic setback thermostat in a house with a gas furnace is programmed to


drop from 72F to 58F from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm during weekdays when no one is
home. The design heat loss of the house is 60,000 Btu/h at an outdoor design tem-
perature of 2F. Estimate the monthly cost savings from a 78% efficient gas furnace
when gas costs $5.50 per million Btu, and the average outdoor temperature is 35F.

3-05. Estimate a comfortable thermostat setpoint for an aerobics gym where the activity
level is about met = 2.8 and the participants dress have clo = 0.4.

Question Sheet Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria


3: 4

3-06. Is more insulation always the best answer when constructing a building? If not,
explain when it may not be. Should mild weather off-design conditions be consid-
ered when designing a building heating system?

3-07. For what types of building loads might you perform manual design load calcula-
tions? Would you perform the energy analysis in the same way?

Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria Question Sheet


3: 5

3-08. A bowling alley is designed to accommodate 80 people continuously for up to six


hours. On a night when it is 0F outside and indoors is maintained at 70F, what is
the outdoor ventilation air heating load?

3-09. Give two reasons why natural gas heating system installations have greatly increased
since the early 1980s.

Question Sheet Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria


3: 6

3-10. If a fuel escalates at a 2% annual rate, how much does its price increase in 20 years?
How much price increase does a 5% escalation rate produce in 20 years?

Chapter 3 Basic Selection Criteria Question Sheet


4: 1

Skill Development Exercises for Chapter 4

Name

Company/Department

Address

City State Zip

Telephone Fax

Student Number

4-01. List 10 different non-residential buildings that you were in this past week. Catego-
rize them according to the types used in this chapter. Note one special feature about
each one that would make it somewhat unique when sizing a heating system.

Question Sheet Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems


4: 2

4-02. Suppose you host a party in your home and have 10 people over for a few hours.
Estimate the balance point temperature at which your houses internal heat gains
equal its heat losses with this level of occupancy. Assume you also have on every
light in the house. Use an R-value of 13 for your walls, R-19 for floors, R-30 in your
attic, and R-2 for windows and doors.

4-03. Name two advantages of a convector terminal unit versus a unit ventilator terminal
unit. Name two disadvantages of the convector terminal unit. If you were designing
an office building, on the basis of these two advantages and disadvantages, which
type of system would you use? Support your decision.

Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems Question Sheet


4: 3

4-04. In discussing four-pipe versus two-pipe all-water systems, the four-pipe system
seemed to perform much better in every way. Why would anyone even design and
install a two-pipe system today?

4-05. What is the main reason that a three-pipe hot water heating system is hardly ever
used anymore?

Question Sheet Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems


4: 4

4-06. In Example 4-2, increase the flow resistance in the left branch by 50% from its
original value. What is the new pump flow rate from Example 4-3 and how much
flows through each branch?

4-07. Consider a steam piping network like the one shown in Figure 4-26. If one of the
steam traps is stuck open, what would be the impact on the performance of the
terminal units in the other parts of the system?

Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems Question Sheet


4: 5

4-08. A steam baseboard system will be converted to a hot water system. If the water
temperature is 140F, will this retrofit work? If not, what can be done to make it
work?

4-09. Consider the system in Example 4-5. What air flow rate from the dual duct hot deck
and the cold deck will produce a net cooling effect of 100,000 Btu/h? A net heating
effect of 100,000 Btu/h? In the VAV system, what is the percent fan power reduc-
tion when air flow is reduced 20%?

Question Sheet Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems


4: 6

4-10. What are the two most serious reasons not to use induction units in a companys
conference room?

4-11. Building codes require that combustion appliances have outdoor air openings for
combustion. What could happen if the openings were omitted or covered up? Is that
a serious problem?

Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems Question Sheet


4: 7

4-12. A heat pump has a COP of 3.2, a capacity of 70,000 Btu/h, and electricity costs of
$0.06/kWh. How much does it cost to run this unit for one hour?

4-13. How does a geothermal heat pump increase its COP over an air source unit? What
would be a good year-round entering water temperature for a heat pump that must
both heat and cool?

Question Sheet Chapter 4 Commercial Heating Systems


5: 1

Skill Development Exercises for Chapter 5

Name

Company/Department

Address

City State Zip

Telephone Fax

Student Number

5-01. An automotive assembly plant has 1 million ft2 under roof and is heated. $2.50 per
ft2 per year is spent for heating the plant. It has 2,000 employees in the assembly
area and produces 480 cars per day, five days a week. The employees earn $18 per
hour, including fringe benefits, and the cars cost on average $22,000 each. Express
the annual space conditioning costs as a percent of the annual wages and as a per-
cent of the annual product value.

Question Sheet Chapter 5 Industrial Heating Systems


5: 2

5-02. Licensed boiler operators are often required at all times for large boilers above cer-
tain sizes. How do you think these annual operator costs would compare to typical
operator requirements for smaller boilers in 10 buildings of 30,000 ft2 each?

5-03. Name two major negative aspects of buried steam piping networks.

Chapter 5 Industrial Heating Systems Question Sheet


5: 3

5-04. Would fiberglass pipe insulation with a thin aluminum covering be appropriate for
insulating a buried steam line? If not, explain why not.

5-05. How many gpm of hot water would be needed to provide the equivalent heating
capacity provided by 100 pounds per hour of 15 psig steam? Consider the hot water
to undergo a 50F drop in the terminal unit.

Question Sheet Chapter 5 Industrial Heating Systems


5: 4

5-06. An industrial plant requires 20,000 cfm of outdoor air on a constant basis for venti-
lation. Estimate the energy savings during the month of January from a 70% effi-
cient heat wheel. During the month, assume the average outdoor air temperature is
30F. An 80% efficient boiler burning $5 per million Btu gas is the heating system
in the plant.

5-07. A 500 hp engine is used in a small cogeneration system. Estimate the minimum heat
output in Btu/h from the cooling jacket water using Figure 5-7.

Chapter 5 Industrial Heating Systems Question Sheet


6: 1

Skill Development Exercises for Chapter 6

Name

Company/Department

Address

City State Zip

Telephone Fax

Student Number

6-01. What is the most common type of heating system in new houses built in the United
States? Give two reasons why this type of system is so popular.

Question Sheet Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


6: 2

6-02. Name five parameters that influence the operating cost of gas-fired heating systems.
What does the acronym AFUE stand for and what does it mean? Give two situations
when electric heat pumps would be installed rather than gas furnaces. Does the
operating efficiency of a heating system impact the total annual heating cost more in
a new house than in one that is 40 years old? Explain.

6-03. Why are there no gas furnaces available with AFUE ratings of 86%? What did
NAECA do to impact the sale of heating systems in the United States? Which are
usually more efficient, natural draft furnaces or mechanical draft furnaces? Why?

Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems Question Sheet


6: 3

6-04. An 80% efficient gas furnace is to be installed in a 100-year-old house with a brick
chimney. The old standing pilot furnace was connected to the brick chimney and the
contractor plans to use the same connection. What could go wrong with this ar-
rangement?

6-05. Is accurate matching of a gas furnace to the building design heating load critical for
efficient operation? How about load matching for heat pump systems? What is the
sizing criteria for gas furnaces and what is the criteria for heat pumps?

Question Sheet Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


6: 4

6-06. What does the acronym HSPF stand for and what does it mean? What is the NAECA
minimum HSPF for heat pumps sold in the United States? Name two other types of
heat pumps different than the conventional air-source type. What is a dual fuel sys-
tem?

6-07. Is it important to seal return ducts or is it acceptable to just seal the supply ducts?
How can a leak from a supply duct in your attic cause radon to be pulled into your
house? What is a major drawback to fibrous glass insulation duct lining? Does it
make any difference where ducts are located, whether indoors or in unconditioned
spaces? Explain.

Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems Question Sheet


6: 5

6-08. Are gas-fired hot water boilers generally more efficient than gas furnaces? Are there
more mechanical draft boilers than natural draft boilers? When does it make good
economic sense to use a hydronic system in a house?

6-09. Give three advantages to radiant heating systems. Do radiant floors or radiant ceil-
ings give off more heat for the same surface temperature? How do surface finishes
of radiant floors or ceilings impact their heating performance? Should a radiant
floor be insulated? If so, where and why?

Question Sheet Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


6: 6

6-10. Which is the best type of solar collector, a water type or an air type? Explain. If you
cannot mount a flat plate collector exactly facing south, but are within about 20 of
south, would it make any difference in collector performance? Are rock bed storage
systems best for water type collectors or air type collectors?

6-11. Are passive solar energy systems more expensive than active solar energy systems?
How do passive solar energy houses control sunlight in the summer months? How
do these houses prevent mid-day temperature spikes on sunny days? What is the
best type of temperature control for an attached passive solar sunroom?

Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems Question Sheet


6: 7

6-12. Give two reasons why central all-air systems are seldom used in multifamily hous-
ing. Why do water loop heat pump systems need a boiler and cooling tower? Are
packaged terminal units appropriate for large multifamily dwelling units? Why or
why not? What is a primary reason that individual gas furnaces are not used more in
multifamily buildings?

Question Sheet Chapter 6 Residential Heating Systems


7: 1

Skill Development Exercises for Chapter 7

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7-01. A house has a design heating load of 57,000 Btu/h at an outdoor temperature of -4F
where the heating degree-days are 8,400 per year. Compare the estimated annual
heating costs of a propane furnace with an AFUE rating of 78, with propane costing
$1.20 per gallon, to an electric heat pump with an HSPF of 6.8 and electric costs of
$0.075/kWh.

Question Sheet Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


7: 2

7-02. The house in Exercise 7-01 is very well insulated and has a number of south-facing
windows to let in solar energy. Its balance temperature is typically about 50F. The
degree-days at that base temperature are 6,600 per year. What is the difference in
operating costs for the propane furnace of Exercise 7-01 using the modified degree-
day method?

7-03. The house in Exercise 7-01 has a 4-ton heat pump that consumes on average about
3.5 kW of electrical power. If the heating load hours for this location is 3,700 hours,
estimate the annual cost for the heat pump system.

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Question Sheet


7: 3

7-04. Perform a bin analysis for the house in Exercise 7-01 when it is located in Louis-
ville, Kentucky, where the design temperature is taken to be +2F. Use the heat
pump performance data from Figure 7-5. Estimate how many hours per year that
backup resistance heat is needed and the number of kWh per year that these heaters
consume. From these figures, estimate the diversified demand from the electric re-
sistance backup heaters.

7-05. Give three reasons why an hour-by-hour energy analysis may not be appropriate as
part of sizing a heating system for a house.

Question Sheet Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations


7: 4

7-06. Perform a simple payback analysis with the data from Exercise 7-01 where the pro-
pane furnace costs $1,200 to install and the heat pump costs $2,800. What would be
the approximate return on your investment if you put your extra money into the heat
pump rather than the propane furnace? Is this a valid comparison?

7-07. The systems of Exercise 7-01 will have very different maintenance requirements. It
is estimated that the propane furnace will need only $40 per year while the heat
pump will require $125 per year in maintenance costs. Neglecting tax issues and
scrap value, what are the lifecycle costs for 15-year lives for the two heating sys-
tems when their first-costs are those given in Exercise 7-06. Use a discount rate of
8%. Do the relative results change when you use a discount rate of 7% or 10%?

Chapter 7 Heating Cost Calculations Question Sheet


8: 1

Skill Development Exercises for Chapter 8

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8-01. What are two major differences between a code and a standard?

Question Sheet Chapter 8 Codes and Standards


8: 2

8-02. What is the primary objective of a safety code?

8-03. What are two methods for specifying outdoor air quantities using Standard 62-1989?
Which option is most frequently used and why?

Chapter 8 Codes and Standards Question Sheet


8: 3

8-04. What are the factors that influence human thermal comfort? Which of these are
controlled by the HVAC system?

8-05. Why was there a need to update Standard 15 ahead of its regular revision schedule?

Question Sheet Chapter 8 Codes and Standards


8: 4

8-06. What aspects of building construction are affected by Standard 90.1? List several
reasons why it would be a controversial standard.

8-07. Standards 90.1 and 90.2 offer the user an option of a prescriptive or a performance-
based compliance procedure. Which is most commonly used and why? What would
be involved in the performance-based compliance method?

Chapter 8 Codes and Standards Question Sheet


8: 5

8-08. Would Standard 37 be used by homeowners to measure the performance of heating


or cooling units after installation in their homes? Does this standard produce annual
efficiency performance ratings that account for cycling and other transient effects?

Question Sheet Chapter 8 Codes and Standards


9: 1

Skill Development Exercises for Chapter 9

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9-01. In a normal building construction project, what is the role of the architect relative to
the engineer and the general contractor? During what phase of the project do each of
these become involved?

Question Sheet Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance


9: 2

9-02. Although commissioning is much more than just system startup, the proper opera-
tion of the system is obviously an important component of the commissioning pro-
cess. What measurements of a central all-air system would be required to determine
proper operation?

9-03. Who should be on the commissioning team? What is the role of the commissioning
authority in the process?

Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance Question Sheet


9: 3

9-04. Consider an office building housing a tax accounting firm of 250 employees. The
average salary of all employees is $40,000 per year. The building uses a water tube
boiler and reciprocating chiller with a 4-pipe fan coil arrangement. If the building
space is about 200 ft2 per employee, estimate the annual maintenance cost per year
from data in Chapter 7 and compare this estimate to the annual payroll for the
buildings employees.

9-05. Name three routine building maintenance activities of which you are aware that
would have a direct impact on the building IAQ.

Question Sheet Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance


9: 4

9-06. Consider the building in Exercise 9-04. Assume it cost $100/ft2 to construct and that
the HVAC systems were 10% of the total construction costs. Suppose the annual
maintenance costs that you computed in Exercise 9-04 can be reduced by 10% by
reducing the frequency of preventive maintenance procedures. However, this re-
duced maintenance schedule has the effect of reducing the life of the HVAC system
by one year, from 25 years to 24 years. Ignoring the impact on IAQ and comfort
issues, how does the 24 years of reduced maintenance costs compare to the pro-rata
costs associated with the one-year reduction in system life? For this problem, use
simple totals for recurring costs without taking into account the time value of money.

Chapter 9 Building Commissioning and Maintenance Question Sheet


ASHRAE LEARNING INSTITUTE
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Course Title: _Fundamentals of Heating Systems (I-P)______________

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below. (1 = strongly agree, 5 = strongly disagree, 3 = undecided)

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Return to: ASHRAE, Education Department, 1791 Tullie Circle NE, Atlanta, GA 30329
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Product Code: 98039 6/13 ISBN 978-1-931862-31-8


Errata noted in the list dated 12/15/11 have been corrected.

covers.indd 2 6/10/2013 9:57:51 AM