Practice PE Exam HVAC Breadth and Depth

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Practice PE Exam HVAC Breadth and Depth

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The following is a practice PE exam for the HVAC Breadth part of the PE test. I chose not to

make this a multiple choice format. One the individual answer page I will show you the worked

out problem and you can deride if you got the correct solution. The reason I did this is when you

are looking on charts for number or multiplying by numbers that may have been rounded off

your answer can vary. The way I see things is that if you can get the problem done correctly. This

test should take 1 hour

Question 1

A mechanical room has (2) 47 kilowatt electric water heaters and (1) 3000 MBTUH natural draft

gas fired boiler. You are looking to use the one permanent opening method for the combustion air

opening. What area should the combustion air opening be?

Question 2

A water cooled chiller uses R-134a as a refrigerant. The refrigerant flow rate through the

condenser is 100,000 lbm/hr with the entering pressure of 100 PSIA and leaves the condenser at

a temperature of 80 F and is a saturated liquid. The refrigerant then passes through the

evaporator and leaves as a gas at 10 F . Water from a cooling tower is used to absorb the heat

given off by the condenser. The cooling tower water enters the condenser at 75 F and leaves at

98 F.The Coefficient of Performance for this chiller is 4.0. What is the flow rate in gpm of the

cooling tower water?

Question 3

A client is asking to use a solar energy collector to collect energy for a solar powered pump. The

solar panels have an overall efficiency of 12%. The pump will be used to pump 15 gpm of water

out of a groundwater well that has been dug to a depth of 200 feet. The overall efficiency of the

pump is 65%. The water that is being drawn up from the groundwater well is 80 degree

Fahrenheit. The local solar radiation for the area is about 15 watts / ft^2

A pressure lose calculation on the piping is done and it is determined that the fittings will add 30

feet of head.

How much area of solar array would be required to power this pump

Question 4

An air handler has a 2 1/2 diameter chilled water branch piping that supplies water to a 72 x

48 cooling coil that has 5/8 copper tubes. The return air enters the coil at 100 F. The air is then

cooled to 60 F. For this particular coil the maximum allowable face velocity across the cooling

coil is 450 fpm. If the sensible heat ratio for this coil was given as 0.87. What is the total cooling

load on the cooling coil?

Question 5

You have been asked to evaluate two chillers using the coefficient of performance. Both chillers

are about the same tonnage and your client would like to use the more efficient chiller.

Chiller #1

Entering Temperature 58 F

Chiller #2

Entering Temperature 58 F

Question 6

An air handler has 15,000 cfm of air passing through the coiling coil. The velocity across the

face of the cooling coil has a maximum velocity of 500 fpm. The air then passes through the fan

inlet section of the air handling unit and then passes into a 18 diameter plug fan. If a pressure

sensor records a pressure of -3.0 inches immediately downstream of the cooling coil, what is the

pressure when the air enters the plug fan?

Question 7

The design conditions for a dining room at a public school are 75 F dry bulb and 62.5 F wet

bulb. Using ASHRAE 62.4 to calculate the outdoor air requirement, it was calculated that the

ventilation requirement for the dining room would be 1,400 cfm. The temperature outside has a

maximum range of 95 F dry bulb and 81 F wet bulb. What is the ventilation load the cooling

coil will see from the outside air?

Question 8

A fuel depot at the airport has (3) 75 horsepower pumps that can each deliver 500 gpm of jet fuel

to the holding tanks. All three pumps operate at 65% efficiency. The total dynamic head needed

for each pump is 400 feet

The fuel depot is getting ready to be retrofitted. Your boss wants to know; what is the maximum

throughput you can attain with the current pumps.

Question 9

An architect has asked you to get an estimate of the fuel that would be needed to heat an exterior

wall per year. The wall has an area of 150 square feet. The thermal conductivity of the wall is

0.08 BTU/(ft^2 * h *F ). During the heating season this wall will see about 3200 degree days.

What is the total amount of heat lost in a year

Question 10

A 20 ton air conditioning unit has an average electrical load of 30 Kw. What is the EER rating?

Practice Exam #1

For a complete list of the questions please go to the HVAC Practice Exam #1 Page

Problem 1

The area needed is 1000 square inches

Solution for HVAC Question #1

Combustion Air Opening

Problem #1

A mechanical room has (2) 47 kilowatt electric water heaters and (1) 3000 MBTUH natural draft

gas fired boiler. You are looking to use the one permanent opening method for the combustion air

opening. What area should the combustion air opening be?

Answer

To solve this question you need to be familiar with the National Fire Protection Associations

Codes (NFPA) The requirements for combustion air openings are dictated in NFPA 54.

Per the 2009 Edition of NFPA 54 Section 9.3.3.2

You will need 1 in2 of open area for each 3000 BTUH. Also pay attention to the difference

between MBTUH, which you may be given, and BTUH which is what is needed for he

conversion.

For reference 1 MBTUH is equal to 1000 BTUH

Since the water heaters are electric they will not require any extra combustion air.

To meet NFPA standards you would need a combustion air opening of at least 1,000 square

inches or 7 square feet

Problem 2

The mass flow rate of water to the cooling tower is 590 gpm

Solution for HVAC Question #2

Flow Rate Through the Condenser

Problem

A water cooled chiller uses R-134a as a refrigerant. The refrigerant flow rate through the

condenser is 100,000 lbm/hr with the entering pressure of 100 PSIA and leaves the condenser at

a temperature of 80 F and is a saturated liquid. The refrigerant then passes through the

evaporator and leaves as a gas at 10 F . Water from a cooling tower is used to absorb the heat

given off by the condenser. The cooling tower water enters the condenser at 75 F and leaves at

98 F.The Coefficient of Performance for this chiller is 4.0. What is the flow rate in gpm of the

cooling tower water?

Solution

This problem requires a little bit of knowledge about the Vapor Compression Refrigeration

Cycle. The way I find that is easiest to solve these is to set up a table for the set points you have

been given. This way you can see which points you are missing still. I have created a vapor

compression refrigeration cycle cheat sheet to help

To find the flow rate of the condenser water we need to find the total heat rejected to the

condenser water which is the sum of the refrigeration and work done by the pump.

Since we only have the COP we will stat by calculating the heat absorbed by the evaporator by

using the following equations.

The problem states that the refrigerant passes through the evaporator at 10 F and leaves as a

gas, the enthalpy for h1 can be found.

h1 = 168.06 btu/lbm

The next clue we have is that the refrigerant leaves the condenser as a liquid at 80 F. Since the

refrigerant is not sub-cooled we can find the pressure. The evaporation process is isothermal so

with the pressure and temperature we can find the enthalpy for h4

h4 = 101.88 btu/lbm

The mass flow rate is given in the problem.

Next step is to find the work done by he compressor, which can be done 2 different ways

Now that we know what the heat in (Qin) and work in (Win) are we can find the heat out (Qout)

Now that we know the heat that would be absorbed by the cooling tower water we can find the

volumetric flow rate by using the following equation

Now to convert from cubic feet per hour to gallons per minute

The mass flow rate of water to the cooling tower is 719 gpm

Problem 3

So in order to run the 1.34 horsepower pump you would need 556 square feet of solar collectors.

Solution for HVAC Question #3

Solar Powered Pump

Problem

A client is asking to use a solar energy collector to collect energy for a solar powered pump. The

solar panels have an overall efficiency of 12%. The pump will be used to pump 15 gpm of water

out of a groundwater well that has been dug to a depth of 200 feet. The overall efficiency of the

pump is 65%. The water that is being drawn up from the groundwater well is 80 degree

Fahrenheit. The local solar radiation for the area is about 15 watts / ft^2

A pressure lose calculation on the piping is done and it is determined that the fittings will add 30

feet of head.

How much area of solar array would be required to power this pump

Solution

First you need to find out how much power will be needed to deliver the water

The problem gives the efficiency of the pump as well as the total dynamic head needed.

Now that the horsepower of the motor is known, we need to find out how much energy is going

to be required to power the pump

The pump would require 1000 watts to run. Now to size the energy collector

So in order to run the 1.34 horsepower pump you would need 556 square feet of solar collectors.

Problem 4

The total load seen by the coil is 536 MBTUH

Solution for HVAC Question #4

Sensible Heat Ratio

Problem

An air handler has a 2 1/2 diameter chilled water branch piping that supplies water to a 72 x

48 cooling coil that has 5/8 copper tubes. The return air enters the coil at 100 F. The air is then

cooled to 60 F. For this particular coil the maximum allowable face velocity across the cooling

coil is 450 fpm

The sensible heat ratio for this coil was given as 0.87.

What is the total cooling load on the cooling coil?

Solution

Sine this problem has no dehumidification or humidification we can solve the problem using the

sensible heat ratio (SHR).

The sensible heat ratio is the percentage of sensible heat divided by the total heat load.

From what the problem tells us, we can get the sensible load, which is the cooling load across the

coil,

With the volumetric flow rate know we can solve for the sensible load

Now we can use the SHR and the sensible load to determine the total heat load

Problem 5

Chiller #2 has the lowest COP with 11.7. Whereas chiller #1 has a COP of 11.9. Chiller 1 is the

better chiller.

Solution for HVAC Question #5

Calculating the Coefficient of Performance for a Chiller

Problem

You have been asked to evaluate two chillers using the coefficient of performance. Both chillers

are about the same tonnage and your client would like to use the more efficient chiller.

Chiller #1

Entering Temperature 58 F

Chiller #2

Entering Temperature 58 F

Solution

To solve this problem we need to calculate the theoretical coefficient of performance (COP) for

each chiller.

First we need to find out how much heat is absorbed, by using the following equation

The problem does give the work in, just in tons instead of btuh, so we use the next equation to

convert everything to the same units

Chiller #1

Chiller #2

Chiller #2 has the greater flow rate which gives the lowest COP with 11.7. Whereas chiller #1

greater range of temperature but only has a COP of 11.9. Chiller #1 is the best choice

Problem #6

The pressure near the inlet fan is -7.5 inches of water

Solution for HVAC Question #6

Using Bernoullis Equation to Find Pressure

Problem

An air handler has 15,000 cfm of air passing through the coiling coil. The velocity across the

face of the cooling coil has a maximum velocity of 500 fpm. The air then passes through the fan

inlet section of the air handling unit and then passes into a 18 diameter plug fan. If a pressure

sensor records a pressure of -3.0 inches immediately downstream of the cooling coil, what is the

pressure when the air enters the plug fan?

Solution

In order to solve this problem we need to look at Bernoullis Equation

v = Velocity

p = Pressure

g = Gravity

Since the air is traveling at the same height Z1 = Z2

P1 is given in the problem statement as -3 inches

v1 is given as 500 fpm

v2 is not given, but can be calculated by finding the volumetric flow rate.

Next we solve for P2. When working this problem it is helpful to write out the units. The velocity

is in minutes, while gravity is in seconds. One will need to be converted. In this problem we are

going to convert everything to seconds.

Last item left to deal with is the specific weight. The problem is asking for the answer in inches

of water, but we have been using air in the problem. The converting is done by dividing by the

density of air then multiplying by the density of water. Then divide by 12 inches per foot.

Here is what the problem looks like when it is completely laid out

Problem #7

The ventilation load is 134,820 btu per hour or about 11.3 tons

Solution for HVAC Question #7

Using Enthalpy to Calculate Ventilation Load

Problem

The design conditions for a dining room at a public school are 75 F dry bulb and 62.5 F wet

bulb. Using ASHRAE 62.4 to calculate the outdoor air requirement, it was calculated that the

ventilation requirement for the dining room would be 1,400 cfm. The temperature outside has a

maximum range of 95 F dry bulb and 81 F wet bulb. What is the ventilation load the cooling

coil will see from the outside air?

Solution

This problem can be solved by using enthalpy. The ventilation load can be calculated by by

using the difference between the enthalpy of the leaving air and enthalpy of the entering airs.

You will also need to convert the entering air speed from feet per minute to feet per hour. This is

done by multiplying the air speed by 60

h1 is the enthalpy of the air leaving the cooling coil, which is 23.1 btu/lb

V is 1400 cfm

is the average density is 0.075 lbm/ft3

The ventilation load is 134,820 btu per hour or about 11.3 tons

Problem #8

The gpm per pump is 528 or 1584 gpm for all pumps

Solution for HVAC Question #8

Pumping Jet Fuel

Problem

A fuel depot at the airport has (3) 75 horsepower pumps that can each deliver 500 gpm of jet fuel

to the holding tanks. All three pumps operate at 65% efficiency. The total dynamic head needed

for each pump is 400 feet

The fuel depot is getting ready to be retrofitted. Your boss wants to know; what is the maximum

throughput you can attain with the current pumps.

Solutions

This question will require 2 different equations to solve. The first equation is to find out the

actual horsepower, the horsepower listed in the problem is for a nominal motor. The second

equation is one of the pump laws which will give the maximum flow rate.

The specific gravity of jet fuel is 0.82

The motor efficiency is 0.65

The flow rate is 500 gpm

The next size up motor would be a 75 hp motor

Now using the pump affinity laws, we can see there is a relation to the flow rate and the speed at

which the impeller turns

Also using the pump law we can see that there is a relation to the flow rate of a pump and the

power required for the pump.

Inputting the data that was calculated form the earlier equations

Solving for Q1 gives us a flow rate of 528 gpm of jet fuel per pump

Using the 3 exisiting pumps you will be pumping jet fuel at a combined rate of 1584 gpm which

is about 528 gpm per pump

Problem #9

The total amount of heat lost per year on the wall is 9.216,000 btu per year

Solution for HVAC Question #9

Heating Degree Days

Problem

An architect has asked you to get an estimate of the fuel that would be needed to heat an exterior

wall per year. The wall has an area of 150 square feet. The thermal conductivity of the wall is

0.08 BTU/(ft^2 * h *F ). During the heating season this wall will see about 3200 degree days.

What is the total amount of heat lost in a year

Solution

Heating degree days are used to get an estimate of the fuel that will be needed for an area for a

year. Heating degree days are determined by taking the average of the lowest and highest

temperature for a day. If the average is lower than 65 degrees Fahrenheit it is considered to be a

heating degree day. If the temperature is higher than 65 degrees Fahrenheit then it is a cooling

degree day.

U is the thermal conductivity

The total amount of heat lost per year on the wall is 921,600 btu per year

Problem #10

EER Rating = 8

Solution for HVAC Question #10

Problem

A 20 ton air conditioning unit has an average electrical load of 30 Kw. What is the EER rating?

Solution

The Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) is a standard measure of air conditioning efficiency during a

normal annual cooling hour

EER = BTU of Cooling / Watt Hours of Electric Energy Input

1 Ton = 12,000 BTUH

EER Rating = 8

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