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Technical Development Program

Technical Development Programs (TDP) are modules of technical training on HVAC theory,
system design, equipment selection and application topics. They are targeted at engineers and
designers who wish to develop their knowledge in this field to effectively design, specify, sell or
apply HVAC equipment in commercial applications.
Although TDP topics have been developed as stand-alone modules, there are logical group-
ings of topics. The modules within each group begin at an introductory level and progress to ad-
vanced levels. The breadth of this offering allows for customization into a complete HVAC cur-
riculum from a complete HVAC design course at an introductory-level or to an advanced-level
design course. Advanced-level modules assume prerequisite knowledge and do not review basic

VVT is an economical, all-air zoned system that is ideal for many commercial jobs, espe-
cially at a time when there is so much design emphasis being placed on high-quality air treatment,
outdoor air ventilation, and room air circulation. VVT systems are a popular solution for heating
and cooling multiple zone applications in small to medium size buildings. VVT controls typically
are supplied pre-packaged from the HVAC equipment supplier and are ready to install by the me-
chanical contractor. Many manufacturers offer VVT-type systems. These systems are highly de-
pendent on the control hardware and software used. This TDP uses the Carrier VVT system for
all examples. The objective of this module is to define VVT, identify applications, compare it to
alternative systems, and describe how it achieves zone temperature control.

2004 Carrier Corporation. All rights reserved.

The information in this manual is offered as a general guide for the use of industry and consulting engineers in designing sys-
tems. Judgment is required for application of this information to specific installations and design applications. Carrier is not re-
sponsible for any uses made of this information and assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any resulting
system design.
The information in this publication is subject to change without notice. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmit-
ted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without the express written permission of Carrier

Printed in Syracuse, NY
Carrier Parkway
Syracuse, NY 13221, U.S.A.
Table of Contents

Introduction...................................................................................................................................... 1
The VVT System ............................................................................................................................. 4
VVT is Variable Volume ............................................................................................................. 6
VVT is Variable Temperature ..................................................................................................... 6
What is Zoning?............................................................................................................................... 7
Types of VVT Jobs .......................................................................................................................... 8
Jobs at 25 Tons or Less................................................................................................................ 8
Jobs Larger than 25 Tons............................................................................................................. 9
Retrofitting Existing Systems with VVT ................................................................................... 10
VVT versus Other Systems............................................................................................................ 13
VVT Advantages ....................................................................................................................... 14
VAV System Comparisons ........................................................................................................ 16
VVT versus Multiple Units........................................................................................................ 18
Zoning the Building for VVT ........................................................................................................ 19
Basic Sequence of Operation ......................................................................................................... 22
Linkage ...................................................................................................................................... 23
Pressure Dependent (PD) versus Pressure Independent (PI) ..................................................... 23
Call for Heat/Cool and Equipment Mode .................................................................................. 24
System Changeover ................................................................................................................... 25
Selecting Zone Priority - Reference Zone.................................................................................. 26
Fan Sequence of Operation........................................................................................................ 26
VVT Air Distribution System Design............................................................................................ 27
Sealing VVT Ducts .................................................................................................................... 30
Dampers ..................................................................................................................................... 31
Round Dampers ..................................................................................................................... 32
Rectangular Dampers............................................................................................................. 32
Bypass System Layout............................................................................................................... 32
Bypass Components............................................................................................................... 33
Functionality .......................................................................................................................... 33
Layout .................................................................................................................................... 34
Damper Sizing ....................................................................................................................... 36
Diffuser Layout.......................................................................................................................... 37
Control System Details .................................................................................................................. 40
Linkage Coordinator versus Standard Zone Controllers............................................................ 40
Bypass Controller ...................................................................................................................... 41
The System Pilot........................................................................................................................ 41
Space Sensor Locations and Options......................................................................................... 42
Combined Space Temperature and CO2 Sensing....................................................................... 43
Humidity Sensor ........................................................................................................................ 43
Zone Sensor Averaging.............................................................................................................. 43
Outside Air Temperature Sensor ............................................................................................... 43
Zone Level Demand Controlled Ventilation (DCV).................................................................. 44
Zoning Systems with DCV .................................................................................................... 44
Wiring and Power Requirements ........................................................................................... 45
System Options ...................................................................................................................... 45
Supplemental and Perimeter Heat.................................................................................................. 46
Summary ........................................................................................................................................49
Work Session .................................................................................................................................50
Designer Checklist .....................................................................................................................52
Engineering Design Steps ......................................................................................................52
Installation Notes for Contractors ..............................................................................................54
VVT Installation Start-up Request Checklist.............................................................................56
Work Session Answers ..............................................................................................................58

VVT (variable volume and temperature) is an economical, all-air zoned system that is ideal
for many commercial jobs, especially at a time when there is so much design emphasis being
placed on high quality air treatment, outdoor air ventilation, and room air circulation. When a
single heating/cooling unit is used, VVT works well for systems up to about 25 tons of total cool-
ing capacity. Multiple systems make its application practical for much larger jobs.
This module defines VVT and describes how it achieves zone temperature control. Applica-
tions for the system will be identified and VVT will be compared with alternative systems. Since
the operation of the VVT system is under the direction of a complete, factory-packaged DDC
(direct digital control) control system, various pre-programmed, operational sequences will be
described so that the way it works will be clear. Guidelines for VVT system design are given so
that the designer may focus on some of the unique aspects of the system.
Air conditioning design is all about solving building comfort needs to satisfy the occupants of
that building. One of the buildings we will use to illustrate zoning and the use of VVT is this
manufacturing office, which is a 60 x 100 single-story commercial construction attached to a
small, air-conditioned elec-
tronics manufacturing and
assembly factory. This is
an owner-occupied office
with relatively permanent
partition arrangement and
an expectation for a rea-
sonably good level of com-
fort. Occupants will be ex-
posed to the indoor envi-
ronment for long periods of
time, so their comfort ex-
pectation will tend to be
high. In addition, they are
sedentary, for the most
part, which increases their
sensitivity to variations in Figure 1
temperature, air distribu- Manufacturing Office Example Building
tion and air stratification.

Commercial HVAC Systems


Figure 2
60 x 100 Manufacturing Office VVT System Layout

Commercial HVAC Systems


The task of the air-conditioning system is to maintain comfort in the building by simultane-
ously controlling space temperature, humidity, air motion, air purity, air quality, and mean radiant
temperature. In our case, the system will be a VVT system. The layout shown in Figure 2 in-
cludes many details for a real design. In a sense, this is your map for the information that is
coming. It will help you to focus on the area of the system being addressed in virtually every por-
tion of this module.
Take a few minutes to look the layout over, reading the designers system comments, which
describe the VVT system designed for this job.
For this VVT system, a single heating/cooling, constant volume packaged rooftop unit pro-
vides central heating or cooling capacity to the VVT boxes. Each box modulates its volume con-
trol damper in response to the zone thermostat or sensor. Air not used by the zones is bypassed
into the return air ceiling plenum. Thus, the zone airflow is variable but the rooftop airflow is
relatively constant. This permits the use of standard constant volume equipment. Each box has a
user-defined minimum cfm setting to ensure adequate room air circulation and outdoor air venti-
lation in the zone regardless of zone load reduction. Typical minimum airflow settings vary from
about 10 to 30 percent of design flow and are subject to local codes.
The VVT system is designed to provide all cooling capacity centrally and as much central
heating as possible. When all zones require some degree of cooling, the unit remains in the cool-
ing mode. When all zones require some degree of heating, the unit remains in the heating mode.
However, when both heating and cooling loads occur at the same time, it becomes a time-share
system. That is, its electronic controls determine the greatest need (heating or cooling) and they
first satisfy that mode centrally. Then, once satisfied, it switches over to the opposite mode. The
system can continue switching over from central cooling to central heating, back and forth, to
satisfy all zones; thus, the concept of capacity time sharing.
Because zone 7 (interior zone) requires year-round cooling whenever occupied and lighted,
the unit will need to remain in the cooling mode during most of its occupied cycle. Therefore, all
perimeter zone damper units are equipped with a hot water supplementary heater. Electric heaters
may be used instead. The supplementary heaters will pick up any zone heating load during the
occupied cycle of operation if the central unit is in the cooling mode. The supplementary heaters
will be off if the central unit is in the heating mode. The supplementary heaters are deactivated
during the unoccupied cycle in both the heating and cooling modes. If a separate system is in-
stalled in the zone with an unusual load pattern (zone 7), the energy efficiency of the system will
be enhanced at the expense of a more costly installation.
Linear slot diffusers are used to keep cold primary air up on the ceiling at the reduced airflow
occurring at partial cooling load. Conventional concentric, perforated, or curved-blade diffusers
will create dumping of cold supply air on the occupants, causing poor room air mixing and tem-
perature sensing, with the associated customer complaints. Director linear diffusers are used
around the perimeter to enhance overhead heating. They contain a heat-sensitive element to
change the direction of air diffusion to one-way when warm air is being delivered. That way,
warm supply air washes the outside wall, as it should. Conventional, low-velocity, low-pressure
sheet metal ductwork is used. It has a 1-in. duct wrap. Pre-insulated flex duct is used for limited
lengths to make diffuser connections. All diffuser runouts include a round butterfly balancing
damper. Observe local code limitations on flex duct use. The VVT boxes are sized to match the
ductwork for ease of installation and fewest fittings.

Commercial HVAC Systems


The building occupants have comfort needs that the system is designed to solve. The system
components provide heat transfer, filtration, ventilation, and air circulation capacity necessary to
control the comfort conditions, like air temperature, humidity, cleanliness and distribution in the
building spaces. In this
module, we will refer to
the central equipment as
the packaged air handler;
air source; HVAC equip-
ment; packaged unit, or
rooftop unit.
Even though VVT
systems typically use
packaged rooftop units for
their central air source and
heating/cooling capacity,
VVT can also be applied
to a split system with a
packaged air handler. The
VPAC (vertical packaged
air conditioner) is another Figure 3
good air source for VVT, VVT can be used with all types of heating-cooling equipment.
since it tends to be applied
floor-by-floor for renovating existing buildings, where some zoning would be welcome. In es-
sence, the VPAC is the indoor version of the rooftop unit, since it is a self-contained packaged air
handler with all refrigeration cycle components included in one factory-assembled package. The
only thing needed for the VPAC is a cooling tower to reject heat from the water leaving the wa-
ter-cooled condenser at each unit. Air-cooled versions are also available, which reject condenser
heat locally, through a wall, window, or by using a remote air-cooled condenser.

The VVT System

VVT stands for variable volume and temperature. VVT is provided with a complete factory-
packaged control system designed to provide multiple zones of temperature control using a low
cost, single zone, constant volume heating and cooling packaged rooftop unit, VPAC, or split sys-
tem. Packaged rooftop units (RTUs) are most often used.
In the past, some manufacturers marketed a dump-box zone terminal that sent supply air that
was not needed at the zone to the ceiling plenum return space. Systems using this kind of terminal
were called VAV bypass systems. Carrier developed VVT, which uses a bypass concept, but does
it at the air handler rather than at the space. It incorporates a complete, factory-designed DDC
control system for the entire system instead of merely using dump-box terminals. Today VVT can
be applied to air systems using either a ceiling return air plenum or a ducted return.

Commercial HVAC Systems


VVT systems are a popular solution for heating and cooling multiple zone applications in
small to medium size buildings. In addition to the central RTU, indoor package unit, or split sys-
tem, the VVT components include the air source unit controller, bypass system, zone dampers,
zone and bypass controllers, space sensors, and necessary safeties to protect the system. VVT
controls typically are supplied pre-packaged from the HVAC equipment supplier and are ready to
install by the mechanical contractor.


t :- l ::- BC

Return I SPP
~ r-------,,---~-~--, , - - - - - - - - - - , , - - - -----J
Air I

---~ i-icv :z15--------ic--,, -ZD______PIZC-,,_--~-_, z-15-------zc---,, z-15-------v'\

:: ; ZH r
CEILING I I : w ' w : Wi....---t"--r-V

\! CB RG swl/ s o ' RG 51 /so' RG SW! /so' RG

~SP/ZS <>zs <>zs <>zs

ASUC = Air Source Unit Controller RTU =
Roof Top Unit SPP =
Static Pressure Pickup
BC Bypass Controller ZD =
Zone Damper SW =
Sensor Wiring- Twisted, Shielded Pair
BO Bypass Damper SD = Supply Diffuser ZC = Zone Controller
CB Communication Bus - 3 Conductor Shielded RG =
Return Grille ZS =
Zone Sensor
EC Economizer Controller SP = System Pilot ZH =
Zone Heater
LC Linkage Coordinator
PIZC = Pressure - Independent Zone Controller

Figure 4
VVT System Schematic

When only heating or cooling capacity is needed, the system de-

livers the appropriate amount of air to the zones. Using a time-
sharing principle, when some zones need heat but others need cool-
ing, the central HVAC unit alternates between providing central cool-
ing and central heating . It satisfies the mode (heating or cooling) with
the greatest need then switches to the opposite mode to satisfy the
other zones. It does not provide a central source of cooling and heat-
ing capacity simultaneously.
The complete, pre-engineered control system, comprised of microprocessor-based controls,
electronic zone dampers and a bypass system allows the VVT system to deliver the appropriate
temperature and quantity of air to the zone from a central heating and cooling source.

_ _ _ _ _ _HVAC
___ Systems
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VVT is Variable Volume

VVT is called variable volume because it delivers a variable volume of either cold or hot
supply air to each zone as load dictates . However, it is important to remember that VVT uses a
constant volume packaged unit that must maintain a relatively constant airflow at all times. The
VVT system can track the load around the building, maintaining comfort and maintaining effi-
ciency. Modulating zone dampers, with factory or field-installed zone controllers, are used to ad-
just the volume of air delivered to each zone. Thus, the airflow sent to the individual zones varies
over time to meet the changing loads in the zones caused by differences in solar exposure, usage
or occupancy, and lighting patterns.
In addition, a bypass system is employed so that supply air, which is dampered down at the
zones, is mixed with return air to keep the air volume entering the packaged air handler relatively

VVT is Variable Temperature

VVT is called variable temperature because the temperature of the air supplied by the central
unit varies with time . Each zone gets the same temperature air at any point in time, but the tem-
perature of supply air varies over time. In the heating or cooling mode, as supply air mixes with
return air, the temperature entering the packaged unit
varies, causing the discharge air temperature to vary.
Since most constant volume units have limited steps of
capacity, the length of time the compressor is on will
vary depending on the number of zones and the volume
of airflow required for cooling. The same is true on
heating, since limited stages of gas heat or limited steps
of electric heat are provided. Therefore, supply air tem-
peratures can vary widely during light loading condi-

lf,Q+> Commercial HVAC Systems

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What is Zoning?
When the design of comfort air-conditioning systems for commercial buildings is considered,
the issue of temperature control zoning, or simply zoning, is sure to come up . A control zone is a
whole building, a group of rooms, a single room or part of a room controlled by its own thermo-
stat or temperature sensor (tstat/sensor). A zoned building is one that has more than one
tstat/sensor maintaining its temperature. A zoned system has more than one tstat/sensor control-
ling the areas it serves .
Zoned systems have a
central source of chilled air System
Cooling Medium
Basic System Types
Delivered to Zones
(all-air systems), chilled wa- Category
ter (all-water systems), or VVT (Variable Volume and Temperature)
VAV {Variable Air Volume)
chilled refrigerant (direct
All-Air Air Multi-Zone
refrigerant systems), distrib- Double-Duct
uted to several zones, each Terminal Reheat
with its own tstat/sensor. Air- All-Water Water
Chilled Water Fan Coil
Unit Ventilators
water systems distribute both
Duct-free split systems
chilled air and chilled water Direct
Refrigerant (Also called ductless, multisplit, multiplex,
from a central source to the and cassette)
zones to do the cooling. VVT Air-Water Air and Water
Conduit Induction
Supplementary Air Fan Coil
is an all-air zoned system.
Other all-air systems include Figure 5
VAY (variable air volume),
multizone, double-duct, and Zoned System Categories
terminal reheat. Please refer
to TDP-103, Concepts of Air
Conditioning for a complete
discussion on these systems.
Zoning is important in maintaining comfort conditions in air-conditioned buildings . However,
rather than using a zoned system, like VVT, many commercial buildings are zoned using multiple
constant volume, single zone systems, with a rooftop unit serving each zone. Tight construction
budgets are the primary reason for this trend.

Inadequate to assure individual comfort! In such cases, the packaged roof-

top unit will control the space it serves
based on the input it receives from one
tstat/sensor located somewhere in the
zone. Typically, comfort conditions
will prevail in the space where the
tstat/sensor is located. However, the
remaining areas of the zone may be too
hot or cold, resulting in occupant dis-

Figure 6
Problems with Constant Volum e, Single Zone Systems

_ _ _ _ _ _HVAC
___ Systems
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To overcome uncomfortable conditions, VVT provides additional control zones at minimal

additional cost. A tstat/sensor and VVT damper unit added to each room will help to provide
comfort to all occupants. This allows the same kind of constant volume, single zone equipment
to function on a zoned system without the additional equipment cost normally associated with a
zoned system air handler.
With WT, a single-zone heating/cooling HVAC unit supplies a zoned system.
Although zoning helps to ensure
comfort, it does not come without Typical Zone Sensor
cost. There is a tradeoff in zoning be-
tween customer comfort and installed
system cost. More zones provide im-
proved comfort for an additional cost.
It is important to evaluate the value of
comfort that is added by zoning and
the price the customer is willing to
pay for it. There is usually a middle
ground somewhere between inade-
quate zoning and ultimate zoning that
is acceptable.
Figure 7
rl. zoned system, like VVT, eliminates problems.

Types of VVT Jobs

Traditionally, VVT has been used on rooftops and split system units under 30 tons capacity.
The system is designed to provide a zoning solution in an equipment size range where other zon-
ing options just are not nonnally available. While the VVT system theoretically could be used on
larger units, a number of issues in their application should be considered. Items like bypass size
and control, or having large numbers of zones, some of which may have unique requirements,
will create significant design issues. Larger systems are better done with VA V units or by divid-
ing the space to use multiple smaller tonnage air source units using VVT. The system may also be
applied on small units under 5 ton, but the cost is not normally justified. The most common size
range for VVT systems is 71/z to 20 tons.
The Carrier VVT system can have up to 32 control zones on one air source unit. However, in
most applications the number of zones is far smaller. It could be as little as one zone for a spe-
cialized zone on a larger non-VVT system, but most often it is 5 to 16 zones on each air source
unit. Systems below five zones are not usually economically feasible and multiple air source units
may be a better solution. Having a large number of zones can also cause problems since it most
likely indicates that a wide range of load conditions must be met with one constant volume unit.
This approach greatly increases the chance that one zone will experience excessive temperature
fluctuations. Having 6 to 12 zones is usually a good arrangement.

Jobs at 25 Tons or Less

The vast majority of VVT applications are designed with HVAC equipment smaller than 25
tons with 3 to 15 ton systems being the most common. When the total installed tonnage for the
building does not exceed 25 tons, one packaged rooftop unit is the most common choice.

<t+M Commercial HVAC Systems

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Jobs Larger than 25 Tons

Since VVT is a time-sharing system, it is best to begin by dividing the building into large ar-
eas that have similar load characteristics, with a VVT packaged unit serving each. Then zone
each area served by a packaged unit
with VVT damper units, one per zone.
In this way, buildings requiring over E
400 tons of cooling capacity have 95'
been successfully air conditioned us-

1 -
ing VVT. 0
...... RTU1 : RTU2

(25 tons>; (25 tons)
(/) '-'--1
For instance, in this small strip 155' I Ii!'.--
shopping mall, the 95 ' x 155' rental
area on the north side should be con-
ditioned by two rooftops, each with RTU3 RTU4
around 25 tons cooling capacity, be-
+1 90'
(25 tons) (25 tons)
cause the area has a peak cooling load
N ~
of around 48 tons. The present stock
room could use a dedicated rooftop
unit; but, since this is rental property Figure 8
and future tenants may not continue Divide large spaces into HVAC unit areas.
using this floor space as a stock room,
two equally sized rooftops (RTUl and RTU2) will standardize the design and provide future
flexibility for tenant rearrangement. On the south, each rental space will require around 25 tons
total cooling capacity, so the pattern set on the north side is continued for the south in choosing
RTU3 and RTU4.
On larger buildings, when you are
striving to use systems 25 tons and N-1 : !
N-2 N-3 : N-4

under, break the building down into I ~-- -:----

---- - -:-- -- -
-- -

! ! .
95' .lo: Core 3 Core 5 pore 6
smaller areas by providing separate
. --- -- _,.___ --- ----
'-- -
' --'--
HVAC units for: 1Core 4
!Core 7 lcore
' '

Core versus perimeter areas 155'

East versus west perimeter areas

10:.i \; P.!~P.l~y _-:-:-:;.
with large glass exposure l !;
Areas of different occupancy
density and patterns
North versus south perimeter

with large glass areas

Top floor (with roof) versus in- Figure 9
termediate floor Now zone each area using VVT.

Areas occupied by different ten-

Separate large lighting zones
Areas with special exhaust requirements
Areas with special ventilation or other air quality standards

Commercial HVAC Systems

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Even though VVT can handle a diversity of load patterns, the designer's goal for a larger
building is to break it down into areas 25 tons or less, which stabilize VVT system operation by
minimizing load differences within each system.
Once the building has been divided into areas that can be conditioned by rooftops, indoor
package, or split systems; then zone each air source area by using VVT zone damper units. For
instance, the south store, supplied by RTU3 , was di-
vided into south and west perimeter zones to track so-
lar variances on those exposures. The display area
along the hallway is a separate zone because of its in-
tense lighting load. The core area is divided into 2
zones but could be handled by one. This layout re-
quires 5 zones, with a VVT damper unit in the supply
ductwork feeding each zone. Similar zoning work has
been done in the north rental area.

Retrofitting Existing Systems with VVT

The retrofit of existing HVAC systems with VVT system components has grown in popular-
ity. Generic system compatibility of DDC controls has improved so that the application of VVT
upgrade components has become easier than in times past.
For instance, the southeast corner
of the strip shopping mall was laid out II
on a modular basis for the smallest
rentable retail area, which is 70 ft x
40 ft (2800 sq ft). A 12Yz-ton constant
volume, single zone heating/ cooling
rooftop unit was installed to satisfy 70'
each zone . But, due to perimeter ver-
sus core load differences, as well as
varying lighting and usage patterns,
the new renter of the southeast mod-
ule, now a separate store, wants to add
Typical 12-% ton PAC-5000 cfin
Main ducts line sheet metal ..
zoning . This is no problem with the
Branch supply ducts insulated flex (16' round)
Supply diffusers= round ceiling (16")
Return glilles not shown .''
===I===-'-! --~~~~':!~g_c:_a~~i!:'..'.':~h-~~~~:~~-1v_c:_u:~[L
Ceiling cavity used as return air ptenum
flexibility ofVVT . _______ _l
As long as the existing unit is deemed Figure 10
reusable by the engineer, owner or
contractor, and is capable of deliver- Southeast Corner, as Originally Designed
ing required airflows and capacity to
the newly created zones, VVT retrofit
is an excellent approach.

Commercial HVAC Systems
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Specify manual, locking balancing 5-piece metal elbow

damper in each supply branch (typical) @diffuser (insulate outside)

All rectangular ducts

,_______.~galvanized sheet metal,
properly reinforced
Specify rectangular ducts and supported
with 1-in. acoustical
insulation RA

Typical 16-in. round

ceiling diffuser
Straight flex runs
Flex maximum positive and Conical sheet metal takeoff
negative static for runout connection and
pressure = 2.0 in.wg installation of balancing damper

Figure 11
Southeast Corner, Constant Volume, Single Zone System

The existing lower pressure class ductwork can be reused for the new VVT layout wherever
its size and configuration is correct. In this case, the designer and installer of the original single
zone system made the conversion to VVT easy by following good 2-in. pressure class wg duct
design practices.
To change the system over to VVT, a VVT damper with a zone controller is added to each
runout duct. Even though less than 6 zones would work pretty well, the overall cost to modify the
duct layout would more than offset any VVT terminal savings. Round 16-in. damper units easily
install in each existing branch (runout) duct. Branch balancing dampers are removed, since the
VVT damper unit is now in control of supply air quantity to each diffus~r, and there is only one
diffuser fed by each damper unit.
The supply diffusers are replaced because cone-type diffusers are one of the worst culprits for
dumping cold, primary air at reduced airflows. VA V-qualified linear slot diffusers are best but
would require radical room air distribution redesign. Instead, high quality, square, multidirec-
tional, anodized aluminum (4-way) louver diffusers are chosen. The louvers are adjustable. Even
though these will not hold the cold air up on the ceiling at partial load as well as VA V-qualified
linear slots, they should be adequate in this application due to the consistent high lighting load
and the level of activity of the people, who are up on their feet, moving around.

Commercial HVAC Systems
Turn to the Expe1iS.

Where a ceiling plenum return is used, a bypass damper with bypass controller must be added
in the main supply duct, as in this example. When a ducted return system is used, a bypass
damper must be inserted between the existing unit main supply duct and the return main. Be sure
to follow the manufacturer' s bypass design recommendations. It is a key element in the stability
of VVT system operation. The bypass damper assembly with bypass controller, includes a static
pressure sensor. So a static pressure pickup (SPP) is installed in the supply duct just upstream of
the first branch duct. Tubing sends the static pressure back to the sensor at the bypass controller.

24" x 24" adjustable ~-----------iTypical Zone Sensor

louver diffuser (wall mount)

Communication bus
e > -- ----1!-fi 20 AWG 3-wire shielded

System Pilot rT'",._...-ri Typical zone sensor

(ceiling mount)

Bypass damper assembly

and static pressure pick-up
with tubing

Typical wiring between

zone sensor and damper
' H

Figure 12
Southeast Corner, Retrofitted for VVT System

The majority of VVT projects use new HVAC units and ductwork. This happens when the
age of the system being replaced is more than about 10 years and also when the changes to the
existing system are too extensive to reuse the existing air system . Caution should be exercised to_
avoid compromising zoning when reusing existing ductwork. Control zone location should be
based on building zoning needs and not solely on existing duct runs. It will cost more in the end
to fix a zoning problem than to do it right in the first place.
An air source unit controller is installed in the rooftop unit and communication bus wiring in-
terconnects all the controllers. Each zone controller is connected to its temperature sensor by sen-
sor w1nng.

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Commercial HVA C Systems

The VVT zone controllers and by-

pass controller will communicate with
other brands of existing heating/cooling
equipment when an appropriate field-
installed air source unit controller is
installed. Carrier' s PremierLink con-
troller will satisfy this need, as shown
in this rooftop VVT retrofit.
Existing HVAC units and associ-
ated ductwork retrofitted with VVT
dampers, controllers, and room tstats/
sensors can be an effective and afford-
able upgrade in comfort for existing
systems where only one zone currently
exists or for applications in which oc-
Figure 13 cupant comfort is inadequate due to the
original system zoning design.
Rooftop Retrofitted with VVT Air Source Controller

VVT versus Other Systems

One of the most important jobs of the HVAC designer is to pick the right system for the
building. Unfortunately, the right system sometimes remains unknown until another system has
been installed and is performing inadequately.
In many areas of the country, air-conditioning systems must deliver as much satisfaction in
the heating mode as in the cooling mode.
Consequently, systems are well ac-
Multiple rooftops, indoor package, or
cepted that can deliver heating and cool- split systems
ing capacity to any zone, on demand, like
VVT does when it is applied correctly. PTAC (Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners)
This is also one of the strengths of PT AC
WSHP (Water Source Heat Pumps)
(packaged terminal air conditioner) sys-
tems; standard (non-VVT) water source Duct-free split systems -
heat pump systems; duct-free split sys-
Room fan coils (chilled water)
tems; and chilled water fan coil systems.
VVT cannot deliver heating or cool- VAV (Variable Air Volume)
ing simultaneously from the central Figure 14
source to any zone, on demand, when the
Zoning System Alternatives to VVT
central HVAC unit is in the heating
mode, because it relies on a central
source for cooling capacity instead of
producing it at the zones, as these other
systems do.

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VVT Advantages

However, VVT offers many advantages over these other systems.

PTAC, standard water source heat pumps, duct-free splits, or chilled water room fan coils are
typically used when small "repetitive spaces" are required or for room fan coils when a central
source of cooling is preferred.
These alternatives to VVT have difficulty meeting good indoor air quality standards de-
manded by ASHRAE Standard 62. Considering the way these systems attempt to meet the filtra-
tion and ventilation needs of the building, it makes sense that an all-air system, like VVT, does a
far better job.
For instance, if chilled water fan coils, water source heat pumps, most duct-free split systems,
or PTACs are used for zoning, then the ventilation system must be addressed. Unlike VVT, a
dedicated ventilation system, at substantial added expense, will usually be required for these other
systems in order to provide ASHRAE Standard 62 verifiable quantities of properly filtered and
dehumidified outdoor air.

1 --~~~~~~~~~~ 100' ~~~~~~~~~~~--t

M lw
Typical chilled
a Ceiling
6-ton fan coil
water fan coil
(chilled water or G) 0
-+-1----~---+-+--+--i direct expansion-split) 1:===~1

- - 60'
a 0
Typical rectangular
ceiling diffuser

Poor filtration
No controllable positive ventilation
Dedicated ventilation system required to meet ASHRAE 62

Figure 15
Chilled Water Fan Coil or PTrlC

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duct-free fan
coil, high wall

- H- -lll- - - . - --lll 60'

Typical In-Ceiling @
duct-free fan coil.
Horizontal discharge.
Poor filtration Multi-Zone split system.
No ventilation - perimeter
Poor ventilation - interior
Dedicated ventilation system required to meet ASH RAE 62

Figure 16
Duct-Free DX Split System

While PTAC units offer optional ventilation from the outside, the maximum rated capacity is
about 35 cfm and the fan compartment is not sealed from the space. This means that outdoor air
can infiltrate directly into the space without being filtered or treated by the unit at all. When in-
door pressure exceeds outdoor pressure, the indoor air will exfiltrate out the ventilation opening
and ventilation ceases altogether. So the direction and quantity of air moving through the unit's
ventilation opening is not verifiable, is highly variable, may bypass the filter and coils, and is sub-
ject to wind direction, speed, and building height.
These same problems exist when using floor-mounted or ceiling-mounted chilled water fan
coils located around the building perimeter with an optional outdoor air wall sleeve and damper.


(f):::::::::::::::::::::i''''\ '''l
Floor mount with optional
OA wall sleeve

Fan compartment :.. .. .. . ..

not sealed from s ace

WaterSu I
._Water Return

Figure 17
Ventilation - PTAC (left) and Room Fan Coil (right)

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In contrast, an all-air system, like VVT, will provide good quality, verifiable ventilation to
replenish oxygen and dilute pollutants in the space . In most cases, it can also provide betkr air
filtration than these other systems, since the filters on a central packaged unit are more efficient.
However, once a dedicated ventilation system is added to the other systems, the filtration can be
excellent on those systems, but at substantial added cost.
An all-air system, like VVT, can use an outdoor air economizer to provide free or reduced-
cost cooling when off-peak outdoor air conditions are acceptable .
Since the zones hit their peak cooling load at different times, the capacity of the VVT unit
need only be as large as the coincident peak or "block" load of the area served; that is, less than
the sum of the zone peak cooling loads. By contrast, the installed tonnage of PTAC and water
source heat pumps is greater than VVT. It is the sum of the zone peak loads. A load estimating
program, like Carrier's E20-II Block Load or HAP (Hourly Analysis Program) will show the dif-

VA V System Comparisons

There are several VA V systems that offer comparable zoning to VVT. However, when multi-
ple VVT systems are used to condition a building, VVT often competes with VA V because both
are all-air systems providing similar performance benefits in filtration, ventilation, air distribu-
tion, aesthetics, and quiet operation in the conditioned space. VA V's traditional advantage is pre-
cise, small zone temperature control
when heating and cooling demands WT VAV
occur simultaneously. Both systems . Lower installed cost Higher installed cost

provide the energy-saving benefits of No ATC contractor A TC contractor usually required

an outdoor air economizer and block :S. 2-in. wg duct design ~ 3-in. wg duct design

load diversity through the use of a WT-qualified dampers and VAV terminals and diffusers
single HVAC unit to condition all the VAV HVAC machine
Standard HVAC machine
zones it serves. Retrofit more difficult
Retrofrt easy
Fan control
VVT has several benefits over No fan control Many power connections with
VA V. The most significant advantage Few power connections fan-powered mixing boxes
is its lower installed cost in smaller Minimal fan energy savings Maximum fan energy savings
tonnage sizes . When VA V is de- Poorer part load latent Better part load latent
signed using temperature controls
supplied by a manufacturer other than Figure 18
the HVAC equipment manufacturer, VVTversus VAV
an ATC (automatic temperature con-
trol) contractor will usually be required. When VA Vis designed using on-board, factory-installed
controls, it is more likely that the need for an ATC contractor may be minimized or even elimi-
nated, if the installing HVAC contractor is able to install and configure the control system com-
pletely. Eliminating the ATC contractor means single-source responsibility for the installing con-
tractor, which streamlines job scheduling and usually reduces installed cost.
VVT on the other hand, always comes as a factory-integrated system of product and DDC
controls. The configuration is easier and has less variation than for a VA V system, so it is more
likely that the cost and scheduling inconveniences of the separate ATC contract can be elimi-

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Standard, lower pressure class ductwork (~ 2-in. wg) is used on VVT. This is not true on
VA V. Since VA V uses no bypass, the supply air system pressure can increase at partial cooling
load. This requires a more expensive schedule of reinforcement for rectangular supply ductwork
used on main ducts. Spiral round or flat oval mains are an alternative. Duct joints must be tightly
sealed to avoid objectionable noise and leakage. Generally speaking, the design and installation
of VVT supply duct systt:ms is easier, without specialized methods or materials being required.
The return air system design is about the same for VVT and VA V systems .
The supply terminals for VA V
systems are designed with acoustical
attenuation in mind. When the VA V
flow control device is located at the
diffuser, it is called an integral dif-
fuser terminal. This is a sophisticated
diffuser. When the flow control de-
vice is in a tt:rminal remote from the
Integral Diffuser
diffusers, like a fan-powered mixing VAV Terminal
box or a single-duct damper box, the
box includes the necessary leakage
prevention and acoustical treatment.
Unlike VA V, VVT does not throt- Fan-Powered VAV Mixing Box
tle the fan airflow at partial loads, but Figure 19
rather uses a bypass damper that lim-
its duct pressure so there is limited VAV supply terminals are more complex.
potential for a buildup of static pres-
sure in the VVT ductwork. A low pressure VVT damper and diffuser can be selected using low
pressure ductwork and less specialized diffusers. However, the diffuser style must avoid dumping
cold supply air at reduced airflow in order to avoid discomfort and inaccurate zone temperature
sensing. Qualified linear slot diffusers work best. Cone-type round or square diffusers are less
capable of holding the air up near the ceiling at partial load during the cooling season.
A significant difference between VA V and VVT systems is the central HVAC equipment.
VVT is able to use a standard, constant volume, single zone unit because the air volume never
goes below the manufacturer's minimum recommended limit. On the other hand, VA V requires a
variable volume qualified unit, which
is substantially more expensive than a
standard unit because it must have fan
control (typically a VFD), controls to
maintain discharge air temperature,
and more steps of part load capacity.
Therefore, VVT systems can utilize
existing constant volume air sources,
while VA V systems cannot. The VA V
retrofit requires such extensive modi-
fications to the central machinery that
it is usually impractical to attempt the
change. The central equipment is usu-
ally replaced when going to VA V.
Figure 20
VAV air handlers have added components.

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Without VA V modifications to the central unit, if applied on a VA V system, the central unit
can experience unstable operating conditions and frosting of the evaporator coil, causing nuisance
tripouts on equipment safety limits as well as liquid refrigerant floodback, which will hann or
destroy the compressor. In addition, the VA V fan will require a VFD (variable frequency drive),
inlet guide vanes, or other static pressure control device to optimize fan energy savings and limit
static pressure buildup at pa1tial cooling loads. VVT systems require no fan control device since it
uses a bypass damper.
When comparing VVT with a VA V system that uses fan-powered mixing boxes, VVT re-
quires less line voltage electrical power wiring and fewer points of connection. The VVT electri-
cal distribution system will cost less to design and install. Each VA V fan-powered mixing box
has a small electric motor that requires line voltage electrical power wiring for each zone. VVT
damper units require only 24 volts for the damper motor. Both systems require some type of con-
trol connection at each zone. Fan-powered mixing boxes may be used for VVT. When this is
done, the electrical distribution cost benefit over VA V no longer exists.
The same electrical distribution system cost savings exists when comparing VVT to PTAC,
water source heat pump, duct-free split, and chilled water room fan coil systems, since each of
these systems have a line voltage motor in each zone. The PTAC also contains the compressor, so
it has the greatest requirement for electrical power distribution to each zone of all systems con-
sidered so far. However, the PTAC unit includes controls, so there is no additional cost for con-
trol wiring as on the rest of the systems.
Another main benefit VA V has over VVT is its part load
energy efficiency. This comes from fan energy savings at par-
tial load and no mixing of hot and cold airstreams with the by-
pass, which is something VVT cannot achieve. Generally
speaking, the bigger the job, the higher the monthly power bill
and the more important fan energy becomes to the owner.

VVT versus Multiple Units

VVT is a cost-effective solution

WT is the right choice when :
to zoning, especially when applied on
5 or more zones may be necessary
commercial applications that require 5
Centralizing and reducing
or more zones . An alternative, against unit maintenance is desirable
which VVT is measured, is zoning the - Filter changes
- Belt adjustments
building using constant volume, sin- OR - Economizer adjustments
gle zone equipment, one per zone, - Yearly maintenance costs

typically rooftops. Multiple packaged Reducing installed cost by minimizing:

- HVAC units
units used in this way are typically - Power supplies and disconnects
more cost-effective when providing 4 - Duct system
- RiQging, piping and wiring
or less zones of control in the build- - Roof penetrations
mg. - Roof curbs

Above four zones, VVT reduces

Figure 21
installation cost by minimizing the
number of HVAC units required and VVT versus Mu ltiple Constant Volume, Single Zone Un its

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the expenses associated with providing multiple roof penetrations and curbs, rigging, electrical
power connections, electrical disconnects, control wiring, piping, and ducting.
VVT also keeps the heating and cooling equipment maintenance centralized and at a point
outside the occupied spaces of the building. This means that the number of maintenance points is
reduced and that scheduling of maintenance or repair does not disrupt the occupants. Both of
these features are attractive to customers who are thinking in terms of the life cycle cost of the
system and the indoor environmental quality of the building spaces.
Another advantage of VVT is in applications where multiple, small zones of control are re-
quired and separate units are not available in sizes small enough for each zone. Combining the
small zones creates a total capacity requirement in a size range that can be met by a single central
unit with VVT control.

Zoning the Building for VVT

In defining zones, one should be logical and prudent in their selection since increasing the
number of zones adds to the installed system cost. Hence, the designer should be careful and not
give in to the urge to give
every room a sensor.
Building zones are typi-
cally required because of
differences in the following
factors from one area of the
~~M II iw1V
building to another:
I !
Space usage 60'
Glass exposure (ft and

~ -~-~-~--~-----
%wall area)
Glass orientation (e.g.
N, E, S, W, etc.)
Occupant schedule
People density
- -- - ----Zone Boundary
Lighting control zone Zone Number
Lighting level
Figure 22
Perimeter versus core
60 'x 100 'A1anufacturing Office Floor Plan with Partitions, Dimensions, and
exposure Zone Numbers
Roof exposure or none
Occupant responsibility (authority in building management)
Wall exposure (area and orientation)
Tenant variations (schedule, preference, billing)
Special ventilation needs ./
Special exhaust needs
Special air cleanliness requirements

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As you can see, there are many factors that could drive the designer to make an area a sepa-
rate zone of control. So, to simplify the zoning decision, the designer must identify the differ-
ences that exist and prioritize the importance of them.
As zoning decisions are made by the designer, the floor plan is an indispensable tool. The
zone boundaries should be drawn on the floor plan as decisions are made.
In order to economize on system cost, similar rooms should be grouped together to form a
single control zone.
Group together areas with a similar solar exposure. First, separate the core from the perimeter
areas. Then separate perimeter areas based on orientation. Along the perimeter of the building,
solar load usually constitutes about 45
percent of the peak room sensible cooling
load for a standard, single-story office.
Since this load is most significant, it is
important to group exposures with differ-
Percents of zone room
sensible heat ent peak times separately. Also be sensi-
tive to shadow lines along a single expo-
Each mark = 1%
sure, which are cast by neighboring
buildings, covered walkways, or trees. A
shadow makes east, south or west-
exposed glass and walls perform as if it
were facing north.
Figure 23 The manufacturing office demon-
Typical Perimeter Zone Sensible Cooling Load Components strates typical peak cooling load times for
various exposures. Coupled with the
large impact of solar load, the peak times show why the east, southeast comer, south, southwest
comer, and west office spaces were placed on separate control zones. An additional consideration
was that the southeast and southwest comer offices an~ occupied by company management per-
sonnel and that the building is owner-occupied, with a higher expectation for comfort and a
greater willingness to pay for it than would be the case for a speculative (rental) building of the
same design.
---- - - - - - -1- 1 0 0 ' - - - - - - - - - - - -
Transmission, the con-
ductive heat transfer across Engineering
M lw
ul, 4 p.m. Conference
all external barriers caused Room
by the difference in tempera-
6 people 0 Jul , 9a.m.
General Office (core) 12 people
ture from outside to inside, Jul, 4 p.m. 30 people

is significant for perimeter
zones. However, it is not a 60'
consideration in zoning be-

cause the outside air tern -
perature and inside air tem-
I (perimete~
I ____ _
General Manager
perature are uniform all Sep, 10 a.m.
around the building. Only
Chief Engr.
Sep, 3 p.m.
2 people
. Oct, 2 p. . 1O people
2 people
differences in loads and load
patterns stimulate a zoning
--------Zone Boundary
consideration. Load calcula-
Zone Number
tion methods often combine
Figure 24
Zones, Owner-Occupied, Fixed Partitions

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the effects of solar on walls and roofs with the transmission. Wall and roof solar loads are impor-
tant in zoning decisions since the mass and exposure will impact the load.
The perimeter zone pie chart (shown in Fig. 23) also shows that lights and equipment (com-
puter) are a significant part of the zone load picture. It constitutes about 25 percent of the sensible
cooling load in sunlit perimeter spaces. If a person in one office turns off the lights and computer
and leaves, but the person in the adjacent office on the same exposure continues working, the
temperature difference between the two may become unacceptable if they are in the same control
zone because there is only one tstat/sensor to respond to the two circumstances. Differences
greater than 3-5 Fare usually considered too uncomfortable.
In the cooling mode, the difference in dry bulb temperature between the air coming out the
diffuser and the room temperature is 15-20 F, say 16.5 F (with the supply diffuser outlet tem-
perature at 58.5 F and the room tem-
perature at 75 F). This 58.5 F cold Roof
air warms to room temperature as it ZD
absorbs the sensible loads entering the
room. So if lights and equipment . , zc Balancing Damper

(computer) constitute about 25 per- CommunTcaiion : ~ - - T0 = 58.5 F

Bus ;
cent of the room sensible heat added ~~~--....,.-~~-=<
to the space, then about 25 percent of l /so'-. RG
the warming of the supply air can be swl Flow reduced Flow reduced
: Gt from room At from room sensible
attributed to lights and equipment. ([)sensible heat = 16.5 F heat "' 16.5 + 4 F =20.s F
With a difference of 16.5 F at the ZS ITRM= 75 F I ITRM= 79 FI
supply diffuser, this amounts to about No lights or computer Lights and computer on
4 F (16.5 F x 25%). If that load is @ @
present in one space in the zone but
absent from the other, then under the Figure 25
these circumstances, the difference in
Zone Temperature Difference when Zoning is Compromised
temperature between the 2 spaces will
be about 4 F . This 4 F difference is
somewhat reduced by the mass of air in the room, the barriers around the room, and the time it
takes to reach equilibrium, however it may still be considered unacceptable.
Based on the pie chart and the zoning work done so far, it makes sense that core areas and
north-facing areas should not be plagued by variations in solar loads. Therefore, their load pat-
terns should be more similar than pe-
1imeter areas . However, the pie chart
for a typical core area with roof shows
a potential problem with this reason-
ing. Since solar and transmission
loads make up less of the load in the Percents of zone room
core than in the perimeter areas, the sensible heat

people, lighting, and equipment loads Each mark = 1%

have a more significant impact in the
core than the perimeter areas. There-
fore , if the occupancy, and especially
the lighting patterns, are the same
throughout the core, then the core can Figure 26
be treated as one zone of control.
Typical Core Zone Sensible Cooling Load Components (with roof)
However, if floor-to-ceiling partitions


are installed, and lighting and occupancy patterns vary within the core, then zoning will be de-
manded even more in the core than in the perimeter areas of the building. If partitions and light
switches are added to the core in the future, VVT is a system that has the flexibility to add zones
of control as needed, with minimal system changes.
A core area on a floor without roof overhead is even more sensitive to occupancy and lighting
variations because the lights, equipment and people comprise the entire room sensible cooling
load. In those cases, lighting may contribute up to about 80 percent of the room sensible cooling
The impact of people and lights required the use of occupancy zoning in our example for
zone 1, the conference room. Even though the peak time caused by exposure is identical to Office
2, the potential load variation caused by people and lights in the conference room prevents plac-
ing these two areas on the same con-
trol zone. The magnitude of the load
caused by occupancy and lighting can Solar
be seen from the pie chart shown. (30%)
Percents of zone room
In addition to people and lighting sensible heat
variances, the special, intermittent
ventilation need for a conference Each mark = 1%
room full of people also demands a (25%)

separate zone of control. VVT offers

features that will accommodate the
need for increased ventilation to this
important area of the building. Figure 27
Conference Room Sensible Cooling Load Components

Basic Sequence of Operation

VVT is demand-oriented and responds to individual zone loads (see Figure 24). The load
conditions in the space control the equipment capacity through a sharing of consolidated informa-
tion and modes of operation between system components over a communications network. This
system coordination, or "linkage," is intelligence that resides at the linkage coordinator and -
within the air source controller, located at the rooftop unit. The linkage coordinator, chosen at the
time of system configuration, is located at a zone damper. The linkage coordinator is responsible
for operation of the VVT system and sends out one set of inputs to the air source controller that is
responsible for ef1icient and reliable operation of the air source equipment. Before we discuss
actual operational sequences, we need to define two important concepts: linkage and pressure
dependent/pressure independent.

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Linkage simply refers to the process through which data is exchanged between the unit con-
trollers at the air terminals, bypass controller, and the air source controller. The process "links"
the VVT damper terminals, bypass damper and air source to form a coordinated system. Linkage
allows the air source to operate efficiently and reliably while responding to and satisfying the
changing conditions in the zones. Linkage also allows the zone terminals to respond properly to
changes in the air source, so the feedback is mutual. A linkage coordinator, located at a zone
VVT damper, coordinates the
Zone Controller Air Source Controller
flow of data between the air
Zone space temperature Air source linkage table
source unit controller and Occupied heat and cool set points Air source update flag
VVT zone unit controllers. Unoccupied heat and cool set points Operating mode

The linkage coordinator is Occupancy status

Supply air temperature
Damper position Start bias
one of the zone controllers Demand Controller
selected when the system is Damper size

configured. It will poll the co, Level (optional) AS linkage tables

Coordinator zone's address & bus
%RH (optional)
requirements of all the other Computed occupied & unoccupied
heal/cool set points
zone controllers and send the
air source controller one set
of integrated requirements
representative of weighted
requirements of all the zones. RED= INPUTS BLUE =OUTPUTS
The air source controller can
Figure 28
then respond as if all the
zones were one weighted av- Linkage - Flow chart showing the information passed back and forth between
the controllers used on a VVT system.
erage zone.
The information exchanged between the linkage coordinator, bypass controller, and air source
controller flows both ways. As you can see, a substantial amount of information is exchanged. In
fact, this electronic dialogue between the VVT unit controllers is the means by which the system
is controlled in a comfortable, coordinated, energy-efficient manner.
For further information about linkage, please refer to the, Controls, Level 2: DDC Network-
ing TDP .

Pressure Dependent (PD) versus Pressure Independent (PI)

The zone controller, which is used at each VVT zone damper terminal, has traditionally been
a pressure dependent device. However, by choosing an optional zone controller for selected zone
dampers, those zones may be made pressure independent.
The term pressure dependent means that as the static pressure in the supply duct changes, the
airflow volume through a given damper opening also changes . Therefore, the zone airflow is de-
pendent upon the zone ' s supply duct static pressure at any damper position. With a pressure de-
pendent control strategy, zone damper position is modulated to maintain a zone temperature set
point, without regard for duct static pressure. The speed of the control loop response is assumed
to be quick enough that duct static pressure variances will not disrupt the space temperature in
any significant way. This usually proves sufficient for jobs that do not have a specific airflow re-

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Pressure independent means that the airflow volume at the zone remains constant even
though the supply duct static pressure changes. With a pressure independent control strategy,
zone damper position is modulated to maintain a desired airflow set point based on maintaining
comfort in the condi-
tioned space. Where zone PRESSURE DEPENDENT
airflow must be main-
tained constantly at some
level for the sake of venti- I Zone Sensor I , \_ Zone Zone _/ , I Zone Sensor I
lation or room air motion, L : Controller Controller L............... <D _J
pressure independent con- Pressure Dependent Zone Controller Pressure Independent Zone Controller
trol is recommended. Responds to a temperature variance Responds to a temperature variance
Controls damper position based on Controls damper position based on
zone demand zone demand
Corrects for cfm variance caused by Anticipates and compensates for the
static pressure variance by responding cfm variance caused by static pressure variance
to zone temperature variance
Least typical
Most typical Higher installed cost
Lower installed cost elm constant with varying duct static pressure
cfm varies with duct static pressure Pressure sensor required at each zone
No extra sensors

Figure 29
Call for Heat/Cool VVT Zone Controller - Pressure Dependent versus Pressure Independent
and Equipment

In order to understand how the DDC controls manage the VVT system, what follows de-
scribes one manufacturer's approach to various situations that require a change of mode.
A VVT system' s mode of operation can be heating, cooling, or ventilation. The mode is de-
termined based upon whether there is a call for heating capacity (zone 4), cooling capacity (zone

- ZD
zc ' ZD
------ --- 4/\
-------- -- -----. I
2) or no call at all (zone
3). The demand a zone
has for capacity is de-
termined automatically,
. W'--~+---.--~.~~W---~+---.--~.~~W---~-1--r-'11 once per minute on a
RG i /so'-.. RG l /so'-.. RG l /so'-.. RG continuing basis, by the
SW :l
SP = 75 F
SW : :
SP = 75 F
SW i:
SP = 72 F linkage coordinator as it-
ZT = 75.5 F ZT = 75 F ZT = 70.5 F gathers demand infor-
ZS 0 = 0.5 clg ZS 0 = 0.0 ZS D = 1.5 htg mation from itself and
all the other zone con-
trollers. Each controller
SP = Zone temperature set point calculates its cooling or
ZT = Actual zone temperature heating demand as the
D = Demand (htg or clg) difference between the
Figure 30 mode set point and the
actual zone space tern-
VVT Zon e Capacity Demand

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In order to normalize a system of combined pressure dependent and pressure independent zone
controllers, a maximum airflow for pressure dependent zones will be calculated, allowing the link-
age coordinator to collect the same data for pressure dependent and independent zones.
The linkage coordinator calculates the total average heating and total average cooling demand
automatically, allowing the airflows to be derived from those formulas and the total average cool-
ing and heating demands to be displayed at the system pilot, in the degree difference from set
point. The average demand is a weighted average based on the airflow delivered to a zone. In
other words, a 1000 cfin zone will count twice as much in the demand average as one that re -
ceives only 500 cfm.
If no mode is currently active, the VVT linkage coordinator will determine the mode by first
comparing the average heating demand and the average cooling demand. If only one demand is
greater than or equal to the minimum demand configured to start a mode of capacity, the system
will start that mode . If both average demands are greater than or equal to the configured mini-
mum average demand required to start a mode, the mode with the greater demand will be se-
lected. If both heating and cooling average demand are exactly the same, then the mode with the
greatest individual zone demand will determine the starting system mode.

System Changeover
Once a mode is started (e.g . cooling), a timer is started to monitor the elapsed time of the op-
erating mode. A mode will end when the average demand for that mode falls below the field-
configured minimum average demand setting necessary to activate that mode.
If a system mode is currently active (e.g. cooling), and the average demand for the opposite
mode (e .g. heating) becomes greater than that for the current mode (cooling), the system will
switch to the opposite mode (heating). However, this can only happen after the elapsed time of
the current mode (cooling) exceeds the field-configured minimum elapsed timer value.

Average Heating Start Average Cooling Start System Mode

Demand Satisfied Demand Satisfied
NO YES Cooling
YES NO Heating
YES YES *Reselect
______*-~-v_~~9_g~_ H~_"!t _Q ~_rn9n_~ -~- A\1~!_'=!9~ _c;:_~ol _Q_~n:il_!Jd_____ _--------- ---_lj_~~~! ~~- ------------
_____ -~~y_~~9_g~-H~_C!tQ~_rn9_n_~ -~ A\l~_r_"!9~_c;:_~<?! _Q_~n:il_IJ~- _____ -- ---- -- ----_c;_~~~!~~- - --- -- --- ---
Greatest Individual Zone
*Average Heat Demand= Average Cool Demand
Demand Wins

Figure 31
Call for Cooling/Heating Combinations, Cooling Mode .Active

When these conditions are met, information will be sent to the air source controller that will
end the current mode (cooling) once the supply air temperature comes within the ventilation or
neutral temperature range. At that point, the other mode (heating) is started if the average heating
demand exceeds the minimum required to start heating. The purpose for the elapsed timer check
is to prevent needless short cycling.
Once a mode is ended (e.g . cooling), a built-in algorithm prevents the original mode (cooling)
from restarting unless there is inadequate demand to start the new mode (heating).

_ _ __ _ _ HVA
__ C_
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Turn to the Experts.


Selecting Zone Priority - Reference Zone

Once the required mode has been selected (e.g. cooling), the linkage coordinator identifies
the reference zone as the zone with the greatest need for that mode (See Figure 30). The magni-
tude of need for that mode (cooling) is determined by the absolute demand. In the example
shown, if the mode is heating and zone 1 (not shown) has a heating demand of 1.0, then zone 4 is
the reference zone.
The reference zone is a moving target over time because the reference zone is redefined each
time the linkage coordinator gathers data from the zone controllers, which is once per minute.
This ensures that the equipment can meet the most stringent system capacity needs. To allow the
equipment to operate in an efficient and timely fashion, the reference zone ' s space temperature
and set points (heat/cool) are sent to the air source controller by the linkage coordinator.

Fan Sequence of Operation

Fan operation is a vital element in achieving adequate air cleanliness and distribution. Occu-
pancy status is important in determining fan operation. When people are present consistent air
distribution and IAQ are
required; but when the Occupancy
Fan Configuration Fan Operation
space is unoccupied, tem- Status/Schedule
perature is the diiving prior- Any zo ne is
ity with air motion and IAQ Continuous On
of lesser concern. Occu-
All zones Cycles with call fo r
pancy status is determined Continu ous
un occupied heating/cooling
by the occupancy start/stop
settings made at each zone Intermittent Doesn't matter
Cycles with ca ll for
controller or made globally heating/cooling
at the linkage coordinator
when the system is eonfig- Figure 32
ured. Fan Sequence of Operation

The system occupancy function, at the linkage coordinator, will send a summary of the occu-
pancy status of all zones to the air source unit controller. If any zone is occupied, the system will
tell the air source unit controller that it should be in the occupied mode. With the fan configured
for "continuous" operation, the fan will run continuously and ventilation air dampers will open.
Once all zones become unoccupied, the ventilation dampers will close and the fan will cycle on
only when there is a call for heating or cooling.
With the fan configured for "intermittent" operation, the fan will cycle on only when there is
a call for heating or cooling, regardless of whether the air source unit controller is in the occupied
or unoccupied mode of operation. The ventilation dampers .will cycle with the fan . This is nor-
mally not allowed on commercial buildings .

+) Commercial HVAC Systems

Turn to the Experts.- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

VVT Air Distribution System Design

As with any all-air system, the design of the air conduits that convey the air from the central
source to the diffusers in the zones and then back to the central source through the return system
is very important. While VVT is an easy air system to design, it is imperative to use good indus-
try-approved practice for 2-in. wg ductwork systems to achieve optimum comfo1i and efficiency.
Here are some specific design guidelines. See Figure 11 for some aspects to concentrate on in
order to achieve a good design.
Main ducts at 1200 fpm maximum
In order to avoid higher static pressure
and noise problems, it is important that VVT Branch ducts at 1000 fpm maximum
ductwork not be undersized. Size main duct
Use equal friction or static regain method
sections for a velocity not to exceed about
1200 fpm (feet per minute). Branch duct- Target friction rate = 0.08 in. wg I 100' EL
work, where zone dampers are installed,
Aerodynamic fittings - especially near unit
should not exceed 1000 fpm. The bypass
duct and damper should also not exceed Bypass duct :s; 1000 fpm @ unit cfm
1000 fpm. minus (smallest zone + ventilation cfm)

Since the dampers continually rebalance Figure 33

airflow to meet zone load needs, the rules for VVT Duct Sizing Tips
sizing VVT supply duct sections are not as
critical as those for a constant volume system. Either the equal friction or static regain methods
are acceptable, or a combination of the two (modified equal friction method). Most designers pre-
fer the equal friction method for the capacity range of VVT systems.
When the equal friction method is used, the initial section of supply and return duct right near
the air source should be sized using an assigned velocity, while subsequent sections should be sized
for about 0.08 in. wg friction rate (e.g. 0.08 in. wg friction loss per 100 feet of equivalent duct
length). Runouts that connect to zone dampers should be sized at the damper inlet size.
Use the most aerodynamic duct layout possible at the connection to the air source. Use rec-
tangular, radius elbows instead of a supply plenum whenever possible. The radius elbows for
supply should have single thickness turning vanes. Rectangular mitered elbows with double
thickness turning vanes are the next best option for supply ductwork. Use acoustically lined, rec-
tangular mitered elbows with-
out turning vanes at the return
connection to avoid line-of- 1)
sight fan noise transmission
from the unit back through the Roof curb
return duct to the conditioned
space. When a supply or return
plenum must be used, mini-
mize turbulence, noise and
dynamic losses by using coni- Flexible duct connector
cal tap-in connections at the to isolate equipment
vibration from ductwork
plenum for the branch or
runout ductwork. Be sure to Rectangular mitered elbows
or plenum; no turning vanes Return
install flexible connectors at
Figure 34

Designing Aerodynamic Ductwork at Unit

Commercial HVAC Systems
- - - ---- -Turn to the Experts.

both the supply and return connections to the air source. This will avoid the transmission of
equipment vibration and noise through the sheet metal ductwork into the occupied spaces.
Some designers choose to use diversity when sizing VVT supply ductwork. This is an op-
tional strategy, but can reduce the size and cost of the duct sections nearest the air source .
Since VVT reduces the sup-
Peak RSH
ply airflow that is not needed at Zone Peak Time Zone cfm
Cool Load
partial cooling load sections of
the main supply duct, feeding 1 Jul, 2 p.m. 12,360 681
multiple exposures and the initial 2 Jul, 2 p.m. 5,760 317
return main closest to the air 3 Sep, 10 a.m. 9,240 509
source may be downsized by us- 4 Oct, 2 p.m. 26,250 1,461
ing a diversity multiplier. The 5 Sep, 3 p.m. 8,280 456
initial supply and return main
6 Jul , 4 p.m. 19,680 1,084
duct sections up to the first major
7 Jul, 4 p.m. 37 ,080 2,043
branch can be sized to ret1ect the
peak block load cooling diversity L: Peaks - 118,650 6,551
because even at peak block cool- Block Aug, 4 p.m. 101 ,160 5,600
ing load (about 4 p.m., August),
not all the zones are peaking. The Figure 35
west, north and core zones are at Manufacturing Office Peak Loads and cfm - Newark, New Jersey
or near peak load, but the east,
southeast comer, south and southwest comer zones are off peak. The diversity factor is the block
room sensible cooling load or cfin divided by the sum of the peak zone room sensible heat gains
or cfms. For the manufacturing office, the sum of the peak zone cfm for all zones is 6551. But the
estimated, diwrsified block cfi11 for the rooftop unit is only 5600 cfm, based on the load estimate
or, better yet, the equipment selection. This gives a block load diversity multiplier of 0.85 , which
is 85 percent (5600 I 6551 x I 00). Therefore, the first supply and return duct section can be sized
for 5600 cfm rather than for the sum of all zones at peak load, 6551 cfm. Subsequent sections of
ductw-ork use no diversity. They are sized using the sum of the peak cfm for the zones they feed.
As always, summarize the duct section cfm from the zones back to the central unit, then size the
duct sections from the unit out to the zones it is serving.
Trunk ductwork is the main ductwork that is connected to the air source at one end and the
branch ductwork or runout ductwork at the other end.
The trunk duct should be laid out:
to coordinate with the best terminal and supply diffuser locations
to make provision for as smooth and aerodynamic connection to the air source as possible
so that the connection lengths for the run-outs are as short as possible
in straight lines
in a configuration that simplifies the entire layout
in a symmetrical arrangement for economy and to facilitate air balancing
to fit the clearances of the space where it runs (be sure to count duct insulation thickness in
allowing clearance)

+DID, Commercial HVAC Systems

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Branch ducts connect the main ductwork to the runouts . Runout ducts then connect to the
supply diffusers and, when a ducted return system is used, the return air grilles. Some systems
need no branch ductwork, so they only have main and runout ducts.
Branch and runout ducts should be arranged so that (see Figure 2):
when a zone has multiple diffusers, there is a balancing damper for each diffuser in the
runout duct near where it meets the plenum at the zone damper unit or the branch duct
which the zone damper feeds (Figure 2, south zone) .
multiple diffusers in the same zone can be controlled from a single VVT zone controller
(Figure 2, core zone).
the main connection from the VVT zone damper is located in the center of the branch duct
that feeds the diffusers. This is economical and simplifies air balancing (Figure 2, south
Wherever possible, use sheet Avoid the use of extractors. They add costs and create unnecessary turbulence
to the system. Use a conical
metal ductwork with an external insu- cake off instead
lating sleeve and vapor barrier instead
of pre-insulated, flexible, wire-helix
ductwork. Flex duct attenuates sound
and speeds installation but, under the
best cases, has roughly three times the
pressure drop as the same diameter
sheet metal duct and it has a higher
material expense. Where flex ducts
are used (see Figures 2 and 12):
upsize it appropriately. An 8-
in. flex carries what a 6-in.
sheet metal duct carries . Figure 36

avoid sags and bends Avoid Flex Duct Abuses

keep to a maximum length of about 6 ft

(unless local code is more restrictive) Comidf:r afan-p(l)wepet/J mixing bf!JiX in pJace
of the J?VT damper
do not hang flex duct by wire, narrow
metal bands or zip ties . They will crush
the flex over time and constrict its open-
ing as much as 50 percent.
hang flex using a cradle made from half-
section of a snap-lock round duct, about
12 in. long, supported at its comers by
. .
wire suspens10n .
install balancing dampers in a sheet metal sleeve back at the zoning damper or branch
duct, not in the flex duct
never make an elbow above a diffuser by turning a 90 bend in the flex duct. This will de-
stroy the capacity and air diffusion pattern of any diffuser. Use a sheet metal elbow instead
and externally wrap it.

Commercial HVAC Systems _ __ _ Turn to the Experts.

Sealing VVT Ducts

Air leakage from the ductwork is bad on any job. When using a VVT system, maintain the
same standards of high quality ductwork construction that you would on any good lower pressure
class job.
For good duct design practice, follow SMACNA (Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contrac-
tor' s National Association) duct construction standards, as published in their handbook, "HVAC
Duct System Design." The standards for sealing air systems against leakage, found in ASHRAE
Standard 90.1, follow the
SMACNA/ASHRAE 90.1 VVT Duct Sealing Standards(< 2 in. wg)
SMACNA standards. Primary Sealant
Duct Location Sheet Metal Type
Since VVT systems operate Transverse Longitudinal
Better than Better than
below 2 in. wg static pressure, Round Snap-Lock pressure-sensitive pressure-sensitive
they are considered "Class B Seal Unconditioned (duct) tape (duct) tape
Level" when run through an un- (Class B) Round or flat
Better than
Includes ceiling pressure-sensitive None required
conditioned space, such as a ceil- vaults with oval spiral pipe
(duct) tape
ing space when a system uses Ducted Return Rectangular Better than Better than
snap-lock or pressure-sensitive pressure-sensitive
ducted return, or through any Pittsburgh Seams (duct) tape (d uct) tape
other unconditioned area of the Conditioned or in
building. They are considered ceiling plenum
return (Class C)
(duct) tape
None required

"Class C Seal Level" when run

through an air-conditioned space Figure 37
or a ceiling space when the sys-
SMACNA Duct Sealing Guidelines (.:5' 2 in. wg)
tem uses a ceiling plenum return.
For Seal Class C, pressure-sensitive duct tape is suitable on transverse seams (i.e. at duct sec-
tion joints). Longitudinal seams need not be scaled. However, Seal Class B requires that both
transverse and longitudinal seams be sealed with something better than pressure-sensitive tape as
the primary sealant. Many approved sealing systems are available for this purpose.
Therefore, to comply with ASHRAE Standard 90 .1 duct construction standards for Seal Class
B situations, round sheet metal "Snap-lock" branches and runouts must be sealed along their en-
tire length with something better than traditional duct tape. This is also true for the Pittsburgh or
snap-lock seams on rectangular main ductwork. In these circumstances, the use of round or flat
oval spiral pipe may prove more cost-effective because, as the guideline says, "Spiral-lock seams
need not be sealed." Spiral pipe will save substantial duct construction labor over conventional
lower pressure methods .

Commercial HVAC Systems
Turn to the ExpertS. - - - - - - -- - - - -

From a duct design viewpoint, enforcement of ASHRAE Standard 90. l may also encourage
the use of ceiling plenum returns because of the less stringent duct sealing standard than for
ducted return systems. However, this should not drive the air system design decision. Ceiling ple-
num returns substantially reduce the latent (dehumidifying) cooling capacity of the packaged
equipment typically used on VVT jobs, because the return air temperature is significantly warmer
than on a comparable ducted return system. Since packaged rooftop units, indoor package equip-
ment, and split systems using packaged air handlers can have difficulty delivering ample latent
cooling capacity at partial cooling loads in humid climates, a ducted return is the best policy. An
alternative is to equip the air source with factory accessories that enhance latent capacity. Consult
TDP-631, Rooftops, Level 1, Constant Volume, for a discussion of these accessories .


A wide range of both round and rectangular dampt:r sizes may be used for the VVT system.
Both aerodynamically and economically, it is best to choose the same size and shape damper as
the duct in which it is installed. Minimizing the number of dampers also cuts cost, since it usually
costs less to install one larger zone
damper than two smaller ones. How- Zone Duct
ever, the zoning choice should not be Temperature
compromised just to minimize the
zone damper cost.
The recommended maximum
damper velocity is 1000 fpm, just like Inlet Size Maximum
(in.) cfm
the branch ducts in which they reside.
Round and rectangular dampers
6 I 200
8 350
should be selected based on required 10 550
peak load airflow (cfm) to the zone. --- 12 800
Rectangular dampers available
Be sure the cfm falls between the 14 1100 in some larger sizes
mmnnum and maximum ratings 16 1400 ---
specified by the manufacturer. lf
Figure 38
space restrictions do not allow the use
of a single damper for a large zone, up VVT Zone Dampers
to four additional dampers can be
wired together to provide the required

_c_o_m_m_e_r_c_ia_l_H_V_A_C_S_y_s_te_m_s_ ____________________ Turn to the Exp:rts.

Round Dampers

Round dampers are preferred

when round ductwork will fit into the
ceiling space. The damper blade is not
round, but elliptical, with a gasketed
edge for good shut off. The blade ro-
tates in a modulating manner from
fully open to fully closed and can stop
at any point in between. As the size of
the damper, and hence its airflow, gets
larger, the torque required to close a
single large blade increases. There-
fore , use a high-torque actuator when
indicated by the manufacturer on lar-
ger sizes or where the static pressure
Figure 39
drop or turbulence is high.
Looking into a Round VVT Damper

Rectangular Dampers

Whenever rectangular main supply ducts are used at the air source connection, a rectangular
bypass damper makes the most sense. This is also true anywhere a damper is installed in rectan-
gular branch ductwork.
Like the round VVT damper terminal, rectangular damper units use single blade construction
with a gasketed edge for good closure. With a rectangular damper, the requirement and cost to
interlock multiple dampers is eliminated since one larger rectangular damper can take the place of
several round dampers and still fit within the height restrictions of the job.

Bypass System Layout

The bypass system is a very im - WT application utilizes a

constant volume HVAC unit Supply
portant part of the VVT system be- in a VAV like strategy. Air

cause it serves two important func- Zone Dampers reposition

tions. First, the bypass system keeps constantly to maintain
occupant comfort.
supply duct pressure down at partial The HVAC unit puts out a
load by maintaining static pressure set constant airflow, so static
pressure changes with
points. Without the bypass, the re-
demand. )=====;
striction of closing zone dampers
(::.._,--_--_:"'-""'-- --"""'- -"
would cause duct static pressure to
Static Pressure
climb, adding stress to all supply duct Pickup
components . Accompanying velocity Ceiling-----------------
Bypass controls static pressure
and noise generated at partially open to avoid over-pressurization
dampers would cause problems in the
conditioned space. Fig ure 40
Plenum Return Bypass

Commercial HVAC Systems
Turntothec~>err:s . --~~~-~~------~~--------~~~~------~


Secondly, the bypass setup ensures that the minimum, safe airflow will be maintained at the
air source at all times. This pennits VVT systems to use standard, constant volume, single zone
HVAC equipment to provide zone level comfort. Without tht: bypass, the restriction of zone
dampers that an.: closing at partial load would reduce the airflow through the unit below the
manufacturer' s safe lower limit, which is around 300 to 350 cfin per ton of total cooling capacity.
This causes equipment problems such as freezing condensation on the outside of the evaporator
coil and liquid refrigerant floodback, which slugs and eventually destroys the compressor.
Bypass is also important in the heating mode (e.g. a gas-fired heat exchanger and electric heat
require that minimum airflow be maintained over the heat exchanger or coil at all times to prevent
tripping on high limits). VVT bypass satisfies this airflow requirement for gas or electric heaters
in the central unit.

Bypass Components

The bypass system consists of:

A bypass damper or dampers sized to handle 75 percent of the total design airflow
A bypass controller
A damper actuator for each bypass damper
A duct static pressure pickup, which taps into the supply duct
Static pressure tubing from the pickup to the bypass controller


The bypass controller modulates the bypass damper open or closed, from zero to full flow, al-
lowing varying amounts of air to pass directly from the supply system to the return system with-
out circulating through the building.
When the bypass is closed, all the air
passes through the HVAC heat-
ing/cooling unit, the supply ductwork
and diffusers, and the return air sys-
tem back to the unit. As tht: bypass
opens more and more, air bypasses
the supply ductwork system down-
stream of the bypass damper but still
flows through the equipment. There
are an almost infinite number of in-
termediate bypass damper positions
where some of the air goes through
the supply system and the rest by- Figure 41
passes it, going directly into the return r1 Bypass Damper with Controllerlrl. ctuator
system. The vast majority of the time,
the bypass damper is in one of these intermediate positions, because it is only at peak load times
that the bypass is fully closed, which is less than 1 percent of the hours in a year.

Commercial HVAC Systems

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The bypass damper modulates in order to maintain a configured supply duct static pressure,
which is sampled by the static pressure pickup in the main supply duct (Figures 4, 42, and 43).
The air temperature is measured by a temperature sensor, separately supplied and mounted in the
air source discharge duct.
During changeover, the system mode reported to the zones will not change from the old mode
to the new mode until the system supply air temperature reflects that the air source has made the
change from one mode to the other. For instance, if the system is changing from cooling to heat-
ing, the zones will continue in the cooling mode, responding to a cooling demand, until the sys-
tem supply air temperature increases to indicate that the air source is now providing warm air.
This prevents uncomfortably cool air from going to zones that require heating during the time it
takes the unit to switch over to heating and raise the temperature the air source is supplying.
The setting, or configuration, of the bypass system operating set points is done by using the
system pilot, which is also used to configure all settings for the system when the job is commis-
sioned. The intelligence for controlling the bypass system is at the bypass controller, mounted on
the bypass damper assembly. New designs of VVT systems do not require a dedicated bypass
controller thermostat, as in the past.


Particular attention should be paid to the bypass design. It can be the source of operating
problems when neglected . The good news is that the design of the bypass is simple when some
basic guidelines are observed.
The bypass layout is important, especially its location relative to the unit, discharge air tem-
perature sensor, bypass pressure pickup, return duct, and return grilles. The layout in Figure 42
shows a proper design for the manufacturing office when a ceiling plenum return is used. The
bypass system can also be designed for a ducted return system (Figure 43).
For systems using a ceiling plenum return, be sure to mount and support the bypass damper
firmly. Do not rely on the sheet metal of the main supply duct alone to support it. Point the by-
pass discharge away from the return inlet. The goal is to have the bypassed air mixed with the
ceiling plenum (return) air to the greatest possible extent before entering the return duct. Many
designers feel that a ceiling plenum return does the mixing job better than a ducted return. Good
mixing stabilizes equipment operation and avoids nuisance trips on safety limits, particularly a_t
low load. However, ceiling plenum returns also reduce the unit' s latent cooling capacity, which
may be a critical aspect of system design in humid climates.

Commercial HVAC Systems
Turn to the Experts- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Provide at least two 90 turns in

return duct to avoid line of sight RTU
sound path back to space

Aim bypass damper

discharge away
_ ) .) from return inlet
Duct sensor
Avoid return grilles in close proximity -+- located upstream
to bypass discharge air path "' of bypass damper

// ,,/Locate pickup in area of least

/ /~ turbulence, five duct diameters
.,,,/ /'/ downstream of bypass
~ discharge air path
Static Pressure Pickup

Figure 42
Ceiling P lenum Return Layout

For ceiling plenum returns, be sure to keep return ceiling grilles out of the bypass discharge
pathway. Cold supply air bypassed at partial cooling loads can fall through ceiling grilles causing
discomfort complaints in zones affected. It also adversely affects zone temperature control so that
some of the designed zone control is lost.

Locate return I bypass junction a RTU Avoid the temptation

minimum of 15 ft from unit inlet
~~- to install a short-circuit
bypass here.
It will cause nuisance
trips with zone capacity

Pressure ,A;_
Static Pressure Pickup

Figure 43
Ducted Return Layout

Commercial HVAC Systems

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When a ducted return is used, avoid a bypass location close to the unit. Figure 43 shows a
proper layout for the manufacturing office if it had been designed with a ducted return rather than
the ceiling plenum return. In terms of cost and ease of installation, the short circuit bypass loca-
tion (right between the supply and return drops just below the rooftop unit) is tempting but the
results are prohibitive. A void it. The return will mix poorly with bypassed air, causing nuisance
machine shutdowns that leave the occupants without capacity until the machine controls reset. In
addition, the environment inside the bypass ductwork so close to the unit, is very turbulent, mak-
ing smooth, stable damper modulation difficult to achieve on direct-connected bypass designs.
As with ceiling plenum return, locate the static pressure
pickup downstream of the bypass takeoff:~ at least five (5)
duct diameters if possible, and upstream of the first zone
takeoff or main branch duct. Select an area of minimum
supply air turbulence for accurate pressure sensing. Choos-
ing a location upstream of the first duct branch ensures an
accurate sampling of the entire system and not just duct-
work feeding a portion of the building.
A discharge air sensor is required to be mounted in the supply ductwork. Its function is to de-
tect the changeover of the air source from heating to cooling or cooling to heating . This sensor
needs to be mounted in the duct in a location where uniform discharge air temperatures will be
sensed. The recommended location is in the horizontal supply duct a few duct diameters after the
supply elbow, and it must be located before the bypass damper.
If your system includes an economizer, be sure to include a backdraft damper in the return
main ductwork just upstream of the tee joining the bypass and return ducts (Figure 43). During
economizer operation, the machine's return damper modulates closed as its outdoor air damper
opens. If the bypass opens when the machine's return damper is fully or partially closed, the by-
passed air will take the path of least resistance. Without a return duct backdraft damper, the path
of least resistance is to flow backwards through the return ductwork, dumping into the zones
through the return grilles. Bypass feedback like this can be prevented by the backdraft damper.
When using an economizer, also be sure to provide a source of relief to prevent over-pressurizing
the building. Barometric or power exhaust may be used either on the air source unit or remotely

Damper Sizing

Size the bypass damper using the following procedure:

Installing the Byptiss Duct
1. Detennine the total cfin of your cooling and heating unit, and Dumper
based on block loads.
2. Determine which is your smallest zone cfm.
3. Subtract the smallest zone cfm plus the minimum ventila-
tion cfm of all other zones from your total unit cfm and
this becomes your bypass cfm.
4. Never size for less than 75 percent of unit design airflow.
5. Size duct and damper the same.

Commercial HVAC Systems

Turn to the

In addition to subtracting the cfm for the smallest zone from the total unit cfm, some design-
ers have also subtracted the sum of the minimum cfm required for each zone. This results in a
smaller bypass damper and duct. It will probably work adequately as long as the minimum cfm
configured at each zone remains unchanged or increases. But ifthe minimum cfm is reconfigured
to a lower value sometime in the future , the bypass damper and duct will be undersized. Unac-
ceptable noise and unstable machine operation may result. When in doubt, it is always safer and
wiser to oversize the bypass damper and duct than to undersize it.

Diffuser Layout
Another name for this step of design is room air distribution design. It involves choosing the
type of diffusers and return grilles then sizing and locating them. Room air distribution effrctivc:-
ness is a rc:sult of good air mixing within the room, which is necessary to provide occupant com-
fort. Room air mixing diminates stratification, temperature variations, stagnant areas, and drafts.
When this aspect of the VVT systc:m is negkctc:d, which it often is, the zone temperature control
that VVT is designed to provide may fail to perform as designed. Then the customer will be un-
happy because the zoned system they paid for provides very littk benefit.

100 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
. .1: 2' " 4' Drop.kl Egg Crate Grille &-= 2' x 'Z DrosHo Egg Crate Grille

I ~ ,t I~ I I
I -11- 0

I I I, I I <D
., I
_Ill-_:... '

~ &

- - - --
Figure 44
VVT System Room Air Distribution

The proper sdection of style, location, and size of supply air diffusers is the primary focus of
good room air distribution design. It is also necessary to provide an adequate: number of return
grilles and a clear pathway back to central returns. But proper diffuser design is what ensures that
occupant comfort and adequate ventilation are provided. Errors in diffuser selection and location
will never be corrected by the sizing and placement of return grilles. Think of the return grilles as
a relief valve. The supply diffusers, on the other hand, pattern the room air.

Commercial HVAC Systems

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Diffusers are designed with specific performance parameters inherent to each style. The cur-
rent ASHRAE Fundamentals Handbook provides recommendations for diffuser selection. Fol-
lowing the ADPI (Air Diffusion Performance Index) method will ensure uniform, comfortable air
The designer of VVT systems cannot choose low-cost diffusers that dump supply air at par-
tial cooling airflow or size them wrong or place them improperly and then expect to maintain
zone comfort.
Be sure to follow the diffuser manufacturer's guidelines for diffuser placement. However,
diffuser and return grille location must coordinate with the ceiling layout and not interfere with
the ceiling grid, lighting, or sprinkler heads and piping. A reflected ceiling plan is a great help in
avoiding needless conflict and expensive surprises in air system design.
Diffuser selection should be based on the throw, room shape, and room size. Select diffusers
at both maximum and minimum occupied flow rates. For each zone, use the peak cfm that you
obtained from the load calculations and decide on the number of diffusers needed in each zone
based on the diffuser manufacturer's selection data.
Here are five issues that must be considered in any design:
Diffuser cooling pe1formance
Diffuser heating performance
Occupant comfort
Acoustics (noise level)
IAQ (Indoor Air Quality)

Nominal Length (ft)

2 4 5
1-Way Throw 1-Way Throw 1-Way Throw
Diffuser (ft) (ft) (ft)
Type cfm Min Max cfm Min Max cfm Min Max
50 2.0 9.0 100 2.0 13.0 150 3.0 18.0
75 3.0 14.0 150 5.0 19.0 200 5.0 24.0
100 5.0 19.0 200 8.0 26.0 250 8.0 30.0
Director 125 7.0 22.0 250 11.0 31.0 300 11.0 34.0
Diffuse r 150 9.0 24.0 300 13.0 34 .0 350 14.0 36.0
175 11.0 26.0 350 15.0 36.0 400 17.0 39.0
200 13.0 28 .0 400 18.0 39.0 450 19.0 41.0
- - - - - - 500 20.0 44.0

Figure 45
VVF-Qualified Linear Slot Diffitser Rating, Heating Duty

Do not mistake dirt on the ceiling around the diffusers as a sign that filters need to be
changed. Actually, dirt on the ceiling is a sign that the diffusers are working. The dirt is usually
not coming from the air source but, rather, from room air induced by the high-velocity air jet en-
tering at the diffuser. It deposits dirt from the room air at the low pressure point above the air jet
near the diffuser. So smudging usually indicates a high induction diffuser and the need for im-
proved routine cleaning of the carpets and floors.

Turn to
Commercial HVAC Systems
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In most locations, the VVT system

3-Slot Standard
provides both heating and cooling from Director-Diffuser 2-Way Diffuser
overhead, with a variable volume of air
at the zone in both modes. This combi-
nation calls for a supply diffuser that is
qualified for heating and cooling duty at
full and reduced flow volumes. VA V-
qualified linear slot diffusers work well
for this application. When placed prop-
erly, they wash outside walls with warm Linear slot boot diffuser
air, forcing heating capacity down into
the zone. They also mix air well in all
modes of operation and blend in with
tee-bar ceilings. An important quality is Figure 46
that they avoid dumping unmixed, cold,
Use linear slot VVT-qualified diffirsers for best p e1formance.
supply air directly into the conditioned
space when the airflow is reduced at
partial cooling loads.
For the manufacturing office (Figure 2), which is located in Newark, New Jersey, a 3-slot, direc-
tor diffuser was selected for perimeter areas and a standard, two-way linear slot diffuser for the core.
The director-diffuser is a special linear slot diffuser also knmvn as a ''flip-flop" or "changeover" dif-
fuser. It has a heat-sensitive diverter that directs all the air in one direction when heated air is being
delivered to the zone. That way, the heated air can be forced down the outside wall in heating but will
return to two-way discharge when the system switches back to the cooling mode.
Sound level specifications for selecting diffusers should be
based on clearly stated assumptions and should reflect real project
needs, not any manufacturer' s data. Use cum:ntly accepted space
application factors. Bringing the required space sound level down
unrealistically low increases initial costs and may hinder proper
diffuser performance by forcing low diffuser velocities at peak
airtlow, thereby compromising performance at off-peak condi-
tions. Oversized diffusers have a low sound level but dump cold air more readily than properly
sized diffusers.
Return grille placement has lit-
tle impact on the pattern of air mo-
tion throughout the conditioned
Adequately sized ""'-
flex duct_ ".. /
r Sheet metal return box
with acoustical duct liner
space; because, unlike a supply 1,--,,.11,....,.;.,..,,.,.,.,---,1 CE ILING
diffuser, the velocity profile at the I
Return Grille _ / l f " -Return Grille
inlet of a return grille rapidly drops
off within only a few inches of its
surface. So, be sure to provide ade- Area that communicates Isolated
quate opening area for return with central return Space
grilles. A 2 ft x 2 ft egg crate ceil-
ing grille can handle around 2000
cfm (5 tons cooling capacity) when
running at 533 fpm (feet per min- Figure 47
ute) over the net grille area.
Overhead Return Air Transfer Loop

< f,M>
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A central return grille will work well if a clear pathway is provided for air to find its way
back to the return grille from other areas. However, undercut doors provide little passageway for
return air. A Yz-inch undercut can handle only around 70 cfm of return air when closed. This is
inadequate for most offices, even if they are small. In addition, undercutting the door compro-
mises acoustical privacy when the door is shut.
An alternative for getting air from spaces with a closable door back to the central return is to
provide overhead transfer ductwork. It has a grille at the ceiling of the room and one in the open
area outside the room. Flex duct connects the two so that supply air from the room moves through
the transfer duct into the adjacent area, then back to the central return grille. It will work well even
when the doors are shut, while at the same time, providing acoustical privacy. Be sure to size the
flexible duct adequately. It will be larger than an equivalent sheet metal duct. There are new con-
struction cases when this approach will be more cost-effective than individual returns installed in
each room. In the aftermarket, it is often the best method when the partitioning changes.

Control System Details

VVT systems contain unique control algorithms that were specifically developed to properly
switch the HVAC unit over from cooling to heating mode, and vice versa, while maintaining re-
quired set points
throughout the
system. These Air source unit controller
algorithms are
housed in a zone
controller located
at a zone damper I

or m a bypass : 24vac
4Qva I

controller located System Pilot "!::


at the bypass

: I ~ ZC/C02
. {Optional for DCV)

Figure 48
Typical VVT System

Linkage Coordinator versus Standard Zone Controllers

A complete VVT system will have numerous zone controllers arranged in a linkage coordina-
tor/zone controller relationship. Any zone controller can be configured as the linkage coordinator
and is capable of coordinating up to 31 additional zone controllers. Setting up the linkage coordi-
nator and the zone controllers it controls is a matter of proper configuration and addressing at the
time of system installation and start-up.

Commercial HVAC Systems
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The linkage coordinator determines the requirements of the complete VVT zoning system
and passes those requirements on to the air source controller. The air source will respond with its
current air source mode. The linkage coordinator zone controller will rday this information to
each zone controller on its address list. For stand-alone operation, the linkage coordinator can
determine an air source mode without actually communicating with it.
Each zone controller is responsible for the temperature control of its zone . Zone controllers
determine the proper quantity of airflow required to bring the space back to set point. The airflow
is modulated based on a percent of wide-open damper position.
Each zone controller includes an integrated, floating point actuator. A floating point actuator
can come to rest at any point of the actuator's range, from fully open to fully closed. It uses actua-
tor power to open and close the damper. It does not actuate in one direction and rely on spring
return in the opposite direction, as some actuators do . Thus, if there is a power failure, the damp-
ers will be in the position they were in when the failure occurred.

Bypass Controller

The bypass controller works in conjunction with a bypass damper to act as the pressure regu-
lator of the system (Figure 4). This function is necessary because zoning systems present variable
loads to constant volume equipment in a VVT syst<.:m. If a majority of the zone dampers close
simultaneously and there is no bypass system, the supply air system static pressure will rise as the
airflow decreases. This condition can damage both the HVAC equipment and system ductwork.
The function of the bypass controller is to measure the pressure in the supply airstream and
modulate the bypass damper to maintain a configured set point. The bypass controller must be
field-mounted on the bypass damper. Multiple actuator sizes are available to meet static pressure
and airflow needs of any job.

The System Pilot

All VVT systems require at least one system pilot user in-
terface to provide access to the VVT system as well as any
Th.i W_l
other device residing on the communication bus. The system llt5aAM

pilot is used to configure, commission, balance and start-up

any controller on the bus. The system pilot can act as a real
time broadcaster for the system. The system pilot is also useful
for monitoring the system at any time.
The system pilot has a temperature sensing thermistor that
can be used to control zone temperature in the zone where it is
located. The system pilot may also be mounted in a location
remote from the zone controller it is associated with and a
zone sensor in the controlled zone used to sense temperature.
Additional system pilots may be attached in other zones.
With proper configuration and addressing, they can provide Figure 49
space temperature set point adJustment, initiate occupancy system pzzot
override, and view the mode for each zone when: they are in-
stalled. In this application, the system pilot can be wired directly to the VVT zone controller at its
local communication port.
Commercial HVA C Systems
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'--. ----,
- ~------~

. ----------,
Pl~~ ZO
'' w.._~..._.....,-~=.---w~~ .....~----.-=~~w....._~.......,-~--+~
~: sw /so ........... RG SW ~ /so ........... RG SW~ / s o ' RG
.. RG

~ Ci) Ci) ~

Set point
Set point adjustment
Occupancy override
View mode

Figure 50
Multiple System Pilots

Space Sensor Locations and Options

The location of room sensors (Figures 2 and 4) is critical to the reliable operation of a zoned
system like VVT. Room sensors should be located about 5 feet above the floor on an interior wall
that does not receive direct solar radiation. Avoid locations where supply air discharges directly
on the sensor and stay away from heat generating devices such as computers, fax machines, copy
machines, coffee pots, microwave ovens, etc.
Space temperature sensors are required in each zone. The
system pilot may also be used to sense space temperature.
These are thermistor-based temperature sensing devices whose
resistance value changes as the zone temperature changes.
These devices are available in a number of different configura-
tions to meet the requirements of the zone. They can be pro-
vided as temperature sensing, temperature sensing with an
override switch, temperature sensing with an override switch
and set point adjustment, and also with all these functions and a
display of the zone ' s current temperature. The override switch
allows initiating a temporary occupied period when the system
is in unoccupied mode. The set point adjustment allows modi- Figure 51
fying the zone's current set point temperature in the zone. Space Temperature Sensors

Thennistor-based space temperature sensors are cost-effective devices. The simplest version
has no set point adjustment. Optional slide-bar set point adjustment and occupancy override is
also available. This allows the occupants to adjust the temperature set point and override an unoc-
cupied mode of operation temporarily. Room sensors are also available with liquid crystal display
(LCD) of space temperature.

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Commercial HVAC Systems

Combined Space Temperature and C02 Sensing

In addition to space temperature, combined temperature/C0 2
sensors that monitor carbon dioxide levels in the zone are also avail-
able. The level of C0 2 in a space is a good indication of the number

of people and can be used to adjust the ventilation air to assure
proper quantities are introduced into the space. C0 2 sensors provide
zone level demand controlled ventilation (DCV) and meet the re-
quirements of ASHRAE Standard 62 (Ventilation for Acceptable
Indoor Air Quality). More will follow on DCV later in this module .
Figure 52
Space Temperature/C0 2 Sensors
Humidity Sensor
A humidity sensor may be used in place of the C0 2 sensor to monitor the zone ' s humidity
level. Since no cooling coil is located in the space at the space level, the control only serves as a
monitoring device. However, when the sensor is used with an air source unit with humidity con-
trol options, the sensor can be used as input to control the humidity control device. Additional
information on the use of these devices can be found in TDP-631 , Rooftops, Level 1, Constant

Zone Sensor Averaging

Zone sensor averaging is possible for
Sensors Only Sensors With Optional System Pilot
larger control areas where an accurate
temperature reading is not possible using
a single sensor. An example application is ~"" 1 Thermistor
- ~L___f
an office area with cubicles separated by
half partitions. The temperature in one
cubicle may be somewhat different than
another and neighboring occupants' ideas
qjJJ 4 Thermistor
about a comfortable temperature may not
be the same. Sensor averaging in this .
9 Thermistor
situation will help provide a reasonable Sensors
degree of comfort across a larger space. It -
is possible to averagi:: the system pilot _ -.J-~

with 4, or 9 sensors only in a series or Figure 53

parallel configuration. For added flexibil-
Zone Sensor .Averaging
ity, a system pilot may also be averaged
with 1, 4, or 9 sensors providing sensor

Outside Air Temperature Sensor

Outside air temperature sensors are required for proper VVT system operation. Some sensors
are included with the equipment. Others must be ordered as a hardware accessory for the job.
Depending on the air source that is used, an outside air temperature sensor may be factory-
installed. Refer to the packaged rooftop, indoor package, or split system literature for verification .

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___ Systems
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On typical VVT jobs that use a rooftop unit with a factory-installed air source controller, the
outside air temperature sensor will be provided from the factory. For field-installed applications
using a packaged rooftop unit, a good location for the outside air temperature sensor is under-
neath the outdoor air intake hood. The sensor should be connected to the air source controller by
shielded, 2-conductor, low voltage cable, just like that used for zone tstat/sensors. As an alterna-
tive, 2 of the 3 wires of bus conductor can be used to standardize the wiring used on the job.

Zone Level Demand Controlled Ventilation (DCV)

DCV is a real-time, occupancy- I 11 II I I I I I I I I I I

based ventilation control approach c 90

..__ -
'-......... '- "-.'\.' "'\ '
I I I 11, / / / / / , r / /
that can offer significant energy sav-
ings and improved ventilation over
traditional fixed ventilation ap-
.g 80
~ 70
~ 60
:;;; 50


-- '
i .....- >----

-~ 40 -
.....- v ,, -
proaches. Properly applied, it provides ~ 30
- ..__ >----

v ---
the ASHRAE prescriptive ventilation
rates at all times. Even in spaces
where occupancy is static, DCV can
b 20
~ 10



4 6
/ / / 11

' \ \"' '\
8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24
, .....


......_ >----
Hour of Day
be used to ensure that ewry zone
Constant Ventilation
within a space is adequately ventilated
Zoned C02 Control Ventilation
for its actual occupancy. Air intake
dampers, often subject to maladjust- D Energy Saving
ment or arbitrary adjustments over
time, can be controlled automatically, Figure 54
avoiding over or under ventilation. Demand Controlled Ventilation: JAQ and Energy Efficiency

Zoning Systems with DCV

Typically, the minimum cooling and heating percent damper position set points are config-
ured to provide the proper ventilation for a space with an average level of occupancy or to meet
the building ventilation requirement. As people enter the space, the demand for ventilation will
increase as more occupants expel C0 2 . The zone controller will respond to the increased level of
C0 2 by increasing the airflow into the space. So C0 2 sensing is an indirect way of following the
occupants around the building and providing them with adequate outdoor air ventilation.
To provide DCV, the zone controller will monitor the ventilation of the space through a C0 2
sensor. The sensor will be used to determine if adequate ventilation is being provided by measur-
ing the C0 2 level at the tt:mperature/C0 2 sensor in parts per million (PPM). If the level rises
above a configured maximum set point (e.g. 1000 ppm), that means ventilation is inadequate. The
zone controller will calculate a new minimum percent damper open position set point to maintain
the C0 2 level at the desired set point. This new minimum percent damper open position set point
required for adequate ventilation will override the damper position set point required for space
temperature control, resulting in an increased supply airflow and ultimately a decrease in C0 2
level because the higher airflow to the zone carries more outdoor air with it.
While providing conditioned air at an increased minimum damper position can cause over
cooling in some instances, the system can change over from heating to cooling and vice versa
rather rapidly as it works to provide adequate ventilation and precise temperature control.

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Commercial HVAC Systems

The linkage coordinator may collect the individual C0 2 concentration readings from its asso-
ciated zone controllers and relay the info1mation to the rooftop to have the rooftop increase the
ventilation rate at the air economizer if this is necessary to satisfy the ventilation requirement.
The rooftop can also temper the outdoor air at extreme conditions so the ventilation air introduced
into the system does not cause a cold draft situation to occur.
For more information on designing with demand control ventilation, see TDP-901 , Indoor Air
Quality, or Demand Control Ventilation Handbook.

Wiring and Power Requirements

The VVT control system receives its power to operate through the zone damper power cir-
cuits. It is not a battery-powered system nor is there battery backup. The entire system is powered
by 24 volts AC. If a power failure occurs, all schedules and programming in all zones stay indefi-
nitely in a nonvolatile memory chip.
Each damper receives its power from a 24-volt transformer supplied at or near the damper.
The primary side of these transformers normally uses 120-volt power from a dedicated house cir-
cuit, usually in the ceiling, that must be provided by the electrical contractor. A junction box
should be provided above each damper location for mounting the 24-volt transfo1mer.

System Options

Since VVT systems use DDC controls, a number of other system operating features are pos-
sible and are being provided by manufacturers of these systems. These features fall into four gen-
eral categories: energy conservation, support of fire and life safety, diagnostics and alarm moni-
toring, and systems networking.
For example, to save energy when outdoor conditions are suitable during unoccupied periods,
the system can enter economizer operating mode with the dampers modulating between cooling
and heating set points, which will cool the building to occupied cooling levels - this is referred to
as night time free cooling . To limit the electrical demand, the system can stagger the start of units
and accept a demand-limiting signal. As is required by ASHRAE 90. l , the system can optimize
start time to bring the air source unit from unoccupied to occupied only as early as is required to
meet the actual heating or cooling demand, called optimized start. The system can also be config-
ured to purge the building of hot stale air before an occupancy period begins. Finally, the system
can use error reduction strategies to minimize over-compensation of the heating or cooling sys-
Some features are incorporated into systems that assist in providing fire and life safety con-
trol. When commanded by a fire control station, the zoning system can function with the air
source unit to go into a pressurization mode in which all zone dampers drive to the full open posi-
tion allowing excess air into the zone to help drive smoke from an occupied zone. The dampers
can also be driven fully closed with the exhaust fans pulling air from the zone providing a smoke
evacuation mode.
The DDC control features also allow the system to perfom1 diagnostic checks on itself and to
provide monitoring of alarm or error conditions. Since it is a DDC network, the system can con-
nect to a building system network, allowing control and monitoring of the system and many other
systems in a building or complex from one location on or remote to the site.

Commercial HVAC Systems

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Supplemental and Perimeter Heat

The VVT system is designed to provide a central source of heating and cooling capacity.
However, it cannot provide a central source of heating and cooling at the same time. In view of
this limitation, the way to approach a job with a simultaneous need for heating and cooling at de-
sign winter conditions is to provide
dedicated heating in critical heating Heat
zones. or .....
'-,,_,_ Cool
;::i..... ~ .....
then .....

For instance, the manufacturing

office (Figure 2) has a cooling load in
the core zone (zone 7) most of the
year whenever the space is occupied
and lighted with computers on. Tech-
nically, it is not a critical zone for Figure 55
cooling because it looses its cooling
VVT central units can provide heating or cooling, but not both al the
load below around 26 F outdoors. same time.
Zones with different load patterns
will exhibit different changeover temperatures. Perform a load calculation on unique zones to
determine the difference from the other zones. However, zone 7 has some of the qualities of a
critical zone because of its relatively constant cooling load even when other zones may require
heating. This means that during the winter some or all of the perimeter zones may require some
degree of heating while the core zone requires off-peak cooling. Since cooling cannot be manu-
factured locally, duct-mounted zone hot water heating coils were selected for all perimeter zone
VVT damper units. One each will be installed at the discharge of the dampers for zones 1 through
6. This way, cooling can remain on for the core while the perimeter zones calling for heating
modulate to their minimum flow setting and turn on the heating coil.
As an example of a building with
a critical heating zone, consider an Hot water or
electric reheat coil
office with a front entrance that has a
lot of glass exposure and a vaulted
ceiling. Installing perimeter baseboard
heat for this zone will satisfy the zone
heating needs and avoid this zone
perpetually calling for heat from the Factory-mounted
Damper Controller Actuator
VVT system when all or most of the (minimum desired position
must be configured)
other zones are calling for cooling.
This way, the critical zone can be in-
cluded with the other zones for VVT
control, but the unusual heating need Figure 56
will be satisfied by the baseboard Typical Supplementary Heat for Manufacturing Office


Turn to the Experts. -

Commercial HVAC Systems

When a zone requires cooling year-round, like a core area with no roof (a computer room,
video studio, etc.), it is best to treat it with a separate system. Such a zone is a critical cooling
zone. It is critical because it has special needs that other zones in the building do not have. It is
also critical because its special needs cannot be ignored and they become a driving influence in
system design decisions. Systems handle a critical zone best when they have a separate HVAC
unit dedicated to each zone. Such systems include PTAC units, multiple packaged units, and wa-
ter source heat pumps . All-air systems, like VVT and VA V, that use a single central HVAC for
multiple zones have a more difficult time dealing with a critical zone.
When all zones require some degree of cooling, the central HVAC unit remains in the cooling
or economizer mode . When all zones require heating, the central unit stays in the heating mode .
When outside temperatures are intermediate with some zones requiring heating and others requir-
ing cooling, the VVT system switches the central unit back
and forth from heating to cooling to alternately satisfy heat-
ing and cooling zone loads that coexist. However, as the use
of VVT systems has grown, the demand for simultaneous
heating and cooling capacity has risen. When a zone is wait-
ing for the capacity it needs but the central unit is in the op-
posite mode, the zone damper is modulated to the minimum
damper position, maintaining its source of ventilation and
room air motion. As a result, the zone temperature may drift
unacceptably. If the zone requires heating, supplementary
heat usually solves the problem.
If the designer wishes, heat can be provided by using a
fan-powered mixing box. An optional control board installed
in the zone controller enables the control of auxiliary fan and
heating coil. The auxiliary heat may be either ducted or non-

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When it is ducted, the heat source is located within the air terminal (e.g. fan-powered mixing
box), upstream of the supply air temperature sensor. A hot water heating coil may be used or up
to three stages of electric heat. Applying heat this way requires the terminal to contain a supply
air temperature sensor. The sensor will provide feedback to the auxiliary heating control loop and
will allow the zone controller to ensure that the supply air heating temperature stays within the
configured maximum setting.

Air source unit controller

Duct sensor
(locate upstream
ofdampe, 1 24vac
: 40va
System Pilot 20/2/s cable"[ ::t;

: I I ZS/C02
(Optional for DCV)

Figure 57
VVT Pressure -Independent (PD) or Pressure-Independent (PI) with Fan-Powered Zones and/or Reheat System.

When a fan-powered mixing box is not used, ducted auxiliary heat can only be used when the
air source is on, since the air source is providing the only means of airflow into the zone. When
used in either a series or parallel fan-powered mixing box, ducted auxiliary heat can be used
when the air source is off or on. When the air source is off, auxiliary heat will supply unoccupied
heating capacity by cycling the terminal fan to provide airflow to the zone.
When supplemental heat is non-ducted, the heating capacity is located in the conditioned
space. Hot water, electric and steam baseboard heaters, or radiant panels may be used. In these
applications, the zone controller typically provides only on/off control of a two-position heating
valve or a single-stage electric heater. No heating control loop feedback sensor will be required.
The zone controller will only use space temperature as feedback. However, the zone controller
can support a hot water baseboard heater with a modulated hot water valve if the water sensor is
used for feedback on the leaving water temperature of the heater. In this case, the baseboard
heater will be controlled in the same manner as a modulating ducted heater.

Commercial HVAC Systems
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In other cases, the baseboard heat may be the first stage and ducted heat is installed for the
second, or second and third stages. Space temperature will be used as the feedback for the base-
board or radiant heat (first stage) and the supply air temperature, along with space temperature,
can be used for control of the second and third stages. This zone upgrade allows for great flexibil-
ity in applying VVT zoning in spaces that can have substantial heating loads, such as lobbies with
lots of glass.

The objective of this module has been to learn the concept and benefits of VVT systems and
the complete operating logic and sequence of control.
VVT is a variable volume and temperature multizone system that uses a central constant vol-
ume HVAC unit to satisfy up to 32 individual comfort zones. The VVT components include the
bypass system, zone dampers, linkage coordinator, zone and bypass controllers, space sensors,
and necessary safeties to protect the system. The zone damper tstat/sensor in combination pro-
vides a higher degree of comfort to building occupants from a cost effective, single zone heat-
ing/cooling unit that functions as a multiple-zone unit.
VVT with DCV provides the building owner with both comfort and a code-compliant, indoor
air quality solution. The new generation system utilizes C0 2 sensors in the space to do zone level
demand controlled ventilation. Improved air filtration is available since the filters on a central
unit are usually more efficient than those on a chilled water room fan coil, duct-free split system
fan coil, or water source heat pump.
The VVT system uses lower pressure class ductwork, but it is imperative that the VVT duct-
work not be undersized in order to avoid noise and static pressure buildup problems. Equal fric-
tion, static regain, or modified equal friction methods (as detailed in TDP-504, Duct Design,
Level 1, Fundamentals) can be used for sizing the ductwork. Rectangular or round zone dampers
can be used.
A bypass system is required for each system to maintain the static pressure in the duct and to
maintain minimum airflow through the central I-IV AC equipment. Sizing the bypass requires only
sizing the damper for 75 percent of the design airflow.
The user-defined linkage coordinator will continuously monitor all th~ zones of the VVT sys-
tem and choose the system mode of operation based on the requirements of the reference zone.
The linkage coordinator will communicate with the HVAC unit via linkage through the micro-
processor controller used to control the HVAC unit.
Each zone will require either a space temperature sensor or temperature/C0 2 combination
sensor for DCV control, or the system pilot. Every system will require a minimum of one system
pilot. The system pilot allows the user to configure, commission, balance, start-up, and view sys-
tem and zone data from a centralized point.
It is essential for the designer to have a clear understanding of all the VVT system compo-
nents to make correct VVT zoning design decisions.

Commercial HVAC Systems

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Tum to theExpertS.

Work Session
1. What is linkage? _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ __ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ __

2. True or False? VVT systems must have a direct connected bypass duct from supply to re-
turn. - - - - - - - - -

3. What is the difference between a pressure-dependent and a pressure-independent zone

control strategy?

4. What is the reference zone - - - - - - - -- - -- - ----------

5. Why is a bypass damper necessary for the VVT system?

6. Why is a variable volume unit (including VFD) not required in VVT systems?

7. True or False? VVT Systems can be applied on large buildings of several hundred ton
size using a single HVAC unit. _ _ _ _ __ _ __

8. True or False? A building can be designed with zones without the use of a zoned system.

9. List two guidelines for sizing bypass:

Commercial HVAC Systems
Turn to the Experts.- -- - - -- - - - - -- - - -- - - - - - - - - -- - --

10. List five typical factors that create the need for a temperature control zone.

11. Define a control zone:

12. List the three types of central HVAC equipment usually used on VVT systems.

13. List five systems that compete with VVT:

_ _____ HVAC
_ _Systems
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Turn to the Experts.

Engineering Design Steps

D Figure block cooling/heating loads

Turn to the Experts.

D Do preliminary equipment selection
D Determine control zones Designer Checklist
D Determine zone cooling I heating loads and cfm
D Select and position supply diffusers
D Select and position return grilles
D Select and position VVT dampers
D Layout duct system
D Layout bypass system
0 Position temperature sensors and system pilot(s)
D Size ductwork
D Select supplementary heat if needed
D Make final equipment selection (determine if add-on air source controller is required)
D Select accessories (e.g. Outside air temperature, C0 2 or RH, PAT, DAT sensors)
D Define control and power wiring requirements and routing
D Review VVT system installation notes to contractors
D Have the contractor complete the VVT Installation Start-up Request Checklist

Electrical Items
Make sure the electrical design provides for the following:
D A disconnect within sight of the HVAC unit or air source unit (provided on the unit, if avail-
able, or supplied by the electrical contractor) with a fuse or HACR type breaker protection
provided in the power line serving the unit.
D A junction box and a 24VAC, 40VA control voltage transformer for each zone damper
D A separate 24VAC, 40VA control voltage transformer for the bypass system controller.
D Specify that all VVT control wiring be shielded type only.
D Specify that all VVT control wiring in a ceiling plenum return be plenum-rated shielded wire. _
D Specify that any VVT control wiring in conduit not be run in the same conduit as other AC

Ductwork and Dampers

D Specify clearly all zone damper and bypass damper locations, shapes (rectangular or round)
and sizes.
D Allow room after the bypass takeoff but before the first zone takeoff for the bypass pressure
pickup to be located.
D Specify balancing dampers where more than one supply diffuser is fed by a zone damper.
D Show on plan the access doors to each damper if ceilings are inaccessible type.
D Specify that return grilles in ceiling not be located near bypass duct discharge on ceiling
plenum return jobs.
D Coordinate architect's ceiling type with diffuser vendor prior to diffuser layout and bidding.

Turn to the ExpertS: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __

Commercial HVAC Systems

0 Clearly show all zone sensors in correct locations.
0 Determine the best location for the system pilot(s) based upon its intended usage.
Cl Determine which zone will function as the linkage coordinator and provide proper sensor.
0 Clearly indicate duct mounting location for the duct temperature sensor.
0 Determine if outdoor air and primary air sensors are required and clearly show locations on
the drawings.

0 Specify at bid time who provides the personal computer if computer monitoring via CCN
sofhvare is desired.
0 Specify start-up and programming assistance to be supplied by personnel from the VVT
manufacturer. This is to be done after all wiring connections are made and the system is ready
to program.

VVT System Don'ts

1. Don 't zone constant load areas on variable load systems or those that require VA V control
schemes, such as:
Computer room zone on a RTU serving offices
Morning warm-up with cooling-only VAV boxes
Supply air temperature reset

2. Don 't undersize the zone dampers. This will cause potential noise in your system.

3. Don ' t undersize the bypass damper and duct. This will cause potential noise in your system and
sluggish system response to zone load changes.

4. Don't design a direct, ducted bypass on ducted return systems without room for mixing return and
bypassed air. The bypass should meet the return duct at least 15 feet from the unit return. Use a
backdraft damper in the return main upstream of the junction of the return and bypass ducts to
avoid bypass backing up in the return duct and dumping out the return grilles.

5. Don't design VVT zoning on equipment over approximately 25 tons. Use a VAV system or multi-
ple VVT systems.

6. Don' t design a system with too many small zones. For example, a 15-ton system with all 6-inch
zoning dampers becomes a noisy system.



Turn to the Experts.

Installation Notes
for Contractors
General Wiring Guidelines:
l. Always use shielded 20AWG stranded wire for all control wiring.
2. Always use plenum-rated cable when running wire outside
of raceways in ceiling plenum return.
3. Always isolate wiring from cables carrying AC voltage.
4. Always install lightning suppressers when communication bus leaves the building.

Communication Bus Wiring and Layout:

l. Always use shielded 3-conductor 20AWG stranded wire for all communication wiring.
2. Always use plenum-rated cable when running wire outside of conduit in ceiling plenum.
3. Always run communication bus wiring in parallel daisy chain between linkage coordinator, zone,
and bypass controllers.
4. Always keep communication bus free of T-taps, junctions or spurs.
5. Do not bundle communication bus cable with other control or voltage-carrying conductors.
6. Do not connect more than 128 VVT devices to one communication bus and no more than 32 zone
controllers per system (you can have more than one system per bus). Use a CCN Bridge to extend
the bus if needed.
7. Do not connect more than 8 VVT scanning devices to one communication bus; use a CCN Bridge
to extend the bus.
8. Do not allow communication bus length to exceed 4000 feet; use a CCN Bridge or repeaters to
extend the bus.
9. If communication bus length is over 1000 feet, a repeater may be required.
10. If the communication bus requires tie-in to existing or new CCN bus, consider adding a CCN

1. Provide a 24VAC/40VA dedicated power transformer to each zone controller
2. Avoid using common transfonners to power VVT zone controllers.

1. Make sure damper airflow arrows are correct when installing dampers. Mark damper shafts at
installation with a line to show damper position in duct.
2. Size zone and bypass dampers for the engineered airflow of the HVAC equipment.

iMQ Commercial HVAC Systems

TurntotheExpertS. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Bypass System:
1. Use rectangular bypass dampers whenever possible to simplify installation. Match damper and
duct size. Where round is used, minimize round-to-rectangular transitions.
2. Mount the static pressure pickup securely at least five (5) duct diameters downstream of the By-
pass Damper in the main supply duct, but upstream of the first branch or zone rnnout duct.
3. For ducted return systems, do not design the bypass ductwork to be a short duct between the sup-
ply and return mains. Adequate mixing will not occur.
4. Size bypass ductwork to maintain proper equipment operation when all zones are closed except
the smallest. It is common for customers to require the smallest zone to operate when all others
are satisfied. Design bypass cfm = HVAC unit design cfm minus smallest zone cfm and the
minimum ventilation of all other zones, but> 75% unit cfm.
5. Use single bypass damper wherever possible. Select torque of actuator to match damper.
6. Where supply plenum is used, manifold multiple static pressure pickups in the supply duct
branches leaving the plenum, and locate pickups at least 5 duct diameters downstream from the

Generally Wise to Do:

1. Hire an air balancer for start-up.
2. Consider dedicated HVAC cooling systems for interior spaces with unusually high cooling loads,
such as computer or copier rooms. Likewise, areas that have an unusually high heat loss, like ves-
tibules, should incorporate alternative heating sources.
3. Try not to use VVT to balance the system as a means of design . Rather, use VVT to fine tune the
system if design is inadequate.

Commercial HVAC Systems

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Turn to the Experts.



Turn to the Expe1t S.

VVT Installation
Quantity of Systems: Start-up Request
VVT Linkage Coordinator Model Numbers: Checklist
- - - - -- -- - - -- -
V VT Bypass Controller Model Number(s): _ __ _ __ __ _ __ _
VVT Zone Controller Model Numbers:

VVT Air Source Controller Model Number(s):

- - - -- - - - -- --
Stat ic Pressure Sensor Model Number(s):
Quantity of Linkage Coordinators : (1 per HVAC unit) _ _ _ _ _ __ _
Duct Temperature Sensor (1 required) _ __ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ __ __
Number of Zones:
- -- - -- - - - -- - -- - -- - - - - - -
Number of Bypasses:
Number of C0 2 Sensors:
Please list all additional sensors used:

General Wiring
Yes / No 1. Shielded 20A WG wire used for all control wiring.
Yes / No 2. All shields tied together to fom1 a continuous electrical shield connection.
Yes / No 3. Wire shield grounded at one single location and taped off at all others to pre-
vent grounding.
Yes / No 4. Lightning suppressers installed when bus leaves building.
Yes I No 5. All wiring isolated from cables carrying AC voltage.
Yes / No 6. Wiring verified to be free of short circuits.
7. All wiring connections tight and per the wiring diagrams contained within the
Yes / No installation manuals of the equipment manufactun.:r.
Yes / No 8. All controllers wired and securely mounted.
Yes / No 9. Air source controller wired to the HVAC equipment (if not factory-provided).
Yes / No 10. All processor board cables and tem1inals tight.

Communication Bus Wiring and Layout:

Yes / No 1. All wiring shielded and meets general wiring requirements shown above .
Yes / No 2. Communication bus wiring is parallel daisy chained per the instruction manuals
from the equipment manufacturer.
Yes / No 3. Communication bus free of T-taps, junctions and spurs.
Yes / No 4. Communication bus cable not bundled with other control or voltage-carrying
Yes / No 5. There are no more then 128 VVT devices connected to one communication bus,
with maximum 32 zone controllers and 8 scanning devices per system.
Yes / No 6. There are no more than 8 VVT linkage coordinators connected to one commu-
nication bus.
Yes / No 7. Communication bus length does not exceed 4000 feet.
Yes / No 8. Communication bus length is over 1000 feet (requires repeaters at every 1000 ft

., Commercial HVAC Systems
Turn to the Experts.

Yes / No 1. 24VAC/40VA minimum power to the air source controller.
Yes / No 2. 24VAC/40VAminimum dedicated power transformer to each zone controller.
Yes / No 3. All 24 VAC power supplies verified complete and secondary voltages tested .
Yes / No 4. HVAC equipment power supply complete and tested.

Yes I No 1. All dampers free of obstruction.
Yes / No 2. All actuators connected to damper assemblies and securely mounted.
Yes / No 3. Damper airflow arrows are correct and damper shafts are marked to show
damper position.
Yes / No 4. Zone and bypass dampers sized for engineered airflow of the I IVAC equip-
Yes / No 5. Zone actuators wired per the manufacturer's Installation Manual.

Bypass System Information:

Yes I No 1. Supply duct static pressure required by the equipment for engineered design:
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _1n.wg
Yes I No 2. Static pressure pickup securely mounted at least five (5) duct diameters down-
stream of the bypass damper in the main supply duct trunk and before the first
branch or zone runout duct. Connect to high side pmt with tubing.
Yes I No 3. Bypass ductwork is sized to maintain proper equipment operation. HVAC unit
design cfin minus smallest zone cfin, but not less than 75 percent of HVAC
unit design cfin.
Yes I No 4. Multiple interconnected bypass unit controllers wired per the manufacturer's
instruction manual.
Yes I No 5. Static pressure sensor low port connected via tubing to a non-conditioned
space, which is not affected by the pressure of the system.
Yes I No 6. Duct temperature sensor mounted in the supply duct before the bypass and
wired to the bypass controller.

HVAC Equipment:
Yes I No 1. Type of HV AC equipment: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Yes / No 2. Model number of HVAC equipment: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Yes / No 3. Equipment test run and ready for start-up: _ __ _ _ __
Yes / No 4. Supplemental heat controlled by this system (if yes, please explain):

Yes / No 1. System air balancer notified of start date and time.
Yes / No 2. Customer notified of start date and time.
3. Installing VVT and HVAC contractor technician notified to be on job site for
Yes / No
start-up (required, not optional).
4. Job engineering blueprints and specifications with sequence of operations sent
Yes / No to commissioning agent.

_ _____ HVAC
_ _Systems
_ _ _ _ __ +

_ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Turn to the Experts.


Work Session Answers

1. Linkage refers to the process through which data is exchanged between the air tenninals and the air
source device that provides the supply air to those tenninals. The process "links" the tenninals with the
air source to form a coordinated system.
2. False. The bypass duct can discharge air into a ceiling plenum return. In fact, this is a preferred
method since mixing of the bypassed air and plenum air prevents the divert introduction of conditioned
bypass air into the unit return.
3. Pressure-dependent zones modulate their zone damper position in percentages to maintain a tempera-
ture set point (e.g. 65 percent open). A pressure-independent zone modulate the damper position based
on actual desired airllow (e.g. 350 cfm). The position of the damper is irrelevant. The zone damper
assembly will include a pressure sensor and an airllow measuring device when pressure-independent
control is used.
4. The reference zone is the comfort zone requiring the greatest heating or cooling demand for the longest
period of time.
5. A bypass damper is required to maintain a reasonably low static pressure in the supply duct and to
maintain ininimum safe airllow through the constant volume HVAC equipment used with VVT.
6. Because a VVT system incorporates a bypass to maintain proper airllow for a constant volume unit.
7. False. It is best to zone a large building first with multiple packaged units no larger than approxi-
mately 25 tons each, then subzone within each unit with VVT systems.
8. True, by using multiple constant volume, single zone units, PTAC, duct-free splits, or water source
heat pumps.
9. Never size less than 75% of unit design cfm
Size bypass to equal unit airllow minus smallest zone airllow and the sum of ventilation air of all other
10. Any five of the answers below :
Space usage Lighting control zone Wall exposure (area and
Glass exposure (ft2 and % wall Lighting level Tenant variations (schedule,
area) preference, billing)
Glass orientation (N, E, S, W) Perimeter versus core exposure Special ventilation needs
Occupant schedule Roof exposure or none Special exhaust needs
People density Occupant responsibility Special air cleanliness (IAQ)
(authority in building requirements
11. A control zone is a whole building, group of rooms, single room, or part of a room controlled by its
own thermostat or temperature sensor.
12. Packaged rooftop unit, Split system, Vertical packaged unit (air or water-cooled), VVT versions of
water source heat pump
13. Multiple rooftops (indoor package units, or split systems), PTA Cs, WSHPs without VVT controls,
Duct-free split systems, Room fan coils (chilled water) and VA V


Tmn to the Experts.

Commercial HVAC Systems
To obtain the highest benefit from this module , it is suggested that participants have prerequisite
knowledge from the TDPs listed below, or equivalent.
Book Instructor CD
TDP No. Cat. No. Cat. No. Title
TDP-103 796-027 797-027 Concepts of Air Conditioning
TDP-504 796-045 797-045 Duct Design, Level 1, Fundamentals
TDP-701 06-796-067 06-797-067 System Selection
TDP-801 796-074 797-074 Controls, Level 1, Fundamentals

Learning Objectives:
After reading this module, participants will be able to :
Make a simple schematic sketch of a VVT System and label the components
Define a temperature control zone .
List the three types of central HVAC equipment that are usually used on VVT systems and
describe each type .
Explain how a building can be zoned without using a zoned system.
Give two reasons why a zoned system makes more sense than a modular layout using single
zone, constant volume units for the manufacturing office .
Explain the meaning of VVT
Sketch and describe how the VVT bypass damper and duct results in variable temperature at
reduced load .
List five systems that compete with VVT.
Use pie charts to refine exposure and occupancy zoning decisions .
List the components required to complete a typical VVT system .
Describe how the central HVAC unit accomplishes changeover from heat to cool (and vice
versa) in a VVT system.
Describe pressure-dependent and pressure-independent VVT zone controller operations .

Supplemental Material:
Book Instructor CD
TDP No. Cat. No. Cat. No. Title
TDP-631 796-056 797-056 Rooftops, Level 1, Constant Volume
811-10088 Demand Control Ventilation Design Guide
TDP-802 06-794-075 06-797-075 Controls, Level 2: DOC Networking

Instructor Information
Each TDP topic is supported with a number of different items to meet the specific needs of the
user. Instructor materials consist of a CD-ROM disk that includes a PowerPoint presentation
with convenient links to all required support materials required for the topic. This always includes:
slides, presenter notes, text file including work sessions and work session solutions, quiz and
quiz answers. Depending upon the topic, the instructor CD may also include sound, video ,
spreadsheets, forms, or other material required to present a complete class. Self-study or
student material consists of a text including work sessions and work session answers, and may
also include forms, worksheets, calculators, etc.
Turn to the ExpertS.

Carrier Corporation
Technical Training
800 644-5544
www.training .carrier.com

Form No. TDP-704A Cat. No. 796-069

Supersedes Form No. TDP-50 and TDP-704 Supersedes Cat. No. 791-464