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Understanding Chilled Beam

and VAV Systems

John Murphy, LEED AP BD+C


Applications Engineer
Trane
Ingersoll Rand
La Crosse, Wisconsin

Chilled Beams

Brief overview of chilled beams


Assess marketed advantages
of chilled beam systems versus VAV
Discuss challenges of applying
chilled beam systems
Review some common applications

2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
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Passive Chilled Beam

ceiling

water pipes
coil
perforated
metal casing

Active Chilled Beam


primary air

nozzles

coils

ceiling
induced air
induced air +
primary air

2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
2
Active Chilled Beams

Source of images: Halton 5

active chilled beams


Primary Air System

primary
OA air handler
RA
EA active
PA PA chilled beam

RA RA RA

Primary air must be sufficiently drier than space:


to offset space latent load, and
to keep space DP below chilled beam surface temp

2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
3
Induction of Mid-20th Century

window
Active Chilled Beams
Installed on ceiling rather than
under windows
More coil surface area
Lower air pressure required

induced
Warmer water temperature
room No condensation
air
More coil surface area
nozzles
Lower air pressure required
Larger ducts
floor Lower air pressure required
primary air Less noise
condensate
drain connection

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Chilled Beams

Brief overview of chilled beams


Assess marketed advantages
of chilled beam systems versus VAV
Discuss challenges of applying
chilled beam systems
Review some common applications

2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
4
active chilled beams
Claimed Advantage #1

An ACB system typically allows for smaller ductwork


and
d smaller
ll air-handling
i h dli units
it than
th a VAV system.
t
Primary airflow < supply airflow due to induction
Shorter floor-to-floor height required?
Less mechanical room floor space?

active chilled beams


Determining Primary Airflow Rate

Primary airflow (PA) is PA


b
based
d on llargestt of:
f
Minimum outdoor airflow
required (ASHRAE 62.1)
Airflow required to offset
space latent load
(depends on dew point of PA) RA

SA SA
Airflow needed to induce
sufficient room air (RA) to
offset the space sensible
cooling load

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2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
5
active chilled beams
Determining Primary Airflow Rate
Example: office space
Minimum OA per ASHRAE 62.1 0.085 cfm/ft2
(to achieve LEED IEQc2) (0.085 1.3 = 0.11 cfm/ft2)
ACB
C system
Airflow required to offset space 0.085 cfm/ft2 (DPTPA = 47F)
latent load 0.11 cfm/ft2 (DPTPA = 49F)
0.36 cfm/ft2 (DPTPA = 53F)

Airflow needed to induce 0.36 cfm/ft2 (55F primary air)


sufficient room air to offset (four, 6-ft long beams)
space sensible
ibl cooling
li lloadd
VAV system
Airflow needed to offset space 0.90 cfm/ft2
sensible cooling load (55F supply air)

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active chilled beams


Determining Primary Airflow Rate
Example: K-12 classroom
Minimum OA per ASHRAE 62.1 0.47 cfm/ft2
(to achieve LEED IEQc2) (0.47 1.3 = 0.61 cfm/ft2)
ACB
C system
Airflow required to offset space 0.47 cfm/ft2 (DPTPA = 44F)
latent load 0.61 cfm/ft2 (DPTPA = 47F)
1.20 cfm/ft2 (DPTPA = 51F)

Airflow needed to induce 0.47 cfm/ft2 (55F primary air)


sufficient room air to offset (eight, 4-ft long beams)
space sensible
ibl cooling
li lloadd
VAV system
Airflow needed to offset space 1.20 cfm/ft2
sensible cooling load (55F supply air)

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2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
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Minimum Outdoor Airflow
Required by ASHRAE 62.1
typical ACB primary airflow
(0.30 to 0.70 cfm/ft2)
Barracks sleeping area
Classroom (age 9 plus) example (0.47 cfm/ft2)
Conference/meeting room
Corridor
Courtroom
Hotel bedroom/living room
Laboratory
Lecture classroom
Library
Lobby (hotel, dormitory)
Office space example (0.36 cfm/ft2)
Reception area
Retail sales floor

0.10 0.20 0.30 0.40 0.50 0.60 0.70 0.80 0.90 1.0

minimum outdoor airflow required, cfm/ft2


(based on default occupant densities)

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active chilled beams


Claimed Advantage #2

An ACB system can typically achieve relatively low


sound
d llevels.
l
No fans or compressors in or near occupied spaces
Constant primary airflow = constant sound
Depends on air pressure

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2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
7
active chilled beams
Claimed Advantage #3

An ACB system uses significantly less energy than a


VAV system,
t due
d to:
t
1. Significant fan energy savings (because of the reduced
primary airflow), and
2. Higher chiller efficiency (because of the warmer water
temperature delivered to the chilled beams), and
3. Avoiding reheat (because of zone-level cooling coils).

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Fan Energy Use: ACB vs. VAV

A zone served by ACBs may require 60% to 70%


less primary airflow, at design cooling conditions

but the difference in annual fan energy use will be


much closer because the VAV system benefits from:
1. Reduced zone airflow at part load
2. System load diversity
3. U
3 Unloading
oad g oof tthe
e supp
supply
y fan
a at pa
partt load
oad

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2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
8
example
Zone Primary Airflow at Part Load
1.0 1.0

m/ft2 conventional
0.8 VAV system 0.8
e primary airflow, cfm

0.6 0.6

cold-air
active chilled VAV system
0.4 beam system 0.4

30% minimum
i i airflow
i fl setting
tti
zone

0.2 0.2

0 0
design design
space load
heating load cooling load

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System Load Diversity


variable-volume fan
OA 0.72 cfm/ft2
EA
RA multiple-zone VAV system
PA PA central VAV fan sized for block airflow

RA RA RA fan airflow = diversity zone primary airflows

For this example:


0.90 cfm/ft2 0.90 cfm/ft2 0.90 cfm/ft2 system load diversity = 80%
fan airflow = 80% 0.90 cfm/ft2
= 0.72 cfm/ft2

constant-volume fan
OA 0.36 cfm/ft2
EA
RA active chilled beam system
PA PA central CV fan sized for sum-of-peaks
sum of peaks airflow

RA RA RA fan airflow = zone primary airflows

For this example:


0.36 cfm/ft2 0.36 cfm/ft2 0.36 cfm/ft2 fan airflow = 0.36 cfm/ft2

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2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
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typical VAV system supply fan
Part-Load Performance
100

esign
80
fan input power, % of de

60

40

20 VAV supply
l fan
f
with VFD

0
0 20 40 60 80 100
supply fan airflow, % of design

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supply fan energy use


ACB vs. Conventional VAV
1.0
00 ft2

0.8
design cooling
nput power, bhp/100

conventional conditions

VAV
0.6

active
0.4
chilled beam VAV uses
more fan energy

ACB uses more


fan in

fan energy
0.2
68% of VAV supply
fan design airflow

0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
supply fan airflow, cfm/ft2

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2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
10
supply fan energy use
ACB vs. Cold-Air VAV
1.0

00 ft2
0.8
nput power, bhp/100

0.6
cold-air design cooling
VAV conditions
active
VAV uses more
0.4
chilled beam fan energy

ACB uses more


fan in

fan energy
0.2
80% of VAV supply
fan design airflow

0
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0
supply fan airflow, cfm/ft2

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Chiller Energy Use: ACB vs. VAV

Chilled water delivered to the chilled beams must be


warmer to avoid condensation

but the chilled water delivered to the primary


AHUs still must be cold to dehumidify the building.

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2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
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Dedicated Chilled-Water Plants

chillers

57F 42F 63F 58F

variable-flow
pumps

bypass for
minimum flow

primary chilled
air handlers beams

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Shared Chilled-Water Plant

57F 42F

mixing
valve chilled beams
T
primary 42F 58F
air handlers

54F
63F

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2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
12
Chiller Energy Use

ACB system VAV system


Warm water delivered to Cold water delivered to central
chilled beams VAV air-handling units
Still needs cold water
delivered to the primary
AHUs for dehumidification
Typically no DCV Commonly implement DCV
No (or minimal) capacity for 100% capacity for airside
airside economizing economizing
Waterside economizing Can use waterside economizing,
(more effective due to but airside economizing is more
warmer water temp) efficient

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Waterside Economizer

chillers

57F 42F

variable-flow
pumps

bypass for
minimum flow mixing variable-flow
valve pump
T

primary 42F 58F


air handlers

54F
63F chilled beams
from
cooling tower waterside economizer
heat exchanger
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2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
13
Pumping Energy: ACB vs. VAV

ACB system VAV system


Higher pumping energy use Lower pumping energy use
Warm water temperatures Cold water temperatures
(58F to 60F) (40F to 44F)
Small waterside T Large waterside T
(5F to 6F) (12F to 14F)
Water pumped to chilled Water pumped only to
beams in every space centralized mechanical
rooms

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Impact of Reheat Energy


VAV terminal with 40% minimum airflow setting
primary airflow at design conditions = 0.90 cfm/ft2
PA
primary airflow when reheat is activated:
0.36 cfm/ft2 = 40% 0.90 cfm/ft2
55F = 0.36
0 36 cfm/ft
f /f 2
cooling provided when primary airflow is at minimum:
= 0.36 cfm/ft2 of 55F primary air

Reheat is needed to avoid overcooling the space when


the space sensible cooling load < 40% of design load.

active chilled beam


PA primary airflow at design conditions = 0.36 cfm/ft2
0.36 cfm/ft2 primary airflow when CHW valve is fully closed
55F = 0.36 cfm/ft2
RA cooling provided when CHW valve is fully closed:
= 0.36 cfm/ft2 of 55F primary air
Heat is needed to avoid overcooling the space when
the space sensible cooling load < 40% of design load.

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2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
14
example office space
Cold vs. Neutral Primary Air

Cold (55F) primary-air temperature


PA
four ((4)) ACBs,, each 6-ft long
g x 2-ft wide
0.36 cfm/ft2 primary airflow at design conditions = 0.36 cfm/ft2
55F total water flow = 6.0 gpm
RA

Neutral (70F) primary-air temperature


PA
six (6) ACBs, each 6-ft long x 2-ft wide
0.50
0 50 cfm/ft
f /ft2 primary
i airflow
i fl att design
d i conditions
diti = 0.50
0 50 cfm/ft
f /ft2
70F total water flow = 9.0 gpm
RA

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Heating Energy: ACB vs. VAV

ACB system VAV system


Heat added when CHW valve Heat added when damper
closes and primary airflow closes to minimum and primary
begins to overcool the space airflow begins to overcool space
Typically no DCV Commonly implement DCV
Parallel fan-powered VAV
terminals can draw warm air
from ceiling plenum

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2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
15
office building
Example Energy Analysis
Baseline chilled-water VAV system
ASHRAE 90.1-2007, Appendix G (55F supply air)
Active chilled beam system
Four-pipe active chilled beams
Separate primary AHUs for perimeter and
interior areas (with SAT reset and economizers)
Separate water-cooled chiller plants
(low-flow plant supplying primary AHUs)
High-performance chilled-water VAV system
48F supply l air
i (d
(ductwork
t k nott downsized)
d i d)
Optimized VAV system controls
(ventilation optimization, SAT reset)
Parallel fan-powered VAV terminals
Low-flow, water-cooled chiller plant

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Example Energy Analysis


Houston Los Angeles Philadelphia St. Louis
12,000,000
Use, kBtu/yr

10,000,000 Pumps
Fans
Heating
Annual Building Energy U

8,000,000 Cooling
Plug Loads
Lighting
6,000,000

4,000,000

2,000,000

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2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
16
Chilled Beams

Brief overview of chilled beams


Assess marketed advantages
of chilled beam systems versus VAV
Discuss challenges of applying
chilled beam systems
Review some common applications

33

ACB challenges
High Installed Cost

Limited cooling capacity = lots of ceiling space


Warmer water temperature requires
more coil surface area
Induction with low static pressures requires more
coil surface area to keep airside pressure drop low

eight
i h (8) active
i chilled
hill d beams,
b
each 4-ft long x 2-ft wide
four (4) active chilled beams,
each 6-ft long x 2-ft wide

Example: 1000-ft2 office space Example: 1000-ft2 classroom

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2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
17
System design Impact on installed cost Impact on performance
variable of the chilled beams of the overall system
2-pipe versus 4-pipe A 2-pipe beam provides more cooling Using 2-pipe beams requires a separate
chilled beams capacity than a 4-pipe beam because more heating system, otherwise it can result in
coil surface is available poorer comfort control because either cold
water or warm water is delivered to all zones

Primary airflow rate Increasing the primary airflow rate through Increasing the primary airflow rate increases
(cfm) the nozzles results in more air being primary AHU fan energy use, increases noise
induced from the space
space, which increased in the space
space, and requires a larger primary
the capacity of the chilled beam coils AHU and larger ductwork

Inlet static pressure Increasing the static pressure at the inlet to Increasing the inlet pressure increases
of the primary air the nozzles results in more air being primary AHU fan energy use, and increases
induced from the space, which increased noise in the space
the capacity of the chilled beam coils
Dry-bulb temperature Delivering the primary air at a colder Using a colder primary-air temperature may
of the primary air temperature means that less of the space cause the space to overcool and low sensible
sensible cooling load needs to be offset by cooling loads, thus requiring the chilled beam
the chilled beams (or separate heating system) to add heat to
prevent overcooling space

Entering water Supplying colder water to the chilled beam Using a colder water temperature requires the
temperature increases the cooling capacity of the beam space dew point to be lower to avoid
condensation, which means the primary air
needs to be dehumidified to a lower dew point

Water flow rate Increasing the water flow rate increases the Increasing the water flow rate increases pump
(gpm) cooling capacity of the beam energy use and requires larger pipes and
pumps 35

ACB challenges
Need to Prevent Condensation

Primary air system used to limit indoor dew point


(typically
(t i ll below
b l 55F)
Warm chilled-water temperatures delivered to beams
(typically between 58F and 60F)
Start primary air system (chilled beams off) to reduce
indoor humidity following shutdown
Tight
g buildingg envelope and g good building
g pressure
control to minimize infiltration
Use caution if the building has operable windows or
natural ventilation

36

2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
18
ACB challenges
Risk of Water Leaks

Lots of water piping, pipe connections, and valves


above
b every space iin th
the b
building
ildi
Four-pipe systems have twice as much piping and
twice as many connections

Example: 1000-ft2 office space Example: 1000-ft2 classroom

37

ACB challenges
No Filtration of Local Recirc Air

Chilled beams typically not equipped with a filter


Coils intended to operate dry (no condensation),
lessening concern about preventing wet coil surfaces
from getting dirty
Still concern about removing particles generated
indoors or brought indoors

38

2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
19
ACB challenges
Limited Heating Capability

Active chilled beams have limited heating capacity


Chilled beam systems often use a separate heating
system (baseboard convectors, radiant floor heat)

39

Chilled Beams

Brief overview of chilled beams


Assess marketed advantages
of chilled beam systems versus VAV
Discuss challenges of applying
chilled beam systems
Review some common applications

40

2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
20
Office Buildings
Why ACB might be a good fit: Why ACB might not be a good fit:
Low sensible cooling loads Low ventilation rates
Low latent loads resultlt in
i primary
i AHU
using mixed air
Not friendly for
re-configuring spaces

41

Schools
Why ACB might be a good fit: Why ACB might not be a good fit:
High ventilation rates High latent loads require
resultlt in
i primary
i AHU llow d
dew point
i t primary
i air
i
with 100% OA Lack of economizing
Low sound levels capacity

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2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
21
Hospital Patient Rooms
Why ACB might be a good fit: Why ACB might not be a good fit:
High minimum air change No local filtration
rates
t (6 ACH) ( d requirement?)
(code i t?)
Low latent loads

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Patient Room: All-Air System


VAV terminal
with reheat coil

230 cfm supply airflow


200 cfm (6 ACH) minimum
67 cfm (2 ACH) outdoor air

return airflow

200 ft2 with 10-ft ceiling height

Design space sensible cooling load = 5000 Btu/hr


Design supply airflow (55F) = 230 cfm
Minimum outdoor airflow (ASHRAE 170) = 67 cfm (2 ACH)
Minimum supply airflow (ASHRAE 170) = 200 cfm (6 ACH)
Airflow turndown before activating reheat = 12%

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2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
22
Patient Room: ACB System
active chilled beam
(qty 1, 10 ft long, 4-pipe)

67 cfm (2 ACH) primary airflow


100% outdoor air 268 cfm (>6 ACH) total airflow
primary air
+
induced room air
(3:1 induction ratio)
exhaust airflow

200 ft2 with 10-ft ceiling height

Design space sensible cooling load = 5000 Btu/hr


Design primary airflow (55F) = 67 cfm
Minimum outdoor airflow (ASHRAE 170) = 67 cfm (2 ACH)
Total room airflow = 268 cfm (8 ACH, 3:1 induction ratio)
Capacity turndown before activating heat = 70%

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active chilled beam systems compared to VAV systems


Summary
Potential advantages Challenges
Smaller ductwork and High installed cost
smaller air handlers Need to prevent
Primary airflow < supply airflow, condensation
but likely > outdoor airflow Risk of water leaks
Low sound levels No filtration of local
Impact on overall system energy? recirculated air
Primary airflow < supply airflow, Limited heating capability
but constant airflow
Warm water for beams,
but cold water primary AHU
Increased pumping energy
No DCV, limited airside
economizing

46

2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
23
Additional Resources
Understanding Chilled Beam Systems, Trane
Engineers Newsletter ADM-APN034-EN (2009)
www.trane.com/engineersnewsletter

Chilled-Water VAV Systems, Trane


application manual SYS-APM008-EN (2009)

47

2010 Trane, a business of Ingersoll-Rand

Trane, in proposing these system design and application concepts, assumes no responsibility for the performance or desirability of any
resulting system design. Design of the HVAC system is the prerogative and responsibility of the engineering professional.
24