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Hydraulic Interactivity & Compatibility


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Interactivity
Hydraulic interactivity
B
Both valves are open.
What becomes the flow if one of these valves is closed ?

pAB
40

Head [kPa]
35 pAB =
Pump head
30
A H
25

The flow in each unit only depends on 20


pAB (= the pump head).
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1 1+2
15

As the pump head does not vary so 10

much with the total flow,


5
q1 q1+2
the flow in one unit is not much affected 0
0 20 40 50 60 80 100
by the opening/closing of the other unit. Flow [m3/h] 3
Hydraulic interactivity
B
Both valves are open. The pressure drop in the load
is high compared to pressure drop in units 1 and 2.
What becomes the flow if one unit is closed ?
pAB
Load 140
pload+p1 pload
120
Pump head H
pload+p1+2
A H 100

Head [kPa]
80

With most of the pressure drop in the load,


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60
the total flow does not change much when 1
40
closing unit 2.
1+2
20
So that the flow in unit 1 is highly affected
when unit 2 is closed (almost doubled). 0
0 20 q1
40 q1+260 80 100
Flow [m3/h]
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Load
Hydraulic interactivity

Own pump = solution to interactivity?


2
Load
HydraulicB interactivity

H1 H2 Both valves are open.


What becomes the flow if one of these valves is closed ?

1 2 pAB 40

Head [kPa]
35

30
A H1 + H2
25
H1
The flow in each unit depends only on pAB 20
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1+2
15
pAB is constant (equal to 0). 1
10

the flow in one unit is not at all affected by 5


the opening/closing of the other unit.
0
0 20 40 50 60 80 100
Flow [m3/h]
Hydraulic interactivity
B
H1 H2
Both valves are open. The pressure drop in the load
is high compared to pressure drop in units 1 and 2.
What becomes the flow if one of them is closed ?
1 2 pAB
Load pload+p1+2
140
pload H + H
1 2
pload+p1
120
H1
100
A

Head [kPa]
80
With most of the pressure drop in the load,
pAB varies steeply (compared to the p of
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60
1
circuit 1 and 2) and the total flow does not
40
change much when closing unit 2.
1//2
20
So that the flow in unit 1 is highly affected
0
when unit 2 is closed (almost doubled). q1
0 20 40 q1+260 80 100
Flow [m3/h]
Hydraulic interactivity

Load 1 2
Load
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Own pump = solution to interactivity?

No!
Hydraulic interactivity does happen even if each unit has its own pump.

The degree of interactivity is however smaller in this case.


Hydraulic interactivity - summary

Load

Weak interactivity
(affected by shape of pump curve) Highest interactivity
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1 2 1 2
Load

No interactivity High interactivity


Hydraulic interactivity - definition
Hydraulic interactivity between different units happens when
several units in parallel share a common hydronic resistance

Common resistance
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Symptoms: Any variation of flow through one circuit affects the flow
in the other circuits 10
Hydraulic interactivity
driving parameters

B The larger the hydronic resistance of the


common load, the larger is the
interactivity between circuits
Common resistance

The larger the p of the common load

pAB
(with respect to the p of the circuits),
the larger is the interactivity between
circuits
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The smallest the design flow of one


circuit, the more it is interactively affected
by the others

11
Hydraulic interactivity - criterion
B
qi max [%]
100
Common resistance

80

pAB
1 2 3 4a 4b 60
=0.9
q1
q2
40
q3 q4
=0.7
qT A 20 =0.5
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=0.3
Let = pAB / pump head of circuit i
=0.1
and = qi /qT 0
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6
= qi,d/qT,d

If we accept a maximum interactive flow variation of 20%,


pcommon < 30% of the lowest pump head in the concerned circuits 12
Hydraulic interactivity easy to remember criterion

Hydraulic interactivity is acceptable if

1 2 common pcommon < 0.3 Hsmallest


load
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Hydraulic interactivity

C1 C2

qs qs

The boilers 1 and 2 are a


common resistance in series for
distribution circuits 1 and 2. ts A

Circuit 1 affects the flow in


circuit 2 and inversely. tr tr
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1 2
Boilers are supplied at variable
flow which is not acceptable for
standard boilers.
qp
B
A bypass solves interactivity problems

C1 C2
The bypass between A and B keeps the
qs qs differential pressure between A and B
close to zero.

ts A No interactivity between circuits 1 & 2

No interactivity between boilers 1 & 2


tr tr

1 2
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Constant flow in each boiler

qp
B
A bypass solves interactivity problems

C1 C2
The bypass between D and E keeps
qs qs
the differential pressure between D
and E close to zero

D No interactivity between circuits

No interactivity between boilers

1 2
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Constant flow in each boiler

qp
E
Hydraulic interactivity
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This design is not recommended!


Chillers are interactive. When a second chiller is switched on, the total flow
does not change so much because most of the pressure drop is in the
distribution. Then suddenly, the flow in the first chiller drops. As the chiller
power does not drop instantly, the temperature in the evaporator can reach
the freezing point.
A bypass solves interactivity problems
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A bypass avoids interactivity between chillers.

A second pump, sized for the total flow is required.

As the pump costs depends essentially on its nominal flow,


designers sometimes prefer an alternative design.
Differential pressure relief valve
A differential pressure relief valve The supply temperature in
in the bypass solves interactivity as the distribution is constant.
the pressure drop between A and B
does not depend on the flow.
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Sizing of differential pressure relief valve
Sizing of the differential pressure relief valve
must be done for the max. flow that can go
through the bypass

The max. flow going through the bypass is


determined by finding the max. difference
between the production and distribution
flows
Cooling output
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- =

Chiller flow Distribution flow Bypass flow


(for modulating control)
Hydraulic interactivity different cases
Interactivity between/with production units

qs qs
Problem:
Flow variations in production units which can
ts A
impact on unit efficiency/operation/safety
tr tr

Solutions:
Decoupling bypass (and a second set of pumps)
Differential pressure relief valve in bypass
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qp
B
Hydraulic interactivity different cases
Interactivity between circuits when balancing

Problem:
Flow adjustment in one circuit changes the flows
in all other circuits

Solutions:
Decomposition in hydronic modules
Use of a systematic balancing methods based on
the proportion rule (TA-Wireless & TA-Diagnostic
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methods)
Balancing facilitated by differential pressure
controllers on branches
Hydraulic interactivity different cases
Interactivity between circuits in variable flow systems by action of control valves

Problem:
Unstable control due to differential pressure
variations induced by opening and closing of
control valves

Solutions:
Size control valves to get a good authority (make
control valve Dp larger compared to common Dp)
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Use differential pressure control to protect


control valves from differential pressure variations
Interactivity

Is there any risk of interactivity?


Describe what could happen.

Pump head is 70 kPa and distribution


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circuit pressure drop is 40 kPa.


Is interactivity acceptable?

Which solution could you advise to


avoid interactivity?
Interactivity

Is there any risk of interactivity?


Describe what could happen.
Yes, there is. When control valve V2
closes, the flow through the boilers
decreases reducing their Dp. This gives a
higher available differential pressure
increasing the flow through the valve V1.
Pump head is 70 kPa and distribution
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circuit pressure drop is 40 kPa.


Is interactivity acceptable?
Interactivity is not acceptable:
30/70 = 0.43 > 0.3
Which solution could you advise to
avoid interactivity?
Add a bypass between production and
distribution (and a second set of pumps)
Interactivity

H=50 kPa

Common resistance
For which circuit(s) is
interactivity acceptable? 1 2 3 4a 4b
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If not acceptable, what is the q1


maximum flow deviation?
q2 q3 q4

qT A

Design flows are identical in each circuit.


Interactivity
Design flows are identical in each circuit.
B

H=50 kPa
For which circuit(s) is
interactivity acceptable ?

Common resistance
If not acceptable, what is the
maximum flow deviation?
Circuit 1: 15/60 = 0.25 < 0.3 1 2 3 4a 4b
Interactivity is acceptable
Circuit 2: 15/30 = 0.5 > 0.3
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Interactivity is not acceptable q1


Max flow deviation will be 39% q2 q3 q4
Circuit 3: 15/40 = 0.375 > 0.3
Interactivity is not acceptable
Max flow deviation will be 25% qT A
Circuit 4a and 4b: 15/50 = 0.3
Interactivity is just at the limit of the criterion. It will lead to 20%
flow variations in circuits 4a and 4b. It must be checked with the
design engineer if this is OK for the equipment and circuit function.
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Compatibility
Compatibility between flows

A bypass between the production side and


the distribution side avoids interactivity

BUT!!!
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Compatibility between flows


has to be assured
Production and distribution flows
Flow in production units are usually relatively well set, because of:
published manufacturers' limits
warranty

Flow on distribution side is generally well above design value, because of:
safety factors
"what can the most can the least" approach at all stages

In 90% of installations, flow in


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distribution is over 150% of the


design value.
Source: Investigation by Costic (French
100% 150% Research and Training Centre in HVAC),
flow flow published in CFP Journal April-May 2002.

30
Compatibility between flows

Because the distribution pump is


Chillers 150% oversized, the distribution takes more
11.8C flow than the production can provide.
11.8C

There is a mixing point in A between


Distribution return water and supply water.
50%
The supply water temperature is
higher than expected per design.
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6C 7.9C

100% A 150%

31
Supply water temperature drift versus overflow
For a 6C 12C 24C temperature regime

Emission Emission
100% 120%
90%
100%
80%
70%
80%
60%
50% 60%
40%
40%
30%
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20% 20%
10%
0% 0%
6 9 12 15 18 21 24 0% 50% 100% 150% 200%
Supply water Flow
temperature [C]

Decreased supply t effect Overflow effect


- 18% + 10% 32
Compatibility between flows

qs qs
The problem of flow compatibility
does not appear under all conditions:

ts A At lower load
everything seems to work fine.
tr tr
At high load (when peak power is needed)
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incompatible flows limit the power which is


transmitted from the production to the
distribution. When qp < qs, the flow reverses
in the bypass and return water is mixed with
qp supply water.
B

33
Compatibility between flows
qs qs

ts A

tr tr

When the production side is designed qp


B

as a loop:

Flow incompatibility starts by affecting 60% 60%


the last circuits. 100 % 40 %

The problem of flow compatibility


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appears only at high load.


qp > qs 20%

60% 60%

qp
100 % 40 % 20 %
34
Compatibility between flows false solutions
"Pushing" the distribution pump as a reaction to complaints makes the
problem worse
It increases the flow incompatibility and therefore the mixing
Supply water temperature increases further in cooling
(decreases further in heating)

150% 200%
11.8C 11.8C
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11.8C 11.8C

50% 100%

6C 7.9C 6C 8.9C

100% A 150% 100% A 200% 35


Compatibility between flows false solutions
Decreasing the set-point of the production unit can compensate
for the incompatibility but at the cost of higher energy
consumption

Chiller manufacturers technical literature


indicates extra energy use of approximately 4%
per C that the chilled water supply
temperature is lowered.
150% 150%
12C
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11.8C 12C
11.8C

50% 50%

6C 7.9C 3C 6C
A 100%
A 150%
100% 150% 36
Compatibility between flows false solutions
Adding a production unit possibly solves compatibility issue but at the
cost of an unnecessary production unit
It is not a good solution because the problem is not a problem of lack
of installed capacity, it is a problem of too high flow in the
distribution

150% 150%
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50% 0%

100% 150% 150% 150%


37
Compatibility between flows the solution

100%

Provide the design At the right supply


flow to all units. water temperature.
~ 0%
Do not take more
flow than produced. A
100% 100%
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At each system interface,


guarantee the flow compatibility
Need to balance:
thanks to balancing on the production side
and on the distribution side. 38
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qp
qs

NO valve !
qs
Nothing in a straight bypass !!!

qp
qs
qs

NO check valve !
Compatibility between flows

(a) (b)
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1. What are the compatibility conditions for designs (a) and (b) ?
2. From the operation point of view, what is the difference between (a) and (b) ?
3. When is design (b) recommended ?
Compatibility between flows

(a) (b)
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1. What are the compatibility conditions for designs (a) and (b) ?
(a) Design flows: (b) Design flows:
qg qp qg 2 qs
qp 2 qs qs1 qc1
qs2 qc2
Compatibility between flows

(a) (b)
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2. From the operation point of view, what is the difference between (a) and (b) ?
There is no difference w.r.t. breaking the interactivity. In both cases, circuits get
disconnected in pressure from the distribution. Schemes (a) and (b) behave differently in
case of incompatibility: with scheme (a), the last circuit gets first affected; with scheme
(b), compatibility must be ensured for each circuit independently of the others.
3. When is design (b) recommended ?
When the distribution length is large in design (a), the Dp of the pipe acts a common
resistance for the 2 circuits. Circuit (b) with "distributed" bypass is then recommended.
Compatibility between flows

(a) (b)
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1. What are the compatibility conditions for (a) and (b) ?


2. Is it possible in both cases to keep 6C supply water temperature
in the distribution circuit ?
Compatibility between flows

(a) (b)
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1. What are the compatibility conditions for (a) and (b) ?


(a) No compatibility condition, (b) Design flows:
but circuits are interactive ! qg qs
2. Is it possible in both cases to keep 6C supply water temperature in the
distribution circuit ?
Not in case (a), if chillers are not isolated when switched off.
Not in case (b), when some chillers are not in operation. In this case, there is a mixing
in A as the production flow is reduced to a fraction of the total production flow while
the distribution flow is constant.
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Questions?
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Thank you!