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Serving the HVAC Test and Balance and Engineering Industries

Duct Leakage Testing

Associated Air Balance Council

New Easy-to-Use Software that Generates Customized Test & Balance Specications!

AABCs SPECwriter
The Associated Air Balance Council has developed a new, easy-to-use software program that brings efciency and uniformity to your TAB specication writing. SPECwriter is an efcient and simple software created especially for architects and engineers. With SPECwriter, you can create a specication that meets the specic scope of your project. A completed specication can be written and printed in just minutes! The program does all the work! Easy to install and easy to learn.

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Associated Air Balance Council

1518 K Street NW, Suite 503

Washington, DC 20005

(202) 737-0202

IBM/PC Compatible. For use with Windows 3.1 or higher. 4 MBytes of memory, 1 MByte of available hard disk space, a mouse and a printer.


Understanding Temperature and Altitude Corrections . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Associated Air Balance Council Board of Directors and Ofcers President William A. Derse Professional System Analysis, Inc. Executive Vice President Patrick H. Kelly American Testing Inc. Secretary/Treasurer Robert A. Conboy American Air Balance Co., Inc. Vice President/Eastern Zone-1 Joseph E. Baumgartner, III, P.E. Baltimore Air Balance Company Vice President/Central Zone-2 Mike Young Test and Balance Corp. Vice President/Western Zone-3 Michael Renovich RS Analysis, Inc. Immediate Past President William K. Thomas, Sr. P.E. Thomas-Young Associates, Inc. Director, Canadian Chapter Ed St. Laurent A.H.S. Testing and Balancing, Ltd. Executive Director Kenneth M. Sufka TAB Journal Editor Brian G. Hutchings Editorial Ofce 1518 K Street, N.W., Suite 503 Washington, D.C. 20005 (202) 737-0202 FAX: (202) 638-4833 E-mail: aabchq@aol.com WebSite:www.aabchq.com TAB Journal is published quarterly by the Associated Air Balance Council. It is distributed free to AABC members and by subscription to non-members at $24 per year. TAB Journal is an open forum for the free expression of opinions and information. The views expressed are not necessarily those of AABC, its ofcers, directors, or staff. Letters, manuscripts, and other submissions are welcome. However, TAB Journal accepts no responsibility for unsolicited material. All rights reserved. Copyright 2000 by the Associated Air Balance Council.

Ron Schilling

Air Basics - For Design Intent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Jerry Lavender and Mike Van Weichen

Parallel Pumping System Analysis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Mario L. Perez

Preliminary Testing Before Remodeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Bob Severin

Static Pressure Set Points for VAV Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Derek R. Shupe

Circuit Setter Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Richard Miller

A Comparison of SMACNA New Duct Leakage Test Criteria. . . . . . . . 14

Laszlo A. Lukacs

Fresh Air and Why it May Not be so Good for You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

James P. Bragg

Proportional Balancing Air Handling Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Mike Nix

Smoke Dampers - The Pressure Drop Dilemma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Albert L. Englehart

From the Publisher

Though not a required test, the Associated Air Balance Council Building recommends that all duct systems, including low-pressure systems, be sealed and tested in accordance with its National Standards. In fact, AABCs new 2000 National Standards (scheduled for release later this year) will feature an updated and revised chapter dedicated to Duct Leakage. Though most building codes normally require that ducts be sufciently airtight to ensure energy conservation and control of the air movement, humidity, and temperature in the space, problems with excessive duct leakage are widespread. This issue of TAB Journal, entitled Duct Leakage Testing, contains several articles focusing on this topic. In the articles, we see how duct leakage is affected by static pressure, openings in the duct (through joints, seams, access doors, rod penetrations, etc), and workmanship, and how duct testing can save money and improve indoor air quality. Among these, Laszlo Lukacs with Aerodynamics Inspecting Company compares the differences between SMACNAs New Duct Leakage Test Criteria against their old one and reports that newer may not always be better. Albert Englehart, Mechanical Testing, Inc., presents an informative case study on problems with static pressure drops across smoke dampers, and the drawbacks of using smoke dampers in small ducts. And nally, Jerry Lavender and Mike Van Weichen of AIRWASO, show the importance of duct leakage testing and how testing for duct leakage can save the owner considerable expense over the long run. In the Forum section, James Braggs humorously titled article, Fresh Air and Why it May Not be so Good For You, addresses the serious issue how adding too much outside air can actually lead to poor indoor air quality. In other articles, Mike Nix, of Delta-T, Inc., takes a look at the benets of proportional balancing air handling systems, and Mario Perez, Precisionaire of Texas, explains why it is important to perform a thorough analysis of each parallel pumping system application. This issue of TAB Journal also includes a new edition of AABCs technical newsletter TechTips, and a report by the Department of Energy revealing that most commercial HVAC auxiliary equipment is not energy efcient. We thank all of the authors for their contributions, and for helping to make this another informative and educational issue of TAB Journal. We welcome reader input at TAB Journal and encourage you to provide us with your comments, letters, and articles. 1


Understanding Temperature and Altitude Corrections

Ron Schilling Greenheck Fan Company

he most common inuences on air density are the effects of temperature other than 70F and barometric pressures other than 29.92 caused by elevations above sea level. Ratings found in fan performance tables and curves are based on standard air, which is dened as clean, dry air with a density of .075 pounds per cubic foot, with the barometric pressure at sea level of 29.92 inches of mercury and a temperature of 70F. Selecting a fan to operate at conditions other than standard air requires adjustment to both static pressure and brake horsepower. The volume of air will not be effected in a given system because a fan will move the same amount of air regardless of the air density. In other words, if a fan will move 3,000 CFM at 70F, it will also move 3,000 CFM at 250F. Because 250F air weighs only 34% of 70F air, the fan will require less bhp, but it will also create less pressure than specied. When a fan is specied for given CFM and static pressure (Ps) at conditions other than standard, the correction factors (shown in table) must be applied to select the proper size fan, fan speed and bhp to meet the new condition. The best way to understand how the correction factors are used is to work out several examples. Lets look at an example using a specication for a fan to operate at 600F at sea level. This example will clearly show that the fan must be selected to handle a much greater static pressure than specied.

Example #1
A 20" centrifugal fan (20" BISW) is required to deliver 5,000 CFM at 3.0 inches static pressure. Elevation is 0 (sea level). Temperature is 600F. 1. Using the chart, the correction factor is 2.00. 2. Multiply the specied operating static pressure by the correction factor to determine the standard air density equivalent static pressure. (Corrected static pressure = 3.0 x 2.00 = 6". The fan must be selected for 6 in. of static pressure.) 3. Based upon our performance table for a 20" BISW fan at 5,000 CFM at 6 in

wg. 2,018 frpm is needed to produce the required performance. (This now requires a Class II fan. Before the correction was made it would have appeared to be a Class I selection.) 4. The bhp from the performance chart is 6.76. 5. What is the operating bhp at 600F? Since the horsepower shown in the performance chart refers to standard air density, this should be corrected to reect actual bhp at the lighter operating air. Operating bhp = standard bhp 2.00 or 6.76 2.00 = 3.38 bhp. Important: We now know the operating bhp. However, what motor horsepower should be specied for this fan?

Air Temp. F
0 50 70 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000

Air Density Correction Factors

Elevation [ feet above sea level ]
0 0.87 0.96 1.00 1.06 1.15 1.25 1.34 1.43 1.53 1.62 1.81 2.00 2.19 2.38 2.56 2.76 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000 11000 12000 13000 14000 15000 9.90 1.00 1.04 1.10 1.19 1.29 1.38 1.49 1.58 1.68 1.88 2.07 2.27 2.48 2.66 2.87 0.94 1.04 1.08 1.14 1.24 1.34 1.44 1.54 1.64 1.75 1.95 2.15 2.35 2.57 2.76 2.99 0.97 1.12 1.18 1.30 1.40 1.50 1.50 1.71 1.81 2.02 2.23 2.44 2.67 2.87 3.09 1.01 .16 1.22 1.33 1.44 1.55 1.66 1.77 1.88 2.10 2.31 2.53 2.76 2.97 3.20 1.05 1.22 1.27 1.38 1.50 1.61 1.72 1.84 1.94 2.18 2.40 2.63 2.86 3.07 3.31 1.08 1.20 1.25 1.32 1.44 1.56 1.67 1.79 1.91 2.03 2.26 2.50 2.73 2.98 3.20 3.45 1.13 1.24 1.30 1.37 1.49 1.51 1.74 1.86 1.98 2.09 2.35 2.59 2.83 3.09 3.33 3.59 1.17 1.30 1.35 1.42 1.55 1.58 1.80 1.93 2.06 2.19 2.44 2.69 2.94 3.21 3.46 3.73 1.22 1.34 1.40 1.46 1.61 1.75 1.88 2.01 2.14 2.27 2.54 2.84 3.07 3.33 3.58 3.86 1.26 1.40 1.45 1.54 1.67 1.81 1.95 2.08 2.22 2.37 2.63 2.91 3.17 3.45 3.71 4.00 1.31 1.45 1.51 1.60 1.74 1.99 2.02 2.16 2.31 2.45 2.73 3.02 3.31 3.59 3.87 4.17 1.37 1.51 1.57 1.66 1.81 1.96 2.10 2.25 2.40 2.54 2.84 3.14 3.44 3.74 4.02 4.33 1.43 1.57 1.64 1.74 1.89 2.05 2.20 2.35 2.51 2.66 2.97 3.28 3.59 3.90 4.20 4.53 1.48 1.63 1.70 1.80 1.96 2.13 2.28 2.43 2.60 2.75 3.08 3.40 3.72 4.05 4.35 4.69 1.54 1.70 1.71 1.86 2.04 2.21 2.37 2.53 2.71 2.87 3.20 3.54 3.88 4.21 4.53 4.89 1.06 1.111 1.15

Figure 1: It is acceptable to interpolate when exact temperatures or elevations are not shown in chart.

TAB Journal

4. The bhp from the performance chart is 2.40. 5. What is the operating bhp at 6,000-ft. elevation and 100F air? Since the horsepower selected refers to standard air density, this should be corrected to reect actual bhp at the lighter operating air. Operating bhp = standard bhp 1.32 or 2.40 1.32 = 1.82 bhp. In this example, we can use the corrected bhp because the fan is located at a given elevation and will not be turned on until the attic temperature reaches 100F. The result is a 2 hp motor can be specied in lieu of a 3 hp motor.

ture or altitude (or both) the static pressure was calculated. For example: 5,000 CFM at 600F and 6 in. static pressure at 600F (or 3" Ps. at 70F). Electronic fan selection programs, such as Greenheck CAPs are excellent tools to solve both the selection and specifying problems. CAPs prompts the user to enter the air stream temperature, the start up temperature, and the altitude. The fan with the corrected conditions is then automatically selected. Using CAPs will also guard against making selections for fan types or models that are not appropriate for the condition. This is especially important for selections at extreme temperatures that require special considerations for materials, motors, bearings, drives, and speed derate factors. As demonstrated in the previous examples, for optimum system design and performance, it is important to understand and make the proper temperature and altitude corrections.

Example 1: The fan curve represents the fans operation at both the corrected and specied conditions. Curves are plotted at standard air.

If a fan is selected to operate at high temperatures, the motor must be of sufcient horsepower to handle the increased load at any lower operating temperature where the air is denser. Assume the air entering the fan at start up is 70F, therefore no correction should be made. The starting bhp remains at 6.76 and a 7.5 hp motor is required. Note: bhp corrections are most commonly used for altitude corrections (see next example) or when the starting and operating temperatures are the same.

Communicate Your Corrections

When a specied fan appears on the fan schedule, it is important to determine if the specier has already made the required corrections for temperature and altitude. Avoid confusion by specifying at what tempera-

Example #2
A fan used at 6,000-ft. elevation to exhaust 100F air from an attic space. A 30" roof fan (GB-300) is required to move 10,400 CFM at .25 inch static pressure. 1. Using the chart the correction factor is 1.32. 2. Multiply the specied operating static pressure by the correction factor to determine the standard air density equivalent static pressure (Corrected static pressure = .25" x 1.32 = 0.33" static pressure. The fan must be selected for .33" static pressure.) 3. Based upon our performance table for a 30" roof fan (GB-300), 698 frpm is needed to produce the required performance.

Example 2: The curve above from CAPS represents the fan density correction for example #2.

TAB Journal


Air Basics - For Design Intent

J e r r y L a v e n d e r a n d M i k e Va n W e i c h e n AIRWASO

he basic elements of HVAC air systems design have become increasingly absent from tender documents over the past 10 years. The end result is that many HVAC air systems cannot be made to operate at design intent. Based on our experience, some probable causes are: 1. Not enough time is allowed for design and construction. 2. The low bidder gets the job, which causes the contractors to take short cuts and buy cheaper material with the result being the project does not meet design intent. 3. Not enough adequately trained design and construction personnel to understand their role in a properly designed and constructed project. 4. Reliance on the control contractor and the balancing agency to try to make a decient system work.

In the following article, we identify some basic criteria that is often overlooked in hopes of shedding light on this growing problem.

Fan Performance
The image in Figure 1 illustrates a fan arrangement used to measure AMCA rated performance as published in fan catalogues and provided by computer generated fan curves. Systems effect S.P. values must be added to the already accumulated S.P. for ducts, coils, lters, etc. This is not a precise science, but ignoring systems effects will result in performance at less than design intent. For a centrifugal fan at 2500 FPM inlet or outlet velocity: Arrangement Causes additional In.w.c. S.P. No discharge duct 0.5 Elbow near outlet 0.6 Elbow near inlet 0.8 Inlet < 1 dia. from plenum wall 0.2 Bearing, OSHA belt guard near inlet 0.3 V.I.V. s full open 0.4 Added Static Pressure 2.8" w.c. Too often, it is not possible to correct a selection by increasing the fan RPM because the motor will overload or the fan wheel will exceed its
Figure 1: AMCA STD.210 Laboratory method of testing fans for rating

TAB Journal

RPM limit. This is often the case with Centrifugal Plug Fans (no housing) which are frequently selected to reduce costs. But be aware, this type of fans static efciency is about 60%, whereas a backward inclined air foil is about 80%. The ducts connected to the plug fan supply plenum are usually square edge openings at 1800 FPM entrance velocity and a S.P. loss of 0.5 x VP = 0.1 w.c. or greater, depending on the turbulence at the duct inlet. Vane axial fans with a exible duct connection at the inlet will suffer a ow loss of 5-12% of the AMCA rating. This is because the fabric exes inward and blocks airow to the outer diameter of the blades. As a result, the exible connection should be located at least one diameter from the fan inlet. Additional energy costs and/or poor systems performance can be signicant when systems effects or plug fan characteristics are not considered.

Figure 2: Supply - Return = Outdoor Air

plus allowance for elbows too close to each other plus allowance for dirty duct mounted lters = Required system S.P. for AMCA rating. Note: Select the fan rating for sum of maximum resistance. Determine the ow rate and motor load at the sum of minimum resistances. Apply appropriate controls so design intent is provided over entire static pressure range.

plus allowance for elbows too close to each other = Required system S.P. for AMCA rating. The conditions shown in Figure 2 should always result in fan selection, where the supply fan airow rate is considerably greater than the return fan airow rate, in order to allow for adequate outdoor airow rate. When a supply fan on a constant volume system must operate against a wide range of static pressures due to lter loading and a wet/dry cooling coil, variable inlet vanes and duct static pressure controls should be installed to maintain a constant ow rate.

Fan Selection
Supply Flow Rate: Sum of terminals less possible diversity plus percentage allowance for duct leakage = Required AMCA ow rating.

Return Flow
Supply fan ow rate less sum of exhaust fans less ow to pressurized building + 0.05" w.c. less additional outdoor air for acceptable air quality = Required AMCA ow rating.

Supply Duct Static Pressure:

The Sum of duct route and terminal resistance which combine for greatest resistance. Not necessarily the longest route. plus percentage allowance for systems effect plus resistance of mixing vortex plus resistance of dirt loaded lters plus resistance of heating coil plus resistance of wet cooling coil with extractor plus entry loss of duct at plug fan plenum plus allowance for extra ttings around unforeseen obstacles

Duct Fittings
Figure 3 shows the best use of balancing dampers in a duct system. Manual volume dampers in the O.A., R.A., and E.A. mains permit the setting of equal pressure drops so the automatic dampers can better modulate the ows. Quadrant volume dampers (i.e. dampers with a quadrant locking device) are located in mains and branches with the opposed blade damper in the terminal being used for nal trimming with no noise generation.

Return Static Pressure

Sum of duct route and terminal resistance which combine for greatest resistance. Not necessarily the longest route. plus percentage allowance for systems effect plus allowance for extra ttings around unforeseen obstacles plus allowance for smoke exhaust routing of total airow

TAB Journal

Figure 4 shows construction details of dampers and branch tting which are economical and permit effective balancing. SMACNA publications on testing and balancing state: Splitter type dampers offer little or no control of air volume in ducts. They should be used as air diverters only. Manually operated volume dampers should be installed in each branch duct to control the amount of air. Register or diffuser dampers cannot be used for reducing high air volumes without inducing objectionable air noise levels. When referring to splitter dampers and extractors, the ASHRAE Fundamentals Handbook 1989 states that these devices are poor, and should not be used. Instead, the ASHRAE Handbook recommends the diverging tee branch as shown in Figure 4. Also, common sense dictates that no manual damper of any type or shape should exist in duct systems from the supply fan discharge to the inlet of a pressure independent box, but occasionally such balancing devices do occur on the contract documents. Though pressure independent boxes are rated up to 3" w.c. inlet S.P., a duct with 3" w.c. loss from the rst to last box would be at least 1000 feet long, which is highly unlikely. The following are a few additional ttings that will create an unexpected static pressure. 1. Two or more 90% elbows installed close to each other. 2. A 90% elbow with a high aspect ratio, i.e. very wide and very shallow. 3. An elbow at the inlet of silencer. 4. An open end suction duct without anges.

Figure 3: The best use of balancing dampers in a duct system.

Transition when 90 branch airow is 10% or more of main

Balancing damper here when this duct serves two or more terminals

Location w from main or downstream of reheat coil

Handles on Adjacent sides with quadrant, locking device, and mounting screws clear of damper movement

APPLICATION 1. Up to 1.5 sq.ft. blade area, 1000 fpm branch velocity and 1/2w.c. sp across throttled damper, use single blade 24 max length and end bearing. 2. For airway areas from 1.5 to 3.0 sq.ft. use several single blades of 6 max width and 24 max length individually operated and located to function in an opposed manner. 3. For branch conditions greater than either 3 sq. ft. airway area, 24 wide, 1000 fpm or 1/2w.c. sp across a throttled damper, ise gang operated opposed blade damper and frame assembly with single exterior locking quadrant.

All drive shafts to extend 2beyond duct wall to prevent insulator from hiding damper and also for mounting quadrant clear of vapor barrier insulation on tube spacers.

Tee branch for supply return and exhaust systems operating up to 3 w.c. sp and 1800 fpm velocity on supply systems do not install in low pressure locations downstream on main dust ttings.

Figure 4: Balancing dampers- diverging tee branch.

TAB Journal

Duct Leakage
A duct or airway system consists of all surfaces that enclose the airow from the fan suction or discharge to the face of the diffuser, register or duct opening. Almost all duct systems leak, the amount of leakage depends on the specied sealing and proven implementation of testing procedures. The allowable leakage should only be in terms of the percentage of total airow at a pressure equal to highest operating pressure that will occur in the tested section. A standard tested section would be the main, branches and runouts, all capped but without cut outs for drops to diffusers or registers. A practical formula for duct leakage testing is:
Sq. Ft. surface area of CFM of tested duct work allowable = Sq. Ft. surface area of duct leakage work in entire system

lion hospital. This cost was only 1/50 of 1% of the project cost. Costs savings in energy provided a total payback after only 14 months of operation. Figure 5 illustrates how the amount of duct leakage varies with the operating static pressure in the duct. Therefore, it is practical to leak test duct work at the maximum duct operating pressure, but not greater. All duct work with a duct operating pressure in excess of 0.25" w.c. S.P. and a length greater than 50 ft. should be leak tested, and the rate of leakage proven to be within the specied allowable percentage of total ow. This should be done before the ducts become inaccessible. The bottom line is that excessive air leakage from ducts will prevent HVAC systems from reaching design intent. A frequent location for excessive leakage is the clearance between the terminal (diffuser or register) and the connected duct. This is especially true at exhaust/return registers where the O.B. damper in the register must be used for balancing. Figure 6 illustrates how an additional no leak tting can stop all leakage between the connecting collar duct and the register. Another location for excessive leakage is the duct ttings around a reheat coil. Large air ow leakage will occur across heat wheel seals. A large pressure differential up to 7" w.c. can occur when the wheel is installed on the discharge side of the supply fan and the suction side of the return/exhaust fan.

Figure 5: Leakage per sq. ft. of accumulated


This formula allows an assessment before the tendering of the related costs for extra fan power, cooling and heating of leakage air, added equipment capital costs, and bad effects on air quality. Unfortunately, leakage discovered during the balancing process is usually beyond remedy. In my opinion, duct leakage test procedures should not be referenced to SMACNAs HVAC Air Duct Leakage Test Manual, because it does not determine the leakage as a percentage of total ow. Also, the manual states that it is not recommended that duct systems constructed to 3" w.c. class or lower be tested since it is generally recognized as not being cost effective. But, overall, duct leakage testing is very cost effective. This was recently proven on a project where a separate price of $10,000 was tendered for leak testing of all duct work on a $5 mil-

To avoid the problems addressed in this article, it is important that the entire process of engaging professional services, systems design, tendering, construction, and testing and balancing needs to be done with care at all stages by persons of considerable experience and professional integrity. Otherwise, the end result will not meet design intent, and that will prove costly in the long run.

Figure 6: Usual leaky t vs. No leak tting

TAB Journal


Parallel Pumping System Analysis

Mario L. Perez Precisionaire of Texas

arallel pumping systems are used throughout the HVAC industry as a means to deliver specied ow rates when multiple chillers or boilers are utilized in the central plant design, and in secondary pumping systems with signicant variations in the building load. Parallel pumping systems can utilize two or more pumps to deliver the required total ow rate for the building. An analysis of the paralleled pumping systems needs to be performed to ensure proper operation of the system during all modes of operation. In order to simplify matters, this article will focus on a two pump system, but this same method can be used to determine the proper selection and operation of any number of parallel pumps. In a two pump parallel pumping system, each pump is specied to deliver half the total ow rate required by the pumping system at the same specied head pressure. Curve A in Figure 1 represents the pump curve for a single pump curve at half the total system ow rate with Point 1 as the operating point for this pump. From the single pump curve, a paralleled pump curve can be generated by doubling the ow rate of the single pump curve at the same head pressure. This method generates Curve B along the paralleled pump curve with Point 2 as the balance point with both pumps in operation. (See Figure 1) The next step in the analysis is to generate a system curve using the design operating conditions. This curve represents the ow rate versus head relationship for a particular

installation and set of pumps. The system curve is generated based on the equation: H2/H1 = (Q2/Q1)2 Where: H1 = Known Head H2 = Desired Head Q1 = Known Flow Rate Q2 = Desired Flow Rate The application of this equation generates a table which can be plotted directly onto the specic pump curve being used in the installation. In our example, a pumping

system has been specied to deliver 750 GPM at 100 ft. Hd. Therefore, each pump would need to deliver 375 GPM at 100 ft. Hd. The table for this example would be as shown below: Flow Rate 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Head in Feet 0 335 474 581 671 750 822

TAB Journal

Plotting the data from this table on the pump curve, Figure 2, generates Curve C which is the system curve for this particular set of pumps. Notice that the system curve intersects the paralleled pump curve at Point 2 which is the system operating point with both pumps in operation. Curve A represents the impeller diameter for each single pump. (See Figure 2) An analysis must now be performed to determine the performance of the system when it operates with a single pump. Single pump operation can be caused by routine maintenance, control strategies for standby operation, or mechanical failure of one of the pumps. The operation of the single pump which remains in operation is determined by the intersection of the single pump Curve A, and the system Curve C as illustrated by Point 3 in Figure 3. As this intersecting point illustrates, the ow rate of the single pump has increased and the head pressure decreased. The new balance point for a single pump in operation for this particular installation is 615 GPM at 67 ft. Hd. (See Figure 3) The Point 3 on the impeller Curve A needs to intersect the system curve. If the selection falls below the endpoint of the impeller curve, then the single point operation can cause serious problems such as cavitation, unstable operation, or excessive vibration. Operating the pump beyond the endpoint of the impeller curve could have serious consequences including voiding the manufacturers warranty. The analysis of the single pump balance point is also important due to the inherent characteristics of some pump motors that cause the amperage to increase with increase in ow rate. This may cause the
TAB Journal

motor horsepower selection to be different than if the pump were selected for a single pump application.
Figure 1

In Figure 4, the motor selection for each pump would be 15 HP with both pumps in operation. A closer analysis of the system when a single pump is in operation reveals that a 20 HP motor selection is required, as indicated by Point 3,

This same method can be used to determine the proper selection and operation of any number of parallel pumps.
during a single pump operation when both pumps have been balanced simultaneously. If a single pump operation is anticipated for a specic application, then a 20 HP motor would allow the pumps to operate within the entire range of this particular application. (See Figure 4) Parallel pumping systems are a useful and common application used in todays HVAC systems. Misapplications and oversights can occur which could cause problems in the operation of the system. A thorough analysis of each parallel pumping system application following the steps outline herein, can prevent some common mistakes encountered with these systems.

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

N e w s l e t t e r

F r o m

T h e

A s s o c i a t e d

A i r

B a l a n c e

C o u n c i l

Occasionally, AABC receives short case study type technical papers from our members. These papers usually focus on observations made by AABC members working on a project in the eld, in which they explain a certain problem they have encountered, and what corrective actions they instigated to overcome that problem. Each of these papers presents certain problems or challenges to the test and balance professional, and provides insight into how these situations can be resolved. These papers are relatively short but may hold special appeal for others involved with the everyday experience of testing and balancing. We therefore decided to publish these papers as a collection of articles in Tech Tips, a technical newsletter inside TAB Journal that can be removed for your convenience. In This Tech Tips: Preliminary Testing Before Remodeling Static Pressure Set Points for VAV Systems A Comparison of SMACNA New Duct Leakage Test Criteria Circuit Setter Problems TAB Journal

Preliminary Testing Before Remodeling

Bob Severin, Kahoe Air Balance If you can, imagine attempting to add a second oor to a building that was not structurally able to maintain the additional load and the problems that may result from lack of preliminary inspections and research. Attempting such a foolhardy undertaking is like opening the door to problems and almost certain disaster. Likewise, problems can also occur with existing heating, air conditioning, and ventilating systems that may not be able to handle the additional load put upon them as the result of a remodeling job. The need for obtaining preliminary systems test and analysis is something that should be of concern to every design professional considering adding to, or modifying existing building environmental systems. Original design numbers, extracted from existing prints and old contract documents may no longer be valid when the building is being considered for expansion or remodeling. We have seen many instances where new design performance levels for airows and hydronic ows could not be obtained from existing systems because these systems were not performing up to the expectations of the designers and owners. Reasons for this can include things such as the systems may not have ever performed up to the original design numbers, or the performance levels may have deteriorated over time due to equipment wear, dirt buildup and a multitude of other problems that may not be readily evident. If, during the planning stages and conceptual development, a system analysis and set of preliminary system performance levels are made, adjustments and allowances for equipment repair or replacement can be included in the budget for the project. The timing for preliminary testing and system inspections should coincide with the beginning of the design phase for the proposed project. Far too often, the preliminary tests are only called for prior to demolition. Unfortunately, the general contractor, in his zest to begin work, does not usually concern himself with such a trivial matter such as measuring the performance levels of the existing HVAC equipment. As a test and balancing subcontractor, we often nd ourselves prodding the mechanical contractor for a time when preliminary readings can be taken. If the preliminary reading can not take place prior to, or during, the design phase, then they need to be addressed in several areas of the specications. The general contractor and the mechanical contractor should both be made aware of the preliminary tests of the existing HVAC in their respective sections of the specications as part of the general requirements. An accurate set of preliminary readings, and systems analysis, can certainly help to ensure that the nal product is one with which the owner is satised. As with all planning, having the correct information pertaining to performance levels of existing systems at the start of the design process will AIP in the successful outcome of the project at time of completion.


Static Pressure Set Points for VAV Systems

Derek R. Shupe, R and S Balancing L.C. At a recent ASHRAE meeting, an owners representative presented his thoughts on building commissioning. He directed his comments primarily towards HVAC problems, and how he thought that the commissioning of these systems would solve most system failures. Indeed, I believe, in some instances, that HVAC system failures can be prevented by commissioning these systems. However, the failures that the owner representative had touched on during his presentation were items that we, as an AABC Test and Balance Agency, try to address as our standard procedure of Total System Balancing. The main complaint that the owners representative had was the fact that Variable Frequency Drives on several projects did not function properly, and that the control contractor and the testing and balancing technician did not actually set up the drives to control properly. Even when the VAV boxes were satised, the drive was still running at 100%. As an AABC Testing and Balancing agency, we are not simply satised with the tasks of just proportionally balancing the airow. Rather, we feel that the check out of the control system, as well as other integral parts of the system, is an important part of the Total System Balancing process. Granted, items such as functional tests and start-up procedures (that are supposed to be part of the commissioning process) should remedy many of the problems that arise (such as VFDs that do not function), or, in the very least, bring them to the attention of the appropriate trades as non-performing items. As a Test and Balance professional, and sometimes Commissioning agent, the responsibility of getting the VFDs to work with the control system based upon a set point lies with the test and balance technician and the control contractor. (or set up for the diversity factor) and has been balanced to the acceptable percentage, locate the static pressure sensing unit that was installed by the control contractor and do the following: 1. Drill a hole in the duct adjacent to the sensing element and measure the static pressure with a manometer. 2. Compare the actual static pressure with the static pressure reading that the control contractor is showing on the display for the particular system. (Note: If the two readings do not match, some calibration on behalf of the control is in order.) 3. Once the controls are calibrated, the reading that is recorded at the sensing location becomes the set point for that particular system and should be programmed as the set point static pressure in the control program or into the controller. 4. Once the set point has been installed into the control system, activate the cooling capabilities of the system. Begin to set back the thermostats to their respective set points. While doing this, verify that the VFD is responding to the increase in pressure due to the boxes being satised (outputs to the drive can be monitored through the control system). 5. After all the thermostats have been adjusted to their respective set points, and the cooling system has been activated, the drive should be modulated back to a 50%-60% range once everything is satised, depending upon design criteria. Here are some other things to keep in mind when verifying the operation of the VFD: 1. Systems with large diversity factors may require that the drive run in the upper ranges of the drive output to the motor (70% - 90%). 2. If the system has a return fan, the performance of the VFD will have to be veried when the system is operating on 100% outside air. 3. Verify that there is enough air at the ends of each branch of the system. If a box at the far extremities of the system is short on air, the set point may need to be adjusted to accommodate the short fall. 4. The above steps to arrive at the system set point will not work with extreme duct leakage. 5. Sensor location may dictate the amount of pressure that is needed to operate the system properly. Get the 1" out of your mind, its a place to start, but is not the set point for every system. 6. The drive manufacturers representative or start-up people may need to be present in order to verify full operation of the drive based on input and output criteria.

...we are not simply satised with the tasks of just proportionally balancing the airow.

The Process
At the risk of sounding redundant to fellow Test and Balance Engineers, I will (for the benet of the Architects, Building Owners, and Design and Mechanical Engineers that read TAB Journal) explain the process of arriving at, and verifying, the set point for system static pressure. After the system has been proportionally balanced and the VAV boxes have been set for their respective air ows, and while the system is in the full cooling mode


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Not all projects come complete with a commissioning agent to verify every single component and sequence. As a result, it would behoove the test and balance technician and his company to make sure that the system is functional before leaving the project. This is not to say that it is the test and balance contractors job to baby sit the control contractor, but it makes perfect sense for the two contractors to work together to arrive at the set point. On a nal note, be sure to record the set points in the test and balance report for future use. I have returned to job sites long after the test and balance had been performed to troubleshoot problems of one sort or another, and have found that the set point static pressure had been reset back to the proverbial 1" w.c. that seems to be written down somewhere in the control mans bible as the set point for all systems around the world. In the end though, proper set point pressure comes down to three words...location, location, location.

Tech Tips are written for and by our readers, members of the Associated Air Balance Council. We thank them for sharing their valuable experiences and providing solutions to problems in our industry.

A Comparison of SMACNA New Duct Leakage Test Criteria

Laszlo A. Lukacs, Sr., Aerodynamics Inspecting Company In the course of the duct leakage testing of a large rectangular duct section (see duct schematic), we were unable to achieve the allowable duct leakage rate under the old SMACNA guidelines. As a result, we used the new SMACNA standard. However, the use of the new SMACNA standard raising the allowable duct leakage rate on medium and high-pressure duct sections from 1% to 4% creates a technical loophole. This is revealed with the following illustration of the two testing standards: 2. SMACNAs 1985 rst addition manual duct leakage calculates on the same duct section and at the same fan performance data. Duct leakage class table 4.1 = 12 System testing pressure = 3.0 WG Allowable duct leakage = 350 CFM 25 CFM 100 S.F. x 1,400 Sq. Ft./area Comparison of the two duct leakage testing methods indicates that: A. 4 to 1 allowable duct leakage increase by the new SMACNA method. B. Calculation of duct section surface area per the new SMACNA method is time consuming and allows for possible mistakes. C. The old method is simple and quickly testing criteria can be established. As a result, on medium pressure VAV duct systems, we are using system design, external pressure as a base for duct section testing pressure, and it is receiving acceptance from the design engineers.

Fan Performance
14,000 CFM at 4.5" WG total pressure delivered in the section of the main duct per our schematic. 1. The old method of duct leakage calculation per AABC and industry standard. Allowable leakage 1% = 140 CFM Testing pressure 150% of 4.5" WG = 6.75" WG Note: Presently constructed duct is not made for 6.75" WG. Test results at various duct pressures: A. At 4.5" WG/duct leakage = 475 CFM B. At 1.8" WG/duct leakage = 300 CFM C. At .8" WG/duct leakage = 140 CFM It is very clear the allowable leakage at the required testing pressure is 290% higher. To pass the leakage rate of 1%, the testing pressure needs to be reduced to .80" WG.

TAB Journal


Circuit Setter Problems

Richard Miller, Systems Testing and Analysis When TAB Technicians set circuit setters, there often seems to be a built in error in the process - namely in the play, or slack, in the indicating dial. This movement is derived during the manufacturing process, and through wear of the indicator and adjustment control dial during usage. I propose the following procedure that can be used to help minimize error, and maintain consistency and repeatability for Technicians making, measuring, and adjusting water ows during the hydronic balancing of HVAC Systems. First, always adjust from either the full open or full closed position. Either method works, but be consistent in choosing one or the other. Second, always move in the same direction when adjusting the circuit setter and stop at the point using the leading edge of the adjustment. If the adjustment requires changing, do not arbitrarily move the dial to the new location if it requires changing direction. Instead, move it in the opposite direction, then move past the dial location and return to the set point, again being sure to move in the initial direction, and reset the indicator using the leading edge. The following example illustrates the errors that can occur during a coil measurement with the play in the circuit setter dial: On a one inch circuit setter, measure a 10 foot differential at a 40 degree setting and a 5 degree play in the circuit setter dial. You will nd that there will be a difference of actual ow of 2.65 GPM vs. 2.05 GPM. This may not seem very large at rst, but if you multiply this by the number of circuit setters in the project, you will note a signicant difference. This difference calculates out to be roughly 30 percent on a single circuit setter, and a 30 percent variation in water ow throughout the entire project - an amount that exceeds AABCs 10 percent tolerance by a wide margin. If the Technician uses the proposed method, he should be able to repeat his measurements, be assured of the readings and set points in his reports, and avoid errors shown in the example. For many years, circuit setters were the best instrument available for setting hydronic ows. However, because of changing technology and times, this is no longer the case. Luckily, there is a better solution available today. This solution is the venturi type circuit setter. Why? First, the venturi is the closest to using an orice plate. This is the standard used by gas, oil, and water pipeline companies for measuring ows through pipes for metering purposes. Second, the venturi type has a Cv that remains constant whether the valve before it is full open, or 40 percent open, and the valve is not part of the measuring device. Though many companies have graphs and the balance wheel or disc for setting, measuring, and balancing, many of their graphs and charts are designed for only 100 percent open. As a result, they are not accurate at 40 percent, due to a change in the Cv. The venturi type does not have this problem. For these reasons, I would like to suggest that AABC recommend the use of venturi type circuit setters by the designers of the hydronic systems for balancing. What do you think? Send your comments to Editor, TAB Journal at AABCs headquarters.

Do you have a Tech Tip that you would like to share with our readers? If so, please contact AABC at: Associated Air Balance Council
1518 K Street NW, Ste 503 Washington, DC 20005 Fax 202.638.4833 E-mail: aabchq@aol.com http://www.aabchq.com


TAB Journal


Fresh air and why it may not be so good for you

J a m e s P. B r a g g Environmental Balance Corp.

These concerns are partly due to

he publics concern over indoor air quality has increased at a steady rate over the last six or seven years. These concerns are partly due to the media coverage of high prole Sick Buildings and the litigious society that we live in, but also partly due to increased studies in this area that do point to a need to address this issue. This had led to increased funding to nd more building friendly materials as well as investigate methods to control the air quality in the building. The most common means used to improve the indoor air quality is to dilute it with fresh air which has lower concentrations (it is hoped) of contaminants. The volume of fresh (outside) air needed to control the indoor contaminants is often based on a per person quantity. The plus side of this is that the buildings designed occupation levels easily lead to a required outside air quantity. The downside is that it is difcult to know just what quantity of fresh air is actually needed. Back in the seventies, it was thought that 5 CFM per person of fresh air overall was sufcient to keep the air in a building at a safe and acceptable level. At low levels such as these, there was only a minor impact on the resulting extra cooling/heating loads and the outside air was most commonly relieved via the toilet exhaust. In the nineties, we started to see buildings with higher and higher levels of outside air requirements, usually between 15-20 CFM per person. Although the added load due to the outside air was added to the coil, we started to see a variety

the media coverage of high prole Sick Buildings and the litigious society that we live in...

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Fresh air may be good, but there may be times when it is better left outside.

of problems in the buildings, the most common being:

s s s s

Building over-pressurization Severe negative building pressurization at times Actual increase in occupant complaints of poor air quality Mold and high humidity in building

Based on a number of buildings that our rm has been involved in over the years, we found the following reasons for the more common indoor air quality problems: Over Pressurization: The over pressurization was often due to inadequate relief. Often we would nd barometric dampers on the transfer duct from the return to the outside of the building. Either the barometric damper was set for too high a pressure, or the duct was too small. Lately, we are seeing more forced ventilation via exhaust fans, sometimes tied to the return ducts, and the problem here is that the fans may not be sized properly or dont run. Negative Pressurization: The opposite problem, negative pressurization, we found most often in environments with cooler weather. Most of these systems were variable volume with relief via exhaust fans. In the cool weather and with the system in a heating mode, the total airow being moved by the airhandlers was at its lowest. The problem buildings had only an air shaft connected from a roof intake to the airhandler return. As the total airow dropped, the outside airow likewise dropped. Since the relief is a constant volume exhaust fan(s), the building becomes negatively pressurized. The occupant complaints in the buildings

with 15-20 CFM of designed outside air per person were varied in nature and cause. Not surprising, we found most of the complaints occurred during heating season when people are inside more often. Using a CO2 meter, we did nd instances of high (above 800 PPM) concentrations of CO2 which indicates inadequate ventilation. The most common type of system we found was a variable volume system, and the most common cause was low outside rates at the time when the airhandler was moving a low percentage of its overall capability. Mold and high humidity in buildings we nd much more often, the more so since our rm is located in the southeast. Again, the reasons are varied, but many times we found the system functioning as designed, in that the building was not negatively pressurized and outside airow rates were at design. The chief culprit was often the very thing that was supposed to help the building, the high outside airow rate. The problem is often that a particular building may be designed for a certain occupancy level and the HVAC system is designed to maintain comfort levels for those occupants, but, the HVAC system is also designed to do that on the hottest days in the summer. As a result, the cooling coil capacity may be quite large compared to the actual interior load. This would not usually be a problem if not for the large

amount of outside air being introduced to the system every minute. The cooling coil doesnt need to work very hard to maintain space temperatures with the less than full load conditions, but, since it is not staying on much, it does not dehumidify well. This caused the humidity in the space to rise, which often resulted in the occupants feeling clammy who, in turn, had the thermostats lowered to combat it. As this continues, there comes a certain point where mold begins to grow. To combat the various problems associated with trying to maintain adequate indoor air quality, we have seen a variety of implementations, but they all involve addressing the main problem directly. That is, the fresh air is treated before it is introduced into the buildings HVAC system rather than assume that the HVAC system can take care of it in the course of maintaining the indoor space requirements. This often involves a dedicated system to temper and de-humidify the fresh air and can include an enthalpy wheel or some other form of heat recovery to lessen the cost of doing it. Alternately, reducing the amount of fresh air needed by monitoring the CO2 levels and only adding fresh air when it is needed has shown to be a viable option, particularly for larger systems. Fresh air may be good, but there may be times when it is better left outside.
TAB Journal


Proportional Balancing Air Handling Systems

Mike Nix Delta-T, Inc.

roportional balancings virtue is that systems can be balanced at less than actual design ow rates. With proportional balancing, part of a large system can be set up before other parts are completed, and once a damper is xed, it need never be altered. The basic assumption is that a duct system with terminals can be regarded as a xed resistance network, each section always passing the same proportion of the total inow to the network regardless of the absolute value of the inow. Thus, a terminal handling 10 percent of the total network ow passes 100 CFM at 1000 CFM total, 200 CFM at 2000 CFM total, etc. However, in a duct system, resistance does not change in the same ratio in all sections with change in ow rate. The effect is complicated by the inuence of the Reynolds number on the friction factor. Tests showed this effect to be sufciently small to have no practical signicance on proportional balancing. The tests were performed by selecting a system made up entirely of straight duct losses (subject to greatest error from the Reynolds number/friction factor) and second, a typical system with half friction losses and half dynamic losses in ttings. In the rst case, the error in estimated ow rate did not exceed 3 percent over a ow range of +140 to -60 percent, and the error was less than 5 percent at -80 percent ow rate. Errors likely in practice,

Proportional Balancing Air Handling: Systems can be balanced at less than actual design ow rates.

reected by the assumptions in the second case, were 1.3 percent for the same range and only 3 percent for a ow reduction of -80 percent. Therefore, this factor is insignicant. Dynamic effects can sometimes upset distribution so that it does not ow the equal resistance change assumption. For example, a badly designed bend preceding a branch take-off can cause preferential ow

in one junction at certain air speeds; a splitter damper can produce the same effect. Systems with splitter dampers will not stay in balance when fan or zone CFM is increased or decreased due to changes in air ow characteristics. To perform proportional balance, volume dampers must be installed. Balance is achieved by increasing or decreasing static pressure. Once balanced, any change in air ow is proportionally distributed to the system.

TAB Journal


How it Works in Practice

The concept of percent-of-design, which expresses the ratio between the measured ow rate at a terminal and the required design rate, is an important one in proportional balancing. Terminals and branches are dampered to work at the same percentof-design. Attention to accuracy when measuring air ow from terminals is important, and readings must be consistentthat is, repeatable. To achieve this, the same instrument is used; the same method of working out the air ow is employed; and, preferably, the same operator conducts the test so that personnel equation errors are avoided.

becomes the index terminal. Leaving the index terminal fully open, the terminal immediately next to it upstream is throttled until its percent-of-design is the same as the terminal. The technician then works progressively along the branch, comparing each terminal in turn with the index terminal and adjusting the dampers so that nally every terminal works with the same percent-of-design. The end or low terminal is always used as the index, and its damper remains fully open. An additional advantage of this method is the minimum throttling required to balance the system. (See gure number 1 for diagram.) Since each terminal will be delivering the same percent-of-design air ow, any subsequent change in the total volume ow into the branch (caused, for example, by throttling nearby branches) will still produce the same proportional distribution of air into the terminals.

Terminal Balance
Given the simplest case (a branch duct with a row of terminals), the balance procedures start in the normal way by opening all terminal connection dampers. However, instead of throttling the dampers nearest to the fan working toward the end of the duct, proportional balancing begins with the low or last terminal. This terminal

Branch Balance
Exactly the same principle applies to the balancing of branches by throttling the induct dampers. Unlike the traditional

method, proportional balancing does not require direct air ow measurement in the duct itself. The percent-of-design at the index terminal of the duct being tested is compared with the index terminal on the last branch duct in the system, referred to as the index branch. Again, the procedure is to work back toward the fan. Thus, the rst branch damper to be adjusted will be the one immediately next to the index branch; and, as in terminal adjustment, the damper on the index branch is left fully open. If, for example, the recorded percentof-design on the index terminal of the index branch was 80 percent, and the measured percentage at the index terminal of the branch being adjusted was 90 percent, the duct damper would be closed until both index terminals showed the same gure. More air would be forced into the index branch during this operation, and the percent-of-design would rise at the index branch terminals. This would not matter since both branches would then be running at the same percent-of-design. Also, please note that every terminal must be remeasured after any changes are made to the system and that drastic adjustments will nullify any proportional balancing done.

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Tolerances allowable in proportional balancing must be realistic, take into account instrument repeatability and operator error
With this method of branch balancing, using terminals only, the terminal ow must be within +/- 10 percent of the total branch ow. On branches with many terminals, it may be necessary to average ow at several terminals to obtain a representative sample. To reduce the possibility of error magnication when working with airow rates other than design rates (for both terminal and branch balance), branches having about +/- 30 to 50 percent of the design air ow rate are usually selected, and other branches that may be outside these limits are dealt with later in the balancing program.

Balancing between terminals on the same branch is not as critical as the degree of balance needed between one branch and another.

Fan Volume
Since the balancing operation starts with fully open dampers, there is the possibility that certain fan types will take too much power and overload the motor. Therefore, the motor overload must be corrected by reducing the RPM or throttling fan vortex or discharge dampers before balancing. Unless check measurements are necessary in branch ducts where there is some doubt about the consistency of terminal readings, or where the terminals are of mixed types,

the only in-duct traverse required is at the end of the balancing process. After system proportional balance is complete, the main duct is traversed to determine total CFM being delivered by the fan. The fan RPM is set to deliver total fan CFM within specied tolerances. And nally, bear in mind that the proportionally balanced terminal total CFM does not equal fan CFM. The reason for this is because it does not allow for duct leakage. This can be a major factor in long duct runs with unsealed ducts, which can leak at 25 percent or more. The difference between balanced terminal and fan traverse CFM is an indication of duct leakage, but this is not an accurate gauge and should not be used.

STEP 1, 1 Read 150=.75% Balanced Balanced 2 , 1 Read 160=.80% 3 , 1 Read 170=.85%

STEP 6, 4 Read 230=1.15% Balanced Balanced 5 , 4 Read 160=1.20% 6 , 4 Read 170=1.25%

Balanced B4 , 1 Read 200=100% STEP 2, 2 Read 170=.85% STEP 3, 2 Balance 160=.80% Balanced 2 , 1 Read 170=.85% 3 , 1 Read 200=100%

Balanced B4 , 4 Read 200=100% STEP 7, 5 Read 260=1.30% STEP 8, 5 Read 240=1.20% Balanced 6 , 5 Read 250= 1.25%

Zone Balance: (Multi-zone System)

The same method is used to perform zone to zone balance. Proportional balance begins with the low zone and the damper set fully open. The next low zone is throttled until the index terminal on each zone equals the same percentage of design. Proceed to the next low zone until all zones are balanced. On zones with many terminals, it is necessary to average the CFM and select a terminal that represents the average ow as the index terminal.


Balanced B4 , 5 Read 200=100% STEP 9, 6 Read 270=1.35% STEP 10, 6 Balance 250=1.25% Balanced B4 , 6 Read 200=100% STEP 11, B4 Read 250=1.25%

STEP 4, 3 Read 210=1.05% STEP 5, 3 Balance 170=.85% Balanced B4 , 3 Read 200=100%

STEP 12, A1 Read 170=.85% Balanced B4 , 1 Read 200=100%

STEP 13,

Balance B4 to A1

Balanced B4 , 4 Read 200=100%

Terminal Design CFM 200% = Percent of Design

Balance as Described Branch A Balance 2 to 1,3 to 1 Branch B Branch 5 to 4, 6 to 4

Calculate Target CFM

Target CFM is the estimated CFM of the next terminal to the balanced. Target CFM is required when balancing terminal with different CFM values.
Actual 1 Index CFM 150

Tolerances allowable in proportional balancing must be realistic, take into account instrument repeatability, operator error, and selected so that a minimum number of steps are needed for damper setting. More tolerance is allowable if all terminals discharge into a single space than if a number of unconnected spaces are involved.

Alternative Procedure
Using this method, attention to accuracy when measuring air ow terminals is important to insure terminals are balanced within ten percent. Branch A Balance 2 to 1,3 to 2 Branch B Branch 5 to 4, 6 to 5 Branch Balance Balance Branch B Index to Branch A Index

Design 1 Index CFM x 200 x 200 =

Design = CFM

Target CFM


1 & 2

Proportional Balance to 160 CFM (80% of Design).

Shaded areas are terminal reading after balancing of the next terminal in sequence.

Figure1: Note- the changes in CFM at the Index terminal on this diagram are used to explain proportional balancing. When performing the balancing the technician may throttle several terminals before the CFM changes at the index terminal.

TAB Journal



Smoke Dampers - The Pressure Drop Dilemma

Albert L. Englehart TBE, Mechanical Testing, Inc.

n a project our rm completed recently, we ended up with a system that had almost twice the static pressure and brake horsepower than the original design. Investigation by the building owner, engineer, and our technician found that the static pressure drops across the smoke dampers were the major source of the problem. In this particular system, the exhaust fan was located in the mechanical room with ductwork going to two oors. The longest duct run on this system had four smoke dampers installed before reaching the end exhaust registers. One of these smoke dampers was in a 24" x 12" duct with a design of 1,985 CFM and a velocity of 990 FPM. Referencing the manufacturers pressure drop data (Figure 1), this should give us a pressure drop for the damper of between 0.08" and 0.12" w.g. depending on the manufacturer. However, when we measured the pressure drop across the smoke damper, it was 0.51" w.g. This is over ve times what it should have been reading. Next, we checked the duct work and found that the actual opening for this damper was 213/4" x 6", or a free area of only 0.91 square feet. To obtain the design of 1,985 CFM, we would now need a velocity of 2,180 FPM. If we again look at the manufacturers pressure drop data (Figure 1), we can see that, at this velocity, we do indeed have a pressure drop of between 0.40" and 0.60" w.g. Consequently, when there are multiple smoke dampers in the same duct line, we need to anticipate that the actual system may be signicantly different than its original design. Once we discovered this problem, we were careful in our plan and specication reviews to check other manufacturers data. None of the data that we have reviewed to date reference anything other than 100% open duct free area. We believe that the HVAC designer needs to be aware of this condition and be extremely careful when using smoke dampers in small ducts.
Figure 1: AMCA STD.210 Laboratory method of testing fans for rating

TAB Journal



New AABC Training Videos Soon to be Released


he need for trained and qualied TAB technicians is greater than ever. Additionally, because of demanding schedules, it is becoming increasingly difcult for company owners to nd the time to conduct formal training sessions. That is why AABC has developed a series of training videos for use by AABC member companies. The rst set of AABC Technician Training Videos should be available to members sometime this summer. The rst set consists of an introduction to AABC with three training modules for AABC technicians. The modules include: How to take a Pitot Tube Traverse; Balancing a Single-Zone System; and Balancing a Multi-Zone System. While the rst series of training videos begins with some of the very basics of testing and balancing, members who had an opportunity to view portions of the videos during the recent Zone Meetings, were impressed with the results. Many indicated an interest in purchasing the videos as soon as possible for new as well as more seasoned technicians. While the videos are not intended to replace formal training programs sponsored by the company, members quickly acknowledged that using the videos would save a lot of time and effort in helping to bring new technicians up to speed on the fundamentals of testing and balancing. They further agreed that because of the professional graphic presentation, the videos would serve to enhance employees morale and help technicians learn more easily and quickly about the world of testing and balancing. While nal changes are being made to the rst series of videos, plans are underway for the development and production of 4 more training videos at a more advanced level. Subjects will include VAV systems; Pneumatic, Electrical and DDC Controls; Hydronic Systems; and Special Systems, such as fume hood exhausts, cleanrooms, etc. Currently efforts are underway to duplicate, package, price and distribute the rst series of videos. A distribution date of August 1st is projected.

Package design for the forthcomingTechnician Training video series

TAB Journal


Have an opinion?
An interesting case study? A new method? Tell us about it.
TAB Journal welcomes submissions for publication. TAB Journal is published quarterly by the Associated Air Balance Council. Send letters or articles to:
Editor TAB Journal 1518 K Street, NW, Suite 503 Washington, DC 20005

corrections & comments

Thank you for the addressing the subject of Steve Youngs article Ode to a Multizone (Winter 2000 TAB Journal). However, Steves article did not mention the rooftop multizone manufactured by the Carrier Company (48MA and 50ME). The design features a pre-cooling coil, individual zone gas or electric heating, and individual cooling coils. The big advantage is NO ZONE DAMPERS! The zone control is heat-bypass cooling, coolbypass heating, what could be more simple? We just do not understand why Carrier does such a poor job promoting their product. Sal Cosentino
Energy Applications

Correction: In the Winter 2000 issue of TAB Journal, gure #1 on page 17 is labeled Balometer application. It should read Tachometer application.

Department of Energy Report Shows Commercial HVAC Auxiliary Equipment NOT Energy Efcient
A R E C E N T D E PA RT M E N T O F E N E R G Y report reveals that energy consumption by auxiliary equipment in commercial building heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems is much larger than previously thought, about 1.5 quadrillion British Thermal Unit (Btu), equivalent to the energy used by 23 million automobiles each year. This energy is used mainly to operate equipment, such as fans and pumps that support the primary HVAC equipment, distribute heating and cooling, and provide ventilation for buildings and ofces. The ndings reveals that the energy used by auxiliary HVAC equipment is comparable to about 10 percent of all energy used by commercial buildings in this country. Indoor air quality concerns, added ltration, and increasing ventilation rates have increased the energy used for air movement in buildings. Energy consumption by auxiliary HVAC equipment appears to be increasing, while primary equipment - largely chillers - is becoming much more energy efcient. Updated design trends, such as greater use of series fan boxes and possible reduced duct cross sections also tend to increase energy use. This report will assist DOE in identifying and implementing more energy saving technologies for its building equipment research and development programs. The full report, Energy Consumption Characteristics of Commercial Building HVAC Systems, Volume II: Thermal Distribution, Auxiliary Equipment; and Ventilation, is available as a pdf le at www.eren.doe.gov/buildings/documents.


TAB Journal

Alabama International Test and Balance (A.I.T.B.), Inc. Columbiana, Alabama (205) 669-7834 Southwest Test and Balance Cleveland, Alabama (202) 559-7151 Systems Analysis, Inc. Birmingham, Alabama (205) 802-7850 Bay to Bay Balancing, Inc. Lutz, Florida (813) 971-4545 Bay to Bay Balancing, Inc. Orlando, Florida (407) 599-9151 Bernie Moltz Inc. Rockledge, Florida (321) 631-6411 Environmental Balance Corporation Jacksonville, Florida (904) 724-7881 Perfect Balance, Inc. Jupiter, Florida (561) 575-4919 The Phoenix Agency, Inc. Lutz, Florida (813) 908-7701 Southern Balance, Inc. Pensacola, Florida (904) 433-8933 Southern Independent Testing Agency, Inc. Lutz, Florida (813) 949-1999 Test and Balance Corporation Tampa, Florida (813) 933-4171 Test & Balance Corporation of Orlando Orlando, Florida (407) 894-8181 Weisman, Inc. Towson, Maryland (410) 296-9070

Airdronics Inc. Swanton, Ohio (419) 825-1437 R.H. Cochran and Associates, Inc. Euclid, Ohio (261) 731-0163 Heat Transfarr, Inc. Columbus, Ohio (614) 848-4303 Kahoe Air Balance Company Eastlake, Ohio (440) 946-4300 Kahoe Air Balance Milford, Ohio (513) 248-4141 Kahoe Air Balance Lewis Center, Ohio (740) 548-7411 Kahoe Air Balance Dayton, Ohio (937) 433-8866 PBC, Inc. (Professional Balance Company) Willoughby, Ohio (440) 975-9494

Thomas-Young Associates, Inc. Marion, Massachusetts (508) 748-0204

(281) 449-0961 Professional Engineering Balancing Services, Inc. Dallas, Texas 75355 (214) 349-4644

R. and S. Balancing Company Salt Lake City, Utah (801) 485-1411

Aerodynamics Inspecting Company Dearborn, Michigan (313) 584-7450 Airow Testing, Inc. Lincoln Park, Michigan (313) 382-TEST Mechanical Data Corporation Wayzata, Minnesota (612) 473-1176 Mechanical Test and Balance Corp. Maple Plain, Minnesota (612) 479-6300 Systems Management & Balancing, of Minnesota, Inc. Coon Rapids, Minnesota (612) 717-1965

Arian Tab Services, Inc. Vienna, Virginia (703) 319-1000 TESCO, Inc. Chestereld, Virginia (804) 739-6155

Arizona Air Balance Company Tempe, Arizona (480) 966-2001 General Air Control, Inc. Tucson, Arizona (520) 887-8850 General Air Control, Inc. Mesa, Arizona (480) 964-0187 Penn Air Control, Inc. Tempe, Arizona (602) 438-2664 Precisionaire of Arizona, Inc. Phoenix, Arizona (602) 944-4644 Systems Commissioning & Testing, Inc. Tucson, Arizona (520) 884-4792 Technical Air Balance, Inc. Phoenix, Arizona (623) 492-0831


Eagle Test & Balance Company Bellevue, Washington (425) 747-9256 Penn Air Control, Inc. Auburn, Washington (253) 939-4293

Professional System Analysis, Inc. Germantown, Wisconsin (262) 253-4146



Hydro-Air Associates, Inc. Atlanta, Georgia (770) 997-1116 Tab Services, Inc. Atlanta, Georgia (404) 872-1861 Test and Balance Corporation Atlanta, Georgia (404) 255-8295

Eagle Test & Balance Company Coastal Air Balance of Mississippi, Inc. Cushing, Oklahoma Terry, Mississippi (918) 225-1668 (601) 878-6701


A.H.S. Testing and Balancing Ltd. Winnipeg, Manitoba (204) 224-1416 Accu-Air Balance Co. (1991) Inc. Windsor, Ontario (519) 256-4543 Air Movement Services, Ltd. Winnipeg, Manitoba (204) 233-7456 AIRDRONICS, Inc. Winnipeg, Manitoba (204) 255-8449 Airwaso, Ltd. London, Ontario (519) 471-6678 Caltab Air Balance Inc. Essex, Ontario (519) 259-1581 Controlled Air Management Ltd. Moncton, New Brunswick (506) 852-3529 D.F.C. Mechanical Testing & Balancing, Ltd. Winnipeg, Manitoba (204) 694-4901 Designtest & Balance Co. Ltd. Richmond Hill, Ontario (905) 886-6513 Dynamic Flow Balancing Ltd. Oakville, Ontario (905) 338-0808 Equilibration dair Danco, Inc. Sherbrooke, Quebec (819) 823-2092 Equilibration dair Danco Quebec, Inc. Quebec, Quebec (418) 847-6049 Kanata Air Balancing & Engineering Services Kanata, Ontario (613) 839-2163 Pro-Air Testing, Ltd. Toronto, Ontario (416) 233-2700 Scan Air Balance 1998 Ltd. Moncton, New Brunswick (506) 857-9100 Scotia Air Balance 1996 limited Antigonish Co., Nova Scotia (902) 232-2491 Systems Balance Limited Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia (902) 465-5554 Thermo Mechanical Services Ltd. Edmonton, Alberta (780) 451-4762 VPG Associates Limited Etobicoke, Ontario (416) 674-0644

Envirosystem Analysis, Inc. St. Charles, Missouri (314) 947-6324 Miller & Associates Testing & Balancing St. Louis, Missouri (314) 961-4018 Miller Certied Air St. Louis, Missouri (314) 352-8981 Precisionaire of the Midwest Grain Valley, Missouri (816) 228-3271 Senco Services Corp. St. Louis, Missouri (314) 432-5100 Systems Testing and Analysis Creve Coeur, Missouri (314) 567-6011 American Air Balance Co., Inc. Boulder City, Nevada (702) 255-7331 Land Air Balance Technology-LABTECH Las Vegas, Nevada (702) 385-5227 Penn Air Control, Inc. Las Vegas, Nevada (702) 221-9877 Raglen System Balance, Inc. Reno, Nevada (775) 747-0100 Technical Air Balance, Inc. Las Vegas, Nevada (702) 736-3374 Winaire, Inc. Las Vegas, Nevada (702) 262-9606

Butler Balancing Company Thorndale, Pennsylvania (610) 383-5104 Flood & Sterling Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (717) 232-0529 Kahoe Air Balance (Pittsburgh) McMurray, Pennsylvania (724) 941-3335 WAE Balancing, Inc. Mercer, Pennsylvania (724) 662-5743

(ABCO) Air Balance Company, Inc. Fullerton, California (714) 773-4777 American Air Balance Co., Inc. Anaheim, California (714) 693-3700 American Air Balance Co., Inc. Canoga Park, California (818) 703-0907 American Air Balance Co., Inc. Poway, California (760) 737-0190 Carter Air Balance, Inc. Napa, California (707) 252-4859 Circo System Balance, Inc. Sacramento, California (916) 387-5100 National Air Balance Co., Inc. Fremont, California (510) 623-7000 Penn Air Control, Inc. Cypress, California (714) 220-9091 Penn Air Control, Inc. Petaluma, California (707) 763-7155 Penn Air Control, Inc. San Marcos, California (760) 744-2951 Precision Air Balance Co., Inc. Anaheim, California (714) 630-3796 RS Analysis, Inc. Folsom, California (916) 351-9842 San Diego Air Balance Escondido, California (760) 741-5401 San Diego Air Balance Fullerton, California (714) 870-0457 Technical Air Balance, Inc. San Diego, California (619) 737-6817 Winaire, Inc. Huntington Beach, California (714) 901-2747

Test and Balance Corporation of the Pacic Honolulu, Hawaii (808) 593-1924


Penn Air Control, Inc. Humacao, Puerto Rico (787) 850-1866

United Test and Balance Service, Inc. Glen Ellyn, Illinois (630) 543-1210

Fluid Dynamics, Inc. Fort Wayne, Indiana (219) 482-1326

Hall Technology, Inc. Leesville, South Carolina (803) 532-1132 Palmetto Air and Water Balance Greenville, South Carolina (864) 877-6832


Systems Management & Balancing, Inc. Des Moines, Iowa (515) 270-8755

Environmental Test & Balance Company Memphis, Tennessee (901) 373-9946 Systems Analysis, Inc. Hermitage, Tennessee (615) 883-9199 United Testing & Balancing, Inc. Nashville, Tennessee (615) 331-1294 United Testing & Balancing, Inc. Knoxville, Tennessee (423) 922-5754

Thermal Balance, Inc. Lexington, Kentucky (606) 277-6158 Thermal Balance, Inc. Paducah, Kentucky (270) 744-9723

Coastal Air Balance, Inc. Metairie, Louisiana (504) 834-4537 Tech Test Inc. of Louisiana Baton Rouge, Louisiana (225) 752-1664

Air Conditioning Test & Balance Great Neck, New York (516) 487-6724 Enercon Testing & Balancing Corp. New York, New York (212) 696-0760 Mechanical Testing, Inc. Schenectady, New York (518) 374-9440 Precision Testing & Balancing, Inc. Bronx, New York (718) 994-2300

Aerodynamics Inspecting Company San Antonio, Texas (210) 349-2391 AIR Engineering and Testing, Inc. Dallas, Texas (972) 386-0144 Austin Air Balancing Corporation Austin, Texas (512) 477-7247 Delta-T, Inc. Dallas, Texas (214) 348-7430 Engineered Air Balance Co., Inc. Dallas, Texas (972) 239-4800 Engineered Air Balance Co., Inc. Houston, Texas (281) 873-7084 Engineered Air Balance Co., Inc. San Antonio, Texas (210) 736-9494 Precisionaire of Texas Houston, Texas

American Testing Inc. Ellicott City, Maryland (800) 535-5594 Baltimore Air Balance Company Baltimore, Maryland (410) 661-2515 Baltimore Air Balance Company Annapolis, Maryland (410) 266-5854 Chesapeake Testing & Balancing Easton, Maryland (410) 820-9791 Environmental Balancing Corp. Clinton, Maryland (301) 868-6334 Test & Balancing, Inc. Laurel, Maryland (301) 953-0120

James E. Brennan Company, Inc. Wallingford, Connecticut (203) 269-1454 CFM Test & Balance Corporation Bethel, Connecticut (203) 778-1900

Air Balance Corporation Greensboro, North Carolina (336) 275-6678 The Phoenix Agency of North Carolina, Inc. Winston-Salem, North Carolina (336) 744-1998 Test and Balance Corporation Winston-Salem, North Carolina (336) 759-8378

Energy 2000 Technical Engineering Seoul, Korea 82-2-408-2114 Penn Air Control, Inc. South, Korea 3-493-7983

Air Balance Associates, Inc. Altamonte Springs, Florida (407) 834-2627

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