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Louvers against the Elements

– A winnable fight!
The Air Movement and Control Association
International (AMCA), has met the standards
and requirements of the Registered
Continuing Education Providers Program.
Credit earned on completion of this program
will be reported to the RCEPP. A certificate of
completion will be issued to each participant.
As such, it does not include content that may
be deemed or construed to be an approval or
endorsement by NCEES or RCEPP.
Learning Objectives

• Define the purposes of a louver


• Describe louver types
• List performance parameters for louvers
• Know how to select the proper louver
• Understand louver construction
• Be familiar with louver accessories, finishes and
installation
Louvers!
Form and
Function
Beauty and
Performance
Louver Presentation Outline
I. What is a Louver? Definition and terms.

II. AMCA International: The leader in Air


Movement Test Standards.

III. Louver Test methods: New test methods


lead to new AMCA certified products
providing better rain defense.
What exactly is a Louver?
An air termination or entry device
composed of
multiple blades which,
when mounted in an opening
permit the flow of air,
but inhibit the ingress of other elements,
for example rain and noise.
Louver Design Considerations

• When designing louvers, consideration


should be given to the following five criteria:
– Airflow

– Rain Defense

– Structural Integrity

– Noise

– Aesthetics
Airflow
• Airflow/Volume
– The measurement of the rate of airflow
that passes through a louver,(measured
in cfm/m3s)
• Pressure Drop
– The resistance to airflow across an open
louver (stated in inches of water/kpa)
• Free Area Velocity
– Rate of airflow that passes through the
free area of a louver (expressed in
fpm/ms).
Rain Defense
• AMCA 500-L
– The louver test standard
• Water Penetration Test
– The velocity at which .01 ounces of water
passed through the louver
• Wind Driven Rain Test
– New test standard with wind pressure
applied to face of louver
• Effectiveness Class
– New classification of louver performance
Structural Integrity

• Windloads:
– American Society of Civil Engineers
(ASCE) formula
– Hidden or Visible supports
– Effective Wind Speed (mph)
– Louver panel size
• Blade Span (Span tables)
• Intermediate bracing
Noise
• Sound Transmission Loss
– ASTM E90-99

• Sound Transmission Classification (STC)


– ASTM E413-87

• Free Field Noise Reduction


Aesthetics

• Louver Shape
– Performance difference

• Finish Type
– To match building construction elements

– Flouropolymer and Anodize most common


Who makes sure these
louvers work?
AMCA International
AMCA International …

• Is an independent, third-party, performance


verification organization.

• Administers the Certified Ratings Program.

• Has a state of the art testing laboratory.

• Serves as an information source for publications


and test standards.

• Conducts seminars and training programs.

• Is available on the internet at www.amca.org.


AMCA International
Certified Ratings Program…

• Provides independent, reliable, third party


verification of manufacturer’s product performance
ratings.

• Supplies performance information for product


comparisons.

• Requires periodic retesting to verify performance


and allows for challenge testing.

• Establishes criteria for informed decisions on


purchasing and specifying air movement and
control products.
AMCA International
Licensed Products…

How do you know the product you specified is


licensed by AMCA International?
• Visit AMCA International’s website ― www.amca.org
and click on Licensed Products.

• Check the manufacturer’s catalogs.

• Look for AMCA International’s Certified Ratings Seal on


the product.

• Contact AMCA International’s Certified Ratings


Program Department ― crp@amca.org.
AMCA International
Testing Laboratory…

• State of the art equipment.

• Ability to test to many tests standards.


– AMCA International test standards
– Other recognized standards

• Traceable calibrations of equipment.

• Performs contract tests for any interested party.

• Laboratory accreditation body.


AMCA International
As An Information Source…
• Test Standards

• Applications Guides

• Certification Programs

• General Publications

• Video and CD Programs

• Order at www.amca.org
AMCA International
Seminars and Training Programs…

• Technical Seminars

• Engineering Conferences

• Training Programs

• TECHSPECS
AMCA
Louver Test Methods
AMCA Standard 500-L
Tests and Certifies the following:
• Free Air Velocity through Louver

• Pressure Drop

• Beginning Point of Water


Penetration

• Water Rejecting Effectiveness

• Discharge Loss

• Leakage (for operable louvers)


Standard 500-L Louvers
The AMCA Seal of Approval
• Water Penetration, Air Performance
• Air Leakage
• Air Performance, Wind Driven Rain
• Wind Driven Rain
• Water Penetration,
Air Performance,
Wind Driven Rain
Standard 500-L Louvers
Free Area
• Measured
Clearance
• Minimum Inside
Blade to Frame
• Minimum Inside
Blade to Blade
Standard 500-L Louvers
Free Area Tables

By Actual FA
or % FA
Standard 500-L Louvers
Pressure Drop
• Two Test
Configurations
• 5.4 Wall Intake
• 5.5 Wall Discharge
Standard 500-L Louvers

5.4 Wall Intake

Pressure Required to Accelerate Air and Overcome


Losses due to Blockage and Entrance Conditions
Standard 500-L Louvers
5.5 Wall Discharge

Pressure Required to Accelerate Air and Overcome


Losses due to Blockage and Exit Conditions
Standard 500-L Louvers
Water Penetration or Water Rejection
• Two Test Configurations
• 5.6 Water Penetration for “Still Air”
• 5.11 Water Rejection for Wind Driven Rain
Standard 500-L Louvers
5.6 Water Penetration
Waterdrop Manifold
Air Exhaust Wetted Wall Manifold
Water
Test Unit Droplets

Air Entrained
“Still Air”
into chamber Condition!
through louver

Exhaust Air Flow Collection


Fan Measurement Zone
Standard 500-L Louvers

• Test Conditions
• 4” per hour rain
• 1250 fpm max free area
velocity (approx 14
mph)
• Weight of water
penetration per ft2 free
area @ free area
velocity
MASTERSPEC - EVALUATIONS
8/93

“Water-penetration testing measures the weight


of water in ounces per sq. ft. of louver free
area passing from the louver’s exterior to the
interior at various air intake velocities...

It is important to realize that the test is based on


still air conditions and simulates the effect of
falling rain and rain flowing down the wetted
surface of a building over a louver…
MASTERSPEC - EVALUATIONS
8/93
…While this may provide accurate data
for rain conditions with only fan-induced
air-intake velocities,
no test currently exists that provides
data on louver performance during
exposure to wind driven rain”
AMCA 5.6 Test Method Water Penetration
Why Traditional Louvers
Don’t Always Stop Rain
Entry
Severe Storm footage - real life conditions.
Extensive, continuous wind-driven rain.
Hurricane/Tropical Storm Floyd
Typical Drainable Louver Shape
“Still Air” Louver in
Wind Driven Rain Test
High Tech Secondary Rain
Defense System

International Airport:
Electrical service area for
the Monorail system shut down/
immobilized for days due to poor
Standard louvers
louver selection used where Storm
Resistant could
have been.
Louver Rain Defense
RAIN
• Prevents Damage
– Generators,
Production Plants
– Electrical switchgear
areas WIND
• Protects interior finishes
& contents.
– Exhibition Halls,
Warehousing,
Museums…
Louver Rain Defense
• AMCA standard 500-L-99
– AMCA revised its standard to include recommendations
for wind driven rain testing of louvers
• Masterspec 2000
– Includes substantial changes to the advice given when
selecting louvers. Wind driven rain resistant louvers
are now recommended for use.
• Products to meet these needs and
recommendations have been developed
and are increasingly specified.
Standard 500-L Louvers
5.11 Water Rejection Wind Driven Rain
Air Exhaust Rain Water Wind/Rain
Discharge Machine
Nozzles
Wind Driven
Rain plus
Air Entrained
Into Chamber
Through Louver

Exhaust Fan
Collection Zone

Test Louver
“Still Air” vs. Wind Driven Rain Tests

Air Exhaust Test Louver


Chamber Straightener

Fan
“Still Air” vs. Wind Driven Rain Tests
AMCA AMCA
Wind Driven Rain “Still Air”
Test Duration 30 minutes (minimum) 15 minutes (minimum)
Air Intake (fpm)
Maximum 1250+ 1250
Minimum No No
Wind Driven Rain Yes No
Rain Fall Rate 75mm/hr (3") 4"/hr
or 200mm/hr (8”)
Static Pressure Drop Yes Yes
Free Area Yes Yes
Test Points Numerous 4
Louver Test Size 40" X 40“ or 48” x48” 48" X 48"
Goal Establish louver Establish point of
effectiveness by beginning water
varying test conditions penetration
AMCA 500-L test. Wind Driven Rain testing at
29 mph wind velocity and 3” of rain per hour

Storm Standard
Resistant Drainable

Water has a hard time getting Water pours right through a


through a Wind Driven Rain “Still Air” Drainable louver in
Louver a storm
AMCA 500-L test. Wind Driven Rain testing at
29 mph wind velocity and 3” of rain per hour

Inside Outside
Water is outside
where it belongs

Wind Driven Rain Louver


NO water penetration
Standard 500-L Louvers
• Rejection
Effectiveness
Classes
A 99% to 100%
B 95% to 98.9%
C 94.9% to 80%
D below 80%
• 3” rain/29 mph wind
• 8” rain/50 mph wind
RAIN ENTERING YOUR BUILDING

STANDARD FIXED
Lets Compare!!!
30

Volume of water entering


DRAINABLE

25 a 4’ X 4’ louver during a
LITERS OF WATER PER HOUR

one-hour period.
20
WIND
DRIVEN Based on Wind Driven
15
STANDARD FIXED
Rain testing at
29 mph wind velocity
DRAINABLE

10
(For comparison
5
purposes only)

0
28 liters = approx.
Liters entering through a 4' x 4' Louver during 6 1/2 gallons
a one hour perios. Liters based on Wind Driven
Rain Testing at 29 mph velocity (equal to
60-90 mph windspeeds in real life storms.)
Standard 500-L Louvers
Actual/Theoretical airflow
• Discharge Loss Classes
– 1 - .4 and above
– 2 - .3 to .399
– 3 - .2 to .299
– 4 - .199 and below
• EXAMPLE: A2 up to 2 m/s
– at least 99% efficient and between .3 & .399 loss
at 394 fpm core velocity (maximum)
Louver Evolution:
Up to the Test!
Louver Evolution and Expansion
• “Z” or “J” Non-Drainable Blade Louver
– Good airflow; very little rain defense
• “K” Non-Drainable Blade Louver
– Old “stormproof”; average airflow; very little rain defense
• Drainable Louvers
– Good airflow; some rain defense
• Wind Driven Rain “Storm Resistant” Louvers
– Good airflow on vertical blade; moderate airflow on
horizontal blade; stops most wind driven rain
• “Hurricane” Resistant Louvers –
– Florida Code Compliant Louvers
– Moderate airflow; most stringent tests; severe storm
conditions; missile impact resistance
Non-Drainable Louvers
“Z or J” and “K”
Good airflow
Looks good
Stop rain entry?

No! Do not use if


water entry is
a concern

Good as a screen
Cross
section
Drainable Louvers
Good airflow
Looks good
Visible mullions

Rain Entry
Improvement

No Wind Driven
Rain
prevention
Double Drain

High
Flat Performance

Recessed Drain
Hook

Drainable
Horizontal Line Blade Design
• Most common look
• Adequate blade
support required
• Many blade profiles
for visible or non-
visible lines
• Welded or
mechanically
fastened
• 5’ span for
drainable blades
Visible Mullions

Hidden
Mullions
Vertical Line Blade Design
• Becoming more
widely used
• Excellent
mechanical
performance
• Excellent for
Wind Driven
Rain
Wind Driven Rain Louver Designs

• Sophisticated
Blade Profiles
• Closely Spaced
• Vertical and
Horizontal Blades
• Increased Depth
• Better Pressure
Drop in many 76

cases
Louver Presentation Summary
Today we discussed…

I. Louver definitions and terms to familiarize


ourselves with the subject matter.

II. Value of organizations like AMCA International:


The leader in Air Movement Test Standards.
Contact www.amca.org or email amca@amca.org

III. Old and new louver test methods and how louvers
have evolved to keep up with the tests.
Questions?
Louvers against the Elements
– Winning the battle!