Introduction

In understanding the 5 Ways That HVAC Systems Keep You Comfortable we learnt that air purification is  Air purification is a critical aspect across diverse industries, where the prevention of unwanted debris and the maintenance of a clean working environment are paramount. Filters play a pivotal role in achieving these objectives and can be categorized based on their filtration type and porosity, with porosity referring to the number of pores per unit area in a filter.


High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filters (HEPA)

One widely employed type of filter is the High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. These filters excel in eliminating air particulates, with pre-filters used in clean rooms typically ranging from 30-95% efficiency. For optimal efficiency, final filters should be HEPA filters, boasting an impressive 99.97 to 99.99% efficiency on 0.3-micron particles. HEPA filters are constructed from sub-micrometer-diameter glass fibers formed into pleated paper mats.

Ultra-Low Penetration Air Filters (ULPA)

ULPA filters are another powerful option, boasting an efficiency of 99.99% on 0.3-micron particles. Similar to HEPA filters, ULPA filters comprise a filter media, and their sealing and frame construction render them even more efficient than HEPA filters.

Activated Carbon Filters

Activated carbon filters find widespread use in eliminating objectionable odors and irritating vapors of gaseous airborne particles, typically ranging from 0.003 to 0.006 microns in size. These filters are often employed as pre-filters for protection, with pleated filters of 50-micron depth added to enhance the efficiency of packaged plants.

Plasma Air Purifier

Utilized in split, window, and package air conditioners, plasma air purifiers leverage advanced technology to remove the smallest germs, bacteria, smoke, unpleasant odors, and microbes. This innovative filtration method contributes to creating a healthier and more breathable indoor environment.

Conclusion

In summary, understanding the various air purification methods is crucial for selecting the most suitable filter for specific applications. From HEPA and ULPA filters, renowned for their exceptional particulate removal efficiency, to activated carbon filters addressing odors and vapors, and cutting-edge plasma air purifiers targeting microscopic contaminants, each method serves a unique purpose in enhancing air quality across diverse settings. As industries continue to prioritize clean and safe working environments, staying informed about the latest advancements in air purification technology is key.

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Introduction: The Importance of Financial Management

No matter what, don’t run out of money. Nothing else in this blog matters if you run out of money!

In the world of entrepreneurship, there’s a fundamental principle that stands above all: never run out of money. This blog centers around the crucial concept that ‘cash is king.’ Without a doubt, financial stability serves as the cornerstone for any business, akin to a solid foundation supporting a structure. Join us in this edition of Engineer Your Finances as we navigate through the intricate world of financial strategies, drawing parallels between the precision of engineering and the meticulous planning required to ensure the fiscal health of your enterprise.

From understanding burn rates to deciphering creative accounting techniques, we guide engineers and entrepreneurs through the maze of strategic cash deployment and pricing strategies. Each concept is presented with an engineering lens, making it accessible and applicable to those with a penchant for precision.  Remember, in the realm of business, just as in engineering, a well-thought-out plan and careful execution can be the difference between success and failure.

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Burn Rate – The Furnace or Boiler of Your Business

Understanding Burn Rate

In engineering, just as you calculate the rate of material consumption in a project, your business has a ‘burn rate’—the net cash outflow each month. If this rate exceeds your income, it’s like running out of essential construction materials halfway through a project. To avoid this, regularly monitor your burn rate and adjust your financial plans accordingly.

Imagine planning a bridge construction project. If you only consider the month-end figures, you might realize you lack crucial resources to pay your suppliers in the middle of the project. Similarly, in business, understanding the timing of cash inflows and outflows prevents unexpected shortfalls. Plan strategically to ensure your cash is available when needed.

Burn Rate in Action

Think of your business’s burn rate as the furnace or boiler sustaining operations. Imagine a plant with a furnace that consumes materials at a certain rate. If the furnace burns materials faster than they are supplied, you’ll face a shortage. Similarly, if your business’s burn rate surpasses incoming funds, you risk running out of financial fuel.

Practical Application: Consider a scenario where your business expenses are consistently outpacing revenue. Just as a vigilant engineer monitors the rate of material consumption in a project, regularly assess your burn rate. If it’s trending towards exhausting your financial resources, adjust your business strategies promptly to maintain a healthy financial furnace.

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Strategic Cash Deployment

Once you’ve understoon why cash is king and mastered your burn rate and timing, the next step is strategic cash deployment. Consider stashing enough cash to cover six months of expenses in case of unforeseen circumstances. Beyond this safety net, engineers can venture into slightly riskier yet potentially more rewarding investments. Deploying cash strategically is akin to designing a structure with built-in redundancies for unexpected loads. Consider stashing cash for a rainy day—like having backup support columns. Beyond this, diversify your investments intelligently. ‘Ladder’ your investments just as you stagger support structures in a building to ensure stability. This way, you’re not heavily reliant on a single element.

Practical Application: Allocate a portion of your excess cash to short-term securities guaranteed by the government. By diversifying the maturity dates, you avoid making heavy bets on interest rate movements. This ensures your cash is not only preserved but has the potential for growth.

Creative Accounting: Reading Between the Lines

Understanding Creative Accounting

Imagine constructing a bridge with unconventional materials and methods to cut costs. This would be akin to ‘creative accounting,’ which involves unconventional practices to present financial reports in a certain light. It’s like building a bridge with unusual designs—novel but potentially risky.

Creative accounting, with its deviation from standard practices, demands careful scrutiny. As engineers value precision, let’s analyze creative accounting as a process of manipulating financial reporting for ulterior motives. Consider the following techniques:

Manipulating Figures

A company might manipulate figures by choosing different methods for accounting practices, such as depreciation, asset valuation, or research and development. Understanding these manipulations is crucial for accurate financial analysis.

‘Big-Bath’ Provisions

Utilizing ‘big-bath’ provisions involves writing down assets in the acquisition period to show increased non-exceptional profits later. This strategy might artificially lower stock values, impacting the overall financial health portrayed in the profit statement.

Pricing Strategies: Formulating a Win-Win Situation

In engineering terms, the destiny of your business is intricately linked to the precision of your pricing strategy. To ensure sustained profitability and longevity, small business proprietors must meticulously calibrate their pricing approaches, just as engineers fine-tune their designs for optimal performance.

Traditionally, many business plans have recommended adopting the role of the market’s lowest-price provider. This inclination often stems from quickly assessing competitors and assuming that business success hinges solely on offering the lowest prices, akin to optimizing a design for minimal material costs.

Even though cash is king, being the cheapest option doesn’t always guarantee success for small businesses. Larger competitors, equipped with substantial resources and lower operating costs, can easily outmatch smaller enterprises relying solely on competitive pricing, much like how a well-funded project can outperform a budget-constrained one. Avoiding the low-price strategy requires a more comprehensive examination of market demand, considering factors such as:

  • Competitive Analysis: Instead of just looking at competitors’ pricing, assess the entire package they offer. Analyze whether they cater to cost-conscious consumers or a more affluent demographic, similar to evaluating the features of competing engineering solutions.
  • Ceiling Price: Ascertain the maximum price the market is willing to bear, drawing parallels to determining the upper limits in design specifications. Consult experts and gather insights from customers to delineate pricing boundaries.
  • Price Elasticity: Understand the demand for your product or service, considering factors like limited competition, perceived quality, and consumer habits. This is analogous to gauging the structural flexibility of a material in engineering design.

Understanding the demand structure in your industry is pivotal, much like how engineers thoroughly understand the materials and conditions they work with. Evaluate your costs and profit objectives outlined in your business plan or financials. While the allure of a low-price strategy might be tempting, small businesses should exercise caution, especially considering scenarios like price wars that could inadvertently draw them into cutthroat competition.

To sidestep the perils of a price war, consider the following engineering-inspired strategies:

  • Enhance Exclusivity: Offer products or services exclusive to your business, providing a shield against plummeting prices, similar to creating unique features that set your design apart.
  • Eliminate High Maintenance Goods: Identify and discontinue products or services incurring high customer service and maintenance costs, similar to removing components with high maintenance needs in a project.
  • Value-added Services: Differentiate your business by incorporating value-added services, analogous to adding innovative features that enhance the overall functionality of a product or design.
  • Branding: Cultivate a strong brand presence in the market, recognizing that a reputable brand, like a well-known engineering firm, often fares better in resisting the impacts of a price war.

It’s advisable for small businesses to leave the arena of price-cutting and battles to larger enterprises. By formulating robust pricing strategies, small businesses can navigate away from the pitfalls of price wars and maintain a favorable pricing position, much like engineering projects that stand the test of time due to meticulous planning and execution. Meticulously contemplate your pricing decisions, recognizing that the success of your business hinges on them.

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Conclusion: Engineering Financial Success

In conclusion, engineers entering the realm of entrepreneurship must master the intricacies of cash flow management, decipher creative accounting practices, and craft effective pricing strategies. By understanding that cash is king and practically applying these financial principles, you can navigate the business terrain with confidence, ensuring the success and sustainability of your venture.

Thank you for joining us in this edition of ‘Engineer Your Finances.’ Stay tuned for more insights into merging the worlds of engineering and finance, creating a roadmap for your entrepreneurial journey.

 

 

 

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Have you ever wondered about the invisible factors that determine whether a room feels just right or uncomfortably stuffy? The answer lies in the intricate world of Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, where the quest for human comfort begins with the very air we breathe.  We’ve had a look at How Air Conditioners Work in Summer and How Air Conditioners Work in Winter and now we need to find out exactly where the blance is struck by HVAC systems between these two extremes of operation conditions known as the human comfort zone.  In this exploration of the science behind creating the perfect indoor environment, we delve into the vital role of oxygen supply and its profound connection to achieving the coveted “comfort zone.”

Human Comfort Zone as shown on a psychrometric chart.
Human Comfort Zone as shown on a psychrometric chart. Source: Springer

The human comfort zone, in the context of environmental conditions, refers to a range of thermal, humidity, and air quality parameters within which individuals experience a sense of physical and psychological well-being. It is defined by standards and guidelines set by organizations like the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The comfort zone typically includes a specified range of indoor air temperatures, relative humidity levels, air motion characteristics, and air purity conditions that collectively aim to ensure occupants feel comfortable and maintain optimal productivity. Deviations from this defined zone may result in discomfort, impacting an individual’s overall satisfaction and well-being in a given indoor environment.  With that understanding, let’s settle in to understanding the 5 ways HVAC systems keep you comfortable.

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1. Oxygen Supply – Breathing Life into Comfort

The importance of maintaining optimal oxygen levels ties directly to HVAC systems achieving human comfort. Adequate oxygen supply is not only essential for the body’s combustion processes but also plays a crucial role in sustaining a comfortable indoor environment. HVAC systems, designed with precision, ensure proper air circulation to meet the oxygen requirements, contributing to a space where occupants can live and work satisfactorily.

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Similar to other machines, the human body demands a sufficient oxygen supply to sustain combustion (food digestion). This process transforms chemical energy into work, releasing carbon dioxide as exhaust gas. Each individual needs approximately 0.65 m³ of oxygen per hour in normal conditions and produces 0.2 m³ of carbon dioxide. Monitoring the rise in CO2 concentration serves as an indicator of oxygen consumption.

The atmospheric CO2 level is around 0.03% by volume, crucial for the proper functioning of the respiratory system. When CO2 surpasses 2%, the partial pressure of oxygen decreases, making breathing challenging. Extreme discomfort arises at 6%, and unconsciousness can occur at 10% CO2.  Proper air-supply in air-conditioned spaces is vital to prevent CO2 levels from exceeding the minimum threshold.

2. Heat Removal – The Art and Science of Temperature Control

The human body operates as an engine, converting thermal energy into mechanical work with a thermal efficiency of 20%. The remaining heat is dissipated into the atmosphere. Even when not engaged in external activities, internal work such as blood circulation and respiratory muscle function still occurs.

As a practical example; should an individual be allocated a 6 m³ space without the exchange of heat and air from external sources, the temperature within the space would elevate by 0.136°C for every kilojoule of added heat. Consequently, the temperature would surge by 43°C per hour, given that the human body expels 320 kJ of heat within the same timeframe.  This because in the given scenario, the space’s temperature rise is directly proportional to the heat added to it, following the principles of energy conservation. The calculation considers the specific heat capacity and volume of the space, providing insights into the temperature change resulting from the dissipation of heat by the human body.  This is shown mathematically below:

Q = mlΔt = lv

In the equation:

  • m: Mass of air (in kg)
  • Δt: Change in temperature (in °C)
  • l: Latent heat of vaporization (in kJ/kg)
  • v: Volume of space (in m³)

The objective of the ventilation system is to ensure adequate air circulation, preventing excessive temperature rise in air-conditioned spaces. This creates an atmosphere in which occupants can live and work comfortably.  In HVAC systems, the removal of heat is a fundamental process crucial for maintaining optimal indoor conditions. Whether it’s expelling excess heat to cool a space or adding heat to counterbalance losses, these systems play a pivotal role in creating a comfortable and controlled environment.

3. Moisture Control – Conquering the Stickiness Challenge

In the realm of HVAC engineering, meticulous attention is devoted to moisture control as a pivotal aspect of ensuring human comfort within enclosed spaces. The human body constantly undergoes moisture exchange, releasing approximately 50 grams of moisture per hour when at rest. HVAC systems play a crucial role in managing this moisture by regulating the relative humidity of the air. As the air’s humidity increases, the body’s capacity to expel heat through evaporation diminishes. This phenomenon not only creates an uncomfortable environment but also poses challenges in maintaining a sense of freshness within enclosed spaces.

The stickiness you feel on your skin is caused by excess humidity levels.
The stickiness you feel on your skin is caused by excess humidity levels. Source: Weather & Radar

Consider a scenario where the air’s humidity is on the higher side. In such conditions, occupants may experience a palpable stickiness on their skin. This sensation arises from the reduced effectiveness of moisture evaporation, leading to a perception of dampness and discomfort. HVAC systems address this issue by actively controlling the relative humidity, ensuring it stays below the 70% threshold. Through advanced technology, these systems regulate the moisture content in the air, creating an environment where occupants experience a pleasant, non-sticky sensation. Achieving optimal moisture control is a testament to the comprehensive capabilities of HVAC systems in enhancing human comfort and well-being.

 

 

4. Air Motion – HVAC Systems Like to Move It Move It

Increased air velocity enhances heat transfer from the body by reducing the thickness of the adjacent air film. This effect leads to increased body heat loss, reducing discomfort in ambient air temperatures lower than the body surface. Conversely, if the air temperature exceeds the body temperature, increased velocity exacerbates discomfort. Moreover, heightened velocity reduces the thickness of the saturated vapor layer near the body, facilitating evaporation. This is particularly advantageous when the dew-point temperature is below 30°C, as the heat loss through evaporation surpasses the heating effect by convection. Recommended air velocity in air-conditioned spaces ranges from 0.04 to 0.12 m/s at 20°C and 0.05 to 0.17 m/s at 22°C.

Proper air distribution, an integral aspect of air conditioning systems, complements air motion by ensuring a uniform supply of air. The combination of controlled air motion and distribution creates a localized cooling sensation known as a draft. This nuanced approach aligns with the requirements of comfort air-conditioning, striving to establish an environment where occupants experience optimal thermal conditions. The interplay between air motion and distribution reflects the commitment of HVAC systems to regulate airflow, prioritizing human comfort through meticulous control of these parameters.  The significance of proper air distribution cannot be overstated, as it complements air motion, creating a localized cooling sensation known as a draft.  To indicate the operating ranges the air velocity and humidity with respect to room air temperature is show in the table below.

Table 4.1 Air Velocity and humidity with respect to room air temperature

Air Velocity and humidity with respect to room air temperature
Room air temp. °C Velocity m/sec R.H.% Minimum R.H.% Maximum
20 0.04 – 0.12 35 65
21 0.04 – 0.14 35 65
22 0.05 – 0.17 35 65
23 0.07 – 0.21 35 65
24 0.09 – 0.24 35 65
25 0.12 – 0.32 35 65
26 0.16 – 0.40 35 65

Regulating air motion is fundamental to HVAC systems, contributing significantly to overall comfort. The systems carefully manage air velocity, striking a balance that enhances heat transfer efficiency without causing discomfort due to excessive airflow. This orchestration, combined with proper air distribution, underscores the commitment of HVAC systems to create an environment aligned with desired comfort parameters, ultimately enhancing the well-being of individuals in the conditioned space.

5. Air Purity – HVAC’s Breath of Fresh Air

The composition of air plays a pivotal role in determining its purity. Elements such as odor, dust, toxic gases, and bacteria are key indicators of air quality. The release of odor through body surface evaporation and the presence of smoke pose significant concerns due to their adverse effects on respiratory organs. Efficiently managing and eliminating toxic gases is crucial to prevent associated irritations. Emphasizing the importance of controlling bacteria, sterilization becomes a paramount measure to safeguard human health in indoor environments.

Air Purifier for Whole House Duct Uv Light Sanitizer Hvac Ac Germicidal Filter UV-C Air Cleaner

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In the realm of HVAC engineering, the quest for optimal indoor comfort extends its dominion into the cold and chilly winter months.  At the core of winter air-conditioning systems lies a meticulously designed network of components, strategically arranged for achieveing the desired thermal control.  Achieving the desired indoor air conditions in winter mirrors the requirements of summer as shown in How Do Air Conditioners Work in Summer? The standard configuration of essential equipment and psychrometric chart below, illustrates the winter air conditioning system. This setup, involves the sequential passage of air through a preheating coil, then a humidifier, and finally a second preheating coil.  As curious HVAC enthusiats, let us delve into the inner workings of these systems, dissecting the components and processes that orchestrate indoor comfort amidst the winter chill.

Winter Air Conditioning System
Winter Air Conditioning System and Psychrometric Chart. Source: Electrical Workbook.

Enhancing Winter Comfort: Double Reheat Coils and Air Washer

In times of severe winter, adjustments are imperative to elevate the Dry Bulb Temperature (DBT) and Relative Humidity (RH) of the air. This can be achieved by adding an air washer and double in reheat coils on a winter airconditiong system.  This is shown in the image below with its corresponding psychrometric representation.  Here, processes such as air mixing (Condition 4), sensible heating (Process 4–5), adiabatic cooling (Process 5–6), and additional sensible heating in the reheat coil (Process 6–1) collectively contribute to cooling, dehumidification, and compensating for heat and vapor losses in the conditioned room. In large systems, the incorporation of re-circulating air fans and supply air fans is common but does not alter the processes outlined in the psychrometric chart.

Air washer and double reheat coils on winter air conditioning system
Air washer and double reheat coils on winter air conditioning system. Source: EIT

Utilizing Outdoor Air Economically: 100% Outdoor Air with Pre-heating

Efficient design of air-conditioning systems mandates the exploitation of internal heat emissions whenever feasible. The system shown below exemplifies the use of waste heat from exhaust for preheating fresh air. As detailed in Audel HVAC Fundamentals, Volume 1: Heating Systems, Furnaces and Boilers  this arrangement employs air washers as humidifying devices, countering moisture losses in the conditioned space while purifying the air. The reheat coil assumes a crucial role in regulating heat supply, thereby controlling the DBT of the air-conditioned space.

Winter air conditioning employing 100% outdoor air with preliminary heating through the utilization of waste heat from the exhaust.
Winter air conditioning employing 100% outdoor air with preliminary heating through the utilization of waste heat from the exhaust. Source: EIT.

Detailed Processes: Preheating, Humidification, and Sensible Heating

Delving into the technical intricacies, Process 4–5 involves preheating fresh air using waste heat from the exhaust. Meanwhile, Process 2–3 signifies the cooling of exhaust air, Process 5–6 orchestrates humidification through steam, and Process 6–1 contributes sensible heating in the reheat coil. Process 1–2 encapsulates the cooling and dehumidification of air, offsetting heat and vapor losses in the conditioned space. Notably, in winter air-conditioning systems requiring heating, the use of outdoor air should be minimized, aligning with principles of energy efficiency and sustainability.

 

Introduction

 
In the previous edition of Engineer Your Finances we looked at 3 Quick Ways for Engineers to Understand Finance & Accounting, in this edition we balance things out by looking at accounting ratios also known as financial ratios.  Financial ratios play a crucial role in assessing the health and performance of a firm. Engineers, accustomed to precision, can leverage these ratios to gain valuable insights into various aspects of financial management. Just as engineers understand the importance of precise measurements in constructing a stable structure, financial ratios, akin to fractions, provide a nuanced understanding of a firm’s financial landscape. Fractions, with their numerator and denominator, represent the delicate balance that engineers seek in their designs. Similarly, financial ratios, with their distinctive components, unveil the proportional health of a company.The value of a financial ratio, much like a critical value in engineering, can indicate whether a business is in a favorable position. For example, in engineering, the safety factor ratio (SF) is used to determine the structural integrity of a design. If SF is less than 1, it signals a potential failure. Similarly, financial ratios below certain thresholds may suggest financial risks or inefficiencies in a business.Live plan

Profitability Ratios

Gross Profit Margin: The gross profit margin is calculated using the formula: (Sales – Cost of Goods Sold) / Sales. It assesses the profitability of a firm’s core activities, excluding fixed costs.

Operating Profit Margin or Return on Sales (ROS): This ratio is calculated as Earnings before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) / Sales. It measures the income a firm generates after deducting costs and expenses from total revenue.

Net Profit Margin: Calculated as Net Profits after taxes / Sales, this ratio provides a measure of overall profitability. It is also referred to as Profit Margin, Net Margin, or Net Profit Ratio.

Return on Investment (ROI ratio or Du Pont ratio): ROI is calculated as Net Income / Total Assets. It indicates the ratio of money gained or lost on an investment relative to the amount invested.

Accounting for Engineers

Liquidity Ratios

Current Ratio: Current Assets / Current Liabilities. This ratio assesses a firm’s ability to pay its debts over the next 12 months by comparing current assets to current liabilities.

Acid-Test Ratio (Quick Ratio): (Current Assets – Inventories) / Current Liabilities. This ratio measures a company’s ability to use quick assets to settle current liabilities immediately.

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Activity Ratios

Activity ratios focus on how quickly a firm converts non-cash assets into cash assets:

Average Collection Period: Accounts Receivable / (Annual Credit Sales / 360 days).

Average Payment Period: Accounts Payable / (Annual Credit Purchases / 360 days).

Inventory Turnover Ratio: Cost of Goods Sold / Average Inventory.

Inventory Conversion Ratio: Inventory Conversion to Cash Period (Days) = 360 days / Inventory Turnover.

 

Debt Ratios

Debt ratios measure a firm’s ability to repay long-term debt and its financial leverage:

Debt Ratio: Total Liabilities / Total Assets.

Debt to Equity Ratio: (Long-term Debt + Value of Leases) / Stockholders’ Equity.

Long-term Debt/Total Asset (LD/TA) Ratio: Long-term Debt / Total Assets.

Times Interest-Earned Ratio: Earnings before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) / Annual Interest Expense.

Overall Coverage Ratio: Cash Inflows / (Lease Expenses + Interest Charges + Debt Repayment / (1-t) + Preferred Dividend / (1-t)).

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Conclusion

Financial ratios serve as powerful tools for engineers-turned-entrepreneurs to navigate the complex landscape of business finance. These ratios, reminiscent of engineering precision, provide a systematic approach to evaluating a company’s financial health. Just as engineers meticulously calculate safety factors for structural stability, entrepreneurs can use financial ratios to gauge the stability and prosperity of their ventures.

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As we wrap up our exploration of financial ratios, remember that each ratio is a piece of the larger puzzle. Just as a well-designed structure requires a careful balance of elements, a successful business demands a holistic understanding of its financial metrics. So, engineer your finances with the same precision you apply to your projects, and build a resilient and prosperous business foundation.

Thank you for joining us in this edition of Engineer Your Finances. Stay tuned for more insights into merging the worlds of engineering and finance, creating a roadmap for your entrepreneurial journey.

 

 

 

Welcome to the first installment of our blog series, “Engineer Your Finances.” In this series, we embark on a journey to demystify the world of financial management through the lens of an engineer. Our goal is to provide you with practical insights that will empower you to navigate the financial terrain with confidence.

Finance can be seen as a complex system much like the engineering projects you’re accustomed to. Understanding the principles of financial management is like deciphering the blueprint of a structure before construction. So, let’s dive into the foundational aspects of financial statements, the pillars of financial understanding.

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Understanding Financial Statements – First Principles

Financial statements are the lifeblood of any business, reflecting its health, performance, and overall well-being. Think of these statements as the technical blueprints for your business, detailing its structure and functionality. In this post, we’ll dissect the basics, understanding the purpose, components, and significance of financial statements.

Imagine a civil engineer examining architectural drawings to ensure a building’s structural integrity. Similarly, we’ll guide you through the essential components of financial statements, allowing you to analyze the financial health of a business like a seasoned engineer inspecting a project’s blueprints.

1. The Dual Aspect Principle: Balancing Act for Engineers

The financial world operates on the dual aspect principle, a fundamental concept that every financial transaction has two sides – assets and equities/liabilities – and they must remain in equilibrium. This principle is akin to the delicate balance engineers strive for ensuring that forces balance – as Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion demands.  We’d actually go as far as saying the dual aspect principle is to accounting what the right hand rule is to engineering!

The balance sheet, a fundamental accounting report, embodies the equation Assets = Equities + Liabilities, serving as a cornerstone for financial understanding. It meticulously records transactions, balancing assets against equities at specific points, exemplified by the year-end snapshot of ABC Pty (Ltd) in 2021 and 2022 below.  More examples cane be found in Financial Decision Making for Engineers Following the dual aspect principle, assets on the left equate to claims on the right. In this balance sheet, assets and equities are classified into current assets, fixed assets, and other categories, offering a minimum detail overview.

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The format aligns with the widely accepted practice of displaying assets on the left and equities on the right. Key categories include current liabilities and shareholders’ equity. The balance sheet’s illustrative example unveils the financial position, showcasing the intricate interplay between assets, equities, and liabilities for insightful analysis, crucial for engineers and technicians navigating financial landscapes.

Balance Sheet for ABC Engineers Pty (Ltd)
As of 31 December 2021
ASSETS AMOUNT (Thousands of Dollars) CLAIMS ON ASSETS AMOUNT (Thousands of Dollars)
CURRENT ASSETS CURRENT LIABILITIES
Cash $52 Accounts payable $87
Accounts receivable $250 Notes payable $110
Marketable securities $175 Accruals $10
Stock $355 Provision for tax $135
Total Current Assets $832 Total Current Liabilities $342
FIXED ASSETS LONG TERM LIABILITIES
Plant & equipment $1610 Mortgages $520
Depreciation -$400 Debentures $200
Net plant & equipment $1210 Total long term liabilities $720
EQUITY
Common stock $600
Retained earnings $380
Total equity (net worth) $980
TOTAL ASSETS $2042 TOTAL CLAIMS ON ASSETS $2042
Balance Sheet for ABC Engineers Pty (Ltd)
As of 31 December 2022
ASSETS AMOUNT (Thousands of Dollars) CLAIMS ON ASSETS AMOUNT (Thousands of Dollars)
CURRENT ASSETS CURRENT LIABILITIES
Cash $50 Accounts payable $60
Accounts receivable $200 Notes payable $100
Marketable securities $150 Accruals $10
Stock $300 Provision for tax $130
Total Current Assets $700 Total Current Liabilities $300
FIXED ASSETS LONG TERM LIABILITIES
Plant & equipment $1800 Mortgages $500
Depreciation -$500 Debentures $200
Net plant & equipment $1300 Total long term liabilities $700
EQUITY
Common stock $600
Retained earnings $400
Total equity (net worth) $1000
TOTAL ASSETS $2000 TOTAL CLAIMS ON ASSETS $2000

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2. Mastering Profit and Loss: A Financial Diagnostic Tool for Your Income

In the realm of financial management, the income statement also known as the profit and loss (P&L) statement serves as a diagnostic tool, providing insights into your business’s fiscal health. Analogous to engineers troubleshooting and diagnosing issues in a complex system, the income statement shows the companies revenues and expenses during a particular period.  It shows how the revenues are transformed into the net income or net profit.

From revenue and expenses to net profit, uncover the story these numbers tell and how they can guide strategic decisions. By the end, you’ll view your P&L as a powerful diagnostic instrument in your financial toolkit, much like the analytical tools an engineer uses to assess the performance of intricate systems.

ABC Pty (Ltd) Income Statement
For the Year Ended December 31, 2021

Revenues Amount (Thousands of Dollars)
Sales 1,200
Other Income 50
Total Revenues 1,250

Expenses
Cost of Goods Sold 800
Operating Expenses 300
Depreciation 50
Interest Expenses 30
Total Expenses 1,180
Net Income 70
ABC Pty (Ltd) Income Statement
For the Year Ended December 31, 2022

RevenuesAmount (Thousands of Dollars)Sales1,500Other Income75Total Revenues1,575

Expenses
Cost of Goods Sold 950
Operating Expenses 400
Depreciation 60
Interest Expenses 100
Total Expenses 1,510
Net Income 65

3. Fluid Dynamics of Money – Cash Flow Statements

As someone which understands the intricacies of fluid dynamics or hydraulics you would be in a good position to under liquidity.  Liquidity refers to the ease with which an asset, or security, can be converted into ready cash without affecting its market price.  Cash is the most liquid of assets, while tangible items are less liquid and Cash Flow Statements(CFS) are used to guage a companies liquidity.  Also known as the statement of cash flows, the CFS helps its creditors determine how much cash is available (referred to as liquidity) for the company to fund its operating expenses and pay down its debts.    

In the ABC Pty (Ltd) cash flow statement below, the left-hand column represents all sources of funds during the 2021 financial year, while the right-hand column illustrates how these funds were utilised. The positioning (left/right) of individual items is variable and depends on whether they contributed to or consumed funds. Here are the main things you need to look out for and understand in the cash flow statement:

Sources of funds:

  • Net profit after tax ($120,000): This amount, the final item in the income statement, contributes to the overall funds.
  • Depreciation ($100,000): Obtained from the income statement as well.
  • Decreases in working capital led to additional sources of funds, including:
    • Cash: A reduction from $52,000 to $50,000 indicates a withdrawal of $2,000, serving as a source of funds.
    • Marketable securities: A decrease from $175,000 to $150,000, representing a $25,000 source of funds from the sale of securities.
    • Accounts receivable: A reduction from $250,000 to $200,000 results in a $50,000 transfer from debtors to the company.
    • Stock: Inventory decreased from $355,000 to $300,000, freeing up cash for other uses.

The total source of funds equals net profit after tax + depreciation + total decreases in working capital, totaling $352,000.

Uses of funds:

  • Increases in working capital led to fund disbursement, including:
    • Accounts payable: A reduction from $87,000 to $60,000 indicates a repayment of $27,000 to creditors.
    • Notes payable: Reduced from $110,000 to $100,000, resulting in a $10,000 repayment to the bank.
    • Income tax: A decrease from $135,000 to $130,000 means a $5,000 payment to the Tax Office to reduce tax liability.
    • Reduction in long-term debt: Mortgages reduced from $520,000 to $500,000, resulting in a $20,000 payment to the mortgagor.
    • Gross fixed asset expansion: An increase from $1,610,000 to $1,800,000 indicates a $190,000 expenditure on acquiring assets.
    • Dividends to shareholders: Of the $120,000 net profit after tax, only $20,000 was retained, with the remaining $100,000 disbursed as dividends.

The total use of funds amounts to $352,000, aligning with the total source of funds.

ABC Pty (Ltd) Cash Flow Statement
For the Period from December 31, 2020, to December 31, 2021

Sources of Funds Amount (Thousands of Dollars)
Net Profit After Tax 120,000
Increases in Working Capital
Depreciation 100,000
Accounts Payable 27,000
Notes Payable 10,000
Income Tax 5,000
Cash 2,000
Marketable Securities 25,000
Total Increases in Working Capital 42,000
Reduction in Long Term Debt 20,000
Gross Fixed Asset Expansion 190,000
Total Decreases in Working Capital 132,000
Dividends to Shareholders 100,000
Total Sources of Funds 352,000

Uses of Funds Amount (Thousands of Dollars)
Decreases in Working Capital
Accounts Receivable 50,000
Stock 55,000
Total Decreases in Working Capital 105,000
Dividends to Shareholders 100,000
Total Uses of Funds 205,000

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Conclusion

In conclusion, our exploration of financial concepts draws parallels with the precision of engineering blueprints, emphasizing the importance of equilibrium. From the foundational equation Assets = Equities + Liabilities to the nuanced interplay of balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements, we’ve navigated the financial landscape. The analogy between financial planning and engineering principles, particularly the application of the right-hand rule, underscores the need for meticulous balance to ensure stability.

Specifically, in understanding cash flow statements, we likened financial sources and uses to the carefully orchestrated forces in engineering. Much like engineers balance forces for structural integrity, businesses must judiciously manage their sources and uses of funds for sustained financial health. As we conclude, embrace this equilibrium, strategically apply financial principles, and steer your business toward resilience and prosperity.  Below are some books that can assist you on your way to understanding finance and accounting as an engineer, technician or technical professional.

Financial Decision-Making for Engineers Finance for Engineers: Evaluation and Funding of Capital Projects Construction Accounting and Financial Management (What’s New in Trades & Technology) American Mine Accounting: Methods and Forms Employed by Leading Mining Companies Finance for Non-Finance: An Introduction for Engineers

 

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to Summer Air-Conditioning Systems
  2. Summer Air-Conditioning for Hot and Dry Conditions
  3. Summer Air-Conditioning for Hot and Humid Conditions
  4. Single Cooling Coil and Mixing for Summer Cooling
  5. Summer Air-Conditioning using Direct Expansion
  6. Bypass Mixing for Controlled Room Temperature
  7. Single Cooling Coil with Absorbent Dehumidifier
  8. Evaporative Cooling for Cost-Effective Solutions
  9. Conclusion: Choosing the Right System for Your Needs

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1. Introduction to Summer Air-Conditioning Systems

Summer air-conditioning systems play a pivotal role in creating comfortable indoor environments tailored to specific atmospheric conditions. These systems are designed to address the challenges posed by varying weather patterns, ensuring optimal thermal conditions for occupants. In this exploration, we delve into diverse summer air-conditioning strategies, each tailored to specific climatic conditions.

From combating the intense heat of hot and dry regions to managing the high humidity levels in tropical climates, the engineering behind these systems is a fascinating blend of technology and environmental science. Join us as we navigate through the intricacies of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems optimized for different summer conditions, exploring the equipment arrangements, psychrometric processes, and practical considerations that make these systems effective.

Whether you are an HVAC professional, a technician, or someone curious about how these systems work, this journey will provide valuable insights into the world of summer air-conditioning. Let’s embark on this exploration to understand the principles that make indoor spaces cool, comfortable, and conducive to various activities even amid the sweltering heat of summer.

 

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2. Summer Air-Conditioning for Hot and Dry Conditions

Summer air-conditioning systems designed for hot and dry conditions are HVAC systems specifically tailored to address atmospheric conditions characterized by high temperatures ranging from 38–42°C(100.4–107.6°F) and low relative humidity levels of about 20–25%. These systems aim to optimize indoor comfort by reducing air temperature and increasing relative humidity to meet desired conditions of 24ºC(75.2ºF) and 60% RH. The equipment arrangement and the psychrometric processes involved in achieving this are illustrated in the figures below.

Summer air conditioning system for hot and dry outdoor conditions with representation of psychrometric process.
Summer air conditioning system for hot and dry outdoor conditions with representation of psychrometric process. Source: Testbook

The process involves the filtration of atmospheric air, passing through dampers before traversing the cooling coil. The air’s temperature undergoes reduction through sensible cooling, pinpointed at point 2 on the psychrometric process chart. Subsequently, the air leaving the cooling coil at point 2 enters an adiabatic humidifier. In this stage, water vapor is introduced, increasing humidity levels, and the conditioned air exits the humidifier at point 3.

Efficiency = [(T2 – T3) / (T2 – T5)] × 100

Total capacity of cooling coil = (V / Hf) × [(h3 – h1) / 1000] KW of refrigeration

Capacity of humidifier = (V / Vs) × [(w3 – w2) / 1000] kg/sec

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3. Summer Air-Conditioning for Hot and Humid Conditions

Summer air-conditioning systems designed for hot and humid conditions cater to atmospheric conditions characterized by temperatures ranging from 32–38°C (89.6–100.4°F) and relative humidity of about 70–75%. The equipment arrangement and psychrometric processes for achieving the desired comfort conditions of 24ºC (75.2ºF) and 60% RH are illustrated in the figures below.

Summer air conditioning system for hot and wet weather with representation of psychrometric process.
Summer air conditioning system for hot and wet weather with representation of psychrometric process. Source: Mechanopedia

The process involves air filtration and passage over the cooling coil for dehumidification. As the air moves over the cooling coil, with a temperature below the dew point of incoming air, both temperature and humidity are reduced, resulting in the air exiting at point 3.

Total capacity of cooling coil = (Hf×V) × [(h1 – h3) / 1000] KW of refrigeration

The air then enters the heating coil condition 3 and leaves at condition 5

Capacity of heating coil = Hf×V × (h5 – h3) / 1000 KW

Where:

  • Hf: Density of moist air (Kg/m³)
  • V: Volume of handled air (L/sec)
  • (h1 – h3): Enthalpy difference across the cooling coil (kJ/kg)
  • h5 – h3: Enthalpy difference across the heating coil (kJ/kg)

4. Single Cooling Coil and Mixing for Summer Cooling

A summer air conditioning system designed for hot and dry conditions operates with a single cooling coil and mixing process. Here’s how it works:

1. Outside air, along with recirculated air from the conditioned space, flows through a damper and mixes.
2. The mixed air passes through a filter to eliminate dirt, dust, and impurities.
3. Passing through a cooling coil, the air is cooled and dehumidified.
4. The cooled air moves through a perforated membrane, shedding moisture in condensed form, collected in a sump.
5. The air then passes through a heating coil, slightly raising its temperature to match the designed dry bulb temperature and relative humidity.
6. Cold and hot streams flow through separate ducts and are mixed before entering each conditioned space or zone.

Single Cooling Coil and Mixing for Summer Cooling
Single Cooling Coil and Mixing for Summer Cooling. Source: IDC

The process from 1 to 2 illustrates the state of the air as it traverses the air-conditioned room, accounting for the load within the room.  At the fourth stage of the process, air undergoes mixing under the conditions specified in points (2) and (3). Subsequently, at the fifth stage, we observe the state of the air as it exits the cooling coil, with the transition from 5 to 1 indicating the heating of the air due to friction as it passes through the blower. `

Maintaining indoor humidity below 60% during summer is crucial for optimal air conditioning performance. This system reduces the load on the cooling coil by mixing conditioned air, which is at a lower temperature than outdoor conditions, with fresh air.



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5. Summer Air-Conditioning using Direct Expansion

Direct expansion refrigeration system for cooling and dehumidifying of hot and moist air
Direct expansion refrigeration system for cooling and dehumidifying of hot and moist air. Source: AK Journals
The cooling system employed in a single-coil direct expansion system for summer air conditioning involves a straightforward and efficient process. In this system, the primary component responsible for cooling is the refrigeration unit. The refrigeration process begins in the evaporator, where the refrigerant, a substance with high heat absorption capacity, undergoes a phase change from liquid to vapor. As warm air from the surrounding environment passes over the evaporator coil, the refrigerant absorbs heat, causing it to evaporate.The now-cooled air is then directed into the living or working space, providing a comfortable indoor environment. Meanwhile, the refrigerant, now in a gaseous state, travels to the compressor. The compressor increases the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant, preparing it for the next phase of the cycle. The high-pressure, high-temperature gas then flows to the condenser coil, where it releases heat to the external environment, turning back into a liquid.

This cycle repeats as needed to maintain the desired indoor temperature. The single-coil design simplifies the process, making it a cost-effective and widely used solution for cooling in hot summer conditions.

6. Bypass Mixing for Controlled Room Temperature

Bypassing with a single coil in a summer air-conditioning system for fixed temperature. Source: IDC

Bypassing with a single coil in a summer air-conditioning system for fixed temperature.
Bypassing with a single coil in a summer air-conditioning system for fixed temperature. Source: IDC

This system is utilized to regulate the Dry Bulb Temperature (DBT) in the air-conditioned room based on the load in the room. The system’s arrangement is illustrated in Figure 2.33. Condition 4 involves the mixing of air at conditions 2 and 3. Condition 5 represents the state of air exiting the cooling air. Condition 6 entails the mixing of air at conditions 5 and 2. Process 4–5 signifies the cooling and dehumidifying of air passing through the cooling coil. Process 6-1 represents the heat generated by the fan and motor. Process 1–2 characterizes the state of air passing through the room as it takes the load in the room. The re-heating of air passing through the blower due to friction is disregarded for plotting on the psychrometric chart.

The previous system had limitations, as the temperature in the air-conditioned room couldn’t be controlled according to the load in the room. The control of DBT is deemed more crucial than humidity control unless humidity is excessively high.

The present system is employed during partial load operation. The face dampers on the cooling coil and bypass dampers are motor-controlled to maintain a constant DBT. As the sensible heat gain of the air-conditioned space decreases, more re-circulated air is bypassed. However, with a direct expansion cooling coil, the air passing across the coil may be more thoroughly dehumidified than when the full air quantity is handled. Thus, satisfactory space humidity conditions may be maintained during some partial load conditions without the need for re-heating.

7. Single Cooling Coil with Absorbent Dehumidifier

The cooling coil, as discussed in the previous methods for air cooling, also induces some dehumidification alongside the cooling process. However, dehumidification by a refrigerant cooling coil has limitations, especially when the coil surface temperature falls below 0°C, leading to frost formation and reduced heat transfer rates. This necessitates the implementation of a defrosting system and the reheating of air before it enters the air-conditioned space. As the required air dew point temperature is lowered, this refrigeration system becomes more complex and costly to own and operate.

In contrast, the absorbent system depicted in the following figure can minimize the required surface temperature of the cooling coil, entirely avoiding the possibility of coil frosting since the necessary coil temperature remains above 0°C. Consequently, this method achieves extremely low air dew-point temperatures more reliably and economically than the refrigeration method.

Single Cooling Coil with Absorbent Dehumidifier
Single Cooling Coil with Absorbent Dehumidifier. Source: IDC

As you can see in the psychrometric processes for this system condition 4 involves the mixing of airstreams at conditions 2 and 3. Process 4–5 represents the adiabatic dehumidification of air passing through the absorbent dehumidifier. Process 5–6 is the sensible cooling of air passing through the cooling coil with a surface temperature considerably above the required frosting temperature. Process 6–1 represents the heat generated by the fan and fan motor. Process 1–2 signifies the condition of air passing through the air-conditioned room, accounting for the existing load.

8. Evaporative Cooling for Cost-Effective Solutions

Considering air-conditioning systems, I’ve come across information indicating that comfort systems designed to maintain optimal thermal conditions can be quite costly. In situations where financial constraints limit the installation of a fully effective system, partially effective systems with reduced costs may be a more appealing option. In hot and dry regions, evaporative cooling systems offer significant relief in enclosed spaces.

Summer air-conditioning with evaporative cooling
Summer air-conditioning with evaporative cooling. Source: IDC

The commonly used evaporative cooling system, as shown above involves a straightforward process. Process 3–1 represents evaporative cooling, and process 1–2 represents the room load absorbed by the air passing through the room. Although state 2 represents an acceptable space condition, it may not necessarily be the optimum one. State 3 of the outdoor air is at a much higher temperature but lower relative humidity than state 2. As the air-washer is the sole processing device in the system, the overall cost is considerably lower than systems designed for optimal comfortable conditions.

Typically, evaporative cooling systems use a much higher flow rate of air (2 to 3 times that of conventional systems). The increased air movement past an individual provides a similar degree of comfort but with higher effective temperatures compared to situations where air movement is low.

9. Conclusion: Choosing the Right System for Your Needs

As we conclude our exploration of summer air-conditioning systems, we’ve unveiled the diverse strategies and technologies employed to tackle the challenges presented by different climatic conditions. From the arid heat of hot and dry regions to the humidity-laden atmospheres of tropical climates, these HVAC systems stand as technological marvels, ensuring indoor comfort even in the harshest summer conditions.

The journey has taken us through the intricacies of cooling coils, refrigeration units, and innovative approaches like evaporative cooling and absorbent systems. Understanding the psychrometric processes and equipment arrangements has shed light on the sophisticated engineering that goes into creating optimal indoor environments.

As technology continues to advance, so does our ability to refine and optimize summer air-conditioning systems. Whether it’s achieving energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, or sustainable solutions, the field of HVAC is ever-evolving. We hope this exploration has deepened your understanding of the principles behind summer air-conditioning and sparked an appreciation for the engineering ingenuity that makes indoor spaces comfortable, no matter the external weather conditions.

Thank you for joining us on this journey through the world of HVAC technology. Stay cool!

 

 

1. Introduction

Psychrometric processes are the building blocks of HVAC systems, orchestrating the intricate dance of air properties like temperature and humidity. For HVAC engineers and technicians, delving into these processes is not just an option but a necessity, serving as the key to achieving mastery in the realm of indoor environmental control.

Understanding psychrometric processes is vital on multiple fronts. It’s the cornerstone of efficient system design, allowing engineers to strike the right balance between comfort and energy efficiency. Technicians depend on this knowledge for troubleshooting and system maintenance. Moreover, it contributes to energy conservation and creates indoor spaces that are not just comfortable but also health-enhancing. In this guide, we’ll dive into the world of psychrometric processes, equipping you with the knowledge to master HVAC systems and create indoor environments that are efficient, comfortable, and conducive to well-being.

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2. Basic Processes

To understand the basic process, we will delve into the four fundamental psychrometric processes that form the cornerstone of HVAC systems. These processes are:

  1. Sensible Heating: Learn about the process of sensible heating, where the temperature of the air stream increases without altering its moisture content.
  2. Sensible Cooling: Explore how heat is removed from the air without changing its moisture content in the process of sensible cooling.
  3. Humidification: Understand the latent energy addition involved in humidification, where moisture is added to the air without changing its dry-bulb temperature.
  4. Dehumidification: Delve into the latent energy removal in the dehumidification process, where moisture is removed from the air without altering the dry-bulb temperature.

By understanding these basic processes, you’ll gain insights into how HVAC systems create and maintain comfortable indoor environments. These processes involve phase changes in water content, and we’ll explore their significance in the subsequent sections of this comprehensive guide.

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3. Sensible Heating

Sensible heating process.
Sensible heating process with air moving over a heating coil. Source: IIT Delhi

Dive into the fascinating process of sensible heating, a fundamental aspect of HVAC systems. Sensible heating involves increasing the temperature of the air stream without altering its moisture content. This process plays a crucial role in creating comfortable indoor environments.  To read sensible heating on a psychrometric chart, start by locating the initial air condition point. Identify the final condition point along the diagonal line representing sensible heating, with the vertical position indicating the dry-bulb temperature and the horizontal position showing the change in humidity ratio. Calculate the temperature change by subtracting the initial dry-bulb temperature from the final temperature, as sensible heating keeps humidity constant and only raises air temperature.

As we explore sensible heating, you’ll also discover the various heating devices that engineers and technicians use to achieve this vital HVAC function. These devices include:

  • Steam Coil: Learn how steam coils efficiently transfer heat to the air stream.
  • Hot Water Coil: Explore the use of hot water coils as a heating method in HVAC systems.
  • Heat Pipe: Understand the principles behind heat pipes and their role in sensible heating.
  • Air-to-Air Heat Exchanger: Discover how air-to-air heat exchangers contribute to the sensible heating process.
  • Sensible-Only Rotary Heat Wheel: Gain insights into the specialized rotary heat wheels used for sensible heating.
  • Electrical Heating Coil: Learn about electrical heating coils and their role in HVAC systems.
  • Furnace: Explore the traditional use of furnaces for sensible heating.
Sensible heating processes can be read off of the psychrometric chart be moving from point1 to point 2.
Sensible heating processes can be read off of the psychrometric chart be moving from point1 to point 2. Source: SlidePlayer

4. Latent Heating 

A latent heating process occurs when water (w) is evaporated without changing the dry bulb temperature (t).This process is represented as a vertical line on the psychrometric chart. When water is evaporated, it adds latent heat (L) to the air, increasing its enthalpy (h). The change in enthalpy during this process can be calculated using the following formula:

Δh = ma * L

Where:

  • Δh = Change in enthalpy (kJ/kg)
  • ma = Mass flow rate of dry air (kg/s)
  • L = Latent heat (kJ/kg)

During this latent heating process, the dry bulb temperature remains constant while the air’s moisture content increases.

5. Sensible Cooling

Sensible cooling
Sensible cooling process on a psychrometric chart can be read by moving from point A to point B. Source: CIBSE

Sensible cooling is a vital process in HVAC systems that involves removing heat from the air without altering its moisture content. This is achieved using various devices designed to carry out this specific task.

  1. Chilled Water Systems: Chilled water is a common medium for cooling. It circulates through coils or pipes, and air is passed over these cooled surfaces, resulting in heat transfer. Sensible cooling occurs as the air temperature decreases without any change in humidity.
  2. Refrigerant Cooling Coils: Refrigerant coils function in a manner similar to chilled water systems but use refrigerants instead. The air passes over these coils, and as the refrigerant inside evaporates and condenses, heat is absorbed and released, causing sensible cooling.
  3. Indirect Evaporative Coolers: These systems employ an adiabatic process that involves sensible cooling and humidification. Incoming hot and dry air passes through a heat exchanger where it indirectly cools down by transferring heat to a wet surface. This process maintains a constant wet-bulb temperature.
  4. Heat Pipes: Heat pipes are used to transfer heat efficiently. They operate by vaporizing and condensing a working fluid within a closed system. When air is passed over the condenser side of the heat pipe, sensible cooling is achieved.
  5. Air-to-Air Heat Exchangers: These devices transfer heat between two separate air streams, leading to sensible cooling in one stream while heating the other. They are valuable for energy recovery and maintaining indoor air quality.
  6. Sensible-Only Rotary Heat Wheels: Rotary heat wheels use rotating segments to transfer heat between incoming and exhaust air streams. This process allows for sensible cooling without altering humidity levels.
  7. Air Washers: Air washers use water spray systems to cool and clean the incoming air. Sensible cooling occurs as air is passed through the wetted surfaces.

On a psychrometric chart, the sensible cooling process is depicted as a horizontal movement to the left along a line of constant humidity ratio, towards the saturation line. During this process, there is no change in dew-point temperature, water vapor pressure, or humidity ratio, ensuring efficient cooling without introducing excess moisture into the air.

 

6. Heating and Humidification

Heating and humidification.
Humidification can be determined by moving from point A to B on the psychrometric chart. Source: CIBSE

Heating and humidification are essential processes in HVAC systems that work in sequence to prepare the air for comfortable and controlled indoor environments. In this combined process, air undergoes a two-step transformation to achieve the desired conditions.

First, the air enters a heating coil, where sensible heating takes place. This initial step elevates the air temperature without changing its moisture content. The energy added during this phase can be calculated using the following equation:

\[
Q = m_a \left({h_2 – h_1}\right)
\]

Where:

  • \(Q\) = Rate of energy added, KJ/hr
  • \(m_a\) = mass flow rate of dry air through the process
  • \(h_2\) = Specific enthalpy of moist air downstream of heating coil
  • \(h_1\) = Specific enthalpy of moist air upstream of heating coil

During the humidification process, the energy equation is:

\[
m_a \left({h_3 – h_2}\right) = m_w \cdot h_w
\]

Where:

  • \(h_3\) = The specific enthalpy of the moist air downstream of the humidifier
  • \(h_2\) = Specific enthalpy of moist air upstream of the humidifier
  • \(h_w\) = Specific enthalpy of the steam
  • \(m_w\) = Mass flow rate of the steam

The rate of moisture addition to the air, \(m_w\), is determined by a water vapor mass balance:

\[
m_w = m_a \left({w_3 – w_2}\right)
\]

Where:

  • \(w_2\) = Humidity ratio of the moist air upstream of the humidifier
  • \(w_3\) = Humidity ratio of the moist air downstream of the humidifier

Combining the equations:

\[
\frac{{h_3 – h_2}}{{w_3 – w_2}} = h_w
\]

This equation represents the slope of the humidification process on a psychrometric chart, allowing us to determine the direction of the process based on the enthalpy of the steam added to the air stream and the enthalpy-moisture protractor on a psychrometric chart.

It’s important to use dry and saturated steam during the injection process to prevent condensation. Steam can’t be sprayed below 100°C (at atmospheric pressure) due to nozzle requirements for higher pressure, and the lowest possible enthalpy carried with steam is the total heat of steam at 100°C when the steam is fully dry and saturated.

The amount of steam sprayed per kilogram of air is given by:

\[
m_w = m_a \left({w_3 – w_2}\right)
\]

7. Cooling and Dehumidification

Dehumidification is the process of removing moisture from the air, achievable by cooling the air below its dew point temperature. Effective dehumidification requires the cooling coil’s surface to stay below the dew point temperature of the air.

Dehumidification
Dehumidification can be represented by moving from point A to point B on the psychrometric chart. Source: CIBSE

For example, consider cooling air from 35ºC dry bulb (DB) and 24ºC wet bulb (WB) to 20ºC DB and 17.6ºC WB. Plotting these values on a psychrometric chart and drawing a line from one point to another reveals a 0.74 intersection on the sensible heat factor line, indicating 26% latent heat removal and 74% sensible heat removal.

The cooling and dehumidification process is illustrated in the chart below, starting at point 1 and ending at point 2.

To calculate the required refrigeration capacity (\(Q_R\)), an energy balance is employed:

Energy Balance:

\[
m_a \cdot h_1 = Q_R + m_a \cdot h_2 + m_w \cdot h_w
\]

The mass flow rate of water in the air is determined by:

\[
m_a \cdot w_1 = m_w + m_a \cdot w_2
\]

Combining the above two equations yields the refrigeration capacity (\(Q_R\)):

\[
Q_R = m_a(h_1 – h_2) – m_a(W_1 – W_2)h_w
\]

Where \(h_w\) represents the enthalpy of saturated liquid at temperature \(t_2\). The enthalpy related to liquid condensate is small in comparison to \((h_1 – h_2)\), which represents the enthalpy difference for cooling the air and condensing the water. The process is often approximated by dividing it into sensible (S) and latent (L) components:

\[
Q_{RS} = m_a(h_2 – h_a)
\]

and

\[
Q_{RL} = m_a(h_a – h_1)
\]

Thus,

\[
Q_R = Q_{RS} + Q_{RL}
\]

The sensible heat ratio for the process is then given by:

\[
SHR = \frac{Q_{RS}}{Q_{RS} + Q_{RL}}
\]

The rate at which moisture is removed from the air is calculated as:

\[
m_w = m_a(W_1 – W_2)
\]

8. Adiabatic Cooling

In the adiabatic cooling process, air is directed over a spray chamber equipped with nozzles that disperse water. The temperature of the sprayed water exceeds the wet-bulb temperature (WBT) of the incoming air but remains lower than the air temperature. As the air flows over this chamber, a portion of the water evaporates and is carried away by the air, thus increasing the specific humidity of the air. This phenomenon can be visualized in the figure below.

Crucially, the air supplies the necessary heat for water evaporation during this process, causing the air temperature to drop while maintaining the total enthalpy constant.

Complete air humidification is typically never achieved. Thus, we can define the effectiveness of the spray chamber using the following formula:

\[
E = \frac{{T_1 – T_3}}{{T_1 – T_2}}
\]

Where:

  • \(T_1 – T_3\) represents the actual drop in dry-bulb temperature (DBT)
  • \(T_1 – T_2\) represents the ideal drop in DBT

The humidification efficiency(%) can be calculated as:

\[
\text{Efficiency } = 100 \times E
\]

9. Chemical Dehumidification

In the chemical dehumidification process, when highly humid air is directed over a solid absorbent bed or subjected to a liquid absorbent spray, a portion of the water vapor is absorbed. This absorption reduces the water content in the air. The latent heat released during this process is absorbed by the air, leading to an increase in its dry-bulb temperature (DBT), while the total enthalpy of the air remains constant. Consequently, the chemical dehumidification process follows a path along a constant enthalpy line.

The effectiveness of the dehumidifier can be expressed as:

\[
E = \frac{{T3 – T1}}{{T2 – T1}}
\]

Where:

  • \(T3 – T1\) represents the difference in dry-bulb temperature (DBT)
  • \(T2 – T1\) represents the ideal change in DBT

10. Evaporative Cooling Systems

Evaporative cooling encompasses various types, including:

10.1 Direct Evaporative System

Direct evaporative cooling is a straightforward and efficient process where conditioned air directly interacts with a wetted surface for cooling and humidification. The steps involved are as follows:

  1. The hot and dry outdoor air undergoes filtration and then comes into contact with a wetted surface or water droplets within an air washer.
  2. The air experiences simultaneous cooling and dehumidification due to the exchange of sensible and latent heat (process o-s).
  3. The cooled and humidified air is delivered to the conditioned space, extracting sensible and latent heat (process s-i).
  4. Finally, the air is exhausted at state i.

In an ideal scenario, if the air washer were perfectly insulated with an infinite contact area, the process would follow a constant wet bulb temperature line, resulting in an adiabatic saturation process. In practice, the exit temperature may be slightly higher due to heat leaks and finite contact area.

The saturation efficiency (\(ε\)) of the direct evaporative cooling system can be defined as:

\[
ε = \frac{{T1 – T3}}{{T2 – T1}}
\]

10.2 Indirect Evaporative System

The indirect evaporative cooling process involves two separate air streams:

  • Primary air stream, which gets cooled and humidified through direct contact with a wetted surface (o-o’).
  • Secondary air stream, used as supply air to the conditioned space, only exchanging sensible heat with the cooled and humidified primary air stream (o-s).

Notably, in an indirect evaporative cooling system, the moisture content of the supply air remains constant, while its temperature drops. This can provide greater comfort in regions with higher humidity levels compared to direct systems. Commercially available indirect evaporative coolers can have saturation efficiency as high as 80%.

10.3 Multi-Stage Evaporative Cooling Systems

Multi-stage evaporative cooling systems offer advanced cooling solutions, with a typical two-stage configuration:

  1. In the first stage, the primary air is cooled and humidified (o -o’) by direct contact with a wet surface. Simultaneously, it cools the secondary air sensibly (o -1) in a heat exchanger.
  2. In the second stage, the secondary air stream is further cooled via direct evaporation (1-2).

In an ideal case, the final exit temperature of the supply air (\(t2\)) is several degrees lower than the wet bulb temperature of the inlet air to the system (\(t0\)). To enhance efficiency, it’s possible to sensibly cool the outdoor air before sending it to the evaporative cooler by exchanging heat with the exhaust air from the conditioned space.

11. Conclusion

In conclusion, this comprehensive guide has provided a deep understanding of psychrometric processes and their critical roles in HVAC systems. These processes are the building blocks for engineers and technicians, allowing them to create indoor environments that balance comfort and energy efficiency. From the fundamental principles of sensible and latent heating and cooling to the intricate details of heating, humidification, dehumidification, and advanced concepts like adiabatic cooling and chemical dehumidification, we’ve explored the complete spectrum of psychrometric processes. These processes are pivotal in optimizing indoor environments for human comfort and well-being.

Furthermore, we’ve unveiled the world of evaporative cooling systems, including direct, indirect, and multi-stage approaches. Each method presents its unique advantages and challenges, offering HVAC professionals a diverse toolkit to address varying environmental conditions and client requirements. By mastering these psychrometric processes, HVAC engineers and technicians can not only design efficient systems but also excel in troubleshooting, maintenance, and creating indoor spaces that promote both comfort and health. As the HVAC industry continues to evolve, this knowledge remains indispensable for achieving the perfect balance between human needs and energy conservation. Remember, HVAC professionals always know how to keep their cool, even during heated discussions, because they understand the science behind comfort and climate control. Whether you’re an experienced HVAC expert or just starting your journey in the field, the mastery of psychrometric processes will guide you towards a brighter and cooler future in indoor environmental control.

 

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding Psychrometric Charts
  2. Dry Bulb Temperature (Tdb)
  3. Wet Bulb Temperature (Twb)
  4. Dew Point Temperature (Tdp)
  5. Humidity Ratio or Moisture Content
  6. Specific Air Volume
  7. Sensible Heat Ratio (SHF)
  8. Relative Humidity (RH)
  9. Enthalpy
  10. Combination of Properties

Welcome, HVAC enthusiasts! Understanding psychrometric charts might seem daunting, but fear not. We’re here to make it as easy as A.B.C., well in this case H.V.A.C! In our guide on psychrometric charts, we will reveal the mystery of the powerful tools that drive the world of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). While these charts may sound complex, we’re here to break them down into simple, relatable terms, so everyone, from the average person on the street to seasoned HVAC professionals, can grasp their importance.

Think of psychrometric charts as the key to indoor comfort. They’re like the wizards behind the curtain, ensuring the air in your home, office, or any indoor space is just right. Whether it’s keeping you cool on a scorching summer day or toasty warm during the winter chill, psychrometric charts are the unsung heroes of HVAC.

In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of psychrometric charts, making them accessible and understandable. So, let’s embark on this journey to demystify HVAC’s secret sauce and discover the top 10 things that every HVAC engineer and technician must know. By the end of it, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for the role these charts play in our daily comfort.

Psychrometric Chart: Visualizing Air Properties
Psychrometric Chart: Visualizing Air Properties. Source: Researchgate

If you’re looking to learn the basics of HVAC, we recommend the following top 3 books:

These are the top 3 best books to learn the basics of HVAC, and they will provide you with valuable knowledge on your HVAC adventure.

1. Understanding Psychrometric Charts

To understand what a psychromteric chart is and how it used I would recommend that you first read  Introduction to Psychrometry: Understanding the Properties of Moist Air.  In addition to that, a practical understanding of where you will find examples of the use of psychrometric charts in your everyday life can be found by reading Practical Applications of Psychrometry in Various Industries and Environments.  Now that that you understand that the psychrometric is graphical tool used by HVAC professionals to analyze and control the air’s temperature, humidity, and other properties for efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, we can get into the thick of things!  Let’s learn about all the properties of air.

To understand what a psychrometric chart is and how it’s used, we recommend diving into the fascinating world of psychrometry. For students and engineers eager to master the art of psychrometrics, there’s no better guide than “A Guide in Practical Psychrometrics for Students and Engineers.

This comprehensive resource takes you on a journey through the intricacies of psychrometric charts, making the complex seem simple. Whether you’re a student embarking on your HVAC studies or an experienced engineer fine-tuning air conditioning systems, this guide is a must-have. It’s your key to unlocking the mysteries of psychrometrics.

Learn more about “A Guide in Practical Psychrometrics for Students and Engineers” on Amazon:

This guide equips you with the knowledge to analyze and control air temperature, humidity, and other properties efficiently. It’s not just a book; it’s your companion in the realm of psychrometrics, ensuring you’re well-prepared to tackle the challenges of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Take your understanding of psychrometric charts to the next level with this invaluable resource.

 

2. Dry Bulb Temperature (Tdb)

Dry Bulb Temperature, often referred to as “ambient air temperature,” is essentially the temperature of the air in your immediate surroundings. To measure it, you simply place a thermometer in the air where you are. This reading accurately reflects the Dry Bulb Temperature (Tdb), provided that the thermometer is shielded from direct sunlight, or any other radiation, to prevent interference from other heat sources. Additionally, it’s crucial that the measurement is taken in a dry environment, as excessive moisture in the air can distort the readings. Tdb is the metric we rely on when we simply want to know how hot or cold it is outside.

Tdb is measured with a standard thermometer that isn’t exposed to moisture or radiation. Tdb is usually expressed in degrees Celsius (°C) or Fahrenheit (°F). Kelvin (K) is also used, where zero Kelvin means absolutely zero heat and is equivalent to -273.15 °C. To determine the dry bulb temperature from a psychrometric chart, you take the temperature at a vertical line on the X-axis. It’s the reference point, representing the heat content, and the constant dry bulb temperatures appear as vertical lines in the psychrometric chart. So, whether you’re a newbie exploring the HVAC realm or a seasoned professional fine-tuning an air system, remember Tdb. It’s the unsung hero of temperature measurement, straightforward and reliable.

These are the top 3 psychrometers that we suggest for taking dry bulb temperature readings:

Dry Bulb Temperature on Psychrometric Chart
Dry bulb Ttemperature on psychrometric chart represented as vertical lines. Source: NC State University

3. Wet Bulb Temperature (Twb)

Wet Bulb Temperature, often abbreviated as Twb, is a crucial parameter in psychrometry. It represents the temperature of air undergoing adiabatic saturation, a process where air becomes saturated with moisture without any heat exchange.

Measuring Twb involves using a thermometer with its bulb covered by a wet muslin cloth. As the moisture on the cloth evaporates into the air, it has a cooling effect on the thermometer bulb, causing the temperature reading to drop. This temperature, the wet bulb temperature, is typically lower than the dry bulb temperature (Tdb) of the surrounding air.

The rate of evaporation from the wet cloth and the temperature difference between the dry bulb and wet bulb are influenced by the humidity of the air. In more humid conditions, evaporation is slower.

It’s important to note that Twb will always be lower than the dry bulb temperature (Tdb), except under one specific circumstance – when the air is completely saturated with moisture, reaching 100% relative humidity (RH). In that unique case, the wet bulb and dry bulb temperatures are identical.

By plotting the dry bulb and wet bulb temperatures on a psychrometric chart or Mollier chart, you can gain insights into the state of the humid air. Look for lines of constant wet bulb temperatures on the chart, which run diagonally from the upper left to the lower right. These lines are invaluable tools for understanding and working with psychrometric data.

Wet bulb temperature represented on a psychrometric chart as constant diagonal lines.
Wet bulb temperature represented on a psychrometric chart as constant diagonal lines. Source: NC State University.

4. Dew Point Temperature (Tdp)

Ever wondered about the magic temperature at which air starts to create dew, and everything feels a bit… well, saturated? It’s called the Dew Point, and it’s like the air’s own personal saturation point. Think of it as the moment when air just can’t hold its moisture any longer, and voila, you get dew!

So, what’s the deal with the Dew Point Temperature (Tdp)? When it’s close to the ambient air or dry bulb temperature (Tdb), you know you’re in a high humidity situation, and things might feel a tad muggy. But when the Dew Point is way lower than the air temperature, you’ve got low humidity on your hands, which can feel pretty crisp.

For a fun experiment, think about that cold soda bottle in your fridge. When it’s super chilly, you’ll see moisture droplets forming on the outside. Well, that’s the Dew Point of the air being higher than the temperature inside the fridge.  Now, to measure the Dew Point Temperature, all you need is a metal can, some ice cubes, and a trusty thermometer. Mix the ice and water in the can, give it a good stir, and watch what happens. When the air’s vapor decides to turn into droplets on the can’s surface, you’re pretty close to the Dew Point of the actual air.

On a psychrometric chart, the lines that represent the Dew Point Temperature are the horizontal lines running from the left to the  right. These lines display how the Dew Point Temperature changes with variations in the Dry Bulb Temperature and can be a handy reference for HVAC engineers and technicians. When working with the chart, follow these diagonal lines to identify the Dew Point Temperature, a crucial factor in assessing moisture levels and potential condensation in air.

So, when you’re consulting those psychrometric charts or geeking out on all things HVAC, remember the Dew Point – it’s the air’s way of saying, “I’m feeling a bit saturated today!”

Dew point temperature represented on a psychrometric chart as constant vertical lines.
Wet bulb temperature represented on a psychrometric chart as constant horizontal lines.  Source: NC State University

5. Humidity Ratio or Moisture Content

Specific Humidity is like the “water content” of the air. It’s measured in grams of water vapor per kilogram of dry air. Think of it as the amount of moisture that the air is carrying. Now, air can be a bit picky – it can only support a certain amount of moisture at a given temperature. This limit is what we call saturation humidity.

On the psychrometric chart, we find humidity ratio represented by lines that run horizontally. You’ll spot these lines on the right-hand side (Y-axis) of the chart. They start at the bottom and rise to the top, indicating how the humidity ratio changes with varying conditions. So, if you ever wondered how much moisture your air can handle, this is where you’ll find your answers!

Humidity Ration represented on a psychrometric chart as constant vertical lines read off the right hand side.  Source: NC State University

6. Specific Air Volume

Specific Volume is like the personal space of air – it’s all about how much room a certain amount of air takes up under specific conditions. In simple terms, it’s the opposite of air density. When the air gets warmer, it’s like it’s had a few extra cups of coffee; the molecules get excited and start jiggling around, making them spread out more. This makes warm air less dense than cool air – and that’s why it rises, kind of like a helium balloon at a birthday party. So, remember, warm air has more specific volume and is a bit of a lightweight.

Now, things get interesting when we throw humidity and atmospheric pressure into the mix. The more moisture vapor the air holds, the more spacious it becomes. And when the overall atmospheric pressure is cranked up, the air gets a bit shy and huddles closer, reducing its specific volume. You’ll find specific volume marked on the Psychrometric Chart as lines that slant from the lower right-hand corner to the upper left-hand corner. They’re like the rebels of the chart, always going against the flow.

Specific volume represented on a psychrometric chart as constant diagonal lines from the top left to the bottom right.
Specific volume represented on a psychrometric chart as constant diagonal lines from the top left to the bottom right.  Source: NC State University

7. Sensible Heat Ratio (SHF)

The Sensible Heat Ratio is a critical parameter used to determine the proportion of sensible heat and latent heat contributing to the overall cooling load. On the ASHRAE psychrometric chart, a protractor is employed to precisely measure and interpret this ratio by plotting the slope of the corresponding line. This information is valuable for optimizing cooling systems and ensuring efficient operation.

The ASHRAE psychrometric chart provides us with a handy tool, a protractor in the top left corner, to plot the slope of the line representing the Sensible Heat Ratio.  To get the SHR, take a ruler and put it along the slope slope ot the line showing the psychrometric process being studied(long red line on Figure[…].  Then move the ruler towards the protractor in the top let, while still keeping the ruler parallel to the line of the of psychrometric process.  Pleace the ruler at the center point of the protractor and the point where the arc of the protractor meets the the psychrometric process line will give the SHF(short red line on the psychrometric chart protractor.)

The Sensible Heat Ratio (SHF) is calculated using the following formula:

SHF = Sensible Heat (Qs) / (Sensible Heat (Qs) + Latent Heat (QL))

Where

  • SHF = Sensible Heat Ratio
  • Qs = Sensible Heat
  • QL = Latent Heat

This equation is instrumental in determining the distribution of sensible and latent heat in cooling processes, providing valuable insights for efficient HVAC system design and operation.

 

Sensible heat ratio shown on a psychrometric chart protractor.
Sensible heat ratio shown on a psychrometric chart protractor. Source: Facility Dynamics Engineering.

Section 8. Relative Humidity (RH)

Relative Humidity (RH) serves as a yardstick for quantifying the moisture content air can retain at a specific temperature. It’s no secret that the warmth of the air plays a pivotal role; as temperatures rise, so does the air’s moisture-carrying capacity. Within the realm of psychrometric charts, the lines that denote constant relative humidity take shape as curves, originating at the lower left and gracefully sweeping their way up to the upper right of the chart. Notably, the boundary of absolute saturation, which marks 100 percent relative humidity, in the chart’s upper-left corner.

Understanding Relative Humidity provides HVAC professionals with critical insights into air moisture levels, an invaluable asset when optimizing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

Relative humidty curves on a psychrometric chart.
Relative humidty curves on a psychrometric chart.  Source: NC State University

9. Enthalpy

Enthalpy, a fundamental metric in the world of thermodynamics, quantifies the heat energy contained within the air. It consists of two distinct sources: sensible heat, originating from the air’s temperature, and latent heat, rooted in the air’s moisture content.

The unison of these two forms of energy gives birth to what we term ‘air enthalpy.’ This essential value is usually expressed in Btu per pound (Btu/lb.) of dry air or kilojoules per kilogram (kJ/kg).

Enthalpy plays a pivotal role in the realm of air heating and cooling. It’s the magic that determines whether you’re dealing with dry, scorching hot air, loaded with sensible heat, or the pleasantly cool, moist variety carrying an abundance of latent heat. On the psychrometric chart, the enthalpy scale can be found to the top left of the chart’s saturation boundary, marked with lines of constant enthalpy, flowing diagonally from left to right. These lines follow a path quite similar to the constant wet bulb temperature line, providing valuable insights into the air’s energy content.

When calculating the enthalpy of moist air, you’ll want to use the formula:

h = (1.007 * t – 0.026) + g * (2501 + 1.84 * t)

Where ‘g’ symbolizes the water content in kg/kg of dry air and ‘t’ represents the dry bulb temperature in degrees Celsius.

Understanding enthalpy is a must for HVAC engineers and technicians who aim to master the art of optimizing air conditions.

Enthalpy lines represented on a psychrometric chart.
Enthalpy lines represented on a psychrometric chart.  Source: NC State University

Section 10: Combination of Properties

You now know the different areas of a psychrometric chart and how to find the various properties of air under specific conditions, but that is just the begining! The most important part of understanding psychrometric is putting it all together, better referred to as combination of properties.  Combining properties will allow you to intepret the chart and determine exactly which process is taking place based on the air conditions given.  The chart below is the complete chart combining most of the lines and other parameters so far
discussed:

Complete psychrometric chart combining most of the lines and other parameters
Complete psychrometric chart combining most of the lines and other parameters. Source: Testbook.

Conclusion

In wrapping up our exploration into the world of psychrometric charts, it’s essential to highlight how they benefit HVAC engineers and technicians in real-world scenarios. These charts may seem complex, but in plain terms, they are like maps guiding professionals in making indoor spaces comfortable and efficient.  Think of it this way: just as a GPS helps you find your way on the road, psychrometric charts help HVAC experts navigate the world of air conditioning and heating. They provide insights on how to control temperature and humidity, ensuring your home or office stays cozy and healthy.

Whether you’re a seasoned HVAC pro or someone starting out, these charts are your secret weapon for creating the perfect indoor environment. They bridge the gap between theory and practice, offering practical solutions for better indoor air quality and energy-efficient systems. So, next time you step into a comfortably cooled or heated space, you’ll know there’s a bit of science behind it, making your surroundings just right.

 

 

Psychrometry plays a vital role in the efficient functioning of HVAC systems. It is the study of the physical and thermodynamic properties of moist air and their impact on the indoor environment. By understanding the properties of moist air, HVAC professionals can optimize air conditioning systems for improved comfort and energy efficiency.

Some of the key properties of moist air include humidity, dry bulb temperature, wet bulb temperature, relative humidity, and dew point temperature. These properties are used to measure and analyze the moisture content and heat in the air, which are critical factors in HVAC design and maintenance.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Psychrometry is the study of the physical and thermodynamic properties of moist air.
  • HVAC systems rely on understanding the properties of moist air for efficient functioning.
  • Key properties of moist air include humidity, dry bulb temperature, wet bulb temperature, relative humidity, and dew point temperature.
  • These properties are used to measure and analyze the moisture content and heat in the air, which are critical factors in HVAC design and maintenance.

The Importance of Psychrometry in HVAC Systems

Psychrometry is a fundamental aspect of air conditioning and HVAC systems. By understanding the properties of moist air, such as humidity, dry bulb temperature, wet bulb temperature, relative humidity, dew point temperature, and enthalpy, professionals can accurately measure and analyze air properties. This allows for efficient control of heat and humidity, ensuring optimal system performance.

Heat and humidity play a significant role in air conditioning, making psychrometry vital to HVAC system design. With accurate measurement and analysis of air properties, professionals can properly size air conditioning equipment, reducing energy costs and improving indoor air quality.

Additionally, the importance of psychrometry extends to HVAC system maintenance. Regular monitoring and analysis of air properties can identify potential issues before they become costly problems. This ensures proper ventilation and temperature control, maximizing equipment longevity and performance.

 

10 Things Every HVAC Engineer and Technician Must KnowLearn Everything You Need Know About Psychrometry, Air Handling System and Duct Selection With This Course

 

Measuring Moist Air: Dry Bulb and Wet Bulb Temperature

Psychrometer
Experimental setup showing how a psychrometer works. Source: Virtual Laboratory on Mine Ventilation.

Two primary methods are used to measure moist air in HVAC: dry bulb temperature and wet bulb temperature. Dry bulb temperature is the most commonly used method and involves measuring the temperature of the air with a standard thermometer. Wet bulb temperature, on the other hand, involves measuring the temperature at which water evaporates into the air using a thermometer wrapped in a wet wick.

The difference between the two temperatures, known as the wet bulb depression, is used to determine the relative humidity of the air. The wet bulb temperature is always lower than the dry bulb temperature because of the cooling effect of water evaporation. Thus, the wet bulb depression is directly proportional to the relative humidity.

Dry Bulb Temperature Wet Bulb Temperature Relative Humidity
70°F/21.22°C 60°F/15.56°C 50%
80°F/26.67°C 65°F/18.33°C 57%
85°F/29.44°C 65°F/°18.33C 45%

The dry bulb and wet bulb temperature measurements are used to calculate other air properties such as enthalpy, dew point temperature, and specific volume. These properties are crucial in understanding air conditioning fundamentals and designing HVAC systems that efficiently control heat and humidity.

Understanding Relative Humidity and Dew Point Temperature

Understanding Relative Humidity and Dew Point Temperature
Explanation of the differefence between Relative Humidity and Dew Point Temperature. Source: WQAD

In psychrometry, relative humidity (RH) is a key concept in understanding the moisture content of air. RH is the ratio of the amount of water vapor in the air to the maximum amount that the air can hold at a given temperature and pressure. It is expressed as a percentage.

Relative humidity has a significant impact on indoor air quality and can affect human comfort and health. High relative humidity levels can cause mold growth and promote the spread of bacteria and viruses, while low relative humidity can lead to dry skin, respiratory problems, and discomfort.

To calculate relative humidity, a hygrometer is used to measure the dry bulb temperature (DBT) and the wet bulb temperature (WBT). The difference between the DBT and WBT is used to determine the amount of water vapor in the air and the RH.

The dew point temperature (DPT) is another important parameter in psychrometry. It is the temperature at which the air becomes saturated and cannot hold any more moisture. When the temperature drops below the dew point, condensation occurs, leading to the formation of fog, dew, or frost.

The dew point temperature is influenced by the amount of moisture in the air, as well as the air temperature and pressure. It is an important factor in determining the likelihood of condensation and can help prevent damage to buildings and equipment caused by moisture.

Understanding relative humidity and dew point temperature is essential in HVAC design and maintenance. Proper control of these parameters can help ensure optimal indoor air quality, prevent moisture damage, and enhance human comfort and health.

Enthalpy: The Total Heat Content of Moist Air

Explanation of Enthalpy: The Total Heat Content of Moist Air illustrating evaporative cooling. Source: Powermatic
Explanation of Enthalpy: The Total Heat Content of Moist Air illustrating evaporative cooling. Source: Powermatic

In psychrometry, enthalpy refers to the total heat content of moist air. It is a combination of the sensible heat and latent heat of the air, and is expressed in units of energy per unit mass (such as joules per kilogram or BTUs per pound).

Sensible heat is the heat energy that is required to change the temperature of the air. In contrast, latent heat is the heat energy that is required to change the state of the water vapor in the air, such as from liquid to gas during evaporation or from gas to liquid during condensation.

Enthalpy plays a crucial role in the design and operation of air conditioning systems. By measuring and analyzing enthalpy, HVAC professionals can determine the ideal conditions for maintaining comfort and efficiency in indoor environments.

For example, in cooling applications, the enthalpy of the air is reduced as it passes through the evaporator coil, where heat is absorbed during the process of evaporation. The air is then cooled and dehumidified before being distributed back into the indoor space.

Conversely, in heating applications, the enthalpy of the air is increased as it passes through the heat exchanger, where heat is transferred from the source (such as a furnace or heat pump) to the air. The air is then heated and humidified before being distributed into the indoor space.

By understanding the relationship between enthalpy, sensible heat, and latent heat, HVAC professionals can design and maintain air conditioning systems that optimize energy efficiency and indoor comfort.

Psychrometric Chart: Visualizing Air Properties

Psychrometric Chart: Visualizing Air Properties
Psychrometric Chart: Visualizing Air Properties. Source: Researchgate

The psychrometric chart is a fundamental tool used in psychrometry to visualize air properties. It is a graphical representation of the relationship between various properties of moist air, such as humidity, temperature, and enthalpy.

Typically, the psychrometric chart is presented as a graph with axes representing dry bulb temperature and humidity ratio. Enthalpy and other air properties are represented by curved lines, as well as diagonal and horizontal lines.

The chart allows HVAC professionals to easily determine the relative humidity, dew point temperature, and moisture content of air at a given temperature and humidity ratio. This information is essential for designing and maintaining air conditioning systems that provide optimal comfort and efficiency.

For example, if a building’s indoor temperature and humidity levels are too high, an HVAC technician can refer to the psychrometric chart to determine the necessary changes to the system to achieve the desired conditions. Additionally, the chart can be used to select appropriate air conditioning equipment based on the space’s specific requirements.

Overall, understanding and utilizing the psychrometric chart is a crucial aspect of air conditioning fundamentals and HVAC design. By visualizing and analyzing air properties, professionals can optimize system performance, increase energy efficiency, and improve indoor air quality.

Calculating Moisture Content and Air Conditioning Loads

Psychrometry plays a crucial role in calculating moisture content and determining air conditioning loads. HVAC professionals use various calculations to analyze the properties of moist air and optimize air conditioning systems for maximum efficiency.

The first step is to measure the dry bulb and wet bulb temperatures of the air. These measurements allow for the calculation of relative humidity, dew point temperature, and enthalpy. The relative humidity and dew point temperature help calculate the moisture content in the air, which is crucial in determining the air conditioning load. The enthalpy calculation is essential in determining the total heat content of the air and is crucial in air conditioning system design.

Accurate measurement of these variables is vital in optimizing HVAC systems for improved indoor air quality and energy efficiency. By calculating the moisture content and air conditioning loads, professionals can determine the proper equipment size required for the job and minimize system inefficiencies that can lead to increased energy costs.

Overall, psychrometry is an essential tool in calculating moisture content and determining air conditioning loads. By understanding the properties of moist air, HVAC professionals can design and maintain optimal systems for maximum efficiency and comfort.

Psychrometry in HVAC Design and Maintenance

Psychrometry in HVAC Design and Maintenance
Psychrometry in HVAC Design and Maintenance. Source: Psychrometric Designs

Psychrometry plays a vital role in HVAC design and maintenance, helping professionals to optimize indoor air quality, ensure proper ventilation and temperature control, and improve system performance and efficiency. By understanding and analyzing air properties, professionals in the field can design and maintain HVAC systems that meet the demands of any environment.

One critical aspect of psychrometry in HVAC design is thermodynamics, the field of science that studies energy transfer and conversion. Understanding the principles of thermodynamics is essential when designing HVAC systems that maximize energy efficiency and minimize environmental impact. By considering factors such as heat transfer, air properties, and environmental conditions, professionals can create HVAC systems that are tailored to specific contexts.

In the maintenance of HVAC systems, psychrometry is used to measure and analyze air properties, ensuring that the system continues to operate at peak efficiency. By monitoring humidity levels, measuring temperatures, and analyzing enthalpy, professionals can quickly detect and diagnose system malfunctions or inefficiencies. This information enables professionals to take corrective action, optimizing system performance and prolonging the lifespan of HVAC equipment.

Benefits of Psychrometry in HVAC design and maintenance:
Optimizes indoor air quality
Ensures proper ventilation and temperature control
Improves system performance and efficiency
Maximizes energy efficiency
Minimizes environmental impact
Detects and diagnoses system malfunctions or inefficiencies
Prolongs the lifespan of HVAC equipment

In conclusion, psychrometry is an essential tool in HVAC design and maintenance. By understanding and analyzing air properties, including humidity, dry bulb temperature, wet bulb temperature, relative humidity, dew point temperature, and enthalpy, professionals in the field can optimize the performance and efficiency of HVAC systems for improved comfort and sustainability.

Conclusion

Psychrometry plays a crucial role in understanding and analyzing the properties of moist air in HVAC systems. By measuring dry bulb and wet bulb temperatures, calculating relative humidity and dew point temperature, and understanding enthalpy, HVAC professionals can ensure optimum performance and efficiency of air conditioning systems.

The psychrometric chart provides a visual representation of air properties, allowing for easy interpretation and analysis of temperature, humidity, and enthalpy relationships. By utilizing psychrometry in HVAC design and maintenance, professionals can optimize system performance, enhance indoor air quality, and ensure proper ventilation and temperature control.

Understanding the fundamentals of psychrometry in HVAC systems is essential for professionals in the field. By utilizing this knowledge to calculate moisture content and determine air conditioning loads, HVAC professionals can ensure proper system sizing and efficiency. In conclusion, psychrometry is an important tool in the field of HVAC that can contribute to improved comfort, energy efficiency, and overall system performance.

FAQ

What is psychrometry?

Psychrometry is the study of the properties of moist air, including humidity, temperature, and moisture content.

Why is psychrometry important in HVAC systems?

Understanding the properties of moist air is crucial in HVAC systems as it allows for efficient control of heat and humidity, resulting in improved comfort and energy efficiency.

What are the primary methods of measuring moist air?

The two primary methods of measuring moist air are dry bulb and wet bulb temperature.

How is relative humidity calculated?

Relative humidity is calculated by comparing the amount of moisture in the air to the maximum amount of moisture it can hold at a given temperature.

What is the dew point temperature?

The dew point temperature is the temperature at which the air becomes saturated, leading to condensation and the formation of dew.

What is enthalpy?

Enthalpy is the total heat content of moist air, including both sensible heat and latent heat.

What is a psychrometric chart?

A psychrometric chart is a graphical representation of air properties, allowing for the visualization and analysis of relationships between temperature, humidity, enthalpy, and other variables.

How is psychrometry used in HVAC system design?

Psychrometry is used in HVAC system design to calculate moisture content, determine air conditioning loads, optimize system performance, and ensure proper ventilation and temperature control.

What are the practical applications of psychrometry in HVAC maintenance?

In HVAC maintenance, psychrometry is used to analyze air properties, optimize system efficiency, enhance indoor air quality, and ensure proper functioning of ventilation and temperature control systems. To gain a better understanding of how pschrometry is used read Practical Applications of Psychrometry in Various Industries and Environments.

Psychrometry, also known as hygrometry, is a field of engineering that focuses on the physical and thermodynamic properties of gas-vapor mixtures. It involves the study of atmospheric air, which is a mixture of pure air and water vapor at atmospheric pressure. Psychrometry plays a crucial role in various industries, including engineering, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), and building materials.

The Basics of Psychrometry

Air Composition and Dalton’s Law

Air is predominantly composed of nitrogen (78% by volume) and oxygen (21%), with small amounts of carbon dioxide and other gases making up the remaining 1%. The composition of air remains consistent across different locations. However, the amount of water vapor in the air can vary significantly.

According to Dalton’s Law, the total pressure of a gas-vapor mixture is equal to the sum of the partial pressures exerted by each component gas. This means that the total pressure of the air is the combination of the pressures exerted by the dry gases and the water vapor.

Dry Bulb and Wet Bulb Temperature

Dry bulb temperature refers to the temperature of air as measured by a standard thermometer with a dry sensing bulb. On the other hand, wet bulb temperature is the temperature of air measured by a thermometer with a sensing bulb covered by a wet wick. The evaporation of water from the wick cools the thermometer, resulting in a lower wet bulb reading compared to the dry bulb temperature. The difference between these temperatures provides insights into the relative humidity of the air.

Relative Humidity

Relative humidity (RH) is a commonly used psychrometric unit that represents the amount of water vapor present in the air compared to the maximum amount it can hold at a given temperature. It is expressed as a percentage and calculated by dividing the partial pressure of water vapor by the saturation vapor pressure at the same temperature.

Psychrometric Properties and Calculations

Humidity Ratio

Humidity ratio, also known as mixing ratio or moisture content, refers to the mass of water in the volume occupied by 1 kg of dry air. It represents the amount of water required to be evaporated into 1 kg of dry air to achieve a specific condition. HVAC engineers often use this term as it remains constant unless cooled below the dew point temperature. Humidity ratio is typically expressed in kilograms per kilogram (kg/kg) or grams per kilogram (g/kg).

Psychrometric Chart

A psychrometric chart is a graphical representation of the thermodynamic properties of moist air. It shows the relationships between dry bulb temperature, wet bulb temperature, relative humidity, humidity ratio, and enthalpy. By using a psychrometric chart, engineers can analyze air-conditioning processes, perform energy and exergy assessments, and make informed decisions about HVAC system design and operation.

Applications of Psychrometry

Psychrometry finds applications in various industries and environments. Some notable examples include:

  • Lithium Battery Dry Rooms: Maintaining low humidity and dew point levels in rooms storing lithium batteries to prevent moisture-related damage.
  • Pharmaceutical Humidity Control: Achieving precise humidity levels in cleanrooms and pharmaceutical environments to ensure product stability and quality.
  • Dehumidification in Cold Stores: Preventing ice formation in food distribution centers and cold stores through effective dehumidification.
  • Food Production Humidity Control: Controlling humidity in food production facilities to maintain product quality and extend shelf life.
  • Warehouse and Storage Dehumidification: Protecting stored goods from moisture damage by maintaining optimal humidity levels.
  • Car Storage Humidity Control: Preserving classic cars and valuable vehicles by controlling humidity levels in storage facilities.
  • Ice Rink Dehumidification: Ensuring optimal ice conditions and preventing condensation in ice rinks and arenas.
  • Sports Hall Humidity Control: Controlling humidity and condensation in PVC structures and sports halls to maintain a comfortable and safe environment.
  • Confectionary Humidity Control: Maintaining precise humidity levels to prevent moisture-related issues in confectionary production.
  • Humidity Control within Temporary Structures: Preventing condensation and controlling humidity in temporary structures such as tents and event spaces.
  • PVB Glass Lamination Humidity Control: Achieving optimal humidity conditions for the lamination process of PVB (polyvinyl butyral) glass.
  • Power Station Preservation and Accelerated Cooling: Controlling humidity to prevent corrosion and ensure efficient cooling in power stations.
  • Museum and Archive Humidity Control: Maintaining stable humidity levels to preserve artifacts and prevent deterioration in museums and archives.
  • Flood Damage Building Drying: Facilitating the drying process and preventing further damage after water or flood incidents in buildings.
  • Silo Head Space Conditioning: Controlling humidity in silos to minimize moisture-related issues in stored grains and other commodities.
  • Temporary Desiccant Dehumidification Systems: Providing temporary humidity control solutions in various industrial and commercial applications.
  • Preservation of Military Equipment with Humidity Control: Protecting military equipment from moisture damage through effective humidity control.

The Benefits of Psychrometry in Engineering and Design

Psychrometry plays a crucial role in engineering and design processes, particularly in the HVAC industry. Here are some of the key benefits:

Comfort and Indoor Air Quality

By understanding the psychrometric properties of air, engineers can design HVAC systems that provide optimal comfort and indoor air quality. Controlling temperature, humidity, and air movement helps create a pleasant and healthy environment for occupants.

Energy Efficiency

Psychrometry enables engineers to analyze and optimize the energy efficiency of HVAC systems. By considering factors such as heat transfer, moisture load, and air distribution, engineers can design systems that minimize energy consumption and operating costs.

Moisture Control

Effective moisture control is essential in various industries, including food production, pharmaceuticals, and storage facilities. Psychrometry allows engineers to design dehumidification systems that prevent moisture-related issues, such as mold growth, corrosion, and product degradation.

Building Performance and Sustainability

Psychrometry contributes to the overall performance and sustainability of buildings. By considering factors like insulation, roofing, and ventilation, engineers can design energy-efficient buildings that promote occupant comfort, minimize environmental impact, and comply with sustainability standards.

System Design and Optimization

Psychrometry provides valuable insights for system design and optimization. By using psychrometric charts and calculations, engineers can select appropriate equipment, determine system capacities, and ensure efficient operation.

Conclusion

Psychrometry is a fundamental science that plays a vital role in various engineering disciplines, particularly in the field of HVAC. By understanding the properties of air and water vapor, engineers can design systems that provide optimal comfort, energy efficiency, and moisture control. The use of psychrometric charts and calculations allows for precise analysis and optimization of HVAC systems, ensuring the delivery of high-quality indoor environments. By harnessing the principles of psychrometry, engineers can shape the built environment of tomorrow, creating sustainable, comfortable, and efficient spaces for all.

The process of designing and building a process plant is a complex and multifaceted task that requires a team of professionals with expertise in various areas, including chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and construction.  If you are looking to find out the specific process then you have come to the right place.  We look at the various steps and also share the tools which you may use at various stages.  As you may be involved with only a certain step due to your specific engineering discipline we’ve made it easy for you to skip to the section or sections that are most relevant to you with the Table of Contents with brief descriptions:

Table of Contents

  1. FEED (Front-End Engineering Design): This is the initial phase of the project, during which the scope and objectives of the project are defined and a conceptual design is developed.
  2. Design Study Phase: During this phase, the design team studies and assesses the technical and operational requirements of the project, as well as the site conditions and constraints.
  3. Plot Plan: The plot plan is a top-down view of the project site that shows the location of the piping system and other process equipment.
  4. Conceptual Design Phase: During this phase, the design team develops a high-level design for the piping system, including the layout, routing, and sizing of the pipes.
  5. Detailed Design: This phase involves the creation of 3D models of the piping system and the process equipment, as well as the development of detailed design drawings and specifications.
  6. Engineering: During this phase, the design team performs engineering analysis, such as pipe stress analysis and code compliance, and specifies the materials and components to be used in the piping system.
  7. Piping Isometric and Fabrication Drawings: These are detailed drawings that show the layout, routing, and dimensions of the piping system, as well as the fabrication details for the pipes and fittings.
  8. Construction Drawings: These are drawings that show the installation details of the piping system, including the support locations, anchor points, and instrumentation.
  9. Procurement: This is the process of purchasing the materials and components needed for the piping system.
  10. Installation and Commissioning: During this phase, the piping system is installed and tested to ensure that it meets the design specifications and is ready for operation.
  11. Maintenance: Once the piping system is in operation, it will need regular maintenance to ensure its continued reliability and performance. This may include activities such as cleaning, inspection, and repair or replacement of components as needed.

1. Front-End Engineering Design

Front-end engineering design (FEED) is the process of defining and developing the technical and commercial aspects of a project in sufficient detail to allow an accurate assessment of its overall cost, schedule, and risks. FEED typically follows the conceptual design phase and precedes the detailed design phase of a project. It involves the preparation of design documents, such as process flow diagrams, piping and instrumentation diagrams, and equipment specifications, as well as the identification of materials and equipment required for the project. The goal of FEED is to define the project scope, determine the necessary resources, and establish a baseline for the detailed design and construction phases of the project.

Industry Survey for Determining the State of Practice of Front End Engineering Design for Industrial Construction | Practice Periodical on Structural Design and Construction | Vol 25, No 4
Front-End Engineering Design (FEED). Source: ASCE Library

2. Design Study Phase

The design study phase is a critical phase in the process of designing and building a process plant. It follows the conceptual design phase and precedes the detailed design phase. During the design study phase, more detailed information is developed based on the preliminary design. This phase involves more detailed calculations and analysis to determine the size and type of equipment needed, as well as the layout of the plant. The design study phase also includes the preparation of piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) and process flow diagrams (PFDs), which provide a detailed representation of the process and the flow of materials and energy through the plant. The goal of the design study phase is to refine the design and identify any potential issues or challenges that may need to be addressed in the detailed design phase.

Design Study Phase of a process plant engineering project.
Design Study Phase of a process plant engineering project. Source: Greg Pajak – P. Tech (Eng.), ISA84 SIS Expert, Instrumentation, Functional Safety and FGS Technical Consultant

3. Plot Plan or General Arrangement(GA) Drawing

The design study phase is a critical phase in the process of designing and building a process plant. It follows the conceptual design phase and precedes the detailed design phase. During the design study phase, more detailed information is developed based on the preliminary design. This phase involves more detailed calculations and analysis to determine the size and type of equipment needed, as well as the layout of the plant. The design study phase also includes the preparation of piping and instrumentation diagrams (P&IDs) and process flow diagrams (PFDs), which provide a detailed representation of the process and the flow of materials and energy through the plant. The goal of the design study phase is to refine the design and identify any potential issues or challenges that may need to be addressed in the detailed design phase.

Plot Plan Design: Process Requirements - Chemical Engineering | Page 1
Plot Plan General Arrangement Drawing for a Process Plant. Source: Chem Eng Online.

4. Conceptual Design Phase

The conceptual design phase  starts with the Process Flow Diagram (PFD) and client specifications, and the project scope is defined during this phase. The working documents used during this phase are the PFD and the Conceptual Plot Plan. Based on the PFD, a large chemical plant or offshore production facility is sub-divided into several small, manageable areas. A Plot Plan is then generated for each area, and boundary limits for each area are specified using spatial coordinates, known as match lines. The conceptual design phase results in preliminary sizes and locations of major equipment, which is used to generate the plot plan for use during the design study phase. The goal of the conceptual design phase is to define the overall scope and direction of the project.

Conceptual Design

Conceptual Design is at The Heart of Process Engineering for a Process Plant. Source: Chem Eng Online.

5. Detailed Design

The detailed design phase is where the design team takes the high-level design from the conceptual design phase and creates detailed design drawings, 3D models, and specifications for the piping system and process equipment.  During this phase, the design team uses computer-aided design (CAD) software to create detailed 3D models of the piping system and process equipment. These models include all of the piping, fittings, valves, pumps, and other components of the system. The 3D models are used to ensure that the piping system is designed correctly, with the correct dimensions, and that all components fit together properly.

The design team also creates detailed design drawings that show the layout, routing, and dimensions of the piping system. These drawings include information about the materials to be used, the type of welding to be used, and any special instructions for the installation of the piping system.  The specifications created during the detailed design phase include information about the materials and components to be used in the piping system. These specifications outline the type and grade of materials to be used, the size and rating of pipes and fittings, and any special requirements for valves, pumps, or other components. The specifications also include information about any special welding procedures or testing requirements.

detailed design indiworks
During Detailed Design the Design Team Uses Computer-aided design (CAD) Software . Source: Dalei

6. Engineering

During the Engineering phase, the design team will perform various engineering analyses to ensure that the piping system is safe and meets all necessary codes and standards. This may include pipe stress analysis to ensure that the piping can withstand the forces and pressures it will encounter during operation, as well as flow analysis to ensure that the system will operate efficiently.

In addition to the engineering analysis, the design team will specify the materials and components to be used in the piping system, taking into account factors such as compatibility with the process fluid, corrosion resistance, and cost. They will also determine the sizes and ratings of the pipes, valves, and fittings, and create a bill of materials (BOM) that specifies the quantity and type of each component needed for the project.

Engineering IndiWorks
Engineering. Source: Cade Engineering

7. Piping Isometric and Fabrications Drawings

Piping Isometric and Fabrication Drawings are detailed drawings that show the layout, routing, and dimensions of the piping system, as well as the fabrication details for the pipes and fittings.  The isometric drawing is a 3D representation of the piping system that shows the size and shape of the pipes and fittings, as well as their connections and orientation. Isometric drawings are particularly useful for identifying potential clashes or interference between different components of the piping system.

Fabrication drawings provide detailed information on how the pipes and fittings should be fabricated, including the dimensions, tolerances, and surface finish requirements. These drawings also specify the materials to be used for each component, as well as any special requirements such as welding procedures or non-destructive testing.  The piping isometric and fabrication drawings are important deliverables that are used by the construction team to fabricate and install the piping system. They are also used by the quality control team to ensure that the piping system meets the design specifications and applicable codes and standards.

Piping Isometric IndiWorks
Piping Isometric Piping Isometric and Fabrication Drawings are detailed drawings that show the layout, routing, and dimensions of the piping system. Source: Fitter Training.

8. Construction Drawings

During the Construction Drawings phase, the design team creates detailed drawings that provide the necessary information for the installation of the piping system. These drawings will include information on the location and layout of the piping system, as well as details on how the piping will be supported and anchored to the structure.

Construction drawings may also include information on the instrumentation and control devices that will be used to monitor and control the piping system, such as valves, pumps, and pressure gauges. In addition, construction drawings may specify the materials to be used for piping supports, hangers, and clamps, as well as the type and size of bolts and fasteners needed for installation.  The construction drawings will be used by contractors and skilled laborers during the installation phase of the project. By providing detailed instructions and information on the design, the construction drawings help to ensure that the piping system is installed correctly and meets the required design specifications.

Construction Drawings IndiWorks
The design team creates construction  drawings that provide the necessary information for the installation of the piping system. Source: Cannon Design

9. Procurement

The procurement process typically includes the creation of a detailed bill of materials (BOM) that lists all the materials and components needed for the piping system, along with their quantities, specifications, and expected delivery dates. The BOM is used as a reference throughout the procurement process to ensure that the correct materials are ordered and delivered on time.

Procurement involves identifying suitable vendors and suppliers, obtaining quotes and bids, and negotiating contracts.  Once the materials and components have been procured, they are inspected and verified to ensure that they meet the required specifications and quality standards. Any defective or non-conforming materials are returned to the supplier for replacement or refund.

Procurement IndiWorks
Procurement involves identifying suitable vendors and suppliers, obtaining quotes and bids, and negotiating contracts. Source: OpenBOM

10. Installation and Commissioning

During this Installation and Commissioning, the piping system that has been designed and fabricated is installed in the field, and the final testing and commissioning takes place to ensure that the system is ready for operation.  Installation of the piping system involves a variety of activities, such as excavation and installation of underground piping, above-ground pipe installation, and installation of pipe supports and hangers. The installation process must follow specific procedures to ensure that the system is installed correctly and that the piping is not damaged during the installation process.

Once the piping system is installed, it undergoes testing and commissioning to ensure that it meets the design specifications. The testing may involve hydrostatic testing, where the system is filled with water to check for leaks and pressure integrity, as well as other types of non-destructive testing. Once the testing is complete, the system is commissioned and brought online.

During the commissioning phase, the system is checked to ensure that it operates correctly, and all control systems and instrumentation are working as designed. The commissioning process may also involve simulation of different operating conditions to ensure that the system can operate safely and efficiently under various circumstances.

Installation and Commissionig IndiWorks
Once the installation and commissioning process is complete, the piping system is ready for operation. Source: Deep South Crane

Table of Contents

 

So you want to become a Plant Engineer?  Well whether you just finished your engineering diploma or degree or have been in industry for a long time, one thing is for sure; you need to understand what Process Plants are.  Becoming a Plant Engineer is mostly based on the experience you gain throughout your engineering career so it is extremely important you understand where you can gain the experience needed in order to become a Plant Engineer one day.  So, let’s start with understanding – what is a process plant?   Process plants, also referred to as factories, are engineering facilities where raw materials are transformed chemically and physically into completed goods or into intermediate products that require additional processing.

Types of Process Plants

Examples of process plants include the following (click on link to learn more about the process plant you are interested in):

 

Why Do We Need Process Plants?

Though are many more types of process plants, the processing facilities listed above play a vital role in meeting the basic needs of humanity.  This is why it is important for any aspiring Plant Engineer to own a physical copy of the books listed above as these will act as handbooks which you will use throughout your engineering career, a truly valuable resource to have. With the book available on site for reference you will be able to carry out proper design, maintenance and operation of such facilities. This will bring you a step closer to becoming a Plant Engineer as steady, dependable supply of materials and products required for comfortable and productive living in the contemporary modern world will be produced consistently at the facility at which you work. 

Building strength in chemical engineering through process optimization

Engineers design and build process plants in order to meet the most basic needs of humanity [Source: Elsevier]

How Are Process Plants Designed?

Plant Layout and Piping Design involve many activities which can initially seem overwhelming – however once broken down into project phases the tasks to completed become easier to manage, these include:

•Development and the continuous refining of “Plot Plans”. Plot plans are depictions of the exact location of major equipment and their associated infrastructure (foundations, ladders, platforms etc.). These plot plans are created by creating the process, client specification, quality, environmental and health and safety requirements. The coordinates of the process plant used extensively in determining and specifying the locations of the equipment.
• Determining the sizes and locations of nozzles. a nozzle is a cylindrical or round spout at the end of a pipe, hose, or tube used to control a jet of gas or liquid.

• Routing of pipes. The planning of pipeline layout, which includes considerations of neatness, economy, and safety. Pipe routing must consider the effects of vibration, corrosion, and normal service on pipes before deciding where to lay them.
• Designing of accessory components of major equipment. These accessory components include foundations, platforms, and stairways.
• Specifying safety equipment and their locations. In order to comply with health and safety requirements and standards the location of safety equipment has to be indicated based on the specification for the equipment. This equipment includes fire hydrants and safety showers.
• Multi-disciplinary interaction between engineering specialties. Being conscious of the location of instruments, structures, control valves, electrical raceways and other ancillary plant items is critical when carrying out pipe routing.

How are process plants designed?

Steps in the design of process plants [Source: Shikin Aziz ]

 

How Are Process Plants Built?

Process plants consist of various types of equipment, such as; piping systems, instruments, electrical systems, electronics, computers and control systems.  This is what makes the design of process plants such a complex undertaking.  The complexity of process place requires team effort involving different disciplines of engineering: process (chemical), mechanical, piping, electrical, instrumentation, controls, materials and project management. In addition to the team effort, on the individual level, it requires considerable management and coordination skills – skills which are critical for anyone looking to become a Plant Engineer. 

When building a Process Plant the goal is to design, construct and commission the facility in the most cost-efficient way possible.  This must be achieved  while still meeting the process requirements of the facility and within all specifications given by the client.  Th most important part of the entire build process is to ensure that the Plant will operate in a safe and reliable manner. Besides these, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration when designing process plants, and they are:

  • Designing, engineering and constructing the facility according to the initial project schedule and getting the plant on stream as quickly as possible.
  • Cutting out or minimising field rework, which increases plant construction costs quite significantly.
  • Constructabilityconstruction feasibility review, a process in construction design whereby plans are reviewed by others familiar with construction techniques and materials to assess whether the design is actually buildable.
  • Maintainability the probability that a failed component or system will be restored or repaired to a specified condition within a specified period or time when maintenance is performed in accordance with prescribed procedures..
  • Operabilitythe ability to keep a piece of equipment, a system or a whole industrial installation in a safe and reliable functioning condition, according to pre-defined operational requirements.
  • Compliance to quality, environmental and health and safety requirements – this requires complying to ISO 9001, 14001 and 45001 related standards, respectively.
  • Minimising costs.

Interaction of various engineering disciplines in process plant layout and design

Interactions of various engineering disciplines in plant layout and design. [Source: ]

Skills Needed to Become a Plant Engineer or Piping Engineer

You may have seen them on a job description for that Senior Piping Engineer or that Plant Engineer role you’ve been working towards, well – that’s because they are truly needed.  The list below the skills which you must inherently possess to be a proficient Pipe Design or Plant Engineer.   

  • Full understanding and detailed knowledge of the process that will be used in operation of the plant.  This will allow you to know the function of all equipment in the process plant. You can get this information from the Process Flow Diagrams(PFDs) which are generated the process engineering department.
  • Understanding of the operations of all equipment and their maintenance procedures.
  • Attention to detail and common sense in terms of technical aptitude that allows you to exhibit sound engineering judgement.
  • Being able to think creatively  in order to develop solutions relating to layout problems and challenges.
  • Being able to think and move objects in your mind in order to visualise spatial relationships between plant items in three dimensions.
  • Being proficient with Computer Aided Design (CAD) tools such as 3D modeling software and pipe stress analysis software.  It is advised to develop expertise with the Autodesk Suite of Software, specifically AutoCAD Plant 3D.
  • Brilliant communication skills – this is applicable to both technical and non-technical communication.  Should you wish to develop your communication skills as an Engineer read Communication Skills for Engineers – The Basics.
  • Being able to work well as part of a team.  This is critical in order to function effectively as a member of a multi-disciplinary project team.
  • Being able to communicate issues and problems relating to plant layout effectively to the  project management team.
  • Being able to generate, maintain and update project drawings and documentation as and when needed.
  • Awareness that conscientious, quality effort during the design and engineering phase can shorten project schedules resulting in economic benefits and client goodwill.

Plant Engineer or Piping Engineer Skills

Skills need to become a Plant Engineer or Piping Engineer [Source: Arcelor Mittal]

What Data is Used in Process Plant Design?

Large amounts of data is generated and made use of in the design of process plant.  These are mostly generated by the plant layout and piping design engineering team.  The data generated contributes significantly to the overall quality of the project.  This is why it is necessary to ensure data integrity and accessibility through proper management of project and process plant data.  Plant data can be broadly categories and the 3 categories of Process Plant data are:

 

  1. Project data is made up of information such as the location of the process plant, access roads, applicable standards, regulations and codes or bylaws, climate  data (rainfall, wind speed and wind direction, humidity and pressure, and average temperature), seismic activity, waterways, railways etc.
  2. Design and engineering data is generated internally at the design and engineering phases of the project. Design  and engineering data includes; equipment that’s needed and their respective sizes, service conditions (humidity, temperature, pressure etc.), and mass flow rates.
  3. Vendor data consists of information provided by equipment suppliers and contractors in the form of vendor drawings and data sheets.  

Data generated in piping engineering

Project data, design and engineering data and vendor data are generated in process plant projects. [Source: Enginering360]

 

Rules of Thumb for Plant Layout and Piping Design

The approach to plant layout and piping design can vary depending on the nature of the plant and the project. For example, the design philosophy for an offshore facility is quite different from that for an onshore chemical plant simply because of limited space available on offshore platforms. However, there are a few useful rules of thumb that can be followed.

  • Knowledge and understanding of project requirements and project documents.
  • Conservation of space and resources.
  • Arrangement of equipment in a neat, organised manner taking into account process needs and safety.
  • Attention to detail including adjacent equipment, supports and other items, which can cause potential clashes between piping and equipment/supports.
  • Consideration of constructability, operability and maintainability of the plant.
  • Routing of pipe in a neat, orderly and symmetrical manner keeping in mind the future needs of the plant.
  • Avoiding excessive changes in elevations and directions.
  • Ensuring consistency in design.
  • Avoiding excessive amounts of relocations and revisions by “doing it right the first time”.

Rules of thumb for plant layout and piping design

Rules of thumb for plant layout and piping design. [Source: Amazon]

Common abbreviations used in Process Plant design

Terminology and jargon are always are critical factor of any field or industry.  This is moreso when it comes to Process Plant Design and Layout as it is usually the separating factor between being deemed competent or incompetent. In order to be able prove that you know what you are talking as a Plant Engineer, make sure that you are know the following abbreviations – thing of them as the ABCs of Plant Design and Piping Engineering.

  • N,S,E,W: North, South, East and West
  • CL: Centerline
  • El: Elevation
  • TOS: Top of Steel
  • BOP: Bottom of Pipe
  • POS: Point of Support
  • BBP: Bottom of Baseplate
  • ISBL: Inside Battery Limits
  • OSBL: Outside Battery Limits
  • AG: Above Ground
  • UG: Underground
  • φ: Diameter
  • OD: Outside Diameter of pipe
  • ID: Inside Diameter of pipe

Abbreviations used in piping

Common Abbreviations used in plant layout and piping design [Source: What Is Piping?]

The definition of HVAC and some basic concepts wre introduced in HVAC – Understanding the Basics. In continuing your understanding of HVAC we will discuss the scientific and engineering principles used in the design of HVAC systems.  These are principles which need to be understood by anyone seeking to have a career or run a business in the HVAC industries.   

Force [Newtons, N]

In simple terms, force is defined as a push or a pull. It is the basic phenomena of Mechanical Engineering and pertains to any object that has a tendency to set a body into motion, to bring a body to rest or change the direction of any motion.  The unit of force is Newtons [N], named after Sir Isaac Newton who pioneered the study of force and motion in the 17th century.  

indiworks A force is a push or pull

A force is a push or a pull.  Source: https://studiousguy.com/direct-and-indirect-force-examples/

Pressure [Pascals] 

Pressure is the force exerted per unit area. It may be described as the measure of intensity of a force exerted on any given point on the contact surface. Whenever a force is evenly distributed over a given area the pressure at any point on the surface is the same. It can be calculated by dividing the total force exerted on a surface by the total contact area. 

Atmospheric Pressure [Pabs]

The Earth is surrounded by an envelope of air called the atmosphere, which extends upward from the surface of the earth. Air has mass and due to gravity exerts a force called weight.  The force per unit area is the pressure. This pressure exerted on the Earth’s surface is known as atmospheric pressure

Gauge Pressure [Pgauge]

Most pressure measuring instruments measure the difference between the pressure of a  fluid  and the atmospheric pressure. This is referred to as gauge pressure.

Absolute Pressure [Pabs]

Absolute pressure is the sum of gauge pressure and atmospheric pressure. 

Vacuum

If the pressure is lower than the atmospheric pressure, its gauge pressure is negative and  the term vacuum is applied to the magnitude of the gauge pressure when the absolute pressure is zero (i.e. there is no air present whatsoever).

 

Pressure is the normal force per unit area exerted on an imaginary or real plane surface in a fluid or a gas.

Source: https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com

Density [ρ]

It is defined as the mass of a substance divided by its volume or the mass per unit volume. 

 Density(ρ) =  mass(m) ÷ volume(V). 

Specific Volume(v) is the reciprocal of density or volume per unit mass.

  v =  V/m

Specific Weight (Ws) is defined as the weight of a substance divided by its volume or the weight per unit volume.

  Ws = m/V 

Work

If a system undergoes a displacement under the action of a force, work is said to be done. The amount of work being equal to the product of force and the component of displacement parallel to the force. If a system as a whole exerts a force on its surrounding and a displacement takes place, the work that is done either by or on the system is said to be external work.

Energy

A body is said to possess energy when it is capable of doing work. In more general terms, energy is the capacity of a body for producing an effect. 

Energy is classified as  

1.Stored Energy for example Chemical energy in fuel and Potential Energy stored in dams 

  1. Energy in Transition for example Heat and  Work.
indiworks A body is said to possess energy when it is capable of doing work.
indiworks A body is said to possess energy when it is capable of doing work.

The three main forms of energy are potential energy, kinetic energy and internal energy. The three forms  of energy are explained below. 

 

A body is said to possess energy when it is capable of doing work.

Source: https://www.britannica.com/science/potential-energy

Potential Energy

It is the energy stored in the system due to its position in the gravitational force field. If a heavy object such as a  building stone is lifted from the ground to the roof, the energy  required to lift the stone is stored in it as potential energy. This stored potential energy  remains unchanged as long as the stone remains in its position. 

PE  = mgH   Where H = height of the object above the datum Units Joules

Kinetic Energy

If a body weighing one kg is moving with a velocity of v m/s with respect to the observer, then the kinetic energy stored in the body is given by:        K.E      =      221mv. This  energy  will  remain  stored  in  the  body  as  long  as  it  continues  in  motion  at  a  constant  velocity.  When the velocity is zero, the kinetic energy is also zero. 

Internal Energy

Molecules  possess  mass.  They  possess  motion  of  transactional  and  rotational  nature  in  liquid  and  gaseous states. Owing to the mass and motion these molecules have a large amount of kinetic energy stored  in  them.  Any  change  in  the  temperature  results  in  the  change  in  the  molecular  kinetic  energy  since molecular velocity is a function of temperature.  

Source: s-cool.co.uk https://www.s-cool.co.uk/a-level/physics/power-and-internal-energy/revise-it/internal-energy

 

Also the molecules are attracted towards each other by forces, which are very large in their solid state and  tend  to  vanish  once  they  are  in  a  perfect  gas  state.  In  the  melting  of  a  solid  or  vaporization  of  a  liquid it is necessary to overcome these forces. The energy required to bring about this change is stored in molecules as potential energy. 

The internal energy is defined as the total energy of the body – chemical, nuclear, heat, gravitational, or any other type of energy. This energy is stored within the body which is denoted by the symbol ‘μ’. It is obvious from the above definition that it is impossible to measure the absolute value of the internal energy. However, we can measure the changes occurring in the internal energy. Since thermodynamics deals  with  the  change  in  the  internal  energy  of  the  system,  it  is  important  to  know  what  causes  the  internal energy to change. The change in the internal energy can be caused either due to absorption or release of heat in the system or the work done by or on the system., or if any matter enters or leaves the system. 

Heat

Heat is one of the many forms of energy. This is evident from the fact that heat can be converted into other  forms  of  energy  and  that  other  forms  of  energy  can  be  converted  into  heat.  Heat  as  molecular  energy is universally accepted and heat as internal energy of the matter is thermodynamics.

 

Source: lorecentrarg

https://www.lorecentrarg/2020/04/examples-of-specific-sensible-and-latent-heat.html

 

Since all other forms of energy may be converted into heat, it is considered to be energy in its lowest form. The availability of heat energy to do work depends on temperature differential. 

Heat Capacity

It  may  be  defined  as  the  energy  that  must  be  added  or  removed  from  one  kilogram  of  a  substance  to  change  its  temperature  by  one  degree  Centigrade.  In  refrigeration  technology  heat  capacity  is  used  to  determine how much heat should be removed to refrigerate various products.

Sensible heat  (QS) 

Heat which results in an increase or decrease in the temperature without it changing its phase is called sensible heat. A change in sensible heat is given by the equation when there is a change in temperature 

 

QS = m× CS (T2 – T1)       Note:      CS is the heat capacity at constant pressure  m = mass of the substance in kg                     (T2 – T1) = Temperature difference in °C

Latent Heat (Ql)

Latent heat is the heat at which a substance changes its phase without any increase or decrease in the temperature. It is the amount of heat required to change the state of a substance.

 

QL = m×Cw(w2 – w1)       Note:      Cw is the heat capacity of moisture m = mass of the substance in kg                (w2 – w1) = change in moisture content in g/kg 

Total Heat (Qt)

Total heat is the sum of sensible heat and latent heat. Heat measurements are taken above a specified datum.  These  measurements  with  water  are  at  zero  degrees  C,  since  below  this  temperature  water  is  solid. For  example:  The  sensible  heat,  latent  heat  and  total heat for steam are shown in the fig below

indiworks Total heat is the sum of sensible heat and latent heat
indiworks Total heat is the sum of sensible heat and latent heat

Source: crediblecarbon

https://www.crediblecarbon.com/news-and-info/news/latent-heat-storage-a-new-partner-for-csp/

Temperature and its measurement

Temperature  is  a  property  of  matter.  It  is  the  measure  of  intensity  of  heat  contained  in  matter  and  its  relative value. A substance is said to be hot or cold when its temperature is compared with some other reference  temperature.  A  high  temperature  indicates  a  high  level  of  heat  intensity  or  thermal  pressure  and a body is said to be hot. 

 

Like  other  forms  of  energy  heat  can  be  measured  because  it  has  quantity  and  intensity.  Heat  is  not  visible but manifests itself in its effects on various substances either by changing its state or by creating relative degrees of sensation when in contact with the human body.

indiworks Internal energy is the combination of potential and kinetic energy
indiworks Internal energy is the combination of potential and kinetic energy

Souce :energyeducation

https://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Heat_vs_temperature

 

Since  temperature  is  a  measure  of  heat  content,  the  temperature  can  be  measured  by  measuring  the  effects of heat on different properties of matter as follows; • Addition of heat increases the volume of the substance or pressure at constant volume. This property is used for measuring the temperature with the help of a mercury thermometer. •  With  the  increase  in  temperature,  the  resistivity  of  metals  increases  which  is  utilized  in  resistance thermometers •   If  two  junctions  made  of  two  dissimilar  metals  are  maintained  at  different  temperatures,  a  current flows in the circuit. This property is used in measuring with a thermocouple. 

 

When  the  temperature  of  a  substance  increases,  the  color  also  changes.  This  property  is  used for measuring the temperature in radiation pyrometers

Pressure and temperature relationship 

Water  boils  at  1000C  when  the  pressure  on  it  is  atmospheric  at  sea  level.  If  the  pressure  is  increased  above  the  atmospheric  pressure,  i.e.  in  a  deep  mine  shaft  the  boiling  point  increases  and  when  the  pressure is reduced below atmospheric, i.e. on top of a mountain, it reduces.  Boiling water does not necessarily have to be hot because if there is vacuum, water boils at a very low temperature.  The  same  is  true  when  it  comes  to  other  liquids,  such  as  various  refrigerants.  These  refrigerants have the same properties as water except their boiling point ranges are lower. This pressure temperature relationship is used in most air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

indiworks Pressure is directly proportional to temperature
indiworks Pressure is directly proportional to temperature

Source: chem.fsu.edu

https://www.chem.fsu.edu/chemlab/chm1045/gas_laws.html

HVAC – Understanding the Basics

What is HVAC?

HVAC, short for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, is a sub-specialty of Mechanical Engineering which relates to controlling the temperature, pressure and humidity of air within an enclosed volume of space.  HVAC brings together Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics as well as Heat and Mass Transfer from a mechanical perspective and, with current advances in technologies, requires Mechanical Engineers and Technicians to also understand Instrumentation and Control.  HVAC systems comprise of all the components and equipment that are needed to ensure that the climate in an enclosed space is controlled within the limit of the specified conditions. These components include: cooling towers, air-handling unit, compressors, pumps, ducts and many others. 

The 6 Most Important Parts of Your HVAC System

Technician trying to understand what is HVAC? Source: Byrd HVAC

 

HVAC is such an essential aspect of modern human society that there are entire industries which would not exist without it.  This is due to HVAC systems being found in: high-rise buildings, restaurants, markets, medical and clinical environments, cars, logistics vehicles, airplanes, boats and many other places.  In most buildings HVAC accounts for 60-80% of all building costs according to Oaklins Netherlands.  According to Grand View Research, the HVAC industry has a $106,6 billion value market size as of 2020 and is expected to grow by 6.2% from 2021 to 2028.  It is no wonder than any Mechanical Engineer, either student, graduate or consultant interested in specialising in HVAC would have a lucrative career ahead of them.

 

Source: Oaklins Netherlands https://www.oaklins.com/news/en-NL/182662-3-ways-hvac-joins-the-fight-against-climate-change

 

It is near impossible to find an industry which does not rely on HVAC systems in some way or another and in most industries HVAC is a necessity to comply with regulatory requirements.  But before we get into the technical aspects of this industry we need to point out that there are not enough Engineers and Technicians being trained to specialise in HVAC and most Mechanical professionals enter the Engineering field without knowing about HVAC as a specialty.  In order to change this we thought to share information and trends regarding the HVAC Industry.  As most academic programmes don’t train Engineers on HVAC in undergrad, future HVAC specialists only become exposed to HVAC when in industry.  To fill this gap we intend to inspire a generation of Mechanical Engineers who will begin their studies and training with the intention of becoming HVAC Engineers.  With our articles on HVAC we intend to bridge the gap between studying, working in and being a consultant in the HVAC Industry.  In order to do this we will be covering the following topics:

  • HVAC Fundamentals
  • Psychometry
  • Human Comfort Requirements
  • Calculation of Heating and Load
  • HVAC Equipment and Systems
  • Design of Ducting
  • Distribution of Air-flow
  • Variable Air Volume Systems
  • Refrigeration
  • Instrumentation and Control of HVAC Systems
  • Environmental Impact of Air Conditioning
  • Installation, Commissioning, Operation, Testing and Maintenance of HVAC Systems
  • Fault Finding and Troubleshooting of HVAC Systems

Parts of Furnace

Source: https://minnicks.com/learning-center/hvac/hvac-system-cost/

 

It you are curious about this omnipresent industry then the IndiWorks Engineering Blog is the perfect place for you.  In our first article we will cover:

  • Principles of Thermodynamics
  • Laws of Thermodynamics
  • Fundamentals of Heat Transfer
  • Fundamentals of Fluid Flow

hvac_diagram_2.png

Source: https://www.ctc-n.org/technologies/heating-ventilation-and-air-conditioning 

We start with the above concepts because these are the basic principles covered in Mechanical Engineering and are a familiar starting point to all Mechanical professionals.  After covering these known topics we shall then be able to venture into the less familiar and eventually into the unknown of Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning.