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HVAC Controls and Operating Strategies
Improved controls can reduce energy consumption and increase comfort. Unfortunately many existing systems don't take fully advantage of modern control capabilities. Often the designers also don't implement all necessary technologies. We show some universally useful strategies and control sequences.
Waterside - Piping and Pump Systems
Moving water to transport energy inherently is more efficiently than moving air (s. airside systems). However, much energy is wasted by not optimizing piping systems. We show ways to optimize piping systems.
Solar energy, if applied right, can be very beneficial to the building energy balance and cost. We show some ways to make them "right" and what pitfalls to avoid.
Airside - Ventilation, Duct and Fan Systems
Naturally moving energy with air is less efficient than moving water. Fan or pump energy depend on pressure drop and volumetric flowrate. Air has less heat capacity than water on a per mass base. In addition density of air is much less. Therefore the volumes moved are very large compared to water systems (hence ducts are larger than pipes). We show some ways to optimize and improve airside systems.
Lighting is responsible for most of a building's electricity consumption and impacts occupants' mood and productivity. We show some ways to reduce energy and maintenance cost and improve illumination.
Pressure Independent Control Valves (PICV) and self-balancing Valves
Traditionally piping systems are balanced by manually adjusting calibrated balancing valves, triple-duty valves and circuit setters (all 3 do the same for balancing, the difference are additional functions). Those balancing valves only work accurately if they are sized for the expected flow and have a significant pressure drop (typically at least 5-10 ft H2O but typically over 20-30 ft H2O depending on how accurately the system is sized) in addition to the actual control valve pressure drop ( Modulating valves can add a significant pressure drop - see Controls). Manual balancing also is a laborious, iterative process that in practice does t get done accurately. in addition all manual balancing valves are subject to some people "adjusting" them without understanding what they do. The solution to this problem are self-balancing valves.