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CHAPTER 14 TAB PROCEDURES FOR SPECIFIC AIR SYSTEMS

14.1 INTRODUCTION reduced airflow or turn down systems. They further


can be connected to single or dual supply air ducts,
The TAB procedures for basic air systems found in have constant or variable airflow on the primary side
Chapter 13 General Air System TAB Procedures are of the VAV boxes with variable air flow on the secon
the foundation for the testing, adjusting, and balancing dary or distribution side. The variable airflow rate can
of any air distribution system. There are, however, cer be from 100 percent to 0 percent of full flow. Figure
tain different or additional procedures that should be 141 is a system layout for a typical VAV system.
used when balancing other than single duct, constant
volume air systems.

Even though some of the duct systems addressed in 14.2.1.2 Terminal Units
this section are considered obsolete by the HVAC in
dustry, TAB firms may encounter them when rebal
ancing or retrofitting systems in older buildings. VAV terminal units (VAV boxes) can also be classified
as pressure independent and pressure dependent. A
Procedures will follow for: pressure independent device has a volume regulator
which will maintain the proper airflow regardless of
 Variable air volume (VAV) systems
the terminal inlet static pressure. A pressure dependent
 Multizone systems device will allow the airflow to vary in accordance
with the inlet static pressure.
 Dual duct systems

 Induction unit systems


14.2.1.3 Diversity Factor
 Process exhaust air systems

14.2 VARIABLE AIR VOLUME (VAV) Usually, VAV systems are designed with a diversity
SYSTEMS factor which means that the supply fan airflow (cfm or
L/s) capacity is less than the sum of the airflows of all
14.2.1 Characteristics Of VAV Systems
the terminal devices. If the diversity factor is not giv
14.2.1.1 Categories en, it can be approximated by dividing the supply air
fan maximum airflow by the sum of the airflows of all
There are many types of VAV systems but they can fall VAV terminal units and converting the decimal num
into two basic categories: (1) bypass systems and (2) ber to a percentage.

POSSIBLE PRIMARY
OUTDOOR
PRE-HEA T COIL HEATING COIL COOLING AIR
AIR IN- FILTERS
COIL DUCT
TAKE S.P. CONTROLLER

OUTDOOR RETURN SUPPLY FAN


AIR AIR DAMPER WITH
DAMPERS S.P. CONTROL
VAV TERMINAL UNITS

OPTIONAL
EXHAUST EXHAUST AIR DAMPER RETURN
AIR AIR FAN
LOUVER
RETURN
AIR SYSTEM T T

FIGURE 14-1 TYPICAL VARIABLE AIR VOLUME (VAV) SYSTEM

HVAC SYSTEMS Testing, Adjusting & Balancing Third Edition 14.1


HIGH STATIC CONTROLLER
LIMIT AND COOLING
POSSIBLE
SIGNAL DETECTOR COIL
PRE-HEA T
OUTDOOR FILTERS
COIL
AIR INTAKE STATIC PRESSURE
TRANSMITTER

O.A.

OUTDOOR
DM
AIR DAMPERS SUPPLY AIR
RETURN
FAN WITH
RELIEF AIR AIR DAMPER
INLET VANES
LOUVER

RETURN AIR DM
RELIEF
FAN WITH
AIR DAMPER VAV SUPPLY
INLET VANES
RETURN SYSTEM
AIR SYSTEM

FIGURE 14-2 OPEN LOOP FAN VOLUME CONTROL


14.2.2 Primary Air Volume Control 14.2.2.2 Open Loop Control

The supply air fan installation for a VAV system is sim Open loop control uses an adjustable span and start
ilar to that for constant volume systems except that the point on the supply air and return air fan controls to se
fan air volume must be varied. Inlet or discharge quence the return air fan operation with the supply air
dampers and variable speed drives or motors may be fan (Figure 142). This system requires close attention
used to control the system airflow. A static pressure by the TAB technician. If the system load varies signif
sensor, usually located about twothirds of the way icantly among major zones the supply air fan serves,
from the fan to the end of the duct system, senses the resistance in the return air system may not vary in di
supply air duct static pressure and sends a signal back rect proportion to resistance in the supply air system.
to the apparatus controlling the fan airflow volume. Open loop control does not sense the effect of resist
Verify that the controls are set to maintain a constant ance variance between the supply air and return air
static pressure at the sensor location, as the system air systems, and building pressures may vary when major
flow varies. load variation occurs.

14.2.2.3 Closed Loop Control


Systems with combination return/exhaust air fans re
quire special attention by the TAB technician. Build The closed loop control senses changes in the volume
ing pressure will vary if the return air fan volume does of air the supply air fan delivers and uses a controller
not vary closely with the supply air fan volume. The having a second input proportional to the return air fan
three common methods used are: building static con flow to reset the return air fan (Figure 143). Square
trol, open loop control, and closed loop control. root factors should be applied where flow is measured
as velocity pressure, enabling comparison of linea
14.2.2.1 Building Static Control rized signals. Controlling flow eliminates the effects
of different fan or vane characteristics. The controller
Building static control senses differential pressures can be set to maintain the difference in the airflow re
between a typical room and outdoors, and increases quired between the supply and return air fan to main
the volume of air handled by the return/exhaust air fan tain building pressurization and accommodate auxilia
as building pressure increases. ry exhaust systems. If this difference is also the

14.2 HVAC SYSTEMS Testing, Adjusting & Balancing Third Edition


minimum amount of outside air the system requires, 14.2.3 General TAB Procedures
the flow controller on the fans will maintain the mini
mum ventilation rate regardless of variations in out 14.2.3.1 Initial Procedures
side air and return air damper characteristics. Multiple Prior to beginning the TAB work, verify that the tem
point Pitot tubes or flow measuring stations should be perature control contractors sequence of operation
used to sense velocity pressure at the fans on VAV sys compliments the terminal unit or VAV box manufac
tems, since the velocity profile will vary with flow; turers factory installed control system. Inspect prima
singlepoint Pitot tubes will give inaccurate readings ry air ducts to ensure adequate entry conditions.
of total airflow. The calibration of these flow stations
should be verified by the TAB technician. 14.2.3.2 Preliminary And Initial Procedures

All initial procedures as outlined in the preceeding


chapter apply until you get to the total air and traverse
14.2.2.4 Static Pressure Sensor readings. The curse of a balancer in performing his
work is that ?he must be finished before he starts". This
is the most difficult part to understand when you un
The system designer should locate the static pressure dertake the balancing of a system with numerous vari
sensor on the drawings, as it depends to some extent on VAV or constant air volume boxes (CAV).
the type of VAV terminal unit used. Pressure depen Each type of system VAV, CAV, dual duct, pressure de
dent units without controllers may be near the static pendent, pressure independent, diversified, and non
pressure midpoint of the duct run to ensure minimum diversified system has appurtenances that have to be
pressure variation in the system. Where pressure inde adjusted individually before you can ascertain the total
pendent units are installed, pressure controllers may system performance.
be at the end of the duct run with the highest static pres
sure loss to ensure maximum fan horsepower savings Terminal boxes have numerous operating parts and
while maintaining the minimum required pressure at settings. To assume that they all work and are installed
the last terminal unit. However, as the flow through the is incorrect. Therefore, separate balancing procedure
various parts of a large system varies, so does the static for each type of application is included herewith. In
pressure losses. Some field adjustment or relocation many cases you have to balance the end items before
may be required. you attempt of balance the main system.

RELIEF AIR RELIEF AIR RETURN AIR FAN RELIEF AIR


LOUVER DAMPER WITH INLET VANES SYSTEM
FLOW
MEASURING
STATIONS
L H

VELOCITY
PRESSURE
RECEIVER TRANSMITTER
RETURN AIR CONTROLLER
DAMPER FILTERS COOLING COIL
H L

O.A.

STATIC
HIGH STATIC
OUTSIDE OUTSIDE LIMIT PRESSURE
AIR INTAKE AIR TRANSMITTER
SUPPLY
DAMPERS AIR FAN WITH
SIGNAL
INLET VANES
SELECTOR CONTROLLER

FIGURE 14-3 CLOSED LOOP FAN VOLUME CONTROL

HVAC SYSTEMS Testing, Adjusting & Balancing Third Edition 14.3


14.2.4 Pressure Independent VAV System
Balancing Procedures
DESIGN FAN
FAN OPERATING OPERATING
POINT
Pressure dependent VAV boxes or terminal units have POINT AT REDUCED
AIR FLOW AND SPEED

STATIC PRESSURE in.wg (Pa)


no automatic volume controller to regulate the airflow DESIGN P
FOR VAV
as the inlet static pressure to the box changes. The air TERMINAL
flow delivered by the box for any given condition will UNIT
P FOR
change at any time the inlet static pressure changes. TERMINAL
Since the airflow delivered is dependent on the inlet UNIT AT
REDUCED
static pressure furnished, the VAV boxes are consid AIRFLOW
ered pressure dependent.
SYSTEM FAN
CURVE CURVES
These VAV boxes must have an inlet balancing damper
in addition to an automatic temperature control (ATC)
damper. The ATC damper may have limiters to pro
REDUCED DESIGN
vide for adjustments of the minimum and maximum
position. The TAB technician must realize that every AIRFLOW-CFM (L/S)
change in damper setting, either manual or automatic,
is going to affect the airflow in the system as shown in
Figures 144 and 145. FIGURE 14-5 FAN AND SYSTEM
CURVES, VARIABLE SPEED FAN
FAN OPERATING POINT
AT REDUCED AIRFLOW

c. Adjust the inlet dampers to each box to obtain


DESIGN FAN
OPERATING
the design airflow and verify the operation of
ADDITIONAL POINT the VAV box.
P TO BE
STATIC PRESSURE in.wg(Pa)

OVERCOME DESIGN P
BY DISCHARGE FOR VAV d. With box set at maximum balance individual
DAMPER OR TERMINAL
TERMINAL UNIT UNIT outlets to design CFM.
P FOR
TERMINAL e. Turn box to minimum and adjust minimum
UNIT AT
REDUCED
stops if providedCif no stops are provided
AIRFLOW box will go to ?o" flow. Note: If box has flow
SYSTEM
sensor or voltage coils for measuring flow,
CURVE CONSTANT
SPEED
reading should be taken and recorded.
FAN CURVE

f. Repeat steps C through E until all boxes and


REDUCED DESIGN air outlets are balanced to project specified
AIRFLOW - CFM (L/S) allowances (+/ 10%).
FIGURE 14-4 FAN AND SYSTEM
CURVES, CONSTANT SPEED FAN g. Revisit the fan and confirm all final air read
ings, static pressure readings, component unit
pressure drops, and operating amperage.
14.2.5 BALANCING NON-DIVERSITY
h. If the system has a static pressure controller,
SYSTEMS
check and provide the required reading to the
control contractor.
Nondiversity systems are balanced similar to constant
volume systems.  Turn all boxes to their minimum setting
except the box with the longest equiva
a. Put all of the VAV boxes and the supply air fan lent run of duct (this may be the box fur
in a full flow condition. thest from the fan or the box that you had
the most difficulty in achieving design
b. Test and adjust the fan to design airflow using flow through). This box should be in
methods previously described. dexed to maximum flow.

14.4 HVAC SYSTEMS Testing, Adjusting & Balancing Third Edition


 Take total air reading at the box or the b. Test and adjust the supply air fan to deliver
outlets (whichever is most convenient or the design airflow with the variable airflow
accessible). The flow should be above control device set at maximum. This device
design CFM. may be an inlet damper, discharge damper,
variable speed drive, or variable speed motor.
 Have the controls contractor reduce the
c. After the fan has been set to its operational
volume control device (VFD, Vortex,
design flow, start at the boxes that have been
Spill Damper or Discharge Damper until
indexed to their minimum flow and set the ac
design flow is achieved at the box being
tual minimum flow. These boxes will not be
monitored. balanced at this time, but only have the mini
mum total flow set so that proper total air
 With the box at design obtain the actual flow will be available at the ends of the sys
static pressure reading at the static pres tem.
sure sensor and advise the control con
tractor of the required setting. Record d. Starting at the supply air fan end of the sys
this reading appropriately in the balanc tem, adjust the inlet damper of each VAV box
ing data sheets. to provide the correct airflow for that box,
and then balance its downstream terminal
i. Confirm total air flow and performance on outlets. Do this to each VAV box that has the
100% OA Mode of operation. correct airflow available with the system in
this condition. These VAV boxes and their as
sociated outlets are now balanced. Adjust the
14.2.5.1 Balancing Diversity Systems
minimum airflow requirements at this time.
Diversity systems can be the most difficult VAV sys e. If the boxes have flow measuring devices
tems to balance satisfactorily. Any procedure used will they should be recorded at this time. If no
be a compromise, and shortcomings will appear some measuring devices are provided, it may be
where in the system under certain operating condi advisable to take proper static pressure read
tions. ings at the box so that resetting can be done
without rebalancing all the outlets on the box.
To eliminate possible misunderstandings later, an
agenda with the proposed balancing procedures f. After the boxes that have been indexed to
should be submitted and approved by the system de maximum have been balanced on both maxi
signer or authorized persons before the TAB work is mum and minimum flow, the remaining
started. This practice is recommended for all jobs, but boxes should be indexed to their maximum
it is critical on jobs with these particular systems. position and the proper number of balanced
boxes should be indexed to their minimum
position.
Generally, pressure dependent diversity systems are
balanced as follows: NOTE: The total boxes indexed to minimum and max
imum should be equal to the total air flow required at
a. Put the system into a mode where it will re the fan.
quire approximately the same airflow as the
maximum HVAC fan design airflow by plac g. Under this mode of operation the fan parame
ing the required number of VAV boxes in a ters should be checked to insure that the pre
minimum airflow position. And, leaving the vious balancing and the new operating mode
required boxes at their maximum setting, sys did not adversely affect the system total. If
tem total should equal the required CFM for this is the case, resetting of the fan may be re
the boxes indexed to maximum plus the quired at this time.
boxes indicated to minimum.
h. Balance the remaining boxes as outlined in
Stagger the boxes so that the boxes at the be- paragraph ?D" of this section until all boxes
ginning of the duct runs are at their minimum are balanced.
position and the boxes furthest from the fan
are at the maximum position. i. Revisit the fan and confirm all final air read
ings, static pressure readings, component unit
pressure drops, and operating amperage.

HVAC SYSTEMS Testing, Adjusting & Balancing Third Edition 14.5


j. If the system has a static pressure controller, At the conclusion of the balancing, the static pressure
check and provide the required reading to the set up will be identical as described earlier in this
control contractor. manual. However, you must remember to set the static
pressure for the true design CFM and not the diversi
 Turn all boxes to their minimum set fied CFM.
ting except the box with the longest
equivalent run of duct (this may be the 14.2.6 Pressure Independent VAV System
box furthest from the fan or the box Balancing Procedures
that you had the most difficulty in
14.2.6.1 Inlet Pressures
achieving design flow through). This
box should be indexed to maximum Pressure independent VAV boxes have the ability to
flow. maintain a constant maximum and minimum airflow
as long as the box inlet static pressure is within the de
 Take total air reading at the box or the sign range of the VAV box. The manufacturers pub
outlets (whichever is most convenient lished data provides the static pressure operating range
or accessible). The flow should be and the minimum static pressure drop across each ter
above design CFM. minal unit for a given airflow. Use this data to verify
that adequate pressure is available for the terminal unit
 Have the controls contractor reduce the to function properly. The objective of balancing pres
volume control device (VFD, Vortex, sure independent VAV boxes is the same, regardless of
Spill Damper, or Discharge Damper the type of controls used. They must be adjusted to de
until design flow is achieved at the box liver the specified maximum and minimum airflows.
being monitored.
14.2.6.2 VAV Downstream System
 With the box at design, obtain the actu
al static pressure reading at the static For simplification, consider each pressure indepen
pressure sensor and advise the control dent VAV box and its associated downstream ductwork
contractor of the required setting. Re to be a separate supply air duct system. If there is ade
cord this reading appropriately in the quate static pressure and airflow available at the box
balancing data sheets. inlet, the box and its associated outlets can be bal
anced.
k. Confirm total air flow and performance on
14.2.6.3 TAB Procedures
100% OA Mode of operation.
After the fan systems have been adjusted in accor
14.2.5.2 Proportional Balancing Of dance with previous procedures, the VAV system
Diversifed Pressure Dependent should be tested, adjusted, and balanced using the fol
Systems lowing procedures:

Pressure dependent systems with diversity may be bal a. Determine if the system designer has taken
anced as previously outlined in section 14.2.5.1 of this into account a diversity factor when selecting
manual if you attribute CFM proportionally to the out the equipment by comparing the fan design
lets in the same proportion as the diversity factor. airflow with the total airflow of the terminal
units shown on the drawings.
This method of balancing will guarantee proportional
If a diversity factor was used in equipment
air flow to all outlets under varying system operating
selection, set the number of units meeting this
parameters.
factor in the full cooling mode and the re
maining terminals in the fully closed posi
The diversity factor is the percent of the fan total as tion. Distribute the closed boxes throughout
compared to the outlet total. A fan that is scheduled for the system. If this procedure tends to over
8000 CFM and has a connected outlet total of 10,000 cool the building, the system supply air tem
has a diversity factor of 20% (8000/10,000 CFM). perature should be raised.

Once the diversity factor has been established, all out b. Set outside air dampers to the minimum posi
let CFMs are reduced by the diversity factor. The fac tion and exhaust and/or return air dampers to
tored outlet total will equal the fan or system total. a position that simulates full load.

14.6 HVAC SYSTEMS Testing, Adjusting & Balancing Third Edition


c. Index and verify that the fan volume control Three common methods are available for verification
is set for maximum flow. Observe the amper that the box is delivering the correct total air flow:
age of the fan motor for possible overload.
1. Most boxes have taps in the lines going from
the flow measuring device (cross flow sensor,
If the unit is operating above amperage it will volume probe, etc.) to the controller or regu
be necessary to reduce flow by adjusting the lator on the box. Connect a differential static
volume control devices (VFD, Vortex, Dis pressure gage to these taps and measure the
charge Damper or Bypass Relief Damper). It actual flow differential using the manufactur
is not necessary or required to perform fan or ers curves or charts determine the actual box
motor sheave adjustments at this time. At this CFM flow. Field testing, however, has proven
stage of the balancing, it is required to have this method is not always accurate. Often the
sufficient static pressure to be able to adjust inlet duct configuration and the type of sensor
the VAV boxes and maintain the fan operation will affect the signal sent to the controller.
by insuring that the fan motor is not over am Remember the flow stations are velocity av
perage and running safely. eraging devices and, as such, depend upon
uniform flow not irregular flow. (You cannot
average velocity pressures to obtain CFM as
they are a square root function.)
d. If the static pressure controller is operational,
it is advisable to set the static pressure to a
2. Pitot tube traverse may be used if the flow tap
value that will maintain fan operation and ad
is not provided or if the inlet condition at the
equate pressure to perform a boxbybox bal
box is poor. The traverse should only be taken
ancing procedure. If the controller is not op
if there is a better location upstream of the
erational, it will be necessary to lock the
box. It serves no purpose to traverse in a poor
volume control device in such a position that
run of duct or in the same poor inlet condition
static pressure can be maintained without do
at the box.
ing damage to the duct system.
3. Total compilation of the individual air outlets
is the most desirable since this is an actual
e. Because of terminal unit pressure indepen measure of the air being delivered to the con
dent characteristics, it is possible to balance ditioned space. This procedure accounts for
all of the boxes on a system, even if the sys system transmission losses that are inherent
tem pressure is low. When there is inadequate in all duct installations.
static pressure, index adjacent boxes into the
minimum airflow position to increase the g. After the outlets are balanced, set the VAV
static pressure to simulate design conditions. box for a minimum airflow. Check the total
airflow and adjust the minimum setting on
the box, when required, following the
Adjust the static pressure regulating control manufacturers recommendations. It is not
ler until the static pressure is at the point re unusual, however, for the terminals to be
quired in item d. above. Usually boxes and slightly out of balance in the minimum posi
outlets of a system can be completely bal tion. The VAV box and its associated outlets
anced to their design maximum and mini are now in balance and they should stay in
mum regardless of fan capacity. This method balance as long as the inlet static pressure to
of simulating or providing adequate static the box stays within the design static pressure
pressure also applies to balancing systems range given by the manufacturer.
with diversity.
After the successful balancing of the VAV
box, all pertinent information concerning the
f. With the VAV box set at the maximum flow balanced condition should be recorded and
rate, measure the total airflow being deliv inserted into the proper VAV commissioning
ered. If necessary, adjust the controller or reg sheet including; box size, type, address, DES
ulator to deliver the specified airflow follow maximum CFM, DES minimum CFM, actual
ing the manufacturers recommended maximum CFM, actual minimum CFM, flow
procedures. When the total airflow is correct, sensor pressure drop maximum and mini
balance the outlets. mum, coefficient, DC voltage, pick up, gain,

HVAC SYSTEMS Testing, Adjusting & Balancing Third Edition 14.7


or any other distinguishing operating param valve with actuator, and an air discharge. When the
eters that would aid in restoring settings if VAV box is pressure independent, a primary air veloc
they are disturbed, erased, or tampered with. ity sensor and controller also will be included.

h. Upon the successful completion of balancing 14.2.8.1 Balancing Procedures


all the boxes, it is now the proper time to as
a. Verify fan and control operation.
certain the system total design operating
parameters. In either diversified or nondi b. Index the VAV box to maximum (cooling)
versified systems, place all boxes in the max position. Some boxes may have to be set to
imum air flow position. Note: In the diversi the minimum position first.
fied system we still want to determine if the
unit can go over amperage if all the boxes call c. Test total airflow delivered by the VAV box
for maximum flow (chiller failure, excessive using one of the following methods:
ly high demand day, etc.)
 Inlet velocity sensor (where furnished).
i. With all boxes at maximum set the return air
damper and minimum outside air damper to  Total of air being delivered from the
their approximate design position with the outlets.
aid and cooperation of the control contractor.
 Pitot tube traverse of box inlet or dis
charge.
j. Perform total air and fan set up as described
in the General Balancing Procedure section 14.2.8.2 Airflow Adjustment
of this manual.
Adjust total airflow using components provided as fol
k. Once the total supply return and outside air lows:
have been established it is now time to bal
ance the return system, if applicable. a. Pressure Independent:

l. If the system has a static pressure controller,  Adjust the controller to achieve design
provide the control contractor with the re maximum airflow. Index the VAV box
quired setting and readings. to minimum (heating) and adjust the
controller to achieve design minimum
14.2.7 Pressure Dependent VAV System airflow.
Balancing Procedures
b. Pressure Dependent:
Pressure dependent VAV boxes or terminal units have Adjust maximum airflow by using one of the fol
no automatic volume controller to regulate the airflow lowing:
as the inlet static pressure to the box changes. The air
flow delivered by the box for any given condition will  Adjust the stops or limiting devices on
change at any time the inlet static pressure changes. the actuator operated damper in the
Since the airflow delivered is dependent on the inlet VAV box.
static pressure furnished, the VAV boxes are consid
ered pressure dependent.  Adjust the manual volume damper in
the primary air inlet or VAV box dis
These VAV boxes may have an inlet balancing damper charge.
in addition to an automatic temperature control (ATC)
 Index the VAV box to the minimum
damper. The ATC damper may have limiters to pro
position. Adjust minimum airflow us
vide for adjustments of the minimum and maximum
ing stops or position limiting devices
position. The TAB technician must realize that every
on the actuator operated damper in the
change in damper setting, either manual or automatic,
VAV box.
is going to affect the airflow in the system.
14.2.8.3 Downstream Ductwork
14.2.8 Turndown (Shutoff) VAV Boxes
After the total airflow is adjusted, index the VAV box
The basic components of a turndown VAV box consist to maximum (cooling) position and balance down
of a plenum box with a primary air inlet, damper, or air stream duct system terminal outlets.

14.8 HVAC SYSTEMS Testing, Adjusting & Balancing Third Edition