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Hvac Applications

The term HVAC refers to the three disciplines of Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning. A fourth discipline, Controls, pervades the entire HVAC field. Controls determine how HVAC systems operate to meet the design goals of comfort, safety, and cost-effective operation.

* Heating can be accomplished by heating the air within a space (e.g. supply air systems, perimeter fin-tube "radiators"), or by heating the occupants directly by radiation (e.g. floor/ceiling/wall radiation or radiant panels).
* Ventilating maintains an adequate mixture of gases in the air we breath (e.g. not too much CO2), controls odors, and removes contaminants from occupied spaces. "Clean" air helps keep occupants healthy and productive. Ventilation can be accomplished passively through natural ventilation, or actively through mechanical distribution systems powered by fans.
* Air-conditioning refers to the sensible and latent cooling of air. Sensible cooling involves the control of air temperature while latent cooling involves the control of air humidity. Room air is cooled by transferring heat between spaces, such as with a water loop heat pump system, or by rejecting it to the outside air via air-cooled or water-cooled equipment. Heat can also be rejected to the ground using geothermal exchange. Cool air is not comfortable if it is too humid. Air is dehumidified by condensing its moisture on a cold surface, such as part of mechanical cooling), by removing the moisture through absorption (desiccant dehumidification). In dry climates, humidification may be required for comfort instead of dehumidification. Evaporative humidification also cools the air. Further, in such climates it is possible to use radiant cooling systems, similar to the radiant heating systems mentioned above.
* Controls ensure occupant comfort, provide safe operation of the equipment, and in a modern HVAC control system enable judicious use of energy resources. HVAC systems are sized to meet heating and cooling loads that historically occur only 1% to 2.5% of the time. It is the function of the controls to ensure that the HVAC systems perform properly, reliably, and efficiently during those conditions that occur 97.5% to 99% of the time.

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