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Distribution Systems

Systems which deliver air and water to condition laboratory spaces can be optimized by careful design. The method used to size the air distribution system is critical. Air distribution system first cost and operating cost are reduced if properly sized ducts and other system components are selected by optimizing fan pressure and duct air velocities. Fan pressure and air velocities are usually chosen based on "engineering experience" rather than on optimization of performance and cost for each building design.

To save energy air distribution systems should be designed with low-velocity, large-diameter, round ductwork including efficient fitting transitions, large-area coils and filters, and active noise attenuation. The laboratory pressure control system contributes to overall safety and energy efficiency by correctly isolating the laboratory from adjacent spaces without wasting conditioned air. Energy-efficient fume hood systems in the modern laboratory must take into account the discharge velocity of supply diffusers near hoods. When noise attenuation devices are necessary, the air distribution system will have a higher pressure-drop, which increases fan size and power consumption. Using quiet fans to minimize noise is the first step in the design process. Even though hot and chilled water pumps are not large consumers of energy, their impact is significant, as much as 5 to 15 percent of HVAC system energy use.

Follow the links below for more information from US Labs21 on the following:

Air Distribution

Room Pressure Control

Diffusers

Noise Attenuation

Pumping Systems