Testing, Adjusting and Balancing, TAB, ventilation, air system balancing, model-based method, model identification
Building Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system maintain comfortable indoor environment by supplying processed air to each terminal precisely through duct system. Testing, Adjusting and Balancing (TAB) plays critical role in achieving desired air distribution. Traditional TAB method is inaccurate and inefficient due to its trail-and-error natural, which forces people to pay high but expect low. Recently, it has been proposed that non-iterative approach to TAB is promising to improve performance and reduce cost. In this paper, a novel non-iterative balancing method is developed and implemented for TAB engineers to adjust dampers systematically and efficiently. Different from other TAB methods, this method is based on modeling and optimization. The mathematical model for duct system is firstly developed from its components including fan, duct segments and dampers to predict flow rates and pressures in the duct system for any damper positions. To identify the parameters in the model, flow rate measurements are taken for each terminal on real system under different damper positions. With the obtained model, optimal damper positions that gives desired air distribution are calculated by minimizing a specific objective function. To facilitate the adjusting process in real duct system, a sequential tuning instructions are generated which can help engineers to adjust dampers to their proper position using flowmeter as indicators. In this sequential tuning process, each damper only adjusts once to reach balance. Because the pressure and airflow dynamics of the duct system has been modeled, the entire TAB procedure is deterministic and non-iterative. Simulations are performed to validate the effectiveness of this method in Matlab/Simulink environment. Comparison study with existing methods shows that the proposed TAB method significantly shorten the duration of process and reduces balancing error while using easily-accessible equipment like pressure sensor and flowmeter only. It can be expected that the TAB service contractor will apply this method for advanced duct system where accurate air distribution is strictly required.