Online educational resource on achieving indoor environmental quality with radiant based HVAC systems
Not for profit educational resource on indoor environmental quality.
 Bookmark and Share
not for profit educational resource


7 points every architect, engineer, contractor and their clients should know about HVAC components, modules and systems. For additional support visit our visitor services page.

Our integrated design program has over 2100 slides illustrating architectural, interior design and HVAC engineering principles which contribute to indoor environmental quality and energy allocation for conditioning the occupants and building.

The following course materials on components, modules and systems are samples from the lecture and based on a Steven Covey principle of "Begin with the End in Mind". They are a very small but important sample of the Covey principle and are provided here to give you an idea of what kind of materials we'll be discussing during the program.

The course is also registered with AIA and participants can earn up to 21 Learning Units.

For more sample slides visit our list of training modules.

Figure 1: We teach HVAC systems using the LEGO block principle by first describing the components and how those components are correctly assembled into modules and then into sub-systems and then sub-systems into systems. Shown above is one of several component slides, this one for heating sources with various thermal storage tank configurations.

Figure 2: We cover the use of low loss headers for heat only, cool only and heating/cooling systems. Of importance with low loss headers is keeping the velocity down in the barrel but ensuring acceptable velocity in the nozzles.

Figure 3: This (again) is just one of many schematics we discuss during the course. Shown is the use of thermal bridges for constant flow on secondary systems (load) and where temperature control is located on the primary circuit. This is a useful method for decoupling multiple zones where load shedding for boiler management is required.

Figure 4: Shown above is a multi zone system using zone valves connected to a low loss header fed by two wall mount boilers. We spend some time discussing the use of zone valves versus circulators for zoning and how to design systems for lowest Watts/Btu/hr ratio.

Figure 5: It makes a difference how larger heating and cooling plants are assembled. In the instance on the left all of the differential temperature is recorded at a single point on the primary circuit whereas the system on the right records the differential temperature along three points along the primary circuit. In the heating mode this means the last boiler will be fed with a higher temperature picked up from the first two boilers which is destructive on its efficiency. Yes you can rotate the firing sequence but this doesn't best serve the system efficiency under maximum to moderate loads - for more than two boilers, systems are better off using the schematic on the left.

Figure 6: For larger reversible heat pump systems, those which do heating and cooling it is often beneficial to have separate tanks. These tanks can also be fitted with diverting valves for bypassing to solar or evaporative cooling towers or in the case of cooling to bypass the heat pump directly to the ground loops.

Figure 7: One of several solar schematics discussed in the course. On the load side is an auxiliary boiler installed for periods of low solar contribution. The solar side is fitted with a heat purge system. We have developed an FEA tool for using the ground as a place to purge excess heat and will discuss this in class.

Final comments: There are hundreds of components in an HVAC system and unfortunately an infinite number of ways to assemble them - and thus an infinite number of ways to screw it up. That's why we're a big fan of standardized factory assembled control appliances or sub-stations. Anyways, one of the recurring steam of questions we always get in class goes something like this, "can't you do it this way?" or "this is how we do it is that wrong?" or "why do it that way when you can do it this way?". There was a time in my career where I would spend countless hours worry about such things but fortunately age has turned into wisdom and today I really don't care how you do it so long as the fundamentals are followed and the systems work....and so it is the fundamentals that we teach.

So there you have it, a few sample slides from our components, modules and systems lecturer...just a hors d'oeu·vre from our library of over 2100 slides addressing a small but important element of integrated design and radiant based HVAC systems. In the program we will get into this and a whole lot more? How much more? Well just follow the links to the other parts of our website and you’ll get a feel for the scope of materials that we’ll be covering.

See you soon.

Robert Bean, R.E.T., P.L.(Eng.)
Registered Engineering Technologist - Building construction (ASET #8167)
Professional Licensee (Engineering) - HVAC (APEGA #105894)
Building Sciences / Industry Development
ASHRAE Committees: T.C.61. (CM), T.C.6.5 (VM), T.C. 7.04 (VM), SSPC 55 (VM)
ASHRAE SSPC 55 - User Manual Task Leader

Note: The author participates on several ASHRAE and other industry related committees but be advised the materials and comments presented do not necessarily represent the views of these societies, only the president of the society or nominated representative may speak on behalf of the organization.


Home | Seminars | Solutions | Heating Cafe | Contribute | Online Help | Bean's Blog | About Us | Glossary
Privacy Policy | Legal | Contact Us | Site Map |
Carlson-Holohan Award| Send Us Your Comments

Copyright © 2012 Healthy Heating. All rights reserved.1 2
Site developed by 
PayPal funding contributions accepted online  
 Healthy Heating accepts Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Discover.