Save Energy, Satisfy Codes, and Optimize Performance with Dynamic Duct Pressure Control

Paul Fuson, Siemens

Pressure generated by fans to move ventilation and exhaust through duct systems is a parasitic energy loss in the system. Labs 21 Best Practice guides teach design practices to reduce it. Energy codes require dynamic optimization. But how do you make it work and maintain air flow needed for safe ventilation?

Many systems apply trial and error approaches, gradually lowering the pressure until flow rates are not satisfied, then driving the pressure back up to recover. State-of-the-art systems use dynamic load data and a calibrated on-line model to run the system at the lowest possible pressure that still satisfies the varying air flow requirements.

The model method addresses difficulties minimizing pressure in systems with venturi air valves.

Analysis of the duct pressure model shows how low pressure design practices enhance reliability of critical flow controls in a manifold VAV system.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn to satisfy energy codes with respect to system pressure control in VAV laboratory ventilation systems.
  • Recognize complex dynamics and interactions in manifold, variable volume ventilation systems.
  • Learn to specify duct pressure optimization functions that fully satisfy safety requirements of laboratory supply and exhaust systems using any kind of air terminals.
  • Learn to esign manifold duct systems with characteristics that enhance reliable flow and pressure control.


Paul Fuson is a Business Development Manager for the Life Science Group of the Building Technologies Division of Siemens Industry Inc., which he helped establish in 1990. Since joining the company in 1984, Paul has held positions in purchasing, product development, marketing and sales management. Paul's earliest work experience was as a design engineer and project manager for a manufacturer of nuclear and gas turbine power generation systems. Paul holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Mechanica


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