VAV Exhaust System Implementation Challenges

Ryan Parker, PhD, CPP Wind Engineering

This presentation will cover variable air volume (VAV) exhaust system implementation and the challenges associated with successful commissioning and subsequent operation. Application of a simple-turndown or wind-responsive VAV exhaust system is an energy savings measure that has the added benefit of not only maintaining safely but also improved system performance, if implemented successfully. Although the implementation and commissioning process presented may differ from a traditional commissioning (Cx) approach, the challenges encountered should resonate. Dispersion modelling and its use in developing a VAV sequence of operation (SOO) will be discussed along with information on the general process flow. Once this background is established, specific VAV exhaust implementation challenges will be presented ranging from mechanical considerations to variations in specific control protocol. Finally, solutions and outcomes of these challenges will be discussed.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the use of dispersion modelling to aid in development of a simple turndown or wind-responsive VAV exhaust system.
  • Identify the key processes and interactions required for a successful simple turndown or wind-responsive VAV exhaust implementation.
  • Understand challenges involved with the VAV exhaust implantation process as they pertain to mechanical operation, controls programming, and client expectation.
  • Increase knowledge of future maintenance and operation considerations for VAV exhaust systems.


After completing a PhD in wind tunnel modeling, Ryan joined CPP Wind Engineering where he specializes in dispersion modeling for laboratory exhaust systems. He is also assists universities in the conversion of CAV exhausts to VAV in order to minimize energy use while maintaining safety.


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