Chilled Water, DX (Expansion) Coils & Moisture Carryover

Moisture carryover is present on DX or Chilled Water coils where dehumidification happens.  Many people do not think it’s a problem…until you have moisture running down ductwork or spewing all over the inside of an air handler. If you’ve ever experienced that then you probably know all of these rules regarding moisture carryover.Chilled Water Coils

  • Entering air temperatures of 80/67 of return air in the Northeast carry far less moisture than an outside 95/78 entering air temperature in Florida. Outside air always has more moisture. Your location plays a part as well. The drain pans will absolutely have be sized differently. Florida’s will be much larger in size.
  • Fin design is irrelevant when it comes to moisture carryover. Whether you have copper corrugated fins, or aluminum flat fins, plate fins or even the old fashioned spiral fins, none of it has any effect on moisture carryover.
  • Lastly, be careful when installing a new chilled water or DX coil in a system. Many end users like to increase the airflow on older coils because those old coils can act like filters, the fins are covered in dirt/dust and you’re not getting the same airflow through the coil. This dirt on the coil also semi-prevents moisture carryover. When that brand new chilled water coil is installed, the airflow might be higher than that 550 ft/minute and that, of course, will cause moisture carryover problems. 

 

Please give us a call with any questions about your coil, your system or its design. Capital Coil’s engineering is unparalleled in the industry!

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Top 10 Chilled Water Coil Facts

Every Chilled Water Coil selection is about balance. Your coil selection balances the rows/fins versus the cost of the coil pressure drops/performance. Trying to cut corners on your initial selection may save you money upfront, but you will inevitably pay it back down the line through added energy costs. This is a truism for every manufactured coil.

  1. Fins cost less money than rows/tubes. A good cost-cutting tool when selecting a coil is to choose 14 fins/inch. This will turn your (8) row coil into a (6) row coil, which will dramatically lower your costs. If you choose to go this route, one thing to keep in mind is that 14 fins/inch will be semi-inconvenient to any maintenance crew tasked with cleaning the coil. Don’t expect a Christmas card from them that year.
  2. That raises the question of whether or not you can even clean a deep (6) or (8) row coil? In short, you can, but it is not easy. Chilled water coils are especially difficult to clean because they are almost always wet. Due to this fact, they typically attract dirt and additional particles that other coils do not. Generally, when cleaning a coil, most of the dirt get pushed to the middle, and for that reason, 14 fins/inch may not be the best idea after all. Chilled Water Coils
  3. Did you know that fins do approximately 70% of the heat transfer in a chilled water coil, while the tubes are only responsible for the remaining 30%? This is precisely why the fin/tube bond is so important. Without a perfectly crafted fin/tube bond, coils become inefficient very quickly. You pay for that inefficiency through increased energy costs.
  4. How long does a coil last? At what age can I expect my coil to fail? Unfortunately, there is no single answer to either question. Everything is dependent on a combination of maintenance, duty, and numerous other factors. If your initial selection was correctly chosen, and proper maintenance was kept, 15-20 years is a good timeframe.
  5. You may have a situation where your coil is 20 years old, and everything appears to be operating in good condition. There are no leaks and all looks ok. However, over that length of time, what you don’t see is that the fins have thinned and are no longer bonded to the tubes, and the coil is dirty in places that you cannot see. Again, while the coil may look to be running in top form, it’s probably only running at 60% capacity. Most likely, the tubes have also thinned over time, so when the next deep freeze occurs, you can guess the likely outcome.
  6. You really need to replace the coil, but have been told to make do with the current coil? To make up for the lack of efficiency, you might try to “jury-rig” your system. One method is to change the drive on the fans to deliver more CFM. This increases the air pressure drop, which in turn increases motor brake horsepower. Another option to help increase the coil’s efficiency is to lower the temperature of the chilled water from the chiller. We tend to mess with the system and apply temporary Band-Aids, when replacing the coil is the only guaranteed long-term solution.
  7. If you want to spend money wisely on a chilled water coil, simply make the tubes thicker. The tube thickness for a 5/8” tube coil is .020” thick, so increase the tube thickness to .025”. The same applies for a ½” tube coil, with a tube thickness of .016”. Increase it to .020”. By doing this, you get the added bonus of making your return bends thicker, which also helps to extend the life of the coil.
  8. Not quite sure about circuiting on a chilled water coil? You are going to have a hard time making an accurate selection unless you understand how to circuit a coil. Circuiting is really nothing more than selecting the number of tubes that you want to feed, and how many passes the water makes through the coil – depending on your GPM. Circuiting is one of the most important factors in ensuring that your coil is running at peak-performance.
  9. Curious about the balance between cost, size, materials, and maintenance? Every chilled water coil needs to be maintained for its entire life-span. If you’ve made your selection, and something seems off about the coils, chances are mistakes were made during the selection process. Some indicators include the coil being too big for the space allowed, or incurring out of control energy costs. What is the point of saving $500 on a chilled water coil if you have to spend $5,000 in maintenance over its life-span?

As coil replacement experts, we run into this issue every day. Our goal is to work with you to ensure your selections are correct the first time. The person in charge of budgets will be grateful to you over time. Capital Coil & Air welcomes the opportunity to work with you on your next coil project! We want to be your coil replacement specialists.

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Four Things To Know When Buying Replacement Coils

While building numerous types of coils for various customers over the years, we’ve discovered the four main things that you need when replacing HVAC coils. We’ve found that most customers are searching for many of the same things, and also share many of the same priorities. Based on numerous conversations with our customers, we’ve compiled a list of the primary factors that you need to consider when purchasing an HVAC coil.

  • Marketing and advertising experts’ claim that a person needs to see and/or hear something an average of 3-5 times for the brain to really absorb the message. And so, in light of that claim, think DELIVERY, DELIVERY, DELIVERY, and DELIVERY! Every coil job has a degree of urgency to it, which is why the speed of delivery is so significant. Either you are beginning the process of replacing coils for a system that is shut Quick-Shipdown, or you are in the middle of a job and discover that you need coils to be delivered as soon as possible. In either scenario, you need a coil supplier that works on your schedule – not their own, independent timetable. Capital Coil’s Quick Ship Program allows the coils to be built on your timeline, not the manufacturer’s.
  • The coil MUST fit in the space allowed! You can purchase the highest quality coil ever manufactured, and if it does not fit, then you have nothing more than exquisitely manufactured scrap metal. So when measuring a coil, always remember that a little smaller is always better than a little bigger. There are 100 different ways to make a smaller coil work for you. On the flip-side, if a coil is too big, then you have no choice but to start over.
  • Performance matters! As with any purchase, it’s important to have an idea of what you are trying to accomplish. The simple act of duplicating a coil can sometimes work, but more often than not, additional performance information is needed. This is precisely where Capital Coil & Air can help. We’ll work with you to come up with a simulated performance schedule, even if you do not have all of the necessary information. Working in consultation with our clients tends to lead to an outcome that is acceptable to all parties.
  • Lastly and very importantly, there is cost. Everyone has budgetary constraints, and no one wants to break the bank paying for coils. However, buying a coil is often more than simply price alone. Taking into account required delivery times, sizing of the coils for the job, performance, and price, buying a coil can be a balancing act. While price should not be minimized, buying the cheapest coil is seldom the best coil for your job or application. The adage “you get what you pay for” certainly applies when it comes to coils. Capital Coil’s main goal is to help lessen your overall price, without sacrificing performance and quality.
 
 Performance options, size options, and shipment options will help you to spend your money in the most effective way possible. Capital Coil’s job is to give you the options and information that will allow you to make the best decision in your buying process. Your success is our success, so our goal is to have an on-going, consultative relationship that works for both parties. Call us on your next job, we’d love the chance to earn your business.
 

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Guidelines For Air Velocities

Step # 1 in determining the size and performance of a coil is dependent upon understanding face velocities of air across the coil. Whether you use CCA’s coil selection program to help size the coil, or you are replacing an existing coil; the height, length and resulting velocity determine everything.

Hot Water Booster Coils

Air Velocities

Every coil has a specific, optimum velocity, so you want to make sure you are within 30% (+ or -) of that number. For example, booster coils have an optimum velocity of 800 ft/minute. That means that you can drop your velocity to 600 ft/minute, or conversely, increase the velocity to 1,000 ft/minute. The duct velocities are almost always higher, which means that you will need to transition to a larger coil. Try to get to as close to 800 ft/minute as possible, while sizing your coil to make the transition as easy as possible. Everything with coils is a balancing act.

Hot Water & Steam Coils

Like booster coils, hot water and steam coils should also have face velocities at approximately 800 ft/minute. Both steam & hot water coils have only sensible heating, which is why their face velocities can be the same. Face velocities ultimately control the coil’s cost, so 800 ft/minute really is a heating coil’s “sweet spot”.

If you are purchasing an air handler unit, oftentimes the heating coil is smaller than the cooling coil because the face velocities on heating coils can exceed those of cooling coils. Due to water carry-over, cooling coils cannot exceed 550 ft/minute, while heating coils only deal with sensible heat.

Chilled Water & DX Coils

Due to the limited face velocities of cooling coils, your choices are more limited. With cooling coils, your face velocity must be somewhere between 500 ft/minute-550 ft/minute. Remember that when dealing with cooling coils, you are dealing with both sensible and latent cooling, so the coil is wet. When you exceed 550 ft/minute, water carry-over occurs past the drain pans.

If you are purchasing an air handler unit, you probably will not have worry about the coil’s face velocity as most coils come pre-sized at the acceptable face velocities. Fan coils also come pre-sized with the correct CFM’s. However, if you are replacing an existing cooling coil, the face velocity must remain at or below 550 ft/minute!!

 Air Stratification Across The Coil

Air does not travel equally across the face of a coil. If you were to divide a coil into (9) equal sections, like a tic-tac-toe board, you would see a high percentage of air travelling through the center square, rather than the corner squares. In a perfect air flow scheme, 11% of the air would travel through each of the 9 squares, but that is not what happens. Because more air travels through the center of the coil, you want to avoid putting a fan too near the coil. Due to central air flows, most systems are draw-thru, rather than blow-thru. This is also why you want to avoid installing your coil near any 90 degree angles/turns in the ductwork. Avoid any situations that contribute more than the “natural” air stratification to help ensure your coil is at maximum efficiency.

In some situations involving cooling coils, you will have water carry-over even when the coil is sized correctly. How can this happen? Think about the tic-tac-toe board again. Air velocities are exceeding 700 ft/minute in the coil’s center, while the corners are around 300 ft/minute. This cannot and will not work.

Coils do not have any moving parts. They simply react to the air across the outside of the coil and whatever is running through the inside of the coil. Coils are 100% a function of your entire system, as well as the installation in general.

Capital Coil & Air is here to help with any coil selections that will help avoid costly missteps that lead to wasted time and money. Call us on your next project, we greatly look forward to working with you!

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Chilled Water Coil Circuiting Made Easy

Chilled Water Coil

Circuiting a chilled water coil is one of life’s great challenges in the coil business. You’re bound to run across folks with years of experience in the industry that can not effectively explain this concept. While not the most exciting of subjects, the necessity of circuiting chilled water coils can not be overstated. Capital Coil & Air has attempted to simplify the idea of circuiting as much as possible.

For starters, circuiting a chilled water coil is ultimately up to the performance of that coil. Circuiting is really a balancing act of tube velocity and pressure drop. In other words, think of a coil as a matrix. Each coil has a specific number of rows, and a specific number of tubes within each row. For example, a chilled water coil might be 36 inch fin height and 8 rows deep. The coil has 24 tubes in each row, and multiplied by 8 rows, there is a total of 192 tubes within the coil. While you can try to feed any number of tubes, there are only a few combinations that will work.

    • Feeding 1 tube – you will be making 192 passes through the coil, which will essentially require a pump the size of your car to make that process work.
    • Feeding 2 tubes – equates to 96 passes, and your pressure drop will still be enormous.
    • Feeding 3 tubes – 64 passes, which is still too many.
    • Feeding 4 tubes – See above.
    • Feeding 5 tubes – Impossible as 5 does not divide evenly into 192 (passes).
    • Feeding 6 tubes – Still constitutes far too many passes, which again leads to additional pressure drop.
    • Feeding 7 tubes – Same rule for feeding 5 tubes.
    • Feeding 8 tubes –  Same rule for feeding 6 tubes.
    • Feeding 24 tubes – This feed consists of 8 passes, which is in the ballpark, and with a pressure drop you can live with.
    • Feeding 32 tubes – 32 tubes will see 6 passes. You might see a slight decrease in performance, but it’s off-set by a continuously better pressure drop.
  • Feeding 48 tubes – The magic combination, as 4 passes typically elicits the best performance and pressure drop simultaneously.

Rule #1: The number of tubes that you feed must divide evenly into the number of tubes in the chilled water coil.

Rule #2: The chilled water coil must give you an even number of passes so that the connections end up on the same end.

Rule #3: Based on the number of passes, you must be able to live with the resulting pressure drop. Acceptable tube velocity with water is between 2 and 6 ft. per second.

You’re bound to run into different terminologies depending on the manufacturer. More times than not, the different verbiage confuses more than it clarifies. However, understanding the basic tenets of chilled water coil circuiting will remove much of the perceived difficulty.  Check out Capital Coil’s Chilled Water Coils product page.

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The Smart Approach to Buying HVAC Coils (and Saving Money)

HVAC coil replacement does not have to be cost prohibitive. As you are all aware, money is tight these days, and budgets for maintenance and upkeep are constantly being cut. People are asked to do more with less, so every dollar spent must be spent wisely. In our previous newsletters, we have outlined various reasons about why you should do business with Capital Coil & Air. However, one of the most compelling reasons is cost and how you spend your money.

We now live in an age where you can skip “middle men” and buy direct from a manufacturer or supplier. Think about your own life and how your own personal shopping habits have changed over the years. When was the last time you used a travel agent to book a trip? In 2020, you’re much more likely to go to Tripadvisor or an airline’s website and make travel reservations yourself. Greater access to more choices gives you the opportunity to save money in the process.

Spending money in business these days is no different. Consumers have access to more information than ever before. Consumer studies show buyers get 60% of their product information from a firm’s website before ever speaking with a sales rep. The days of an account manager or manufacturer’s representative being the sole source of information are over. Right now, you can access Capital Coil’s website and see our entire HVAC product offering, including dimensions, quick-ship programs, and our Coil Selection Program. With information at the press of a button, Capital Coil’s expert customer service will consult with you to ensure that you’re getting exactly what you need, when you need it. Working with Capital Coil & Air directly cuts out that “middle man’s” costly mark-up and saves you money without sacrificing quality. Avoiding the “middle man” and having a direct line to the manufacturer also ensures quick response times, and helps to make sure that no information gets lost in translation.

Capital Coil & Air does have a select number of exceptional representatives in a few areas, and because they are valuable assets in the HVAC industry, we are comfortable passing your project information along to those representatives. But if not in one of those areas, you are free to work with us directly.

At the end of the day, technology has allowed you as the consumer to buy smarter, faster, and cheaper. Aside from those previously mentioned “middle men” who does not want faster and cheaper? Capital Coil & Air would like the opportunity to be your “direct supplier” on present and future projects. Give us a call and test us out!

 

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