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Fan coils - delivering required performanceMay 2006

Testing to BS 4856 and Draft ISO, ASHRAE and Eurovent Standards, or against set design conditions.

One of the challenges that the manufacturers are facing in any competitive market is guaranteeing performance of their products.

From it's extensive experience in fan coil testing, BSRIA have found that the majority of those products had the performance which is 25%-30% down on catalogue data.

Proving the performance of fan coil units becomes even more critical for applications that need to meet increasing cooling requirements in extreme climates with very hot or humid weather such as in Middle East or Asia.

A fan coil is a cooling and/or heating coil packaged with integral fans and controls, normally with different fan speeds available to cover a range of duties. Control can be either by valves on the water circuits or dampers in the airflow.

Reliable performance data demonstrate that equipment is fit for use and are key to minimising risks on projects.

Independently tested and certified products provide the guarantee that the performance has been accurately published and verified, and help manufacturers compete on product quality with confidence. Also, the testing provides reassurance to project teams that the systems will satisfy particular requirements.

Modifications to these products, often to meet client specific demands - for example low profile casings, or air plenum changes, can affect the way the fan coil performs leading to a shortfall in performance. The efforts needed and costs if this is discovered on site after installation far outweighs that spent on pre installation tests.

Development tests can be shortened to determine if a modification is going to work. This enables possible solutions to be narrowed down before conducting a full test, and a number of these short form tests can be conducted during a working day.

While modern computer selections can, in most instances, give a prediction of performance, based on known standard data, the number of tests originally used to determine the performance calculation matrix will not have covered every option. So while the computer provides the selection, if you are going to install a considerable number of fan coils the validation of the specific performance for the job becomes an issue.

It is possible to conduct some tests on site or at manufacturer's facilities dependent on the particular installations and access issues.

BSRIA works in close co-operation with product developers and manufacturers to test and improve designs and demonstrate the suitability and reliability of products for the market. We test fan coil to BS 4856 and Draft ISO, ASHRAE and Eurovent Standards, or against set design conditions.

By independently evaluating product performance and certifying compliance with standards manufacturers can:

  • Confirm product has achieved a recognized level of quality
  • Increase credibility in product performance
  • Ensure that product will deliver required performance after installation.

Thermal duty of the fan coil unit is determined using two methods: waterside and airside enthalpy change. Waterside calculations do not account for air leakage from the fan coil unit, casing thermal losses or gains, or exposed sections of the cooling/heating coils. Airside calculations, whilst accounting for this, are more complex and involve measuring air temperatures, moisture content and mass of air supplied at the unit outlet. Total thermal duty of the coil is most accurately obtained by waterside measurements. Latent duty can be obtained by collection of condensate or airside enthalpy.

The two methods ensure an enhanced level of accuracy, and act as a double check of the results obtained. This is a requirement of the ISO specifications used.

All data is processed electronically so that unit's performance is observed in real time. This means that any fine adjustments during testing can meet client specific requirements.

Stable control of the test chamber environment and measurement accuracy enables us to test with precision:

  • Airside moisture content
  • Temperature measurement
  • Waterflow
  • Airflow

For fan coil testing contact:
BSRIA Test & Certification
Tel: +44 (0)1344 465600