Case study: Effect of excessive duct leakage in a large pharmaceutical plant

A study of excessive air leakage in the ductwork of a large pharmaceutical plant located in the Southeast United States is executed in order to determine the energy loss associated with the excessive ductwork leakage. Much of the air supplied by the ductwork is delivered to clean rooms. The analysis requires the development of a model that is used to predict the increased energy costs. The model is applied for each 15 minute interval over the entire year (approximately 35,000 data points).

Only testing will tell.

Describes how substantial differences resulted from performing a 'Duct Blaster' test during the framing stage and at completion. Outlines the tests used to pinpoint the problem. The tests included: frame-stage leakage - unit untaped; frame-stage leakage - unit taped; finish-stage leakage - face taped; finish-stage leakage - complete-taped; subtraction method; leakage to outside. The data obtained allowed the quantification of leakage at air handler units, at metal supply boots to outside and at supply registers to inside.

The current state of duct leakage measurement: field evaluation of five methods.

A study of test methods for duct leakage revealed that there is room for improvement in this evolving field.

The energy penalty of poor duct design.

A home with a poor duct system can't be energy efficient no matter how tight or well-insulated it is.

Duct leakage in European buildings: status and perspectives.

A large number of modem European buildings are equipped with ducted air distribution systems. To investigate the implications of duct leakage, a field study was performed on 42 duct systems in Belgium and France. The measurement data confirm the findings of the few earlier experimental investigations on these matters in Europe. In our sample, the leakage rate appears to be typically three times greater than the maximum permitted leakage adopted in EUROVENT 2/2 (Class A).

Distribution system leakage impacts on apartment building ventilation rates.

Forced air distribution systems in residential buildings are often located outside conditioned space, for example in attics, crawlspaces, garages and basements. Leaks from the ducts to these unconditioned spaces or outside can change flows through the registers and change the ventilation rates of the conditioned spaces. In this study, duct leakage flows were measured in several low-rise apartment buildings. The leakage flow measurements and other data about the apartments were used to develop a prototype apartment building.

T-Method duct design: Part IV - duct leakage theory.


T-Method duct design, Part V: duct leakage calculation technique and economics.

The procedure of incorporating duct leakage into the T-method simulates leakage as an additional parallel section with zero length for each duct section. The assumption that additional air leakage creates additional system resistance is wrong. Leakage always reduces, not increases, system resistance. How fan power consumption changes due to leakage depends on the fan performance curve.  Methodology was developed to add duct leakage to the T-method previously developed for both the design and simulation of duct systems. It is shown that in most cases the sealing of ductwork is economical.