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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Energy performance of underfloor air distribution systems part V: energy plus development


The VAV terminal unit with variable-speed (VS) fan and reheat coil is an air system terminal unit consisting of a variable speed fan in series with a heating coil. These units are usually employed in underfloor air distribution (UFAD) systems where the air is supplied at low static pressure through an underfloor plenum. The fan is used to control the flow of conditioned air that enters the space. When the fan is off the plenum pressure drives the minimum air flow through the terminal unit. At maximum cooling the fan runs at its maximum speed. At full heating the fan runs at its heating maximum – usually less than the cooling maximum flow rate. Thus this unit has two separate maximum flow rates – one for heating and one for cooling.

For cooling, control is maintained simply by varying the fan speed. For heating, the unit first tries to meet the heating load by varying the heating coil output while keeping the air flow at minimum (fan off). If this is not adequate the fan turns on and operates in variable flow mode up to the heating maximum flow rate.

This unit is modeled in EnergyPlus as a compound component – a variable speed fan and a heating coil in series in the air stream. The unit is blow through – the fan is upstream of the heating coil. 

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