Characteristics curves revisited: A more logical approach to determining operating points

English, L. M. ; Wang, Y. J.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1999
When plotted as head vs. volume, fan curves start high and decrease with increasing volume, while mine head curves start low and rise with increasing volume. Their intersection is the system operating point. However, as every ventilation instructor knows, the fact that head loss is a negative number (debit) and fan head is an energy addition (credit) is often a stumbling block to student or audience comprehension since the curves seem to reflect the opposite. It is possible to use the intuitively correct curves- pressure losses as negative values and energy additions as positive values - and still obtain the correct operating point. Adding the two curves produces a third curve that intersects the x-axis at the operating point, the point at which the fan energy input exactly matches air circulation energy loss. Using this technique also makes it easier to account for outside influences on the system, such as natural ventilating pressure. With the standard approach, it is quite easy to add or subtract such influences to the wrong curve. This approach can be extended to the graphical solution of any series/parallel ventilation network. The results are the same, and the approach is logically consistent and less confusing.
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