Plandroid Help Documentation

Airflow calculations are carried out whenever you open the Load Zones Table (),
when you press the *Solve* button in that window, or when
you press the *Solve Air Flows* toolbar button ().
The Load Zones Table will show the total air supplied to each zone, assuming that the air conditioning unit that you have connected
is working at 100% capacity. Zones that are switched off do not receive any airflow. Air can also flow through ducts that connect
between different levels through penetrations.

The *Damper* column shows an estimate of how open a damper controlling the flow to each zone
should be to get the required flow. This figure
is shown in red when the damper would need to be opened above 100%, which is not possible.

While the total flows to each zone are shown in the Load Zones Table, you can also investigate the flow in each individual part. The airflow calculations must be carried out prior to investigating the system, otherwise no results will be shown. The resulting airflows will be shown in the status bar description of any selected part. The context menu *Properties* tool will also show the air flow in any part that is transporting air, and will show the face flow velocities of any air inlet or outlet. The *Check Design* toolbar button () will show if adequate air is supplied to each zone, if you are on the *Plan*, *Draw*, or *Loads* tab.

The program supports three different solution methods: analytical, simplified and a balanced method. The analytical and simplified solutions simulate an unbalanced design, while the balanced method simulates a perfectly balanced design.

The analytical method does a full flow analysis including calculating pressure drops along the flow path. This method assumes that the unit is operating at maximum power and that the design has not been balanced. The calculations required for the analytical solution are quite complicated and can take a significant length of time to perform, but result in a more accurate solution. The numerical parameters used for this solution can be set in the Options section. An analytical result is necessarily an estimate, because of the large number of variables in an actual installation.

The simplified solution allocates outflows based solely on the relative outlet areas, does not take into account the pressure loss of the system, and is therefore much faster but less accurate. This method also assumes that the unit is operating at maximum power and that the design has not been balanced.

The balanced solution mode allocates exactly the required flow to each part, as if the system is running at the exact flow rates required for each zone, and all branches have been balanced correctly. In this mode, the actual flow rate output of the unit is not used. This is also a fast solution.

Because the analytical airflow calculations can be time consuming, calculations are only carried out when you explicitly request them. If you change your design or your geometry, or turn any zones on or off, the airflows will change, and you should recalculate the airflows using either the *Solve* dialog button or the *Solve Air Flows* toolbar button before investigating them.

- Zones that are switched off do not receive any airflow.
- Ducts or outlets that do not connect to anything are assumed to be blocked.
- An A/C unit, evaporative unit or heater acts as the fan supplying air to a duct system. An unit is required for the system to transport air.
- Inline fans do not increase airflow or air pressure.
- A plan level can have multiple systems, but each system can only be supplied by one A/C unit at a time.
- The performance characteristic of the unit fan is assumed fixed regardless of the system pressure drop.
- The A/C unit is assumed to be operating at 100% power for both analytical and simplified flow solutions.
- Dampers are assumed to be fully open at all times. The estimated damper settings are not used in the flow calculations.
- The calculated pressure drop through a part with multiple outlets is independent of the position of the outlet, that is, all outlets from a part are given the same pressure drop.
- Pressure drop due to the length of ducting is calculated, but the pressure drop due to the curvature of the duct is ignored. It is poor design to bend ducts through sharp angles in any case.
- Flexible duct is assumed to be fully extended.
- Direct duct connectors such as joiners, collars and spigots do not incur any pressure drop.
- Inlet and outlet grilles are all assumed to have the same open area fraction.
- Wall units, cassette units, and bulkhead units can also be added to any zone, and their cooling capacity will be added to that provided by the ducted system.
- Pressure drops due to the additional lengths of rise points and penetrations are included, as are losses due to two 90° elbow bends for each.

- Parts that have a
*function = "connector"*are assumed to be joiners, and have no pressure drop. - The pressure drop through a rigid conduit part can be specified directly in the catalog as an
*effective length*increase. If a part has no effective length specified, the pressure drop is calculated using a fixed loss coefficient in the pressure loss equations.

The *Auto-size Ducts* toolbar tool () will do two things: it will calculate the duct flows that are required to supply the specified
zone requirements (regardless of the output of your selected unit), and it will then automatically size the ducting to handle that flow. Ducting that supplies zones that are switched off is not resized, if that is consistent with the design.
You can investigate your system flows after using this tool, in which case you will be shown the *required* flows, and *not*
the flows due to the output of your A/C unit.

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