TAB Journal Spring 2014 - (Page 5)

Calibration and Balancing of Phoenix Valves in Laboratories Charles Brown, TBE Technical Air Balance, Texas The majority of firms that have been in the air balance industry for any length of time have encountered balancing in some sort of laboratory facility. Balancing a lab poses some of the most challenging air balance work a technician can encounter, and it is not uncommon for an air balance technician to deal with just about every type of air flow issue or problem possible. Depending on the type of system installed, the balance work may be made much harder if the incorrect device and/or system for the application is utilized. A lthough there are several different types of air volume control devices and systems used in the construction of laboratories and vivariums throughout the country, the Phoenix Valve is one of the most popular, and is the preferred choice for the exhaust side. The Phoenix Valve is a very forgiving volume control device. It doesn't require the typical four duct diameters prior to the inlet or two duct diameters TAB Journal Spring 2014 after the discharge in order to ensure proper functionality. The device controls airflow by virtue of the cone assembly system inside the valve body. The cone assembly has the ability to quickly compensate due to changes in static pressure. This fast-acting capacity allows the Phoenix Valve to respond quickly to a rise or drop in pressure, and this is critical in maintaining the necessary pressure hierarchies needed to ensure the safety of the occupants in or around the lab areas. As stated, the Phoenix Valve is forgiving of the usual installation requirements as well as having the ability to respond quickly to any rise or drop in system pressure. These two features are what make it a desirable volume control device. Laboratory rooms are extremely pressure sensitive due to whatever is being tested, studied or created in the lab. The more toxic the substance being tested, studied or created, the stricter the need to maintain reliable pressure hierarchies. Years ago, maintaining pressure hierarchies was a simpler process as the areas in which laboratories were placed consisted of much smaller spaces. That isn't the case today, especially with universities constructing elaborate lab environments for conducting research, which may have up to five or more floors in a mid-rise building. The amount of laboratory rooms and the variety of studies and tests being run in these rooms demands a strict pressure hierarchy to ensure the safety of occupants from lab to lab, floor to floor as well as those outside the building. It is not uncommon to have ten or fifteen labs per floor across five 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of TAB Journal Spring 2014

Indirectly Determining Air Volume
Calibration and Balancing of Phoenix Valves in Laboratories
The Trouble with Canned Specs
Environmental Considerations of the Southwest
Airflow Measuring Station Considerations
Putting the Proper "SPIN" on Things
Chasing the Air

TAB Journal Spring 2014