Psychrometrics Basics w/ Jamie Kitchen Podcast
In this episode of the podcast, Jamie Kitchen from Danfoss talks about wet-bulb, dry-bulb, relative humidity, dew point, enthalpy, and latent heat. These are the building blocks of psychrometrics, which deals with human comfort as it relates to temperature, humidity, and heat loads.
Humidity is water vapor in the air. As the air's dry-bulb temperature increases, the more water vapor the air can hold. That is partially why dew is more common on cold mornings instead of hot ones. However, the air's weight does NOT increase with more water vapor; moist air is less dense than dry air. Moist air has more heat energy than dry air, though. Relative humidity (RH) is the percentage of moisture that the air can hold before saturation. Saturation occurs at 100% RH.
In psychrometrics, there are two different types of relevant temperatures: dry-bulb and wet-bulb. Dry-bulb temperature refers to true thermodynamic temperature; humidity doesn't affect the reading. Wet-bulb also accounts for the rate of evaporation in the air; it accounts for the body's ability to cool itself through evaporated sweat. When the wet-bulb and dry-bulb temperatures are nearly identical, that means that the RH is high.
We have psychrometrics charts, and we can plot points based on wet-bulb and dry-bulb temperatures. These charts also have a “dew point” on them, which is the point where the air can no longer hold more grains of moisture. That moisture then condenses into dew or fog; this point is saturation or 100% RH. Dry-bulb and wet-bulb temperatures will be the same at the dew point.
Bryan and Jamie also discuss:
- Absolute moisture content (moisture grains)
- What Willis Carrier understood
- Evaporative or adiabatic cooling
- TXVs vs. fixed-orifice metering devices and temperature
- Sensible vs. latent cooling
- Commissioning equipment for comfort