Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Course of Master's Degree Programme on ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
First Semester
Hours of front activity: 



Course description

The aim of the course is to give engineering students a technical-design knowledge related to the field of HVAC systems and their management. Based on the analysis of the interior microclimate and of the thermal and hygrometric loads, the various types of HVAC and the selection criteria are described from an energy and economic point of view for a system optimization. The problems encountered in the design stage and the design and management methodology of HVAC systems are shown. The students are required to carry out an exercise, aimed at verifying the capacity to design the different types of conditioning systems.

Knowledge and understanding:
The student must demonstrate:
- to know the fundamental principles of psychrometry and the thermo-hygrometric characteristics of building envelopes;
- to know the main components of HVAC systems, to understand their functions and the design techniques;
- to know the HVAC systems and to understand the design techniques.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding:
The student must demonstrate that is able:
- to apply the fundamental principles of psychrometry to the design of building envelopes and HVAC systems;
- to understand the main issues related to plant components in order to identify the design solutions most suitable to specific applications;
- to analyze the main characteristics of HVAC systems and to carry out a preliminary design activity.

Autonomy of judgment:
The student must demonstrate that has developed the ability to evaluate critically and autonomously the issues related to the design of a building envelope and of a HVAC system and its components.

Communicative skills:
The student should have the ability to explain, in a simple way also to people who are not experts, the operation of HVAC systems and the features that must have a building envelope in order to optimize the thermo-hygrometric performance.

Learning ability:
The student must be able to update his knowledge continuously, through the consultation of texts and publications related to HVAC systems and buildings energetics, in order to integrate the acquired knowledge.


The students must have acquired the following knowledge provided by the course of "Applied thermodynamics":
- fundamental concepts of thermodynamics;
- fundamentals concepts of the balances;
- basic concepts relating to components of plants.


First part (6 ECTS: 48 hours): Properties of moist air and transformations. Applications. The thermo-physical properties of building materials. The thermo-hygrometric verification of building components. Technical standards. Protection techniques of components. Isolation techniques of building components. A brief outline of the use of solar energy, ventilated façade and geothermal energy. The heat capacity of the buildings. Reminders on heat transfer mechanisms. Thermal loads of buildings: the heat losses of the building envelope, thermal bridges, the free contributions, the thermal inertia of buildings, methods of calculation. The verification of building energy consumption, current regulations.
Second part (3 ECTS: 24 hours): Energy certification of the building. General principles on HVAC plants. The production and distribution of heat. Boilers. The central heating systems. The refrigeration cycle. Reminders of basic concepts and laws. The reverse Carnot cycle. The real cycle. The heat pump. Refrigeration units. Types of plants. General features of various types of air conditioning systems.
Exercises: project developed during the course concerning the thermal insulation of a building, evaluation of thermal loads and energy certification by using software.
Third part (3 ECTS: 24 hours): The hydronic circuits. General information. Sizing of pipes and circulation pumps. Air ventilation systems. The motion of the air in the ducts. Fans. Design of air distribution channels in air conditioning systems. Methods of construction. The zoning. Type of system. Features and calculation of various types of air conditioning systems. Air systems, air/water systems, water systems, refrigerant fluid systems. Multi-zone systems, dual channel systems, induction systems, fan coil systems(with or without primary air), variable flow rate systems. Comparison between different types of systems and application criteria. The machines for air conditioning. Autonomous air conditioners. Basics of design of HVAC systems fed by geothermal energy: geothermal heat pumps, geothermal probes, energy piles.
Exercises: project developed during the course concerning an air or water HVAC system for the building analyzed during the first exercise.

The course transfers the contents needed to learn how to manage and design HVAC systems. In particular, it can be conceptually divided into three parts (macro themes):
First part (6 CFU: 48 hours) - Psychrometry and thermal loads: the fundamental concepts of moist air and its transformations are transferred to students, in order to let them learn the physical phenomena that occur both inside building envelopes, and inside the air handling units. The concepts related to the characteristics of building envelopes and to the calculation of summer and winter thermal loads are also transferred.
Second part (3 ECTS: 24 hours) - General characteristics of HVAC systems and energy certification: general concepts on the various types of air conditioning systems and on the energy certification of a building-HVAC system are transferred to the students.
Third part (3 ECTS: 24 hours) - HVAC systems: the sizing and management criteria of the water, air and mixed HVAC systems are transferred to the students, recalling some previously transferred concepts, such as the transformation of moist air.

Teaching Methods

The training contents are transferred mainly carrying out lectures and exercises. The teaching approach includes the stimulation of the student's curiosity regarding the knowledge of practical problems, and the development of the ability to solve them.


- Notes of the teacher, available on the website: www.ingegneria.uniparthenope.it at the page of the teacher.
- Aria umida: climatizzazione ed involucro edilizio, Bellia, Mazzei, Minichiello, Palma, Liguori editore.
- Impianti di climatizzazione per l’edilizia, Alfano, Filippi, Sacchi, Masson editore.

Learning assessment

The objective of the exam is to check the level of achievement of the course objectives previously indicated. The exam is divided into 2 parts:
- an oral test in which the ability to link and compare different aspects of the course will be evaluated;
- Discussion of the project developed by the student autonomously in order to evaluate the mastery of the topics dealt during the course.

More information


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