Engineering Institute of Technology


Unit Name


Unit Code



Unit Duration



Bachelor of Science (Engineering)


Duration 3 years

Year Level


Unit Creator/Reviewer





BME207S, BME209S

Credit Points



Total Program Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery

Online or on-campus.

Unit Workload

(Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week)

Lecture : 1.5 hours

Guided labs / Group work / Assessments : 2 hours Tutorial : 1.5 hours

Guided Personal Study recommended : 5 hours

The objective in presenting this unit is to provide students with a structured and in-depth knowledge of the technical principles and applications of HVAC systems.


The subject matter covered in this unit will include: a detailed overview of HVAC fundamentals such as water, solid, and gas properties; the concepts associated with heat transfer and fluid flow; a review of psychrometric charts; an examination of the factors that influence design choices; indoor air quality; load calculations; heating and ventilation; and, air conditioning systems. Students will be introduced to the principles associated with state-of- the-art systems including Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems (DOAS) and enthalpy wheels.


At the conclusion of this unit, students will have been imparted with the requisite knowledge to evaluate the functional aspects of various air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment, discuss and apply various control methodologies, carry out HVAC system maintenance, and systematically troubleshoot HVAC system faults.


Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Examine the fundamental HVAC concepts and principles.

  2. Interpret and utilize psychrometric charts.

  3. Perform heating and cooling load calculations.

  4. Investigate architectural, engineering, and interior design choices for good Indoor Air Quality (IAQ).

  5. Detail the procedures involved in HVAC system design.

  6. Install, maintain, and troubleshoot HVAC systems.

    Completing this unit may add to students professional development/competencies by:

    1. Fostering personal and professional skills and attributes in order to:

      1. Conduct work in a professionally diligent, accountable and ethical manner.

      2. Effectively use oral and written communication in personal and professional domains.

      3. Foster applicable creative thinking, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

      4. Develop initiative and engagement in lifelong learning and professional development.

      5. Enhance collaboration outcomes and performance in dynamic team roles.

      6. Effectively plan, organise, self-manage and manage others.

      7. Professionally utilise and manage information.

      8. Enhance technologist literacy and apply contextualised technologist skills.

    2. Enhance investigatory and research capabilities in order to:

      1. Develop an understanding of systematic, fundamental scientific, mathematic principles, numerical analysis techniques and statistics applicable to technologists.

      2. Access, evaluate and analyse information on technologist processes, procedures, investigations and the discernment of technologist knowledge development.

      3. Foster an in-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge, computer science, engineering design practice and contextual factors applicable to technologists.

      4. Solve basic and open-ended engineering technologist problems.

      5. Understand the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds associated with sustainable engineering practice.

    3. Develop engineering application abilities in order to:

      1. Apply established engineering methods to broadly-defined technologist problem solving.

      2. Apply engineering technologist techniques, tool and resources.

      3. Apply systematic technologist synthesis and design processes.

      4. Systematically conduct and manage technologist projects, work assignments, testing and experimentation.

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.


Stage 1 Competencies and Elements of Competency


Knowledge and Skill Base


Systematic, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the technology domain.


Conceptual understanding of the, mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the technology domain.


In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the technology domain.


Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain.


Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain.


Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the technology domain.


Engineering Application Ability


Application of established engineering methods to broadly-defined problem solving within the technology domain.


Application of engineering techniques, tools and resources within the technology domain.


Application of systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain.


Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain.


Professional and Personal Attributes


Ethical conduct and professional accountability.


Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.


Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.


Professional use and management of information.


Orderly management of self and professional conduct.


Effective team membership and team leadership.

Successfully completing this Unit will contribute to the recognition of attainment of the following graduate attributes aligned to the AQF Level 7 criteria, Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologists and the Sydney Accord:


Graduate Attributes

(Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Professional and Personal Development)

EA Stage 1 Competencies

Learning Outcomes

A. Knowledge of Science and Engineering Fundamentals

A1. Breadth of knowledge of engineering and systematic, theory-based understanding of underlying principles, and depth of knowledge across one or more engineering sub- disciplines


1.1, 1.3


1, 2, 4, 5, 6

A2. Knowledge of mathematical, statistical and computer sciences appropriate for engineering technology




2, 3

A3. Discernment of knowledge development within the technology domain


2, 4, 5, 6

A4. Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the technology domain





B. Problem Solving, Critical Analysis and Judgement

B1. Ability to research, synthesise, evaluate and innovatively apply theoretical concepts, knowledge and approaches across diverse engineering technology contexts to effectively solve engineering problems


1.4, 2.1, 2.3



B2. Technical and project management skills to design complex systems and solutions in line with developments in engineering technology professional practice


2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2


5, 6

C. Effective Communication

C1. Cognitive and technical skills to investigate, analyse and organise information and ideas and to communicate those ideas clearly and fluently, in both written and spoken forms appropriate to the audience





C2. Ability to engage effectively and appropriately across a diverse range of cultures



D. Design and Project Management

D1. Apply systematic synthesis and design processes within the technology domain

2.1, 2.2, 2.3

4, 5, 6

D2. Apply systematic approaches to the conduct and management of projects within the technology domain




E. Accountability, Professional and Ethical Conduct

E1. Innovation in applying engineering technology, having regard to ethics and impacts including economic; social; environmental and sustainability


1.6, 3.1, 3.4


E2. Professional conduct, understanding and accountability in professional practice across diverse circumstances including team work, leadership and independent work


3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6


This table details the mapping of the unit graduate attributes to the unit learning outcomes and the Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Engineering Technologist.




Graduate Attributes














Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for Engineering Technologist

























































































































































































Unit Learning Outcomes




























































Student assessment

Assessment Type

When assessed



(% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed


Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid flow, psychrometry.

Students will complete a quiz with MCQ type answers to 30 questions to demonstrate relevant knowledge of the basics of HVAC and psychrometric processes.


Week 3




1, 2


Assessment 2

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Indoor design, outdoor climate, ventilation, heating and cooling loads.

Students will be required to answer essay type questions on indoor and outdoor design considerations, and perform heating and cooling load calculations.


Week 5






Assessment 3

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project

/ Report

Example Topic: Indoor air quality, insulation, HVAC system design and operation, air flow and pressure losses in ducts.

Students will answer questions on design choices for good indoor air quality, describe the design and operation of different types of HVAC systems, perform calculations to determine pressure and dynamic losses in ducts and also perform simple remote lab exercises.


Week 8




4, 5


Assessment 4

Type: Exam or project

Example Topic: Design an air-conditioning system.

Students will design a simple air-conditioning system for a given application by performing the necessary calculations.


Final Week






Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.






1 to 7

Prescribed and recommended readings




McQuiston, FC, Parker, JD & Spitler, JD 2004, Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning: Analysis and Design, 6th edn, Wiley, ISBN-13: 978-0471470151



Practical Fundamentals of Heating, Ventilation & Air conditioning (HVAC) for Engineers and Technicians, IDC Technologies, Perth

Vedavarz, A, Kumar, S & Hussain, MI 2007, HVAC: The Handbook of Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning for Design and Implementation, 4th edn, Industrial Press, ISBN-13: 978- 0831131630. Online version available at: heating/url_slug:hvac-handbook-heating?b- q=HVAC%3A%20Heating%2C%20Ventilation%20%26%20Air%20Conditioning%20Handboo k%20for%20Design%20%26%20Implementation&sort_on=default&b-group-by=true&b- search-type=tech-reference&b-sort-on=default



Journal, website HVAC-Handbook-2013-web.pdf




Notes and Reference texts

Knovel library: IDC Technologies

Other material advised during the lectures


Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.


Topic 1

HVAC Fundamentals

  1. Properties of solids, gases, and water

  2. Force, work, power, energy calculations

  3. Heat and temperature

  4. Change of phase

  5. Pressure, density, specific volume, and mass flow

  6. Principles of thermodynamics

  7. Temperature and its measurement

  8. Pressure and temperature relationship

  9. Laws of thermodynamics

  10. Fundamentals of heat transfer and fluid flow


Topic 2


  1. Introduction to psychrometry

  2. Physical and thermodynamic properties of air

  3. Development of the psychrometric chart

  4. Psychrometric processes

  5. Measurement of wet and dry bulb temperature of air

  6. Calculations


Topic 3

Design Conditions and Comfort Air-Conditioning

  1. Thermodynamics of the human body

  2. Indoor comfort considerations and role of clothing

  3. Comfort charts

  4. Indoor design conditions

  5. Outdoor climate considerations

  6. Design of ventilation systems

  7. Dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS)

  8. Enthalpy wheels


Topic 4

Heating and Cooling Load Calculations

  1. Heat flow through structures

  2. Infiltration and exfiltration

  3. Solar heat gains

  4. Internal, external, and system heat gain

  5. Miscellaneous heat sources

  6. Design of air-conditioning systems

  7. By-pass factor (BF) consideration


Topic 5

Insulation of Air-conditioning Systems

  1. Desired properties of an ideal insulating material

  2. Types of insulation materials

  3. Factors affecting thermal conductivity

  4. Heat transfer through insulation

  5. Economical thickness of insulation

  6. Insulated systems

  7. Importance of relative humidity for the selection of insulation


Topic 6


  1. Central air conditioning systems

  2. IAQ definition

  3. Effects on occupants

  4. Basic investigation techniques

  5. Architectural, engineering, and interior design choices for good IAQ


Topic 7

HVAC Systems

  • System design

  • System operation

  • All-air systems

  • All-water systems

  • Air-water systems

  • Heat pumps

  • Air handling units


Topic 8

Duct Design, Air flow and its Distribution

  1. Air flow and pressure losses

  2. Dynamic losses in ducts

  3. Duct design and arrangement

  4. Air distribution system

  5. Ventilation systems

  6. Effect of vertical temperature gradient and corrective measures


Topic 9

Air-Conditioning Equipment and Refrigeration

  1. Air filters, humidifiers, dehumidifiers

  2. Fans and blowers

  3. Grills and registers

  4. Refrigeration methods

  5. Air refrigeration system

  6. Vapor compression and absorption refrigeration systems

  7. Important refrigerants

  8. Future refrigerants


Topic 10

Controls and Instrumentation

  1. Definitions

  2. Elements of control

  3. Control system types

  4. Control methods

  5. Selection of control system

  6. Typical control systems

  7. Control specifications


Topic 11

Installation, Maintenance and Troubleshooting

  1. Installation

  2. Charging the refrigeration unit

  3. Adding oil to the compressor

  4. Commissioning

  5. Other service operations

  6. Do’s and don’ts

  7. Maintenance

  8. Troubleshooting procedures


Topic 12

Unit Review

In the final week students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues. Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

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