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HVAC Pump Characteristics and Energy Efficiency

COURSE NO: M05-007
HVAC Pump Characteristics and Energy Efficiency
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course provides the students with a firm understanding of the basic principles that centrifugal pumps operate under. Topics covered include the performance curve, series operation, parallel operation, the affinity laws, friction, specific gravity & viscosity, suction lift, and NPSH.


Most HVAC systems are designed to handle the maximum potential temperature extremes, keeping the building cool on the hottest days and warm on the coldest days. As a result, the HVAC system only needs to work at full capacity on the ten or so hottest and coldest days of the year. On the other 345 days, the system could be operated at reduced capacity.


HVAC pumps are generally designed for peak conditions and the output of these systems is controlled by mechanically constricting the flow with throttling valves. This wastes energy. By using a variable speed drives, chilled water flows can be matched to actual heating and cooling demands.


This 5 PDH online course is applicable to mechanical and HVAC engineers, process engineers, architects, building designers, contractors, energy auditors, facility managers who are interested in gaining a better understanding of HVAC pump characteristics and energy efficiency.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Understand the basic types of pumps used in HVAC applications
  • Understand the key fluid properties such as viscosity, density, temperature, specific weight, concentration and vapor pressure
  • Understand why pump performance in typically rated feet of head and not pressure.
  • Understand the various head terms such as suction lift, static head, discharge head, friction head, velocity head and pressure head
  • Understand the laws of affinity and illustrate them with a pump operating under VFD control
  • Understand the pump curve, system curve, operating point and the best efficiency point for the pump operation
  • Understand the flat, smooth and drooping characteristic curve for the centrifugal pump and the applications for which it is best suited
  • Understand the importance of specific speed and their relationship to the shape of impeller (radial, mixed or axial)
  • Understand pump cavitation and its relationship to net positive suction head (NPSH) available and required
  • Understand the various techniques for flow control including throttling, speed adjustment and multi-pump installation considerations in parallel or series arrangement
  • Learn by example the method to compute the frictional head through the HVAC chilled water system
  • Define the pumping system efficiency and the tips to achieve the same
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review the course document titled "HVAC Pump Characteristics and Energy Efficiency".

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
HVAC Pump Characteristics and Energy Efficiency (1.8 MB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of twenty five (25) questions to earn 5 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on the entire document.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: