cod. 1006372

Academic year 2022/23
1° year of course - Second semester
- Christian VARANI
Academic discipline
Fisica tecnica industriale (ING-IND/10)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
32 hours
of face-to-face activities
4 credits
course unit

Integrated course unit module: Technical systems in buildings

Learning objectives

The objectives of the course provide that each student acquires knowledge and skills related to heating and refrigeration systems in buildings. The course aims to provide the knowledge and skills (ie the ability to apply the knowledge) necessary for the plant engineering analysis in the buildings and each of its sub-groups. To develop the necessary threshold skills required in the study of any component of the heating or cooling system, the student is asked to demonstrate the achievement of knowledge and skills on the following aspects of particular importance.
1) To know the theories underlying the mathematical models of simulation of the components of the heating or refrigerating system;
2) identify the critical points that can be improved, evaluate the uncertainties and tolerances inherent in each calculation method;
3) analyze any component of the system to verify if it meets the required efficiency requirements;
4) identify the dominant parameters in the choice of a system or a component, define its dimensions and characteristics;
5) know how to propose the appropriate design changes to increase the performance and energy efficiency of each system or component of the thermal system;
6) identify the constraints imposed by the functional requirements and the characteristics of the systems and materials;
7) know the nomenclature and terminology, both scientific and normative, also in English.
At the end of the training activity, in agreement with the Dublin descriptors, the student must have acquired knowledge and understanding, independence of judgment, communication and display skills, ability to learn and communicate. Furthermore, it must have acquired the ability to evaluate the performance of the components of a heating or refrigeration system and to preliminarily design systems.


Basic knowledge of mathematics and physics. Heat transfer in buildings. Building thermophysics.

Course unit content

The contents cover all the physical and engineering aspects of heating and cooling systems in buildings. First, the basic contents of heat transfer in buildings are introduced; therefore the different plant problems are faced, presenting for each typology the components and their technical characteristics, aimed at efficiency and energy saving. Then it is presented a review of the heating and cooling systems, all the related components such as boilers, heat pumps, heat emission terminals, pumps, compressors, distribution systems. The design is assisted by numerous exercises solved in class and available on the teacher's lecture notes.

Full programme

Thermal plants and climatic data. Transmittance of the components. Project winter thermal load. Project losses due to transmission, ventilation, restart. Thermohygrometric wellbeing.
Heat generation, storage, distribution, regulation (manual, centralized, environmental, consumption system) and emission system. Condensing boiler, fireplace, expansion tank. Heat pumps (COP, GUE, BIN). Natural and forced circulation systems. Distribution with water pipes, air ducts. Pressure drop, pomps and compressors, pressure increase. Valves. Single-pipe, double-pipe systems, with manifolds. Calculation of flow rates and diameters of pipes and channels.
Sizing of radiators and fan coils. Air heating and cooling systems, components and Air Treatment Units, heat recovery unit. Calculation of air flow rates, mass balance and enthalpy equations. Air transformations in AHUs and psychrometric diagram.
Requirements for domestic hot water.


The teacher makes available every year on the Elly platform of the University of Parma the lecture note that covers the entire program of the course (including solved exercises).
He also distributes technical informative material that can be useful both for the solution of exercises, both in the field of plant and component design.

Teaching methods

University CFU 4, 32 hours in the classroom (16 hours of lessons, 16 hours of practice). Teaching is the cognitive framework aimed at setting up, consolidating and evaluating in order to promote acquisitive processes. The teaching method includes lectures, Socratic heuristic lessons, case studies, exercises, cooperative learning, project work. All teaching material is readily available or uploaded to the Elly platform of unipr. The total study load for this teaching module is between 100 and 120 hours, ie between 25 and 30 hours for each credit. This includes the hours in class, the completion of the exercises, the study. Each student has the faculty, in full autonomy, to increase the hours of study. At the time of class corresponds an equal number of hours of classroom exercises closely related to the lessons, during which the student is confronted with solutions to problems or small projects to develop the ability to apply knowledge to real problems, as they arise practically. The teacher explains the traces of development and solution on the blackboard. Continuous assistance is provided; the teacher is always available by appointment and provides assistance or advice by e-mail, at any time. The use of Excel or Matlab is recommended for the numerical solution of the exercises.

Assessment methods and criteria

There is only the final written exam, which ascertains the acquisition of knowledge and skills by conducting a test lasting 120 minutes, without the aid of notes, books or computer tools.
The written test consists of three problems, which span the entire course program, involving all the main topics. The answers require knowledge and application of skills. The questions correspond to the various parts of the chapters illustrated through the lessons and exercises. Each question allows to obtain an adequate score; the correct answer to each question allows the student to get the grade 30 cum laude. Students receive detailed information on the correction criteria and receive extensive information to avoid interpretative misunderstandings regarding the comprehension of the text of the exercises.
The aim of the analytical graduation of the student's performance is the reliable and objective evaluation of the level of achievement of the expected learning outcomes.

Other information

- - -