This no clear demarcation between a zone, served by a unit package, and a single room or part of a room. A zone is an arbitrary selection by the design engineer, and air-handling packages are available in a very wide range of sizes to cope with such a range of loads. By definition, all such units are room air-conditioners, and fall into three classifications: 1. Self-contained, where all of the refrigeration circuit components are integral parts of the unit. If not specifically stated, it is assumed to be air cooled, i.e. with an integral air-cooled condenser. 2. Water cooled, having an integral water-cooled condenser. 3. Split, having the condenser remote from the air-handling section, and connected to it with refrigeration piping.
The compressor may be in either section. The size of a packaged unit will be limited by installation restrictions, both in handling items into place and in the quantity of air required by the condenser. Units up to 50 kW cooling capacity are in common use. Control of the indoor cooled condition will be by thermostat in the return airstream, and thus based on room dry bulb temperature. The resulting humidity level will depend on coil characteristics and air flow.
Packaged air-conditioners for tropical applications commonly have a design coil sensible/total ratio in the order of 0.7 with entering air at 50% saturation, and will give indoor conditions nearer 45% saturation if used in temperature climates with less latent load. Winter heating items fitted within room air-conditioners may be electric resistance elements, hot water or steam coils, or reverse cycle (heat pump). One model of water-cooled unit operates with a condenser water temperature high enough to be used also in the heating coil.
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