VRF Air Conditioning Solutions Explained

A new guide to variable refrigerant flow (VRF) air conditioning is designed to help improve understanding of the options for commercial HVAC systems.

VRF is one of the most significant air conditioning solutions of recent years and has become increasingly popular because it allows for simultaneous heating and cooling, which can be essential to maintaining comfortable temperatures in a commercial environment. Different areas of an office building or hotel may require very different environments, depending on the preferences of occupants or the work carried out.

VRF solves the problem through separate office air conditioning units, each of which has its own temperature controls. The process begins with an outdoor unit, often placed on the roof of a building, which is connected to the indoor units.

Refrigerant is distributed according to how much is needed to reach the desired temperature, while heat from areas that are too warm is recovered and redistributed to areas that are too cool.

Manufacturer Innovation

The new guide, published by CIBSE and the Institution of Refrigeration (IOR), aims to raise awareness of the options available to commercial HVAC designers. The IOR said manufacturer innovation has helped establish VRF as an effective commercial heating and cooling technology for a wide range of applications over the last 30 years.

“With increased focus on energy efficiency, carbon emissions and sustainability, the need for guidance on the design, application and use of VRF cooling and heating systems has become more important,” it added.

Features of the guide include:

  • explanations of the differences between VRF and alternative technologies
  • information on the availability and comparability of systems
  • information on the calculation of heating and cooling loads and effects on component selection
  • information on maintenance, training and resources

The key to achieving the environmental and economic potential of any commercial HVAC system is understanding the building and its people before configuring a solution, which is why the 361 Consulting team combine an understanding of the technology available with an assessment of occupants’ needs as part of every design.

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