VRF refers to variable refrigerant flow or volume. It is a flow system that many people are not familiar with. These are potent and energy-efficient cooling and heating systems that provide a swift return on investment. The systems were initially invented in Japan back in 1982. In early 2005, VRFs became quite an affordable way to warm up and cool commercial building structures.
You can find a VRF system with great design flexibility that fulfills the varying installation of multi-story buildings. It includes a rooftop, a focused fitting of external units, and a specific floor arrangement of indoor units. This extraordinary flexibility is due to the large-capacity union, adequate connection capability, and a more significant static pressure framework.
The Working of VRF Systems
There is complex technology behind VRF systems. These heat recovery systems or pumps give a more significant amount of cooling and heating for every outdoor and indoor unit without air ducts. You can compare them to an enhanced ductless, mini-split version.
With this system, a building has various indoor units utilized by one outdoor condensing unit. This unit can be either a heat recovery system or a heat pump. The significant difference between a heat recovery system and a heat pump is that the former can give simultaneous cooling and heating.
The outdoor unit consists of compressors with inverter-driven fans. This implies that their speed differs by adjusting the power supply frequency. The refrigerant amount that the compressor delivers depends on the rate. Upon sending a demand from the indoor unit to the outdoor unit, the outdoor unit gives a particular refrigerant amount to the individual indoor units.
What Are the Energy Saving Technologies of VRF Systems?
VRF systems boast various energy-saving technologies. Some of the key technologies of a VRF system include the following:
- Large propeller fan – It uses CFD (computational fluid dynamics) technology, so it does not operate with noise and gives high performance.
- 3-phase DC and motor – Energy efficiency improved considerably with the usage of a direct current fan motor with driver control. It also functions silently.
- Subcooling heat exchanger – The double pipe design obtains good heat exchanging capacity, which has internal projections.
- Large-capacity direct current inverter compressor – The high bandwidth DC compressor has the excellent intermediate ability.
- 4-phase heat exchanger – The four-phase heat exchanger raises the surface area. It also enhances heat-switching efficacy.
- Front slanted air-intake port – The distinctly designed front intake enhances the air moving toward the heat exchanger when several outdoor units are installed.
What Type of System Should You Choose – Heat Recovery or Heat Pump?
Both the heat recovery and heat pump systems give cooling and heating. A heat pump system delivers either cooling or heating as needed. A heat recovery system is a good choice for simultaneous heating or cooling.
It is most efficient when the cooling and heating loads are balanced. This is done by increasing the energy amount transferred from one zone to the other via the refrigerant.
The size of the units you pick should be based according to the design of the system. Smaller units give zoning flexibility. They also need less refrigerant and piping per system. You should also consider the flexibility of the piping options available. A system that offers greater options for combining headers and Y-shaped joints can reduce the amount of refrigerant and piping used. Thus, they minimize the overall cost of the job.