What Is Variable Refrigerant Flow System?

Variable Refrigerant Flow Systems (VRF) is often referred as “Rolls Royce” of air conditioning systems. This is a very sophisticated system which was invented by Daikin Industries in early 1980s. A typical VRF system comprises of an outdoor unit that may contain one or multiple compressors. The outdoor unit is connected to several indoor units or air handlers through refrigerant piping. The communication wiring is comprised of a 2 wired cable. These form a loop connecting all the indoor units to the outdoor unit.

Now the question comes how does it work? The essence is hidden in the name Variable Refrigerant Flow air conditioning systems. The refrigerant flows from the outdoor unit to the air handlers to cool the room air. But the system can control the amount of refrigerant flowing to the multiple evaporators (indoor units). As a result you can have evaporator units of differing capacities and configurations connected to single condensing unit according to the need. This can be a great energy saving measure. Each room will be an individualized comfort zone. Some of the advanced VRF systems allow you to simultaneously heat and cool different rooms.

As you turn on an indoor unit, the outdoor unit will get signal immediately. It will start operation by judging factors such as outdoor temperature, the setting at the air handler unit etc. It will operate the compressor accordingly. When another indoor unit is powered on, the outdoor unit will recalculate the requirements from indoor and increase the compressor’s output consequently. This process goes on continuously as on when a change happens at the air handler’s end. The system is absolutely automatic. You can change the setting at the air handler according to your needs and preferences. Some systems also come with remote controls.
VRF System types

• Cooling only system: These can only cool the rooms and not heat them. This is not a very popular system among VRFs.

• Heat Pump systems: These are very popular models that can both heat and cool rooms but not simultaneously.

• Heat Recovery systems: Although not very popular, these are most sophisticated among VRF systems. They can cool and heat different rooms at the same time.





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