The VRV/VRF system is a multi-split type air conditioner for commercial buildings that uses variable refrigerant flow control to provide customers with the ability to maintain individual zone control in each room and floor of a building.
System types VRV/VRF systems can be used for cooling only, heat pumping and heat recovery. On heat pump models indoor units can be in either mode but all must be in the same mode if served by the same outdoor unit. The cooling only and heat pump models are basically large, sophisticated, efficient multi-splits. The heat recovery or simultaneous mode systems provide both heating and cooling from the same outdoor unit and thus exploit this technology most effectively. They offer considerable potential for energy savings in many applications.
Energy saving The most sophisticated VRV/VRF systems can have indoor units, served by a single outdoor unit, in both heating and cooling modes simultaneously. This mixed mode operation leads to energy savings as both ends of the thermodynamic cycle are delivering useful heat exchange. If a system has a cooling COP (Coefficient of Performance) of 3, and a heating COP of 4, then heat recovery operation could yield a COP as high as 7. It should be noted that this perfect balance of heating and cooling demand is unlikely to occur for many hours each year, but whenever mixed mode is used energy is saved. In mixed mode the energy consumption is dictated by the larger demand, heating or cooling, and the lesser demand, cooling or heating is delivered free. Units are now available to deliver the heat removed from space cooling into hot water for space heating, domestic hot water or leisure applications, so that mixed mode is utilised for more of the year.