Air Treatment has been given an amazing opportunity to install a sophisticated HVAC system in a very unique application. We have been contracted to install a Mitsubishi VRF (Variable Flow Refrigerant) System in the National Guard Armory in Raleigh, NC. It is an exciting project where we can install this specialized equipment to handle the specific requirements that are needed for this facility.
Unique Aspects of this VRF System
A VRF system is composed of an outdoor air conditioning unit, but instead of being matched up to one indoor unit it can be matched with multiple air handlers, each with their own thermostat control. What’s unique about a VRF in addition to the multiple air handlers is that each of these air handlers can operate in either heating or cooling mode regardless of what the other air handlers are calling for. How these systems can simultaneously heat certain zones while cooling others is done with a two-pipe system using a branch circuit controller. The heat extracted from zones requiring cooling is transferred to the zones requiring heating through the branch circuit controller. This type of arrangement makes the best use of the energy used to operate the system.
Inverter Compressor Versus Single or Dual Stage Compressor
These units also incorporate using an inverter compressor versus a typical single or dual-stage compressor. An inverter compressor can support a variable refrigerant flow, which allows them to operate only at the needed capacity allowing for substantial energy savings and increased comfort. While the initial cost of equipment and installation is greater than traditional systems, energy savings of up to 55% can be expected compared to traditional systems as well as increased control of temperatures for each area served by the individual air handlers. This makes these systems an attractive option over the life of the system.
Comfort, Control, and Efficiency Make These Systems an Excellent Choice
Although fairly new to the US market, these systems have been in use in Japan since the 1980s. Currently, VRFs are used in about 50% of their midsize office buildings and 33% of their large commercial buildings.
The unique capabilities of these systems make VRF’s an excellent choice to handle a space where comfort, control, and efficiency play an essential part in the design considerations.