VRF air conditioning? Climateq explains why you should always use occupancy controls

VRF systems are becoming increasingly more popular due to the degree of flexibility they allow for the users.

Because VRF uses an enclosed refrigerant circuit, the air conditioning engineer can at the outset, determine the required capacity of the outdoor compressor ensuring the availability of sufficient heating or cooling of the refrigerant given the number of rooms requiring air conditioning and their size. This calculation would normally be made based upon each indoor unit operating at capacity however where there are rooms that may not be used on a regular basis, a lower capacity compressor might be specified, working on the assumption that not all the indoor units would be operating at the same time.

The efficiency of the VRF system is based upon the refrigerant flow rate required, which in turn is based upon the requirements sent to it by the indoor units. If there are less indoor units calling for heating/cooling, then the refrigerant flow is reduced. The compressor adjusts the flow rate and the power current requirement to suit. Conversely, if there were a greater number of indoor units in operation, then the refrigerant flow and power consumption would be increased.

For the occupant, this means that each room can be set to suit individual comfort conditions in either heating or cooling, but not both at the same time. Where there is a requirement for heating and cooling at the same time, a more sophisticated VRF heat recovery system can be specified that takes heat from rooms being cooled and reuses it for heating rooms that have a heating requirement.

The more air conditioners on the VRF system, the greater the power usage and associated running costs. Unfortunately, air conditioners are often left running in empty rooms which not only increases energy costs and carbon emissions, it also means that the system can be under capacity and the refrigerant can’t heat/cool to the temperature being demanded by those rooms that are in use.

A cost-effective solution to this problem is the use of occupancy controls which turn air conditioners off after the occupants have departed. This ensures a much-improved efficiency of the overall system and a reduction in energy costs. The WiREMS range of air con controls are affordable, easy to install and designed specifically to combat this problem. They come with the added advantage of limiting the temperature to prevent excessive heating/cooling as well as the option to include wireless sensors which turn the air conditioner off if windows or doors have been left open, all of which reduces the demand on the overall system.

If you have a VRF system, talk to us about how the WiREMS will make sure that air conditioners are always operating efficiently ensuring the comfort of room users whilst at the same time minimising your operational overheads.

Call us today on +44 (0)1202 556122 for professional and friendly advice

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