VRV And VRF System: What’s The Difference?

What are VRV and VRF Systems?

Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) and Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) are both innovative technologies that can simultaneously change temperatures in different rooms in a building as a reaction to external weather conditions. This modified piece of equipment will ensure the desired temperatures are reached throughout the property, heating or cooling the separate rooms accordingly. The only human input needed is to set the main control panel for the ideal room temperature and the system does the rest throughout the day and night. These systems are perfect for larger commercial premises where temperature control is essential during the working day.

Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF)

VRF systems have one of the lowest running costs of any comparable versions available on the market today. Its main benefits are:

– Superior comfort

– Energy efficient

– Easy design, installation, and maintenance.

– Flexibility

The temperature on VRF systems can be adjusted on-demand and maintained without variation, preventing any discomfort or distress to occupants of the building. These units are extremely energy efficient as they only work at the required rate, creating substantial energy savings. This results in greater control of the building’s internal temperature by the property’s occupants and, in turn, is a considerable money-saving solution.

There is a myriad of designs and sizes of fan coils available on the market to fit any installation requirements. The VRF systems on offer today are available either as heat pump or heat recovery systems for locations where both heating and cooling is required.

By using an integrated design that utilizes both heating and cooling technology, superior energy savings are created while giving occupants the choice to either air condition or heat the specific areas in use. In terms of its efficient design, the VRF system boasts practicality, zoned comfort control and dehumidification, sustainability, and stylish design.

How does VRF work?

A VRF aircon unit is a hyper-efficient unit that takes both the indoor and outdoor temperatures into consideration when running to cool the indoor space. Each VRF unit from various manufacturers has its own programmed algorithms, but at its core, all VRF units function the same.

When the indoor temperature is programmed to the desired temperature, the VRF unit starts to work. To calculate how to create the optimal indoor temperature, the unit takes the outside ambient temperature into consideration. This is the defining feature of a VRF unit and what makes them so efficient. The unit will perform the calculation and only run the compressor with enough energy to meet the requirements of the indoor desired temperature. Additionally, if a secondary VRF unit is turned on, the system knows to perform another calculation. Now, to reach the desired temperature, the VRF unit considers the current ambient outdoor temperature, the contribution from a secondary unit, and the indoor temperature to create the desired indoor temperature most efficiently.

VRF units are able to be pieced together and still work as a system. Because of its modular setup, the VRF unit is an excellent choice for expanding projects.

Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV)

Conventional air condition systems are applied to a building as a whole, whereas the VRV system air conditions each room individually making it the ideal option for a building in which the occupancy is constantly changing. Such systems deliver the ultimate in climate comfort, energy efficiency, and control as they only distribute the required amount of refrigerant volume, meaning different areas can experience different climate control settings at the same time. This offers a versatile and bespoke solution for an entire building, in turn minimizing energy consumption while putting the users firmly in control. Benefits of VRV units include:

– Conserves energy and space

– Extensive range of models available

– Varying temperatures on offer

– Design flexibility

– Ease of use

– Ultimate reliability

– Straightforward installation

It is essential that both VRF and VRV unit designs are tailored to fit the installation area with ease and precision. They are perfect for larger commercial buildings which require different temperatures throughout the premises and need separate rooms heated up or cooled down accordingly.

How does VRV work?

VRV is a technology that alternates the refrigerant volume in a system to match a building’s precise requirements. Only a minimum amount of energy is required for a system to maintain set temperatures, and ensure that it automatically shuts off when no occupants are detected in a room. This unique mechanism is more sustainable in the long run, as end-users save on energy costs while reducing their system’s carbon emissions.

With up to 64 indoor air conditioning units connected to one outdoor unit, the VRV system operates similarly to a Multi-Split system. Each individual indoor unit determines the capacity it needs to be based on the current indoor temperature and requested temperature from the remote control (setpoint).

The total demand among all indoor units will determine how the outdoor unit adjusts the refrigerant volume and temperature. By only supplying the cooling or heating that is needed, the inverter compressor continues to save a large amount of energy during VRV operation.

The Advantages of a VRF/VRV System:

  • Packaging – These systems are configured differently, and they are able to fit in more architecturally challenging spaces. They offer slim flat indoor units, tall flat outdoor units and a generally high-tech look. They are quiet and come in multiple size configurations. Several indoor units can be mated to a single outdoor unit, further improving space utilization.
  • Capacity and Efficiency – Small units can be used to efficiently heat and cool small spaces. Multiple units can be joined together on single outdoor units – up to 5 or 6 tons in capacity for single phase power applications (larger is three phase power is available ). Each unit also runs at variable capacity.
  • Zoning – Rooms or areas can be heated and cooled individually with dedicated indoor units, allowing for more flexibility and individual user satisfaction.
  • Power Requirements These are heat pumps that do not require backup electric strips, which often require significant amperage. This is especially helpful for homes in rural areas.

The Disadvantages of a VRF/VRV System:

  • Cost – In many cases, multi-zone high efficiency applications are most costly up front. More units may also mean more maintenance cost over time, although typically not significantly so. Some of these costs are offset by lower electric bills.
  • Lack of Interchangeable Parts and Support – If you start with a brand on your project, you will stick with it for all components for life. Components (including controllers) cannot consistently be swapped across brands, so it is important to buy a known, supported brand from a quality installer. Although this technology is becoming more common, not all technicians are versed in maintenance and repair of these systems.
  • Humidity Management – Compared with the top conventional systems, these systems do not have the same level of humidity management and may require an auxiliary dehumidifier in the property design. The dehumidifier becomes another machine to maintain, repair and, at some point, replace. Coupled with dehumidification, these systems often offer the best of all scenarios – from comfort to efficiency.

About 338aircon.sg

It’s always a good time to talk about the common issues that aircon units have. This way, you’ll be able to spot if there are problems with your unit or not and prepare for its replacement accordingly. If you require our aircon servicing services, Whatsapp us at +65 9222 4141 for a fast and transparent quote.

338 Aircon Servicing Singapore provides an extensive range of Aircon Services including Aircon Servicing, Aircon Repairs, Aircon Installation of the best aircon brands, Chemical Overhaul, Gas Top-up, Aircon Leaking Water, and Aircon Not Cold Fix, and more. We have a team of professional technicians who are equipped with vast knowledge and experience in the Aircon industry. 

We have over 15 years of experience in dealing with aircon works and have completed thousands of aircon works for both residential (Landed, Condo, and HDB) and commercial. We are a highly recommended Aircon Company in Singapore, with many delighted customers and reviews over the years on Google and Facebook. 

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