Finding the right air conditioning system for your new building can be challenging. There are several available systems, and all the systems have their own benefits. A VRV (variable refrigerant volume) and VRF (variable refrigerant flow) air conditioning system is hyper-efficient and can effectively cool an entire building fast. But what is the difference between VRV and VRF? Let's dive in a little deeper to understand how a VRV and VRF system differ, and learn the many benefits to this technology.

VRV Compared To VRF

Some people mistakenly believe that VRV and VRF air conditioning systems are two independent HVAC systems. In reality, these two systems use the same exact technology. Originally created in the early 1980s, VRV systems were designed by Daikin. This company was the industry leader at the time, so they trademarked the VRV name to describe the system. As other companies adopted the same technology, they used the term VRF to describe their systems. Using the same technology, VRF has continued to be the preferred terminology used to describe the type of HVAC system.

What is VRF?

When compared to other HVAC systems available, a VRF system is one of the most advanced, energy-efficient air conditioning systems available. A VRF system has four defining features.

1.      First, these systems only use refrigerant to create cool air. Compare this to a traditional HVAC system that uses water to cool the air. In a traditional system, refrigerant is only used to chill the water, which is then circulated through the system.

2.      Secondly, a VRF system uses an inverter compressor. These low-energy compressors have very limited power consumption and allow the unit to pull only enough energy to perform a partial cool of the system.

3.      Next, VRF systems have multiple air handlers that can be connected together within the same refrigerant loop.

4.      Lastly, this defining feature gives VRF systems the ability to expand modularly for growing projects.

How Does VRF Work?

A VRF air conditioning 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 programed 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 their modular set up, the VRF unit is an excellent choice for expanding projects.


Contact Gausman & Moore Today

Depending on your project type, a VRF system may be an excellent, efficient choice to effectively cool your building. Our team of engineers at Gausman & Moore can help answer any questions about VRF air conditioning units and advise the best way to incorporate this technology in your next project. To learn more about the services we offer, or our past projects, contact our team today.