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What Are VRF Systems?

VRF is the abbreviation for Variable Refrigerant Flow. VRF has become a popular method of heating and cooling spaces in the United States. VRF uses a refrigerant in either a superheated vapor state or sub-cooled liquid to either heat or cools your home spaces. Although this technology was invented in 1982 in Japan, it was not introduced in the United States until the 2000s.

However, the new technology spread relatively quickly, and it has become the most preferred heating and cooling technology in almost every application. Many people tend to confuse between VRF and VRV. However, there is no significant difference between the two technologies; in fact, VRV and VRF are two different terms that technically refer to the type of HVAC technology.

How Does VRF Work?

VRF is a sophisticated technology that is based on four working principles;

  • Refrigerant only is the first principle where the refrigerant is usually the only coolant material in the VRF system. This is different from the typical chilled water systems where the refrigerant is typically used for cooling/heating the water which is then circulated throughout the entire system.
  • The system also features inverter compressors that lower power consumption by applying partial cooling and heating loads.
  • A VRF system also incorporates several air handlers as indoor units on the same refrigerant circuit/loop.
  • There is also the principle of modular expansion that is specifically applicable to large projects that can grow in stages.

Types of VRF Systems

There are two common types of VRF systems in use today.

The two pipe VRF System: This type of VRF system only has two pipes connected to the indoor unit. One of the pipes is the liquid pipe while the other is the vapor pipe. All door units operate in the same mode with the coolant flowing from the outdoor unit to all the indoor units. No heat exchange happens between the pipes.

The three pipe VRF system: Its name suggests that it features three pipes. As opposed to the two pipe VRF system, this type of system also features some method of heat recovery between its indoor units. The three pipes are the liquid pipe, vapor pipe, and the suction pipe.

Contact Kayl Heating & Air Inc for quality HVAC installation, maintenance, and repair.