What are VRV and VRF systems?


Clients of our company are often interested in: what to do if it is necessary to install climate equipment in a large building? Standard split units have a relatively low power and a limited length of connecting pipes for the circulation of the refrigerant.

A large object will require the installation of several air conditioning units, which will result in serious financial costs (starting and ongoing) and will negatively affect the appearance of the building.

An alternative solution is the installation of multi-zone equipment designed to maintain a microclimate in office buildings, shopping centers, hotels and other large facilities.

What does VRV and VRF mean?

VRV (Variabile Refrigirant Volume) or VRF (Variabile Refrigirant Flow) stands for «Variable Refrigerant Volume/Flow». Both markings are assigned to the same type of equipment, only the manufacturer differs.

VRV is a proprietary trademark of Daikin Corporation, other manufacturers use the abbreviation VRF.

What are multi-zone VRV systems?

The multi-zone air conditioning system is similar to conventional air conditioners and consists of outdoor and indoor units connected by pipes for refrigerant circulation. The differences are as follows:

  • A single freon line with branches to evaporators is used;
  • Management is carried out from the central console, a portable remote control or through software installed on a computer;
  • The length of the freon line between the condenser module and the evaporator can reach 150 m;
  • Up to 90m vertical distance between outdoor and indoor units is allowed.

The power and design features of VRV give a lot of advantages over «home» air conditioners:

  • The location of the capacitor does not matter. It is mounted on the roof, in the basement or in a separate room. The circulation of the refrigerant is provided by pumping equipment;
  • One outdoor unit has up to several dozen evaporators;
  • System settings allow you to set a separate temperature for each indoor device;
  • Multizone equipment has the ability to integrate into the ventilation and heating system of the building;
  • VRV systems are characterized by high temperature accuracy. The permissible error is 0.5°C.

The multizone system has the ability to be integrated into the ventilation and heating system of the building

With many advantages of multizone devices, there is only one disadvantage that can be decisive: a high starting cost. The situation is partially mitigated by a balanced power consumption, ease of installation and low maintenance costs. The combination of these factors makes it possible to recoup VRV equipment faster than similar climate equipment.

How to design a multi-zone VRF system?

Good to know: VRF / VRV or chiller? Comparative analysis of air conditioning systems

When selecting equipment, a number of parameters are taken into account that have a key impact on the operation mode, energy consumption and service life of the VRF system. The designer relies on the following characteristics:

  • Power of internal and external blocks;
  • The number and length of pipes of the freon line;
  • Calculation of the optimal room temperature depending on the climatic features of the region;
  • The layout of individual nodes for uniform power distribution;
  • Type and noise level of internal devices.

To get climate equipment that will provide a comfortable temperature in many separate rooms or in one large room, you need to contact professionals. A specialist who is familiar with the nuances of the design and operation of VRV will be able to avoid typical mistakes that inexperienced developers make and create a balanced system designed for the needs of the customer.


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