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The features of VRF System and its advantages over Chiller Water System are enumerated

The VRF System Comprises of:

a. Outdoor air cooled condensing units

b. Indoor fan coil units
c. Simple refrigerant copper piping
d. Power and control cables and
e. Remote and centralized controllers for operating the system

Thus the system installation calls for minimum of builders and electrical works.

a. Outdoor air cooled condensing units are easily located on roof tops of the building.
They can also be located on each floor, in case of a high rise buildings.

There is therefore no need for a separate machine or equipment room as is the

case with Chiller based system.

b. Variety of VRF Indoor Fancoil units are available to suit the requirements at
individual locations in a premise and to meet the clients’ special needs. Floor
mounted, wall mounted, ceiling suspended, ceiling cassette as well as ceiling built-
in type models are available in various cooling capacities.

In chilled water system the choice of indoor units is limited.

c. Minimum of builders and electrical works are called for during the VRF system
installation. Hence it is equally suited for use in new buildings and in the
restoration of existing buildings. No major modifications are necessary for its
installation in existing buildings.

d. The VRF equipment can be switched ON/OFF by end users themselves from their
respective locations using simple controllers.

There is therefore no need to have a specially trained team of technicians as in the

case of a chilled water system to operate and control the system.

i. The VRF system also has the optional facility to provide a centralized
control in addition to operation and control by individual controllers.


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Such centralized control system can be operated from a convenient
location in the building. The system provides for monitoring the
performance of units in individual rooms. It can also be used to switch
ON/OFF the units at any desired locations at any given time without
entering the particular room. The system has facility to indicate nature
of fault when any init develops a fault and a prompt action can be taken
to rectify the fault.

ii. The indoor unit’s cooling operation can be controlled to maintain

desired temperature in any location in the premises according to end
user’s needs and preferences.

There is no such flexibility of operation available with the standard

indoor fancoil units in chilled water system. If individual temperature
control is desired at different locations, an additional elaborate control
system is needed. This will call for additional investment while
maintenance element also increases.

Fault finding in VRF

In the unlikely event of a fault in the VRF system, air conditioning will
be available as usual in most parts of the building. It is also easy to
locate the fault and rectify the problem.

In sharp contrast to this, the air conditioning in most part of the

buildings will time consuming and costly.

Direct Cost Saving with VRF

The cost of provision of air conditioning in a building comprises of cost

of equipment as well as the installation, including that for builders and
electrical works. Builders work is carried out by the main contractor
and electrical work by an authorized electrical sub-contractor. Air
conditioning sub-contractors provide for equipment cost with
installation only, excluding builders and electrical works relating to
power supply in their offer.

The installation of chilled water system calls for elaborate builders work
and additional electrical works as compared to that for installing a VRV

VRF suitability to Present Day Condition

In the present day, it has become essential to provide a standby

generator to cater for periods of power supply shut down.

Chiller units are high capacity units. Hence the capacity of the Standby
generator has to be sufficiently large to meet the starting load demand
of such high capacity chillers and a standby generator with a larger


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capacity than the normal power needs of the system will have to be
installed. This, again, adds to the cost of the project.

In comparison to this, as the VRF system permits modular operation

where load can be gradually transferred to the standby generator, and a
generator with the capacity to meet normal power loads will meet the
requirements. Thus there is cost saving on both the sizing and running
cost of the standby generator.

Cost of VRF

The VRF equipment which have such distinct advantages as enumerated

above, may be marginally costlier than other types of air conditioning

However, the cost of an air conditioning system also includes that of

Builder’s and electrical works apart from the equipment cost.

Builder’s and electrical works do not form part of an Air conditioning

sub contract but are treated as pat of the Main Civil works contract.

In a VRF system, the Builders and electric works required are minimal
and simple and hence cost much less than in other systems of air

Therefore the overall system cost in VRF system of air conditioning

including that of builders and electrical works will compare very
favorably with the system cost of other types of air conditioning. At the
same time, the VRF system offers several advantages over other systems
of air conditioning.


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