Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology made its way into the U.S. market awhile back. As it grows in popularity, manufacturers continue to create innovative equipment and expand possible applications. This dedication and ingenuity is helping to spur the VRF market further into mainstream HVAC contracting. The following items are a sampling of products and applications in the VRF market.


Daikin AC (Americas) Inc.

The Daikin AC (Americas) Inc. Round-Flow Cassette — FXFQ_PVJU — features a built-in condensate pump, eliminating the need to purchase one locally at the time of installation. Outside air integration is possible. The unit measures 11 (length) by 33 (width) by 33 (height) inches, and installation is easier due to a reduction in weight and a lightweight fan that also improves efficiency, said the manufacturer. The design of the Round Flow ceiling cassette features a new drain pan structure and discharge grille style, resulting in effective and uniformed 360-degree air distribution into the space. The unit features a hollow, serrated design turbo fan combined with a new high-efficiency fan motor. Installation and service benefits include built-in self diagnostics. It comes standard with a washable filter.

Fujitsu General America Inc.

Fujitsu’s Airstage™ V-II™VRF mini-split heat pump system is a perfect fit for small and large buildings, according to the company. Airstage V-II systems feature an extensive line-up from 6 to 24 ton, connectable indoor unit capacity ratio up to 130 percent, and up to 45 indoor units per one VRF system. Indoor units come in a variety of styles: wall mount, cassette, compact duct, floor/ceiling mounted, and high static pressure duct. Outdoor units may be combined together using twining kits to create up to 24 ton with a group of three outdoor units. Applications include churches, medical facilities, hotels, apartment buildings, office buildings, and schools. Several accessory controllers are offered for added convenience to end users.

LG Electronics USA Inc.

LG Electronics USA Inc.’s Multi V III Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) commercial air conditioning system for large-scale facilities is available for commercial office buildings, hotels, hospitals, and schools. The third generation in LG’s Multi V series uses VRF technology, which enables improved energy efficiency by allowing occupants to choose whether to air condition or heat only the zones in use. According to the company, it delivers six key benefits for building owners: LG Inverter Scroll, rapid start cooling, AHRI 1230 certification, compact footprint, longer piping distances, and enhanced energy efficiency. The company also launched a new website, Dedicated to its VRF technology, the site is designed to be a user friendly guide for planning and implementing VRF HVAC solutions. It uses advanced returning-user recognition technology, also called “fuzzy logic,” to customize content and improve information finding capabilities.

Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating

The Hydronic Heat Exchanger from Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating is a closed-circuit water heater that uses waste heat to provide hot water for commercial buildings. This unit is connectable to Mitsubishi Electric VRF units, water source units, and hyper-heating inverter units — significantly increasing the overall operating efficiency of the system when coupled with a heat recovery system, said the company. The system can produce cool water to 50˚F and heat water up to 115˚F. It is available in capacities of 36,000 and 72,000 Btuh. A second configuration, the Booster unit, can produce hot water up to 160°F and is available in a capacity of 36,000 Btuh. 


Daikin AC (Americas) Inc.

Daikin AC donated a VRV-S system to a family selected to receive a newly constructed home featured on the reality television show, “Extreme Makeover; Home Edition.” The variable refrigerant volume heating and cooling system consists of two outdoor units, VRV-S heat pumps, and four ducted concealed ceiling units. The system will be controlled by four, seven-day programmable controllers. The new home located in Geneva, N.Y., was built in one week. Bill Ciamarro (pictured), a field superintendent with TAG Mechanical Inc., installed one of four of the donated units. The entire system was installed by TAG Mechanical and helped the structure earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold status.

Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating

Mercy Corps, the Portland-based global humanitarian organization, moved its headquarters in the downtown Chinatown neighborhood that’s been targeted for redevelopment. The Mercy Corps headquarters is a partial existing building renovation and partial new construction. Reaching for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum status, James Thomas, principal at Glumac Engineering Inc., Portland, Ore., recommended the VRF zoning system from Mitsubishi Electric. The HVAC engineering firm specified a full complement of Mitsubishi City Multi® VRF equipment be installed. This helped the company earn 100 percent of energy and atmosphere LEED credits.

Publication date: 11/21/2011