Want an air conditioning system that’s cheaper to run and better for the planet? HVRF air conditioning is the solution that many businesses and homeowners have been waiting for.
Responding to stricter regulations and growing environmental concerns, HVRF is a greener climate control option that doesn’t compromise on performance. Find out how it works, the best places to install it, and its top 5 benefits here.
What’s HVRF air conditioning?
HVRF air conditioning is also known as Hybrid VRF. It’s similar to VRF air conditioning, which uses one external unit, multiple internal units and refrigerant piping to cool different rooms and spaces independently. The big difference is that HVRF uses a combination of refrigerant and water to do this, instead of just refrigerant.
HVRF was developed by Mitsubishi Electric. The manufacturer recognised cultural and legislative pressure to rethink how we heat and cool spaces, and created a system that uses less refrigerant, emits less CO², and is cheaper to run.
Currently, Mitsubishi Electric is the only manufacturer of Hybrid VRF. However, it’s highly likely that other companies will follow suit and create their own version of a more eco-friendly VRF system too.
How do Hybrid VRF systems work?
An HVRF system has a Hybrid Branch Controller (HBC), housing water pumps, heat exchangers, and flow and return headers. This enables it to provide efficient heat recovery and partially use water instead of refrigerant.
The system has an outdoor unit, which is connect by two refrigerant pipes to the Hybrid Branch Controller. Indoor units are then connected to the HBC by two water pipes per indoor unit. Heat exchange takes place between the water and refrigerant in the HBC, so water can be used to heat and cool internal air instead of refrigerant.
Where do HVRF systems work best?
HVRF systems are great for large commercial buildings, like offices, hotels, schools and shopping centres. You can install up to 16 internal units per HBC, and have two HBCs per outdoor unit. This means that it’s possible to fit up to 32 internal units per external unit. Plus, you can choose from a range of types of internal unit to combine with it – from ducted to ceiling cassette to wall mounted units.
All this means that an HVRF system has all the capacity and flexibility you need to heat and cool a wide range of large buildings. It was the obvious choice when we installed one in this contemporary office building in Soho.
However, a Hybrid VRF system doesn’t just suit large-scale commercial use. They can work really well in homes and smaller commercial buildings instead of a typical multi split system.
Plus, HVRF systems are highly versatile regarding installation too. They’re possible to retrofit or install during construction. They’re also suitable for phased installation if you’re not ready to fit it all.
5 top HVRF air conditioning benefits
Lots of the benefits you get from Hybrid VRF systems – like zonal control and high efficiency – are the same that you get from standard VRF systems.
But there are several advantages on top of these that make HVRF a highly attractive option. Here are just 5 of the main ones:
1. Reduced global warming potential
Most air conditioning refrigerants currently used have been given a Global Warming Potential (GWP) rating. This measures the damage the substance poses if it’s released into the atmosphere. Mitsubishi Electric’s Hybrid VRF system is one of several modern VRF systems using R32, a refrigerant with a lower GWP of 675. This is much less dangerous than other commonly used refrigerants, like R410A, which has a GWP of 2088.
2. Uses 75% less refrigerant
Not only does HVRF use a more environmentally-friendly refrigerant, it also uses less of it. Hybrid VRF typically uses 75% less refrigerant than its equivalent VRF system. This is because it’s replaced with water. This helps to reduce demand for refrigerant manufacture and lowers the risk of leaks.
3. Reduced maintenance costs
HVRF’s reliance on water instead of refrigerant means that it doesn’t require refrigerant pipes to run through occupied spaces. This reduces the need for leak testing, lowering maintenance and equipment costs.
4. Flexible heating and cooling
The Hybrid VRF system enables completely flexible zonal control. Each internal unit is independent, allowing you to use some units to heat while others are cooling. The system’s heat recovery system helps you to do this as efficiently as possible.
5. Reduced CO² emissions and running costs
With its advanced technology, HVRF systems can be much more efficient than other VRF systems with heat recovery. Mitsubishi Electric estimate that their hybrid technology can save energy by up to 19%, significantly lowering electrical bills and reducing carbon emissions.
Want to find out more about how HVRF air conditioning could benefit you and your property? Complete our online form or call us on 0800 756 9601 for a free consultation and quote.