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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    The demise of the VRF/vrv aircon systems?



    With the rationing of R410a and the opportunistic suppliers boosting the prices, the squeeze starting to bite hard. Are we going to see the rapid demise of the VRF/vrv aircon systems?

    The slightly flammable R32 refrigerant might be a tolerable alternative for the small splits but large VRF systems running on R32 is too high a risk, and using R410a is getting way too expensive to install and repair systems with uncertain longevity.

    Consultants are moving away from VRF systems and looking at chilled water as the only sensible way to proceed. And the big suppliers are already shifting/adding chilled water equipment to their ranges as a response.

    But what of the aircon labour force that will be left high and dry. So many are employed with installation of lucrative VRF systems. What will happen to them? They will of course be able to install splits but there is not enough work there to keep the labour force gainfully employed, and the markups are much less than VRF systems. Most will not be willing/able to shift over into large water systems. So how will this play out?

    Any other thoughts?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Re: The demise of the VRF/vrv aircon systems?

    .

    Many years ago the refrigeration industry actively
    moved away from centralised plant consisting of
    large inefficient packs, long distance runs, multiple
    cases fed from only one or two packs with flare nuts.

    That was twenty or more years ago and at that time the
    AC industry actively promoted larger more complex
    systems centralised plants in the form of VRV and VRF.

    Not before time that they are being made to consider other
    methods of conditioning air that have smaller refrigerant charges
    instead of putting all their eggs in one basket re large refrigerant
    charges.

    Rob

    .
    .. ... -. .----. - / -- --- .-. ... . / -.-. --- -.. . / --. --- --- -..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Re: The demise of the VRF/vrv aircon systems?

    Interesting topic. Been talk this part of world for a longtime that Consultants slowly moving away from VRF/VRV and back to chilled/heated water systems. Definitely more longevity out of central Chiller plant and chilled water system. Suppose the only real selling point about VRV/VRF was the heat transfer efficiencies from warm side of building to cold side and vice versa.

    Another Achilles heal of VRV/VRF (not so much for the suppliers) is longterm after sale support. Control systems on these VRV/VRF seem to get outdated and unsupported very quickly, requiring complete replacement of componant

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Re: The demise of the VRF/vrv aircon systems?

    That's the trouble with any technology that's come along over the last 30 years, its designed with an inbuilt obsolescence so its not future proof. Often called "development," but only to maintain sales rather than longevity associated with build quality and service.

    There may be a return of the central system that's ducted and mounted on the outside wall on a back to back terrace. Or larger plant such as ammonia in a building at the end of the street, cycling low temperature glycol or a brine loop, and maybe a steam loop to homes and small business's as a utility like they do in Manhattan. Then metered accordingly.

    Maybe increasing demand for refrigeration engineers, plant and VAVs for air-con engineers in larger buildings and maybe increasing work for domestic heating engineers that don't need to be Gas Safe registered?
    50 hertz but 100s worse

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