VRV technology was first invented by Daikin in 1982 


Aurgho Ghosh, Senior Manager of the VRV Business at Daikin, discusses selecting the right HVAC system as crucial for efficiency and comfort in indoor climate control. He also explores commercial spaces that use VRV or VRF systems, while residential air conditioners are ineffective and unviable. 

 What types of AC equipment strike the optimal balance between cost-effectiveness and energy efficiency for installation in public spaces?

Commercial spaces use VRV (variant refrigerant volume), VRF (variant refrigerant flow), or chiller systems. Residential air conditioners are also used in some of these spaces. However, they are ineffective and unviable if installation, efficiency, and long-term performance are concerned.

The application also influences the choice of VRV/VRF systems vs. chillers. Chillers are the clear choice for large venues (such as malls and airports). VRV/VRF is the Smart choice for slightly smaller facilities such as offices, banquet halls, auditoriums, and so on, especially if there are numerous spaces with varying usages and heat loads.

A VRV/VRF system is a technology wherein several indoor units may be attached to one large outdoor unit. By operating at part load, the refrigerant flow is variable, thus ensuring optimal power load in individual areas and lower power consumption in the long run. It is important to note that VRV technology was first invented by Daikin in 1982 during the global oil crisis. This crisis precipitated the invention of this technology, as ACs were a large source of power consumption in Japan. Since then, the world has moved from fixed-speed to variable-speed compressors to ensure ACs run on part-load. While residential applications in India still use RA, in Tier 1 and 2 cities, there is an increasing trend to include HVAC in the builder’s scope, where VRVs and VRFs are used and preferred in building design. 

How do monitoring sensors in various indoor settings contribute to overall efficiency?

Sensors vary from brand to brand and category to category. All brands have sensors attached to indoor coil units to sense coil temperature.  Some brands also have sensors on wired remotes. That gives a more accurate representation of room temperature. It is necessary to understand that uniform air-flow distribution is essential in achieving effective and comfortable cooling, which contributes to the system’s overall efficiency.

 Non-uniform air distribution usually cools Certain spaces and objects more than others. While walls and floors tend to become over-cooled, hot pockets develop where cooling is uneven. Especially in Sky-Air and Packaged-Air units, it is imperative to have inbuilt sensors that monitor temperature and humidity from the perspective of uniform air distribution.

 What recent advancements address energy efficiency in HVAC systems designed for supermarkets?

Commercial refrigeration has come a long way. It ensures commodities are transported to the length and breadth of the country. They are stored and packed at precise temperatures. In India, this space had been under the dominance of local assemblers. However, in the last decade, or with the rise of supermarkets, there has been a latent need for more efficient commercial refrigeration systems. It ensures they adhere to the FSSAI standards. Global firms have now joined this industry. Over the next decade, these brands will help set market benchmarks, just like they did in the air-conditioning market a few decades ago. 

How do you perceive the integration of predictive maintenance sensors enhancing energy efficiency in commercial HVAC equipment?

Besides commercial HVAC equipment, predictive maintenance is increasingly integrated into commercial and residential HVAC equipment. Indoor displays in high-wall split ACs in Daikin help users adjust operations and minimise consumption. Centralised controllers in commercial air conditioners monitor entire HVAC settings from a single location, thanks to maintenance sensors included in the controllers. This approach helps minimise energy consumption and improve efficiency.

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