ASHRAE Handbook offers guidance on variable refrigerant flow

The 2012 ASHRAE Handbook features a chapter on new guidance for variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems.


The 2012 ASHRAE Handbook – HVAC Systems and Equipment discusses systems and the equipment that comprises these systems, including features and differences. It is designed to help system designers and building operators select and use equipment. It contains 52 chapters.

Chapter 18, Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) Systems, describes these systems, their components, and applicable standards in detail, and includes a system design example and important guidance on costs, controls, and safety. In previous volumes, VRF was covered in the unitary products section.

“This new chapter covers the A to Z of variable refrigerant flow – from application of VRF to understanding how VRF works and from analyzing a building load in terms of VRF to zoning with VRF,” Paul Doppel, chair of ASHRAE’s technical committee on variable refrigerant flow that wrote the chapter, said. “The chapter offers an excellent overview of VRF technology, including discussion about 2-pipe and 3-pipe system performance during heating operations.”

The chapter also includes a section that lays out a process for designing with VRF including a load analysis, as well as discussions regarding system expansion and designing systems to meet ASHRAE standard requirements.

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