VRV or VRF ?

What’s the difference between VRV and VRF?

Many people who ask this question, mistakenly interpret it as 2 different HVAC technologies. Actually, those are two different terms for the same type of HVAC technology. Based on Inverter technology compressors, the first VRV HVAC systems were invented by Daikin during the early 1980’s. As a technology leader in the HVAC industry, Daikin had registered the VRV term (which stands for Variable Refrigerant Volume) as an official trademark. All other companies use VRF (Variable Refrigerant Flow) for their similar HVAC systems. Eventually, VRF is the more common term for these types of systems, and this is the term that will be used for the rest of the article.

So what is VRF?

VRF can easily be related to as the “Rolls Royce” of Air Conditioning Systems. It’s a very sophisticated technological air conditioning system, based on several principles:

  1. Refrigerant only – where refrigerant is the only coolant material in the system (in contrary to the chilled water systems, where refrigerant is used for cooling/heating the water that is circulated throughout the whole system).
  2. Inverter compressors that allow lowering power consumption with partial cooling/heating loads.
  3. Several air handlers (indoor units) on the same refrigerant loop / circuit.
  4. Ability of modular expansion (especially applicable for large projects, that can grow in stages)

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