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What’s holding VRFs back in the Northern Emirates?

Lack of chilled water networks in places like Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah should make VRFs an ideal fit, so why are they unable to make inroads as an alternative for one-to-one systems?

| | Mar 27, 2016 | 10:54 am
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Engr Anwaar Al Shimmari

Engr Anwaar Al Shimmari

Dubai, UAE: VRF systems have been spoken of as being ideal for areas not connected to a chilled water network. For instance, in the UAE, the northern regions of the country do not have the kind of reticulation networks that Abu Dhabi and Dubai do, and hence, there has been considerable discussion on the possibilities that exist for VRF systems there.

The UAE Ministry of Infrastructure Development has looked at the possibility of using VRF systems in its stock of public buildings across the northern emirates. It is continuing its assessment of the systems to ascertain if they would work efficiently and would overall be beneficial. Engr Anwaar Al Shimmari, who works at the Ministry, spoke of how factors, such as cost of the technology and proximity of maintenance services were deciding factors while choosing the technology. “People do not pay taxes, so there is no ROI for the government by providing expensive systems,” she said. “The government needs cost savings.”

When it comes to maintenance, the Ministry is looking for the right suppliers in the right location. “We cannot get maintenance engineers from Dubai to Fujairah each time there is a problem,” Engr Al Shimmari said, adding that VRF manufacturers would need to establish a maintenance infrastructure for the system to find acceptance in places other than Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

(The writer is the Editor of Climate Control Middle East and the Editorial Director & Associate Publisher of CPI Industry.)

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