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VRF key to achieving Dubai’s 2030 energy efficiency targets, says Taqeef

Company official highlights merits of technology for retrofitting projects

| | Apr 28, 2020 | 10:17 am
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Sandra Bou Madi

DUBAI, UAE, 28 April 2020: “Dubai aims to improve its energy efficiency usage by 30% by 2030, and we believe that VRF is key to achieving this target through repurposing and retrofitting,” said Sandra Bou Madi, Head of Business Development, Taqeef. Madi pointed out that due to the nature of the technology, VRF can contribute significant energy savings that can reach up to 50%, for example, refurbishing an existing old chilled water plant. “Essentially, most cooling systems in older buildings can be retrofitted or replaced by VRF due to its high flexibility,” she said. “In simplistic terms, just like a jigsaw puzzle, the new system can be designed where many indoor units are connected to modular outdoor units based on the existing conditions and constraints, whether they’re centralised or individual units.”

Madi pointed out that the VRF system is a simple but smart solution and that the its embedded control features provide a number of advantages, post-retrofit, such as savings on OPEX, through reduced maintenance costs and electrical consumption, yielding a payback as low as two years. “For example, the same dedicated bulk space on roof and shafts can be used, or outdoor units can be distributed next to the dedicated risers, in order to save on the whole piping network,” she said. “The same electrical network can be used, because VRF has a lower total power input, which accounts for up to 30%; therefore, spare power can be diverted to other usage. And, VRF systems require much less ceiling space than conventional systems because of the high heat-carrying capacity of the refrigerant that leads to lower off coil and smaller ducts.”

Madi further highlighted what she considers to be additional advantages of using VRF in retrofits. “The direct current fan motor for indoor units is a plus, which means the required flow can be achieved with any existing pressure drop using both duct and air outlets network,” she said. “Secondly, the fresh air handling units (FAHUs) can be connected to VRF units outdoor through an air handling unit (AHU) kit. The reduced noise levels as well as better indoor air quality (IAQ) come as standard.” Another important benefit, Madi said, is the tight temperature control through precise load matching, meaning the system can be modulated to follow the load, units can remain running to maintain temperature within narrow limits and the dehumidification performance is such that it provides optimal room humidity, due to the electronic expansion valve in each indoor unit and higher latent capacity of the indoor units. “In short, whether being deployed in new buildings or as part of a retrofitting project – VRF is leading the way in efficiency, cost savings and comfort for tomorrow’s cooling technology and today’s conscious consumerism,” she said. “I’m confident its popularity will continue to rise as these benefits are more widely understood and documented.”

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