Replacing an HVAC system or updating an outdated one doesn’t have to be a hindrance to a building or its occupants. Two-pipe systems, like Mitsubishi Electric VRF, are not only cheaper and easier to install, but energy-efficient, and provide superior levels of control and comfort for occupants. Most importantly, two-pipe systems are minimally disruptive. Benefits such as these have left three-pipe systems struggling to keep up.
Here are three reasons why APG has chosen to use two-pipe technology for renovations:
Control. Two-pipe architecture allows the indoor units to change the temperature quickly from cooling to heating or heating to cooling, allowing occupants to experience personalized comfort at any time. The cooler/hotter refrigerant from one indoor unit moves to the branch controller and gets redistributed right there to another indoor unit. In a three-pipe system, the redistribution happens in the condenser, and the refrigerant has to be moved farther to undergo the process. This means the system responds more slowly, losing some energy along the way, costing more money to operate and not providing immediate comfort to occupants.
Simplified installations. Two-pipe VRF is less invasive to the structure of a building because it requires less piping and duct space. A two-pipe system with four indoor units would have 20 connections; a three-pipe system would have 58. Each additional connection requires more materials, labor and time, extending the renovation process and making it more of an inconvenience for occupants. VRF’s small footprint also allows for easier transportation, as it can be transported in an elevator. A smaller footprint also means fewer disturbances to the occupants — no cranes outside the window and no rooftop space suddenly lost to a condenser farm.
Flexible installations. Even building interiors enjoy a smooth retrofit experience with two-pipe VRF. For example with Mitsubishi Electric VRF, building owners have the ability to mix and match indoor unit styles, which means each office, apartment, classroom or other space can be cooled and heated by the unit that works best for that space. There’s also no need for ductwork when a floor-standing ductless unit will work, and no need to take up visual space with a wall-mount when a ceiling-recessed unit will work. Occupants will barely notice their new unit — also because it operates nearly silently. In comparison to three-pipe VRF, two-pipe VRF also makes future servicing simpler, increasing lifetime cost savings for building owners. If additions are needed in the future, new units can be engineered and added while the original system is still in operation — all without disrupting the occupants.
In comparison to the complexity of a three-pipe system, the streamlined two-pipe VRF system ultimately eases the renovation experience for not only the building and its occupants but also the project team.