Today’s buildings face tough legislation which means that traditional VRV or VRF technologies may not always be the best solution. Mitsubishi’s answer to this is to pair the best of their established VRF range with the best of a chiller type system.
In a nutshell, the hybrid system uses a VRF heat recovery outdoor unit which serves a ‘Hybrid Branch Controller’ (HBC). The HBC then takes the energy from the refrigerant and transfers this to water which is in turn pipe to indoor Fan Coil units.
Hybrid VRF Example Setup
The system addresses 2 major issues in the air conditioning industry..
Refrigerant Volume - the system only uses refrigerant pipework from the ‘VRF Heat recovery outdoor unit’ to the ‘Hybrid Branch Controller’, dramatically reducing the amount of Fluorinated refrigerant ‘Greenhouse’ gases in the system.
Secondly, because the hybrid system uses water to serve the indoor units for the hybrid branch controller, there is no requirement to provide refrigerant leak detection, to protect occupants, as stated by EN378? Making it ideal for hotels, offices, hospitals and places of education. This will become more important, as the refrigerant gases are changed to R32, which has a ‘Mild Flammability’ risk associated with its use.
The Hybrid VRF system provides the same level of control you would expect from Mitsubishi, using the same M-NET network as their VRF system. This means the full range of control options are open to the user allowing local, centralised or remote control.
Stable Room Temperatures & quiet operation
Because the indoor units use water to heat or cool the room, you get two of the benefits of a chilled water system. Smoother transitions in temperature change (also no need for a defrost cycle) and low level noise operation.
Simultaneous heating and cooling with heat recovery
The HBC unit allows heating and cooling operation simultaneously in different indoor units or building zones. The outdoor VRF unit provides the efficiency of heat recovery functionality.
Indoor units are simple to install and relocate
The simplified 2-pipe design and water piping between the HBC & indoor units allow for easier isolation and decommissioning. The installer has the option of using either copper or plastic piping providing additional flexibility.
Mitsubishi Electric Hybrid VRF: An Application Animation