Electronics and electrical products manufacturer Toshiba’s super heat recovery multi (SHRM) variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology for the air-conditioning industry has been introduced onto the South African market by distribution company AHI Carrier South Africa.
Toshiba brand manager Philip Theunissen explains that the SHRM VRF air conditioners deliver cooling and heating options simultaneously and are also energy efficient. The advanced three-pipe technology allows for heat recovery between indoor units and installations at height variations of 35 m, equivalent to that of a nine-storey building.
He also mentions that installation flexibility includes a small outdoor footprint, while indoor air-conditioning units can be placed at a farthest equivalent length of 195 m.
Theunissen points out that the SHRM VRF system can feed multiple indoor units from modular outdoor units usually located on the roofs of buildings or in plant rooms located strategically in buildings. “Up to 528 indoor units can be controlled centrally by building and/or facilities managers, in conjunction with building management systems.”
The benefit of the SHRM VRF system is that a building can comprise multiple indoor units, but, in cases where only a few units require input, such as over a weekend, an SHRM VRF system can achieve this without starting up an entire plant, which consumes a lot of energy, as is the case with conventional central plants, he adds.
Theunissen notes that building managers and service technicians have immediate and/or remote access to all system parameters, while end-users benefit from a host of features and benefits associated with high-tier air-conditioning systems.
“The temperatures can be controlled and maintained precisely throughout the day as temperature fluctuations are maintained within . . . +1.5 °C of the desired set point,” Theunissen explains.
He notes that the Toshiba SHRM VRF system is unique because it can be commissioned and diagnosed through ‘wave tool’ technology; the smartphone application uses near field communication technology to transmit data between the outdoor unit and the smartphone, which enables the service technician to access important system data. “It has an infinite, variable control of system capacity through compressor speed control as low as 0.1 Hz.”
He adds that the system is unique because it is a variable heat exchanger that allows the system to control refrigerant flow in three steps of condenser capacity control – 20%, 80% and 100% – thereby minimising efficiency losses.
SHRM systems maintenance, which can vary from simple filter washes to more technically involved major services, require skilled artisans, with the terms of maintenance established through contracts between the owners and installing contractors upon system handover, Theunissen concludes.