commercial refrigeration services by G2

Types of Commercial Air Conditioning Systems

There are three main types of air conditioning system on the market today, with each having a different application. 

Choosing the correct unit for your situation can be a challenge, so here we’re going to run through some of the facts and benefits to make your decision easier. 

The three most common types of commercial air conditioning systems are: 

  • Single Split
  • Multi-Split 
  • VRF or VRV    

Each system uses wall-mounted technology. But which is best for you? 

Single Split System 

Single-Split System
Single Split ?

What is it? 

A single split system is one in which the interior unit is linked to a single outdoor unit. 

The internal unit pipes air into a room while the outdoor unit exchanges heat with the outside air.  

Where and why are they typically used?

Commercial enterprises typically use single-split air conditioning units to cool specific rooms.

Cafes, for instance, might use a single-split to cool a kitchen or customer seating area.

Likewise, and IT company might use a single-split system cool a server room

Single-split systems require space outside for the outdoor unit.

Pros and Cons of Single Split Air Conditioning Systems

InexpensiveDoes not provide cooling power for entire offices or retail spaces
Relatively easy to installRequires external space for the outdoor unit
Simple to repair because they are self-contained
Energy efficient

Key Benefit

Provides cooling in priority situations, such as a server room, at low cost

Multi-Split System 

Multi-split system
Multi Split

What is it? 

A multiple split system works in the same way as a single split, but instead of connecting to just one outdoor unit, it connects to many. 

Having multiple outdoor units connected to a single indoor unit provides the system with extra cooling power. It can exchange more interior heat energy with the exterior environment.

Where and why are multi-split systems typically used?

Commercial enterprises use multi-split systems for additional cooling performance. 

Doctors surgeries, shops, and restaurants all have substantial cooling requirements that a single split system may not be able to meet. 

Cooling each room with a single split also means that every room has an external unit associated with it. 

This can ruin the external appearance of a building if overused. 

Multi-split systems collect all outdoor units into a single bank which can be stowed behind a fence or in a utility space, keeping it out of sight. 

Ultimately, the benefits you derive from multi-split systems depend on your particular building requirements. 

Pros and Cons of Multi-split Air Conditioning Systems

Higher cooling capacity than single split unitsMuch more complex than single split units, requiring additional ducting and piping 
Highly efficientMore expensive installation
Collects all outdoor units in a single space which is preferable for maintaining the aesthetic of the buildingComplex

Key Benefit

Multi-split systems are a better solution for businesses with large cooling requirements that do not want multiple single-split systems. 

VRF or VRV System 

VRF or VRV System

What is it? 

Air conditioning manufacturer Daikin wanted to improve on single – and multi-split air conditioning systems by building units with variable refrigerant volume. 

The idea was that if you could vary the refrigerant volume, you could improve the efficiency of units, cutting costs for commercial enterprises while providing excellent cooling performance. 

Variable refrigerant volume (VRV) soon became a desirable technology, and customers flocked to Daikin’s technology. 

The company protected the term “VRV” and prevented other manufacturers from using it. The rest of the industry, therefore, uses the similar term “VRF” meaning variable refrigerant flow. Both systems work in the same way.

Where and why are they typically used?

VRV and VRF systems soon became extremely popular among medium and large enterprises. 

The increased level of efficiency and impressive performance meant that these systems were the gold standard in large operations. 

Today, you’ll find VRF and VRV systems in schools, hotels, office blocks, retailers, server farms, and mixed-use spaces. 

Pros and Cons of VRV or VRF Air Conditioning Systems

Highly efficientNot suitable for small enterprises or single rooms
Less energy per unit of coolingMore costly to install in absolute terms
Suitable for larger buildings
Can use excess heat to warm another area or water

Key Benefit 

You can scale VRF and VRV systems to cool any building, no matter what the size.

It’s great for medium and large commercial enterprises with large interior volumes which require cooling. 

VRF and VRV systems can also recycle waste heat and put it to good use in water heating systems and other places heat is required, even during the summer months. 

Want to know more? Get in touch with G2 to discuss the design of your air conditioning system.

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