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VRF roundtable: Disadvantages of district cooling for villas

VRFs still the first choice in air-conditioning when it comes to villas, experts stated at a roundtable held on 10 January, 2018, organised by MEP Middle East and sponsored by Midea

The VRF roundtable was held on 10 January, 2018, organised by MEP Middle East.
The VRF roundtable was held on 10 January, 2018, organised by MEP Middle East.

Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) is still the first choice in air-conditioning when it comes to villas, experts stated at a roundtable held on 10 January, 2018, organised by MEP Middle East and sponsored by Midea.

The roundtable on VRFs was attended by Hassan Younes, director, Griffin Consultants, who moderated the roundtable, Peck Zhao, senior marketing manager, overseas sales, Midea, Hadi Ismail, senior director – energy solutions and mega projects, Taqeef, Muayyad Abu Khashabeh, mechanical lead, BK Gulf, Khaled Saab, senior manager, Khatib & Alami and Khaled Derhalli, operations director, Efeco

Younes said that when district cooling is connected to villas, it's failing miserably. He gave an example: “We worked on a project in Dubai with around 800 villas; we were doing an upgrade of the chiller plant. The delta T was like 2 degree Fahrenheit in summer. In winter, it goes on to 1 degree Fahrenheit. And it is a direct connection. You don’t have the ability to control it. So, I would say, villas and district cooling may not be the best option.”

Ismail remembered a similar case for a project in Yas Island. He said: “It was a big disaster. And I think because of the small delta T syndrome, people were complaining about cooling, and they ended up by disconnecting district cooling. And they financed again on installing the VRF and DX for these villas.”

Hassan added: “I would assume for villas currently, VRF is one of the best solutions. It's quieter and better, and as well as offers comfort. I have seen and experienced both. So, we did installation for a big villa for one of the Sheikhs in Dubai and we removed DX. It was a very old building. We removed decorative splits and installed VRFs. After installing VRFs, there was more thermal comfort.”

To read the entire story, check out #1302 of MEP Middle East, which will be out on the first week of February 2018.

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