A Guide to VRF Commissioning


27 July 2016

The commissioning of a piece of equipment is a standard procedure across the industry. However, with incorrect commissioning, customers can find themselves at risk of unexpected equipment failure and downtime leading to large costs.

​Pete Mills, Commercial Technical Operations Manager at Bosch Commercial and Industrial outlines the process of VRF commissioning and what Bosch offers.

​The commissioning process of any installation is critical as it provides official certification and confirmation that a piece of equipment is performing as it should.

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​It takes place once the once an engineer completes the installation is complete on-site, who will take a systematic approach to testing the piece of equipment.

​What is involved?

For our VRF systems, the commissioning process begins with a pressure test using nitrogen to find leaks, testing the system at a certain level. It is kept in this condition for a minimum of 24 hours to ensure it can maintain the same pressure level before the nitrogen is allowed to die out. This first section consists of three elements – a leak test, a pressure test and a strength test. Although the commissioning process, in general, is fairly standard across the industry, customers should ask what the system's pressure requirements are, as this will vary depending on the manufacturer.
The next step is a vacuum test which is done at 0.5 Torr for an hour to dehydrate the system and ensure it is free of any dirt or moisture. The engineer then adds a specific amount of refrigerant into the system, which is likely to vary between manufacturers.
The final step is to test the equipment – the power is switched on for a minimum of 12 hours so the outdoor unit can heat up. From there, the cooling and heating are tested which is essential for ensuring the system is ready for the customer to use.
Most manufacturers use a standard process which consists of a regular pressure test followed by a vacuum. Although it is not a legislative requirement, Bosch engineers champion using a triple evacuation system whereby there is a pressure test followed by a vacuum test and this process is repeated three times. This system is the best way to be certain that any dirt or moisture which may have found its way into the system has been removed and delivers far better results than a standard vacuum process.

​Free VRF commissioning

​Having entered the air conditioning market earlier this year, Bosch has introduced a free commissioning service to its VRF offering, with every first project purchase. The free service ensures that consultants, contractors, and engineers can reap the benefits of a flexible heating and cooling system as soon after the installation as possible.

VRF is a new product to Bosch and one that a lot of our customers wouldn't have necessarily seen or used before, so we want to offer our customers a relaxed approach to the commissioning process and the Bosch brand. The company is an entirely new entrant into the VRF market. The commissioning process can vary from one manufacturer's VRF system to the next, so we're keen to eliminate any potential inconsistencies by having one of our engineer's commission the system at no extra cost.

The service we offer also includes on-site training which consists of hints and tips about how best to benefit from the installation. When we come out to a site, we teach the customer how to commission and test a VRF system to ensure it is set up correctly and to make the client feel more at ease with our equipment.

Ultimately, through a thorough commissioning process and on-site training, engineers and maintenance staff can ensure their VRF system will make a real difference to the comfort and efficiency levels within their building.
For more information on Bosch Commercial and Industrial and its VRF systems, please visit www.bosch-industrial.co.uk or call 0330 123 3004. Alternatively, follow Bosch Commercial and Industrial on Twitter (@BoschHeating_UK) and LinkedIn (Bosch Commercial and Industrial UK).