Clivet Enhanced VRF: the new frontier of central plants


29 March 2022


Clivet, the Italian company specialised in air conditioning and air handling heat pump systems, presents the Enhanced VRF System, evolving central plant design to the best life-cycle saving in commercial buildings.

Keeping optimal comfort conditions and health within buildings results in significant capital and operating cost. This is even enhanced in the commercial sector, due to the higher range of challenging constraints such as high space loads, simultaneous cooling and heating, outdoor air management and domestic hot water, if any. 

In this sector, central plants are probably the most popular HVAC design solution. Clivet evolves this solution and presents the Clivet Enhanced VRF System, the standardised, industrial comfort solution able to fit individual requirements of the different commercial buildings.

Its modular design allows for the most suitable, specialised and efficient answer to comfort requirements of shopping centres, offices, hotels and restaurants, entertainment, hospitals, meeting the different needs related to their special functions.

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CLIVET exclusive Enhanced VRF System consists of 4 basic components:

  1. VRF outdoor units with EVI (Enhanced Vapor Injection) compressor technology, available both in heat pump or heat recovery version, operating range from -25°C in heating mode and from -15°C to 52°C in cooling mode, high heating capacity at low ambient temperature, compressor frequency operation down to 7% for the maximum part load system efficiency, innovative Energy Management System to adapt the refrigerant temperature to the real environmental needs maximising the comfort and energy saving. In addition to the current line-up, a new series of R32 Mini VRF outdoor units will be introduced to minimize the environmental impact
  2. VRF indoor units, completely redesigned featuring innovative functions such as 7 fan speeds and available in a wide range of models and sizes from 1.7 kW to 56 kW for the maximum application flexibility
  3. Control systems with a wide range of commands to manage different zones locally or remotely independently depending on the specific needs. Wireless and wired remote controls, centralised touchscreen controls, interfaces for cloud control from smartphones, tablets or PCs, supervision systems for centralised management of multiple systems in different locations and BMS interfaces for integration of the VRF system with third party equipment.
  4. Mechanical ventilation units, fully integrated in the range of control systems for maximum immediacy in managing the system, allow a healthy environment, using different technologies in order to meet the different buildings requirements:
  • Zephirstandalone system for supply and exhaust air management with thermodynamic energy recovery, full outdoor air operation, total humidity and automatic temperature control, electronic filtration able to keep 99% pure air, active also on bacteria and viruses. Even if the unit is not directly connected to the VRF system, it can be controlled by the same centralised controller, in order to supervise easily all the components within the system
  • AQX VRF, air handling unit designed and manufactured by Clivet to be connected to VRF systems. UVC lamps and purification modules through photocatalytic oxidation can be supplied if needed
  • HRV-DX and HRV-DXL, the cross-flow enthalpic heat recovery ventilator with direct expansion coil package unit. Available in 2 different series from 500 to 3100 m3/h, it is able to supply part of the thermal load in addition to air exchange. As exclusive features, the unit is equipped with F9 filters and the Bioxigen purification system to strongly reduce odours, bacteria, dust, mould and allergens. Bioxigen® technology releases active ions removing continuously airborne microbials and reductions of specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from indoor air environment and surfaces; reproduces in indoor areas the disinfection phenomenon that naturally takes place outside, with no chemical additives in a continuous and controlled way, ensuring the well-being to people.

Case study
Focusing on the best-in-class solution represented by the combination of the VRF system with Zephir3, by analysing a case study of an office building of 4 floors requiring 12000 m3/h for primary air and a total load of 260 kW, this system offers approximately +10% of energy saving compared to an equivalent solution with air handling units. Furthermore, it offers superior air quality thanks to the electronic filters, and superior comfort thanks to the humidity and supply air temperature regulation with a compact and stand-alone system.