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Low-profile lifestyle

Daikin has reduced the height of its new VRV range to make them more suited for city facades. Martin Passingham explains why

London has a reputation and history for being a ‘low-rise’ city, with its tall buildings relatively concentrated in areas such as Canary Wharf.

This has led to high-density building across the city, with ‘hyper-dense’ schemes producing more than 1,100 habitable rooms per hectare in central London.

As a result, available space is at a premium, and the need for services to be smaller and more compact has added a new requirement for more energy-efficient, complete climate control solutions.

Daikin has recently developed low profile horizontal blow VRV units, offering flexibility for both commercial and residential buildings urban areas throughout Europe.

As more new buildings and building extensions receive planning approval in London every day, the available space for services such as air conditioning is rapidly decreasing.

As higher density housing often leads to large-scale redevelopment of shopping, leisure and local services, this further squeeze on space has meant that alternative, more compact AC systems are becoming increasingly desirable for built-up areas.

For such applications, Daikin’s VRV IV technology has, since its launch in 2013, proven to be a popular solution.

In some situations where space is in extremely short supply, the outdoor units of a standard VRV system can prove difficult to install, due to the lack of available space.

In some cases, this results in the outdoor units being installed on the roofs of buildings or requires the installer to find a suitably placed alcove or other discrete area within the building to hide them in.

A recent example of this difficulty and the criticism it received is David Beckham’s planning application to install air conditioning for five rooms in his London home.

Although approved by the local council, his neighbours expressed concerns surrounding the potential noise and vibration produced by the air conditioning units, as well as the perceived impact of their appearance on the building and the surrounding landscape.

Less disruption

To meet the desire for a small compact VRV unit, Daikin UK has introduced a new, low profile, horizontal blow, VRV range.

At 823 mm high, the Daikin VRV IV S-series is the shortest VRV unit on the market, able to be installed behind low walls or concealed on balconies, successfully integrating with its surroundings without disrupting the architectural design of the buildings.

In addition to the visual benefits of the compact units, the S-series’s lightweight design ensures an easy onsite installation for engineers.

To further aid its application in tight urban spaces, the unit can, if necessary, be positioned away from the building, due to long piping lengths, which allows the low profile unit to be fitted into smaller spaces further from the building than could previously be considered for an outdoor unit.

Building on previous VRV IV technology, the modular S-series unit provides sustainable, energy efficient comfort all year round, typically reducing operational costs by up to 28 per cent with the introduction of Variable Refrigerant Temperature (VRT) technology.

The use of VRT technology in the S-series means that individual HVAC installations can be tailored to achieve the optimum balance between comfort and efficiency.

In any building, the system load requirement fluctuates across each day, according to the differing requirements of individual zones or rooms within each building, and the influence of daily weather variations.

The S-series adjusts intelligently to real-time working situations, managing all these variations while keeping energy efficiency and comfort consistently balanced. Thus the required interior climate is delivered year-round, harvesting and re-using available energy, without wastage.

With a wide range of units for installers to choose from, the VRV IV S-series is ideal for all building types and sizes.

Available in single-phase 4 and 5 HP units, the standard ranges of 4-5-6 HP units (available in either single or three phase) have also been updated to VRV IV models.

Additionally, for larger properties with a higher capacity range, new 8-10-12 three-phase VRV IV S-series units have been added. Achieving the highest seasonal efficiency rating (SEER), the unit reduces energy use and cost, as well as CO2 emissions.

Urban building regulations are another important consideration here. For example, the City of London planning regulations state: “The level of noise emitted from any new plant shall be lower than the existing background level by at least 10 dBA.”

The S-series addresses this with a low-noise mode which reduces operating sound to 52 dBA - below the level of noise created by a normal conversation.

As space is a highly-priced commodity in a majority of cities and with urban density expected to increase, reducing the visual impact and space required for VRV units is essential.

Through the development of low profile climate control units, inner city and urban residential and commercial buildings can achieve a comfortable indoor climate without compromising on energy efficiency or space.

Martin Passingham is product manager for DX at Daikin UK

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