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Toshiba VRF innovation targets high temperature water heating

New module designed via manufacturer joint venture is company’s first system specifically designed for a 3-pipe air conditioning system to make better use of waste heat

The Toshiba Carrier joint venture has announced the launch of a specially designed module for its 3-pipe VRF air conditioning technology that allows for water to be heated up to 82 deg C.

Toshiba’s Super Heat Recovery Multi (SHRM-e) variable refrigerant flow (VRF) air conditioning system can now be modified to produce hot water all year round in an operating range of -25 deg C to 40 deg C.

The manufacturer said the system was designed to meet demand from buildings used as hotels, gyms and university student accommodation, as well structures requiring larger scale VRF air conditioning as well as significant demand for hot water.

The cascade water heating system is the first product of its kind built specifically by the company for use with a 3-pipe VRF system.

Toshiba added, “We previously had a lower temperature (mid-temp), non-cascade system designed for use on the two-pipe VRF. By adding another DX circuit, the cascade system in the new module enables production of hot water at a much higher temperature.”

A cascade heat exchanger is used in the SHRM-e’s heat pump that allows for an additional stage of compression to make use of the output as energy capable of producing higher temperature hot water. This process is supported by a refrigerant-to-water heat exchanger, the manufacturer added.

Despite some changes to the VRF control software to allow for the addition of a water heating module, Toshiba has claimed that VRF performance is not compromised by the heating.

Toshiba sales director Neil Hitching said that the module ensures waste heat can be used to deliver a range of operational benefits.

He said, “Adding the hot water module is a highly effective way of producing low-cost hot water for use in many different applications overcoming the need for a separate boiler or electric water heater completely, or providing additional capacity to meet peak demand, for example in hotels.”

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