Hitachi VRF has a significant UNIQUE advantage in buildings where AS/NZS1677 compliance is critical. e.g. Apartments, Hotels, Aged Care Facilities, Student Accommodation, Consulting Rooms etc. This makes Hitachi VRF cheaper and more flexible than the major opposition!

Hitachi VRF uses a much lower refrigerant charge than its major competitors for an equivalent system. This has two critical benefits. Lower refrigerant cost and importantly it makes it easier to comply with AS 1677. In some projects this means much more than lower refrigerant costs it was also much lower equipment and installation costs.

AS/NZS 1677 Simplified

Basically AS/NZS 1677 defines the maximum refrigerant concentration, per cubic metre, which is allowed if there is catastrophic leak into a single room.

In Australia the maximum allowed concentration level of refrigerant to a humanly occupied space is limited to 0.35 kg/m³ for R-407C, and 0.44 kg/m³ for R-410A.

In Andrew’s project the maximum refrigerant charge per system was 19.8kg. This means that the volume of the smallest room(s) was (19.8 / 0.44) 45 cubic metres.

In a recent project for hotel with 16 floors over 20 rooms per floor, the Hitachi product was in direct competition and comparison with the two leading VRF Brands in Australia.

The room sizes limited the refrigerant charge per system to just over 19kg per VRF system. Hitachi was able to achieve this figure with 1 system on most floors and 2 systems on 7 floors. The two major competitors needed at least 2 VRF systems per floor to comply and one of the major competitors needed 3 systems on several floors to achieve AS/NZS 1677 compliance.

System 1 HITACHI VRF Competitor 1 Competitor 2
Model RAS-8 - 22.4kW 22.4kW 22.4kW
Base charge 6.5 kg 10.3 kg 9.5 kg
Diversity / Indoor Conn Capacity 1.0 kg 0.5kg 3.0kg
Heat Recovery n/a 3.6 kg n/a
BC Controller n/a n/a 2.0 kg
Total Pipe Length 6.1 kg 5.9 kg 5.9 kg
TOTAL REFRIGERATION CHARGE 13.6 kg 20.3 kg 20.4 kg

The two systems shown here are actual comparisons from equipment selected for the hotel project

System 2 HITACHI VRF Competitor 1 Competitor 2
Model RAS-14 - 40.0kW 40.0kW 40.0kW
Base charge 9.0kg 11.1kg 11.8kg
Diversity / Indoor Conn Capacity 1.0 kg 0.5kg 4.5kg
Heat Recovery n/a 3.6 kg n/a
BC Controller n/a n/a 4.5kg
Total Pipe Length 7.7 kg 7.0 kg 7.4kg
TOTAL REFRIGERATION CHARGE 17.7 kg 22.2 kg 28.2 kg

There are some really important messages in this story.

  1. On this project the refrigerant saving alone was around $15,000 compared to Major Competitor 1 and much more than that for Major Competitor 2.
  2. You don’t need a calculator to work out that the much smaller number of systems represents a huge saving on equipment and installation as well as refrigerant cost across the entire project.
  3. With a much smaller refrigerant charge Hitachi offers a unique VRF alternative in AS/NZS 1677 sensitive buildings. It may even open up projects to VRF use that had previously seemed impossible due to AS/NZS 1677 compliance.

So if you are quoting or specifying a project with critical AS/NZS 1677 compliance issues like Apartments, Hotels, Aged Care Facilities, Student Accommodation, Consulting Rooms etc make sure you ask your Temperzone rep to run the project through the Hitachi VRF selection program. It could save you a motza!

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