A New Variable Refrigerant Flow System Simulation Approach in EnergyPlus

Xiaojie Lin, Hoseong Lee, Yunho Hwang, Reinhard Radermacher, Byungsoon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


A variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system is widely applied to build air conditioning systems. Literature review of previous VRF modeling studies was conducted, and it was found that the current calculation approach in EnergyPlus can result in more than 20% deviation in both heat transfer capacity and power consumption. Therefore, a new VRF model is proposed in this study, which includes an improved thermal zone distribution concept, new indoor unit types, and a new thermodynamic model. The developed model is validated with experimental data within 10% in heat transfer capacity and 5% in power consumption. Based on the proposed model, the operation control strategy is also discussed. The results show that the proposed model could also simulate the current control strategy in the VRF system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1650001
JournalInternational Journal of Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 World Scientific Publishing Company.


  • Energy plus
  • VRF
  • variable refrigerant flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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