Variable refrigerant flow (VRF) or variable refrigerant volume (VRV) systems provide many benefits over traditional air-conditioning systems, with great potential to decrease energy cost and increase thermal comfort in buildings. This paper presents a method to size and select VRF systems and to compute its annual energy consumption. The study compares the cooling energy usage of a VRF system against a conventional chiller-based variable-air-volume (VAV) system and a packaged VAV (PVAV) system for a typical light commercial building. The results reveal that the peak electrical demand of the VRF system for the cooling season is about 60% of the chiller-based VAV system and 70% of the packaged VAV systems, and the operating energy usage is about 53% of the chiller-based VAV system and 60% of the packaged VAV system for the building studied.

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