This paper evaluates the energy performance of ground-source variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems to condition office buildings located in various U.S. climates. Specifically, the performance of the ground-source VRF systems was determined and evaluated against that achieved by conventional space heating and cooling systems, including packaged terminal air-conditioners (PTACs), water-source heat pumps (WSHPs), ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs), and water-source VRF systems. A comparative analysis shows that ground-source VRF systems require significantly lower source energy uses than other heating and cooling systems in all U.S. climates, ranging from 21% to 50% for PTACs, from 36% to 52% for WSHPs, from 22% to 49% for GSHPs, and from 4% to 19% for water-source VRFs. These results indicate that ground-source VRFs can be suitable heating and cooling systems for all U.S. climates when designing high-energy-performance commercial buildings.
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Kwag, Byung Chang and Krarti, Moncef, "Evaluation of Ground-Source Variable Refrigerant Flow System for US Office Buildings" (2018). Civil Engineering Faculty Contributions. 30.