VRF systems are direct systems that are installed in multi-tenant applications, such as hotels, dormitories, hospitals, office buildings, and apartment buildings. The high-volume design of VRF technology can pose a challenge to HVAC-R stakeholders.

If a refrigerant leak were to occur, all of the refrigerant charge could be directly released into a particular room. The risk-factor for occupied spaces is higher than other occupancy classifications. In fact, a large refrigerant leak into an occupied space can reach concentrations that pose an asphyxiation risk.

Typically, the occupational exposure limit (OEL) for hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) is 1,000 ppm. Common HFC refrigerants used with these systems include R-410A, R-407C, R-404A (A1s) and R-32 (A2L). Safety standards, including EN 378 in Europe and ASHRAE 15 in the United States, and codes use the refrigerant safety group classification to determine how much refrigerant can be used in an occupied space and stipulate leak detection requirements.

Considerations for a VRF Leak Detection Solution

When it comes to deploying an effective solution for VRF leak detection, the Bacharach MVR-300 provides ease of installation and use, has a simple maintenance operation, and is visually appealing in design. The MVR-300 installs in standard electrical boxes and sits flush to the wall allowing for easy conformance to building and electrical codes.

The configurable communications of refrigerant detection should be prioritized; ensure that the detector can connect to a building management/building automation system (BMS/BAS) so that, in the case of a refrigerant leak, occupants and relevant building management stakeholders are promptly notified and immediate mitigation is triggered.

Furthermore, maintenance for a VRF leak detector should be trouble-free and require no special training. Even more, the detector should have an aesthetic design that is visually appealing and fits into room décor.

Discover Bacharach’s Reliable & Effective Detection

With over 10 years of experience in refrigerant detection for occupied spaces and over 100 years of industry experience in the design and manufacture of gas instrumentation, Bacharach is proud to offer a complete solution for refrigerant detection in occupied spaces with the MVR-300 Refrigerant Detector and MVR-SC Controller as well as the Multi-Zone.