combined air conditioning system, variable refrigerant flow, variable air volume, outdoor air processing, energy-saving
Although variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems have become attractive due to good energy performances in part load conditions, the shortcoming of no outdoor air intake has not been solved thoroughly. A VRF and VAV combined air conditioning system is proposed to solve this problem. VAV part of the combined system consists of an outdoor air processing (OAP) unit and VAV boxes. Generally the VRF unit operates to maintain indoor temperature and the OAP unit operates to process the outdoor air. A control strategy for the combined system aiming at reducing energy consumption is presented in this paper. When both VRF unit and OAP unit are operating, a load allocation optimization module is executed to find the best load allocation between them to minimize the energy consumption of the combined system. When the allocated load of the OAP unit is very small, the proposed control strategy stops the OAP unit, leaving only the VRF unit to operate to improve the overall energy efficiency of the combined system. When load requirements are met, the OAP unit is restarted and the load allocation optimization module is executed again. The proposed control strategy is evaluated based on the developed simulation platform. Results show that the proposed control strategy can effectively decrease the energy consumption of the combined system.