Training center’s VRF installation turns heads with linesets, mounting
Quietside recently expanded its Forth Worth-based training center, and the distributor hopes that individuals attending classes will learn as much about installation aesthetics as they will about Samsung’s variable refrigerant flow systems.
“There’s an HVACR trend that’s pressuring contractors to make an air-conditioning installation look as good as they function,” said Matt Wall, system air conditioning engineering and VRF technical trainer for Quietside, a master distributor of Samsung products. “Architects and engineers are realizing that the visual impact a competed project makes on building owners and prospective clients can greatly affect their future business. Air conditioning systems can’t just work well anymore, they have to look great, too.”
This aesthetics trend was the Quietside technical support staff’s impetus for showcasing not only Samsung’s DVM Plus III Series VRF equipment, but also accessories that aim to create a professional appearance. Therefore, Wall specified Aspen Pumps for condensate management, the PD-Series of lineset ducting, and Big Foot Systems equipment mounts for supporting the VRF.
The Carrollton, TX, office of HVACR contractor Bell Mechanical installed one 10-ton heat recovery unit supplying nine evaporator coils; and two 8-ton heat recovery units and one 8-ton heat pump, which supplies one evaporator coil each. The outdoor, ground-level equipment supplies the 1,200-sq-ft training center, warehouse, assembly area, and offices that were included in the expansion of the five-year-old, 52,000-sq-ft building.
“VRF systems are really driving the trend of using all these accessories to make a project look professional,” said Mike Bell, president of Bell Mechanical.
Quick and easily-assembled mounting supports are the foundation for an aesthetic installation, according to Wall. The three DVM units are mounted on Big Foot Systems’ prefabricated 1.6-sq-in corrosion-resistant, hot-dipped galvanized tube modules supported by 1-sq-ft UV-protected, glass-filled nylon footings with anti-vibration mat bases.
The VRF units are 18-in off the ground for easier serviceability and protection against landscaping tools. The modular supports were assembled in minutes and reduce mounting costs by more than half versus I-beam rails, poured cement pads, or other conventional methods. Leveling the equipment requires only wrenching one or more of the four adjustable support legs.
Lineset protection duct makes the most noticeable difference in installation aesthetics, Wall said. Each unit’s linesets are enclosed in their own gray 4.7-in-diameter round PVC plastic ducts from RectorSeal’s PD-Series. The lineset ducts themselves are also supported every 10 ft by a series of piping support footings. Bell Mechanical used three elbows and two flanges on each of the three runs that total more than 60 linear ft.
According to Bell, he uses lineset protection ducts and condensate pumps regularly on ductless air conditioning.
“Lineset protection ducts are invaluable for retrofit work because generally there’s no opportunity to hide linesets under roofs and inside walls as exists with new construction projects,” he said.
Inside the complex of warehousing, assembly, offices, and training areas, Wall specified condensate pumps for nine evaporator coils and one mode change unit. The mini pumps are from Aspen Pumps’ Orange Series, Lime Series, and White Series to assure proper condensate drainage and prevent property damage.
“We occasionally see a mismatched or noisy condensate pump on the wall next to the evaporator coil,” said Wall. “Instead, the HVAC industry now offers a variety of small pumps aesthetically designed for concealing inside lineset ducting or elbow, or inside the evaporator drain pan.”
Quietside will soon have available an additional system for troubleshooting and training, according to Wall. A DVM S Series system, which features a dual inverter, vapor-injected scroll compressors, and high efficiencies will be installed with Big Foot Systems mounts and Aspen pumps.