Control4 and VRF HVAC Integration and Control

What’s all the fuss about control4 and VRF HVAC integration?

HVAC integration for many of us sounds like as mundane a task as any other integration that involves a central controller, thermostat and app connectivity of a Control4 system. Until you meet a VRF HVAC. Nothing adds up, especially not the number of wires that run between the wall-mounted controller and the VRF system.

There’s a good reason for the confusion. Luckily you found this webpage, that allows you to get a quick grasp of the technicalities that will lead you to be even better at your job.

OK, so what is a VRF HVAC?

VRF/VRF HVAC communication and control is nothing like traditional Unitary HVAC, that rely on a 24v thermostat. This next-generation HVAC is designed with a built-in communication network to connect all the components: outdoor, indoor, and control panels. This sophisticated communication enables the HVAC to operate as a self-sustained system, with its own pre-defined automated logic that makes it so much more efficient. Your goal as an integrator is to access this communication system and make Control4 devices be a part of it and control the indoor units of the HVAC.

Clearly, you need a gateway or some type of an in intermediary device or devices.

What gateway is the best choice?

You will probably rely on advice from your colleagues and chances are you’ll be advised to follow the standard solution that involves an intermediary device, one per every indoor unit and a driver for every such device. This architecture will have to be connected to the local WiFi system.

This solution will ultimately lead to multiple failure points:

  1. The number of failure points are twice the number of installed devices. Once due to the device itself and another - due to the driver, that was developed by a 3rd party developer.
  2. Connectivity to the local WiFi system puts the whole integration at risk of failure because a WiFi network is known for its instabilities and interruptions. Let alone the fact that the Network set-up process needs to be configured to support such installations.

But there is an alternative

A much simpler solution has been available for 13 years: CoolMasterNet. Driven by the VRF HVAC increased penetration rate, it has been in increasing demand worldwide.

CoolMasterNet enables a VRF HVAC to be accessible and fully controllable through the Control4 main controller, thermostats, control panels, and mobile app, providing bi-directional communication with real-time feedback.

And the best part is that you get to set it up through SDDP software. If you need tips on best practices to set up CoolMasterNet with SDDP, we have prepared a guide, especially for Control4 integrators. This solution was developed in strong cooperation between the Control4 and Coolautomation R&D teams, which now enables streamlining the product selection, purchase and set up processes.

What VRF HVAC systems can I connect?

You can integrate all leading VRF HVAC leading brands. Check out the list here:

CoolMasterNet HVAC compatible brands
AUXHitachiPanasonic
Blue StarIntensitySamsung
ChigoKentatsuSanyo
DaikinLGToshiba
FujitsuMideaTrane
GreeMitsubishi ElectricYork
HaierMitsubishi Heavy

Useful links:

Control4 Thermostat

How to connecControl4 to Daikin VRV

CoolMasterNet brochure

11 tips for Successful VRF HVAC integrations

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