Recently, Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning announced the launch of its first cold-climate variable refrigerant flow (VRF) heat pump available in North America. The high-efficiency air365 Max with HeatForce is a top-flow VRF heating and cooling system that delivers seamless comfort, best-in-class energy efficiency and easy installation and maintenance for professionals, architects and commercial building owners looking to reduce operational costs and carbon footprint.

The air365 Max with HeatForce can operate at 100heating capacity with outdoor temperatures as low as -13 F and at 90heating capacity down to -22 F. This makes the end-to-end heating and cooling solution ideal for commercial buildings in North America – especially cold-climate regions. 

“Buildings account for nearly 40of global greenhouse gas emissions — 75% of which result from daily operations, including heating and cooling. Johnson Controls-Hitachi is committed to delivering advanced, sustainable technology as part of our vast product portfolio that allows contractors and building owners to decarbonize building operations,” said Manuel de la Fuente, vice president and general manager, Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning, North America. “Solutions that offer highly efficient operation year-round, like the air365 Max with HeatForce, offer designers, installers, commercial building owners and investors new ways to adopt low-carbon heating and cooling systems without sacrificing performance and comfort.”

Its high energy efficiency is made possible by SmoothDrive 2.0 which allows the system to control compressor rotation speed with precision of 0.1 Hz per step, significantly increasing energy efficiency at partial load. The ability to directly control the capacity, even at low loads, helps increase efficiency up to 39% under part-load conditions, and decreases running costs, leading to lowered COemissions. SmoothDrive 2.0 also enables air365 Max to operate at stable and precise temperatures, which provides greater seamless comfort for building occupants. 

Installation of air365 Max VRF systems is simplified for contractors with airCloud Tap, an app designed to help HVAC professionals install, read, and change Hitachi equipment settings, and read detailed diagnostics data with ease on mobile devices. With the app, installers have access to more than 200 setting parameters to optimize the equipment functions and operations. This contactless, near-field communication technology allows installers to configure the equipment and customize settings 30-50faster, saving time and maintenance costs.

Available with heat pump and heat recovery modes up to 24 tons, the air365 Max with HeatForce produces an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of up to 12, as well as a Coefficient of Performance (COP) of up to 4.2 without the use of a backup auxiliary heat source. The wider outdoor unit operating temperature range and increased heating and cooling capacity is made possible with Hitachi’s innovative vapor injection compressor technology. Further, the systems are equipped with intelligent frost detection, which allows for longer time periods between defrost cycles ensuring seamless comfort while heating.