Presently, thermal comfort requirements are increasing at a faster rate. Several technologies are available in market to choose from. A cost benefit analysis of technologies is always helpful from the consumer point of view to select the correct cooling system. It is very important to note that energy and environmental assessments are also necessary to be considered along with economics. Hence this work is carried out to propose a clear picture of comparison between two mostly used air-conditioning systems i.e. fixed speed split air conditioning system and variable refrigerant flow system. It is proved that variable refrigerant flow system is advantageous over conventional fixed speed split air-conditioning system. However, it is also noted that small households and shops did not found this appropriate due to high fixed cost and maintenance cost.
This work is made to compare the above mentioned systems for different capacities and number of operating hours, keeping nature of load as similar under standard ambient condition. The main variables are system capacity, working hours, years of operation, total cost (initial cost +operational cost+ maintenance cost), power saving, life span, space saving etc. The Results shows that hours of usage dominates over sizing of the unit on the basis of energy, economic and environmental analysis.