Mini Split update for Offgrid

245

Comments

  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 508 ✭✭✭
    It used to be pretty mild here in the Boston area too. Being right on the coast and all.
    That's why I decided to install mini-splits for heating (and some summer cooling).
    I knew they wouldn't work very well under 10deg F, but those temperatures were very rare and short-lived.

    At first, we didn't have to use the back-up oil heat at all. Then we starting getting those Arctic Vortex things.
    Now we are not only using a lot of power, we are also burning a lot of oil too. (They increased e-power cost by 40%).
    (Our solar is small scale. Just for a back-up bank and making hot-water).

    I've decided to give it another 2 or 3 years. It the winters keep getting colder and the snow deeper,
    we will pull up stakes and head south. :)

    Cheers,
    Rich
  • ArkansasoffgridArkansasoffgrid Solar Expert Posts: 115
    Has anyone measured the "standby / idle" power consumption of their units? Also needing input on the wi-fi controlled units in the 12k btu range. Wanting to monitor solar, and adjust minisplit remotely via phone app.
    8-420AH US Battery L-16s, Midnite Classic 150cc, Whiz Bang Jr, Magnum MS4448PAE inverter/charger,  4590w Canadian Solar panels. Honda EU2000i generator.
  • H2SO4_guyH2SO4_guy Solar Expert Posts: 212 ✭✭✭
    I have a Mitsubishi Mr. Slim 26 SEER 9000 BTU heat pump mini split. It does run on 240 VAC. It is run off of an Outback PSX-240 transformer. The total draw for both is 28 - 30 watts. Not too much, but 24/7 is around 1 kwh just to have it turned off. The PSX draws about 10 watts and the Mitsubishi about 20. When a heat pump runs it never shuts off, always running, not like a window unit AC or anything. It does draw less as the temp gets to the goal.

    I like mine and would buy another
    12K asst panels charging through Midnite Classic 150's, powering Exeltechs and Outback VFX-3648 inverter at 12 and 48 volts.  2080 AH @ 48 VDC of Panasonic Stationary batteries (2 strings of 1040 AH each) purchased for slightly over scrap, installed August 2013.  Outback PSX-240X for 220 volt duties.  No genny usage since 2014. 
  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 508 ✭✭✭
    http://ecorenovator.org/forum/geothermal-heat-pumps/683-sanyo-24khs72-ac-hp-diy-install-project.html

    My old Sanyos use crankcase heaters that turn off and on, depending on the outside temperatures.
    Most of the time, (since it's winter most of the time) they are ON and using 30 watts. (each)
    The control board/inverter power supply load is about 10W. So that adds up to 40W.

    Right now, my living room Sanyo is using 40W (it's turned off) and the Den unit is on Heat.
    It's using about 430 watts. When den is at 21C or higher, the Den Sanyo will periodically drop
    into very low fan idle mode, using only 20W. (Meaning the crankcase oil is nice and warm).
    When it's really cold outdoor, very-low-fan idle mode will creep up to 40 watts.

    If the units you install have crankcase heaters, they will most likely use power all the time.
    Even when you leave the unit off for days on end..

    In cool weather (<50F), mine will use 40w x2=80w 24/7 and it's just wasted..
    When we get mild weather, I go down and open the breakers.. :)
    I always let the crankcases re-heat before re-starting the compressors.

    You can find a baseline average kwh per day or month before you install..
    Then you'll have a fair idea of what your power cost for heat and cooling is,
    once the system is running.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,338 ✭✭✭✭
    Has anyone measured the "standby / idle" power consumption of their units? Also needing input on the wi-fi controlled units in the 12k btu range. Wanting to monitor solar, and adjust minisplit remotely via phone app.



    The LG units are off (zero watts) when programmed to be off. I think most new 2014 and later design products are this way. I just bought a toaster oven and it is a new convection model and it draws about 2 watts when you push any buttons and then goes to zero after 30 seconds. California requires anything with a wall wart go close to zero power after a reasonable time.

    hey Rich ! If you want to be warm and not have a shower go west instead of south....
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,338 ✭✭✭✭
    h
    Has anyone measured the "standby / idle" power consumption of their units? Also needing input on the wi-fi controlled units in the 12k btu range. Wanting to monitor solar, and adjust minisplit remotely via phone app.
    The second part of your question adjusting the split by phone is pretty easy. I will look thru my installs but we did a house that used a box ? that took the data off the thermostat and interfaced to phone.

    Controlling the split via the inverter and solar chargers is the holy grail for me. The first one that is out that will adjust for programmed temp and know available solar and modulate with clouds will be my baby.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • AnawaAnawa Solar Expert Posts: 198 ✭✭
    I just installed two (2) Mitisibushi mini-split heat pumps; 18k btu and a 15k btu. I am amazed at their low power consumption when running simultaneously, I have not done a "metered" reading, just looking at the Mate3 display.
    I have also purchased separately (but not yet connected) the wifi transmitters that are retro fitted to each of the covers on the indoor units. The system then requires a remote receiver that you connect to your router for Internet operation and monitoring. This electronic equipment was purchased online from a couple of different EBay vendors for the best pricing.

    If you go this route, that is, purchase electronics separately for pricing, be sure that you have the manufacturers correct model for both the transmitter and wifi receiver.

    Good Luck
    Paul
    Paul 
    in Georgia

    System 1: PV- 410w Evergreen, Mppt- Blue Sky Solar Boost, Batt - 225ah Deka AGM, 12v led house lighting,
    System 2: PV- 215w Kyocera, PWM - Morningstar PS30, Batt- 225ah Deka GC's, 12v led house lighting, Dankoff 12v water pump,
    System 3: PV- 1.5kw Kyocera, Grundfos 11 SQF well pump, 3000 gal above ground water storage, dom water & irrigation,
    System 4: PV- 6.1kw Kyocera, Mppt- Outback FM80-2ea, Inverter- Outback FX3648-2ea, Batt- 804ah GB traction, Grundfos BMQE booster pump 240v, Mitsibushi mini-splits 240v, 18k and 15k
  • soloronesolorone Solar Expert Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
    Interesting thread, and Xringer's link was helpful. I have been looking at these for years. We now have abundant power to make use of one,, now the hard part is convincing the wife. We have not used AC in about 40 years, we have heavy shade, and it is usually comfortable. The big asset for us would be the heating. WE used 3 KW of space heaters this year on milder days, and noticed how much we saved on LP. In the fall we are under so much shade, that when we have low temps where you need heat, but it is not cold enough to fire up the soap stone stove. I guess I will let a really bad summer convince her. Most likely will waste $350 on one of those roll around thingies, until she comes around. Sadly, after our solar rebuild, our safety net savings $$ are limited.
  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 508 ✭✭✭
    Solorone, If you don't need much cooling, these things are still great for keeping a very low level of dust and pollen indoors.
    You might only use a couple kwh per day, but your air is cleaned all day long. You just need to keep the filter clean. :)
    I clean ours about once a month in the summer time. Takes me 10 min per unit.

    They are great for heating! Ours were on about 20 min this morning. Now the sun will keep us warm the rest of the day..
    (South facing windows). I'll be glad when we can switch to cooling mode!

    Cheers,
    Rich
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,338 ✭✭✭✭
    XRinger wrote: »
    Solorone, If you don't need much cooling, these things are still great for keeping a very low level of dust and pollen indoors.
    You might only use a couple kwh per day, but your air is cleaned all day long. You just need to keep the filter clean. :)
    I clean ours about once a month in the summer time. Takes me 10 min per unit.

    They are great for heating! Ours were on about 20 min this morning. Now the sun will keep us warm the rest of the day..
    (South facing windows). I'll be glad when we can switch to cooling mode!

    Cheers,
    Rich


    I have friends who had allergies disappear with the mini-split. The other nice feature of the strategy (really small single unit on all day) is that there is not much dust and what there is, is not being blown around like a house with ducts.
    We have old ones living here this year and the heating pleasantly surprised me again after 8 years of owning the unit.

    It would be nice if someone would build a high end window unit that operated on the split technology. This would take the Pro during installation out of the loop. It does not seem like this will happen as they keep making the window units so cheap that a case of beer is more expensive.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 508 ✭✭✭
    When the pollen slows down, we open up the house. Otherwise it's closed about 75% of the year.

    Lately, we've also been using a couple of small air cleaners too. In the den it's on a timer and runs during the day.
    The other one is smaller and we run it at night in the bedroom. Helps my wife health problems.
    These new filters pick up the very small particles that aren't picked up by the M/S units.

    Right after we started using the first Sanyo, I noticed the early morning sun beams coming into the house were clear..
    No dust floating around in the morning sun.. :) I like that a lot..

  • lipetslipets Solar Expert Posts: 58 ✭✭
    I'm looking to get a 9K or 12K mini, called an online dealer good prices but says if I install it, all warranty/guarantee are void?

    I saw a couple of utubes on install and look pretty simple, and come pre-charged.


    Anyone know about this issue?

  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 508 ✭✭✭
    You can actually do a lot of the work yourself (In my town, I got permission to do my own electrical wiring, and it passed inspection),
    but before you start, you will need to find a licensed HVAC guy that will turn the hex key to release the R-410a..
    I have a buddy from work who does my stuff. He looks over the job, turns the hex key and signs the install sheet for the warranty.

    I could have done it myself, but I'm glad that I didn't. My first installed died pretty quick. When it started getting really cold. :(
    I got a replacement outdoor unit.. (Slow boat from China) but got my buddy back for 20 minutes to crank the hex key..

    Some states may have laws and of course the EPA doesn't want you do anything with refrigerant.


    Nice part of my story was repairing the leak and ending up with a second Sanyo .. For about $500 bucks.

    http://ecorenovator.org/forum/geothermal-heat-pumps/1815-2-sanyo-24khs72-ac-hp-install-project-oct-2011-a.html


  • Wheelman55Wheelman55 Registered Users Posts: 35 ✭✭
    Subscribed. Very interesting thread.
    Building Off-Grid in Terlingua, TX
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,283 ✭✭✭✭
    Well, I've never heard of Thermocore, but While I was looking, I found this Thermocore unit 120 volt 9000btu, 24.5 SEER.

    It hasn't been reviewed yet, but their other items seem to have gotten good reviews.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, ForkLift battery. Off grid for @13 of last 14 years. 1000 watts being added to current CC, @2700 watts to be added with an additional CC.
  • AnawaAnawa Solar Expert Posts: 198 ✭✭
    Here's what I did. I shopped online and found the best price I could. I printed the "deal" and took it to the local Home Depot (manger level). They matched the price, delivered to the store and warranted the units. I measured for the line sets, shopped online and found a price much better than Home Depot's best. Then, found a local HVAC to set and install piping to both exterior and interior units at about $300 each. You may get a better install price than this, but a ball park to start.
    If you are interested in mini-splits, I suggest going online and reading the install manuals on units that interest you. These things are simple, extremely low noise and low power.
    Paul
    Paul 
    in Georgia

    System 1: PV- 410w Evergreen, Mppt- Blue Sky Solar Boost, Batt - 225ah Deka AGM, 12v led house lighting,
    System 2: PV- 215w Kyocera, PWM - Morningstar PS30, Batt- 225ah Deka GC's, 12v led house lighting, Dankoff 12v water pump,
    System 3: PV- 1.5kw Kyocera, Grundfos 11 SQF well pump, 3000 gal above ground water storage, dom water & irrigation,
    System 4: PV- 6.1kw Kyocera, Mppt- Outback FM80-2ea, Inverter- Outback FX3648-2ea, Batt- 804ah GB traction, Grundfos BMQE booster pump 240v, Mitsibushi mini-splits 240v, 18k and 15k
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,338 ✭✭✭✭
    Photowhit wrote: »
    Well, I've never heard of Thermocore, but While I was looking, I found this Thermocore unit 120 volt 9000btu, 24.5 SEER.

    It hasn't been reviewed yet, but their other items seem to have gotten good reviews.


    Nice to see them on Amazon. The warranty on the Thermocore is only a year, and typical is 5 years on the unit and 7 on the compressor. The strategy of running a small unit all day is going to stress the design and I would want 5 years of warranty. Might get a free one like Rich!
    I am starting to shop and plan this year for a spare as it is too painful to think of a failure. It would be more painful than losing electrical power on the hot days.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • ArkansasoffgridArkansasoffgrid Solar Expert Posts: 115
    Dave Angelini, since you seem to have exp as a consumer and installer, whats the most reliable brand?
    Looking for the most efficient/reliable 12k btu available. This will be cooling a 1.5 story 24x32 home that is spray foam insulated with 6" in roof & walls, and 4"in floor.
    Anyone else also feel free to chime in.
    8-420AH US Battery L-16s, Midnite Classic 150cc, Whiz Bang Jr, Magnum MS4448PAE inverter/charger,  4590w Canadian Solar panels. Honda EU2000i generator.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,338 ✭✭✭✭
    To answer your question you really need to know who will do the final install of the system. The gas purge of the line set for warranty. Any of the LG, Mitsu, Fugitsu, and Panasonic will give you a 5 year warranty and 7 years on the compressor. There are more brands but many of my customers have had problems finding someone in really remote places that will come out unless they sell the split. As you know, when it gets hot these guy's (HVAC) start thinking of the beach house and new truck and the prices go way up, especially if you are remote. I flew to Hawaii one summer....

    To get warranty claims there must be a receipt for first start of the system. You can e-mail me.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 508 ✭✭✭
    Can't get Sanyo anymore.. They were taken over by Panasonic. My 5 year warranty is pretty much over by now.
    The warranty on the older 'Den' outdoor unit was gone when it's replacement came off the truck.

    I've heard of HVAC guys on CraigsList that will do the work for a reasonable fee.
    Just have to be careful, since many HVAC guys aren't trained on mini-splits.

    I read the manuals, watched the videos and learned how to do the full install and
    purchased the tools (vacuum pump etc), so all my HVAC guy had to do was about 2 minutes of work, and sign off on the install..

    Stories I've heard, is most HVAC companies won't even consider installing a system that "You" purchased.
    They want to buy it for you and install it.. Kids are going to Harvard I guess..


  • soloronesolorone Solar Expert Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
    I have a HVAC forum I could post here, if anyone might like it. It seems the Fujitsu is favored over the Mitsubishi, as you are paying for the name. Then one person recommends a high end unit that is twice the cost...

    http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?296332-Fujitsu-vs-Mitsubishi-ductless-air-conditioning
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,873 admin
    Sure, feel free to post the other forum URL.

    More information is always appreciated.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • ArkansasoffgridArkansasoffgrid Solar Expert Posts: 115
    I know the LG LA120HYV has the available wi-fi module for $100, are there other brands that are wi-fi ready?
    8-420AH US Battery L-16s, Midnite Classic 150cc, Whiz Bang Jr, Magnum MS4448PAE inverter/charger,  4590w Canadian Solar panels. Honda EU2000i generator.
  • AnawaAnawa Solar Expert Posts: 198 ✭✭
    Ark, not sure what your budget is, but I know from experience that you can buy a 15btu Mitsubishi MZ heat pump (with full warranty from Home Depot) for about $1,700, install it for another $300, 25' line set another $150', buy the Mhk1 wifi remote controller for about $220, and Redlink internet receiver for another $90. Total around $2,500.
    The Mhk1 remote controller has many programmable features, such as, pre-sets for fan, occupied/unoccupied temp settings, and for us off-girders, you can Lockout anyone tampering with the settings (other than simply hiding the remote). The Redlink receiver allows certain operations via phone apps.

    Paul
    Paul 
    in Georgia

    System 1: PV- 410w Evergreen, Mppt- Blue Sky Solar Boost, Batt - 225ah Deka AGM, 12v led house lighting,
    System 2: PV- 215w Kyocera, PWM - Morningstar PS30, Batt- 225ah Deka GC's, 12v led house lighting, Dankoff 12v water pump,
    System 3: PV- 1.5kw Kyocera, Grundfos 11 SQF well pump, 3000 gal above ground water storage, dom water & irrigation,
    System 4: PV- 6.1kw Kyocera, Mppt- Outback FM80-2ea, Inverter- Outback FX3648-2ea, Batt- 804ah GB traction, Grundfos BMQE booster pump 240v, Mitsibushi mini-splits 240v, 18k and 15k
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,338 ✭✭✭✭
    Anawa wrote: »
    Ark, not sure what your budget is, but I know from experience that you can buy a 15btu Mitsubishi MZ heat pump (with full warranty from Home Depot) for about $1,700, install it for another $300, 25' line set another $150', buy the Mhk1 wifi remote controller for about $220, and Redlink internet receiver for another $90. Total around $2,500.
    The Mhk1 remote controller has many programmable features, such as, pre-sets for fan, occupied/unoccupied temp settings, and for us off-girders, you can Lockout anyone tampering with the settings (other than simply hiding the remote). The Redlink receiver allows certain operations via phone apps.

    Paul
    Hey Paul,

    Can you tell us more about the Wi fi remote controller? Specific question is can you shut one or both of your two units down from the same hand-held? Can you do the same thing over the internet?
    Thanx!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • AnawaAnawa Solar Expert Posts: 198 ✭✭
    Dave, stand-by on the WiFi app control for both units. First, gotta get a satellite internet service installed, hopefully in a couple of weeks. I'll follow-up in a few to let you know.

    I'm trying to finish construction on my place that we started last summer. As usual, everything done in the boondocks, i.e. off-grid, takes longer than planned, mo' money, and each day usually brings more challenges to deal with. Sometimes it's hard to sort the blessings from the short-comings, but we try.

    Paul
    Paul 
    in Georgia

    System 1: PV- 410w Evergreen, Mppt- Blue Sky Solar Boost, Batt - 225ah Deka AGM, 12v led house lighting,
    System 2: PV- 215w Kyocera, PWM - Morningstar PS30, Batt- 225ah Deka GC's, 12v led house lighting, Dankoff 12v water pump,
    System 3: PV- 1.5kw Kyocera, Grundfos 11 SQF well pump, 3000 gal above ground water storage, dom water & irrigation,
    System 4: PV- 6.1kw Kyocera, Mppt- Outback FM80-2ea, Inverter- Outback FX3648-2ea, Batt- 804ah GB traction, Grundfos BMQE booster pump 240v, Mitsibushi mini-splits 240v, 18k and 15k
  • AnawaAnawa Solar Expert Posts: 198 ✭✭
    Dave, here's some links on the MHK1 WiFi receiver/controller: http://ecomfort.com/PDF_files/Mitsubishi/mhk1install.pdf and, http://ecomfort.com/PDF_files/Mitsubishi/mhk1operation.pdf

    Probably more info than you would like, but the 12 page installation manual is a good overview.

    The Internet connection is via the Honeywell Redlink setup. Here's a link: https://www.forwardthinking.honeywell.com/products/wireless/total_connect According to the vendor info, the gateway app is a free online service and you can control up to 4 thermostats with one gateway. We'll verify this later.

    Paul
    Paul 
    in Georgia

    System 1: PV- 410w Evergreen, Mppt- Blue Sky Solar Boost, Batt - 225ah Deka AGM, 12v led house lighting,
    System 2: PV- 215w Kyocera, PWM - Morningstar PS30, Batt- 225ah Deka GC's, 12v led house lighting, Dankoff 12v water pump,
    System 3: PV- 1.5kw Kyocera, Grundfos 11 SQF well pump, 3000 gal above ground water storage, dom water & irrigation,
    System 4: PV- 6.1kw Kyocera, Mppt- Outback FM80-2ea, Inverter- Outback FX3648-2ea, Batt- 804ah GB traction, Grundfos BMQE booster pump 240v, Mitsibushi mini-splits 240v, 18k and 15k
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,338 ✭✭✭✭
    Wheelman55 wrote: »
    I've been following this thread with much interest. I'm a noob to solar and am in the process of building an off grid residence in Terlingua, TX. It's both hot and cold down there. So a mini split seems like a good solution.

    I came across these units while doing some web research. The gentleman that I spoke with at the company says that his units run directly on DC, so will use less electricity due to less efficiency loss.

    I would like to get comments from all y'all on them.

    Thanks loads...Pat

    Here's a link:
    Pat,
    This linkto Hotspot was posted in the forum a ways back. I can't remember why it was not appealing. I think it was just that no-one was able to see one work, warranty, SEER or ???? You could search the forum for it?

    The concept is great but with solar much less expensive now, the conversion loss and Inversion loss are small. Once your batteries are charged, that loss goes away and you basically have 10% inversion loss and the loss from your panels and wiring. The key to doing this offgrid is having arrays that capture the early morning sun, and most importantly the evening sun. If you get the afternoon gloom in the south, you will need a larger bank or generator usage. Good Luck! Drop me an e-mail
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,338 ✭✭✭✭
    Anawa wrote: »
    Dave, stand-by on the WiFi app control for both units. First, gotta get a satellite internet service installed, hopefully in a couple of weeks. I'll follow-up in a few to let you know.

    I'm trying to finish construction on my place that we started last summer. As usual, everything done in the boondocks, i.e. off-grid, takes longer than planned, mo' money, and each day usually brings more challenges to deal with. Sometimes it's hard to sort the blessings from the short-comings, but we try.

    Paul


    I am standing, but if both units are working, can you control the second unit with the first units control? You probably have to use the remote for the unit it is assigned to is my guess.
    Just trying to figure out something to make it easier and safer (batterywise). I really like the concept of 2 splits but I am wary for some of my clients being able to manage it. Please keep us posted!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,338 ✭✭✭✭
    I had not seen this Floor mounted model before from Fujitsu. Might be nice if one had limited upper wall space.

    https://www.acwholesalers.com/Fujitsu-Air-Conditioners/9RLFF-9000-BTU-26-0-SEER-Ductless-Heat-Pump-System/44390.ac?catId=cat22063&mainCat=&subCat=
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

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