Adding an Air Conditioner to an off-grid system at a clinic in Haiti

KeithWHareKeithWHare Solar Expert Posts: 140 ✭✭✭
In 2010, I helped install a solar electric system at a clinic in Haiti, about 10 miles east of Port-Au-Prince.. (See http://forum.solar-electric.com/discussion/7795/off-grid-system-in-haiti )

A couple of years later, we added a well and a pump. (See http://forum.solar-electric.com/discussion/14846/well-pump-at-a-clinic-in-haiti )

In 2014, we replaced the original batteries. (See http://forum.solar-electric.com/discussion/21172/update-on-a-pv-system-in-haiti )

For the next adventure, we are looking at improving the surgery room which means, among other things, adding an air conditioner.

The surgery room is about 13' wide x 23' long x 11' tall for 3289 Cubic Feet. We need to cool it about 10 degrees Fahrenheit from the outside temperature. We need to allow for some air exchange but I'm not yet sure how much.

The electrical system is currently only 120 volt AC so I'm looking at the 120 volt mini-split air conditioners that we've been able to find in Port-Au-Prince. So far, we've found three models that run on approximately 120 volts:

Galanz     AUS-09C61F010L2   9,000 BTUs 
Galanz     AUS-12C61F150L2 12,000 BTUs  
Westpoint WSZ-1211               12,000 BTUs 

Anyone have any experience with any of these units?

What is the power draw likely to be when one of these units starts? Is it the "locked rotor amps" number or something less?

I've attached photos of the data plates for these three units.





Once I figure out the starting surge, I can figure out how best to support the units.

Keith
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Comments

  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    What is the power draw likely to be when one of these units starts? Is it the "locked rotor amps" number or something less?
    <snip>
    Once I figure out the starting surge, I can figure out how best to support the units.
    The locked rotor amps is the startup surge.  The motor draws the most power when it is not turning... that's the locked rotor amps.  As soon as it begins moving, the current draw reduces.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,414 ✭✭✭✭
    Your problem here is this unit (I believe from what you have posted) is not an inverter based mini-split. They do not spec locked rotor because they are variable speed and do not have start-up surge. They slow start and the change in current is not an issue.

     The Fujitsu is about 1/2 the current and runs on R410. They do cost more!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • KeithWHareKeithWHare Solar Expert Posts: 140 ✭✭✭
    So we need to look for an inverter based mini-split. The units are a little large for checked luggage so we need to work with what we can find there.

    There are a couple of 220 volt units that do not list locked rotor amps, but also do not say inverter based:
    Haier    HSU-18LEK13
    Haier    HSU-18LEG13

    Any thoughts on these spec stickers?



  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,414 ✭✭✭✭
    You said 120vac? This unit is 220 and a ridiculous amount of power.  Luggage on a plane? Have a inverter based unit shipped, pay duty or find another way.
    If this is for offgrid you will need a generator all the time unless you have a huge battery and power source.  Good Luck!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,980 admin
    There used to be a nice 120 VAC split phase unit--However, they were purchased by Panasonic and that part of the line was discontinued. Not sure there are many (or any) 120 VAC split phase units out there at this time.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,414 ✭✭✭✭
    I found 4 different 120 VAC recently. All of them were far superior to the old Sanyo I think you are referring to.
    The OP's choices he has posted are far inferior to the model I think you are referring to. In fact I am not sure these are any better than a window unit. He should see SEER 16 minimum.
    There really is very little info on how he plans to run all of this offgrid in a Surgical environment.
    What is the power source? How many hours? Insulation level of the room, Doors opening excessively, heat sources in the room?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,980 admin
    Yea, the Sanyo had problems (excessive current draw at times?).

    You might find some help here for mini-split/ductless units:

    http://www.ceedirectory.org/site/1/Home

    -Bill

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,414 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2016 #9
    Not that I know of and I installed 7 of the Sanyo's. All still working!

    I am not looking for help Bill, maybe you are talking to the OP?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • KeithWHareKeithWHare Solar Expert Posts: 140 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2016 #10
    I found 4 different 120 VAC recently. All of them were far superior to the old Sanyo I think you are referring to.
    The OP's choices he has posted are far inferior to the model I think you are referring to. In fact I am not sure these are any better than a window unit. He should see SEER 16 minimum.
    There really is very little info on how he plans to run all of this offgrid in a Surgical environment.
    What is the power source? How many hours? Insulation level of the room, Doors opening excessively, heat sources in the room?

    This is a relatively small non-governmental organization called Healing Art Missions (http://www.healingartmissions.org/). Shipping things in to Haiti has been problematic the last couple of years. For large items, we have been limited by what we can find in Haiti. This may have eased somewhat but we still don't know.

    The surgery room will probably be used 4-5 hours a couple of mornings a week. The building is fairly solid block and concrete construction. The surgery room is on the east side of the north wing of the building, shaded by a tree. The window is currently just metal slats but needs to be covered and filtered. The room has one door with a pretty good seal. The number of times it is opened is an open question.

    Air exchange is another factor. We need to have some level of air exchange or the air quality in the room will get pretty bad. I'm still working on how much.

    On Google Earth, you can see the clinic at 18°31'0.49"N 72°12'9.04"W .

    I'm trying to work out how much power is needed so I can figure out how to get the power. The clinic has been getting by with 1,560 wants of solar panels, a 24 volt battery bank, and a Magnum MS4024 inverter. This is not going to support an AC unit, and so will need some expansion. If we can get away with sticking at 24 volts, we will need to:
    • Replace the 12 Trojan T105 batteries (I know, three strings is problematic) with 8 Trojan L16H-AC batteries in two strings.
    • Add nine or ten 200 watt PV panels (approximately 35 volts)
    • Replace the Outback FM60 with 2 Midnite Solar Classic 150 charge controllers
    This is possible with parts available in Haiti or transportable in checked luggage.

    Replacing the the MS4024 with an inverter that supports generator assist would be nice but we have not yet found one in Haiti.

    Upgrading to a 48 volt system would be nice, but would require replacing the inverter and replacing or augmenting the e-panel on which the inverter hangs.

    Using only a generator is a possibility, but it would be nicer to be able to do this with solar.

    Keith
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators Posts: 26,980 admin
    Yes, the link for mini-splits was for Keith.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,414 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2016 #12
    All that you have written suggests that you either buy a very good 12,000 btu inverter based mini-split above 16 SEER or you plan on just running the Surgery on a generator and get what you can. The good unit will give you options in the future and your MS 4024 will run it fine with better batteries and more solar. Is it not split phase or 230 vac also?

    I lived in the Caribbean and know how each country has it's issues. There has to be someone there who sells better equipment than you have shown here.

    Here is a link to 120 vac units but if your inverter and generator can support 230 vac, these units will have even higher SEER.

    You have some homework!
    https://www.ajmadison.com/b.php/110-120+Volts;Mini+Split+Air+Conditioners/N~40+1148

    These would be about the state of the art in 230 vac
    http://www.fujitsugeneral.com/wallmountedRLS3.htm


    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • KeithWHareKeithWHare Solar Expert Posts: 140 ✭✭✭
    The MS4024 is only 120 volts. The options for going to 240 volts are:
    • Stack a second MS4024
    • Replace the MS4024 with something that does 240 volts
    • Add a 120 to 240 volt transformer. We are already using a transformer for the pump so adding another would not be too bad.
    Anyhow, thanks for all of the discussion and information. I now understand better what questions to ask. Paul, who is pretty good at finding suppliers and supplies, will be in Haiti next in October. The current time frame for this project is sometime next year so there is plenty of time for things to change.

    Keith
  • animattanimatt Solar Expert Posts: 281 ✭✭✭
    I currently live in mexico.  And I am very familiar with the shuttling/ muling of things.
    Just. Today I traveled with an oversized sink.

    Most airlines have a  total size of 62 linear inches (length + width+height).  As such most pieces of luggage are no bigger than that.
    And some airlines do not like shipping boxes internationally.  Which was the case for me today.  (Jetblue ) .  My piece was a fair bit oversized but weighed only 35 lbs.  They did not charge me extra which was nice of them.
    I did have to buy what amounts to an expandable bag. With wheels.  I just put my box in the bag an everything went nicely.
    Getting to the point. Most airlines let you ship things that are up to 100 lbs.

    A quick look at the fujitsu seer 33 outdoor unit appears to be 88lbs.  So it is definitely something that can be shuttled although with some planning and thought.   Is it worth it to you? You will have to decide.   
    I would Imagine you would have to pay an over weight and maybe an over sized luggage fee.  That may run you $200 on taking it with you.

    Just something to think about.
  • KeithWHareKeithWHare Solar Expert Posts: 140 ✭✭✭
    animatt -- yes, it is possible to carry a lot of strange things on flights.

    If at all possible, I prefer to purchase stuff there as it adds to the local economy. But when we need something that can't be found locally, we have carried stuff in.

    In 2011, I carried an Outback PSX-240 transformer to Haiti in a carry-on.

    When we installed the well and pump in 2012, I checked a Grundfos SQFlex pump. The pump was long and skinny so my daughters wrapped it with two pairs of blue jeans and added a denim strap. It started off wrapped with duct tape and arrived in Haiti wrapped with TSA tape.

    I have a suitcase that has carried MidNite Solar e-Panels into both Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

    Keith
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,414 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2016 #16
    Yes it is possible to carry strange things on flights. They still can nail you with duty even on something that was taken back stateside to be repaired. The trick with electronics was to put some arc marks on the case and tape on a burned resistor to add some scent. Tell the customs person they can have it.

    During the 90's DHL was the worst for shipping in the Caribbean/central america. They would ship anything anywhere, even if they did not know how?
    We would hear the horror stories on the morning maritime 40 meter net. More than a few boats got stuck waiting with a hurricane,
     not good!

    The websites look good Keith!   I think I remember you here a few years back. It is a good cause and must be very rewarding!
    Good Luck!


    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • animattanimatt Solar Expert Posts: 281 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2016 #17
    Here in mexico there a a $500 duty free allowance per person.  I have no idea what it is in Haiti. 

    So if I am traveling with multiple people it adds.  Even though it maybe be one costly item, I show cost of item, then they give me the appropriate deductions depending on amount of people. I am not sure if that is the law here but that is how it is applied in the cancun airport.  
    A bonus.
    I sometimes suspect heavy lines going thru customs area of the airport.  So sometimes I will have receipts ready and  go right straight to pay what amounts to about 10 dollars in duties(if normal lines turn out to be long). The payment side usually has no lines.  
    When I am done paying I ask the person who is there to not have me wait in the customs line as I already paid.  I have saved myself a good hour several times that way.  They are appreciative that you went and paid the duty instead of trying to sneak through.

    Atleast here most of the time the people are cool about it.  I think they are looking for things that are more offensive then a sink or miscellaneous electronic.

    Anyway good luck.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 3,414 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2016 #18
    The part I remember about all of that area including Mexico was whatever the rule was, it is now different. Anything written in a cruising guide over a year old was mostly the old way. The tourist visa for Mexico looked almost exactly like the stamp from the bottom of a bottle of Pacifico beer.

    You ever get out to Isla Mujeres Animatt?


    "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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