AC. Inverter vs Solar Assisted

BrianellulBrianellul Solar Expert Posts: 95 ✭✭
Hi All

I'm currently evaluating what type of AC I'll be installing. I've read about the inverter/variable speed units and it was confirmed on this forum that they are trully more efficient and will reduce running cost however I came across this solar assited AC by TeecoGroup and must say that I'm seriously considering this unit.

I live in Malta (Europe) middle of the mediterranean sea with temperatures ranging from 5 degrees Celcuis (worst case!) to 35/40 degrees Celcuis is Summer (Normal Temperature in Summer). I do not intend to use this unit for heating but only for cooling. From this AC literature, the hotter the outside temperature, the better the AC will perform.

Anyone have installed this type of AC unit or your views before I commit to buy and install?

Regards
Brian

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,240 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: AC. Inverter vs Solar Assisted

    Do they have any reviews on AMAZON, or any sites ?
    What is the actual energy rating on them ?
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 529 ✭✭✭
    Re: AC. Inverter vs Solar Assisted

    I would compare the specs of the solar assisted system to some modern
    Mini-splits that use Inverter Technology.

    My Sanyo mini-split uses a lot less power than old tech window ACs.
    and from what I've read, I'm using a lot less power than modern
    (American made) central air systems.
    http://ecorenovator.org/forum/geothermal/683-sanyo-24khs72-ac-hp-diy-install-project.html

    Today, it's very hazy here, not much coming in on my PV arrays,
    and it's very humid & 30C outside and the Sanyo is keeping it at a dry 23C indoors,
    while using 470 watts when it's not in idle mode.

    My Plasma TV & cable box use about that much power!

    I could see how that solar assist might work in heating mode, but it seems
    like the main reason they use it in cooling mode is, so they can use a
    smaller compressor.?.

    A rule that many engineers try to follow, is to avoid making a system overly complicated.
    That just creates more things that can go wrong..
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,280 ✭✭✭
    Re: AC. Inverter vs Solar Assisted

    The solar assisted air conditioners are more of a marketing hype then significant electrical savings.

    The air conditioner that included PV/GT inverter are usually insufficient in capacity to make much of an impact to the electrical usuage. A couple of 180 watt PV panels are not going to make much of an impact.

    You have to look at price of individual air conditioner then an add on independent grid-tie PV system of a size that will generate enough to make it work. This would be a 3 to 5 kW PV system, minimum.
  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 529 ✭✭✭
    Re: AC. Inverter vs Solar Assisted

    My 24,000 BTUh Sanyo mini-split has used 2.0 kwh since midnight.

    During the last 14 hours, it's been using 143 watts per hour on average.?.
    Of course most of that power was used after the sun came up,
    and it got about 10 degrees warmer.

    Would 'A couple of 180 watt PV panels' make a difference on a sunny day?

    360w for 5 hours = 1.8 kwh. Maybe it would.
    Especially if you are paying a lot per KW hour.
  • bluewickedburnerbluewickedburner Solar Expert Posts: 78 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: AC. Inverter vs Solar Assisted

    Everyone in Southern China seems to have one. Central AC there is reserved only for the very wealthy and some parts of government housing benefits, everyone else has personal AC. I know some people there and will ask about that specific model/type. Maybe some actual experience would help with your decision.

    I have to admit, that looks like a nice idea if it works and the prices seem reasonable.
  • BrianellulBrianellul Solar Expert Posts: 95 ✭✭
    Re: AC. Inverter vs Solar Assisted
    mike90045 wrote: »
    Do they have any reviews on AMAZON, or any sites ?
    What is the actual energy rating on them ?

    No haven't seen any reviews on these air conditioners but the EER ratings of these models is 3.89 (for the 12,000 BTU). Comparing this value to other ACs, even the inverter type, the EER is higher!

    Thanks
  • BrianellulBrianellul Solar Expert Posts: 95 ✭✭
    Re: AC. Inverter vs Solar Assisted
    RCinFLA wrote: »
    The solar assisted air conditioners are more of a marketing hype then significant electrical savings.

    The air conditioner that included PV/GT inverter are usually insufficient in capacity to make much of an impact to the electrical usuage. A couple of 180 watt PV panels are not going to make much of an impact.

    You have to look at price of individual air conditioner then an add on independent grid-tie PV system of a size that will generate enough to make it work. This would be a 3 to 5 kW PV system, minimum.

    Hi I agree that a 180 watt PV panel will not make much of a difference with regards to ACs. In my case, I already have a 2KW grid-tie system installed and my search for an efficient AC is obvious.... trying not to take back the units I'm currently selling. The unit I quoted does not use PV panels but instead a solar collector to heat up water and eventually the refrigerant.

    PS. Forgot to mention BUT this AC will only be used during the day, i.e. when the sun is shining, since I'll be installing it in the living area.
  • BrianellulBrianellul Solar Expert Posts: 95 ✭✭
    Re: AC. Inverter vs Solar Assisted
    Everyone in Southern China seems to have one. Central AC there is reserved only for the very wealthy and some parts of government housing benefits, everyone else has personal AC. I know some people there and will ask about that specific model/type. Maybe some actual experience would help with your decision.

    I have to admit, that looks like a nice idea if it works and the prices seem reasonable.

    Regarding prices, well those seem to be for Shangai only! I live in Malta and the quoted price is 1280 Euros!
    This is almost double for a normal AC (split unit with normal compressor) and slightly higher than the inverter AC units.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: AC. Inverter vs Solar Assisted

    Am I missing something ?? A/C 101 says your trying to cool the refrigerant in the condensing coil in the A/C mode and warm it in the heat mode, trying to see how a solar collector does that.
  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 529 ✭✭✭
    Re: AC. Inverter vs Solar Assisted
    Brianellul wrote: »
    No haven't seen any reviews on these air conditioners but the EER ratings of these models is 3.89 (for the 12,000 BTU). Comparing this value to other ACs, even the inverter type, the EER is higher!

    Thanks

    Here's the specs on mine.
    http://www.minisplitsystems.com/cgi/display.cgi?item_num=24KHS72

    ♦SEER: 17
    ♦ EER: 10.3
    ♦ COP: 3.41
    ♦ HSPF: 8.5

    But, this model has been sold for 4 years (maybe longer). And there are better units for sale these days.
  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 529 ✭✭✭
    Re: AC. Inverter vs Solar Assisted
    Am I missing something ?? A/C 101 says your trying to cool the refrigerant in the condensing coil in the A/C mode and warm it in the heat mode, trying to see how a solar collector does that.

    Since the system (ASHP) is pulling heat out of the outdoor air during the winter,
    when the air could be down to 5 degs F, having the sun help heat up the
    coils would certainly help out. I just worry about the square footage of the
    collector, it's bit small.

    It seems like the cooling mode is using the sun to heat the R410A during
    the compression cycle (to add PSI), so the pump motor has less load.?.

    One problem I see on the horizon, R410A uses very high pressure already.
    Start adding a lot of extra plumbing to the refrigerant loop and you are asking for problems.

    Another problem is the weather. Cloud edge-effect could give you too much pressure,
    and there could be very hot, but over-cast days, (or tree shade)
    where the collector wouldn't help at all.

    When there is a lack of sunny days, will the extra hardware use extra wattage? I think, yeah..
  • LucManLucMan Solar Expert Posts: 226 ✭✭✭
    Re: AC. Inverter vs Solar Assisted
    Brianellul wrote: »
    Hi All

    I'm currently evaluating what type of AC I'll be installing. I've read about the inverter/variable speed units and it was confirmed on this forum that they are trully more efficient and will reduce running cost however I came across this solar assited AC by TeecoGroup and must say that I'm seriously considering this unit.

    . I do not intend to use this unit for heating but only for cooling. From this AC literature, the hotter the outside temperature, the better the AC will perform.

    Anyone have installed this type of AC unit or your views before I commit to buy and install?

    Regards
    Brian

    I can see where this unit might give you a slightly higher efficiency during the heat pump operation by adding additional BTU to the refrigerant when the sun is shinning. " The hotter the outside temperature, the better the heat pump will perform." = True

    But in cooling mode the lower the temperature in the condenser the more efficient the unit will be.
  • BrianellulBrianellul Solar Expert Posts: 95 ✭✭
    Re: AC. Inverter vs Solar Assisted

    Hello

    I had asked for feedback on the SAC some time ago. Well I bought one and thought of sharing my experience with this unit. For anyone interested, I've blogged about it here.

    Regards
    Brian
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