Mini Split update for Offgrid

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  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 588 ✭✭✭
    Never got interested in them, not for the DIYer, since you can't buy them off the web and get the warranty.
    And there's been some problems.. https://tedsenergytips.com/2014/01/29/why-i-can-no-longer-recommend-fujitsu-mini-split-heat-pumps/

    The new Gree Crown series is rated for -20 F, so it should be good for most of the winter in the Boston area..
    Not sure what's going to be coming in the next few winters, it might be getting colder, with more snow..
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,139 ✭✭✭✭✭
    XRinger said:
    The amps go up.. But the KWatt hours are what count. BTU per hour uses how many KW hours, those numbers are what I'm looking at..
    Stuff like the EER, HSPF and COP are the numbers to look for when buying..

     And nope, I don't use grid-tied gear. I own one GTI, because I wanted to experiment with using it off-grid.. :) IIRC, that thing is toast now.. ;)
    What I mean is you are grid-tied!  Maybe not with an inverter but the reason we look at amps offgrid is we are running this mainly off the sun. Sure the larger systems I do have the capacity to run 24/7 and the SEER and amazing HSPS of the Fujitsu come into play. We want offgrid the minamum amps because in the extreme heat we are undersized and run at max on the mini split during the day. This is the strategy and the next larger heat pump would become more of a challenge at night.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 588 ✭✭✭
    My point about power was trying to get the idea over to the causal reader here, that 1200 watts at 120 volts, pulls 10 amps. Whereas a 240vac cooler only uses 5 amps at 1200 watts. Seems like just saying "amps" isn't as accurate as saying power or watts..

    I've seen a few 120vac 9,000 BTUh Mini-splits, that use Less power, than the exact same model using 240vac. (to get the same BTUh out).
    For some reason the smaller 9k models using 120vac can be more economical than the same model using 240vac.. Or so it seems.
    I have no idea why..

    ~~~
    I'm always looking at how to heat.. Not so much how to cool. But, I had one room that always over-heats in summer..
    I may have already posted this here, but here it is again..
    http://ecorenovator.org/forum/renovations-new-construction/1597-suntex-solar-screen-project.html

    These solar screens are still working (since 2011) great! We just took them down for the winter.
    Anyone who lives in the sun belt, and has glass facing the sun, should check out installing some solar screens..
    They are amazing! The reduction in solar heat gain is instantly noticeable.   

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,139 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Are the screens inside of the glass or outside?  We can't use anything on the outside during fire season.

    Other than your gree, I have never seen a 120vac model that was as good as a 240vac top of line in a brand.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 588 ✭✭✭
    The screens can't be inside, since they get super hot. The absorb solar heat like crazy. Of course they emit IR at a high rate too.
    The only choice for something inside the glass, would be sheets of something that was highly reflective.

    Yeah, I just looked around online and don't see a lot of 120vac models.. I guess they aren't very popular.
    Gree might not have translated the specs correctly.. Some people on another forum, have been seeing problems in Gree Neo  specs.. 
    http://ecorenovator.org/forum/sale-trade-wanted-web-finds/4916-gree-neo-units-sale.html

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,139 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2016 #127
    Thanks Rich!  We use black-out fabric on the inside and it is fairly fire resistant.
    Once the window blows out the party is over unless you are there to fight the fire.
    Stay in the East until the drought is over by at least 5 years....
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 588 ✭✭✭
    The other thing I was thinking is using screen frames to hold some kind of heat resistant film that's got a mirror finish..

    https://www.amazon.com/Gila-PRS361-Daytime-Privacy-36-Inch/dp/B000H5XTKG
    This inside film looks interesting. Not sure anyone would want it, unless they had a problem with the sun, all year round..

    When I was in the Navy, we did a controlled burn once and I went inside a nearby building
    to make sure it wasn't getting too hot.. I noticed some insulating foam blocks that were near a window were melting..
    The wall felt normal, the glass was warm, but the heat that could be felt inside that window was seriously hot..
    It was so strange, the chief had to see for himself, before we set up a water canon to put some spray between the fire and the building..


  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,139 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Three generations of Navy here. My brother always corrects me when I say that. One Italian Navy and 2 in the US Navy...
    Dad got sunk by a Kamikaze in Leyte Gulf but floated safely until they picked him up.
    There were no mini-splits back then, those guy's just cooked in the tropics!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 588 ✭✭✭
    This summer, I found an audio book called 'Neptune's Inferno' and a paperback book 'The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors'. The war in the Pacific was pretty dang vicious. Now I know what my Uncles did in the war.. 
    I did my time at sea on WW2 Essex class carriers in the Atlantic.. 1 year on the USS Wasp and 1 year on the USS Essex.. The oldest and the boldest..  Burning up in the Caribbean, or freezing up around the arctic  circle.. No fun chasing Russian subs.. I should have stayed in the Bermuda FD. Firing fires was a lot easier.. Loved the beaches..
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,139 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Very cool !  One of my clients is a Nam vet and he was on the Essex class Oriskany. 
    Were you guys flying F4's? My brother was in the last Navy F4 squadron.
    He has been sending me pictures of the new Ford class carrier with the elctromagnetic launch system.
    Navy still shaking down the Ford.
    Loved the beaches but liked it back on board where there were not any bugs!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 588 ✭✭✭
    My ships were never modernized with steam catapults.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Oriskany_(CV-34)#1957.E2.80.931968
    We also had wooden flight decks, not steel.. Plus, the Essex class isn't really large.. Not sure how well a very large fighter like the F4 would work on an Essex class.. We were anti-sub and had helos and propeller planes..
    When jets were on those WW2 vintage ships, they were not large jets.. Very small actually..  
    https://youtu.be/DOcuOyrMykU
  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 588 ✭✭✭
    edited April 2017 #133
    FYI to anyone following this thread.. The Gree Crown (-20F) unit has a smallish surge when cooling, but the heating surges are very high.. Up around 11 amps at 240vac is pretty common in the winter.. Best avoid for solar..
    When it idles (after the area is warmed up), it used Zero watts (almost).. So it works a lot different that a Sanyo heating.
    Because the Sanyo will run at 470 watts for hours, before it will idle down to 40w (crankcase heater).
    Seems like the Gree turns off the crankcase heater.. If it has one... It's over-all power use is about the same as the old Sanyo..
    I like the Gree, I'm getting used to the big surges..  Of course I'm almost fully (98%) on the grid..
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,139 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Lot's of rainy periods this winter, just over 90" and very little snow.   :) How did you guy's do Rich?
    What BTU is the Gree?  My Sanyo is still humming quietly. When they sold to Panasonic, I believe they just updated the Panasonic solar panels with the Sanyo technology. I have been getting them from my supplier and they are as good as a solar panel can get.
     I hear they are building a plant back by you to build for Tesla. Be well !
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 588 ✭✭✭
    I've got to run out right now.. But I just put a review online..  https://www.amazon.com/review/R2V93471F9OQR4
    I'll be back... :)
  • rbrown3rdrbrown3rd Registered Users Posts: 6
    edited October 2017 #136
    I know this is an old thread, but I am hoping for some expert advice.  I live in a grid-tie home with the following specs:

    22 Sanyo HIP200-BAE PV Moduldes (4.4kw)
    2 Outback GVFX-3648 Inverters
    2 Outback MX-60 Charge Controller
    8 Concorde PVX-2240T  Batteries

    My system has been operational for ten years.  I live in South Florida and because of hurricane Irma, the grid was down for six days.  My system provided all of my power for those six days, operating perfectly....battery bank at night...PV during the day.'

    My original design included provision for a mini-split A/C in my bedroom, but we didn't install it because we ran out of money.  Now, I am able to do the install, but am faced with choosing a unit that could operated under the restrictions of my existing system.  The original design included a table with the following provision for a mini-split A/C:

    Future mini-split A/C . VA=900, Phase I A =7.5, kWh/day = 6.0

    Is there a unit that could operate from my PV and battery bank under these rather severe restrictions?  

    http://www.bbbrown.com/
    Detailed system description http://bbbrown.com/our-solar-home/4400-watt-system-description/

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,139 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Definitely!   Nice family webpage!  There is info in this thread.  I left a note on your webpage.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • rbrown3rdrbrown3rd Registered Users Posts: 6
    Thanks Dave. I’ll take a look at your note.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,139 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Calling out to Rich the Xringer !  How are you liking the GREE mini-splits?  Have you a comment on cleaning the indoor unit blower wheel fan? I need to get few for some clients and one is in Florida and asked me about it. Pretty nasty this week-end in your area? I left my computer with your e-mail up on the mountain and they are snowed in. Hope this finds you, and finds you well!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 588 ✭✭✭
    The Gree unit did well when it got down around zero and below. But the old Sanyo in the den is still conking out at around 8 deg F.
    We were lucky and got no real damage. My Fios fiber cable came down, so I had to do a jury-rig repair..
    No power loss or even a blink.. That's what I get for investing in back-up systems!! ;)

    I looked into cleaning the squirrel-cage fan blades, and it's not something I want to do..
    You have to get the right chemicals, a sprayer, a large bib to catch the drip under the unit and a lot of nerve..
    I saw a company video on YouTube, IIRC..
    Good luck to you Dave! Please Let me know what you used.. 
    Cheers,
    Rich

      

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,139 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks Rich! Glad that you guys got thru. It sounds nasty but that is what the news is all about these days. Sigh!
    How would you compare the functionality of the Gree compared to the Sanyo? Same basic functions with the remotes and the usual power changes as the differential changes?  Drop me an e-mail in my signature when you have some time.  
    Cheers but not late yet!  Five o'clock somewhere over at the bar....
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 588 ✭✭✭
    The Sanyo units had some big power use peaks at times, but mostly would slow way down and run at low power to maintain an even room temperature..
     This Gree will run at very high power for a while, then go to medium high (depending on outdoor temps),then just turn off,
    (zero watts) for a while.. Temperature isn't smooth and flat like the Sanyo.. It goes up and down 3 degrees easy..

    Set if for 69F and you will soon see 71 (maybe 72) then it will shut down and allow the room to get back down to 69F (never 68)
    and bring it back up to 71 again. The Sanyo keeps the room very stable..
    The Gree firmware seems to make it run a little like old-tech non-inverter units.. Off & On..  The Sanyo never goes completely off, when it's resting, the oil pan heater stays on.. 40w all the time, unless it's really warm outside..
     Over-all power use of the Gree is about the same as the Sanyo it replaced.. But the Gree gets more use, when it's below 8F..
    We do have a problem with the Sanyo remote in the den.. When the sun shine comes across the room, and hits the remote,
    it gets real warm and doesn't tell the Sanyo to provide heat..  But, since we don't get much sun anymore, it's not a big deal..
    We'll be lucky if we get a couple of Partly Sunny days this month..
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,139 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks Rich, Good info!  The LG and Fujitsu behave as my 10 year old Sanyo so I appreciate your input on GREE. I did email you also!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,114 ✭✭✭✭
    Hot off the press so to speak.....  Mini Splits and Black Mould...

    'I had no idea,' heat pump owner says about potential for mould

    Some warranties require deep cleaning, but few mention mould

    By Yvonne Colbert, CBC News Posted: Mar 05, 2018 5:00 AM AT Last Updated: Mar 05, 2018 5:00 AM AT

    Homeowners who clean heat pumps regularly may still miss nasty surprises inside the machines

    Homeowners who clean heat pumps regularly may still miss nasty surprises inside the machines. (Robert Short/CBC)

    Yvonne Colbert, Consumer Watchdog, Colbert has been a journalist for nearly 35 years, covering everything from human interest stories to the provincial legislature. These days, she's focused on helping consumers get the most bang for their bucks and avoid being ripped off. She invites story ideas at [email protected].
     

    As more and more homeowners turn to heat pumps to save money on heating and cooling their homes, many seem unaware of the potential for mould buildup and the need for regular deep cleaning.

    "I had no idea," said Lorna Newcombe of North Bedeque, P.E.I.  Newcombe has a five-year-old heat pump, which she loves. Last fall, both she and her four-year-old started having cold symptoms including runny noses, constant coughs and sore and aching muscles. "Myself and my son were both put on antibiotics and puffers," she said, adding they'd feel better for a while but when they stopped the antibiotics and puffers they would feel worse again. In December, her husband took a week's vacation, spending more time than usual in their home. When he, too, developed similar symptoms, they decided to investigate whether something in their house was responsible.

    Deep cleaning recommended

    They decided to have the filters in their heat pump changed but when Newcombe called the owner of the company that installed it, he recommended a deep cleaning. "I was skeptical because I've been cleaning it monthly on a regular basis," she said. But he assured her it was worth it and she'd be happy with the result, so she agreed.

    "As soon as soon as he started [to open it up], I was like, 'This is definitely not how I clean it. It's much more in depth and gets to the parts where you can't physically get as the owner of one of these machines,"' she said.

    Lorna Newcombe

    P.E.I. resident Lorna Newcombe loves her heat pump but is convinced mould in it caused her sickness. (CBC)

    She said there was black mould inside. "When he started spraying it at first it was kind of grey and then as he started going farther I was floored that anything in my house was that dirty," she said.

    Newcombe said within two days of the professional cleaning, the whole family felt better. They went back to the doctor and told her about the heat pump. "She put us on the proper antibiotics and we have been, knock on wood, feeling great since," she said. While the debris from her heat pump was never tested and the presence of mould was never confirmed, Newcombe is convinced it was responsible for her family's illness.

    Heat pumps a breeding ground

    Stories like that are not uncommon, according to those who clean heat pumps. "We've had very happy customers that called us and said "I'm off my puffer, our kids are no longer going to the doctor and their cold symptoms are gone,"' said Michelle Brewer, owner of Breathe Clean Mini Split Heat Pump Cleaning in Halifax. She says over time, heat pumps are "like a petri dish."

    "You have the moisture, you have the heat, the warmth, and you have the darkness so it doesn't matter — if you have that anywhere, you're going to get mould. And what we discovered if you have them cleaned on a regular basis, it cuts down on the mould," Brewer said.

    Billy Pashkoski found mould inside his heat pump

    Billy Pashkoski found mould inside his heat pump. (Robert Short/CBC)

    CBC was there when her company cleaned Billy Pashkoski's heat pump at his home in Middle Sackville, N.S. He called the company when he noticed mould inside the unit and  said he couldn't believe the black water that resulted from the cleaning. "It's satisfying to see it gone, but it's quite scary to think it's been in there and we've been breathing it. It's shocking," he said.

    Deep cleaning serves other purposes

    Most heat pump warranties require interior cleaning and maintenance, but few mention the potential for mould.  Brewer said a deep clean serves other purposes, as well.  She said a dirty heat pump can reduce efficiency by 20 to 25 per cent, which defeats the purpose of installing it. She pointed out that a dirty heat pump must work harder and that can reduce its lifespan.

    Both Newcombe and Brewer said they don't want to scare people away from heat pumps. They simply want owners to know that, like your furnace or car, heat pumps require professional maintenance, which Brewer recommends be done once a year.

    A worker from Breathe Clean Mini Split Heat Pump Cleaning inspects a heat pump at a Middle Sackville

    Billy Pashkoski looks inside his heat pump at his Middle Sackville home. (Robert Short/CBC)




     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,139 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 6 #145
    We get spoiled out here Eric. It just does not happen that much with the low humidity on this coast. It never happens for heating modes and really is a bigger problem when people have to run cooling 24 / 7. Most offgrid folks would do the maintenance because of the energy uptick. There are quite a few strategies beside the ones in your post. Much easier!

    The splits have cut my woodburning down by 50% and so keeping an eye on the unit is not a problem. They are amazing heaters!

    The news from back east does not look nice, the hellacious winter damage and people without power. When I was working for an Aerospace company my manager would always say that I did not have power and smile. I would let him go on and then I would say, it is you who will not have power when that pole comes down :)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,114 ✭✭✭✭
    My first thoughts when I read that article was for areas like Florida and the Islands to the South of there. We power boated around the Bahamas with friends and when Bernie handed me an iced drink with a napkin on it. I WONDERED WHY?, 2 minutes later I had my answer... could not believe the RH was that high in the middle of the Grand Bahama Bank......
    We in central BC are like you in having low RH, except in the shoulder seasons, but not constantly like the East coast states and provinces. This summer I hope to get the deck built, and move the small array and add more PV... A mini split for shoulder seasons would be good ... or does SWMBO want some  PV powered DHW?


     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,139 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Keep going south of Florida into the real tropics near the equator. People just take the doors off of cabinets where their clothes are.
    A pair of leather shoes can mold in 7 days. Fun stuff. We use to boat sit and open boats when the sun was out to air. I miss the monkees trying to get in a boat. Found one asleep at the helm inside a motorsailer. If I only had a camera...


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

  • rbrown3rdrbrown3rd Registered Users Posts: 6
    Reading this with interest as I am in South Florida.  We are in our winter dry season now when RH gets down to 30 - 40%.  In summer, it's always in the hight 90 percents.  You can almost feel the air as a tangible substance.  This summer will be my first using my Mitsu heat pump in my bedroom.  I guess I'd better learn about the cleaning process or talk to my A/C guy.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,139 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rich,
    Where did you go? I did not get any replies back from your e-mail to me? You OK?
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • XRingerXRinger Solar Expert Posts: 588 ✭✭✭
    I'm still around, just been really busy for some reason. Lot's of family stuff going on. Plus, it's still winter here!
    I was working in a semi-heated house a few hours today and I'm still trying to warm up!
    My grandson has just started walking and I had to build a padded half box around a dangerous heating vent.. :(
    It's hard building stuff here then installing it elsewhere.. Especially when you have a bad memory..
    I have not upholstered anything since the 1970s. This thing looks really bad.! 

    I asked my wife to pick up a small bottle cleaner that would fit into the air-output slots on the indoor units..
    She got me a jumbo sized device with a large OD hunk of plastic on the end.. Useless. I'll use it to clean my water bottles..
    Sorry about being AWOL on the email. I'm way behind on mail now. Once a week goes by, I never get back to unread mail..
    Too many interesting adds and emails from old buddies..  
    I'm trying to figure out 'Home Assistant'. I've got it on a Pi 3 B and now I need to start learning how to make it work for me..

    The Kids are coming home from overseas vaca this weekend.. So, I'm going to be even busier..


     Cheers,
    Rich


  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,139 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It was just that you guys got so hammered with one after another I  thought you might have bit the big one. I am glad that it worked out. 
    We had a thunderstorm on friday that dropped such huge hail, dirt clods were being thrown up. Pretty wild to drive thru also.

    Cheers!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

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