Air conditioner specials

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coulomb
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Air conditioner specials

Post by coulomb » Wed, 01 Apr 2015, 13:44

OffgridQld mentioned some air conditioner specials recently in this post:
PIP 4048 inverter.

He mentioned the 20% off special, valid until tomorrow, and a cash-back special on Fujitsu models.

I did some quick research on the Fujitsu model, and found that some people complained about the lack of a "dry on turn off" feature, where the air conditioner would point its louvers down and run the fan for a few minutes to dry the internals and prevent molds from growing. I think that would be a great feature, and it was mentioned that Panasonic air conditioners have this feature.

I found that Panasonic also have a cash-back offer, though not as generous: Panasonic air conditioner promotions. Combined with the on-line 20% discount from The Good Guys online, it's still a decent saving.

I have not had a chance to research this model yet, but if you are ready to buy an air conditioner today or tomorrow, and are more interested in a Panasonic than a Fujitsu, you could save considerable money.

Thanks for the pointers, Kurt!
Last edited by coulomb on Wed, 01 Apr 2015, 02:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Air conditioner specials

Post by offgridQLD » Wed, 01 Apr 2015, 17:10

Thanks for separating the post.

In a former life I was involved with maintaining a bunch of airconditioners and cold storage refrigeration systems in a commercial environment.

A few things I picked up in that time was if you want more reliability and are operating the unit in a harsh environment where reliability over efficiency is your criteria then go for the non inverter style split system. Much more primitive units but less to go wrong.

Brand names there isn't much between the big players at around the same price point but they all do offer small different features and compromises and you really need to see what works for your application.

Regarding the "dry on turn off" feature. Fujitsu do have it on some models they call is "coil dry" but to be honest it doesn't negate the need for regular maintenance.

We had a QA lab on location that ran a small 2kw Airconditioner that had this feature along with the airconditioner being on for very long periods of time compared to a domestic unit so less likely to have mold issues. To cut a long story short we were getting product rejected By QA due to high bacteria counts. It turned out that it wasn't coming from the product but from the air conditioner in the QA lab contaminating the results. As it wasn't in the maintenance system to be cleaned regularly. Though it wasn't that old.

Technical running the fan for a little while before switching it off should help some but I could see little difference in the units with the feature or without it. They all needed regular primary filter cleaning along with replacement of the ION deodorizing filters and the static filters every 3 months and a total coil washdown once a year.

Most people have mold problems where they don't clean it enough (they just clean the primary dust filter every now an then) and run it in a small house near a kitchen with inadequate exhaust ventilation over the stove. The coil gets contaminated with cooking oils the first time the Wip up a stir fry and will grow mold until the coil it's degreased.

One thing that was mentioned about the fujitsu units on some forums was the main control board wasn't protected with any Conformal coating. I have pulled apart all four of my new units the Samsung and the three Fujitsus all four have a very thick! layer of conformal coating over the PCB thats then covered in a metal enclosure.

Overall impression was the Fujitsu was a more tidy inside Perhaps more of your money on the samsung went into the features over neat wiring . Though the samsung had a great sound insulation coat over the compressor. With velcro tabs giving it a tight seal around the compressor with no gaps.

Kurt




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Air conditioner specials

Post by offgridQLD » Wed, 01 Apr 2015, 17:32

If you want to compare diferent Airconditioner models consumption http://reg.energyrating.gov.au/comparat ... 64/search/

Kurt
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Air conditioner specials

Post by coulomb » Wed, 01 Apr 2015, 19:37

Also plenty of negative reviews on the Panasonic, e.g.
http://www.productreview.com.au/p/panas ... erter.html . I have no idea whether these reviews are authentic, or posted by competitors.
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Post by offgridQLD » Wed, 01 Apr 2015, 21:03

I found there was negative reviews on all the brands. Some a bit contradictory to.

One thing with a split system is the quality of the installation accounts for a big proportion of issues most of the time. No matter what brand you buy. Even the most expensive unit from the most trusted company can end up with issues if you get a cowboy to Install it. A lot if the problems won't show up until years down the track. Don't pick the installer by cost alone.

Even if you do have a issue getting a cowboy in to diagnose the problem that could be something quick easy and inexpensive can end up in a "it's not worth fixing just swap it out" response. Some times for something as silly as a loose plug or even a fuse.

Kurt

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Post by offgridQLD » Wed, 01 Apr 2015, 21:20

The last split system we purchased for our place in Brisbane was a non inverter style LG unit 15 years ago. It finally broke late last year. The spade terminals on the top of the compressor had corroded. Enough to loose power to the compressor and even corrode the flange seal where the wires enter the compressor and a loss of gas's. Considering the compressor is sealed and a new terminal flange would need to be brazed back into the top of the compressor or a replacement compressor with regassig it wasn't worth investing in the old style unit. So a replacement inverter style (way more efficient) was a better option.

We have two other small unit's In that house both are no name brands non inverter style one 6yo and the other 8yo both working fine. Though one was installed by a guy who didn't put a loop in the pipes so the unit is a little more noisy due to that. Along with damaging my external outlet that he taped into for the power feed to it. I Wasn't around when he installed it though I wouldn't recommend him.

Kurt

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Post by T1 Terry » Wed, 01 Apr 2015, 23:34

Any stories regarding the Kogan 2.6kW split system inverter unit? At $499 it seems to be a real bargain, I bought one to install in our Mazda motorhome and run it off an inverter, if it dies it dies, but if the quality isn't too bad I was thinking of installing a few around the house as well for both cooling and heating.

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Post by offgridQLD » Wed, 01 Apr 2015, 23:44

'Any stories regarding the Kogan 2.6kW split system inverter unit? At $499 it seems to be a real bargain"

It consumes 30 - 40% more energy than the same size (output) system from Samsung, Dakin, Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Panasonic and most other leading brands.

It's also reasonably noisy (Noise Level Low/Med/High: 29/34/38db(A)

The Samsung units are 35 / 25 / 20dBA thats a big difference in DB terms.

Most of the big brands have a 5 year warranty (Samsung 10 years on parts 5 years on compressor) The Kogan only has 1 year warranty and you have to pay $96 to extend it to 5 years.

Yet its only $150 cheaper than some of the deals going on the more well know brands. Oh and its only 2.45kw cooling - 2.6kw heating. Most of the leading brands are are 2.5 cool but about 2.8 - 3.5 heat.


Kurt
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Post by T1 Terry » Thu, 02 Apr 2015, 00:09

After the power hungry and teeth rattling Dometic roof top unit the Kogan has to be miles in front, but maybe not an option for the house then. There is no rush just yet, I guess there will be some bargains to be had as we head into winter and places clear floor stock.

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Post by offgridQLD » Thu, 02 Apr 2015, 00:20

Yes the Kogan isn't bad compared to the old style non variable compressor style units just a long way off the better brands if your after a new unit. Using the kogan in the van wouldn't matter much as you most likely don't pay for the power when your plugged in and it most likely doesn't get as much use as a house installed unit over the year.

I would say Autumn Spring are the best time to buy a Air con. As they are the two seasons where people are comfortable in there homes without any artificial cooling or heating (remember a lot of people install split systems as heaters)

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Post by T1 Terry » Thu, 02 Apr 2015, 00:45

The units would all be solar/battery powered anyway, including the one in the motorhome, so energy costs don't come into the equation, only ensuring it doesn't eat more energy than we can harvest. I plan to regas the unit with Hi Chill minus 30 which is a HC gas so it has lower head pressures and claims to give up to a 30% reduction in power requirements. I tend to take these claims with a grain of salt but the reduced compressor noise would be a plus if nothing else.
we also have a Dux non inverter 2.5kW split system we bought from Bunnings for $199 as a line clear out, but it was too big to fit in the space available for the head unit, the Kogan fits with about 10mm clearance each side... not quite what the installation PDF required, but then they didn't mention motorhome use either :lol:

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Post by offgridQLD » Thu, 02 Apr 2015, 00:53

Yes can be a bit of a mute point regarding the consumption if you're off the grid . Though I still see consumption as critical as I like to keep inverter headroom (breathing space) as high as I can. Potentially having 3 Air Conditioners running at the same time along with electric car charging and other loads (that could potentially be high if your not careful about each items consumption) sure adds up.

Just make sure that the system can run on the gas you intend to swap to as Some are much higher pressure and are not compatible with some compressors for various reasons.

Kurt

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Post by T1 Terry » Thu, 02 Apr 2015, 01:13

I even thought of just filling it with butane, there are a few You Tube videos of regassing with Dust-Off and a handy pair of pliers that punctures the can to extract the gas, so I ordered a couple via evil bay and though about giving the can of portable stove fuel a go and see how it went. Regassing car air con systems with LPG has been around for a very long time, most of the newer drink vending machines are butane charged these days, so I thought it might be worth a try.

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Post by Adverse Effects » Thu, 02 Apr 2015, 01:15

A:- its illegal
B:- its F#@King dangerous

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Post by T1 Terry » Thu, 02 Apr 2015, 02:46

Adverse Effects wrote: A:- its illegal
B:- its F#@King dangerous

Image Where did you get that from? It is illegal to mess around with ozone depleting and green house gasses like R12 and R134a, but there are no such restrictions on HC gases or no one would be allowed to refuel their LPG vehicle or fit the little gas can into the stoves.
As far as dangerous.... there is so little gas required to recharge the system leak could not produce sufficient air/fuel ratio to initiate a flame. I am a licenced LPG installer so I know the safe working procedures involved with LPG handling.

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Post by Adverse Effects » Thu, 02 Apr 2015, 03:05

its illegal to put any combustible gas/liquid in to an air-conditioner system

there was a bunch of guys doing car's at coorparoo qld 15+ years ago when i was working there and they got busted doing it
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Post by offgridQLD » Thu, 02 Apr 2015, 13:53

"s illegal to put any combustible gas/liquid in to an air-conditioner system"

Not exactly.

R32 refrigerant is combustible (slow flame) and considered to be mildly combustible but even so its used in most modern split systems.

Some of the other refrigerants like R410A are mixture that contains a percentage of R32.

Though it is illegal to charge a system with a gas other than what it was designed to run with.

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Post by T1 Terry » Fri, 03 Apr 2015, 00:32

Maybe a read through this site might separate the facts from the myths spread by companies that stand to loose their market share http://hychill.com.au/ The refrigerant R290 is Propane, R600 is Isobutane, R134A and R410A and the other HFC refrigerants are now banned in many countries much like R12 and R22 was, HC refrigerants are the natural alternatives.

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Post by offgridQLD » Wed, 05 Aug 2015, 01:41

Well we ended up with 4 air conditioners from that special. One for our place in Brisbane and 3 for the offgrid house.

Finally got around to installing one of the Fujitsu systems this week.

R32 refrigerant. Most of the install steps are the same you can use the manifold gauge set from R410a. As long as your vacuum pump isn't a ignition point (brush less motor) they more or less all are. Then your good to go.

Fujitsu use a compression fitting on the evaporator end of the line set and have done away with flared fitting. I think this was to ensure no dodgy flares that end up inside the home with a mildly flammable gas) Only issue with it is its a one shot only system stuff it up and you will be cutting the fitting off and brazing another on.

Dakin get away with still using flared joint both ends though listing the join must be on the outside of the building. So no side wall exit installations.

The condenser end is the same as 410a. standard 45% flare from a good ratcheting indexed eccentric flare tool.

So how do the new inverter systems with R32 run compared to the old non inverter r22 rattlers. Well You could mount the condenser unit under your bed and it wouldn't wake you up. The Fujitsu is crazy quiet. I had to do a double take to tell it was actually running as the compressor noise was basically audible and the fan with it's variable speed dc motor had slowed to a gentle wisp of air barely turning over. Very effective inside to I came inside to find my daughter standing in front of it with a ski jacket on and the remote set to 16C Image. Heat output is fast before throttling back to a gentle constant idle.

I noticed that the veins that direct the air to the left or right of the room are actually a thin slither of plastic that doesn't turn on a common arm. Each vein individually flexes from dead straight strip into a arc to direct the air. I guess this gives the air a smooth path to follow and cuts noise / turbulence down inside to.

   
Last edited by offgridQLD on Tue, 04 Aug 2015, 15:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by offgridQLD » Mon, 10 Aug 2015, 17:25

One bad thing about the Fujitsu system is the remote. It doesn't show the live temperature or have any way to show it on the remote. Only displays the set temp.

My old LG had a (temp?) button and it would then show you the room temp.

So for that location I had to use a little $4.99 temperature guage from Ikea http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/50277005/. Seems to agree with the set temp.

The Samsung in the power room of the offgrid house is much better in this regard as it's linked into the wifi network and can be controlled by smart phone/tablet. The app shows set temp and live temperature of the room.

[ Edited Coulomb: fixed link to temp gauge ]


Last edited by coulomb on Tue, 10 Nov 2015, 03:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by offgridQLD » Tue, 10 Nov 2015, 00:44

On the weekend I did some live consumption data tests on one of my inverter style split systems air conditioners running offgrid.

The temperature at the time was 20.5C outside. So I ran the Fujitsu 2.5kw split system set at 28C (heat mode) This is a hot room and is way over the typical heat setting for a comfortable room. The air conditioner is in a room about 5m X 5m 25m2 that is well insulated.

I wanted to test the load on the battery to maintain the room temp(that incudes all inverter losses)

The inverter split system's can run above 100% of nominal capacity for a short periods to bring the room to temp fast at start up. Though it can actually be limited / restricted down to as low as 70% of capacity as a max limit with remote settings if for some reason you want to avoid high loads.

So initially I had a load reading of around 800w at the battery for about 5 min to reach a room temp of 28C fast. Then the inverter started to ramp down and find a compressor speed to match the heat lost from the room. The minimum run speed of the unit results in roughly 180W AC consumption.

If the heat loss from the room is less than this then the compressor will cycle (as in completely stop) With a COP of around 5 this results in around 900w of heat output energy at it's minimum run speed.

What I found with my insulated room was the compressor ran in 180w consumption lowest compressor speed mode and even then there was periods of cycling to completely off due to low heat loss in the room

The room temp was very stable. 27.8C - 28.1C measured at chest height in the center of the room.

The DC load at my battery was just over 200w when the compressor had found it's sweet spot to match the rooms heat loss. So considering that it was also cycling off at times one 250w PV panels output (averaged) would cover the AC units consumption. With 8200w of pv at it's disposal I don't even notice if it's on or not. Actually to put it into perspective the 180w load is not much more load than two ceiling fans on high(about 80w each)

There really is no reason to be to cold or hot with modern spit system Ac units and a well insulated room.

I made a small video showing one of the four AC units live consumption and the unit running offgrid. Nature sounds ..(birds) are noisier than the AC unit!

Image

Image




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdsfBGd ... e=youtu.be

Kurt

[ Edited Coulomb: fixed link to video ]
Last edited by coulomb on Tue, 10 Nov 2015, 03:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by offgridQLD » Fri, 22 Jan 2016, 20:35

I have a had months of warm weather now to test my refrigerated power room in my offgrid home.

To date I have the split system Air conditioner pre programmed to start at 9AM and switch off at 6pm every day. I have the temperature set at 24C.

The room now has a 100mm vent pipe in the cinder block wall up the top with a high quality DC case fan blowing out with a flap on the outside and a flap at the base of the door down low with another fan. Both fans are on a timer that starts at 6pm and turns off at 9am. So run when the Aircon is off


This gives me cool night air ventilation overnight and a sealed AC refrigerated room during the day.

Some days when the ambient temps are low (not often this time of year) the way its set up the AC will still come on but at most I just get some fan on the head unit running with little to no compressor run time.

I haven't had the fans on the inverter or the SCC activate yet with this system. All power electronics get a nice stream of chilled air indirectly on them the 78kg inverters mass along with the battery just soaks it all up.

I was going to complicate things with the AC unit and fans controlled by monitoring the outside temps but the simple solution that's working now seems ok and the odd cool change day over summer the aircon just runs in idle (fan) mode over the day so take care of it's self.

The main reason for the AC install is to keep the lifepo4 batterys at or below 24C for there life. In a effort to extend there calendar life.

Overall load on the system has been lost in the rounding with other daily loads due to the small size of the room and efficiency of the AC unit.

I will most likely just manually decide when the season has changed enough to shut the aircon down for several months over the cooler season.

I have a contact that has installed a similar sized lifepo4 bank around the same time into a non insulated garden shed (very hot in summer)So it will be interesting to track the health of the two banks over time.

Kurt











Last edited by offgridQLD on Fri, 22 Jan 2016, 09:37, edited 1 time in total.

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