Sunday, 10 December 2017

BARD OF PYNN'S BROOK DOES A MINISPLIT

THE MINISPLIT

Adams claims a split in attic
Lowers heating bills dramatic.
Some can see a man pragmatic,
Others think the man fanatic.

Air exchange for heat advises
With less cost for mini sizes.
Their efficiency he eulogizes:
Could he own the split franchises?

- John Tuach
December 03, 2017

5 comments:

  1. A delightful piece, and a response to the anom person, who I think was Bruno, who wondered if the Bard could compose such a piece.
    To the last line: Could he own a split franchise? An important question, as to whether I have a vested interest in minisplit systems:sales or installation?
    My background: an electrical engineer, worked for Nfld hydro from 1971 to 75 , in HV substation design and protection and relay systems, quit there in 1975.
    A year later, at the suggestion of a friend I got involved as a Manufacturers agent for electrical and mechanical equipment. Mechanical equipment was the better choice as to income potential. So was active in HVAC equipment: heating , ventilation and air conditioning. It took 3 years to have some success. In 1985 I supplied all equipment for Clarenville hospital, a year later for Burin Hospital. Others were the Taxation Data Centre in 1979 , and the heating for the Arctic research building, and various schools etc. These were all commercial or institutional buildings, none were residential.
    I did not design any of these systems, the design was by local engineering firms. About 10 years ago local engineers were specifying minisplits occasionally , mostly for air conditioning. One job had such units, and we included in in our quotation, the only commercial job I ever supplied with these. I had and have no official representation as a manufactures agent for these. I went into great analysis to the performance data claimed , as to the heating ability for these, as to reducing heating by 60 percent or more, for residential use, thinking our climate was very suitable. By 2010 I made the decision to install a unit to see it they were as good as claimed. To avoid impacts of adverse weather I installed the unit in the attic, what was generally said by others would not work. It is the best method for protection of the unit and also improved performance. To counter doubters, I initiated detailed performance monitoring in March. But as early as 2012, I informed the power companies and the PUB of the performance form less rigorous monitoring (prior to MF sanction)
    In NS some 100,000 has been installed, and incentives gives to assist customers. They greatly reduce heating energy use and the grid peak load in winter ( the latter of importance and obvious to me from my days with Nfld Hydro, and our grid system).
    I have directed a few friends as to good models and where they might get them,( I generally refer to Nova Scotia PUB published list of performance requirements) and tips for installation, but I am not engaged, in any way, in selling or installing these. I do not represent any manufacturer. I receive no income in any way from such products. I am semi-retired , but continue in a small way on commercial projects, none of which have involved minisplits.
    My business sale peaked 20 years ago at about 700,000.00 sales per year, and has averaged 500,000.00, and presently at about 120,000.00 all in commercial products. I spend more time in monitoring and researching the potential for saving for residentials homeowners for minisplits, as a hobby, at my expense, for whoever might find value from my efforts. I have felt this important to those facing double rates for power bills, and whose major use is for space heating.
    Performance of such heating equipment is climate related. Only testing and monitoring in our climate can performance be assured. Performance can be 50 percent better than generally achieved due to poor sizing, inferior models, and poor installation methods. Best practices greatly improves performance.
    So, that is my disclosure as my motive and interest.
    Bruno will ,I guess, continue to poke fun at my efforts......but bring it on......my results is "evidence based" and open to question by anyone.
    Winston Adams

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  2. I had a Fujitsu mini split system installed 3 years ago with 3 heads inside the house to the single outside unit. The heat is very good with the added bonus of cooling/dehumidifying in the summer. I recommend mini splits to anyone. The first winter I measured a 19% reduction in energy use after compensating for weather differences from one winter to the next by downloading heating degree data from Environment Canada.

    Having spoken to some people from TakechargeNL, it seems so many people are already installing these things there is no need for incentives. There is also a shortage of installers which would be made worse by incentives.

    Do your research, pick a good installer, and don't cheap out on the equipment as you get what you pay for.

    Cheers,
    Kurt

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  3. This is the first year I have used a four head minisplit exclusively for heat and turned off the baseboards off. Here are some numbers: (St. John's)

    Month ending Dec 7, 2017 I used 2079 kWh
    Month ending Dec 7, 2016 I used 3487 kWh
    (40% less this December)

    Month ending Nov 7, 2017 I used 1235 kWh
    Month ending Nov 7, 2016 I used 2302 kWh
    (46% less this November)

    The savings on heating are even larger since the figures above are the total bill for everything including hot water, lighting etc.

    Even more shocking is that the heat pump was in for years. It is only this year that I turned off the floor heating completely and shut off all baseboards. People that only have one head have to be careful that the other heat sources don't do all the work leaving the heat pump as a minor player.

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  4. The anonymous requester was not Bruno, it was I. The poem is beautiful.

    I heat with Geothermal. Large investment up front for a split forced air and radiant water system all heated by the heat pump unit. It has been relatively maintenance free with some minor part replacement over the last 11 years. It is heating approximately 3500 sq feet of finished space with 1300 or so in a walk out basement with infloor and the balance above it with forced air. It also heats domestic hot water but I've come to figure out it is not properly setup for maximum energy saving in this regard.

    Home always has people at home. Several computers with 600+ watt power supplies constantly running.

    Average electricity bill is $210 a month. I don't even want to speculate on what it would cost for base board heating.

    Problem with my system is because of the advancements in air to air, particularly mini split, no one is really in the geothermal business anymore. No one wants to service this thing so I'm forced to do this myself. So far the issues have been minor and within my ability but eventually this will not be the case. From the compressor on I can handle. Finding someone to do preventative maintenance on the ground loop side of things or just an annual inspection is problematic despite willingness to pay fairly for such a service.

    My brothers have smaller homes on the same street and pay 2.5 times as much heating with in-floor water systems electrically heated. Based on this I am satisfied with my up front investment. Plus I have cooling.

    When this fails eventually it will be replaced with mini splits based on whats available now days. But who knows what the future will bring. Children are getting older and debating downsizing in the coming years as this is more space than I need now with them here.

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  5. Multi head minisplits are typical 15-20 percent less efficient than single head units, but are a bit less costly to install. In winter they are more likely to max out, when very cold, as the outdoor unit has limited capacity, not the indoor heads.
    Kurt say he achieved a 19 percent saving on his overall power bill. That is only a modest saving, as savings should run about 35 percent. So best practices are missing somewhere.
    As to Take Charge people, who I refer to as Scallyways (they use the term in their TV ads): Laughable they say no need of incentives, as it means burning more oil at Holyrood , and more energy sales for Nfld power and Nfld Hydro. An incentives allow the extra to assure enough HP capacity, or assure a Cold Climate Model. And more demand for installers is an opportunity for more tradesmen to be employed in this field. An excuse by Take Charge.Seems there is a need for incentives in NS where 10,000 or more a year is installed, but not here, where there is fewer being installed. Clear, they are not actively promoting these to help customers save money or reduce the load on the grid. Scallywags for sure......stealing the customers money by not promoting good efficiency for space heating
    As to the anon using 4 heads: You are getting excellent performance so far, but 46 percent saving for Oct dropped to 40 for Nov, and may be 35 for dec and 25 for Jan to Mar.......I suggest you check at -15C to see if your outdoor amps exceed rated load. Yet so far surprising good performance.
    That the ground source customer would switch to minisplits in the future says a lot. Ground source is the best performance, especially in winter months, and should have incentives for central Nfld to reduce winter peak load. That his relatives use 2.5 times more energy shows the high efficiency, however they are expensive and as he says, few will service them.
    Winston Adams

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