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Building Reserve and Using KWH

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  • #16
    The info says the units are pre charged for up to 15 feet of line. Since mine are only about 5
    feet, about all needed was to vacuum the air out to 500 microns, then release the unit charge.
    Bruce Roe

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    • #17
      Today perhaps is a benchmark day here, a lot of stuff got done or fixed or operational. Beside the Honda
      420,000 mile maintenance and a few other things, the house energy plan is fully operational.

      It started with cleaning up vampire electric loads and propane leaks a decade ago. 5 years ago the PV
      renewable energy source started up, and has been much upgraded for more energy and less maintenance.
      Electric power distribution has been upgraded for less loss and better instrumentation, getting attention to
      fix my broken well as a bonus.

      Now the house is heated and cooled by 3 mini split heat pumps, which require little attention and save huge
      amounts of energy by operating efficiently in nearly all the weather variations here. Completed just in time
      for the arriving cold. As a bonus the HVAC is decentralized, so no one failure can leave me in a desperate
      winter situation. There is a long list of other advantages to this upgrade, no downside found yet.

      Expectation is the next energy half year will be spent making observations of limitations of the complete
      system.I have a few particulars, like are more peak BTUs per hour needed for the coldest days, or even
      justified with the substantial electric resistance heat capacity still on standby? When the observations are
      collected, another round of upgrades might happen, I hope they are much lessor than those past. Bruce Roe
      Last edited by bcroe; 10-04-2018, 03:21 PM.

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      • #18
        I ran into a family friend in Maine who was involved with the vented kerosene heater market (Monitors) from very early when the were introduced to the US. Monitor pulled out of the market quite awhile ago and the still available Toyos were not marketed well (reportedly that is changing) so he figured around retirement age he could retire and not leave any customers in the lurch. The Monitors were the popular brand and the name Monitor pretty well meant a vented kerosene heater. They haven't been heavily promoted for years and most of the former Monitor dealers got out of them and jumped on the bandwagon to sell minisplits for heating as there was good incentives from various state bodies and lots of PR in the news. His plans for retirement are delayed as his phone is ringing a lot more often. Folks thought a mini split was an adequate year round heating source in Maine and a couple of long stretches of cold weather in the last few winters have convinced folks that they need a backup heater for really cold conditions as the electric heat they ended up depending on during those stretches really hit them hard in the wallet (stories of $500 monthly power bills were in the news). He has had to ramp his business back up and switch a part time employee to full time to deal with the calls, old units are being put back in service and he is going through his inventory of salvaged units to rebuild what he can and salvage parts for other customer units as the demand is high for existing installs and new installs.

        Note sure where you are located but it will be interesting to see your experience with cold conditions. My tolerance is anything over 30 degrees outdoor temps I get enough heat if I set the thermostat and forget it. I can stretch it down to as low as 20 F if its a sunny day so I am getting passive solar gain. Add in any precipitation and the output drops and the unit starts to go into defrost mode frequently. I can get heat down to -10F but its not very warm and not very much. I switch over to my wood boiler with storage once the outdoor overnight temps go under 30 F so the mini split switches over to supplemental heat on sunny days to stretch my storage capacity.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by peakbagger
          most of the former Monitor dealers got out of them and jumped on the bandwagon to sell minisplits for heating as there was good incentives from various state bodies and lots of PR in the news. His plans for retirement are delayed as his phone is ringing a lot more often. Folks thought a mini split was an adequate year round heating source in Maine and a couple of long stretches of cold weather in the last few winters have convinced folks that they need a backup heater for really cold conditions as the electric heat they ended up depending on during those stretches really hit them hard in the wallet (stories of $500 monthly power bills were in the news). He has had to ramp his business back up and switch a part time employee to full time to deal with the calls, old units are being put back in service and he is going through his inventory of salvaged units to rebuild what he can and salvage parts for other customer units as the demand is high for existing installs and new installs.

          Not sure where you are located but it will be interesting to see your experience with cold conditions. My tolerance is anything over 30 degrees outdoor temps I get enough heat if I set the thermostat and forget it. I can stretch it down to as low as 20 F if its a sunny day so I am getting passive solar gain. Add in any precipitation and the output drops and the unit starts to go into defrost mode frequently. I can get heat down to -10F but its not very warm and not very much. I switch over to my wood boiler with storage once the outdoor overnight temps go under 30 F so the mini split switches over to supplemental heat on sunny days to stretch my storage capacity.
          About the most extreme cold here is -20 F in northern ILL. My old heat pump (deceased) could manage
          to about 20F. The new units should drop that more than 30 degrees. I do not expect them to cut out there,
          but rather to eventually be unable to cope with the house increased heat loss. If that happens they will still
          be saving a lot of energy, resistance heat making up the difference. This will not cause me $ loss. The
          original design was to replace 1100 gallons of propane with 28,000 KWH of resistance electric heat, which
          has been achieved several years so far.

          This winter will be the first trial of how these figures play out. I will not be surprised if the barefoot minis
          miss the target. Rather I hope to figure out exactly what the target is, then think about the best way to get
          there. Having already generated enough energy for the year, this is fine tuning so that managing energy
          takes the minimum of my attention. I'll also be noting if some cool areas need more air directed to them,
          or are candidates for another mini. The minis have programing for direction of the output air.

          Note, the usual selling points for this stuff is best efficiency when operating (SEER), but my criteria will be
          how well they make it through winter without adjustments. There are a lot of mini types out there, and
          these specs vary greatly. Summer cooling I expect to be a slam dunk here. Bruce Roe

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          • #20
            The cold season has arrived, and the 3 heat pumps are keeping the house toasty. My reserve
            energy meter is showing about 30 KWH a day consumption with 40s F average. The array can
            still make that much if there is any hint of sunlight. A very dark week has dropped reserve
            half a hundred, but I am still hopeful of getting that back in the next week, before serious winter
            begins. The KWH reserve curve will probably take a new shape this winter. Bruce Roe
            Last edited by bcroe; 11-05-2018, 07:07 PM.

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            • #21
              Half way through Nov, average temps in the 20s, and the mini splits continue to use rather
              minimal KWHs. The energy reserve from summer is still unused, new solar energy collection
              is keeping up with use. Perhaps a small issue is getting uniform heat throughout a ranch
              style house. But with the relaxing areas kept cozy, perhaps it should be considered an
              advantage that some walk through or working areas are several degrees cooler. I could
              fix it by running the blower, but would rather not. Bruce Roe

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              • #22
                Originally posted by bcroe View Post
                Half way through Nov, average temps in the 20s, and the mini splits continue to use rather
                minimal KWHs. The energy reserve from summer is still unused, new solar energy collection
                is keeping up with use. Perhaps a small issue is getting uniform heat throughout a ranch
                style house. But with the relaxing areas kept cozy, perhaps it should be considered an
                advantage that some walk through or working areas are several degrees cooler. I could
                fix it by running the blower, but would rather not. Bruce Roe
                Good to hear your hard work has paid for itself. Stay warm my friend.

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