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Old 04-18-2017, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Montana
281 posts, read 242,751 times
Reputation: 161

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Viper, that looks like the same unit I put in my 3200 sq. ft. house last year. Cost me $6,000, but the power company gave me a thousand dollar rebate for putting it in. Of course my house is in Montana. When it get's down to about zero, the heat quits working until it warms up a bit. Of course, I don't think you have that problem.....LOL. It is very quite. We just use it for our main floor.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:38 PM
 
921 posts, read 1,447,599 times
Reputation: 1249
Wow, pj737, do you feel better after that little rant? First of all, there are no companies on this thread making promises, just whtviper1 and myself giving ballpark numbers and references to the OP who asked for them. So while I admire your crusade against misleading corporate marketing, it is misdirected at us.

Secondly, I do admit I made a mistake in comparing my one-room/one-unit cost savings to whtviper1's whole-house/3-unit numbers. But in the end, the numbers aren't even comparable because we have different electric costs here on Kauai, and I also have grid-tied solar, but it's not net metering.

And I will admit I did not even do back-of-the-envelope calculations for my numbers, just educated guesses from the installation 2 years ago. Because we installed grid-tied solar and zeroed out our electric bill at the same time as adding the Solar A/C, and I never had an equivalent non-solar A/C split-unit to compare it to, I have no real idea how much grid power it uses, so I guess-timated.

I want to bring up another issue: these energy-efficient split-units can run on low compressor power when possible, so they aren't using their full rated energy consumption 24/7, or even every time the compressor kicks on. Also, I don't think we see the high humidity here in Hawaii that really affects A/C performance, especially if you keep the indoors constantly conditioned and recirculated. And having the outside unit in the shade and well ventilated, especially with a cool sea breeze can only help the efficiency (rusting out is a different issue).

For the solar issue, I agree that grid-tied panels are probably a better value--and then you can just use your solar-produced 110V to sun your air conditioner. But the direct solar A/C does have some advantages: no inverter, and no permitting issues, so easier and cheaper to install. How efficiently you use that solar output will of course depend on how much you use the A/C when the sun is shining. And I do agree that we don't yet have "solar-smart" appliances that only run when they get solar power. It seems that would be most efficient and I'm waiting for this technology for all my appliances.

Finally, I agree that solar A/C is still in the early adopter stage, and we might get bit by a bad product or an unreliable supplier. That's why I pointed out my A/C and situation are not typical, nor exactly what the OP asked for. And I did mention the issues I had with it--and the good service I've had so far.
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Old 04-19-2017, 02:18 AM
 
1,317 posts, read 1,213,299 times
Reputation: 1457
Well what frigging fun would these forums be without all the ranting???

Solar has always been a passion for me so I am a bit of a nut about it (among other things).

You noted two advantages of the tech - not requiring an inverter and not requiring a permit. Well, inverters are cheap and becoming more reliable (despite them already being very reliable). And they are nearing 99% efficiency so I don't see why they are a bad thing. In fact, they have been proven to be more reliable than DC infrastructure systems even with the conversion device as being another potential component to fail.

And as for the benefit regarding permits, split solar ac systems still require them. It's just that few people actually apply for permits. You couldn't get away with installing a system if you had an open permit (for other work). The visiting inspector will tell you to get a permit.

In my arguably worthless opinion, these solar powered AC units will eventually be replaced with traditional super-efficient conventional split AC systems and small solar+storage (battery) systems to power them. Once battery prices drop, a home's AC system can be entirely powered by a small off-grid PV array + battery. This allows a homeowner to utilize and install conventional, robust and quality split AC equipment that is serviceable by an established network of HVAC service crews on Oahu. No issues with warranties... no issues with parts availability. And the PV panels will have a high utilization rate plus you can run your AC off the stored solar production at night. Huge plus. Oh, and if the power goes out you still have AC!

But that transition may not even happen; we may just go straight to homes with solar + storage (powering the entire home incl AC) and only using HECO for backup power. Cheap batteries are the game changer here and they are coming faster than anyone but industry people can fathom. The grid (and the way we power our homes) will be dramatically different in 10 years, that's for sure. The disruption will be insane.
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:11 AM
 
Location: not sure, but there's a hell of a lot of water around here!
2,516 posts, read 5,868,671 times
Reputation: 3389
Quote:
Originally Posted by pj737 View Post
But that transition may not even happen; we may just go straight to homes with solar + storage (powering the entire home incl AC) and only using HECO for backup power. Cheap batteries are the game changer here and they are coming faster than anyone but industry people can fathom. The grid (and the way we power our homes) will be dramatically different in 10 years, that's for sure. The disruption will be insane.
Insane is the operative word here;

Town Rejects Solar Panels That Would ‘Suck up All the Energy From the Sun’ | Discovery Blog | Discovery


Those lolos on the mainland
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