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Old 10-02-10, 12:31 PM   #171
Xringer
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I wasn't wrong about you being lucky!! Sounds like you have some
nice ASHPs to keep you warm this winter!

My guess is, many of these PV installers are flying by the seat of their pants.
Have no clue what they are doing, or just too lazy to do a good job.
Maybe it's just the 'experts' & 'professionals' that I always run into are goofs.?.
Kinda like taking your car into the dealer. Not a good idea in many cases.

When I saw the Enphase inverters, I knew those would be my pick, if we got PV.
But, thinking about how they are installed discouraged me a little.
Is this kind of installation in the local rule book? Or even the NEC book?
Will the inspector go ape when he sees 220vac ON THE ROOF!!
Or, will he want the 220vac installed the same way that PV DC is installed
in the old-tech PV systems??

It's moot anyways, since my wife loves how our roof looks, as is..

We gave our tax guy the Sanyo specs and he got us the break last year..
Not too shabby.. Plus all the insulation work we did got us a bit too.

Cheers,
Rich

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Old 10-02-10, 02:39 PM   #172
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there was quite a debate on microconverter. The best part of it ,you don't need to string or worry about partial shading problem. The reliability issue was bought up.. have a piece of 220v device sitting under a roof with all the temp diff.. how long can the electronic last. IF one fail, it will be a royal pain to replace.
I just got the efergy meter like your, but i have 2 CTs. I hooked it up to 2 feed coming in into my house.. I don't think I get the correct reading.. I think that could be the fact I have solar panel on..
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Old 10-02-10, 11:40 PM   #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xringer View Post
My guess is, many of these PV installers are flying by the seat of their pants. Have no clue what they are doing, or just too lazy to do a good job. Maybe it's just the 'experts' & 'professionals' that I always run into are goofs.?
Don't know if Mass. is taking solar energy seriously, but Oregon most certainly is. I paid my money and attended a Solar Installer Accreditation conference a few years back, just so I could see what the state of the art is. It was very interesting.


Oregon is quite aware of the shade-tree mechanics that populated the first wave of solar installs, and the marginal performance, lack of support and overall poor reputation that the industry got, as typified by your statements above.

Oregon is well aware of the looming fuels downturn that lies just ahead and is interested in nurturing the industries that will be able to help soften the fall.

A couple of years back, I paid my money and took a Solar Installer certification class. I took the class because I wanted to see what the state of the art of Solar Installation was, in case I wanted to do it myself. I saw a copy of the Certification Test (I didn't take it because I have no interest in being a Solar Installer), and I can tell you that it is rigorous (though not as rigorous as my engineering exam) and is professional and is up to date with the best practices, balancing efficiency, durability and aesthetics.

In the final cut however, it is a trade and some tradesmen will excel and others will do marginal work. That is not a condemnation of the industry, it's just life.

I also learned that there is a large pool of skilled, talented, informed people who want to make a contribution to society and a living for themselves in the Solar Installation field.

Unfortunately, fossil fuel is still so cheap that paybacks from renewable energy stretch out longer than most folks can afford to wait, so government incentives are required to get the industry up and running before the merde hits the fan.

I heard so many stories about how some of these guys got the training and the tooling and the crews to make it all happen, but then the incentives were canceled due to this thing we mistakenly call 'the political process'.

* * *

As an aside, I find it interesting when people make blanket accusations about a class of people (in this case the class is 'PV Installers') as being lazy.

The accusation itself generally arises from a lack if understanding.

So then, which way does the 'lazy finger' really point?

Best Regards,

-AC_Hacker
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Old 10-03-10, 10:55 AM   #174
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Maybe you missed part of my post..
"Maybe it's just the 'experts' & 'professionals' that I always run into are goofs.?"

So, maybe I'm just a magnet for incompetent 'trained experts'? Since I have seen
so many of them in my life. Like at the car dealerships, with their factory trained guys..

I've seen many great looking PV install jobs on youtube, but since being
able to go to a local's house and inspect their installation is just about
impossible, I've never seen one up close.

The last one I visited, I couldn't see the panels at all. Just the net-meter
and the conduit coming over the peak of the roof and down the side of the house to the meter.
woburn ma - Google Maps
No one seems to be home when I've biked past there.

Anyways, it is most likely a local thing.
A lot of the folks around here don't seem to have any pride in workmanship, are even understand what that is.

Or, maybe not. I've done some reading on solar installer sites and found out
that some installers are horrified when they see the mess that some other
installer has left for others to fix. Re-installing is part of the business, I guess.

I did have an very encouraging phone conversation with an Enphase installer
(Cape Cod IIRC) that sounded very knowledgeable and well trained.
If he has the hand-tool skills required, he would likely be the local go-to guy.

I'm not saying that all "trained professionals" will make a mess, just the ones that I seem to run into.
I have experienced way too many horror stories to recount here.

Could it be bad Karma?
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Old 10-03-10, 04:30 PM   #175
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Default Fall cleaning of Sanyo outdoor unit #2

Since the heating season is almost upon us, I did a Sanyo cleanup today.



Just wiped off the fan blades, but had to wash down the side and top covers.
The plastic grate(grill?) where the air comes out was a bit dirty,
so I used the car-wash hose attachment on it.

I was a bit surprised at the leading edge of the fan blades. They look like
they were shaped by hand. They are very sharp! I guess that keeps them quiet.

Inspected under the insulation for any sign of leakage and everything that
I can see, looks very good.

Here's a picture link to the defective outdoor unit (sitting in the garage now)..
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f1...001smaller.jpg
(You can see some lub dripping across the top of the insulation disc, on top of the compressor).

The only problems I noticed were the UPS dents in top and side covers.
The dents made it more difficult to re-install the covers.
Next time, I'm going to replace those with the undamaged covers from #1.

I'm hoping #2 is going to be a winner and will keep us warm for at least a decade or two..
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Old 10-04-10, 11:38 AM   #176
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Thanks for the in-depth install information. I am looking at putting in a multi-zone mini split and want to get the LG compressor and first indoor unit before I have to crank up the boiler. As I understand it, the multi-zone mini splits are plug and play--I can install one indoor unit now and add one or two more later. Is my assumption correct?
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Old 10-04-10, 12:12 PM   #177
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Most of the literature that I've come across says that you need more than one indoor unit connected to the outdoor multi-split unit to avoid equipment damage. If there is only one unit connected you run the chance of liquid refrigerant coming back to the compressor.

Hope this helps,
Kenny
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Old 10-04-10, 02:00 PM   #178
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Yeah, at least for the Sanyo model on this page..

CMH3172 - Sanyo 30,600 BTU Multi-Zone Heat Pump Outdoor Unit/ Indoor Units Sold Separately

"IMPORTANT NOTE: It is not possible to connect an outdoor unit to only a single indoor unit.
If operated with only ONE indoor unit installed, the returning refrigerant to the compressor may cause a malfunction!"

~~~~

If you can't afford to install all the indoor units at once, you might want
to look into installing a few of the smaller single-zone units, as your bankroll permits.
Heck, you might get a couple installed and find out you have enough..

I was pretty sure the model I picked would to a good job cooling our
house with 24,000 Btu. So, I guess it's rated 29,000 BTU of heating
24KHS72 - Sanyo 24,200 BTU Wall Mount Heat Pump Air Conditioner Kit (Out of Stock)
would likely do okay heating during all but the very coldest days..

It got chilly around here this morning, so I decided to spend a buck on heating..
It's been running for 7 hours now and we are up to 57 cents..

Turning on the oil heat for 7 hours would well used over a gallon of oil..
And, I think it's about $3 a gallon today.

Edit Oct 5, 2010:
Didn't hit a dollar, but at 4.53 kWh (95 cents) and 1.91 kWh since midnight (40 cents today),
keeping warm in this mildly raw weather isn't too hard on the bankbook..
It's been down to the 40s and never over 55 during the last three days.. Winter is on the way!

Last edited by Xringer; 10-05-10 at 12:34 PM.. Reason: Cost of power
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Old 10-04-10, 02:11 PM   #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotwire View Post
Most of the literature that I've come across says that you need more than one indoor unit connected to the outdoor multi-split unit to avoid equipment damage. If there is only one unit connected you run the chance of liquid refrigerant coming back to the compressor.

Hope this helps,
Kenny
I think you are right sir.. The size of pre-load of refrigerant in outdoor unit
of the single zone units limits you to a certain max-min line-set length.

I was warned not to cut my lineset too short, or some of the R410a would
have to be removed from the system.
So, I just coiled up my extra lineset behind the outdoor unit.

It's just a guess, but I'll bet a multi-zone system has fixed pre-load
that gives you a max-min length total for your linesets.
Or if you go extra long, they expect the installer will have a tank of
R410a and the know-how to read the manual/calculate how much
R410a is needed..
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Old 10-04-10, 02:35 PM   #180
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Great guys, thanks for the information. It will probably end up being easier to install two units than one anyway since I would have a considerable distance to cover with the refrigerant lines.

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