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Old 11-12-09, 07:44 PM   #111
AC_Hacker
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Default Mini Spliy Breakeven Analysis

I've been so pleased with my mini split that I have considered getting one for infrequently used areas, such as the basement. I checked some listing on ebay and was amazed at how inexpensive some of the inverter type units are. Of course, the cheaper one (Shinco) has a much lower HSPF (Heating Season Performance Factor) than the most efficiently engineered model (Fujitsu Halcyon).

Thinking about it was making my head tired, so I made a breakeven spreadsheet (see attached) to compare several different models, and also have a column for good old resistance electrical heating.

I compared all units at 3/4 Ton (9,000 BTU/hr output) and all prices include ALL parts & shipping.


To simplify things, I "flattened" all months by assuming the same amount of heating for each month (crazy me), which of course is unrealistic. I suppose I could include a sine function in the formulas that would simulate that. I could also have included real historical data, such as Daox,and Piwoslaw are recording.

But even with these shortcomings, it is interesting what an improvement a mini split is over resistance heating, unless the time you plan to spend in a location is very short.

Also, with all the different performance ratings, mini split's performance seems to track mored or less as a family.

Interesting too, how economically advantageous the cheapest (Shinco) is at the beginning of its service life, and how long that advantage is mantained.

For serious primary use, the higher efficiency units, such as Xringer's Sanyo, the Mitsubishi and the Fujitsu are better choices, but for shorter planned service life, or for occational use, an inexpensive heat pump has obvious advantages.

* * *

But if we look at the pounds of CO2 per month generated, it can give one pause...


Best Regards,

-AC_Hacker


By the way, I found the average national electric rate here:

Electric Power Monthly - Average Retail Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers by End-Use Sector, by State


...and the kW-hr to pounds of CO2 conversion factor here:

www1.eere.energy.gov/windandhydro/pdfs/doewater-ornl-111997.pdf


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Last edited by AC_Hacker; 11-13-09 at 01:23 AM..
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Old 11-12-09, 08:50 PM   #112
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I was looking at that pdf and went on to find this stuff..
kwhr excel Download

The House Energy Audit 2 My Name file is pretty nice.
Tells you a lot of good info, Nice pie chart and bars too. But you need a KillaWatt to use it..

We do have some local nukes making power, so I'm not real sure what the
CO2 per kWh is for my area. I'll have to find out, so I can program the cf
into my new power monitor. It will keep a running tally of CO2 produced.

I'm not sure, but I have a feeling that using the Sanyo for heating,
will cause less CO2 than the old oil burner. That remains to be learned.

One of the main reasons I wanted to try using the Sanyo for supplemental
space heating was because of the volatility of home heating oil prices.

U.S. retail heating oil price up for 5th week: Government | Reuters

AFP: Oil price 'could overheat, cooling global recovery'


Just maybe, in areas where it's not bitterly cold in the winters, this Sanyo
might be the next best thing to using a geothermal heat pump.

Once I start measuring the power usage, I'll post the kWh data
here for everyone's enlightenment.

If it turns out that heating with the Sanyo is more economical than oil heat,
and this holds true even during colder months of Jan & Feb, we just might
use the Sanyo as our main heating system with the oil as backup.
So far, casual testing has been very positive.


Cheers,
Rich

PS:
Someone is selling an Oil Burner just like mine on Ebay!
HS TARM OT-35 Wood/Coal Boiler with oil back up - eBay (item 260501309929 end time Nov-13-09 16:41:06 PST)

Maybe someday I can get $1,695 for mine!

Last edited by Xringer; 11-12-09 at 11:09 PM.. Reason: Adding a PS:
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Old 11-13-09, 04:45 PM   #113
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I found a Pounds of CO2 per kWh link..

How clean is the electricity I use? - Power Profiler | Clean Energy | US EPA

Each area is different (some have more wind power), so you need to specify
where you live and plug in the amount of kWh you use.. I used 500 a month.
And it spits out your CO2 production.



5,925 pounds of carbon dioxide

Note: Your annual emissions include a grid region specific adjustment for line losses of 6.41 percent.

Once I get the power monitor installed and log some usage for the next
few months, I should have a good idea of pounds of CO2 made by the Sanyo.
Then, I'll compare that to the CO2 made from using my oil burner,
to make the same amount of BTUs.
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Old 11-14-09, 05:47 PM   #114
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Default Thinking About Environment


Quote:
Originally Posted by Xringer View Post
Each area is different (some have more wind power), so you need to specify
where you live and plug in the amount of kWh you use.. I used 500 a month.
And it spits out your CO2 production.
You are quite right, but what I was trying to show with the two graphs is that a breakeven analysis is very useful, but the most favorable choice regarding cost, and the most favorable choice regarding environmental impact may be entirely different.

Regards,

-AC_Hacker
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Old 11-15-09, 04:20 PM   #115
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I wasn't thinking about break-even when I decided to buy a Sanyo.
I'm kinda like those guys that buys a Prius and not worry about when,
the better gas mileage pays for the extra cost of the car.
They just want it to be green or they love gismos.

My motivation is a little different, It's more like being prepared.
Wanting to stay warm, if the oil man is a no-show or if oil shoots up to $9 a gallon.

Last year, we got a back-up 5KW generator, just in case of power failure.
It's hard to stay warm when the power goes out for a few days.
Hopefully, we will never have to use it. All of out back-outs lately have been brief.

And, of course I love trying out new stuff! This technology isn't really new,
it's just new to me. The 24KHS72 has just completed it's 3rd summer in the USA.

~~~

Anyways, I'm all eager to install the power monitor and see whats watt..
This evening I counted the LCD flashes and saw my home was using 600 Wh.
I turned on the Sanyo, asked for 76 degrees and measured 2340 Wh.
2340 - 600 = 1740 Wh or 1.74kWh or about 35 cents and hour.

If I turn off the rest of the house, I should be able to easily calibrate
the new monitor using the meter.
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Old 11-25-09, 04:07 PM   #116
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The power meter came in today. It took just about 2 weeks from England.



It was packed well and in good shape. Easy to install. Harder to calibrate.



8 pulses on the house meter every 60 seconds= 480 Wh.
Setting the AC to 240 volts (in the setup menu) got me close very to 480W.

Right now, the Sanyo is drifting between 470 & 490 watts for a while, then
dropping down to 30 watts for a while and then kicking back up to 480 again.

The calibration might be a tad off, because it's hard to watch two displays
while counting dots.. Needed to watch the 480 watts, to make sure it didn't
drop to 30 for half my 60 second count.. I did the count and checked it
against the meter about a dozen times before I was happy with the setting.

I've got the transmitter set for it's fastest transmit rate (every 6 seconds),
so I can see all the little ups & downs..

After it runs for a day or two, it should give more accurate predictions
of the daily average kWh & cost etc.

I'll start posting the data soon. It looks like the temperatures are going
down into the 20s and teens as December kicks in..

Edit:
In case anyone is interested in one of these Elite units, they are about $80 shipped
and take 1 to 2 weeks to get here from the UK. Mine took two weeks.

Here's the link:
Efergy Elite Wireless Energy Saving Monitor Smart Meter - eBay (item 140305060798 end time Dec-27-09 10:16:58 PST)

Last edited by Xringer; 11-27-09 at 09:10 PM.. Reason: Adding link to Ebay
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Old 11-25-09, 04:32 PM   #117
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I'm glad to hear its working out well so far. Keep us updated on this. A 240V meter would be great to have.
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Old 11-25-09, 04:57 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
I'm glad to hear its working out well so far. Keep us updated on this. A 240V meter would be great to have.
The menu allows you to select from 110 to 400 volts in increments of
5 and 10 volts. It's 5 when you are near the standard (like 115, 225)voltage ranges,
but is 10 volt increments out of the standard range like 370-380-390-400. It's not a bad way to tweak it into cal..
I just wish I had a steady load to set it up with.

I'm not sure what the transmitter is doing when you change the transmit rate (6, 12 or 18 seconds).
Is that changing the sample rate?
Does the transmitter save usage data during the time between transmissions?
In case there were changes during the interval??

Edit:
Just got a reply back from Efergy ltd (in England)..
"The transmitter does not store information, it samples whatever the emf is
and passing through the current transformer at the second it TXs. "

So, I'll be using the 6 second sample rate for best accuracy. (Shorter battery life).
The next set of AA cells I use will be 2000 mAh Nimh cells.

Last edited by Xringer; 11-26-09 at 08:17 PM.. Reason: Found out about sample rate.
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Old 11-26-09, 12:27 AM   #119
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Default Sanyo works down to 28.8 degrees!

Edit: Dec 6 2009, our first Sanyo snow shower.
It snowed a couple of inches last night. This morning, it was 29 degrees outside,
and the Sanyo was using a little more power. But after an hour of heating,
it's usage is back to 470 watts.

At about 7AM the power was up to about 1,800 watts and no warm air
was coming out.?. I looked out and saw frost on the air input.
It was a Defrost Cycle! I lased the inside unit and it was in the high 40s! (fan off).
There was water under the outdoor unit (fan on)..
Lasted a few minutes and went back to regular heating mode.


The little snow roof is working just fine.


Edit 11:30 AM 12/06/09
It's warmed up to 35 and more ice is forming on the air-intake.
Might be due to the melting/evaporation of the sidewalks and driveway.

Left side:


Back side:


Ran in cooling mode for a little while and powered off, to see if a manual Defrost is possible.

Note: The heating function didn't seem to be affected by this amount of frost.
But, it's hard to say if it took longer to drop into the low usage 480watt mode..

Last edited by Xringer; 12-06-09 at 11:47 AM.. Reason: Cold weather and snow!
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Old 11-26-09, 11:52 PM   #120
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Default Elite metering Cost data

Disclaimer:
I won't know how accurate the Elite power measurements are, until I get my bill after a month of heating with the Sanyo.

~ 11/26/09 4.86 kWh ($0.97) Average outdoors 44 degrees. Heat was setback to 66 between 12:00 & 19:00
(Had to go eat some turkey).

~ 11/27/09 6.69 kWh ($1.34) Average outdoors was 43 degrees and raining. Heat indoors was 70-72 70% of the day.
A month of days like this, would add about $40 to our bill.

~ 11/28/09 6.60 kWh ($1.32) Average outdoors was 45 degrees, with a little sun in the afternoon. Heat indoors was 70-72 during waking hours.

~ 11/29/09 6.49 kWh ($1.30) Average outdoors was 46 degrees, with some sun in AM and PM. Heat indoors was 70-72 during waking hours.

~ 11/30/09 6.55 kWh ($1.31) Average outdoors was 47 degrees, rainy day no sun to speak of. Did some high-heat testing. Got the main living area up to about 80

The Sanyo has been running almost non-stop for about 25 days now,
and it added about $33 to our bill. Had we used the oil heat,
just burning 2 gallons a day, at $2.60 a gallon..?.


Dec 3, 2009
Notes regarding November usage:
We just paid our bill. The Sanyo startup was on Nov, 5. The meter was read on Nov, 21.
That adds up to about 17 days of charges from the Sanyo.

Nov 09~ 632 kWh (51 deg ave) (Not much use of little space heaters and 17 days of Sanyo)
Oct 09~ 638 kWh (56 deg ave) (Some use of little space heaters).
Nov 08~ 859 kWh (49 deg ave) (little space heaters)!

So, November wasn't too bad. Used less than last month and a lot less than last year (on Nov).

Last December we used about 830 kWh. We were burning oil and kWh with the space heaters.
It will be interesting to see what we use this December.. I'm shooting for less than last year's 830 Kwh..


Last edited by Xringer; 12-03-09 at 03:26 PM.. Reason: update:
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