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Old 05-11-16, 06:37 AM   #11
IdleMind
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Thanks for the tip on the swaging punch. I have a lot of tools, but never heard of that one, I just ordered one from an ebay vendor.

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Old 05-11-16, 05:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Thanks for the tip on the swaging punch. I have a lot of tools, but never heard of that one, I just ordered one from an ebay vendor.
You're very welcome. That punch paid for itself a long time ago and just keeps on helping me out. Once I used it a few times, i learned it worked well for other similar tasks as well. It does a good job of rounding up tubing that has been sawed or bent in two.

The unit is working now, using the prefab controller as a brain. It look like this from the front (indoors):

Now I just have to find a window to put it in for the near future. It's too big for where I'm living now. I don't believe I'll have any trouble finding it a home, but finding a helper or two to move it with me might not be so easy. This thing is heavy! I believe for this season or year, I will leave the cap tube metering setup in it and see how it handles cool and cold weather. It will get some sort of power usage logger connected to it for some baseline measurements over a variety of conditions. Then if it gets modified, an accurate comparison can be made after the mod.

Last edited by jeff5may; 06-24-16 at 08:20 AM.. Reason: spellinf
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Old 11-09-16, 08:45 PM   #13
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Time for an update. The unit is still alive and has paid for itself in savings already. I hope it does as well during heating season.

After the initial test, I found the unit a home. My son moved into a (rental) house that has a really bad HVAC system. The original gas furnace went south however long ago, and the owner replaced it with a humongous 4 ton packaged unit. The original gas furnace went underneath the floor and its return vents are in the floor above. Each room has a way too small for it, standard floor register, regardless of room size. The package unit was plumbed to and from where the original gas furnace lived with 14 inch flex hoses and some creative sheet metal work was done to adapt the round hoses to square air boxes. The package unit did a really good job of cooling the crawl space and running the electric bill up.

I got involved when my son complained about his first bill. I paid him a visit, and figured out his problem in under ten minutes. Due to the rental status of the house, the owner would most likely not want to invest a dime improving the existing system, and neither do my son or I. I recommended my hacked unit to run in his kitchen window, rather than crawl around under the floor to get a clue how bad the existing system really is. So we went to the barn, dragged the beast out, hauled it to his house, and installed it in his window. It was hardwired into the electric range outlet.

Before leaving the unit to fend for itself, I set the system charge. On a hot Saturday afternoon in June, I reclaimed the charge. It was in the mid 90's and muggy. I ended up with almost exactly 16 ounces of bbq gas in the system. Head pressure was around 275 psig, any less and the evaporator would take forever to not try to freeze up under humid indoor conditions.

Once my son shut off the central unit and started running the hacked unit, his electric bill plummeted from nearly $400 down to around $150 per month. The last bill was around $100, being shoulder season.

Anyways, heating season is coming. I have yet to see this unit defrosting, so I have told my son to keep an eye on it. I told him to shut it off if the forecast predictions fall below 40. Whether that will happen, i don't know. But if it has problems defrosting I have a feeling i will be the second to know.

Last edited by jeff5may; 11-10-16 at 10:27 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-10-16, 01:49 PM   #14
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Good going!

There really is a market for units that do exactly what you did.

If they made mini-splits just a tad more user-friendly, so that you had a high-efficiency unit out side, and could run refrigeration lines through a window, and had the indoor unit close by, it would be the Cat's Meow. No shaking windows.

You could even take it with you when you left.

I have seen the dreadful portable units, and they have poor COP.

Some evil genius will become a millionaire if he or she (most likely Asian) did it.

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Old 02-18-18, 05:45 PM   #15
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Quick update on the unit:

The unit continues to run the way it was built with no problems so far. The defrost function of the control board is very effective and quick to do its job. The thing provided ample heat down to about 15 degF, below that temperature the capacity drops off a cliff.

My son moved out of the house he was renting, so I got the unit back. For now it will be put back in the barn to wait for a new job. I may end up hot rodding it to provide comfort in my garage. No windows to put it through.

I also reposted the pics that photo bucket was holding hostage.

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Old 04-11-18, 01:12 PM   #16
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Interesting thread. I have a window shaker (8kBTU) with a reversing valve and heat strips (3kBTU), but a common fan motor. if I want to use strips on defrost I assume it'd be bad to cut the fan off

For defrost, I picked up an Emerson/WR single stage universal demand defrost controller, which I plan to hack in. it will cut out the fan if I let it (i'd probably cut off the back shaft to the outdoor coil and put in a separate fan/motor at that point).

Did you rig up your control board to cut the fan on defrost? or do you just let it spin?
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Old 04-12-18, 12:06 AM   #17
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With the original window unit conversion, a 12kbtu unit that plugged into a standard 120 volt outlet, I used a generic defrost control module. The relay had dual throw contacts, so I wired a light dimmer on the normally open contact for the fan motor. When the unit was defrosting, the dimmer was set so the fan spun really slow. This prevented the fan from freezing to the drain pan and kept indoor heat exchanger from turning into an ice block.
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Old 04-12-18, 12:53 AM   #18
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Interesting. I saw someone on here had a window shaker heat pump (WSHP? oh well that term is taken) with dual fan motors, and i was quite jealous. that would be so easy to modify for <32F use. I had to search hard to find the one I found - I barely knew they existed. Mine has electronic control, but sadly no defrost logic. once the outside air hits 40F, it switches to strips only (what a waste!).

my unit is a cap tube, so I'd like to leave the refrigerant system sealed - and it appears to have an accumulator on it? (large volume cylinder that doesn't look like a dryer attached to the compressor outlet)

my defrost board is a single pole relay - I'm still debating how to hook it up. I'll probably switch over to 24VAC controls, so that I can run it off a regular thermostat (wouldn't wireless control of a hacked heat pump be fun?).
I like the idea of being able to use the aux heat that's built in (at least to have it available), but to run that on defrost means i must move enough air to keep things from overheating.
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Old 04-12-18, 05:13 PM   #19
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Run a regular ice cube defrost relay off your module. 4pdt contacts for about 20 bucks with socket. Without socket they are even more thrifty.
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Old 04-12-18, 11:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Run a regular ice cube defrost relay off your module. 4pdt contacts for about 20 bucks with socket. Without socket they are even more thrifty.
I'm not familiar with that - what is it and to what end would I use it?

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