ACHRNEWS

Rounding Up the Latest in Ductless

April 25, 2011

As ductless technology becomes more popular in the North American market, equipment manufacturers continue to introduce new units for both the residential and commercial markets. Read this roundup for a review of some of the latest ductless equipment on the market.

RESIDENTIAL DUCTLESS UNITS

In October 2010, Daikin’s Quaternity™ was re-rated to a SEER level of 26.1, which the company stated makes it the most energy-efficient single room system in North America. The all-in-one appliance provides heating and cooling, dehumidifies the air to a user-defined relative humidity setting, and provides air-cleaning functions. Users can set higher set point temperatures with a 50 percent humidity target, realizing significant energy savings. According to Daikin, Quaternity also has exceptional IAQ features, including Flash Streamer Technology, a multilayered air purifying function which decomposes and removes molecules of allergens and odors by colliding them with high-speed electrons.

The Mitsubishi Electric RedLINK wireless controller communicates through radio frequency and features intuitive operational functions for added convenience.

In July 2010, Fujitsu General America Inc. introduced its 4-ton, up to 17 SEER Fujitsu Halcyon HFI Hybrid Flex Inverter heat pump system to the market. The company offers several indoor unit styles and sizes: 7,000-, 9,000-, 12,000-, 18,000-, and 24,000-Btu wall-mount units; 9,000-, 12,000-, and 18,000-Btu cassette units; and 9,000- 12,000- 18,000- and 24,000 -Btu concealed ceiling units - all of which can connect to a single 4-ton outdoor unit. According to Fujitsu, this allows for as many as eight separate zones and 3,266 combinations. The price-competitive system provides connectible capacity from 80 to 130 percent, from 39,000 to 62,000 Btu, enabling the system to provide 48,000 to different areas of the building when other areas are not in use.

Fujitsu’s Halycon HFI Flex System allows eight indoor units to be connected to one outdoor unit for whole-home year-round comfort.

Last October, Heat Controller released the InverterFlex™ multizone units, which allow the user to condition two, three, or four rooms - or one large space - with just one outdoor unit. According to Heat Controller, the system can be designed to meet the load requirements of each room because indoor air handlers can be mixed and matched (9,000- and 12,000-Btuh indoor units can be combined up to the total system capacity of 18,000 to 36,000 Btuh). InverterFlex models incorporate all the advantages of inverter technology, including a variable-speed compressor that provides precise temperature control with energy efficiency. The company said that this zoning solution is practical because it doesn’t require complicated systems and controls, and it’s simple for users to set the desired comfort level. The heat pump models have modes for cooling, heating, dehumidification only, and air circulation. The InverterFlex also features multistage filtration and includes an ionizer to remove microscopic particles, an active carbon-dust filter, and an air-freshening filter.

The Mitsubishi Electric DOAS works with Mitsubishi Electric VRF zoning cooling and heating systems and supplies outdoor ventilation air to a building.

Designed for both residential and light commercial applications, the LG Art Cool Inverter Mirror is an interior heating and cooling system with a black curved-mirror finish. According to LG, this unit can be added to a room without the semblance of an air conditioner on a wall. The company stated that the LG Art Cool Inverter Mirror not only looks great, but its efficient inverter system can also reduce the owner’s operating cost.

Daikin’s innovative Round Flow cassette is ideal for open plan applications such as classrooms and offices where variances in temperature and airflow can cause discomfort.

At the 2011 AHR Expo, held in late January and early February in Las Vegas, Mitsubishi Electric Cooling and Heating Solutions announced that it incorporated Honeywell’s RedLink™ wireless HVAC protocol into its line of split-ductless and ducted heat pumps. The RedLink-enabled split-ductless system is designed to maximize comfort and reduce energy costs. Using RedLink technology, a wall-mounted wireless remote controller communicates through radio frequency, meaning that the wireless controllers can be placed in a different room than the indoor units and that no wires need to be run through the walls.

According to Mitsubishi, the wall-mounted controllers look almost identical to traditional wall-mounted thermostats. They feature easy-to-read backlit displays and intuitive operational functions.

Heat Controller InverterFlex mini-splits can be mixed and matched to cool and heat two, three, or four rooms. Each indoor air handler is independently controlled with its own wireless remote and can be set for individual preferences or turned off when not needed.

COMMERCIAL DUCTLESS UNITS

Released last October, Daikin’s Round Flow cassette is designed to provide 360-degree airflow while reducing drafts, temperature fluctuations, and air velocity. The 3-by-3-foot fan coil units can be combined with Daikin’s VRVIII-S, VRVIII, and VRV-WIII. According to the company, the Round Flow cassette is ideal for open plan applications, such as classrooms and offices, where variances in temperature and airflow can cause discomfort. However, with 23 configurable airflow distribution patterns, it can also be effective in smaller, more intricate spaces, too.

Quaternity™ by Daikin boasts a SEER rating of 26.1.

This unit provides quieter operation by reducing wind velocity. It features a built-in condensate pump, and the company noted that installation is also easier due to the overall weight reduction of the unit. In addition, it is optimized for improved IAQ. The drain pan is coated with an antibacterial agent containing silver ions, which restricts growth of slime, mold, and bacteria. The air filters are also treated with an antibacterial agent, which essentially doubles the anti-mold and antibacterial processes. MERV 8 and 13 disposable filters are also available to further improve IAQ.

Offices are ideal locations for ceiling cassettes: The overhead location allows conditioned air to reach cubicles and work areas within a large space. Heat Controller units can be programmed for daily, weekly, and holiday operation for energy savings.

According to Heat Controller, its DMC Series Ceiling cassette units provide the effectiveness of a split system without the cost and inconvenience of adding ductwork, and add the advantage of inconspicuous installation. Indoor units fit flush in the ceiling with an attractive panel incorporating airflow louvers. A small light display shows operation and if the timer is in use, plus signals when the filter needs changing. A full-featured remote and a wire wall remote to control operation and program the unit are both included. Available in cooling-only models in 24,000 and 36,000 Btuh, to optimize comfort and minimize energy consumption, dual compressors in the 36,000-Btuh unit operate individually or in tandem to most closely match the load. Swirl mode reduces temperature stratification, and a high-tech plasma air purifying filter improves IAQ.

The LG Art Cool Inverter Mirror blends sleek design with a quiet yet powerful duct-free residential a/c unit.

Earlier this year, Mitsubishi Electric introduced its Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS), a system designed to supply outdoor ventilation air to a building independent of the HVAC air distribution or conditioning system. According to the company, the DOAS is unique because it can use the heat recovery feature to provide free reheat. The DOAS preconditions outside air for introduction into downstream HVAC units, lessening the load on HVAC systems. Because the HVAC systems have to work less to condition the air to a certain temperature when used in conjunction with the DOAS, end users can save on utility costs. The DOAS connects to a Mitsubishi Electric VRF outdoor unit with inverter-driven technology to provide energy-efficient outside air by utilizing waste heat from cooling cycles to provide reheat capability.

Publication date: 04/25/2011