Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC Hunts Little Things for Big Payoffs
An additional side on a heat exchanger, smaller footprints, sharp corners show the way
ATLANTA — “Easy to do business with.”
That is the mantra and the goal for his company, said Mike Smith, senior manager of marketing communications for Mitsubishi Electric Trane HVAC US (METUS).
A tour through METUS’ booth at AHR with Smith included multiple examples of how the company has looked for ways to make small adjustments, accommodations, and improvements through product lines to live up to that mission for contractors and their customers.
One such case is the pair of MSZ/MUZ-JP heat pumps that run on 115 V. Where available space on a breaker panel might be tight, either model can provide comfort while taking up only one breaker instead of the typical two breakers.
The more modest electrical demand reduces the chance that additional electrical upgrades will drive up the cost of a project, and it also decreases chances for any installation problem for the contractor.
The MSZ-JP is the single-zone indoor option, while the MUZ-JP is an outdoor unit. Available in 9- and 12-kBtuh capacities, the system has a SEER rating of 17, HSPF of 9.3-11.00, and an EER of 9.9-12.0.
The company likes this pair not only for residential but for light commercial applications with restaurants and hotels — perhaps especially seaside destinations, given that the outdoor unit heat exchanger has been treated with Blue Fin anticorrosion treatment to slow corrosion via airborne salt and sulfur.
The JP options also feature quiet operation (as low as 22 dB[A]) for the outdoor unit, low ambient heating down to minus 4°F, and washable filters with anti-allergy enzyme filter mechanisms.
One more distinct feature is the ECONO COOL mode. In this mode, the unit delivers air at a higher set point, but since it’s delivered in a “swing motion,” it feels cooler. The result should be the same optimum occupant comfort but with additional energy savings.
Elsewhere in the booth, another adjustment seemed likely to make life a little easier for contractors doing installations.
METUS’ new single-zone SUZ model gets distinctive value from the rest of its description: “universal outdoor unit.” That doesn’t mean it’s ready for service on the next space mission, but it does mean it is designed to work well with at least five compatible indoor units in varying capacities. Specifically:
- SLZ-KF 2x2 ceiling cassette with 3D i-see Sensor™ in 9, 12, 15, and 18 kBtuh.
- MLZ-KP one-way ceiling cassette in 9, 12, and 18 kBtuh.
- SEZ-KD low-static ducted unit in 9, 12, 15, and 18 kBtuh.
- PEAD mid-static ducted unit in 9, 12, 15, 18, 24, 30, and 36 kBtuh.
- SVZ multi-position air handler in 12, 18, 24, 30, and 36 kBtuh.
The end result may not look all that different: Any system, including the SUZ, should still produce a high level of performance. But it might win new friends with contractors and distributors, both of whom should be able to take advantage of its versatility and stock fewer types of condensers in inventory.
Finally, on the strictly commercial side, the company’s designers aimed to skip “bigger and better” for “smaller and better” instead with METUS’ new CITY MULTI® N-Generation outdoor units.
Arriving with a 30 percent smaller footprint than previous models, the units offer more design flexibility due to improvements in vertical piping limits at 295 feet (from 164 feet). Available in 6- to 32-ton capacities, the units also include a four-sided heat exchanger, delivering increased heating capabilities within the reduced footprint.
According to the company, the combination of the new heat exchanger, compressor, and fan design improve both nominal and seasonal efficiency levels by up to 27 percent over prior generations, even at part-load conditions. Flash injection compressor technology is now standard in N-Generation high-efficiency models, offering up to 78 percent of heating capacity down to minus 13° outdoor ambient temperature.
For those who have to check up on such equipment, the N-Generation is built to simplify maintenance and troubleshooting by providing built-in data storage. The technician can tap into that with a USB connection and obtain up to five days’ of operational data.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Two last tweaks were designed to get attention back in the residential arena. The METUS launch of MSZ/MUZ-WR Model heat pumps brings 16-SEER efficiency to homeowners who would like to improve their system’s efficiency while staying within budget. The company sees it as an excellent “entry-level” choice.
Meanwhile, sometimes looks matter, and the company’s Diamond indoor units boast sharp corners, Smith said, to help it get past certain aesthetic concerns. In the U.S. market, he said, this avoids resistance to the more rounded look common elsewhere around the world. The company has found this gives the unit a more accepted “appliance” feel, and availability in different corners allows customers to tailor choices to suit the décor.
Publication date: 2/18/2019