Mitsubishi Electric Trane Aims to Change the Heat Pump Paradigm
Works to create products with a smaller footprint
The product line offered by Mitsubiushi Electric Trane US (METUS) is getting bigger while the products themselves are getting smaller. As the world’s population continues to grow and more people move into urban areas, space is at a premium, said Mike Smith, METUS’ senior manager of marketing communications. Building operators are placing increased value on every inch of their properties, even the rooftops. METUS is responding by introducing similar capacity in smaller cabinets.
The newest N-Generation single-module units offer improved energy efficiency, a smaller footprint, and more personalized comfort control compared to prior generations of products for commercial building applications. The units are available in 16-, 18-, and 20-ton capacities. The larger-capacity options limit the need for twinning, allowing for single-module connections and smaller footprints where space is a premium concern. The expanded lineup also allows for twinned connection of R2-Series units up to 36 tons.
Available in the N-Generation High Efficiency tier, the units incorporate flash injection technology for superior heating performance in extreme climates. These units will heat continuously through defrost and may deliver 78 percent of rated heating capacity in ambient temperatures as cold as minus 13° F outdoors.
The new single-module units include a four-sided heat exchanger; improved compressor and fan design with five airflow settings to reduce sound levels; and a Branch Circuit (BC) controller allowing connection of up to 11 sub-BC controllers connected to one main BC controller.
All N-Generation units offer simplified troubleshooting and maintenance for HVAC contractors with built-in data storage for up to five days of operational data, accessible via USB and downloaded by using Maintenance Tool software. METUS also expanded its lineup of City Multi® N-Generation single-module outdoor units for R2-Series and Y-Series. These new units will be available summer 2020.
To manage these units, METUS provides Building Connect+, a new cloud-based, controls software package. Building Connect+ is a controls platform for managing City Multi VRF systems, third-party BACnet devices and hardwired equipment from one convenient interface. Designed for light commercial and multi-family applications, the software reduces initial installation and pairing costs, while reducing commissioning time through the use of a web-based portal that controls multiple units and devices.
Building Connect+ uses an on-site panel (BCP-50) to connect the central controller and third-party equipment to the Internet. The panel can auto-discover and connect up to 50 City Multi VRF indoor units, five BACnet devices, and eight hardwired devices (such as dehumidifiers), using digital input/output, with configuration done through a simple web portal.
Additionally, Building Connect+ allows account managers to add and manage independent users, giving specific levels of access to approved users through internet-connected devices. The new software also offers a maintenance tool data available in the same browser, eliminating the need for additional hardware.
Building Connect+ has the ability to connect to either a local area network or insert a SIM card for cellular data connection. Two-factor user authentication for secure cloud access.
METUS introduced the kumo touch, a wall-mounted wireless remote controller with touchscreen operation. Compatible with all M-Series and P-Series residential products and City Multi commercial products, kumo touch can be used with the kumo cloud mobile app and web service or as a standalone wall controller. Kumo touch features a backlit touchscreen and a straightforward user interface for effortless programming and scheduling. Contractors can install the wireless kumo touch controller in areas of new or existing construction that may be difficult or impractical to reach with a communications wire.
The new P-Series Hyper-Heating Inverter® (H2i®) PUZ outdoor unit is Mitsubishi Electric’s first single-zone 2-ton H2i unit. The PUZ hyper-heating outdoor unit is part of the P-Series product line from METUS, which includes indoor and outdoor units as well as controls for residential and light commercial applications. The PUZ H2i outdoor unit can be paired with a range of existing indoor units of varying sizes and designs.
In addition to expanding system options, the PUZ H2i outdoor unit is rated for 100 percent heating capacity at 5°F and guaranteed heating capacity down to minus 13° F. Efficiency ratings for the unit include up to 21.5 SEER, 12 HSPF, and 14 EER.
On the residential side, the new SLZ-KF Four-way Ceiling Cassette, part of the M-Series product line from METUS, is designed to provide the utmost comfort to homeowners. It is available in 9,000, 12,000, 15,000, and a newly introduced 18,000 Btuh size.
The unit offers flexible airflow with two-, three- or four-way vane control, which allows homeowners to personalize their settings. If applied with the optional 3D I-see Sensor™, the unit further customizes heating and cooling through the sensor’s ability to read a room’s thermal profile to calculate the occupancy rate. With the 3D I-see Sensor, direct and indirect airflow settings can be selected to offer 72 different combinations for vane direction and individual vane adjustment. The SLZ-KF automatically adjusts conditioning based on the heat signatures detected in the space and can switch into setback mode when the room is unoccupied.
The SLZ-KF Four-Way Ceiling Cassette has a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of over 19.8. This is well over the U.S. minimum SEER requirement of 13 and can translate to cost savings on users’ heating and cooling bills. Additionally, the SLZ-KF offers a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) rating of 11.2 or more.
The unit includes a washable air filter with multi-stage allergen filtration to reduce dust and debris circulation. The unit also uses a new 3D-turbo fan to operate at noise levels as low as 25 dBa. The SLZ-KF also benefits contractors with features for simplified installation. Temporary hanging hooks, captive screws, and a larger wrench turning radius on piping contribute to an easier installation process.
METUS has expanded the SUZ universal outdoor unit to include Hyper-Heating Inverter® (H2i®) technology. The single-zone outdoor unit is part of the M-Series product line from METUS, which includes indoor units, outdoor units and controls for residential and light commercial applications. Available in 9,000, 12,000, 15,000, and 18,000 Btu/H capacities, the SUZ with H2i technology delivers indoor comfort in extreme cold weather conditions, maintaining performance at outdoor temperatures as low as minus 13°F. At 5°F outdoors, the system is designed to deliver up to 100 percent of its rated heating capacity. The SUZ outdoor unit is designed with a built-in base heater and Blue Fin anti-corrosion coating over the coils.
PRIMARY HEAT SOURCE
METUS is out to show that hyperheating can be used as the primary heat source, even in cold climates. To this, it enclosed a unit at the AHR Expo to simulate outdoor air conditioning. This showed the system can operate up to minus 42. At minus 13, it still achieves 80 percent capacity.
“We’re trying to help change the paradigm that heat pumps, which had a reputation for a weak performance, can now go well beyond where they could before,” Smith said.
METUS offers hyperheating from ¾ ton to 36 tons. Unless in the extreme north, where people want a back-up, they can use just the heat pump, Smith said. This helps contractors without traditional heating experience move into heat pumps because they are basically air conditioners, he said. It pairs well with alternative energy as more areas are banning installation of natural gas. METUS also supports contractors with training, including 11 centers across the country.
Another tool METUS offers contractors is SalesBuilderPro. It develops an estimate based on Manual J, environmental, and geographic calculations. SalesBuilderPro also works as a light design tool. Smith said it helps determine costs so a contractor can provide a good estimate.
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