CHICAGO — For years, several manufacturers have been touting the value and the benefits of installing ductless mini-split systems. Some of these benefits include energy efficiency, ease of operation for consumers, and better zone control.

Now these same manufacturers are taking their ductless products and adding more features to make the ductless choice more desirable for consumers. Attendees at the 2003 Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) had the opportunity to see some of the new developments in ductless mini-splits.

A New Generation

Fujitsu General America(Fairfield, N.J.) had two new developments to announce at this year’s show. First, Fujitsu said that it will add the Halycon name to its entire HVAC product line. At the expo, the company displayed what it called its “new generation” of mini-split products, including the Halycon-IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) mini-split system. The new product is scheduled to ship in the second half of 2003 and has a variety of new features.

The unit has a rating of 12 SEER, which is achieved through a dual fan outdoor condenser. The system’s design features an electronic plasma filtration unit combined with conventional filters for better air quality, the company said.

Fujitsu said that during cooling and heating operation, its air-purifying function collects dust, pollen, dust mites, mold spores, and other debris. As positively charged dust particles in the environment pass through the plasma filtration unit, they are collected on negatively charged electrodes. The plasma filter can then be removed from the mini-split unit and cleaned with water and a mild detergent.

Fujitsu also took the time to introduce two ceiling cassettes, the 36RC and the 42RC. The 36RC can provide 36,000 Btus of cooling power and 43,000 Btus of reverse cycle heating power. The 42RC can provide 42,000 Btus of cooling power and 48,000 Btus of reverse cycle heating power.

According to Fujitsu, the new ceiling cassettes have a slender-fit feature and a new mechanism that enables the cassette body to move 1-3/8 inches downward into the conditioned space. This reduces the “above ceiling” space requirements from 11-7/32 to 9-27/32 without extra work or special options, according to the company. Each of the models can be mounted flush or hang into the room.

Enhanced Features

Sanyo(Chatsworth, Calif.) displayed its new 24KS62R indoor unit and its 24KLS62R outdoor unit. The system is a high-efficiency, 13-SEER ductless mini-split. According to Sanyo, it complies with the 2006 Department of Energy (DOE) regulations. The system uses R-410A.

Other features include microprocessor-controlled operation, three fan speeds, automatic fan operation, air sweep control, louver control, and an anti-mold filter. The filter is treated with anti-mold chemicals designed to prevent the development of mold or bacteria. Sanyo said that the optional Air Clean Filter is capable of catching 0.01-micron dust and pollen.

Panasonic (Secaucus, N.J.) introduced two cooling models of its ductless split system, as well as two new heat pump models. The new CS-C9CKPG indoor unit works with the CU-C9CKP6G outdoor unit. When the two are used together, the system has 12.4 SEER rating and can achieve 8,800 Btuh, the company said. Sanyo’s CS-C12CKPG indoor unit, combined with the CU-C12CKP6G outdoor unit, can achieve 11.2 SEER and 12,300 Btuh.

The new heat pump version of the mini-split includes the CS-A9CKPG indoor unit with a CU-A9CKP6G outdoor unit. According to the company, this 10.8-SEER system can achieve 8,200 Btuh of cooling and 9,200 Btuh of heating. Another version, the CS-A12CKPG indoor unit and the CU-A12CKP6G outdoor unit, has a 10.6 SEER and can achieve 12,000 Btuh of cooling and 13,500 Btuh of heating, the company said.

Each of the new cooling and heat pump models feature a one-touch air filter, an air purifying filter, and a solar refreshing deodorizing filter.

Monitoring, Control

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.(Rancho Dominguez, Calif.) announced its new satellite ducted FDUM Series of intermediate static pressure models of mini-splits. The company also introduced monitoring and control systems for mini-splits.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries offers four separate FDUM models. The FDUM140A2 and the FDUM210A2 provide only cooling, while the FDUM140HA2 and the FDUM210A2 will provide both cooling and heating.

According to the company, the FDUM series can fit in a small space in the ceiling. A high head-type drain pump is a standard specification. The ducted satellite is ideal for rooms with false ceilings, small offices, renovations, and add-on rooms, the company stated.

Besides new mini-splits, the manufacturer said that it has developed products to help with the networking and monitoring of the systems. The company has introduced a new transmission system called Superlynk.

According to the manufacturer, Superlynk is based on automatic polarity determination control and high-speed transmission technology. The product can hook up 48 units by two-core signal lines. The company stated that in some conventional air-conditioners, three wires per unit are needed to control more than one indoor or outdoor machine. With Superlynk, only one two-core line is needed.

A new standard remote control and a new network remote control have also been added to the company’s offerings. The standard remote has a new automatic operation mode, an intake air temperature display, an operation mode displayed on the LCD, and a center and remote mode. The new Network Remote Control has Superlynk compatibility and can control up to 16 air conditioners, the company said.

Digital Technology

Samsung(Whittier, Calif.) used the show to introduce its latest ductless product, the Digital Variable Multi (DVM) 5-hp system. According to the company, the DVM uses a digital compressor. The compressor is similar to a scroll type compressor except for a solenoid valve. To control the compressor’s loading and unloading, the solenoid valve is installed to make a passage between the upper part of the fixed scroll and the suction pipe.

When the solenoid valve in the system is turned off, the fixed scroll is closed to the orbiting scroll. When the solenoid valve is turned on, the fixed scroll is separated from the orbiting scroll. This process controls the valve and the rotating refrigerants in the circle, which adjusts the capacity, said the company.

Samsung said that the DVM operation was designed to increase energy efficiency. The DVM system can operate up to 16 separate indoor units and can be controlled by one centralized controller, the manufacturer said.

Publication date: 02/17/2003