Most mini-splits, have what are known as inverter style compressors. This is how they work.
They convert the 240v, 60hz AC, into DC. Then they INVERT that DC into 240V AC, 5 to 120 HZ.
This allows the compressor to be almost INFINITELY variable. When the room cools down, it cranks down to 5 HZ and just trickles in the refrigerant.
Because of this, you will not be able to interface it with a normal air handler.
Most of the big Mini Split manufactures, however, make small air handler type units.
They also have outdoor condensing units, that can connect up to 8 (the most that I have seen) indoor units.
You might also want to check out a product from LG, called their ART COOL.
It is an indoor unit that mounts on an interior wall, that looks like a picture frame. Well, it is an actual picture frame, and you can put whatever picture you want in there.
it is about 4 to 8 inches thick and it looks nice if placed well.
It also gets up into the 20 SEER range.
If you have anymore questions, please feel free to ask.
jb-eng: That unit looks like it might work. I've heard that the city-multis are pricy. I'll check on that.
hotrodrob: I looked at the duct units, but they are 35 to 43" wide and will not fit.
Thanks for suggestions.
Tony ... The variable speed capability of inverter technology is why I think a mini-split is applicable in this case. I would like to know what acturally controls the speed; is it temperature, line pressure or ??
Sir-Fixalot: I can't speak to how other manufacturers do it, but from the Mitsubishi classes I have been to, it seems like the mini split inverter compressors are controlled based on temperature sensors. There are thermistors for ambient air, outside coil temp, compressor discharge temp, indoor coil refrigerant entering temp, indoor coil refrigerant leaving temp and room temp.
The outdoor unit communicates with the indoor unit and reads the indoor temps and adjusts speed and LEV position to attempt to maintain a specific change in refrigerant temp based on how far the room temp sensor is from the setpoint.
Since this is a communicating system, it would be difficult to "trick" the condenser into working with another type of fan coil. Maybe if you had all the boards and sensors from a proper indoor unit? Still seems risky to me.
Good luck. This seems like a tough one.
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