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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    2,857
    Sad to say but it looks like microchannel is the way of the future.
    Its cheaper & uses less gas which means its cheaper for the manufacturers.
    They'll let us deal with all the problems till they get them right. They can probably make 3 of them cheaper than one copper tube & fin coil so they still come out cheaper if they have to warranty them every couple of years. They can justify going to aluminum indoor coils because of all the copper coil leaks
    indoor but there has never been a problem with outdoor copper coils leaking.
    There is no justification to move to aluminum microchannel except shear cost cutting.
    Gary
    -----------
    http://www.oceanhvac.com
    An engineer designs what he would never work on.
    A technician works on what he would never design.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    37
    The advantage of aluminum, to my marine customers, is less corrosion. On copper/alum coils, within a couple of years the heat transfer between the alum fins and the copper tubes greatly decreases, due to corrosion between the dissimilar metals. We are constantly battling this with coil treatments/dipping to slow the corrosion. Condensing units last about 5 years.
    You can get copper/copper coils, but are $$$$!

  3. #16
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Lubbock Texas
    Posts
    769
    Quote Originally Posted by garyed View Post
    Sad to say but it looks like microchannel is the way of the future.
    Its cheaper & uses less gas which means its cheaper for the manufacturers.
    They'll let us deal with all the problems till they get them right. They can probably make 3 of them cheaper than one copper tube & fin coil so they still come out cheaper if they have to warranty them every couple of years. They can justify going to aluminum indoor coils because of all the copper coil leaks
    indoor but there has never been a problem with outdoor copper coils leaking.
    There is no justification to move to aluminum microchannel except shear cost cutting.
    I was at Trane's factory in Clarksville last week. I watched them make a microchannel coil. They will be the norm in the next 5 years.
    The premise of ventilation is that the OA is clean or of sufficient quality to be used for dilution. Traditional ventilation is somewhat being threatened by the fact that the EPA is changing the requirements for outdoor air quality which is creating non-attainment zones in what is now becoming a significant portion of the country. That means that buildings in those areas will need to clean up the OA before they bring it into the building.
    www.genesisair.com
    Genesis Air Inc.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    37
    Maye if everyone is getting into it, they will put their heads together and work all the bugs out.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Prattville, Alabama
    Posts
    1,742
    Quote Originally Posted by tharding54 View Post
    The advantage of aluminum, to my marine customers, is less corrosion. On copper/alum coils, within a couple of years the heat transfer between the alum fins and the copper tubes greatly decreases, due to corrosion between the dissimilar metals. We are constantly battling this with coil treatments/dipping to slow the corrosion. Condensing units last about 5 years.
    You can get copper/copper coils, but are $$$$!
    Good point about marine applications, tharding. I also wonder how they will hold up at paper mills and other industrial sites with a chemical environment. If you're seeing improvement in marine environments, then I'm cautiously optimistic.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    37
    Ability to withstand vibration is another concern. The spine fin condenser coils, for example, vibration will cause the coil of alum tubes to settle 6 to 8 inches, and the bottom tube will rub a hole it it.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    NW AR
    Posts
    2,475
    As has been said, get used to it. Your brand will be going the same route eventually. I hear many of you saying its just on the cheap builder models. Not true. Some brands are using them on their high end, high seer equipment as well.

    They still havnt figured out how to get them to drain properly in defrost with heat pump systems so I guess those that are so against them can purchase heat pumps and wire them to run straight ac...

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    2,857
    I much prefer Goodman's small 5 millimeter copper tubing than aluminum microchannel. I'm at the beach & we have copper tubing with aluminum fins doing just fine for years. The big problem of course is the corrosion causing poor heat transfer as the units get older but its never been a problem causing leaks in the coils like microchannels are having. I also wonder what would happen if any trash got into a microchannel coil.
    Gary
    -----------
    http://www.oceanhvac.com
    An engineer designs what he would never work on.
    A technician works on what he would never design.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Southwest
    Posts
    114
    I repaired one Trane 5 ton split with the alum solder kit, and replaced a 20 ton condenser coil on a brand new Carrier split. (it blew out in several places and was hopeless to fix, after one attempt failed)
    Ordering a new coil for a 5 ton+ system could be months out. Your customer could be in trouble in the middle of Summer.
    Even the salesman will admit all the larger micro channel coils fail. Good luck repairing anything other than a pinhole.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    37
    Yeah, I'm concerned about cracks due to boat vibration.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,512
    Make sure you add or at least offer a 10 yr part and labor warranty on the micro channel units

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    Not a fan myself. 2 big issues, as stated, leaks and charge. You worried about trash in them. Well most have POE oil so better keep them shinny clean. As small as the passages are will not take much to junk them. That being said they will probably have to be replaced for leaks long before the ever get that dirty. Seeing them in refrigeration too.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    NW AR
    Posts
    2,475
    Charging is as simple as any other unit. Have had no leaks so far so cant attest to that part(other than a dry charge new in box that had been hit with something). As far as trash, the passages are bigger than the passages in a screen before an orifice, for example. Dont get trash in them. Simple.

    I wish they would stick with copper too but looks like they arent going to...

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