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  1. #1

    YORK TRIATHLON NATURAL GAS ENGINE DRIVEN CONDENSING UNIT

    IN THE 1990'S YORK INTRODUCED A NATURAL GAS ENGINE DRIVEN RESIDENTIAL CONDENSING UNIT. CURRENTLY THE PRICE AND LONG TERM AVAILABILITY OF NATURAL GAS LOOKS FAVORABLE. WE ARE INVESTIGATING THE DESIGNS HISTORY. SOMETHING HAPPENED AND THE UNITS WERE ABRUPTLY WITHDRAWN FROM THE MARKET AFTER ONLY A FEW YEARS. IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE THAT KNOWS ABOUT OR EVER WORKED ON THEM?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    68,104
    Moved to Tech to Tech Residential forum.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Atoka, TN
    Posts
    42

    York Natural gas engine driven Condensing Unit

    Quote Originally Posted by ralphferia View Post
    IN THE 1990'S YORK INTRODUCED A NATURAL GAS ENGINE DRIVEN RESIDENTIAL CONDENSING UNIT. CURRENTLY THE PRICE AND LONG TERM AVAILABILITY OF NATURAL GAS LOOKS FAVORABLE. WE ARE INVESTIGATING THE DESIGNS HISTORY. SOMETHING HAPPENED AND THE UNITS WERE ABRUPTLY WITHDRAWN FROM THE MARKET AFTER ONLY A FEW YEARS. IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE THAT KNOWS ABOUT OR EVER WORKED ON THEM?
    We had 2 in Memphis, Tn. on Test homes and yes had a briggs and straton engine driving compressor, varilble speed indoor unit. York paid for Factory traing for us to install the test units.

  4. #4

    YORK TRIATHLON NATURAL GAS ENGINE DRIVEN CONDENSING UNIT

    Quote Originally Posted by cri3541 View Post
    We had 2 in Memphis, Tn. on Test homes and yes had a briggs and straton engine driving compressor, varilble speed indoor unit. York paid for Factory traing for us to install the test units.
    THANKS FOR YOUR REPLY.
    ANY CHANCE YOU STILL HAVE THE TRAINING OR SERVICE MANUALS? IT WOULD ALSO BE VERY HELPFUL IF WE COULD LOCATE A DECOMISSIONED UNIT FOR EVALUATION. DO YOU KNOW OF ANYONE THAT WAS SELLING THEM THAT MIGHT HAVE ONE IN THEIR GRAVE YARD?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Anderson, South Carolina, United States
    Posts
    7,049
    York bought all of these back that they sold. They were mainly only In test houses. With the advanced technology today it maybe worth looking in to but the triathlon was a mistake

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,104
    Turn off your cap lock. Its considered yelling, and impolite to type using all caps.
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  7. #7
    Will do.

  8. #8
    I dont think it was a mistake, but i do think it was before its time. The engine is very interesting. It was designed by GTI/GRI to operate with minimal service for 40,000 hours. The engine is still in production today, and has recently obtained CARB certification. With 90% heat recovery from the water jacket and exhaust, and a open drive scroll/heatpump coupled to it, efficiencies in the 80%+ range could be achieved. this would far outpace anything connected to a 30% efficient electrical grid.
    I am looking for one of these units and technical literature. I found that there had been one for sale online last year so there must still be some around.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    7,763
    This type of A/C was also introduced back in the 70's so some search back then might come up with that generation of machines.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    2,804
    I made a thread about it a while ago. Search for threads I started. Currently, they're in commercial production by a few Japanese HVAC manufacturers like Yanmar, but not available for US market. If you need one for R&D, import one.

    IIRC, engine cycle is on par or slightly less efficient than absorption cycle(measuring COP based on cooling BTU vs fuel energy content BTU), which has far less maintenance requirements. The engine type has a clear advantage in heat pump in frigid climate, because the heat pump cycle not only takes in the outdoor heat, but the engine waste heat as well.

    They do come with their own set of problems though. The engine requires maintenance unlike hermetic compressors and its an open drive like car A/C compressor so refrigerant will leak.

    They're only practical when the prices of electricity and natural gas are different enough that natural gas has advantage at the current system efficiency and that both utilities are sufficiently high that you can justify the upfront cost of equipment.


    http://www.proheatpump.eu/Downloads/...pump%20D19.pdf

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    Posts
    1,605
    Quote Originally Posted by ralphferia View Post
    THANKS FOR YOUR REPLY.
    ANY CHANCE YOU STILL HAVE THE TRAINING OR SERVICE MANUALS? IT WOULD ALSO BE VERY HELPFUL IF WE COULD LOCATE A DECOMISSIONED UNIT FOR EVALUATION. DO YOU KNOW OF ANYONE THAT WAS SELLING THEM THAT MIGHT HAVE ONE IN THEIR GRAVE YARD?

    I have some training and service manuals, parts breakdown, controller and thermostat information. Contact me via email (address in profile) if you are interested in copies.

    Kevin
    "Profit is not the legitimate purpose of business. The legitimate purpose of business is to provide a product or service that people need and do it so well that it's profitable."

    James Rouse

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    1,111
    Subscribed.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    1,801
    I started in this trade at a York dealer that had a few Triathalons out there, just as they were failing and being withdrawn. They all had been installed at gas company bigwigs' houses, with some program with York and the utility. I was a helper back then, and never saw one myself. I was told that the Briggs and Stratton engine was not lasting enough.

    If there was a similar machine available today, I would like one. We have free gas.
    Might as well build in a backup generator, too.
    Jason

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