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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    3,945
    With utilities going to time of use power pricing programs, the gas engine drive may be worth a 2nd look. Prices during peak hours in our area are much more expensive than off peak. By getting the "big boy" off the grid during peak times it has a HUGE advantage in utility costs. In our area NG goes for 40 cents per therm which is the BTU equal to 2 cents per KWH. On peak rates are typically 22 cents per KWH, off peak is 5 cents per KWH. The gas company makes their money on the $27 monthly meter charge, while selling the gas relatively cheap.

    The details are what kills you. Homeowners don't want to mess with their A/C unit. It hard enough to get people to change their filter and clean their condenser, much change oil, tension belts, etc. They want to turn it on and just be cool in their house. I can more see the gas engine units being used more in commercial where they have somebody to maintain them and the savings would be greater due to the larger unit size.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    66,750
    Quote Originally Posted by syndicated View Post
    Subscribed.
    You can click on Thread Tools, and then click on Subscribe, then you don't have to make a post to subscribe.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    1,009
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    You can click on Thread Tools, and then click on Subscribe, then you don't have to make a post to subscribe.
    I did, twice, and this thread didn't get added to my list. Hence the post.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    66,750
    Quote Originally Posted by syndicated View Post
    I did, twice, and this thread didn't get added to my list. Hence the post.

    Hmm, always works for me.

    Click subscribe to thread, then click add subscription.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,729
    I seem to recall that there's a line of products in Yanmar that is self-exciting. The basic engine heat pump requires utility power for fans and controls. The Self-exciting type starts up and provides all its electrical need from engine like a car. The co-generation is also available in higher kW so to supplement or provide for emergency power in the building.

    It appears to be a feasible idea for restaurants in developing countries and remote areas with frequent outages. The system provides HVAC and power for refrigeration and minimum needed to keep the business running until the power is restored.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    south jersey
    Posts
    1,088
    What a cool unit the Triathalon was.(so I thought) We put in about 14 of them at a school for the special needs. Way ahead of its time. Had some training and then off I went with the install. Had to run natural gas line to condenser along with to 7/8 copper lines for a little glycol loop that was heated buy engine a small backup boiler in condenser then piped to a coil in the air handler. The coolest thing was when the condenser started and it sounded like your tractor was starting. Problem was the service calls. You would get a call a go out. You need a special service tool to connect to the machine to tell you what was wrong.Most of our service calls were engine related and you could see how that could be a problem for an Hvac/r service tech. Was sad to see them go.
    You need to put the phone down and get back to work!

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Toronto Canada
    Posts
    1,088
    I Love York and hearing about these machines just make me love them more. Does anyone have a picture of these beats or are they that top secert?

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    south jersey
    Posts
    1,088
    Man it has been a least 20 years ago. Just reading this thread brought back a lot of memories. Did bring it up at a York training class once and the guy basically told me that they were an experiment that failed. Basic problem was, like I said above, you have to be able to diagnose engine problems before you can service the unit. I did forget to mention above that in addition to the natural gas line, the heat piping you also had refrigerant piping plus electrical. That's a lot to have to run to a condenser.
    You need to put the phone down and get back to work!

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    3,945
    Electrical should have been able to work on a standard 120V line, dedicated circuit of course. Gas line could be a PITA depending on location. We have the gas meter, power meter, and breaker box all within 5' of the condenser, others not so lucky.

    Becoming a small engine repairman in addition to HVAC is where the problem lies. However, NG powered small engines have become more reliable with the advances in electronic controls. They are common in backup generators and don't give much trouble. If somebody tries to do another one, it would be smart for them to market to the commercial side. Something the size of a car engine could be used to run the chiller.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    1,009
    The service life on CNG powered engines is much longer than gas powered engines due to the fuel being pure. I've pulled apart car engines that ran on LPG and CNG, after 200,000km they still look new internally.
    To further that lifespan, running at one fixed speed with the proper oil and maintenance one could expect it to be the longest lasting part of the system.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    3,945
    I dunno about running fixed speed, I would think variable speed would increase overall efficiency instead of cycling on/off.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    1,009
    Quote Originally Posted by 54regcab View Post
    I dunno about running fixed speed, I would think variable speed would increase overall efficiency instead of cycling on/off.
    Agreed, but therein lies the fundamental difference between internal combustion engines and electric motors. Gas engines need to operate at a minimum rpm to make any useful power, and must fire in fast enough intervals so it doesn't shake itself to pieces think of a lawn mower about to stall.
    To get a variable pumping capacity wouldn't an unloader to the job easier?

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    I think it could be interesting again if they were able to use one of the newer magnetic coupling technologies to drive the compressor. It would do away with the inherent problem with using an open drive.

    It would still leave the issue of HVAC/R techs having to learn small engine diagnostics and repair.
    I'm thinking they could do better with an engine manufacturer other than B&S too...
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

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