Mini Split

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by DonL, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    I was going to buy one of these for use in a Sealed 20 foot shipping container / hurricane shelter. (20X8X9)

    www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0095V0OYM

    They make a smaller one that may do the job, But can you really do any Overkill with these and all of the electronics they use for control ?


    Help me out Dana.
  2. Dana

    Dana In the trades

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    If it's just for a seldom-used hurricane shelter, efficiency & oversizing doesn't really matter very much, does it?

    Without the manual & exact model # it's hard to say, but I suspect it's a 1-speed compressor type that does not modulate like the "inverter" mini-splits do, though you can set the interior head's blower speed to suit. Oversizing it would enable bringing it to temp more quickly, but would be less effective at dehumidfication (not that it EVER gets very humid in Houston, especially during hurricanes... ;) ) An oversized unit that could still modulate a bit would do a better job at managing the latent loads. LG has some relatively inexpensive 3/4 ton and 1-ton units with variable-speed compressors. It's an upcharge, but may be worth it if you plan to use it on a regular basis.

    If the thing isn't insulated it's worth painting it with a titanium-white type paint (at least the top, but probably the south and west sides too) to reduce the peak cooling loads. Any mop-on "cool roof" coating with a 3-year SRI north of 70 would be good.
  3. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    Thank You for the input Dana.

    I was going to make it always on.

    I wanted to store food and supplies in it. Summer and winter.

    I also wanted to run it off of a 2000W inverter generator, if needed.

    I am having the container custom built and they will make it any color that I want.

    I was going to get them to give me a 3 inch whole to play with. Inside to out.

    The container will be completely water sealed when the doors are closed.

    I was thinking of putting the unit on the roof but not sure, a slab may be better ?

    It will be shaded by Oak trees.


    I guess moving is another option. Sounds better everyday, now that NASA JSC is about closed.
  4. Dana

    Dana In the trades

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    If the place is going to be conditioned 24/365 it's probably going to be worth putting a decent modulating mini-split on it, and giving it at least some insulation. A Mitsubishi -GE09NA or Fujitsu -9RLS2 or similar would be quieter & more efficient, with fewer break downs (and higher chance of finding parts & service if it did break down.) The LGs aren't bad when they are working, and have a very good price/performance factor, but a couple of years ago I heard they had the some of the highest warranty repair rates in the industry (which hopefully they have improved upon.) It's one thing to risk it if it's only going to be fired up 10-15 days/year, quite another if you're actually using it.

    Putting the compressor on the roof probably makes it more susceptible to storm damage, putting it on a slab makes it more susceptible to flood damage (but maybe if the tide came in that high you wouldn't care?), and the lower to the ground it is the more grass/weeds/trash it picks up. For those reasons I prefer bracket-mounting them on the walls a bit above the shrubbery. (In my area I have to worry about snow depth too.) They make pretty good purpose-build brackets for mini-splits for not huge money (complete with shock/vibration mounts, etc. to isolate the fan vibe from the house.) You should be able to bolt them directly to the side of a cargo-can pretty easily. These people did a decent job of DIY bracket mounting their 1-ton Pioneer off the deck and out of harm's way, sheltered by an overhanging roof:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  5. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    I guess the brackets may be the way to go. I could Weld up something.

    As near as I could tell the models you listed run on 240V.

    I need one that can operate on 120V.


    Thank You.
  6. Dana

    Dana In the trades

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    The Friedrich BR0412W1A is a ~$1600 modulating super-quiet 1-ton with a 3:1 turn-down ratio and pretty-good cooling efficiency that runs on 115VAC, comes set up pre-charged with refrigerant for easy DIY install.

    Friedrich's corporate home office is in San Antonio- if you can't get parts & service for them in Texas you have the option of driving out there and slamming the thing on their receptionist's desk! o_O

    If you really want to cheap out it's probably possible to use a smallest-in class PTHP. There are some $500 units out there, some of which run on 115VAC. But they'll be noisier and less efficient than an inverter-drive mini-split.
  7. Dana

    Dana In the trades

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    DonL: If it's not too late (a full month later), I just recently became aware of the 115V inverter-drive Gree units that can be had through the big orange box stores for about $850 for the 3/4 ton, $1200 for the 1-ton.

    Unlike most product lines, the 1-ton has an efficiency edge over the 3/4 ton units.

    Sales are online-only and I think you'll be out for the linesets as well, but the efficiency is actually pretty good compared to other 115V units, in both heating & cooling mode.
  8. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    Thanks Dana.

    No it is not to late. I have still been looking.

    I could use 2 units, but would like to buy 1 for test first.


    Thank You for your input.
  9. Dana

    Dana In the trades

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    De nada, seƱor- es mi gusto!
    DonL likes this.
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