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Old 24-10-2021, 01:10   #1
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Chiller System vs Standalone

I have a 46 ft mono with a chiller system that is hooked to three air handlerss. The unit runs heat and Ac and the system seems to work well, but it will only run from my Cummings genset or at dock with Shore power. Im planning to start sailing full time in tropical climates in the coming years. Im going to upgrade to lithium batters with solar and want to know if I should switch the chiller system out and run stand-alones so I can easy run off battery?

I will be running a few seasons in the sea of Cortez Mexico and then heading to the tropics.
Chiller system is nice, but seems to be only good at the dock or running genset. Would love some thoughts and opinions.

Bob
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Old 24-10-2021, 05:36   #2
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Re: Chiller System vs Standalone

Perhaps, you could provide a little more information, about your chiller system, and your Inverter:
- Make/model
- BTU/h or KW ratings
- Amps, both Heat & Cool [start ‘LRA’, & run ‘FLA’]
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Old 24-10-2021, 06:07   #3
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Re: Chiller System vs Standalone

I would be very interested in hearing more about your system. I am adding AC and am exploring all options - I like the chiller concept but have not been able to find any that run on 120vac - all that I see use 240vac.
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Old 24-10-2021, 06:29   #4
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Re: Chiller System vs Standalone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailbaum View Post
I would be very interested in hearing more about your system. I am adding AC and am exploring all options - I like the chiller concept but have not been able to find any that run on 120vac - all that I see use 240vac.
Indeed - that's due to their normal size & power requirements.
But:
Some smaller Chiller units are available in either 115V or 230VAC.
16,000 BTU Unit ➥ https://flagshipmarine.com/self-contained-water-cooled/
Even smaller units are available in 12VDC.
3,500 BTU/h 12 V ➥ https://www.dometic.com/en-us/outdoo...dy-dc-ii-21015
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Old 24-10-2021, 09:12   #5
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Re: Chiller System vs Standalone

Well, If you are upgrading to a solar farm and Li batteries, you most likely will be installing an inverter/charger too. I'm going to guess that spending a few more boat bucks on an electrical system that can power your existing chiller units will be better than spending less on the power system and thousands on A/C units (holding budget constant). Really this is a question of system efficiency and I can't imagine that dedicated A/C is that much more efficient than a cooler run off an inverter... I think the size and type of boat you have and how much solar and how big of a battery bank you plan all comes into question. There are a lot of catamarans with plenty of solar to run A/C or chiller off batteries and inverters. It gets a lot harder on smallish mono's.
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Old 24-10-2021, 09:16   #6
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Re: Chiller System vs Standalone

I'm a refrigeration expert, but based in Europe where cost of ownership and low energy consumption is more appreciated.
Not familiar with A/C market in the US, so take that into account.

Well engineered split systems will offer you the best of everything, but at a higer installed cost.
Split systems with variable speed fans, variable speed compressors and large sized heat exchangers is what you would be looking for.

On-off running of the compressor and/or the entire system is both energy wasteful and generates more draft/uncomfort.
Also, temperature inside should never be set lower than 7C / 12,6F colder than outside.
This will keep you from getting sick, save energy and still keep you comfy.

In short: the largest most energy efficient system that will run continuously at the lowest cooling demand would be the sweet spot.

Hope it's a little helpful, and that others with local knowledge will chime in with actual suggestions.

A side note: Insulation under a white painted deck is by far the best solution to increase comfort wether using A/C or not. . . .
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Old 24-10-2021, 12:13   #7
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Re: Chiller System vs Standalone

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Perhaps, you could provide a little more information, about your chiller system, and your Inverter:
- Make/model
- BTU/h or KW ratings
- Amps, both Heat & Cool [start LRA, & run FLA]
Im running a Dometic Compact Chiller cant find the model number but its a 230vac unit, so the only way to run it is from my Cummings Onan MDKBJ 7.5kva genset. From what I can gather the BTU/h ranges from 4-16. My inverter is a Mastervolt 2000va model, which will not run the the chiller. It was factory installed by Beneteau, chiller, inverter and systems.

The chiller system has probably 200 hours max, and exercised regularly. Im thinking when I install lithium and a larger inverter maybe it will run the system. My goal is to be able to run AC in the evenings when needed. I do plan on on being more remote after the first few years of cruising so trying to determine if a chiller system is too complicated from a maintenance standpoint vs stand alone units. If I removed the chiller system and installed two standalone It would offer a backup, as with the chiller I have a single point of failure the chiller.

Thanks to those who have posted.

Cheers,
Bob Millington
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Old 11-11-2021, 07:10   #8
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Re: Chiller System vs Standalone

Start by understanding ultra efficient compared to regular.. Chiller inverter type with variable speed compressor could be a solution, but DC raw and circulation pumps are a must..
Regarding air handlers if blowers are not Permanent magnet one AH could consume as much as a 7000BTU complete self contained unit.. https://youtu.be/nFA3FNAHv_I
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Old 11-11-2021, 07:57   #9
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Re: Chiller System vs Standalone

This video will help you better understand 12v units.. I am running a 12000 12v a 7000 also 12v and a 17000 BTU variable speed VFD 115v gallon batteries all night long.. [https://youtu.be/nFA3FNAHv_I QUOTE=GordMay;3507647]Indeed - that's due to their normal size & power requirements.
But:
Some smaller Chiller units are available in either 115V or 230VAC.
16,000 BTU Unit ➥ https://flagshipmarine.com/self-contained-water-cooled/
Even smaller units are available in 12VDC.
3,500 BTU/h 12 V ➥ https://www.dometic.com/en-us/outdoo...dy-dc-ii-21015[/QUOTE]
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Old 11-11-2021, 08:04   #10
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Re: Chiller System vs Standalone

chillers are great but not adequate to run on batteries without variable speed compressors, pumps, permanent magnet blowers and electronic expansion valves..
To add to the equation the vessel should be insulated properly, window should also be UV reflecting and not absorbing like 95 % of the tints..
The future of solar HVAC OFF GRID is already here.
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Old 11-11-2021, 08:14   #11
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Re: Chiller System vs Standalone

I am amazed to see how wrong most people are regarding HVAC OFF GRID. Charging, lithium, inverters, transfers, alternators, solar are related, but the HVAC are far from been the same as before.
We are testing a self-contained unit delivering over 22000 BTU and consuming only 7.1 amps on 115v
The same unit after cooling the vessel was able to keep the area comfortable on just 3.5 amps.. No starting amps, ultra quiet. The 650 gPH permanent magnet DC pump was consuming an extra 0.6 amps.
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Old 11-11-2021, 08:42   #12
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Re: Chiller System vs Standalone

You are 100% correct, variable VFD technology is amazing..

https://youtu.be/nFA3FNAHv_I


Quote:
Originally Posted by Junk Viking View Post
I'm a refrigeration expert, but based in Europe where cost of ownership and low energy consumption is more appreciated.
Not familiar with A/C market in the US, so take that into account.

Well engineered split systems will offer you the best of everything, but at a higer installed cost.
Split systems with variable speed fans, variable speed compressors and large sized heat exchangers is what you would be looking for.

On-off running of the compressor and/or the entire system is both energy wasteful and generates more draft/uncomfort.
Also, temperature inside should never be set lower than 7C / 12,6F colder than outside.
This will keep you from getting sick, save energy and still keep you comfy.

In short: the largest most energy efficient system that will run continuously at the lowest cooling demand would be the sweet spot.

Hope it's a little helpful, and that others with local knowledge will chime in with actual suggestions.

A side note: Insulation under a white painted deck is by far the best solution to increase comfort wether using A/C or not. . . .
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