LG Brings New Indoor VRF Heat Pump to the US Market, Filling a Void for Urban HVAC Design

New LG Multi V Space

For some time now I have been advocating for an indoor single phase VRF (variable refrigerant flow) split system with a horizontal discharge condensing unit for window, through the wall and/or louver applications. Even though VRF systems have the capability for long refrigerant piping runs for outdoor roof or areaway space, sometimes that space is just not available to designers and contractors. Many condo or coop boards will not allow multi-dwelling building unit owners to put there equipment in common areas like roofs or courtyards. Inevitably, many are forced into using thru-the-wall condensing units in order to have central air conditioning in their residences. As a result, the highest efficiency alternative, VRF,  is not a consideration because a through wall system was not available. Consequently, condo owners and smaller commercial tenants would have to settle for a 12 SEER thru-the-wall condensing unit instead of a 18+ SEER VRF alternative with variable speed compressor for additional partial load efficiency.

LG has answered the call for a single phase through wall option with its new Multi V Space hi-rise VRF solution. This 4.4 ton unit has a front condenser air inlet and outlet that sits flush against an exterior louver. It is designed to operate in turbulent wind conditions, which is often the case in hi-rise buildings in urban settings like Manhattan, San Francisco or Chicago. Condenser air discharge airflow is adjustable in three directions to prevent condenser air short cycling. Service and control access is all through a single interior panel located within the space. Refrigerant piping is flexible with connections at the rear or either side. Unlike the larger commercial 3 phase units, no condenser air discharge ductwork is required indoors. An optional automatic louver can open and close with system interlock to prevent draft in off cycles. The unit is quiet with projected sound power ratings at or below 55 dB(A). At only around 19″ deep, the unit footprint will mean very little floor area loss in an apartment or office.

Although the Multi V Space has been announced in the US, it is only currently available for purchase in Europe and Asia, but will be available in the US market shortly.  Click here for a link to preliminary PDF literature on the equipment.  This unit can be paired with any of LG’s indoor evaporators, both ducted and ductless,  just like its standard outdoor heat pump counterpart. The flexibility of the system should open up a world of options for HVAC design and layout in multi-tenant urban environments where exterior HVAC equipment space is not an alternative. It will be interesting to see if competitors develop a similar alternative once the Multi V  Space hits the market. More on this product as it becomes available.

As always, to keep up to date with what’s new in HVAC technology, visit our website at airideal.com and follow us on Twitter @airideal and at our Facebook page!

Advertisements

Conversion from Fuel Oil to Natural Gas Even Sweeter in 2013

Spot Market Prices 2013In our annual review of home heating fuels on Long Island, nothing has changed except for the widened gap between fuel oil and Natural gas prices. Today, “Prices for crude oil and natural gas moved in opposite directions after the U.S. government issued weekly supply reports for both fuels. Benchmark oil for October delivery gained 93 cents, or 1.1 percent, to close at $108.37 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. But natural gas futures fell 10.5 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $3.575 per 1,000 cubic feet.” Read more here

The impact that shale hydraulic fracturing has had on the suppression and reduction of natural gas prices is phenomenal. According to an article this week in USA Today, “Now, the United States produces more natural gas than it can use. As a result, prices have plummeted… When supply eclipses demand, the only way to increase prices is to reduce the supply or increase demand. Reducing the supply is not an easy proposition for natural gas producers — their contracts on wells often require them to keep drilling in order to maintain the lease. That is why natural gas producers, like Exxon Mobil have pushed the Department of Energy to speed up its approval of applications to export natural gas.

In fact, while home heating oil and gasoline prices continue to escalate, the natural gas glut continues to suppress natural seasonal price spikes. The wellhead price of natural gas is down to less than $4 per thousand cubic feet. This is why it is an extremely good time for those who can convert to natural gas from oil to do so now.  According to NYSERDA, the current price of natural gas in New York State is $1.56 per Therm (or 100 CCF). There are 100,000 BTUs per Therm of natural gas.  Therefore, if you were to price natural gas versus no. 2 fuel oil by the BTU content of a gallon of oil (138,000 BTUs) the current rates would be $4.07 for a gallon of oil and $2.17 for a “gallon” of natural gas with the same heating capacity. Here in the northeast, a consumer can easily burn 1000 gallons of No. 2 fuel oil in a heating season, when equated to about 1000 CCF of natural gas for the same BTU output at $4.07 per gallon of oil and $2.17 per Therm, this equates to a $1900 savings in just one heating season. Based upon a 5 year Return On Investment payback, even a $9500.00 oil to gas conversion would put you ahead of the game.

For more information on heating fuels comparisons, including propane and geothermal, see our previous article here.

Try the following calculators for your own comparison:   ConEd Oil to Gas Heat Conversion Calculator     PSE&G Residential Oil to Gas Spreadsheet Calculator

As always, to keep up to date with what’s new in HVAC technology, visit our website at airideal.com and follow us on Twitter @airideal and at our Facebook page!