Thursday, September 15, 2011

Product Review - Tecco Solar Air Conditioner

Last July, I've installed a Tecco Solar Air Conditioner in my living area and I've decided to write a small review to better evaluate it's performance and eventually help others determine if this is the right AC unit for them.

Product Details.
The product details below have been copied over from Teeco's specification sheet...

Company: Teeco Group
AC Type: Teeco Solar Assisted AC
Model: TACW-60 (20,000btu Cooling, 22,000btu Heating)
EER: 3.88 W/W or 13.24 btu/h/W
Cooling Power Input: 1350W~1560W / 6.14A~7.09A
Price Paid (Including installation): Euro 1050

 I did my own measurements using both a digital clamp meter and a watt hour meter, using the 'Energenie Appliance Power Meter'.

Area of the room: 28 m2
Volume of room: 84 m3
Voltage: 230.1v AC 50HZ
Duration of observations: 1 hour (17:30 --> 18:30) - Sun was almost down and therefore the AC Solar collector was not being heated by the sun during the test duration.
Temperature thermostat setting: 16°C (Didn't want the compressor to switch off/on during the test!)

Starting room temperature: 28.1°C
Temperature (outside monitored room): 30.9°C
Heat Index (outside monitored room): 34.3°C

Power Factor: 0.93
Cooling Power Input: Ranged between 1420W ~ 1550W.
Maximum Power (Compressor switching on): 1700W.
Standby Power consumption: 1.7W
Cumulative power consumed: 1.1KWh
Carbon Dioxide generated: 0.9Kg

Final Room temperature: 24.4°C
Temperature (outside monitored room): 29.7°C
Heat Index (outside monitored room): 32.5°C
Temperature Room Difference: 3.7°C

Looking at the results, I can conclude that specifications are pretty accurate and reflect the actual unit performance.

Friday, September 9, 2011

2KW Grid-Tie system setup


This post marks my almost 2000 KWH produced so far and sold to Enemalta (my local power provider).

My Grid-Tie system basically consists of:
1. 9 (nine) 230W solar panels. IBC PolySol 230TE
2. One SMA Inverter. Sunny Boy SB 2100TL Transformerless solar inverter.

All items were bought from a local company - Crosscraft Energy which specialises in renewable energies and energy saving products. I must say that I'm truly happy with their service, expertise and after sales service. C

I've attached some photos below to demostrate my setup.
The above photo shows the nine 230W panels. Showing also in the background are another 4 smaller panels, (mounted on poles at the back) used for the off-grid system and also one of the water solar collectors (right panel).

The above photo shows three of the panels aluminium structure (as supplied by Crosscraft), bolted to eight concrete filled-in bricks acting as anchors.

Another photo from above.

The above photo shows the bottom string of panels mounted at 30 degrees to the building. A special galvanised structure was built to accommodate these panels. Special thanks go to my neighbour Mario for helping me with the structure, both building and mounting.

The above photo shows the SMA 2100 inverter. Note that contrary to many installations, I mounted the inverter in the garage (ground floor).
My reasoning was simple;
  1. Inverter is NOT exposed to weather elements such as rain, sun, heat and salt (I'm located close to the sea).
  2. My garage indoor temperature is much lower than the temperature beneath the panels where the inverters are normally mounted. This will provide my inverter with a more comfortable temperature to work in. Lower temperature  = prolonged service life, this being applicable to any electronic component!
  3. If needed, I can add extra cooling to the inverter by placing fans, something not possible and practical if the inverter is placed outside.
  4. By tapping on the inverter, the display comes on and I can know at a glance how much energy I produced, being today and/or cumulatively. If the inverter was mounted on the roof and underneath the panels, accessing it would prove to be more difficult.
  5. Less losses contrary to what most believe! My panels are all connected in series, totalling 264v DC (STC 29.4v per panel x 9). This is higher then the 230v-240v AC rms if the inverter was located on the roof. The higher the voltage, the less the power loss. Besides, I used extra thick cables to compensate for any voltage drop. Normally 4mm is used however I went for a 10mm cable run. This reduces the voltage drop by half when compared to the 4mm.

The above photo shows a section of my garage wall were I have my controls mounted. The yellow box is the Grid-Tie inverter.

I'll be posting my production statistics in a seperate post.