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lennox with solar

Post in 'The Green Room' started by osagebow, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    Lennox is selling heat pumps through dome depot that are "solar ready" with their " sun source system. " I believe it can be hooked to their xp17 unit. I was wondering if anybody had experience with the sun source system or the xp17 heat pump? ( electric,not gas) thanks, o.b.

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  2. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    I am not familiar at all with the Lennox "solar ready" units but expect its an advertising scam. Every electrical device is "solar ready" if the PV panels are Grid tied which is about 99% of all solar systems these days. Most states have net metering or feed in tariffs so it doesnt make sense to not connect to the grid. I expect all "solar ready" means is that the dealer will wrap in the cost of a grid tied PV system in with the finance contract and assure them of a larger profit installing two systems instead of one. I would suggest pick the right piece of equipment with a good SEER from a good dealer and go with it. If you want solar find a couple of legit solar contractorsget a couple of bids after checking theri references and prior installation and keep the projects seperate.

    Any other means of hookup of Solar to a heat pump has fundamental issues as the panels demand does not neccessarilly match the heat pump demand so unless there are batteries (very expensive and a general PITA) the system ends up being grid tied to get rid of surplus power or the surplus power is wasted. Yes there are off gird folks who use 12 volt split units but they dont have a choice of getting cheap grdi power or are just in it for the challenge.

    By the way dont let anyone con you into believing that you get extra incentives for combining solar with a heat pump. There are incentives for both in most areas if specfic rules are followed but I am not aware of any "extra" bonus for doing both. The DSIRE website http://www.dsireusa.org/ will show you the incentives fro your state.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Agreed, this does appear to be a marketing gimmick. It looks like Lennox is using the "solar ready" tagline to promote their "SunSource" grid tied solar system. For a good heat pump you want to pay attention to the HSPF number for it's heating efficiency, SEER is for air conditioning efficiency. The XP17 has a rating of 9.5 which is very good, though you can do better with a mini-split system.

    FWIW, the XP17 is a single stage unit. The XP16 is 2 stage. We like the 2 stage unit, it is quieter and uses less power a lot of the time. You also might want to get some competitive quotes for alternative 2 stage system from American Standard and Trane.
  4. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, sure seemed like a bait and switch thing. Getting a few companies in for quotes, but just found a local guy that seems to be on the cutting edge of geothermal, going to start a new thread about him to see if anyone has used him.
  5. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    The lennox units that you are talking about along with some of their RTUs are considered sun source ready because they have a solar power entry option where the wiring from the solar panels actually enters the piece of equipment so it is a bit different than your typical Solar PV situation....
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    ?? R U Sure? Exactly why would they do that?
  7. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    yes I am sure. Worked on a few projects where the units were "sunsource" ready. take a look at this:
    http://www.lennox.com/pdfs/brochures/SunSource_Home_Energy_System.pdf

    while it does send the extra electricity into building for other uses if the equipment doesn't need it, the power does flow through the equipment (CU or RTU) first. So it is different in that respect.
  8. GaryGary

    GaryGary Feeling the Heat

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    Hi,
    That's really interesting.

    It looks like its a regular Enphase micro-inverter grid-tied PV system with the heat pump or AC given first crack at the generated electricity?

    I'm wondering why this is an advantage over just putting in the grid-tie system without any special connection to the Lennox AC? Is there some benefit in treating the Lennox AC as a higher priority load for the grid-tie system rather than just making power from the grid-tie system available equally to the whole house?

    When Lennox sells one of these systems, do they do the whole install including the PV, or do they contract out the PV to a PV installer?

    Gary
  9. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    I am not an electrician but did go through a lot of code issues on PV and I am not sure if the concept of running PV output into anything other than a dedicated breaker in the panel or on a supply side connection (above the panel before the meter). I expect Lennox may have done something to get around it but I expect a local inspection may be asking more than few questions as it goes against 99% of the grid tie installations.

    KW is KWs, with net metering the utility could care less what appliance is using the juice. With a feed in tariff type system like Vermont. They meter all the PV power and get paid a solar rate and then the owner buys back all their power at a lower rate. (good scam I wish I could get in on it)
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I too can not see any advantage to connecting to the equipment vs tying into the main bus, but I can see some disadvantages including additional unnecessary wiring.
  11. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    yeah, upon closer inspection the panels are expensive compared to others of similar size/capacity. Definitely a marketing tool

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