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Twin ASHP Operation - Question

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Dunlorn
(@dunlorn)
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There's a few on here who, like me, have two ASHP's so I'm particularly interested in learning from your experience.

I have 2 x 12kW Samsung units, combining into a buffer tank and feeding the whole house via rads as a single zone.  Following a unit failure, in the past week I've had the system recommissioned with new 'master' and 'slave' pumps. The master for heating and DHW, the slave for heat only. So....

  • The system isn't really operating as master and slave as I understand the default set up is to run both in tandem via the same run signal. This doesn't seem efficient to me. I know through experience that a single unit keeps the house cosy at least to 2° ambient or so, and often lower if it's dry outside and house temp stable. So, I've asked the install to reconfigure so that the slave operates as an 'assist' only, coming in to support when ambients drop to 3°. The controller allows for this, it just needs a wiring change. How is yours set to operate? Tandem, assist via temperature or some other run signal, is each pump dedicated to a different zone?
  • If you have a slave or assist pump that is effectively dormant for much of the time (if not doing DHW), is there any process you follow to keep it exercised and healthy or any kind of start-up/priming precaution? I've seen that some units won't start if water temp is below 10° for example and they need to be primed with a warm back feed.
  • In tandem mode, whilst both units have the same WC settings and are good at achieving near identical LWT, it's not uncommon to see one pulling much more power than the other. Similarly, the master is exhibiting a much lower COP compared to the slave, yesterday for example, master 2.0 and slave around 3. 0. The master is doing DHW as well so I'd expect lower, just seemed quite a lot! Are you seeing these sorts of inconsistencies? 

All experience and insight welcome!

Thanks

Simon

2 x 12kW Samsung Gen6 ASHP, 5.6kW solar PV ground mounted c/w 10kWh Puredrive battery & Solis inverter.


   
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(@derek-m)
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Posted by: @dunlorn

There's a few on here who, like me, have two ASHP's so I'm particularly interested in learning from your experience.

I have 2 x 12kW Samsung units, combining into a buffer tank and feeding the whole house via rads as a single zone.  Following a unit failure, in the past week I've had the system recommissioned with new 'master' and 'slave' pumps. The master for heating and DHW, the slave for heat only. So....

  • The system isn't really operating as master and slave as I understand the default set up is to run both in tandem via the same run signal. This doesn't seem efficient to me. I know through experience that a single unit keeps the house cosy at least to 2° ambient or so, and often lower if it's dry outside and house temp stable. So, I've asked the install to reconfigure so that the slave operates as an 'assist' only, coming in to support when ambients drop to 3°. The controller allows for this, it just needs a wiring change. How is yours set to operate? Tandem, assist via temperature or some other run signal, is each pump dedicated to a different zone?
  • If you have a slave or assist pump that is effectively dormant for much of the time (if not doing DHW), is there any process you follow to keep it exercised and healthy or any kind of start-up/priming precaution? I've seen that some units won't start if water temp is below 10° for example and they need to be primed with a warm back feed.
  • In tandem mode, whilst both units have the same WC settings and are good at achieving near identical LWT, it's not uncommon to see one pulling much more power than the other. Similarly, the master is exhibiting a much lower COP compared to the slave, yesterday for example, master 2.0 and slave around 3. 0. The master is doing DHW as well so I'd expect lower, just seemed quite a lot! Are you seeing these sorts of inconsistencies? 

All experience and insight welcome!

Thanks

Simon

Without knowing the exact details of your system, how it has been installed and configured, it is difficult to provide a definitive answer.

Possibly the best way to operate your system would be to have the 'Master' heat pump solely for CH, with the 'Slave' looking after DHW and assisting the 'Master' with CH when needed.

Probably the best way to operate such a system would be to have the slave heat DHW during late afternoon, when the master may be having a rest, particularly if you also have solar PV. An alternative, though less efficient, method would be heating DHW on a cheap overnight tariff.

Due to those awful Laws of Physics interfering again, 🙄 there will probably be an operating point at which it is more efficient, and probably cost effective, to run two heat pumps at say 37.5%, rather than one at say 75%. I cannot say for certain, but it is possible that this could occur when frequent defrosting rears its ugly head. 😡 

How such a changeover could be achieved in practice, I suspect would be dependent upon the capabilities of the controller.

 


   
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Dunlorn
(@dunlorn)
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Topic starter  

@derek-m Thanks for your input. I'd been mulling over the best configuration option for the master and slave and wondered about reversing it to make the slave do DHW. I'll seek a view from the installer on this.

Yep, my own observations (like everyone else here really) indicate that efficiency heads dramatically south as soon as you're into defrost cycle territory, although curiously, it's not always linear. Dry and freezing may well be better than 2°C and wet. My installers advice was to set the WC up such that the highest water temp corresponds to +2°C ambient, as because of the dew point, it's better to do this than the more oft-quoted -2°C set point. 

2 x 12kW Samsung Gen6 ASHP, 5.6kW solar PV ground mounted c/w 10kWh Puredrive battery & Solis inverter.


   
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Dunlorn
(@dunlorn)
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I've resurrected this thread to pose a couple of specific questions to this august body.... 

I have two 12kW Samsung Gen6 heat pumps operating on a master/slave basis. The master providing heat and DHW, the slave heat only. Both connect to a buffer tank to feed my single zone radiator system. Relevant 402* settings are 4021 Use (BUH1), 4022 Both, 4023 Use, 4024 2°C and 4025 15°C. Effectively, the slave should only be called in at temperatures below 2°C and (I think) when the master is struggling to reach set point after a certain interval. Both pumps have identical WC settings. 

The slave has been called into use several times in the last few weeks. Last week, with OAT circa -1°C and wet, the master was entering defrost cycles every 40 mins. Each time it starts a defrost the backup/slave is signalled to stop. The consequence of this is that the slave, with it's own defrost cycle to deal with as well, ends up cycling on/off a fair amount and (whilst it helps) never allows the LWT to climb anywhere near the target. At -1°C on my settings LWT should have been about 47° but typically it can't get above 42 ish before this cycling causes temperatures to drop, a delay whilst the master builds LWT again after it's defrost and then calls for the slave again...... repeat etc. The system seems to be working hard but this doesn't feel efficient. So, two questions...

1. Is it possible for the slave unit, once called for, to continue to run whilst the master is undergoing a defrost? If so, is that something I can configure in the field settings?

2. A comms link cable was recently added between my master and slave controllers to enable this type of back-up operation, but is it possible to revert to the units operating in tandem (for heating) with this link still in place? Is there simply a field setting change I can make to do this? It'd be great to easily switch between master/slave and tandem running for really cold spells. 

I'd appreciate any help from anyone with two-pump systems or specific Samsung knowledge. I've had a few problems with my system since installation (now resolved) but I'm not confident about making changes and the manual is so hard to fathom it's no help at all!

 

Thanks

 

Simon

2 x 12kW Samsung Gen6 ASHP, 5.6kW solar PV ground mounted c/w 10kWh Puredrive battery & Solis inverter.


   
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(@iaack)
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@dunlorn Given your current observations on your. system I would be very tempted to increase the WC settings on the slave unit 1 or 2 degs higher than the master to make it take more of the workload when called into action.


   
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Dunlorn
(@dunlorn)
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Topic starter  

Thanks @IaAck, I'll definitely give that a go although I still want to have the option of occasional tandem running if I can sort that. 

2 x 12kW Samsung Gen6 ASHP, 5.6kW solar PV ground mounted c/w 10kWh Puredrive battery & Solis inverter.


   
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(@derek-m)
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Posted by: @dunlorn

Thanks @IaAck, I'll definitely give that a go although I still want to have the option of occasional tandem running if I can sort that. 

Could you explain the reason for wanting the heat pumps to run in tandem? I would have thought that if the actual heating demand, is not greater than the combined minimum thermal energy output of the heat pumps, then this would lead to cycling of one or both pumps.

Also it would appear that heat pump efficiency varies with loading as well as LWT and OAT, so having one heat pump running in mid range may be more efficient than two heat pumps running at low output.

 


   
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Dunlorn
(@dunlorn)
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Topic starter  

Hi @derek-m

Your question identifies the very reason I want to run in tandem, essentially to determine whether (and when) it might be preferable to run like this compared to the effective 'duty-assist' operation.

I live in the Cairngorms and - if this December/January is anything like last year - we'll have many days <0°C and down to -10°C at night. 45% of our annual electricity consumption was in these two months and I'm trying to get in a better position this year. I was wondering whether tandem operation might make sense over this period, effectively having 2 units running mid-range rather than 1 flat out with another cutting in and out.

I've never seen any heat demand calcs but I'm trying to assess it for myself based on observing heat pump generation in stable, straight line conditions on my Hive. Today, at around 2-3°C OAT, the house needs 7kW to keep at 18.5 for example. I'm slowly building a picture. 

2 x 12kW Samsung Gen6 ASHP, 5.6kW solar PV ground mounted c/w 10kWh Puredrive battery & Solis inverter.


   
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(@alanb)
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@dunlorn Me again.

We too have twin ASHPs. 14kw Ecodans, installed in 2011. I suspect these are now oversized, as we have improved the insulation of our house. These are managed by a step controller which selects either one at a time, or when needed, runs both in parallel, when more efficient to do so or when 1 asap alone cannot meet our heating load. For instance, if we have high demand for hot water, it will run the 2 together. Neither heat pump is master or slave. The controller alternates usage to split the load equally between the 2. 

Each heat pump has its own flow and return pipes and own set of circulation pumps. The 2 flows join just before entering the house.

Most of the time, only 1 asap is on at a time. The 2 work in parallel in extremes.

The controller utilises 2 Mitsubishi FTC 2s as base controllers operating under parameters set by the step system. It was a bespoke set up designed and installed by Ice Energy ( no longer trading ) before Mitsubishi had their own twin ashp controller set up, which does use one as master, one as slave as I understand it.

Our house is open plan and quite large. Parts are solid walled. Annual usage around 24000kWh per annum , inc charging our EV.

One other thing, I have removed the buffer tank, having found this was causing considerable inefficiency just keeping the buffer tank up to temp. The Ecodans are inverter driven so start up without additional power loss and therefore cycling not an issue. Ecodan Service Engineer advised the buffer tank removal.Our system is also large enough to provide enough start up heat to be stored in the flow and return pipework alone, as a sort of mini buffer if you like.

This post was modified 7 months ago by AlanB

   
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Dunlorn
(@dunlorn)
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Topic starter  

@alanb thanks. Your set-up sounds pretty impressive with the step controller. I just have the 'master/slave' or full-on tandem running possibilities and it's the latter I want to be able to switch to for extremes, even though this will inevitably need to be a manual intervention.

I'm sticking with my buffer tank, for now at least, although I do lose 1-2°C of heat across it.

Regards 

 

Simon

2 x 12kW Samsung Gen6 ASHP, 5.6kW solar PV ground mounted c/w 10kWh Puredrive battery & Solis inverter.


   
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