Reverse Cycle Chiller is Alternative to Geo-Thermal


Another advocate of the small chiller sector was John Seppamaki of Aqua Products who noted the "use of several small chillers together for larger loads which give you staging and backup." Among the smaller size approaches, he cited, were 1.5- to 5-ton chillers built using micro-channel technology and a reverse cycle chiller that can produce hot water forced air or radiant floor heating or chiller water for air conditioning.



A residential application in Bethany Beach, Del., involved use of what is called a reverse cycle chiller from Aqua Products. The approach uses two insulated water pipes and a buffer tank that delivers water to a closed loop system for hot water heating or chilled water-cooling.

The home is a single story 2,400-sq.-ft. ranch. Owner Walt Kirchoff said, "Because of the high cost of LP gas I needed to do something to cut my energy bills. I chose (the reverse cycle chiller) because I didn't have to drill expensive wells or dig up my yard for a geo-thermal system.

The new unit replaced a 10-SEER, five-ton air conditioning unit and a propane furnace system.

"I replaced the air conditioning system with a five-ton 18 SEER reverse cycle chiller. It was built using a two-speed air source heat pump. This system was designed and installed as a dual fuel system by simply installing a special designed five-ton cased water coil under my existing propane furnace, along with 50 gallon buffer tank and pump.

"The installed and rewired Aqua Products RCS-MAX operates as my primary source of heat with the gas furnace acting as my backup heat source if the heat pump would ever fail. This was done because the furnace was only 6 years old and there would be less invasion of the original system and wiring.

"The water temperature was first set at 120ºF with 2º differential first stage and 4º differentials for the second stage. After two weeks we dropped water temperature down to 110º with same differentials. We average 40º to 50º day time outdoor temperatures and 25º to 30º nighttimes. So trying to save more money I dropped the water temperature down to 108º where it is still at today. I also turned off my LP gas back up heating completely before we had our cold winter temperatures.

"The indoor temperature never fluctuated from the 71º. The quality of the heat was actually better than my LP gas furnace without the hot or cold feelings we experienced with just the LP furnace. The RCS-MAX keeps our home comfortable without the need for any backup heating even when the outside temperatures have fallen down to 7.5º." Even my neighbor that installed a new geo-thermal ground loop systems is now recommending my system over his.

To find out more about reverse cycle chillers please contact John Seppamaki of the Aqua Products Company.

Aqua Products Company, Inc was incorporated in May 1993, a manufacturer of small tonnage chiller systems (1-20 tons). Aqua products serves many industries including: dry cleaning, medical, brewery, bakery, winery, restaurant, marine, potable water, air conditioning, plastics and many more.


John W. Seppamaki


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