Daikin Altherma approximate cost
Last Post 04 Aug 2011 04:12 PM by spencerfield. 17 Replies.
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kenoraUser is Offline
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25 Feb 2011 02:45 PM
I am interested in what I might expect to pay for a Altherma unit installed. I know every circumstance is different but I am completely in the dark as to what to expect the range would be.

I need to have an idea whether it is really in the running.

Reference wise all heating is to be via radiant in-floor, house is 1200 sq/ft on main and walkout basement levels (1200 x 2), I have decided on 2x6 well sealed with 4" of exterior foam, tri-pane low-e argon windows, r60 in ventilated roof..

these estimates do not include the cost of the pex/manifold/controls install;

  • GSHP with lake loop about $20k - $25k
  • Hi-eff propane boiler $7000 (+$2k - $3k for a/c; split wall mounted units) = $9k - $10k
  • electric boiler $5000 (+$2k - $3k for a/c; split wall units) = $7k - $8k
  • wood fired yard furnace (I definitely do not want this due the PIA factor) $9000 - $11000 (+$2k - $3k for a/c; split wall units) = $11 - 14k

I could also use an oil fired boiler but find that repugnant, I am using an oil fired mid-eff forced air furnace in the house next door and it is making me cringe to refuel at $1.13/liter (and higher surely to come).

All I really need is a ball park figure so I know whether it can compete with the other boilers, I know GSHP is out as its too expensive to make a justifiable time to break-even viable.

kenoraUser is Offline
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27 Feb 2011 04:54 PM
No one has checked into the pricing...
jbaronUser is Offline
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27 Feb 2011 06:18 PM
Post this over in the radiant heating forum. Rob @ NRT is in the business and has an Altherma installed in his office. He's a pretty good source of information.

Jeff
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28 Feb 2011 09:22 AM
Price range from my inquiries are in the order of $10K for a 3 ton unit
vkykamUser is Offline
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03 Mar 2011 09:13 AM
I'd imagine those prices are installed w/o ducting?

I didn't get a breakdown of my install, but I'd hazard a guess of the Altherma equipment (outdoor unit, indoor unit, domestic water) and install up to the point of ducting will run between $15k-$20k, plus the air handler.  Call the Ontario distributor (www.comfortconnections.com) to get a list price from them and what an install might run.

My install, which included those plus in-floor radiant of 2000 sqft in slab, a rough-in of another 1000 sqft in the garage, the manifolds for the slab, forced air ducting throughout the other 4350 sqft, and the Lifebreath Clean Air Furnace as the air handler, paying city trade rates, about $40k +/-.  The sheet metal is probably worth $10k, the slab radiant probably another $5k-$7k, and I'd imagine the trade rates where you are is less than in Toronto, because $20k-$25k for a lake loops sounds fairly attractive.

I'd hazard a guess GSHP or ASHP is still worth a look; your breakeven on my finger-in-the-wind guess might be around the 10 year mark.  All depends on your heat loss calculations.  Do you have that?

Victor
www.ecobuilthome.ca
A 4350sqft cold climate Net Zero Energy initiative
kenoraUser is Offline
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07 Mar 2011 12:27 PM
No heat loss calc yet. I think I'm too dumb to figure it out
Dana1User is Offline
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08 Mar 2011 02:50 PM
Posted By kenora on 07 Mar 2011 12:27 PM
No heat loss calc yet. I think I'm too dumb to figure it out
With 2x6 framed construction with 4" of exterior foam you're looking at  ~ R35 whole-wall values.  With an R60 roof, and triple-pane windows (of modest or moderate area) your heat loss factors will depend far more heavily on the air infiltration rates and heat loss out of the foundation than most houses.  It's probably worth buying the PassiveHouse tools to optimize your design and come up with a realistic design day heat load number.  The standard tools used by HVAC pros may mislead by quite a bit.

Whatever the number is, if you insulate the foundation & slab appropriately it'll be well below the output of the smallest Altherma in almost any Ontario climate.  But it's not unreasonable to think that spending the same up-front money spent on high-efficiency heat pumps & radiant floors on bumping up (maybe even doubling) the wall and foundation R-values, and site-optimizing the glazing for passive solar gain, you may get to near-PassiveHouse levels of energy use even using resistance electricity for heat instead of heat pumps or boilers.

High efficiency heating systems make more sense with low-efficiency building envelopes, where the annual energy costs are consequential.  In high-R buildings the difference in upfront costs may never break even on a present-value analysis, but if you can SKIP the upfront costs altogether with even more insulation and a careful design detailed for air-tightness (<1 ACH/50, or PassiveHouse spec of <0.6ACH/50) and minimal thermal bridging, to achieve the same or better energy use numbers, it can sometimes look pretty good. 

With the R35/R60 design you currently have you may still have have effectively NO heat load at outdoor temperatures where the Altherma delivers best performance, so you're really only concerned with how it does at about -15C or lower, since that's the only time it would have much of a duty-cycle.  And if your average winter temps are warmer than that it may be worth spending the money elsewhere and heating the place with a hot-water heater (or low-voltage radiant mesh rather than hydronic heating, taking advantage of off-peak rates.)
boardomUser is Offline
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10 Mar 2011 02:21 PM
If the OP is actually living in Kenora, then -15C would be a warm day.

Dana1User is Offline
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10 Mar 2011 03:27 PM
Posted By boardom on 10 Mar 2011 02:21 PM
If the OP is actually living in Kenora, then -15C would be a warm day.

Exactly!


The typical January daily high for Kenora is a bit above -15C, and the January mean-temperature is just a bit below -15C, making performance at those temp ranges most-relevant.

http://www.eldoradocountyweathe...Kenora.png



That's the range where it'll have a significant duty cycle, and will account for the bulk of it's annual operating hours, and where it's COP will be consistently under 3.0. 

At -20C it's only pulling a COP of 2.5- excellent for air-source heat pump, but not a slam-dunk on annual operating costs and why investing in a higher performance on the building envelope might be the better deal.

At +5C the COP is nearly double what it is at -20C, and the heat load much lower which results in lower power use even on a  per heating degree-day basis than during January-coolth. Most of the annual power use would be at sub 3.0 COPs.  Look it up:

http://thermalproductsinc.com/wp-co...-Data1.pdf
jchatersUser is Offline
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23 Jun 2011 11:03 PM
Aermec ANK050 might be a very good alternative
jonrUser is Offline
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25 Jun 2011 04:59 PM
GSHP with lake loop about $20k - $25k


I am surprised at how high this is for what is basically an air conditioner. Parts are what, $2K per ton?





joe.amiUser is Offline
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27 Jun 2011 08:48 AM
Posted By jchaters on 23 Jun 2011 11:03 PM
Aermec ANK050 might be a very good alternative


Do you have experience with the product?
What are the advantages?
j
Joe Hardin www.amicontracting.com We Dig Comfort! www.doityourselfgeothermal.com Dig Your Own Comfort!
jchatersUser is Offline
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27 Jul 2011 08:01 AM
Hello yes I do. They are from Europe. Aermec sell 5000 ANK units a year in France alone. They are a monoblock or one piece air to water heat pump. Water as hot as 140F with operation down to -5F. They can heat up to 108F (great for domestic hot water or pllo heating in summer) Many many features. Just recently approved for North Americas so we only have a few installed so far. 2 1/2 , 3,and 4 ton single phase models.
jonrUser is Offline
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27 Jul 2011 11:19 AM
This is a DIY/speculation question, but couldn't one take a water->air geothermal heat pump and run it in reverse as an outside air->water heat pump? At least under some temperature conditions?
spencerfieldUser is Offline
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04 Aug 2011 10:20 AM
Looking at the Altherma as the principle source for a zero energy house.  Northern heating climate.  Double 2x4 walls and 18" I joist attic floor, all filled with DP cellulose.  2 floors of radiant heat.  Design has a Trombe wall heat collector, 6"
XPS under a 4" thermal slab. 

Spec house, so it needs to be automated.  Most owner don't want to be constantly opening and closing doors to maintain a set temperature.  Original idea was to move collected heat via sunroom radiant tubes to interior radiant tubes.  Sensors, solar differential controls and 2 stage thermostats.  Very complicated!

Why not just put the Altherma in the sunroom?  The sunroom ambient will almost always be higher than the outside.  Higher ambient will keep COP's from dropping during cold spells.  Seems an efficient way to transfer BTUs from the thermal mass to the hydronic distribution system.  Eventually one will deplete the room and it may even become cooler than outside air, but you could just crack a window and let the two equalize- till the sun comes out again and recharges the battery.

I see a problem during the summers, but cooling days are minimal up here.  I'm thinking the unit should be in it's own little mechanical room, with full natural ventilation to the outside, and a French door to the rest of the sun room for full thermal access to the sun room.  Maybe even a small circulation fan and 4" duct to the far end of the sunroom. 

Any idea how to model the gains and losses?  All manual J software I've seen makes you figure the Trombe wall as an inside wall, which it is not.  It's a second outside wall with a different average outside surface temperature.

Any thoughts or experiences?
Spencer
jchatersUser is Offline
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04 Aug 2011 10:47 AM
Hello if you put the heat pump in the sunroom you will be drwaing energy out of the sunroom. The sunroom will coold down very quickly to colder than the outside unless you open all the windows and doors. If you do this what habve you accomplished? The heatpumps are at peak performance when the sun is shining and at their lowest when the sun has gone down. Leave it outside and you will be happy you did. Jim
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04 Aug 2011 02:02 PM
The sunroom will cool down very quickly to colder than the outside
It would never be colder since you should direct any colder than ambient air outside. If the sun is shining, it will have some warming effect and every degree helps. But I'd be tempted to just install a black standing seam metal roof and lay glass over it (similar to the Trombe wall). There are disadvantages to combining solar collectors with living space. It would also be interesting to explore installing a ASHP evaporator in the gable end of a vented attic - mine is usually warmer than outside.
spencerfieldUser is Offline
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04 Aug 2011 04:12 PM
Thanks for the response Jim. Agreed- But what if the sun room can hold more BTUs than the house needs? The loss on the house is very low, I'm figuring a heat loss at design temp. (8F) of 18 KBTU. 9.5" thick walls. <1 ACH Suppose outside ambient is only 20 F. at night on average. Average house loss drops to around 10 KBTU/hr. x 14 hrs. 140 KBTU should be available in the slab and wall. Average day temps in the sunroom (assuming sun) should get back to the mid 50's, even in winter. I know this as the developer lives in just such a house. He just opens and closes doors to access the heat gain. Seems an effective way to recapture, then distribute the gain. At worst case, just open the window and the unit is then functionally outside.
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