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Old 12-28-2011, 10:10 AM   #1
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Controlling two heat pump systems


I'm currently in the process of finishing my basement in a fairly new (~3 year old) house and I'm looking for a solution for controlling two heat pumps. My brother-in-law is an old school HVAC tech, and he wasn't sure how this could be done.

The main floor has a 3 ton Goodman unit which was just barely enough for the area being climate controlled. The ductwork is all routed through the attic with no interconnect to the basement. There is no ductwork in the basement at all, and the combination of the system's size and lack of an easy way to route new ducts through to the basement points to getting a new, separate HVAC system for the basement. Luckily I got my hands on a 2.5 ton split unit for $500 that's less than four years old.

Now, what I'd like to do is to have a way to 'lock out' one or the other system. I.E. if the upstairs heatpump is currently heating/cooling, the basement one can't turn on until it finishes and vice-versa. Ideally, I'd like one thermostat to control both systems (with a remote temp sensor of course).

In other words, I'd like one heat pump to run at a time.

My main worry is overloading my load center, and I'd really like to avoid the major expense of a service upgrade (150A service currently).

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how this could be done, or any potential pitfalls?

Thanks!

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Old 12-28-2011, 10:30 AM   #2
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Controlling two heat pump systems


And what do you gain by doing it that way?

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Old 12-28-2011, 10:39 AM   #3
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Controlling two heat pump systems


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
And what do you gain by doing it that way?
Again, I'm mainly worried about circuit load at the main panel.

If both are using aux heat at 10kw each, there's almost 85A used just with those. If a stovetop, water heater, and dryer happen to be running at the same time I'm concerned that the mains breaker will trip, also with how hot the service wire might get.

It's not all that likely, I'll grant you, but I'd rather avoid the potential if possible.
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Old 12-28-2011, 11:03 AM   #4
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Controlling two heat pump systems


I think you are looking for a load controller. They were popular in the 80's and 90's for folks who had "smart" electric meters and got a break if they didnt use power at peak times...
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:20 PM   #5
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Controlling two heat pump systems


run "R" on the system for the basment through a tempature lockout control., in other words if the basement falls below "X" it lets the second system run.
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Old 12-28-2011, 12:57 PM   #6
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Controlling two heat pump systems


Or leave the elements out of the basement unit .

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