Column air conditioner – when size matters

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In this article: the design and capabilities of column split systems; column air conditioner – either a household appliance, or an industrial one; positive and negative characteristics; overview of three column splits; at the end.

Column air conditioner - when size matters

If the area of ​​the room is more than 40 m2, and the building where it is located is not equipped with an industrial air conditioning system, it is quite difficult to ensure acceptable climatic conditions in it. Banal airing, especially in the summer heat, only worsens the situation, and low-power household split systems cannot cope with stuffiness. Specially for large rooms for various purposes, manufacturers of climatic equipment have created a special class of split systems – column air conditioners.

Description of the colonists

Column splits are something in between a household refrigerator and a precision air conditioner – they look similar to the first device, in terms of power and layout of the units they are similar to the second device. The difference is that the casing of the columns is taller and narrower than those of refrigeration units, and they are distinguished from nondescript precision devices by their modern design, thanks to which the column air conditioners are easily combined with the decoration of any premises..

The dimensions and weight of the indoor unit with a column split system – a height of under 2 meters, a weight of about 50 kg – along with a low center of gravity, provide it with high stability when installed on the floor, i.e. there is no need for reinforced fastening to the wall or to the floor, it is enough to fix the position of the column at two points by connecting the upper and lower parts of the body to the wall and floor. The external (street) unit also has large dimensions, on average 1000×1000 mm, and weighs over 50 kg, depending on the power of the model, it can be either one-section or two-section (two ventilation units and a two-section condenser).

Column air conditioner - when size matters

Despite the significant weight, size and power, the street block of a column split is no different in design from other classes of split systems – we will focus on the indoor block. On the front side of the column there are two holes, shutters taken away – through the lower hole, air from the room is pumped into the climatic device and returns back through the upper one, after having undergone cleaning and temperature preparation (depending on the active mode of operation – cooling or heating). The lower air intake section is larger than the upper one – immediately behind the removable louver grill there is a fine-mesh filter that traps dust particles from the air passing through it. The centrifugal fan pumps air into the column, it also directs the air flow to the evaporator tubes, through which the freon moves – after passing through them, cooled or heated air is thrown into the serviced room through the upper louvers. For the purpose of more efficient temperature preparation of the air, the section of the evaporator-heat exchanger in the column splits is located at a slope in relation to the fan installed under it.

Column split systems refer to semi-industrial climatic units – having high power, they are equipped with several “domestic” functions and controls (timer, night mode, display, remote control, etc.) and have an attractive exterior finish, which is not typical for industrial air conditioners … The most popular are column air conditioners with a cooling capacity of 7 to 22 kW, effectively maintaining the climate in halls ranging from 50 to 200 m2 (with a ceiling height of no more than 3 m). Low-power air conditioning units are designed for power supply from one phase, more powerful ones need to be connected to a three-phase network.

Column air conditioner - when size matters

The significant height of the column installations is explained by the need to direct the cooled air flow into the under-ceiling space at a high speed, which ensures that the air stream travels a 20-meter distance until it is completely dispersed – in terms of cooling the rooms, the columns are similar to the ceiling split systems. Since the air speed at the outlet of the column air conditioner is quite high, and its temperature is noticeably low, it is not recommended for people to be constantly near the operating device..

In the line of column air conditioning systems from various manufacturers, there are models with inverter and non-inverter compressors, equipped with conventional and complex air filters (as a rule, the latter type of filters is offered to customers as an additional option), with remote and stationary control panels, with a simple and extended set of functions (maintaining the temperature with an accuracy of 0.5 ° C, automatic selection of the operating mode depending on the number of heat sources, etc.).

Pros and cons of column air conditioners

Among the household split systems, the columns are leading in terms of power and performance, close to ducted air conditioning units. The intense air flow produced by the appliance, the direction of which can be changed by means of pivoting louvers, in a short time transforms the climate characteristics in the manned room in accordance with the specified criteria.

The installation of the indoor unit-column is easier to carry out than the splits of other classes, its noise is lower than that of window and mobile air conditioners. In addition, the columns can be used in rooms with non-load-bearing plasterboard and glass partitions, because their hair dryers do not need to be hung on the walls.

Column air conditioner - when size matters

The carefully calculated design of the body of the column split system allows it to be used in buildings with any interior interior – the columns are appropriate both in museums and art galleries, and in offices.

The disadvantages of column air conditioners, as well as their advantages, are related to the capacity and dimensions of the units – due to their high performance, such splits are not suitable for large rooms separated by partitions up to the ceiling level (if the upper part of the partitions, about 700-1000 mm, will be absent, then use colonists are allowed). As for the impressive size of the column splits, they force you to carefully choose and prepare a place for placing the column-hair dryer.

Among the disadvantages of column air conditioners is the complete absence of the possibility of mixing in external air during operation.

Three models of column split systems – compare and choose

Columns produced by Mitsubishi Electric, Electrolux and Ballu with a cooling capacity of about 7 kW will participate in the review..

specifications PSA-RP71GA / SUZ-RF71VA, Mitsubishi Electric EACF-24 G / N3, Electrolux BFL-24H N1, Ballu
power supply and power consumption
voltage, V 220-240 220-240 220-240
frequency Hz 50 50 50
power consumption for cooling, kW 2.13 2.4 2.4
power consumption for heating, kW 2.5 2.65 2.5
performance characteristics
maximum serviced area, m2 60 60 60
outdoor temperature range for cooling, ° С from +11 to +46 from +16 to +43 from +18 to +43
range of outdoor temperatures for heating, ° С up to 15 to -7 to -7
cold performance, kW 7.1 7 7
heat capacity, kW 7.6 7.4 7.3
maximum air flow for cooling, m3/ h 1080 1100 1100
maximum air flow for heating, m3/ h 1080 1100 1100
indoor unit noise level min / max, dB 40/45 42/45 43/49
outdoor unit noise level, dB 54 56 58
operating modes, name cooling, dehumidification, ventilation, heating cooling, dehumidification, ventilation, heating cooling, dehumidification, ventilation, heating
night mode + + +
thermostat type electronic electronic electronic
control type electronic electronic electronic
type of ventilation unit centrifugal centrifugal centrifugal
number of fan speeds 3 3 3
infrared remote control + + +
timer + + +
auto regulation of air supply + + +
number of fixed positions of air louvers 4 2 2
stirring mode (swing blinds) + + +
automatic system diagnostics + + +
General characteristics
type of shell vertical monoblock vertical monoblock vertical monoblock
body material metal, plastic metal, plastic metal, plastic
primary colors white white white
type of instalation floor floor floor
type of refrigerant R410A R410A R410A
maximum length of the freon line, m 15 not installed 15
maximum height difference between blocks, m five not installed five
fine air filter, type apple-catechol
(additional option)
air louver adjustment vertically and horizontally vertically and horizontally vertically and horizontally
anti-corrosion protection of the housing from the inside + + +
anti-icing + + +
the ability to work at any time of the year + not in the RF climate not in the RF climate
possibility of mixing external air
operation in exhaust ventilation mode
inverter +
mounting kit for outdoor unit additional option additional option additional option
the size of the indoor unit HxWxD, cm 190x60x27 175,7х50х30 166.7x52x25.5
size of the external block HxWxD, cm 85x84x33 101.8x84x41.2 70.2×83.2×31.2
weight indoor / outdoor unit, kg 43/58 40/28 36/56
brand owner Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Japan AB Electrolux, Sweden Ballu Industrial Group, China
country of origin Thailand China China
warranty, year 3 3 3
estimated service life, years ten ten ten
average cost, rub.
110,000 40,000 32000

Column air conditioner - when size matters PSA-RP71GA / SUZ-RF71VA, Mitsubishi Electric

Let’s analyze the collected data:

  • the cold performance stated in the technical characteristics of the Electrolux and Ballu columns is slightly higher than that of the Mitsubishi Electric model;
  • the Mitsubishi Electric column air conditioner allows operation in a wider temperature range than the other two devices considered in this review;
  • air performance per unit of time for all three air conditioners is practically the same;
  • the Japanese device works with the least noise, the most noisy – the Chinese company Ballu;
  • the number of blind positions set from the remote control for the Japanese colonial is twice as high as for the others;
  • the Mitsubishi Electric device is capable of heating a room at an outdoor temperature up to -15 ° С, the other two – only up to -7 ° С;
  • all three models are equipped with automatic anti-icing of the outdoor unit;
  • by the number of functions, Mitsubishi Electric’s capabilities are more advanced, the accuracy of setting its parameters is higher;
  • the Mitsubishi Electric column air conditioner is the only one whose design allows the installation of a fine air filter, but the filter itself is an additional option;
  • the compressor with inverter control is included in the package of the Japanese column split system only;
  • the overall dimensions of the indoor unit and the weight of both units are the highest for the Mitsubishi Electric device, according to the same characteristics, the Ballu model is more miniature;
  • column splits of the Chinese and Swedish manufacturers are assembled at the enterprises of the PRC, only the Japanese model is assembled in Thailand;
  • the average cost of a Mitsubishi Electric column is almost three times higher compared to the other two air conditioners, the cheapest is Ballu air conditioner.

Column air conditioner - when size matters EACF-24 G / N3, Electrolux

Conclusion: the Mitsubishi Electric climatic device has higher capabilities than the Electrolux and Ballu columns, but the price is too high. If you choose between the Swedish and Chinese models, the Ballu column split attracts more attention – having almost similar characteristics, its dimensions and weight are less, i.e. it will be easier to install this air conditioner indoors. Based on the comparison, the BFL-24H N1 column split system manufactured by the Ballu Industrial Group is recognized as the best buy.

Column air conditioner - when size matters BFL-24H N1, Ballu

At the end

Column air conditioners are indispensable in the halls and halls of hotels, administrative complexes, restaurants and cafes, trading floors, cinemas, etc., however, they cannot be used for domestic purposes – for rooms with an area of ​​less than 50 m2 the air flow created by the colonizer will be too strong, cause drafts and, as a result, colds.

From the next article, which concludes the cycle of materials on climate technology, you will learn about the features of the installation and operation of split systems with wall-mounted indoor units – this information will clarify the relationship with the masters for the installation, repair and maintenance of household split systems.

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