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Old 11-11-2018, 06:23 AM   #1
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Mini Split AC Installation

I am starting a (another...) new thread to document the the install of our mini split. The unit we are installing is a SuperAir 12,000 BTU unit we got from Amazon...


The mini split will be our sole source of air conditioning and an "auxiliary" heat source. We chose this particular unit in large part based on Juan's recommendation:
https://youtu.be/GvdIe0AkXV8

The indoor unit will be mounted above the windshield. I will be building a box around the upper intake of the unit.


I left a portion of the hinges (to the original large cabinet door) in the top of the opening. I plan to cut the metal door into pieces and re-use them on either side of the mini split.




The outdoor unit will be going into the driver side front storage bay.


The mini split outdoor unit is a smidge too tall for the bay. To overcome this issue and to add more ventilation, I completely removed the floor from the bay.

The bay is reinforced with Superstrut (Lowes Unistrut) and the unit now sits ~2 inches lower.




I will eventually be adding a screen "floor" to the bay to keep out critters. I will also be (attempting) to cut out the bay door and installing metal meshing for ventilation.

Of course the big question is, will I be able to run it off solar...? #foolserrand
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Old 11-11-2018, 10:15 AM   #2
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Yes, you have plenty of room up top for 1200+W of panels.

This will run the aircon when sitting in bright sunlight, with just a small battery as a buffer.

If you want to "timeshift", you will get say an hour of aircon per 100AH of dedicated bank capacity. Depending on weather, angles etc maybe 5-7 hours a day.

Lots depends on how big a space you're trying to cool, how thick and well sealed the insulation, gap between ambient temps vs thermostat.

You will not be able to run the aircon off the panels **and** recharge a large bank at the same time, unless going to maybe 2-3kW of panels.

Running off genny will be needed for sub-optimal conditions, so the large investment in solar+batteries+inverter in the end just reduces your genny runtime.
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Old 11-12-2018, 07:21 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Yes, you have plenty of room up top for 1200+W of panels...
John you fell for it, flushed you out with my cunning ruse...#foolserrand

Anyway, I cut up the big door up last night. Here are a few pics with the "new" left and right cabinet doors mocked up.


Here is the left side, door zip-tied in place. The three light colored circles on each door are from grinding the hinge rivets off...


More to come...
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Old 11-12-2018, 11:01 AM   #4
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Yes!! Finally I get to steal an idea from you! I have my first mini split sitting under the bus waiting for metal fabricators to stop no-showing on me. If it keeps happening maybe I'll go the unistrut route. Keep up the good work!
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Old 11-14-2018, 04:50 AM   #5
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Yes!! Finally I get to steal an idea from you! I have my first mini split sitting under the bus waiting for metal fabricators to stop no-showing on me. If it keeps happening maybe I'll go the unistrut route. Keep up the good work!
Thanks brother, it's nice to be spending quality time on the bus again.

I finished up the bay design and build work yesterday, and then I "installed" the outdoor unit to the bay. Although it is not plumbed or wired yet, it is satisfying to see the mini split on the bus, even if it is just a mock up at this point...


As previously mentioned, the insufficient ceiling height drove me to remove the bay floor. With the bay door open and floor removed, I don't think air flow will be a problem. I am not looking forward to cutting up that door...


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Old 11-14-2018, 07:11 AM   #6
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nice looking install.. but with the outdoor unit in that cabinet how are you going to have A/C for driving? even cutting the door you arent giving the unit much chance for airflow when moving.

-Christopher
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Old 11-14-2018, 09:30 AM   #7
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nice looking install.. but with the outdoor unit in that cabinet how are you going to have A/C for driving? even cutting the door you aren't giving the unit much chance for airflow when moving.
Thank you for your comments. As I mentioned, this will be our ONLY source of air conditioning, period, so we will need it while driving, and yes I am very concerned about airflow.

As for clearances around the unit, with the bay floor removed and the door cut out, the unit meets (more or less) most clearance requirements EXCEPT height.



Controlling air flow going down the road (which I believe is your concern?) is another story... Maybe it will be fine as is? I will need to study the actual airflow in that bay as the bus is going down the road. Between some type of air ducting and a few small fans in the bay, I think I can work it out.
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Old 11-14-2018, 01:56 PM   #8
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Your installation is very similar to mine.
I currently have one Pioneer 12,000 110v inverter unit installed in the Front, the long-term plans call for a second unit to be installed in the rear.

Both the Generator and the outside unit of the Mini Split need to cohabitate the driverís side of the front Luggage Bay.
I have divided the bay in half with a ĺ inch plywood wall.

The installation is not totally complete yet, the unit is up and running, over the course of a couple of hours it will bring the entire heat soaked bus down to 75 degrees in 90+ degree Florida weather.

After much though I decided to mount the Condenser (outside unit) sideways, for now the bay door needs to be opened, I plan to replace part of the skin of the Bay door with expanded metal to match the OTR air bay door just in front of it.

The most difficult part of the installation was running the 25 feet of copper tubing without kinking it, Lots of bends and turns.
I will only be using the Mini Split while stationary the Over the Road Air still works great and I plan on keeping it.

So far I am very happy with the Mini Split, The single unit works good enough that the install of the second unit is not a priority.





Peter
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Old 11-14-2018, 07:09 PM   #9
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How quiet is the condenser?
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:10 PM   #10
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Both the condenser and the evaporator (outside and inside units) are so quiet you can barely hear them.

Peter
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