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Old 11-15-2014, 09:18 AM   #11
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Re: Second time around

Call school bus sales in Waterloo Ia. They have a great parts department.
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Old 11-15-2014, 10:07 AM   #12
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Re: Second time around

I was going to suggest you not purchase two large (I assume 8D batteries) but just one Group 31.

For your purposes two 8D batteries is waaaaay too much battery just to start your bus. School buses have two large batteries because they spend so much of their service life at idle with a full electrical load--multiple heaters/defrosters/blower fans, muliple lights (interior, exterior, 8-way, stop paddle), radios, cameras, etc.--that they need the reserve capacity to keep from going dead every morning. Even with a 250 AMP alternator it is a hard push to keep up with the electrical load at idle.

When you start and run your bus you won't be using nearly as much electrical load. Unless you want to run roof top A/C units off of an invertor while running down the road most of the time you won't come close to using more juice than what the alternator is putting back into one Group 31 battery.

On the house side you will need a lot more battery storage capacity. But you will want deep cycle batteries that are on a seperate circuit from your start battery so you won't ever end up with a dead start battery.

By the way, don't try to use deep cycle batteries as start batteries. They are not designed to push out huge loads all at once, the sort of load a starter motor puts on a battery. That sort of a load on a deep cycle will kill a deep cycle battery. Much in the same way using a standard battery as a house battery will kill a standard battery. Standard start batteries will not stand up to continuous cycles of taking the battery to nearly dead and filling it back up again.
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:16 PM   #13
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Re: Second time around

Thanks for the battery input and the parts idea.
I bought two because i got a killer deal and will be adding all kinds of electronics later on.
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:44 AM   #14
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Re: Second time around

Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach
I was going to suggest you not purchase two large (I assume 8D batteries) but just one Group 31.

For your purposes two 8D batteries is waaaaay too much battery just to start your bus. School buses have two large batteries because they spend so much of their service life at idle with a full electrical load--multiple heaters/defrosters/blower fans, muliple lights (interior, exterior, 8-way, stop paddle), radios, cameras, etc.--that they need the reserve capacity to keep from going dead every morning. Even with a 250 AMP alternator it is a hard push to keep up with the electrical load at idle.

When you start and run your bus you won't be using nearly as much electrical load. Unless you want to run roof top A/C units off of an invertor while running down the road most of the time you won't come close to using more juice than what the alternator is putting back into one Group 31 battery.

On the house side you will need a lot more battery storage capacity. But you will want deep cycle batteries that are on a seperate circuit from your start battery so you won't ever end up with a dead start battery.

By the way, don't try to use deep cycle batteries as start batteries. They are not designed to push out huge loads all at once, the sort of load a starter motor puts on a battery. That sort of a load on a deep cycle will kill a deep cycle battery. Much in the same way using a standard battery as a house battery will kill a standard battery. Standard start batteries will not stand up to continuous cycles of taking the battery to nearly dead and filling it back up again.
cowlitz, you hit on something i had never thought about! running inverter off chassis batteries whille driving. particularly running a window a/c while driving. man, that is good stuff! i have a 180a alternator and dual 31 series batteries, that should work fine if the draw doesnt damagee the alternator????????

thanks man
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Old 11-16-2014, 09:51 AM   #15
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Re: Second time around

If you intend to use an invertor while going down the road you need to do an electrical inventory.

Figure out your 110-VAC draw to determine which size invertor you need.

Once you figure out which size invertor you will need you will be able to determine how many amps of 12-VDC you will need.

With 180 amps you should be good for a lot of amps of 110-VAC.
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Old 11-17-2014, 02:08 PM   #16
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Re: Second time around

When your looking at an inverter the amps ratio is 5 to 1 for 24 volts 2.5 to 1 for 48 volts and 10 to 1 for 12 volts, then you need to consider your conversion efficiency of the inverter. Most of the good ones today are in the 90% range and some even higher.

Have the fun

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Old 11-23-2014, 02:51 PM   #17
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Re: Second time around

Wish I had studied electronics a little bit before i took on this project.
My plan is to build a mount and install a second alternator on the engine with the purpose of charging extra batteries and inverters.
I will build the mount and find someone knowledgeable in electronics to wire it up.
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Old 11-23-2014, 03:41 PM   #18
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Re: Second time around

These days there are high output alternators specifically designed to replace multiple unit installations. They are commonly used on ambulances, EMT trucks & such. I just ordered a 250 amp unit I will connect to a switching device that will automatically take are of both start & house batteries. You can even run a 110 a/c unit over the road. They aren't cheap but save space under the hood and require no custom made brackets, idlers and special belts.
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Old 11-23-2014, 10:53 PM   #19
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Re: Second time around

Where did you buy it? would be a good solution for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango
These days there are high output alternators specifically designed to replace multiple unit installations. They are commonly used on ambulances, EMT trucks & such. I just ordered a 250 amp unit I will connect to a switching device that will automatically take are of both start & house batteries. You can even run a 110 a/c unit over the road. They aren't cheap but save space under the hood and require no custom made brackets, idlers and special belts.
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Old 11-24-2014, 01:33 AM   #20
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Re: Second time around

How big is your current alternator? Your starter battery and your deep cycle batteries can be tied together. You will need a disconnect for the starter battery to avoid draining it when parked. You will need a disconnect for your deep cycle batteries to remove them from the circuit when starting the bus. While the engine is running, you can connect both sets of batteries to charge everything. I'm sure you can come up with a more "automatic" solution, as this will require manual switching, but this is very cheap. Be sure to fuse the link between your deep cycle system and the bus's engine 12V systems and size your cable to handle the charging current from the alternator. (no fires)

A more expensive, but easier for all in your family to understand is a rotary switch that handles all battery connections.

http://www.delcity.net/store/Battery-Se ... h/p_789171
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