Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-06-2017, 12:33 AM   #431
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Maryland / Boulder
Posts: 342
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: CAT 3126b Rotella-Chugger
Rated Cap: 72
So this weekend I started and finished my solar installation.

Step one was to run fatter wire between the battery banks, inverter and selector switch, and to move the selector switch inside the bus. It was previously underneath the bus near the battery bank, as I hastily wired the battery bank in a few hours in the summer of 2015 before a trip.



It isn't pretty, but it works. I need to put a cover over this whole deal. I upgraded everything from 2 AWG to 2/0 AWG, except the one smaller 2 gauge wire seen, which runs to the front of the bus for aux battery bank loads.



Got the panel mounted up, on the back of the bus. I reinforced the panel with riveted-on corner brackets and aluminum pieces that run across the back of it. Probably unnecessary, but I figured since the panels were not meant for vehicular use, it wouldn't hurt.

I mounted them as such:



Riveted door hinges on all 4 corners. This way, the panel can tilt in 4 directions to face the sun, by undoing bolts on the side you want to raise. When you're tilting it not in the direction of the hinge, just loosen the bolt on the side that stays down, and the panel will pivot on the the bolt. I don't yet have anything to prop it up, but I am planning on using uni-strut or something similar and having a short piece of square aluminum tube to prop it up, with bolts.

Please excuse the sloppy sealant, time was of the essence. I am taking 18 credit hours, working part time and trying to build this thing





I bought the through-roof plate on Amazon:



When I hooked everything up, it all worked, which was nice. This was about 1:30 pm, probably about prime sunlight this time of year. Was reading 13 volts at the time:



And 14 amps output to the batteries at the time (indicated by the small dot on the screen, flashing dot means amps input from the panel).



Not sure what the amps input from the panel was, but since the panel operates at 30-35 volts, the amps would be lower. 14 amps x 13 volts is 182 watts of output, which isn't bad. Panel is rated at 260 watts. I was able to start my refrigerator on the inverter without a hiccup, something that I never used to be able to do on batteries.

Final installed product. Voltage is low because I had been running tools and the sun had gone behind the mountains:



The circuit breaker to the right also doubles as a cutoff switch for the solar power.

Fuse box for 1) 10 amp fuse on the starting battery trickle charge output from the MPPT controller and 2) 30 amp fuse from MPPT to batteries:





Current inverter / other electrical setup. Yeah, I break rules and mix colors for wiring. At least this time I marked it with tape. The MPPT controller is on the other side of the cabinet of this inverter. Instead of running wire from the MPPT to the batteries in a dedicated line, I ran them to the 2/0 gauge going to the inverter. The charger output from the 120 volt breaker panel charges the batteries through there as well. I didn't see any harm in setting it up this way, other than possibly under load, the MPPT controller might see a lower voltage than the batteries actually are.

Also, the MPPT controller has a battery temp sensor for optimal charging voltages.

Let me know if you have any questions / need a diagram of how I did this. I did it all in my head

porkchopsandwiches is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2017, 04:44 PM   #432
Bus Crazy
 
Njsurf73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,407
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 24v
Rated Cap: 72 pax
Quote:
Originally Posted by porkchopsandwiches View Post
So this weekend I started and finished my solar installation.

Step one was to run fatter wire between the battery banks, inverter and selector switch, and to move the selector switch inside the bus. It was previously underneath the bus near the battery bank, as I hastily wired the battery bank in a few hours in the summer of 2015 before a trip.



It isn't pretty, but it works. I need to put a cover over this whole deal. I upgraded everything from 2 AWG to 2/0 AWG, except the one smaller 2 gauge wire seen, which runs to the front of the bus for aux battery bank loads.



Got the panel mounted up, on the back of the bus. I reinforced the panel with riveted-on corner brackets and aluminum pieces that run across the back of it. Probably unnecessary, but I figured since the panels were not meant for vehicular use, it wouldn't hurt.

I mounted them as such:



Riveted door hinges on all 4 corners. This way, the panel can tilt in 4 directions to face the sun, by undoing bolts on the side you want to raise. When you're tilting it not in the direction of the hinge, just loosen the bolt on the side that stays down, and the panel will pivot on the the bolt. I don't yet have anything to prop it up, but I am planning on using uni-strut or something similar and having a short piece of square aluminum tube to prop it up, with bolts.

Please excuse the sloppy sealant, time was of the essence. I am taking 18 credit hours, working part time and trying to build this thing





I bought the through-roof plate on Amazon:



When I hooked everything up, it all worked, which was nice. This was about 1:30 pm, probably about prime sunlight this time of year. Was reading 13 volts at the time:



And 14 amps output to the batteries at the time (indicated by the small dot on the screen, flashing dot means amps input from the panel).



Not sure what the amps input from the panel was, but since the panel operates at 30-35 volts, the amps would be lower. 14 amps x 13 volts is 182 watts of output, which isn't bad. Panel is rated at 260 watts. I was able to start my refrigerator on the inverter without a hiccup, something that I never used to be able to do on batteries.

Final installed product. Voltage is low because I had been running tools and the sun had gone behind the mountains:



The circuit breaker to the right also doubles as a cutoff switch for the solar power.

Fuse box for 1) 10 amp fuse on the starting battery trickle charge output from the MPPT controller and 2) 30 amp fuse from MPPT to batteries:





Current inverter / other electrical setup. Yeah, I break rules and mix colors for wiring. At least this time I marked it with tape. The MPPT controller is on the other side of the cabinet of this inverter. Instead of running wire from the MPPT to the batteries in a dedicated line, I ran them to the 2/0 gauge going to the inverter. The charger output from the 120 volt breaker panel charges the batteries through there as well. I didn't see any harm in setting it up this way, other than possibly under load, the MPPT controller might see a lower voltage than the batteries actually are.

Also, the MPPT controller has a battery temp sensor for optimal charging voltages.

Let me know if you have any questions / need a diagram of how I did this. I did it all in my head



Pretty slick on the hinge system. Could you take out the hinge pins and make/use some type of quick disconnect... Maybe a smaller diameter slightly longer pin with a keeper/cotter pin?
Your skoolie is pretty awesome. Thanks for putting it all up here.
Njsurf73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2017, 05:12 PM   #433
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Kent, WA (Seattle)
Posts: 391
Year: 1987
Engine: 6.9L Diesel
Really cool idea for the 4 way tilt, looks really functional, and congrats on solar! That's a big milestone for your awesome skoolie.
TAOLIK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2017, 06:37 PM   #434
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Maryland / Boulder
Posts: 342
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: CAT 3126b Rotella-Chugger
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Njsurf73 View Post
Pretty slick on the hinge system. Could you take out the hinge pins and make/use some type of quick disconnect... Maybe a smaller diameter slightly longer pin with a keeper/cotter pin?
Your skoolie is pretty awesome. Thanks for putting it all up here.
Yeah, or replace the flange bolts I used on each corner with some sort of quick release pin. I just happened to have the bolts laying around, so that's what I used.
porkchopsandwiches is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2017, 03:22 PM   #435
Bus Crazy
 
browncrown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bakersfield, California
Posts: 1,012
Year: 1976
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Detroit 6-71 Mid-Ship Mounted
Rated Cap: 79 at Birth
Nice solar install!!!
__________________
BC
My Conversion Thread: http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3065
browncrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2017, 09:04 AM   #436
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I hate dark and dreary interiors.. (unfortunately I see alot of them in RV's and conversions).. if my bus gets cold I'll add more heaters.. if it gets Hot i'll add more Air-conditioners..

im keeping all the windows..

double pane skoolie windows do exist.. ive seen them in videos of alaska Busses.. bluebirds and thomas's

-Christopher
I need to find some of these double pane skoolie windows. My bus has almost no windows and it is too dark. It gets very hot in the south (over 95 for more than 90 days) Plus 90+ humidity. I dont want to have a rolling roof air display LOL!

If anyone has a link to where to purchase double pane skoolie windows please let me know.

Thanks,
Austin
EZBUZZSAW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2017, 09:38 AM   #437
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 8,552
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by EZBUZZSAW View Post
I need to find some of these double pane skoolie windows. My bus has almost no windows and it is too dark. It gets very hot in the south (over 95 for more than 90 days) Plus 90+ humidity. I dont want to have a rolling roof air display LOL!

If anyone has a link to where to purchase double pane skoolie windows please let me know.

Thanks,
Austin

I know they use them in alaska busses.. there a bus geek always posting on Youtube.. he lives in alaska, and his bus rides show double pain windows on the busses.. maybe see if there are any bus junk-yards in alaska or maybe they use those windows in northern 48 like north dakota, minnesota, etc.. to buy them knew id imagine would be cost prohibitive.. if you want new ones I'd look into insulated RV windows and not even use skoolie windows..

-Christopher
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER wmkbailey Skoolie Conversion Projects 873 08-10-2016 05:13 AM
1999 Goshen 15 passenger rv conversion highpsiguy Short-Bus Conversion Projects 28 04-11-2015 09:07 AM
1991 Thomas conversion Will Skoolie Conversion Projects 16 06-24-2013 04:03 PM
Thomas E-350 Shuttle bus conversion crazycal Short-Bus Conversion Projects 8 05-22-2013 01:50 PM
1999 Chevy Escort FE Bus Conversion Bullwhacker007 Short-Bus Conversion Projects 14 12-19-2011 08:51 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.