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Old 06-13-2010, 12:21 PM   #561
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeria
A zillion ideas and instructions on water heating by the lovely sun
http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Wa ... sed%20Loop
Yes, fabulous information there!

This resembles what I mentioned earlier:


The site says this is 150 feet of 1" pipe. By my earlier calculation, that makes for six gallons.
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:38 AM   #562
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

I have never quite understood the whole radiant water heater idea. It seems to me it would only be effective for a few hours a day In ideal conditions. No? I mean you have to park your skoolie in the sun, which most people try to avoid in order to keep the rest of the bus cool. It would take a couple of hours of direct sun light to get optimal temps. And once the line capacity is used up, you have to wait for more sun. That is, if the sun is still available. Am I way off base here or it that about it?
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Old 06-14-2010, 09:08 AM   #563
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

In all my various RVs we've always used solar to heat 5gln buckets/bladders to do our showers and what not. Heating time and temp varies. If it is cloudy, but 70+ you'll get a lukewarm water come high point of day (1-4pm). If it is 80 and sunny you are bound to get water too dang hot.

For me it boils down to not having to rely on electronic devices. Less battery drain, less propane used, the happier I am. Yeah, it takes a wee bit more work but it also makes me more aware of what I am doing, how much I am consuming, and frankly, I enjoy the process of self-effeciency. Except when I'm sick. Then I really wish I had a maid or a handy man to do my bidding.

That 150' tubing is an idea we might go with ourselves this time around. Great for summer but I can see how it would cool down faster than a big bucket. With the rocket heater for colder weather we would be heating water through that (still researching designs) during winter. Hoping to stay in Northern Cali for the winters 2011 onward. Hate Arizona. Texas. Florida. Okay, hate the south.
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:09 AM   #564
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Tfdfyrman, you are correct! It is a compromise, based on personal preferences. Seeria explains it better than I could have said it myself.

I'll add that the shower in Millicent gets the most use during the one week of the Burning Man Art Festival in the Nevada desert in late summer. No shortage of sunshine and ambient heat there! Well... in the mornings, yes. But that changes very quickly when the sun comes up.

I do have a backup planned: A couple of years ago I purchased a small electric water heater; the kind you install in-line just before the shower head. I have not installed it yet, but I suppose I'll get around to it eventually. The idea is that this heater can be powered by my generator in a pinch, to take the worst chill off the water.
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Old 06-14-2010, 12:34 PM   #565
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

I got one of these: http://www.zodi.com/web-content/Consume ... hower.html
to supplement passive solar hot water heating (mine's a model # 6187, pretty much like the 6189 shown on the link above). I got mine on ebay for $75.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:12 PM   #566
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

I like that idea. Quieter and cheaper than a generator! Could probably incorporate the burner in the existing plumbing. But I think I would locate the burner outside the bus for safety.
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Old 06-14-2010, 05:15 PM   #567
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess
...Could probably incorporate the burner in the existing plumbing. But I think I would locate the burner outside the bus for safety.
Ultimately, it will be mounted by my gas stove so I can use the stove vent fan to vent excess heat. They (Zodi) have versions that can be heated by the stove itself ( http://www.zodi.com/web-content/Consume ... hower.html ), but I got this one much cheaper and am fairly confident I can easily convert it to utilize my stove top as the heat source.

I don't feel that it is any more dangerous in the bus than my gas stove, with the exception of the fact that I can't keep an eye on it while showering. If it catches the bus interior on fire while showering, my first warning will be a lack of shower water due to a melted hose, heh! (...and I have a fire extinguisher located near by between the shower and the stove area....just in case...)
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Old 06-18-2010, 01:05 PM   #568
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

What about a combination system? Hot water heaters work off a thermostat right? So run the solar water line through the hot water heater. If the water coming in is 90+ degrees then the heater will run very little. Then once you run out of hot water, the heater takes over. That makes more since to me than strictly solar. I can appreciate not being reliant on man made energy but I also like to be comfortable when I'm camping and traveling.

Keep up the good work!!

Chad
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Old 06-19-2010, 07:18 AM   #569
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

Quote:
Originally Posted by tfdfyrman
What about a combination system? Hot water heaters work off a thermostat right? So run the solar water line through the hot water heater. If the water coming in is 90+ degrees then the heater will run very little. Then once you run out of hot water, the heater takes over. That makes more since to me than strictly solar. I can appreciate not being reliant on man made energy but I also like to be comfortable when I'm camping and traveling.

Keep up the good work!!

Chad
That set up is not uncommon in off-grid homes. But look at the specifications for the heaters. Some are designed to take pre-heated water, others are rated for cold-water inputs only. Though I suppose you could feed pre-heated water to those also, at your own risk.

The thing that gets me is, some of the cold-water only units require no electricity and no pilot. They appear to use the water flow to generate power to ignite the propane. The pre-heated input units I've seen advertised either require power or a standing pilot. It seems that someone is missing a good niche market for the low-impact, high-efficiency users.
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:17 PM   #570
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Update:

Had the injection pump "turned up". Oh, yes.

With the tachometer and pyrometer finally installed, I arranged with our very own Nevrenufhp to adjust Millicent's "fuel plate" and governor springs. The "fuel plate" serves as an internal throttle stop, limiting maximum power. Dale slid it all the way forward, which gives maximum power with the existing parts. He also tightened the governor springs two clicks, which allows the engine to rev just a little bit higher without doing any harm.

The result is -- to coin a phrase (not) -- that Millicent "came alive". No more struggling to maintain 55 MPH in rolling terrain. And climbed the Grapevine Grade at 40 MPH.

Since some of you must ask.... I took a run at top speed on level ground, and called it good with 66 MPH at around 2600 RPMs.

Exhaust temperature climbed above the recommended 900 F max (post turbo) a couple of times, but nothing blew up even when I touched 1000. Easy enough to keep it below 900 though. Now that I have the tach, I can downshift manually around 40 MPH or even higher, and hit 3rd gear at "healthy" yet safe revs.

Photos when I finish the "cosmetic" part of the gauge installation.
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