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Old 04-02-2018, 12:39 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
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Exclamation Solar radiant floor and solar water heater

HEY GUYS! It's been a long winter and a long time since I posted on the good ol' skoolie.net! Today I am researching SOLAR ENERGY (echos!)! We are curious if anyone here has installed solar powered radiant heat floors or solar powered water heaters? If so, what is your take on them? Do they work well? Pros and cons? What are the best systems? Where can you buy them?

Also a secondary question...

We are thinking about installing an alternator that charges our batteries while our bus runs instead of getting a generator. My question is if we plan on using this alternator to help charge our batteries, should that effect our decision on which solar set (size and type) that we should go with? If you know of a decent cheap alternator that can do this for a 1996 AmTran with a dt466 and an Allison 545 tranny?

I'm no expert on any of this stuff but I do know that we are going to be off grid 99% of the time and want to make sure I'm crossing T's and dotting I's. If anyone has any additional advice for this type of Skoolie living, please let me know!!!

Thanks everyone! And also if you know any additional resources that can explain some of this stuff to someone who has no electrical experience, please let me know that as well!!
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Old 04-02-2018, 01:59 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rockwood Colony View Post
We are curious if anyone here has installed solar powered radiant heat floors or solar powered water heaters?
Much ongoing discussion about this. I have not but I have experimented with a DIY solar collector to heat a hub tub. Solar will most certainly do the job. However; using quality components seem to be the trick as it undergoes a lot of stress (heat and UV). Considerations are weight (up high on the roof) and power to circulate coolant/fluid/water. I'm using my solar photovoltaic (electric) to provide power for running my 120VAC water heater. Works great when there is plenty of sunshine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rockwood Colony View Post
We are thinking about installing an alternator that charges our batteries while our bus runs instead of getting a generator. My question is if we plan on using this alternator to help charge our batteries, should that effect our decision on which solar set (size and type) that we should go with?
A source of constant discussion. Best to look thru the many threads about this. Questions need answered. Such as, are you going to be driving every day? If so, you probably don't need solar (for either electricity or water heating - let the engine do both). If not, it probably isn't going to be worth the cost/effort. Why do you need a generator if installing solar? Air conditioning is about the only good reason I know of - other than weeks without the sun (and that's why your rig has wheels). I only touch on the obvious to get you thinking or to get more info. All the threads about this could fill books.
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Old 04-02-2018, 05:09 PM   #3
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At our house we have installed both, flat plate for floor heat and evacuated tubes for domestic hot water. All works good.
In a bus i would go PV and install a heat pump hot water heater for example from E-tech. The problem with solar floor heat is that you need storage in concrete mass or in water volume. Both kind of inplractical in a bus. The heat pumps hot water heaters have a COP of 3 to 4. That means for 500 watt in it delivers 1500 to 2000 watt out.

Good luck, later J
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:37 AM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2018
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Those evacuated tubes are nuts. Looked at these for the house. Also dont know if a black tank could be filled while parked but have used a shower bag and was to hot to use till after dark.
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