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Old 09-21-2011, 09:12 AM   #51
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Re: Green Energy Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by dangie
... I was wondering what peoples experience has been with different types of oils. So far I've got some soy, peanut, and sesame seed oil along with reg. veg. I've read on different sites that they all will work but anyone have any experience mixing? ...
One thing to bear in mind is that each of those oils may have a different gel point. So as the weather gets colder, the oil that stays liquid at the coldest temp is likely going to be the best. If you have any oil that starts gelling before all the others, you might consider getting rid of that source or at least keeping it separate. You can put a sample of each type of oil in small jars and watch to see what happens to them when the temps drop at night. But yes, you mix all you want. Even put a bit of diesel fuel in there to thin the oil a little and help prevent polymerization.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:22 PM   #52
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Re: Green Energy Project

I see.. thanks for the tips! Tomorrow I hope to get to setting up the veg. system on the trailer. Today I finally finished installing the solar panels and connected the fridge!! 37degrees in 15minutes flat! Now we'll see how long it can maintain that.... here are some pictures.




I dont have a key for that exterior box on the bus, does anyone know where you can get keys made or ordered? I put a keyed latch on it for now but id prefer to use the original if at all possible..
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Old 09-26-2011, 08:50 PM   #53
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Re: Green Energy Project

Look carefully behind the paddle latch. These are just regular cam locks and are held in place with a thin nut. You should be able to slide an open ended wrench behind and remove the nut to replace.

I'm thinking of CombiCam Locks because I have a rather large pile of keys for the Class C. More than one lock is opened by the same key. And I'm referring to locks that were bought years apart! A combination lock will eliminate a pile of keys. The Combi-Cams are available in several places in various sizes.

http://www.amazon.com/Combinated-RV-.../dp/B000IGMP1S
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Old 09-28-2011, 11:58 AM   #54
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Re: Green Energy Project

I like your roof rack. You might want to consider treating the rust and painting it soon before the rust really gets established. Otherwise it will drool rusty streaks all over the bus. Also, that's a cool battery tending system you've got there. Handy. It doesn't look like the batteries are secured yet - how do you plan to secure them?
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:05 PM   #55
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Re: Green Energy Project

So we ran out of time to finish up the bus in Richmond Between packing and make trips to store all our stuff not much has happened in the last week. We drove the bus from Richmond to Angie's moms in Fauquier (81miles) and used less than a 1/4 tank of fuel, avg. about 10mpg which is much better than I expected after adding all the weight from the deck and hauling a loaded trailer. Hoping to finish up the bus this week and start making goodbye visits by the weekend.

Lornaschinske: The combicam looks cool, but I'm not sure if it will fit on the latch because of the way the handle is. I am going to take a closer look when I get a chance and post a picture of what I mean. I hope I can get it though because the key ring is growing for us too!

Diesel Dan: I've added a third battery with the harbor freight 45watt solar setup to power our shower pump and other misc electronics, I'll post more about that later but there isnt much room for them to move around now. I still plan to run a bungee around them though, pictures coming soon...
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:02 AM   #56
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Re: Green Energy Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by dangie
Diesel Dan: I've added a third battery with the harbor freight 45watt solar setup to power our shower pump and other misc electronics, I'll post more about that later but there isnt much room for them to move around now. I still plan to run a bungee around them though, pictures coming soon...
You might want to put a wood 2x4 or something between the batteries and the front wall so if you have to slam on the brakes the batteries will not crash into the electronics. Also, I noticed you have a couple loops of extra electrical wire in the battery compartment. I'm not sure how your system is wired, but typically you loose power the longer your wiring run is, so if it's feasible, you might consider cutting that excess wire so you only have as much wire as needed to make the run. Looks great though - now I'm getting more inspired to do solar!
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:38 PM   #57
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Re: Green Energy Project

We are living in the Age of Energy. The fossil fuel based economy of the present must give way to the renewable energy based economy of the future. Getting there is the grandest challenge humanity faces. Chemistry can help meet this challenge by discovering new materials that efficiently harvest solar radiation, store energy for later use, and reconvert the stored energy when needed.

The Clean Energy project uses computational chemistry and the willingness of people to help look for the best molecules possible for: organic photovoltaics to provide inexpensive solar cells, polymers for the membranes used in fuel cells for electricity generation, and how best to assemble the molecules to make those devices. By helping us search combinatorially among thousands of potential systems, you can contribute to this effort.
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:00 PM   #58
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Re: Green Energy Project

We have made it to our first city destination, Baton Rouge, LA! We visited family on the way down and I've been slacking on updates but I'll try to get everything up to speed by the end of the day. Stay tuned... (www.bigeasybus.blogspot.com)
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:13 AM   #59
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Re: Green Energy Project

I love this bus! We calculated about 1.5kmiles driven (averaging 11mi/gal) so far and no major problems yet. But lets back up, so last post we were in Fauquier. I was fixing up the trailer with shelving, installing the mobile filtering setup, finishing the shower plumbing (we found a used portable graywater 10gal. tank that solved our dumping quandry), and putting baskets on the scooter. Instead of putting the kayaks on top I welded a rack for them to sit down in near the toung so we wouldnt add more weight to the already top heavy trailer. Then after securing everything with ratchet straps and bungees we were ready to head south.






We decided to renew the inspection on the bus in Fredericksburg while visiting my mom even though ours was good until Jan. I figured it would be more convinient to fix anything that was wrong while we still had my tools and reliable power. Turns out it was a good decision because we failed. Bad wipers, a brake light out, and exhaust leaks. Wipers easy fix. All of the rear lights had been giving us problems because the screws were rusty (or missing) and weren't providing a reliable ground, replacing them solved that issue. The exhaust leak turned out to be a lot easier than I was expecting. The pipe had rusted through where the new exhaust met the old, so I cut the bad section out and replaced it using pipe hangers and rtv sealant.




Shortly thereafter we were on the road with a brand new sticker! We stopped in Richmond and Petersburg before leaving VA, visiting friends and family. While fueling up in Petersburg we discovered that the odometer hadn't changed since the inspection.. and then looking at the title.. since I bought it... That was very dissappointing, but she's running great so we'r going to keep a log and hope for the best. But note to anyone thinking about buying a bus or any vehicle I suppose... make sure the odometer moves when you test drive it!

We drove from Petersburg to Canton, GA where we visited my sister and her boyfriend's family. They showed us around their farm and let us see their baby goats. I got to help Josh squirrel hunt with his dogs, a first for me. I wired in the lights that came in the harbor freight solar kit onto the battery side for night time use, same with the 300watt inverter. After one last hot shower we prepared to leave and I got Josh to take a look at the bus tires with me. I had tried to pump them up at a gas station with little success because I couldnt get the air nozzle fitting to bend around to the stem on the outside rear tire. It's lucky we made it to GA because all the tires were very low, one was only 35psi (80max). After filling them up it was amazing to see how much better it drove, especially on the uphill climbs. Where before we might slow down from 65 down to 45 or 40, now she stays steady at 60 on most inclines.


From Canton we drove to Baton Rouge and met our host family who is graciously allowing us to park for free and without worry of being hassled by traffic cops. First objective in our new spot was figuring out what resources were available to us. There is a bus station a block away that has a public restroom open 24/7 (HURRAY! no sawdust bucket mess this month!), and local grocery store within scooter distance, as well as several coffee shops with free wifi. After a day of exploring we tried to settle in for the night but found it difficult to adapt to the weather change. It had been 37deg. overnight in Canton, but in Baton Rouge its still in the 80s during the day and low 60s at night. So today we made a run to the store for some supplies and we picked up a 12v fan. We also went ahead and bought a new battery because the dead car battery I was using to power the shower pump was making the inverter buz (indicating low voltage). The rest of the day was spent leisurely exploring the town, and spending a few hours in Starbucks downloading Sunday's "The Walking Dead" episode I missed =) Tomorrow we hope to find a place to put our kayaks in and continue preparing for the Green Crawl on Thursday.

Parked by a lake in Baton Rouge.

So now your up to date! We are working on a video tour of the bus for the blog so I'll post a link when its done. Thanks for reading!
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Old 10-29-2011, 12:22 AM   #60
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Re: Green Energy Project

I've collected some oil from a local restaurant downtown but I'm a little wary in how different it all looks. 3 boxes said clear fry (soy bean) oil and one said fry shortening. Reading online it seems like shortening is ok to burn, tho perhaps not the best. I can't find a picture of what used shortening should look like tho.. I'm assuming the lighter container is the shortening (the boxes were mixed up)? Anyone have any experience with this? The second from the left I think may be shortening not water settled on the bottom but I'll test it before adding to my barrel.

Heres a shot of a prefilter jean sock i sewed.
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