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Old 04-10-2015, 04:06 PM   #31
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Maple Ridge BC Canada
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 Rear engine
Engine: Cummins 8.3; MD3060
Rated Cap: 84
I was thinking about water heater for our skoolie when time comes to install one and found that even 6 gall units consider to be a luxury water heater. 6 gall is not much at all.

Then, since my small diesel engine for battery charging/AC unit is water cooled I can use hot coolant to heat up water for free.... and I mean a lot of hot water.....

I will use heat exchanger and probably Propylene Glycol coolant to be more safe.

This is another reason to build a good unit and use water cooled engine to charge batteries.
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Old 04-12-2015, 03:50 AM   #32
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Maple Ridge BC Canada
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Year: 1998
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Chassis: TC2000 Rear engine
Engine: Cummins 8.3; MD3060
Rated Cap: 84
Another good idea how to use power unit.

I plan to have full size washer and dryer. Dryer is a big energy hog. While you are hooked up it is OK you can use shore power, but what to do when you are not?

Why not to use a small radiator connected to cooling system to supply heat to dryer? Instead of energising electric heat element energise solenoid to open coolant circuit to dryer radiator... I think this is possible.....
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Old 04-12-2015, 09:23 AM   #33
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This is a common project for wood boiler folks (which, in case it wasn't obvious from other posts, I am one). It's not terribly difficult. Usually you use something along the size of a standard oil cooler - whatever fits in the dryer - and you mount it in the internal air duct the dryer has to pass air over its own heating element.

Couple challenges: when doing this you sometimes need to expand the duct in back with some sheet metal, because it's not very big. Electrical elements are very small compared to water-to-air exchangers. Not a biggie in a house, but in a bus you might need to be clever about space usage.

Also, this works best with older units, the ones still controlled by relays. They're pretty dumb and have no idea you've cut the heating element circuit. Some new units are computer-controlled like cars and shut down when this happens. Mostly the high-end LG's and such - probably not what you'd be converting, just pointing it out.

Finally, be prepared for the cycle to take a lot longer. Electrical elements can transfer heat quickly. Water-to-air units can transfer a lot of heat, but it takes more time to do it in small units. Unless you want to install a giant radiator in there...

Note: it still takes several amps to run the drum motor. Wet clothes are heavy and hard to move.
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Old 04-12-2015, 01:43 PM   #34
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Maple Ridge BC Canada
Posts: 194
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 Rear engine
Engine: Cummins 8.3; MD3060
Rated Cap: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by taskswap View Post
This is a common project for wood boiler folks (which, in case it wasn't obvious from other posts, I am one). It's not terribly difficult. Usually you use something along the size of a standard oil cooler - whatever fits in the dryer - and you mount it in the internal air duct the dryer has to pass air over its own heating element.

Couple challenges: when doing this you sometimes need to expand the duct in back with some sheet metal, because it's not very big. Electrical elements are very small compared to water-to-air exchangers. Not a biggie in a house, but in a bus you might need to be clever about space usage.

Also, this works best with older units, the ones still controlled by relays. They're pretty dumb and have no idea you've cut the heating element circuit. Some new units are computer-controlled like cars and shut down when this happens. Mostly the high-end LG's and such - probably not what you'd be converting, just pointing it out.

Finally, be prepared for the cycle to take a lot longer. Electrical elements can transfer heat quickly. Water-to-air units can transfer a lot of heat, but it takes more time to do it in small units. Unless you want to install a giant radiator in there...

Note: it still takes several amps to run the drum motor. Wet clothes are heavy and hard to move.
After researching dryers for some time I was surprised. In house you choose gas or electric depends what power you have. Also you can get electric ventless unit.

It is clear how gas and electric units work. Ventless are not so clear for many people. Ventless units use cold water to condense moisture extracted by hot air from clothes, hence you don't need to blow it outside.

I prefer gas dryer in house because it is much more powerful, cheaper to operate. It is a super efficient because all heat including exhaust goes though clothes.

Now let's see what is used in RV and what is practical to use in RV application.

1.Most RV dryers are ventless. Ventless unit is horrible by it's nature. It wastes tons of fresh water in dry cycle. You simply dump warmed up clean water in rv park sewer system which in most cases a septic tank/field. Also this units are electric and require a lot of amps to heat up air.

2.The rest of dryers used in RV are just vented electric units.

You can also buy a compact electric vented unit and use it in RV.

The strange thing is I couldn't find compact (24"x24") gas dryer. This would be ideal for RV application.

I also noticed most if not all dryers that come gas or electric use bottom space for gas furnace and rear for electric heating element. I started to think to combine gas and electric in one unit. When shore power is available use it when not use propane. This can be done. The problem is I can't find 24"x24" gas dryer...... GGGRRRRR.

But yesterday I got another idea why not to get 24"x24" electric dryer (tons of them cheap and even cheaper used ones), add water/air radiator and this is all....

Here are benefits:

1. available size (24"x24") unit on market
2. cheap to buy new and even cheaper used ones. Can be mech or digitally controlled.
3. can be used as electric when shore power is available
4. easy to add water/air radiator. There is a ton of space on the bottom under the drum
5. free very hot water. Diesel engine run almost at boiling temperatures giving a lot of very hot water.

Now here is why gas unit is more powerful:

Typical house unit has 3 KW heating element. 1 KW =3412 BTU, 3 KW =10000 BTU.

My typical house gas dryer is 20000 BTU which is 2 tmes more.

Even a small water/air radiator can easily give 20000 BTU.
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Old 04-12-2015, 02:11 PM   #35
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Here in Canada, all residential dryers are electric.

Only commercial dryers are gas.

A good old wash board and cloths line take up much less space, and energy.

Nat
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Old 04-12-2015, 02:15 PM   #36
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Maple Ridge BC Canada
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Year: 1998
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Chassis: TC2000 Rear engine
Engine: Cummins 8.3; MD3060
Rated Cap: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
Here in Canada, all residential dryers are electric.

Only commercial dryers are gas.

A good old wash board and cloths line take up much less space, and energy.

Nat
I bought our gas dryer which is whirlpool residential unit about 5-6 year ago locally in Canada. It works great since. I could buy electric one but loved gas idea.

We have a lot of them in HD:

SEARCH - gas+dryer - Home Improvement, Home Renovation, Tools, & Hardware | Home Depot Canada
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Old 04-12-2015, 02:24 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
I bought our gas dryer which is whirlpool residential unit about 5-6 year ago locally in Canada. It works great since. I could buy electric one but loved gas idea.

We have a lot of them in HD:

SEARCH - gas+dryer - Home Improvement, Home Renovation, Tools, & Hardware | Home Depot Canada
My bad, around here I can't get them without special ordering.

Anyone convert one to propane?

Nat
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:02 PM   #38
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I had a neighbor who did that in the last town I lived in. They didn't have piping for natural gas but all the dryers were sold for it. Home Depot sold him the dryer and the conversion kit. I remember it clearly because he was bitching about it all weekend - it was like $80 for basically a brass fitting with a different-sized orifice and a couple of bits to install it. It was like the most overpriced thing I've ever seen. Installed in like 5 minutes.

Vlad, I'm curious what "ventless" unit you're talking about. I actually bought one about 10 years ago when I lived in a house that had the laundry in the basement. We were looking for an option to do small loads without having to truck the laundry up and down 2 flights of stairs all the time. I bought it because I didn't want to have to install 50A service and dryer venting to the closet I put it in - I pulled the water/drainage from a bathroom that shared a wall with the unit.

Anyway, long story short, this unit definitely did NOT use cold water to condense the dryer exhaust. I would have known because I had a boost pump in the basement that was on its way out and everybody in the house knew when a faucet was on. Instead, it used a small A/C condenser built into the back. You could even hear it kick on.

I still hate these units - I would never recommend one after my own experience with it. But it didn't waste water - at least not that model.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:45 PM   #39
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Maple Ridge BC Canada
Posts: 194
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 Rear engine
Engine: Cummins 8.3; MD3060
Rated Cap: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by taskswap View Post
I had a neighbor who did that in the last town I lived in. They didn't have piping for natural gas but all the dryers were sold for it. Home Depot sold him the dryer and the conversion kit. I remember it clearly because he was bitching about it all weekend - it was like $80 for basically a brass fitting with a different-sized orifice and a couple of bits to install it. It was like the most overpriced thing I've ever seen. Installed in like 5 minutes.

Vlad, I'm curious what "ventless" unit you're talking about. I actually bought one about 10 years ago when I lived in a house that had the laundry in the basement. We were looking for an option to do small loads without having to truck the laundry up and down 2 flights of stairs all the time. I bought it because I didn't want to have to install 50A service and dryer venting to the closet I put it in - I pulled the water/drainage from a bathroom that shared a wall with the unit.

Anyway, long story short, this unit definitely did NOT use cold water to condense the dryer exhaust. I would have known because I had a boost pump in the basement that was on its way out and everybody in the house knew when a faucet was on. Instead, it used a small A/C condenser built into the back. You could even hear it kick on.

I still hate these units - I would never recommend one after my own experience with it. But it didn't waste water - at least not that model.
You are right, to make gas appliance designed for natural gas work on propane you need to replace jets with smaller size. Propane has a higher energy density. The same way natural gas boilers, stoves, ranges, heaters can be converted to run on propane.

Here is a gas/propane chart:

http://www.joppaglass.com/burner/lowp_chrt.html

Here is a good explanation how ventless dryers work:

How Do Ventless Clothes Dryers Work?

Some small dryers can be vented indoor just by installing lint trap. This dryers will increase moisture level indoor......
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:40 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
Here in Canada, all residential dryers are electric.

Only commercial dryers are gas.

A good old wash board and cloths line take up much less space, and energy.

Nat
Around here I'd say that gas is the more popular choice than electric when purchasing a new dryer. It's rare to find a house built in the past 30 years that doesn't have a gas hook-up. Even the small communities (400+ people) around here have access to natural gas.

+1 for the clothesline. I'd like to see a number amount of how much energy is used nationally to dry clothes in a year.. I bet it isn't pretty. Especially when 80% of the year you can dry clothes for free outside!
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