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Old 11-01-2016, 08:57 PM   #11
Bus Nut
joeblack5's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: pa
Posts: 875
Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Like familywagon this is hobby of mine also.
We have domestic hotwater and space heat with solar collectors. The storage for more then 3 days is a real problem. I would think to difficult for a mobile application.
There are some gelpacks that can be boiled and activated at will. They are not difficult to make and store a reasonable amount of heat.

I think it would make more sense to use PV panels and store in Li-Ion batteries and use a heat pump to heat and cool. The heating cycle of a good heat pump is about 4 so 1kwh delivers 4 Kwh in heat. So that part gets about the same efficiency as the how water collector. The gain is your storage size and weight. A 48 volt / 45 Ah Chevy volt battery module weighs 39-40 LBS.

An heat pump heating efficiency with radiant floor heat is very good because the lower temperatures.

In overall I think PV with lithium and heat pump is much simpler and much more universal.

A complete chevy volt battery can be had for $1500 + shipping.
Solar is less then $0.70/ watt. fater you are done with collectors , tanks, pumps, ris of freezing I think that PV is cheaper as well.


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Old 11-02-2016, 07:43 AM   #12
Bus Crazy
somewhereinusa's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Andrews,Indiana
Posts: 1,708
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: AARE
Engine: 3116 Cat 250hp
Rated Cap: Her, me and Molly
Any idea how long your heating cycles are, somewhereinusa?
I missed this post last fall. I really don't know how long the heat cycles are. It's really hard to tell when it's running when I am inside where it's warm. And of course it varies with outside temperature. I can say that even when it's down around 20 it still cycles.

I'm not familiar with how the other manufactures operate. When you light the Espar it is lit until you shut it down. The boiler cycles between high and low so there is some heat being produced even when on low. There is a timer with a 7 day clock that can be set to turn on and off at various times. For my use I have never bothered to even study how to set it.

My system has four loops of heating in the floor and each room also has a heater similar to the heater in your car with a "heater core" and fan. Each loop has it's own thermostat that turns on a water pump for that loop. The heaters have a switch on the wall but, also have a temp switch so that it won't come on unless the water is warm so that it will never blow cold air. I can say that when the loop water pump is off the water will cool enough that the heater fan will turn off. I only really use the heater fans for quicker warm up from cold, or when it's really cold out. At a temp of about -10 it only took about an hour to get up to about 70.

In all of the information I could find when I was designing my system I didn't find any that had any kind of holding tank. Due to some mistakes I made when filling it's really hard to know what total capacity is but, I think it's about 10 gallons.

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