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Old 06-23-2016, 03:06 PM   #31
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Posts: 2
Year: 2001
Chassis: Thomas Saf-T-Liner RE
Engine: Cat 3126B-275HP
Hi everyone, I've been lurking for a while, but this is my first post.

Up in the Frozen North (I'm in central Alaska), all the busses are spec'd with Webasto or Espar heaters on them. The Thomas pusher I'm converting actually has 2 of the Webasto Scholastic heaters, each rated for 45,000btu. I hadn't seen this configuration before... most of the busses just have one plumbed in series with the engine coolant loop that runs to the under-seat heaters and the driver's heater/defroster. Mine had a second heater added on a closed loop, hooked up to a couple water/air heat exchangers with custom ducts rigged up by the school district to blow hot air down a series of overhead vents on both sides of the passenger compartment.

I also have an old '82 MCI MC9 coach, and it came with a Webasto Thermo 350 that puts out 120,000btu.

I drove a shuttle bus for the local university for a couple winters, and even on a little 15pax busses, there was no way to get the temp up in the winter without the auxiliary heaters running. (They happened to use Espar E5's.) It didn't help that on-campus shuttle busses basically idle around at <20mph and never get a decent load put on the engine to generate some heat, plus they have the doors opening every minute or so letting the heat out. That little heater was a champ though. Even with the door open so often, it would keep it pretty toasty inside at -50*F.

As to using this type of heater for domestic hot water or cabin heat while stationary... either one could certainly be done, but I don't know that it's really the best tool for either job.
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:02 AM   #32
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
how are the Espar heaters? the company I buy all my A/C gear for my project from sells eSpar.. im looking at that as an aux heater solution for mine... since its stayung mainly a bus im not installing wood stoves or propane furnaces etc.. i want to put a coolant heater in... I have 2 Group 31 batteries plus the 2 starting batteries.. that will run heater fans for quite awhile.. I figure I'll plumb the heater into the main heater coolant loop with the boost pump.. and can use it in cold weather to pre-warm the engine as well if im at ah otel where I cant plug in my blcok heater..
-Christopher
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Old 06-25-2016, 08:18 PM   #33
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
Posts: 2
Year: 2001
Chassis: Thomas Saf-T-Liner RE
Engine: Cat 3126B-275HP
I thought the Espar's were pretty nice in use, but we only used them as boosters with the vehicle running and I haven't looked up their stationary power consumption. I imagine it's similar to the other brands and I know the Webasto Scholastic heaters are supposed to draw ~132 watts (11 amps @ 12v) with the heater and the pump both running (not including any heater fans for your under-seat heaters or whatever).

The under-seat heaters I have draw about another 10 amps each.

You probably don't want to be running your starting batteries down, so assuming just the 2 deep cycle group 31 house batteries at around 100ah each, and planning for a 50% depth of discharge so you don't ruin your batteries, you've got 100ah total reserve to work with.

With the Webasto/Espar running plus one under-seat heater running, you could expect roughly 5 hours of run time with no other electrical loads. That sounds a bit low, but may be fine depending on your needs. Also the heat system could be designed to cycle as needed, which would stretch that run time out over a longer period of being stationary.

That run time drops of course if you run more heat emitters... My bus has 6 under-seats and 2 Webasto's, so if I ran them all without the engine running, they would draw 80+ amps and drain my batteries in no time flat.
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