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Old 03-05-2019, 03:12 PM   #1
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Powering house from idle bus?

Just wondering here. Once we get our bus outfitted with solar/battery bank/inverter and all those goodies, what can we do with it while it sits in the yard between rallies and road trips?

Does anyone run power from the bus back into the house to run some appliances? Figuring this would have to be with just a good extension cord (10Ga?) and not into the house breaker box or anything.

How about feeding it back into the grid to earn some $$?
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Old 03-05-2019, 03:28 PM   #2
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A small diesel engine that powers the bus is not efficient and is prohibitively costly in the long run to power a home. Then there are the problems of noise and environment pollution - burning diesel is worse than natural gas.

You will need to install disconnects to the house to install the "generator" so that if the power from the grid comes on, you will not overload the system (or controller units similar to solar systems). Likewise, if the grid power is off, you want to disconnect so that no other homes draw from your engine and overload the generator. Also, unless your generator is 220vac, you will only be able to power one side of your house unless you come up with some creative-backwoods solutions which are never recommended.

It's a good idea for short term power outages (we hooked our RV generator up to one leg of our house to power minimal lights and the fridge), but it will never save you money.
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Old 03-05-2019, 03:53 PM   #3
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Just to clarify, I was just wondering about the 110v output from the battery bank, not from a generator. We already have a generator that we use for power outages. I'm just thinking about running an extension cord from the bus (sitting in the driveway) into the house to run some random appliances.

The thought about feeding the grid would require going through the local power company of course, with the appropriate switches. Just wondering if anyone else has done this?
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Old 03-05-2019, 03:59 PM   #4
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Same issues arise with any power source. 110vac is 110vac is 110vac.

Your house won’t know the difference between grid, generator, solar, wind, etc.

The quick answer is that yes you can do that but to conform to code and be safe, there are modifications that need to be done for protection in your home.
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Old 03-05-2019, 04:35 PM   #5
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The consumer cost of grid power is a tiny fraction of any small scale alternative power sources.

From battery storage triply so.

The government may **force** utilities to buy consumers' excess green power in order to encourage investments in its deployment, but utilities would never do so otherwise, and in fact continuously are spending big money to reverse such policies.
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Old 03-05-2019, 04:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pizote View Post
Same issues arise with any power source. 110vac is 110vac is 110vac.

Your house won’t know the difference between grid, generator, solar, wind, etc.

The quick answer is that yes you can do that but to conform to code and be safe, there are modifications that need to be done for protection in your home.
Not if he's not tying into the house grid. He just wants to plug separate things into an extension cord from the inverter.
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Old 03-05-2019, 06:00 PM   #7
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A fellow Crown owner who has an off-grid cabin in OR and 1680W of solar panels on his bus does just that - in the summer he sends his bus's power to the cabin. In the winter he leaves his cabin and drives to Mexico or other warmer climes. So, yes, its doable to power a house from a bus, assuming you have sufficient PV power and a small enough house.

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Old 03-05-2019, 06:41 PM   #8
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But doing so makes sense because the cabin is just as off the grid as the bus is.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:42 PM   #9
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Wow. I just wrote a lengthy response and was told "my token expired" when I tried to post it. Lost it all too.

Moving on:
I've been thinking of this approach also with a bus we'd get. Two challenges I haven't wrapped my mind around though:
1) Anti-islanding protection
2) Federal tax credit qualification
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Old 03-06-2019, 09:43 PM   #10
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Anti islanding protection prevents your solar feed from back feeding the grid in a power failure situation. It's a safety feature that keeps repair crews from being shocked by wires that should have no current flowing.
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