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Old 08-29-2016, 09:33 PM   #11
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A couple of things to consider...

1. Running a 200+ HP engine just for heat is mighty energy inefficient.
2. Diesels (contrary to what most civilians seem to think) do NOT like to be idled for long periods.
3. Diesel engines produce gases that can easily kill you if they collect where you are sleeping...or just reading a book.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
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Old 08-29-2016, 09:38 PM   #12
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Tango.
Thank you. My diesel experience only goes to our John Deere as a kid. Where would I find some good information about " What kind of Operator does a Diesel engine love"?
Or ...how to take care of your bus?
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Old 08-29-2016, 10:10 PM   #13
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This is an opinion from Cummins....


We publish and state some simple guidelines, but we have no official policy for diesel engine idling. Basically, engines are made to work and not idle. Excessive idle shortens oil drain intervals, is classified as "severe duty" service, and - under the worst of conditions - can lead to engine damage.

One issue with excessive idling is injector carboning which can lead to premature failure or increased injector maintenance. Excessive idling can also cause carbon build up on pistons and piston rings, which can lead to excess oil consumption.

Anything more than 30-40% idle is considered severe duty service, but how that percent idle is attained may be worse than severe. We generally don't like to see engines idled for more than 10 minutes. If the idle speed is increased to 1,100 -1,200 rpm then internal engine temperatures are warm enough to prevent the worst case damage and also pollute the air less.

Low oil sump temperatures, combined with low ambient air temps and low speed idle cause incomplete combustion, producing sludge, carbon deposits on injectors and internal engine components, weak organic acids in the oil - and, ultimately lead to valve sticking and bent pushtubes/pushrods.

There are options. Idling up the RPM as stated above is one. "Smart" systems which turn the engine off/on (while maintaining adequate coolant temperature) are another. Cummins has a system called ICON which does just that. Sometimes though, the engine needs to run - not just for the comfort, but for the safety of the operator. Arctic operations are an example.

Generally, people have held the traditional belief that diesels should just "hammer away" at idle, and this is sort of a "diesel thing." This is an old belief that needs to be dispelled. Operators and drivers prefer to keep the engine running for warmth in the winter and for A/C in the summer. Actual idle times are higher than one would expect, except for disciplined fleets which either reward for low idle times or provide other incentives.

In past studies, Cummins has determined that low speed idle can contaminate the oil at between 1-1/2 to over twice the normal rate; this is one of the main reasons for recommending "severe duty" maintenance intervals for engines operating with more than 40% idle time. Another reason is that, if sump temperatures are not sufficiently high, the water (produced by combustion, let alone condensation) will not be heated enough to evaporate from the oil.

In the Dodge/Ram Cummins midrange engine application, both Dodge and Cummins have recommended owners to limit idle time to 5 minutes and have also offered a software upgrade "idle up" feature, which increases the idle speed, warming up the engine enough to limit incomplete combustion byproducts.

There may be some balance in stop-and-go driving and urban delivery, wherein one would trade off the benefits to be gained from reducing idle time against the fact that shutting the engine down (every time it's not pulling a load) necessarily creates a "starting event." If the "off time" is long enough, there is a transient starting event time where the oil pressure is not fully established and the engine is running. Accelerated wear can occur during these conditions. In hot temperatures, when the oil is thinner, the oil drains away quickly so some degree of idle may be preferred to starting/stopping and restating the engine fifty times a day.

Common sense may be the best guideline. Common sense would include an appreciation of the above and factor in outside temperature, whether or not the engine will be run for a long enough time later in the day (to burn off carbon and water), how long the idle is, whether or not the A/C needs to be run, etc. Again, one of the parameters defining "severe duty" is excessive idle time; running at idle for more than ten (10) minutes probably doesn't make sense; the "smart idle" ICON-type devices will help; balancing the cost of excessive idle vs. the utility/necessity/option of idle, etc.... all of these considerations should be factored in."

Read more: Does prolonged idling (beyond a few minutes) of an engine damage it on newer cars? (windshield, valve) - Automotive -Sports cars, sedans, coupes, SUVs, trucks, motorcycles, tickets, dealers, repairs, gasoline, drivers... - Page 4 - City-Data Forum


Most truckers today use a small genny such as the Yamaha or Honda 2000 to run a heater in their cabs. Much less fuel used. less noise and it saves their money-maker for better things.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:34 PM   #14
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Tango,
Great info from Cummins. Good share. Thank you. Portable generators are a good backup solution. Thanks.
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Old 08-30-2016, 01:40 AM   #15
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As a Trucker I can tell you that yes, you can idle it for a week with no harm done. Plan on more frequent maintenance and plan to have enough fuel on hand to burn around a gallon per 2 hours. Big rigs are more like a gallon per hour but a bus engine is half the size generally.
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Old 08-30-2016, 01:45 AM   #16
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This being said, I sit for 10 hours and run for 11 at 70mph plus. This limits deposits in the combustion chamber and also my new truck uses def which more thoroughly cleans emissions and so forth. If you are going to idle, make sure the exhaust system is in top shape
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Old 08-30-2016, 07:15 AM   #17
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Has anyone tried a rocket mass heater in their bus? It is very efficient, clean-burning, and provides a super sweet heated seat as well. I haven't heard of someone trying it before though. I might give it a go!

What is a Rocket Mass Heater? - The Permaculture Research Institute





They have a really nice aesthetic as well!
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Old 08-30-2016, 08:50 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by American View Post
Thank you CK. I like to know every possible option. It's easy to get in trouble in touch weather. We will be riding the wind this year and boy could I tell you some stories...

Like a one way gravel road around the cascade mountains with a trailer and no way to turn around...the road kept getting smaller...the drop off kept getting bigger...and we kept driving up as the road curved around this mountain...

I seem to find myself in a lot of those...I like having backups for my backups.

So...good to know I can run my engine/heater all night without dinging something...do you think I could do it for a week?
I dont think id run my engine for a week unless I was caught up in an emergency.. ultimately a lot of heat gets wasted if your engine produces more heat then you use.. I myself plan on having a webasto or similar heater installed by the coldest part of winter..

a diesel engine idling forever can under-oil itself and if not fully warmed up isnt good on it..

when I idle is during a marathon road trip and get sleepy so I pull off the highway.. ny engine is already good and fully warmed up from the long run..

Now.. my experience is simply with people SAYING that you shouldnt idle a diesel below running temperature for a long time.. Now lets go back to the 80s when my dad bought his IHC scout diesel.. during very cold winter spells he would leave it idle for days at a time otherwise it may not start.. it wouldnt get driven every day.. i remember it idling for a week more than once....

the nay-sayers will tell you that should ruin the engine... that scout is still in my dad's posession,. starts and runs and drives (though its rusty now).. only smokes a little on start-up and has 375,000 miles on it.. so make your own conclusions as to whether idling for days ruins a Healthy engine or not...

if i were boondocking in very tough weather in the middle of nowhere id want multiple heat-sources with no single-point of failure... webasto makes heaters in 2 flavors air and coolane heaters.. the advantage of a coolant heater is you it will keep your engine block warm for easy starts.. and you can use your existing bus heaters as fan-coils .. the Disadvantage is if you bust a coolant line you loser the ability to heat and to drive the bus...

so i'd probably want a backup propane heater (though propane DOES maske huge amounts of moisture and can make the inside walls of a bus a drippy wet mess if the open flame is inside like a ventless heater..)..

or a wood stove to heat with unless oyu run out of wood.. alot depends on your travelling...

i dont take mine out in the wilderness where I have to be concerned with survival skills.. im on interstates or fairly main state-routes where a breakdown or bad weather doesnrt affect me near as much... bad wetaher im likely near a hotel or a nice parking lot any given time.. a breakdown im simply a lookup on truckdown.com away from help..

-Christopher
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Old 08-30-2016, 10:04 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iProgramStuff View Post
Has anyone tried a rocket mass heater in their bus?
The problem with a rocket stove in a bus is that in order for the rocket stove to be extremely effecient it needs a large surface area and a high density material to absorb the heat and then slowly release it into the interior. To do this properly with high density materials you would add quite alot of weight to the bus.
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Old 08-30-2016, 12:00 PM   #20
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rocket mass appears to use similar techniques to the hiugh efficiency furnaces in homes..

most have 2 heat exchangers.. the main where the combustion occurs and then a secondary.. the coldest air from the house.. (directly from the return duct) is pushed over the secondary exchanger first which makes sure as much heat as possible is exytracted from the exhaust... condensing the steam to liquid is key in propane or natural gas combustion system efficiency... I employed a 3rd exchanger on mine and adjusted the modulating gas valve such that my exhaust temperature is very low and I condense a ton of heat out of the moist exhaust before i send it out the side of the house...

in the context of a rocket mass stove your exhaust likely needs to be forced slightly if you want really good results.. but your "mass" can be forced in the form of a finned heat exchanger and a fan .. when the exhaust gas temp raises too high you modulate your burn down with a damper... I dont know how much you can control the burn in these and still keep it clean... with propane and natural gas you can precisely control and still have a clean burn..

I did some large-area solar heating tests a while back... I took a large 4x8 sheet of sheet-metal painted black, fitted it with heat exchanging glycol loops and ran it into a water-source heat-pump... even on cold cloudy days i was able to extract a lot of heast from it.. as long as I didnt allow the sheet to get too white and frosty... on sunny days even at zero degress outside it didt a fgood job of pushing heat... I was doing this in ohio in january which our sun angle is at 26-28 degrees maximum so not as low as folks up north but also not real strong sun.. heat-pump with R-134a or R-22 was terrible.. R-410a was fantastic... solar doesnt only have to be used for PV...

-Christopher
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