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Old 03-06-2016, 08:15 PM   #181
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Just read about cost of bus. ;,--------I really do love this. Thanks for the journey!!!!!!!
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:55 AM   #182
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Love this build progress and style! It makes me really consider the upfront cost of a charter bus vs the 1st year mod cost i would do with a school bus. Keep up the great work, and Thank you for all your have shared.
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Old 04-14-2016, 03:18 PM   #183
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Just finished reading the thread up to today.
I'm at a loss for words...this is shaping up to be better than those mortgage-like-don't even look at me if you ain't got $$$-type RVs. Completely amazed. BRAVISSIMA!
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:05 PM   #184
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Thank you!!! I'm just now getting back into some projects - photos to come soon. Finished custom speakers, chiller control wiring and wireless control upgrade for the entertainment theater system. My friend and I are actually charging the chiller system with refrigerant tomorrow for a first run water chill test - so I'll be sure to take some pics. Had been on VAC and visiting family this last month, so was at a bit of a stand still. Stay posted
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:23 PM   #185
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great build! I love the idea of using DMX all around.. I use mostly DMX in my house for my specialty lighting.. as well as some phillips hue which is ZigBee.. does qlc+ support art-net? I have been using MADRIX to handle my Art-net stuff but its totally overkill for what im doing.. except when im using it to run my massive christmas pixel display...
-Christopher
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:28 PM   #186
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The links were ones I "was" looking at and in response to someone's question on certain sizes of cooktops.

I ended up going with these Hamilton Beach units because of the reviews, the way the buttons work and the sleek look. Also, when I ordered one to test them I loved it and was very impressed... So I ordered another and went with them for the build.
I have one of these hamilton beach Hobs and they work very well.. esp if you use good quality induction-designed cook pans. . they get plenty hot.. and pretty fast... I can get it hot enough the oil in my pan smokes.. i dont need 500+ degrees.. I actually bought it as a test before I replaced the range in my House .. and you will have no issues cooking on these.

GREAT build!!! Love seeing a nice modern build!
-Christopher
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:38 PM   #187
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I came up with idea for chiller because of chatting with casino central plant technicians and researched high end AC systems for yachts. When I started the yacht research I found small air / water handlers and super compact multi ton chillers with seawater coils.

I thought why can't this be done on a bus?? So I did more research as to how they are made / operate. In this process I put an add on Craigslist for a ac technician to go over my plans for the custom chiller. I came across an awesome young fellow that worked at another casino in the central plant (where the casino chiller systems are)
He looked over what I had planes and was absolutely on board to assist with my project. Many of the components are identical to air based systems in terms of refrigeration. Reason they use chillers in casinos is the water systems handle efficiency much better in terms of heat / cool distribution. Many large format air handling systems are chiller based.

As far as a school bus vs coach? That's all preference and prolly cost decisions. Personally I love highway coaches. I always thought the shape and squareness makes for an easier build out not to mention the ample under floor basement for operational gear / systems. They tend to run a little higher in price to purchase than the skoolie. you should also know a highway coach chassis is built for the million mile club. Usually you can pick up a coach in its half life as this is when they are usually sold and fleets renewed. Mine had 600,000 miles. And still drives like a dream.
Like I said all depends on budget and preference.

I personally did not want to deal with a composting toilet for everyday use. I live in my bus full time and have for 1year already with no issues at all with black water. I wanted as much of a normal home type bathroom experience as possible (a flushing toilet).

I have had no black water issues.

Solar panels is a great idea - they will not keep you completely off grid with that amount of wattage, but will sure save money in generator gas and use of it while boondocking.

Keep up your research! im curious to know what direction you go in.
you can definitely do a chiller... since you live in your bus full time, over-temping your chiller shouldnt be an issue.. I would seriously go with an inverter driven compressor... you can make your own heat exchanger pretty easily... I didnt do a chiller in my house but I did highly modify inverter mini-splits to do true closed-zone cool / heat using a central blower plant.. a commercially bought chiller will run you some $$$ and may not be suited for mobile use.. even a marine grade unit doesnt have to deal with the vibrations that a road-bus does... vibrations to compressors designed for fixed-use can sometimes mean bye-bye to the motor rotors or valve plates.. compressors used in mini split air conditioners are more forgiving it seems.. esp the toshiba or sanyo comrpessor (note not the brand of the unit).. I was able to turn one at close to a 15 degree angle and vibrate it around without it skipping a beat... (of course your bus wont ever reach a 15 degree angle.. even up or down hill)..

a chiller is a great way to zone distribute heat / cool to places.. you can have mini-boxes each on its own thermostat.. (control them with your Pi).. use dallas 1 wire sensors directly into a GPIO Line on your PI.. multiple sensors can be on 1 set of wires... and then DMX to actually turm the zone valves on / off as you need... the software would be pretty simple to write.. I have written a ton of HVAC control software for my house.. great idea!! roll with that!
-Christopher
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Old 04-14-2016, 05:26 PM   #188
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QLC+ totally has artnet support. That's what I'm using out the pi then to a small artnet dmx converter post network.. It's been rock solid for a year already.
I don't do pi programming so the temp control of chiller zones I could not do on the pi yet. I have 4stages of compressor operation with 4 Tstats controlling the 24vac signal to the industrial comfort alert modules for the scroll compressors.

It's all in place already so we are at the point of charging system and then I'll be running chilled water pex to all the zone air handlers.
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Old 04-14-2016, 06:06 PM   #189
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Thank you!!! I'm just now getting back into some projects - photos to come soon. Finished custom speakers, chiller control wiring and wireless control upgrade for the entertainment theater system. My friend and I are actually charging the chiller system with refrigerant tomorrow for a first run water chill test - so I'll be sure to take some pics. Had been on VAC and visiting family this last month, so was at a bit of a stand still. Stay posted
Listen, you had me a few pages back at "raspberry pi", no need to brag more....

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Old 04-14-2016, 06:10 PM   #190
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QLC+ totally has artnet support. That's what I'm using out the pi then to a small artnet dmx converter post network.. It's been rock solid for a year already.
I don't do pi programming so the temp control of chiller zones I could not do on the pi yet. I have 4stages of compressor operation with 4 Tstats controlling the 24vac signal to the industrial comfort alert modules for the scroll compressors.

It's all in place already so we are at the point of charging system and then I'll be running chilled water pex to all the zone air handlers.
Nicely done.. sounds like you got it handled and quite well at that!!! super cool build!!..

"programming" on the pi is whatever language you choose.. I write a lot of stuff in PHP-CLI (yes PHP is much more than a web langauge).. because its easy to write and test and tweak without recompiling all the time..

what relay board are you using on your PI?
-Christopher
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:32 PM   #191
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Success!!! (Almost) Well we have tested the two compressors - charged with refrigerant and ran the chiller. Upon installation we fried one of the TXV valves so it wasn't regulating the pressure right had 0deg on the plate exchanger and high head pressure on the compressor...New TXV is on order... But - the other side ran well and we chilled the 30gal from about 80deg to 45 deg and it cycles both stages as intended and maintains the temp... ahhhh.. Relief as all my wiring and transformer, relays, plumbing etc worked.... Now it's on to the interior air/water handlers finally...
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:45 AM   #192
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Congratulations on commissioning the chiller system! I'm not sure I understand the efficiency of it, but it sure sounds like its inspired by the HVAC systems in Vegas. I drove through there once a few years ago with my kids, and being who I am, was always trying to glimpse the massive chiller systems hidden in plain sight.

Quote:
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Success!!! (Almost) Well we have tested the two compressors - charged with refrigerant and ran the chiller. Upon installation we fried one of the TXV valves so it wasn't regulating the pressure right had 0deg on the plate exchanger and high head pressure on the compressor...New TXV is on order... But - the other side ran well and we chilled the 30gal from about 80deg to 45 deg and it cycles both stages as intended and maintains the temp... ahhhh.. Relief as all my wiring and transformer, relays, plumbing etc worked.... Now it's on to the interior air/water handlers finally...
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:13 AM   #193
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Success!!! (Almost) Well we have tested the two compressors - charged with refrigerant and ran the chiller. Upon installation we fried one of the TXV valves so it wasn't regulating the pressure right had 0deg on the plate exchanger and high head pressure on the compressor...New TXV is on order... But - the other side ran well and we chilled the 30gal from about 80deg to 45 deg and it cycles both stages as intended and maintains the temp... ahhhh.. Relief as all my wiring and transformer, relays, plumbing etc worked.... Now it's on to the interior air/water handlers finally...

this just plain rocks!!! I totally dig advanced HVAC systems, and chillers too... are you cooling the outer coils with a glycol loop or are your condensers strictly air-cooled?

you mentioned frying an XV, are you running inverter compressors with EEV's?

Keep up the good work!! this is my type of HVAC! similar to what im running at home..
-Christopher
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Old 04-23-2016, 03:04 PM   #194
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The TXV was damaged upon install with getting brazing too hot is all... A simple mistake because we had a fussy connection and did it multiple times.. I'm not running any glycol yet - don't think I'll need to in my desert climate. The chiller condensers are ran to the original but modified rooftop air cooled coils. 5 fans cool the two coils..
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Old 04-23-2016, 03:27 PM   #195
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The TXV was damaged upon install with getting brazing too hot is all... A simple mistake because we had a fussy connection and did it multiple times.. I'm not running any glycol yet - don't think I'll need to in my desert climate. The chiller condensers are ran to the original but modified rooftop air cooled coils. 5 fans cool the two coils..
Where is your field rep. Start up report? They didn't catch that?
Sorry it was just fine when the TECH. Was here? now the part is on order and will be 5-days before I can give you A/C? Maitenance said the glycol was low? Did you check that? Did maitenance actually look at the trouble codes? Or just say something because they don't know?
I used to do commercial install of 3-600 ton chillers and to many don't realize how many times a manufacturer screws up.
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Old 04-23-2016, 03:35 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by Offgr1d View Post
The TXV was damaged upon install with getting brazing too hot is all... A simple mistake because we had a fussy connection and did it multiple times.. I'm not running any glycol yet - don't think I'll need to in my desert climate. The chiller condensers are ran to the original but modified rooftop air cooled coils. 5 fans cool the two coils..

something ive used as an alternative to brazing is staybrite 8, I got criticized for using it 7 years ago when I needed to replace a cracked section of pipe and a reversing valve in one of my heatpumps.. (the old-timers said braze or die)..

but it works at much lower temperatures than brazing.. and theoretically you never have to heat the pipe enough to reach oxidation levels so a nitrogen purge isnt necessary.. (though I still ran one just because I have the taks and gear to do it)..

I havent had one joint out of the 10 or so that I have fail in 7 years. and a couple of them are right at the compressor so they take lots of temperature fluctuations and vibration...

I started out using it exclusively for reversing valves or EEV's.. but now I use it on everything.. even copper water pipes...

one thing that definitely does NOT WORK is HVAC super pro... (a glue that supposedly was good for joining HVAC pipes...).. I got notofied by my computer about a month later that the refrigerant in 'unit 2' was low.. I knew the first place to go with my leak detector solution!!..

-Christopher
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Old 04-23-2016, 03:49 PM   #197
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Where is your field rep. Start up report? They didn't catch that?
Sorry it was just fine when the TECH. Was here? now the part is on order and will be 5-days before I can give you A/C? Maitenance said the glycol was low? Did you check that? Did maitenance actually look at the trouble codes? Or just say something because they don't know?
I used to do commercial install of 3-600 ton chillers and to many don't realize how many times a manufacturer screws up.
sounds like he just got the TxV too hot because of likely impurities in the pipe.. have had that issue before where the pipe was never quite clean enough so became a B**** to get the brazing rod to flow...

if its electronic it usually melts the stepper motor innards.. if its mechanical it usually messes up the needle valve or ruptures the "charged" portion of the valve...

ive done it before.... still, braze-up beats Flares any day!

-Christopher
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Old 04-23-2016, 03:54 PM   #198
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Never heard of that? I know they are trying to sell something that I tried one time and then covered with 15% and didn't like call the silver ring which you shove in the fitting just ahead of the pipe and heat up the joint?
I want to see the braze/weld?
If vibration is such an issue in the piping/compressor? Why is there not a flex connector that can handle the job? Is this the suppliers money maker?
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Old 04-23-2016, 04:02 PM   #199
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Never heard of that? I know they are trying to sell something that I tried one time and then covered with 15% and didn't like call the silver ring which you shove in the fitting just ahead of the pipe and heat up the joint?
I want to see the braze/weld?
If vibration is such an issue in the piping/compressor? Why is there not a flex connector that can handle the job? Is this the suppliers money maker?
on big systems there are "flex joints".. I used to replace more "vibration eliminators" on my copeland semi hermetics than I ever did on units that didnt have them..

but the customers like them because for rooftop units it kept the vibrations down in the building..

mosttime vibration becomes an issue on smaller systems as the copper walls of the tubing are thinner than on the larger size pipes.. so the likliehood of a hairline crack all the way through a pipe is higher than on large systems...

typically if im piping in a small compressor myself I leave a couple loops in a loose "coil" type pattern on the discharge and make sure I have nice wide turns on my suction line so the pipe has some room to flex each part of its length in smaller amounts.. lessening the chance of a crack...

my 3 home units are heat / cool so they run all year and I havent lost a joint in 7 years since I re-piped and re-did everything at the major zone-control install...

-Christopher
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Old 04-23-2016, 05:17 PM   #200
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Yeah, I have the staybright 8 solder. I use it on the copper water stuff I do with torch. Great stuff. It's completely capable of holding high pressure joints. I've seen the same mixed reviews of it against standard brazing. Brazing is extremely hot, and my HVAC helper friend and made the error of not protecting that TXV enough with cold cloth, gel, and like mentioned a not clean enough joint. Live and learn!! Argh...
I'm waiting on the new part so next weekend we should put it in as well as a sightglass to help up diagnose our proper (happy) charge amount.. It's such a unique system it will take us a bit to iron out the kinks and get it to max efficiency.

I have a plan for my first exchanger inside and will start that project tomorrow - as I already can run 45deg water... New continuous pressure diaphragm pump comes in soon for the secondary water loop for the air handlers... So excited!!! It's starting to get warm in Vegas - hopefully I finish a handler or two before it's blazing!! ��
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