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Old 12-21-2017, 11:53 AM   #401
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on my DEV it seems like the whole block and head area warms up.. now on that bus since i have electric heater valves, i have the advantage im never pushing warmed coolant to the heaters.. it all stays in the engine.. if may not warm up as much if your heater valves are open..

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Old 12-21-2017, 01:14 PM   #402
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Ohm's Law works. I assume that's 1500W at 120vac and 12vdc.
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Old 12-21-2017, 01:25 PM   #403
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@ 110v and 1500w..par for the course in North America.
That is a full 15 amp so don't overload that circuit beyond that or no heat.
Much easier starts when coolant in which the heater is immersed and the thick cold oil gets warmed up prior to firing the engine up. And faster heat for the driver to defrost the bus.
Cold starts are the hardest thing on a diesel and it's electrical system.
Glad you are looking after that big girl JD, she'll keep you warm and safe.

John D
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Old 12-21-2017, 01:49 PM   #404
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@ 110v and 1500w..par for the course in North America.
That is a full 15 amp so don't overload that circuit beyond that or no heat.
Much easier starts when coolant in which the heater is immersed and the thick cold oil gets warmed up prior to firing the engine up. And faster heat for the driver to defrost the bus.
Cold starts are the hardest thing on a diesel and it's electrical system.
Glad you are looking after that big girl JD, she'll keep you warm and safe.

John D
Shouldn't be a lot for a full on solar system tho right? Not leave it running 24/7 overnight but a couple of hrs in the morning considering you're about to be on the alternator again...

I need to get to my bus on a cold day/morning and see how she does (still).
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Old 12-21-2017, 02:19 PM   #405
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Not sure of your system Bob, solar wise. two hours on is lots even up here where it is cold. You guys don't get this kind of weather..last week was all -30 with windchill. Any bus can start good enough till about 0*f but then need all the help you can give if you want that engine to last. Very hard on batteries to do that start regularly. Alternators have a time keeping up let alone replacing what was lost starting and warming up whether glow plugs or grid heating for air mix. Add fans inside and whatever else and you get a good size load that needs replacing. Running all day might keep it strong enough for the next day but cold starts do a lot of damage you don't see.

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Old 12-21-2017, 03:01 PM   #406
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My "system" is two 8D batteries and a warning light that doesn't seem to want to go out. I haven't tried to track it down yet but it's not the emergency widow wires touching anything.

I don't have a solar system yet. And it's the most expensive system on a bus. It's also the one I know the least about. If I'm spending time in the land of anti midnight sun and I want 1.21 jigawatts out of 2 hours of twilight. I know enough to know that will require that I would need to shop a NASA garage sale. But I don't know what is reasonable out of a $4~$5k system. Not that I have $4~$5k sitting around either.
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Old 12-21-2017, 04:08 PM   #407
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I don't have a solar system yet. And it's the most expensive system on a bus. It's also the one I know the least about. If I'm spending time in the land of anti midnight sun and I want 1.21 jigawatts out of 2 hours of twilight. I know enough to know that will require that I would need to shop a NASA garage sale. But I don't know what is reasonable out of a $4~$5k system. Not that I have $4~$5k sitting around either.
We have to be careful to define "solar system" sufficiently. In my mind, "solar system" includes the PV panels, charge controller, cables, and mounting. It is certainly not the most expensive system on my bus (not even close) and I would expect it not to be the most expensive on most.

That said, 1.21 jigawatts from 2 hours of twilight might make it very expensive. However; if that is the "mission" of the system, then I think some poor decisions were made early on. There are clearly some cases where solar is NOT the best option. For me, in the west (and mostly southwest), solar is a great option.

Given my definition of "solar system", I'd say $5k should get you a LOT!! Figure $1/watt for the PV panels, $500-$1000 for a big ole MPPT charge controller, and a couple hundred for cables/connectors. I'd suggest NOT getting fancy with the mounting. Flat mounted is cheap and light - but not ideal for harvesting power. However; dropping $5k on a self tracking system that weighs 500 lbs on the roof of your bus is not exactly ideal either. Just gotta find the balance.
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Old 12-22-2017, 09:50 AM   #408
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Glad you are looking after that big girl JD, she'll keep you warm and safe.
Ha!! I had never thought of her as a "big girl"!! Very funny!!
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:23 AM   #409
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We have to be careful to define "solar system" sufficiently. In my mind, "solar system" includes the PV panels, charge controller, cables, and mounting. It is certainly not the most expensive system on my bus (not even close) and I would expect it not to be the most expensive on most.
My definition would be for EVERYTHING. Panels, fuse box, batteries, wire, controller, converter/inverter, ... whatever else goes with a solar electrical setup.

Quote:
That said, 1.21 jigawatts from 2 hours of twilight might make it very expensive. However; if that is the "mission" of the system, then I think some poor decisions were made early on.
Those mistakes were not being born rich, not hitting the lottery, etc.

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I'd suggest NOT getting fancy with the mounting. Flat mounted is cheap and light - but not ideal for harvesting power.
I might use a "lawn chair" mount. Something I could operate from the ground. If I'm at the bus all day then go out at 9 o'clock and lift the right side. Noon, drop it back flat and at 3 o'clock lift the left side kind of thing.

Figuring out the gearing would be something but using a wiper motor and a worm drive shouldn't cost $5k nor weigh 500 lbs.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:28 AM   #410
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My definition would be for EVERYTHING. Panels, fuse box, batteries, wire, controller, converter/inverter, ... whatever else goes with a solar electrical setup.
Why?? You 'need' (arguably) a house battery bank, converter/charger, and inverter regardless of whether you have solar panels.

This is probably why some people think a "solar system" is expensive. A solar system is just another input into what is most likely an already existing energy storage and distribution system.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:30 AM   #411
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Those mistakes were not being born rich, not hitting the lottery, etc.
I'd suggest that the mistake is selecting a solar input system when the environment is all wrong for it. If two hours of twilight is all you have, solar is the wrong tool for the job.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:37 AM   #412
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I'd suggest that the mistake is selecting a solar input system when the environment is all wrong for it. If two hours of twilight is all you have, solar is the wrong tool for the job.

thats the challenge since these are mobile installs.. meaning at somew point you may be hanging out in an area where you do have 3 hours daylight per day, and other times you might have 20.. so the trick is building for expansion.. so your original plans of being in the sunny southwest all the time. changes to where you end up north in the winter you can add a generator, or wind turbine, etc.. build such that you can expand unkess you never plan to venture out of a certain type of climate.
-Christopher
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:56 AM   #413
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Why?? You 'need' (arguably) a house battery bank, converter/charger, and inverter regardless of whether you have solar panels.
See, that shows what I know about RVs in general. I figured the motorcoaches that are always on shore power don't have much of nothing if anything for house batteries.

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This is probably why some people think a "solar system" is expensive. A solar system is just another input into what is most likely an already existing energy storage and distribution system.
Regardless of the above, I'd still lump it all in the same bucket. Electrical system = solar system.

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I'd suggest that the mistake is selecting a solar input system when the environment is all wrong for it. If two hours of twilight is all you have, solar is the wrong tool for the job.
Works satellites.

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that's the challenge since these are mobile installs.. meaning at some point you may be hanging out in an area where you do have 3 hours daylight per day, and other times you might have 20.. so the trick is building for expansion.. so your original plans of being in the sunny southwest all the time. changes to where you end up north in the winter you can add a generator, or wind turbine, etc.. build such that you can expand unless you never plan to venture out of a certain type of climate.
-Christopher
I have no idea what, where, or when I'll be anywhere. I won't likely be in the SE or SW in Aug. I may be in AK for a Feb just for the hell of it tho. AK is a bit of an extreme for both sun and heating.

But anywho, I don't want my travels limited but the reach of an extension cord. I am a BIG fan of redundancy. Seattle is fine for temps but sucks for sun. I could spend months there. A genny to top off the batteries will likely happen. I'd like a nice diesel one but I already own a 5500 W one that is gasoline. Bought it 15 yrs ago for the ice storms in SC. It's been used for maybe a 100 hrs total. I use the (detachable) gas tank more than the genny.

If I'm spending months at a time in a single location, the wind turbine might be an option. I've no idea of the cost, weight, effort of sticking one of those 40 feet in the air.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:26 AM   #414
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Regardless of the above, I'd still lump it all in the same bucket. Electrical system = solar system.
If I understand correctly, you will then also include your diesel generator, shore power cord, and 120 VAC charger/converter costs in your "solar system", correct?

I would think it would be much clearer for everyone if you would refer to your entire electrical system as an "electrical system".

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Works satellites.
How could the environment that a satellite operates in be considered the 'wrong' environment for solar?? They are constantly in full view of the sun (at least in the case of high-orbit ones) and there is no atmosphere blocking the sun's rays. I don't think there can be a more perfect environment for solar power.

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I have no idea what, where, or when I'll be anywhere.
I agree, given that is your 'mission', you would be best served by planning to have a variety of possible power sources and using the correct one when appropriate. One should expect that solar panels will produce very little power when solar insolation is low and be prepared to use a different power source. In my mind, this is like expecting your generator to produce power when it is out of fuel.
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Old 12-26-2017, 09:44 AM   #415
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If I understand correctly, you will then also include your diesel generator, shore power cord, and 120 VAC charger/converter costs in your "solar system", correct?
Yep. I might not include a genny in that since it is self contained unit. Or at least in the case of the gasoline one that I already have. Outlets and wires are fairly cheap. Batteries especially if you are talking about a bank of 6+, aren't so cheap.

Quote:
I would think it would be much clearer for everyone if you would refer to your entire electrical system as an "electrical system".
Where's the fun in that?

I don't mean to be a pain in the a$s; it just comes naturally. I waffle back and forth as to what I include in solar and what I don't

Quote:
How could the environment that a satellite operates in be considered the 'wrong' environment for solar?? They are constantly in full view of the sun (at least in the case of high-orbit ones) and there is no atmosphere blocking the sun's rays. I don't think there can be a more perfect environment for solar power.
I meant the ones cruising deep space but then those are using rafioisotopes. Maybe I can get my hands on one of those.

Quote:
I agree, given that is your 'mission', you would be best served by planning to have a variety of possible power sources and using the correct one when appropriate. One should expect that solar panels will produce very little power when solar insolation is low and be prepared to use a different power source. In my mind, this is like expecting your generator to produce power when it is out of fuel.
Solar and a genny should cover everything tho. Wind would be a nice "freebie" if it isn't too much of a pain in the ass.
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Old 12-26-2017, 10:29 AM   #416
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I don't mean to be a pain in the a$s; it just comes naturally. I waffle back and forth as to what I include in solar and what I don't
Accurate information about nearly everything is often difficult to find - even when everyone is trying to communicate clearly. Toss in vague definitions and opinions and useful information quickly becomes useless.
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Old 12-26-2017, 10:42 AM   #417
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Reading thru your write-up on solar (again). I want to be able to 100% solar on ideal days. 5500W has got to be more than enough for a back up. If I can get a diesel genny for free, I'll use that. Not likely tho. A separate fuel tank will be a pain butthe genny is free.
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Old 12-29-2017, 05:08 AM   #418
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I spent a little time updating my electrical system diagram this week. Still more work to do but further along than before...

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Old 12-29-2017, 08:36 AM   #419
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Let me know when you have the 200 amp service (from solar) like the house. I want to be able to weld while I'm drying clothes and baking a loaf of bread overnight with the AC at full tilt.
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:35 AM   #420
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JD , was there any reason to run most things on 12 volt .
Were the original lights in the coach 12 volts?
What do you use for 24 to 12 volt converter and how efficient are the ones you are using when they are only partially loaded. Do they have a automatic shut off to reduce no load consumption? Would it be more efficient to get multiple converters that work in their best efficiency load range?

Dory has still fl tubes with individual 12 volt ballasts. I got LED tri color strips ( mainly for the kids) to replace these for the general lighting but they are still 12 volt also. Would love to convert everything to 24 volt just for simplicity sake.
Did not take my heater out yet. Probably should experiment with the output and power draw while it is winter ( here -14 Celsius) to get a feel what i required and possible.
Also the webasto I have is 12 volt so another dilemma
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