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Old 06-25-2022, 04:01 PM   #1
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Original bus AC

So we decided to keep the original bus AC. The thing is powerful. Today I had the thought of just trying to tap into it and keep it running off our electrical system. It must run on DC since the bus doesn't provide AC to my knowledge.
The compressor however is drawing straight off the engine I think. Anyone heard of a way to tap into it? perhaps just supplying an alternate compressor when the bus isn't running. Or is this far more complicated than I'm thinking?

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Old 06-25-2022, 04:48 PM   #2
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You would be better off running a small diesel engine or electric motor on. Second pulley on the compressor. It will all cost more than a window a/c or mini split. It will also be more btu than you need when your not moving.
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Old 06-25-2022, 05:13 PM   #3
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far more complicated than what you are thinking.
even adding a second compressor and condensor, accumulator and piping to do it will cost you more than keeping what you have.
and has to have the bus running to do it so diesel fuel to power a/c verses a gennie to power a/c not much cost savings.
solar and wind cost more and might do it if you have a deep pocket to provide enough batteries to store the capacity and there is more cost to harvest and maintain free energy?
its not quite free?
no matter where you live.
even in a bus you built to hit the road and get away from the crazy stuff.
running solar cost for install and proper setup.
wind power can work.
plug in is you pay the parks dayley price to plug in.
in my big bus i am set up from inside to out to run extension cords already connected and under the bus to put a genny a 100' away or more i actually have 200' rolled up under it for that purpose i dont want to hear it?
thats me not wanting to hear it.
but still a constant issue to deal with.
yes better genies perform better but it is still gotta fill it.
even propane runs out.
how many different gases do you really want to deal with in your build and mix electrical in the same compartment.
co2 detectors?
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Old 06-25-2022, 05:57 PM   #4
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electric air conditioning compressors

See what is being sold for electric school buses. and transit buses....

that would replace the engine driven compressor... but then you have to maintain a large enough battery and ways to keep battery charged.

william
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Old 06-25-2022, 06:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CornyAdventures View Post
So we decided to keep the original bus AC. The thing is powerful. Today I had the thought of just trying to tap into it and keep it running off our electrical system. It must run on DC since the bus doesn't provide AC to my knowledge.
The compressor however is drawing straight off the engine I think. Anyone heard of a way to tap into it? perhaps just supplying an alternate compressor when the bus isn't running. Or is this far more complicated than I'm thinking?
The AC compressor is mechanically driven via a belt & pulley. Neither alternating not direct current. Short answer for most of us is, no.

It is a commonly asked question. So, good thinking.

I typed "Convert AC" into the skoolie.net search window above & found the threads below,

In this thread rossvtaylor talks about a pony motor driven ac in a Flxible.
original air powered by other...

In this one, cadilackid gives the skinny on the factory ac.
factory-installed ac units with shore-power or generator

Also....
Welcome to the Insane Asylum.


What kind of bus? Post some pictures...Fill out your profile & Registry... join in the fun.
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Old 06-26-2022, 08:00 AM   #6
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keep the original A/C.. if its too ugly then change it.. or by a pallett of sweat rags.. your choice..



there are systems being designed for gas / diesel busses that are electric powered.. however they all have pretty large battery banks and a honkin alternator to run them while on the road..



Vanner here in columbus ohio makes such a system. i was lucky enough to tour and see up close their demonstrater "cool bus" system.. it is beautiful.. it employs a 500 amp alternator to charge up a Lithium ion battery bank.. its designed for busses that often sit idling just to keep the cabin cool.. it uses a variable speed DC compressor, EEV, variable speed condensors and interior fans and a big box of controllers.. I wont go into the technicals here (yes i got to learn alot of the details on said system)..



if the reason for not keeping your inside Bus A/C is because its ugly and takes up space then move the units.. or replace them.. I fail to understand why people remove working systems so they can sweat like its 1949.. but i can tell you my phone and emails blow up every summer with people asking me about hpw can they suppress the oppressive heat in their bus.. as their minisplit or camper A/C is like blowing on an ice cube in an auditorium... there are all kinds of options for interior units that likely are sized similar or will match your condensers and can fit in different places..



can you remove part of your origin al A/C cand keep part? if you are super insulating your bus.. floors, spray foaming the walls / ceiling, fixing up the typical heat dome of a doghouse (if the bus is front engine).. etc.. its very possible to get rid of 1 of the typical 2 systems and do quite well on the highway...


its also possible to install a high capacity dashboard A/C in a conventional bus and at least blow cold air on the front occupants.. (or assist your regular parked systems)...



this wont work for an FE / RE transit style (although there are dashboard evaporators made for bluebird and thomas transit busses)..



however it will work for conventionals.. as a hybrid approach.


for occupants in the back or on very hot days you make sure your parked-A/C (minisplit, rooftop, etc is runnable while driving... gives you extra Boost if the dash unit cannot handle it.



. the dash unit i used in ione of my vintage busses is an extra high capacity unit.. has dual blower motors (4 wheels).. and an evaporator coil that extends across the whole unit.. its rated at 36,000 BTU (think 3 minisplits).. uses a TxV along with a cycling switch.. feed it a #6 liquid line and come off of it with a #10 suction and use the exsting underbody condenser and compressor and even the lines.. you can buy burgaflex fitting to adapt the likely existing #12 suction and #8 liquid lines down to the #6 and #10 this unit takes..



Click image for larger version

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I have no idea what the vanner system costs but it looks shiny and fancy and expensive..



get creative.. use what you have and build new along with it.. dont just rip stuff out.. thats about dumb..


P.S. i should add that dash unit is NOT the standard vintage air or Jeep / scout kit you find on amazon.. its actually sold as a ceiling mount Bus A/C unit.. I used it because its high capacity and it looks vintage for my 1978 bus..


P.S.S. I air-condition every bus i get my hands on... used to do the same when I built classic cars... a buddy of mine even takes it further.. he is into corvairs and air-conditions them
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Old 06-26-2022, 10:45 AM   #7
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Use the original bus AC for driving. Add secondary AC like a mini split for being parked.

Ted
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Old 06-26-2022, 12:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJones View Post
Use the original bus AC for driving. Add secondary AC like a mini split for being parked.

Ted

thats what I say however a lot of people dont like the space inside or underneath that the original units take up or the way they look...



ive preached to many that if they are lucky enough to have a school bus with air conditioning then keep it..



thermoking made a really nice system that mounted on the roof and the inside part was in the center of the ceiling. and only stuck down about 2-3 inches inside.. on a high headroom bus it was pretty non-intrusive. it was probably one of the most expensive school bus Air-conditioning systems made however ive seen it in quite a few IC busses built in the 02-06 range


this is the new version of the system.. those are a real GEM if you can find a bus with one because it allows the under-bus and the front / rear bulkheads free for using in your conversion.. obviously if you are tall then it can present an issue..


https://2v0usj4e6l6t2qrqk1maqr81-wpe...R-Brochure.pdf
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Old 06-26-2022, 07:48 PM   #9
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Hi cadillackid where did you get the extra high capacity unit? Can standard hose be adapted to burgaflex fittings? My bus uses standard hose and I want to move the unit to the back of the bus. I have about 70" of the thin barrier hose.
thanks

Joe
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Old 06-26-2022, 08:09 PM   #10
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standard large diameter hose doesmnt work wit hthe burgaflex fittings I have used.. im not sure if burgaflex makes a large diameter fitting or not.. I use Galaxy 4890 good year hose.. Burgaflex fittings will fit your evaporator and condenser as those are standard O-ring fittings.. most condensers are #8 in / out, most bus evaporators are #8 liquid in and #10 or #12 out depoending on the unit..



this is the evaporator i used.. obviously chinese but it seems to work really well..


https://www.ebay.com/itm/112395954948


it takes a #6 liquid in and a #10 suction out..



Burgaflex makes adapter fittings so if you run a #8 liquid line you can get a burgaflex fitting which is #8 hose and #6 O-ring fitting on the other end..


dont run the evaporator I posted on the same compressor as another bus evaporator.. you can run this on the same compressor with a Van dash-air as long as you change the compressor to a Sanden SD7 Enhanced.. you could run 2 of these on a single SD7 enhanced but you might noticed reduced capacity on high blower speed at idle..



im running this evaporator with an underbody mount ACT CS-2 condenser.. the condenser is a little overkill but since I didnt want to cut the skirt i suck a little more warm air than i might otherwise.. and I had a CS2 new in the box laying around the garage... my head pressure is a little low as a result.. s oi bumped the TxV 1/2 turn lower spring pressure to make sure I have good liquid into the evaporator


this little unit Saturates REALLY WELL.. appears to be a true 4 loop distributed flow.. I had the air temp down to 35 and didnt freeze it up which is amazing..
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