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-   -   Marcel's Magics Kool Bus (https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/marcels-magics-kool-bus-20732.html)

john61ct 01-24-2018 07:28 PM

Much more expensive, plus you need to buy mounting plates.

Don't last nearly as long.

synestine 01-24-2018 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tango (Post 247847)
There are flexible panels but I have no idea how they compare to fixed.

They're generally less efficient than ridgid ones (I think the difference is like 15% vs 22%). For all solar panels the efficiency drops as they heat up, but the ridgid ones can have more air flow than the flexible ones (which can be glued down). You might not care with 22 panels on your roof though.

Personally I'm going with ridgid panels attached to brackets so I can tilt them in the winter.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

nanoplane 01-25-2018 10:06 AM

Flex Solar panels
 
I've got flexible panels for installation. they're 100W panels, 1040x540 mm x 3mm in size. I chose them because they can be really low profile and I have a variety of mounting options...

https://rivard.org/images/MagicsKoolBus/IMG_1206.jpg

I've yet to test them in a real configuration, but my initial tests on the first one out of the box, I get short circuit current of about 4.8A (December in Seattle) ... no "real" tests yet. I'll post some results after I get them all installed..

They'll be connected and wired three panels (across the width of the bus) connected in parallel and wired back to the controllers in the back of the bus. I'm initially thinking all panels will be in parallel to the mppt controllers but this wiring gives me the option to do series/parallel connections if I want.

I'm also thinking of adding sun tracking systems on the outside rows. this would tilt one side or the other depending on where the sun is... it would only give me at most another 8% or so.

nanoplane 01-25-2018 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by synestine (Post 247859)
They're generally less efficient than ridgid ones (I think the difference is like 15% vs 22%). For all solar panels the efficiency drops as they heat up, but the ridgid ones can have more air flow than the flexible ones (which can be glued down). You might not care with 22 panels on your roof though.

Personally I'm going with ridgid panels attached to brackets so I can tilt them in the winter.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

I was considering "floating" them to allow for some air flow between the panel and the roof...

Goal is a couple of KW in full sun..

nanoplane 01-25-2018 10:52 AM

AC Enclosure
 
I'm using a MiniSplit AC system for heating and cooling. 9000BTU, about 7Amps draw when it's running. The outside unit is being installed on the rear deck of the bus and the rear windows are being replaced with grates...

This is the enclosure that isolates the deck from the rest of the bus..

https://rivard.org/images/MagicsKoolB...Enclosure2.jpg

https://rivard.org/images/MagicsKoolB...Enclosure3.jpg

https://rivard.org/images/MagicsKoolB...Enclosure1.jpg

I've also added as sloped drain pan and drains on both sides.

Defjr333 01-25-2018 11:31 AM

Very cool build. Looked into the flexible panels myself. Saw a few ppl had issue with heat from the vehicle skin AND the panels themselves. One guy had 3 different panels get so hot they self destructed. He wished he had not glued them down. I think the instructions state to only mount using the eye holes at the edges. A few others problems were mostly shorts in the output as they are at the edge of those units and not the back like a rigid panel. Hopefully u can find a way to isolate those issues on your build.
Doug

kenfoozed 01-25-2018 11:33 AM

I really like this idea for the mini split. Well done...

synestine 01-25-2018 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nanoplane (Post 247995)
I was considering "floating" them to allow for some air flow between the panel and the roof...

Goal is a couple of KW in full sun..

I'm of the same mind. I'm going with ridgid panels and fabricating simple low-ish profile brackets to hold them close to the roof but still allow heat to escape, plus longer legs so I can manually tilt them in the winter when parked. What wattage panels are you going with? And what kinda charge controller?

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

jjhwick119 01-25-2018 02:45 PM

How durable are solar panels? I've always wondered if a random hail storm could take them out. Ideally you'd just avoid the storms whenever possible, but you never know with mother nature. I also have always enjoyed storms and plan to chase a storm at some point in the bus. And by chase I mean try and be in front of it and safe enough to the side so I can sit and watch, not empty my gas tank chasing after

john61ct 01-25-2018 08:18 PM

The standardized specs for framed glass panels include test results for withstanding hail.

Most are very robust

Robin97396 01-25-2018 11:31 PM

Word is when you're storm chasing you can drive through people's corn fields and crash through their barns and stuff.

nanoplane 02-03-2018 04:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by synestine (Post 248033)
I'm of the same mind. I'm going with ridgid panels and fabricating simple low-ish profile brackets to hold them close to the roof but still allow heat to escape, plus longer legs so I can manually tilt them in the winter when parked. What wattage panels are you going with? And what kinda charge controller?

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

I'm using 100W panels (because the fit the space between the roof rails :-) ). Charge Controllers are the Midnite Solar Classics. Two of them. I'm thinking of adding insulation or air space under them.. maybe only a 1/4" or so. likely this means I'll have to create frames for them. Hmm... new tools...

nanoplane 02-03-2018 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Defjr333 (Post 248009)
Very cool build. Looked into the flexible panels myself. Saw a few ppl had issue with heat from the vehicle skin AND the panels themselves. One guy had 3 different panels get so hot they self destructed. He wished he had not glued them down. I think the instructions state to only mount using the eye holes at the edges. A few others problems were mostly shorts in the output as they are at the edge of those units and not the back like a rigid panel. Hopefully u can find a way to isolate those issues on your build.
Doug

I think I'll either separate them with air or with some thin insulator. The outputs will be at the front of each panel with a small wind deflector protecting them..

synestine 02-03-2018 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nanoplane (Post 250080)
I'm using 100W panels (because the fit the space between the roof rails :-) ). Charge Controllers are the Midnite Solar Classics. Two of them. I'm thinking of adding insulation or air space under them.. maybe only a 1/4" or so. likely this means I'll have to create frames for them. Hmm... new tools...

Nice. Im still trying to research charge controlers. Thanks for the info.

I'd leave airspace under the panels, since they generate quite a bit of heat when in full sun and you want that to dissipate. You'll probably okay without extra insulation underneath them as long as you have decent air flow.

I'm also looking into "remote" panels in case I want to park in the shade.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

cadillackid 02-03-2018 09:07 PM

dont push the clearances required for your mini-split. they need airflow to work right.. esp in heat mode.. enclosing it that tightly isnt something id do unless you are going to have definite in and out paths for the air.. air-recirc is a big issue with any A/C unit.. take care to create a pth in the back of the condensor and out the front easily without any restrictions..
-Christopher

nanoplane 02-05-2018 10:39 AM

AC Enclosure
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by cadillackid (Post 250124)
dont push the clearances required for your mini-split. they need airflow to work right.. esp in heat mode.. enclosing it that tightly isnt something id do unless you are going to have definite in and out paths for the air.. air-recirc is a big issue with any A/C unit.. take care to create a pth in the back of the condensor and out the front easily without any restrictions..
-Christopher

That's my plan.. In through the window holes on the left and right and out through the center. I've located the condenser unit about 3 inches from the back of the bus. this leaves about a foot behind the unit. I'll add some baffles on the left and right to separate the intake and outlet streams.

Any recommendations on the evaporator unit? They want you to install it at a minimum height above the floor... but that's not gonna happen.. :-). I've got space (4" or so) above the unit but not much space to the left or right at this point.

nanoplane 04-10-2018 11:41 AM

Heat Pump External
 
Got the external part of the Mini-Split installed and the rear windows replaced with metal grate. Removing the glass and inserting the grate turned out to be pretty easy...
- Remove the rubber "insert" that holds the glass in...
- Remove glass
- Use the glass as a template to create metal grate
- Wedge the metal grate into the slot previously occupied by the glass
- replace the rubber insert.

https://rivard.org/images/MagicsKoolB...mpExternal.jpg

2martins 04-12-2018 12:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nanoplane (Post 247998)
I'm using a MiniSplit AC system for heating and cooling. 9000BTU, about 7Amps draw when it's running. The outside unit is being installed on the rear deck of the bus and the rear windows are being replaced with grates...

This is the enclosure that isolates the deck from the rest of the bus..

https://rivard.org/images/MagicsKoolB...Enclosure2.jpg

https://rivard.org/images/MagicsKoolB...Enclosure3.jpg

https://rivard.org/images/MagicsKoolB...Enclosure1.jpg

I've also added as sloped drain pan and drains on both sides.

Ah, I was wondering about that. And I suppose you are going to rust primer, rust paint all of it, too and seal the heck out of the seams and all. My rear deck is sort of a mess so using the space for something mechanical/utility might be good for me to do also. God knows I will need AC as I like it COLD to sleep (I prefer about 62 and I can only sleep up to about 68. I only need it that cold in the bedroom, which can be small on a bus, so hopefully it won't be too bad. I was thinking more like a 15k BTU unit though to cool the whole bus based on what other people said. Are you planning on staying mostly in the PNW?

nanoplane 04-15-2018 03:52 PM

AC update
 
Got the first solar panel attached to the roof :-)

https://rivard.org/images/MagicsKoolB...arUpdates1.jpg

nanoplane 04-15-2018 03:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 2martins (Post 263588)
Ah, I was wondering about that. And I suppose you are going to rust primer, rust paint all of it, too and seal the heck out of the seams and all. My rear deck is sort of a mess so using the space for something mechanical/utility might be good for me to do also. God knows I will need AC as I like it COLD to sleep (I prefer about 62 and I can only sleep up to about 68. I only need it that cold in the bedroom, which can be small on a bus, so hopefully it won't be too bad. I was thinking more like a 15k BTU unit though to cool the whole bus based on what other people said. Are you planning on staying mostly in the PNW?

I plan on traveling all over.. I'm planning on only 9000 BTU for my bus (10000 heating).. it's less than 300 square feet of space that needs heating/cooling.


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