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Author Topic: Proheat system - specifics, parts, sizing?  (Read 4491 times)
daveola
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« on: January 22, 2010, 12:13:11 PM »


I know there are a thousand ways to hook up a Proheat system, but I imagine there are billions of *wrong* ways to do it.  Smiley

I'm curious about sizing of things.  Size of hosing.  Size of circulation pumps.  Size of heaters, etc..  And I know that using the wrong sizes can be wasteful.

I'm wondering if anyone here has a diagram or parts listing of their proheat system, and comments on what works and what doesn't work?  I plan on doing the same with mine (after building it, of course  Smiley

I'm also curious if anyone uses solenoid valves to switch zones on and off and what kind of valves they've used?

My plan is to use my 30kBTU Proheat to supply bus heat and hot water (possibly with a reservoir tank?), and maybe do veggie oil heating as well, and possibly even use the veggie oil to power the Proheat, but that needs some research.
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Just Dallas
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2010, 12:37:52 PM »

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« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 01:31:14 PM by Now Just Dallas » Logged

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daveola
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2010, 02:29:59 PM »


I'm planning on putting my proheat in one of my bays.

I figure the exhaust probably needs to go through the floor, but it'd be nice if it went straight out towards the door.  Has anyone managed to hook an exhaust up to the bay door with some sort of flexible pipe, or perhaps some fitting that presses against the door when the door is closed?

I suppose one concern would be the bay door getting too hot if it was directly connected to the exhaust, though I suppose it could be isolated in the same way a roof vent is.
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Bill B /bus
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2010, 06:28:35 PM »

30K btu is minimal for a conversion.
Use a school bus water circ pump. Maybe $150.
Standard piping is 3/4" ID.
You can use standard radiant baseboard or fan forced heaters.
You can use distinct loops as Aqua Hot does or a single loop with one pump. Ensure that the expansion tank is the highest point in the system.
Do not tie into the bus water system, use a heat exchanger. I know its not cheap. But neither is a fried engine because you lost coolant.
Exhaust out the bottom and direct to the side.
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Bill & Lynn
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2010, 06:45:02 PM »

why do you wanna go with the proheat???
i went with a webasto 2020.these units are cheap to get right know.they are easy to maintain and repair.
you can remove the burner in less then two minutes,and its working with a pressurized nozzle like the oil burner from your house boiler.
i run WVO on all my equipment,but choose to run clean diesel or heating oil on my webasto and the two espar furnaces.espar approved now the use of b20 for some of their heaters,but im sure you cant run wvo on it.even for the beckett burner its some work to get it running on wvo.preheat and compressed air.

i have the webasto in the heater lop to my front heater and heat exchanger for WVO and my shower water.
its also t ed to preheat my engine.on a normal day it will start to heat my shower water,in the same time its getting my wvo ready.when im ready with the shower my engine is also at 180f and up i go.for night heat i have two espar d3lc running of the same tank as the webasto,to ensure they only get fresh diesel.there will always be some wvo in the main tank,no matter how long you purge.

thats just how i do it.

how long are you running on wvo.any problems??
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buswarrior
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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2010, 07:03:05 PM »

I have a concern and an encouragement:

I would be concerned what that 30K BTU number means.

It more than likely is 30K BTU input of fuel.

You will pass some fair bit of those BTU out the hot exhaust, a net loss to what will be available to actually go into the coach.

My recent cold weather testing put somewhere close to 20K BTU of electric heaters upstairs inside the coach, for calculation purposes, electric heaters having the benefit of no loss to an exhaust. At 0 degree Fahrenheit, the performance of that amount of usable heat would not be acceptable, and there's still the protection of the water system down below in the bays to consider.

However, your smaller proheat has the advantage of running more efficiently in warmer situations.

My larger Webasto, rated at 100K BTU, while a powerhouse in the cold winter, is overpowered and inefficient the rest of the year, consuming a lot of fuel and short cycling if I try to use it to take the chill off a spring or fall cool night.

If you have a way to supplement the heating in the coach when the proheat reaches its capacity, you will have a hydronic system that can act as your primary heating system in all seasons that will be economical to operate.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2010, 07:59:46 PM »

Ahoy, BusFolks,

I have a Proheat X-45 (45,000 BTU) in my Eagle Bus.  It works just great, and is very easy to work on.  My hose sizes are 1", but 3/4" should be adequate.  I agree that 30,000 BTU is a bit marginal for real cold weather.  My Eagle is quite well insulated and tight, and at ~~ 32 degree weather, my Proheat runs maybe 1/3 of the time.

I don't know the Webasto system, but I know that the earlier ones do not have built in test. 

The Proheat is a modern machine, with built in test (BIT) with an LED display of 12 functions.  The BIT is important.  If something goes wrong, you have the ability to look at the BIT display on the computer/controller, and download the (superb) Proheat manuals to analyze the fault, order your parts, and affect the needed repairs. Without this comprehensive BIT, you must put your furnace in the hands of a service dealer.  Either remove it, and ship it off, or drive your motorhome to someone with a test rig.  Other competing diesel furnaces, by contrast, without built in test, are worse than a sick dog, who will at least limp, or lick his butt to give you some direction about what is wrong.

Enjoy   /s/   Bob
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belfert
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2010, 12:05:59 AM »

I'm not sure what is wrong with a Proheat X45 either.  I'm into mine about $600 including complete servicing and testing.  I shipped mine to Nick and had him go through the whole thing and make sure it is running right.

I couldn't find a better deal on a Webasto at the time.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
daveola
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« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2010, 04:53:15 AM »

i went with a webasto 2020.these units are cheap to get right know.

Where and how much?

how long are you running on wvo.any problems??

For a bunch of years and many thousands of miles.  I've had a few problems with my WVO system on the road that have been a hassle, mostly fitting into one of these categories:

1. Filtration (such as clogging from not collecting clean enough oil)
2. Getting up to temp (My changes to the coolant runs have screwed up the flow - I either need a coolant aux pump and/or to use the proheat)
3. Filter not being properly closed and sucking air into the fuel lines

But otherwise it's basically working.


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NeoplanAN440
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2010, 07:02:05 AM »

there are a few on the E B ay site right know.
used ones went for as low as @86
the last NEW one had a asking price $500 and no bids!!!

i have no problems with proheat units.everybody has its own way.thats so great on bus people,they do it their way!!
Being from Germany,i grew up with these heaters.
yes a webasto has no build in troubleshooting link,but on the other site,with an a system working as an oil furnace there is not much troubleshooting left!!

anybody running a proheat on biodiesel???
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Gary '79 5C
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2010, 07:20:27 AM »

Dave,
Good Morning,
I have a Webasto located in the curb side of my MCI 5C, where the coach A/C compressor formerly resided. I like this as it is totally enclosed in metal, with the exhaust exiting directly down & out. I believe mine is a 40K BTU unit and has kept me happy at 20*. There are two large exchangers one in rear & one in front. Two toe kick units in middle, with three small coils and blowers in my two bays. Mine is also tied to the engine with a solenoid valve, so I have to be careful of a leak empting the engine coolant system, as stated.
Sourcing a Webasto unit on Ebay, I know there is a guy in Court House, NJ selling refurbished units on Ebay. He is a great guy, but still from NJ(?) whew...Not sure they are still avail.
Actually it is Nick, but do as you please. You would not be left out in the cold with Nick.

Another option is new from Wrico, in Oregon, That would be Dick Wright, I have done great with him on getset parts.

Good Luck,
Gary
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2010, 07:22:50 AM »

Whether ProHeat, Espar or Webasto, these coolant furnaces all do the same job, they heat liquids by burning diesel fuel.

There are many versions of controls and features that have been available, or not, different timers, analog style control systems, electronic style control systems, 12 volt/24 volt.

Over the years, the coach manufacturers have used them all at one point or another, whether they pick one as standard for awhile, or offer them all as options.

so a bunsut is well served by choosing the one that has the best combination of condition, features, local support availability and price.

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2010, 09:53:39 AM »

I personally don't know why everyone wants a Proheat type heating system.  They're complicated, require maintenance, are expensive, have numerous hoses and fittings that can fail taking out your entire heating system, etc.  And at a cost of $6-10,000.00!?

Let's compare a simpler system.  I just replaced my Atwood Hydroflame furnace (35,000btu) for the first time in 15 years-and that was my fault for leaving it on for over a week burning out the fan motor ($600.00 total cost).  I have 2-10 gal electric water heaters straight from Home Depot ($600.00 total cost).  Heat strips in my three roof airs (they do work, but just have to give them some time to warm up)- total cost $200.00.  Two electric space heaters- $100.00.  My only propane is my furnace and stove.  Electric wall heater in the bathroom $100.00.  Electric block heater for the engine- $120.00.  So for about $1,800.00 I have a block heater, propane furnace, three roof top heaters, bathroom wall heater, 2 portable space heaters, 2-10gal water heaters-all of which have been 100% reliable for 15 years (sans furnace as explained). I don't think anyone with a Aquahot type system can claim anything near that. And all equipment I used is readily available at either Hardware or RV stores.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2010, 11:11:27 AM »

All the electric heat in the world doesn't do one much good away from a power pole.   I was originally going to go propane, but I realized I have no room for the tank nor the room to duct the furnace.

I haven't installed my Proheat yet, but I will probably have about $1,500 into the project including marine water heater.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
daveola
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« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2010, 02:50:48 PM »

It more than likely is 30K BTU input of fuel.


You had me worried!  Smiley

It's output, according to Proheat:  http://www.proheat.com/PDFs/925824.pdf

That's comforting, since that's at .27Gal/hr.  And Diesel has 139kBTU,
so that's using 37.5kBTU of energy to create 30kBTU of heat.  That's 80%
efficient, which isn't too bad.  Better than running the genset to run
an electric heater, that's for sure.

I'm not going to spend much time in freezing climates, so 30kBTU is probably better than 100kBTU.  I suppose it'd probably be pretty easy to swap out for a larger diesel furnace in the future if I find I need it.

Can these units handle 100% duty cycle?

I wonder if you can have two units in parallel or series and only enable on the second one in colder climates?  Seems like it would make sense if I could somehow put the second unit perhaps halfway down the heat line, though I suppose I might just end up seeing one cycle more than the other and burn itself out.
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