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Author Topic: Hydronic Heating System  (Read 2738 times)
Tikvah
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« on: April 28, 2012, 08:31:15 AM »

I'm designing my heating system for the coach.  I'm not so concerned about what brand system you use.  But, if you would be willing, would anyone share your schematics for your house and bus heating system?
We have engine heat, heat from another source (Webasto, etc), and heat from a water heater of some kind.

Sometimes the "other source" heats the coach, other times it pre-heats the engine, and other times the engine takes the full load.  Also, most systems heat domestic water or use an additional water heater.  Engine heat can pre-heat the water heater, etc.   How do you control all that?

I would love to see a drawing and details.

Dave

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Lee Bradley
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2012, 09:35:50 AM »

First I can't understand why the concern a heating system up in the sunny northland.  Grin

I don't have drawing yet; I will do as built drawings as I am still building. 

I have a 16 gallon three-way for domestic hot water (propane, 110 AC and engine heat). It gets hot water from a loop consisting of a Webasto boiler, engine connected heat exchanger and
a four port 19 gallon 220 AC water heater. When driving the heat exchanger supplies heat to the loop.  If 50 amp service is available, the AC water heater takes the load. When boondocking
the Webasto supplies the heat with the 19 gallon water heater acting as a heat sink to give the Webasto longer run cycles. During the summer or when heat is not required the three way
heater supplies domestic hot water from propane or electric. Engine pre-heat is via a pump in the engine/heat exchanger loop that is switched for pre-heat.
The bus heat is looped from the 19 gallon water heater to manifolds supplying the in floor piping, four toe kick heaters and large factory heater that was used to heat the bus bathroom.   
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OneLapper
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2012, 09:42:40 AM »

I'm interested in this topic as well. I'm in the process of installing a diesel generator with a heat exchanger that I plan to heat the domestic hot water and a few toe kick heaters. I plan on using electric toe kick heaters too.

Mark
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TomC
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2012, 09:56:38 AM »

Just to consider-current cost of a new AquaHot system with heat exchangers, engine heat, domestic heat is around $11,000.00 (as quoted last month in Phoenix by AquaHot at The Rally).  And then there is yearly maintenance of the burner, pumps, valves, etc.

I like simplicity-even if it means some interaction by me (mainly having to throw some switches or valves at times).  I have probably the simplest, most reliable system (least amount of maintenance) and lowest cost system.  I like it so much, I'm duplicating it on my truck conversion. For heat I'm using a 40,000btu Suburban propane furnace with four outlets.  Might use a second smaller one to heat the basement-but will determine that later.  My engine has a 120vac block heater.  My fuel tanks have Arctic Foxes (coolant loops) that keep the fuel from freezing with a 120vac circulating pump from the engine.  My water heaters are 2-10gal electrics straight from Home Depot-one plumbed into the next with the final one wired through the inverter for hot water while driving.  Total cost of domestic hot water, air heating and engine block heating- less then $2,000.00.  And if my bus is any indication of maintenance-there isn't any-except for draining the water heaters once a year.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2012, 12:28:04 PM »

Having played the LP Gas furnace & electric baseboard heat with LP Gas water heater for years, I finally got into the Aqua Hot system with 120 Volt backup element, it is the best overall between engine preheat and engine keeping all warm when driving, then the diesel fired Aqua Hot works when engine is off.
What is there to not like.  Yes there is some added costs for annual maintenance, but in the end, it is pennies, so who cares.  Being comfy and happy beats being cheap and uncomfy.
Dave
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Geoff
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2012, 06:08:28 PM »

I have a Webasto Scholastic Series (DWB 2010) in my RTS and it runs off the engine/radiator system.  All I did was add a water heater that gets engine heat and a couple of heater units in the bus.  I can separate the engine from the interior heating system and it is the nicest interior heater I ever had.  Try this link and ddown load the school bus installaton to get an idea of how it works.  It beats an Aquahot system by $5-7k.

http://www.webasto.us/general/en/html/8259.html
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Geoff
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2012, 07:11:33 PM »

Thanks for the link Geoff. The Webasto (Esberspacher) Thermo Top C is looking good to me. It's 5000 watts output, the Scholastic is about 13,000 watts.
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Sean
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2012, 08:11:08 PM »

Just to clear up some misconceptions:

1. The DBW 2010 and Scholastic are two different models, not two names for the same model.  These are made by Webasto.

2. Eberspacher (also known as Espar in the US) and Webasto are two different companies and make two different product lines.  They overlap in many areas, and both make diesel-fired boilers of similar capacities.

3. 5,000 watts is about 17,000 BTU/h, not enough to heat the interior of a 35'-40' motor coach in anything but the mildest weather.  For a 40' coach you really want a DBW-2010, which at 45,000 BTU/h (about 13,000 watts) is much more appropriate for this volume in near-freezing conditions.  If you don't ever plan to be in weather this cold, a diesel boiler is probably not economically justified at all -- get heat pumps instead of air conditioners.

FWIW.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2012, 08:24:43 PM »

Drat, I liked the look and fuel consumption of the Thermo Top C. That 5000 watts is three toe-kicks, but getting all of that 5000 watts into the bus wouldn't happen, forgot about the losses and inefficeincies. Webasto, though, looks like they market Ebershacher units, 'cause they're listed on they're website.
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Sean
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2012, 09:40:42 PM »

... Webasto, though, looks like they market Ebershacher units, 'cause they're listed on they're website.


Maybe I'm out of date, but I just went through the Webasto web sites, both US and Germany, and did not see any Eberspacher products.  Lots of third-party companies, however, market products from both manufacturers.  Are you sure you aren't looking at a third-party site?

The "Thermo Top C", BTW, is a Webasto product, not Espar, as are the Thermo 300/500 series.  Eberspacher is best known for D3W, D5E, and Airtronic product lines.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2012, 09:55:47 PM »

Sean, I'm not going to argue with you, when you're right & I'm wrong. Grin
I think I was misled somewhere on ebay.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2012, 09:59:29 PM by Brassman » Logged
Sean
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2012, 10:19:12 PM »

Sean, I'm not going to argue with you,


FWIW, I am not trying to be argumentative, just accurate.  Mostly because, as I have said here many times, these threads are archived, and new folks come to them sometimes years later.  When the original participants have long since moved on, it can be confusing for a newcomer to sort out the facts.

Quote
I think I was misled somewhere on ebay.


And that makes perfect sense.  One of the "tricks of the trade" on eBay is to put all the major competitive brand names for whatever you are selling in the listing, even though what you are selling is from just one of those brands.  So if you are selling a Creative Zen MP3 player, but you know that more people search for Apple's iPod music player, you might list is as "Creative Zen just like iPod" or some such, to bring the iPod-search traffic to your listing.  Technically, this violates eBay's TOS, but I see it all the time.

With specialty items like diesel boilers, that don't get much search traffic to begin with, the temptation to list something as, say, "Webasto Eberspacher Espar Thermo Top Diesel Heater" is great indeed -- it's unlikely that the brand-name-police at eBay will even know what this is, and you'll get a lot more hits on the listing.  The exact same reasoning applies to Craigslist and other for-sale sites on the web. Take anything you see there with a grain of salt, and it always pays to do your own additional research when buying anything at on-line auction.

(Edit:  So I just did a quick surf over to eBay and there is one particular seller, "Heavytruckparts," who likes to add "Eberspacher" and "Espar" to all his Webasto listings, and "Webasto" to all his Eberspacher listings.  Not only is this against eBay rules and illegal, it's potentially confusing and also extremely annoying to anyone actually looking for something specific.  There are few things as frustrating as having to wade through hundreds of irrelevant search results due to this sort of keyword-spam when you are trying to find a part.  Hopefully eBay will bring him in line shortly.  BTW, I didn't think his prices on the Webasto items were particularly good, either.)

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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Tikvah
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2012, 04:41:02 AM »

Nice discussion about different kinds of heaters - but I really had high hopes that some of you have schematics of your system.  I know some of you do... I've seen them.

I don't currently have the financial resources to purchase any of the above brands.  I have a couple very nice LP on demand heaters.  One will be domestic, the other will be for heating.  I think I have a plan, but I'd like to see what others have done so that I don't have to re-invent the wheel.

Thanks for the brand suggestions, and where to find them.... but anyone have a drawing?
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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2012, 08:38:41 AM »

Tikvah...
we have a skoolie (40 ft) and are converting nice but cheap (we used to remodel high end houses for a living plus owned/ran cabinet shops). It sounds odd but we are going to reuse the heat exchanger that was in our bus when we bought it. Many skoolie converters toss them so you might want to check with the skoolie.net forums to see if someone near you has one laying around. The exchanger is simply a radiator with 12vDC fans already on it (in our case 2 of them) using "A Simple RV Hydronic Heating System" as a general example, we will use a 6 gallon electric water heater to heat the fluid (pet safe antifreeze) that will flow thru the heat exchanger (same as designed but using the water heater instead of the engine for heating the fluid). It will blow the heat thru ducts that we will pipe thru out the bus with PVC pipe (also to the water bays). Air return is located under my cedar chest with a furnace filter laid over it. Right now heat is not a priority, cooling is, we have been trying to figure out a cooling system to loop into the heat system and think we have got it. just need to build it. Our goal is to keep our power consumption down low. Since we tend to stay in parks more than we are on the road, using an electric water heater is best for us (we put an LP/AC water heater in our Class C in 2006 only to realize that we have NEVER used the LP side of the water heater). We still have the Bus' front heater plumbed to the engine and will add a small LP heater to the bathroom area (to boost the warmth for times when the heat isn't running but too cool to not have a bit of heat for showering). I'm also putting a very small electric "wood stove" looking thing in my fireplace mantle for the tiny living area. Again, that is for times when we do not want to kick the main heater on because we only need  a bit of heat (I can turn on the "flames" without having heat) because we sleep best at about 65F in the winter. We are on a 30 amp set up and plan to keep it that way. Our cooling system is the tricky part. We think it will work and will allow us to power the AC unit off a smallish 5500/6000 generator without pushing out of it's 50% load range (best fuel consumption). Still collecting the parts. If it will cool us here in the NM desert heat, it will cool us anywhere. I need to get everything together and get it installed in the next month or so. It's already hit 100F a few times.

I refuse to put something in the bus that costs more than we paid for the shell. Based on my continually updated conversion costs spread sheet, we should be able to convert for right at $5K not counting the cost of the shell. The generator will bump us up to almost $6K.
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Geoff
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« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2012, 01:07:12 PM »

1. The DBW 2010 and Scholastic are two different models, not two names for the same model.  These are made by Webasto.

Damn, are we getting picky there, Sean?  The Scholastic Series uses a DBW 2010 plus it has a pump and enclosure.  True, not the same part number, but WTH?

--Geoff

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Geoff
'82 RTS AZ
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