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Author Topic: FYI - Real-life A/C on inverter power consumption numbers  (Read 2336 times)
Jon
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« Reply #45 on: June 26, 2014, 05:46:06 AM »

Davy has words of wisdom. It is true everyone has different needs and ideas so there is no one perfect way to do things. But his point about professional conversions being well designed and thought out is absolutely correct. The fact that the converters all seem to have their own way of doing things lends a great deal of credibility to the fact there is no one best way.

My conversion is unlike Davy's, but like Davy's it works well for my purposes but goes about how it does things in a different fashion than Davy's. The point being all home builders will profit greatly by looking at all the ways professional conversions were designed because they are well thought out, safe, reliable, and user friendly.
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Jon

Current coach 2006 Prevost, Liberty conversion
Knoxville, TN
Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #46 on: June 26, 2014, 05:48:56 AM »

 My roof airs are 13.5 Duo Therm Penguin's by Dometic. I added them in 2009 and removed the original Cruise Air units.   ...  

     Thanks for all the data, Davy.   I was going to ask about 12V vs 24V, whether AGM, etc. but you've covered it all.  Sounds like a good solid setup -- a good $$$olid $$$etup, but nobody said that this bussin' stuff was cheap!   You obviously have a flexible system and I'm convinced that flexibility with bus systems is a real high priority -- otherwise, an owner is being dictated as to what he can do by his system.
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)
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« Reply #47 on: June 26, 2014, 06:05:50 AM »

  ...  You know, you're not really gonna be happy until you buy a wrecked Gillig and slip the engine and drive train under your Daimler. Who knows, in the process, you might even lower it enough to be able to paint the roof.

    Oh, that would be going overboard in a big way and anyone who knows me can tell you that I never do that!   (PS - The bus I bought is an '03 low-floor Gillig, ASC 8.3, B400R, "highway" rear end.  Everything from the rear tires to the belt pulley on the end of the engine is on a "subframe" and it looks like that subframe will fit right onto my chassis.  The powertrain is longer than what I have now but in doing the new engine mounts, I'll just move the rear bumper further back.  As I mentioned before, the entire powertrain looks to be about 1500-1600 pounds lighter.  Gonna be a huge job but it *will* be sweet when it's done.)   Wink Grin
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)
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« Reply #48 on: June 26, 2014, 06:34:38 AM »

I am sure enjoying this thread! I am nowhere near starting on the solar part of our conversion, but I have learned a lot from this website:

http://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/

We have two mini-splits that draw 8.9 amps each @ 117 VAC max.

Our genny for now is gas, but now you guys have me looking at diesel auxiliary power units. Maybe I could set one up without compressor or heater to just run a couple of alternators.

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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
1981 Dina Olímpico (Flxible Flxliner clone), 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
Rockwell model RM135A 9-speed manual tranny.
Jake brakes
100 miles North West of Mexico City, Mexico. 6,800 feet altitude.
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« Reply #49 on: June 26, 2014, 06:43:43 AM »

My generator can't be run OTR, it's a little air cooled inverter-generator and it would overheat.  Lots of ways to  win with this deal.

Brian

Brian:

Our genny is also air-cooled. We added a grate in the floor from a local metal recycler, and a double fan unit off a Chrysler minivan radiator to the genny compartment, with a reversible switch. When parked, it sucks from the floor and exhausts out the side. Driving down the road it intakes through the side and exhausts out the floor.
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
1981 Dina Olímpico (Flxible Flxliner clone), 6V92TA Detroit Diesel
Rockwell model RM135A 9-speed manual tranny.
Jake brakes
100 miles North West of Mexico City, Mexico. 6,800 feet altitude.
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« Reply #50 on: June 26, 2014, 08:54:39 AM »

  Brian:

Our genny is also air-cooled. We added a grate in the floor from a local metal recycler, and a double fan unit off a Chrysler minivan radiator to the genny compartment, with a reversible switch. When parked, it sucks from the floor and exhausts out the side. Driving down the road it intakes through the side and exhausts out the floor. 

     Dr. Steve, do you have a way (cylinder head temp, etc.) to measure the heat.  I'm thinking that if you can make one work at your latitude and altitude, you've been *very* successful!
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)
Audiomaker
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« Reply #51 on: June 26, 2014, 09:04:57 AM »

I am sure enjoying this thread! I am nowhere near starting on the solar part of our conversion, but I have learned a lot from this website:

http://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/

We have two mini-splits that draw 8.9 amps each @ 117 VAC max.

Our genny for now is gas, but now you guys have me looking at diesel auxiliary power units. Maybe I could set one up without compressor or heater to just run a couple of alternators.




You could probably hook up just about anything belt driven you wanted to one, but here's the next can of worms (I have a shelf full)...

Many people could also do the reverse... which is to say that A/C compressors and heat exchangers could be mounted to generators.
Of course this depends on the generator, and if there's space for fabricating brackets and such.  Sadly, my genset is too compact to fit anything additional except an external heat exchanger (which you should be able to plumb into almost anything water cooled).
I just wanted to seed that notion in everyone's head though.

(Edited to elaborate)...
Let me explain just a little further...
One could go to the junkyard and pull say... a GMC Safari minivan A/C system (or whatever) and if there was room, fabricate a means to install the compressor to their generator and build a box for the cooling unit into a cabinet or something....etc.
Pre-made systems can often be found on tractors and heavy equipment as well, which have roof or interior mounted cooling units (think about the road crew bulldozer in AZ...he's running one)..etc.
They even make 12/24vdc air conditioning for heavy equipment... looks pretty similar to our roof top units.  Draws a lot of DC amps, but so does that inverter when doing the same thing.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: June 26, 2014, 09:22:02 AM by Audiomaker » Logged
Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #52 on: June 26, 2014, 09:33:59 AM »

You could probably hook up just about anything belt driven you wanted to one, but here's the next can of worms (I have a shelf full)...

Many people could also do the reverse... which is to say that A/C compressors and heat exchangers could be mounted to generators.
Of course this depends on the generator, and if there's space for fabricating brackets and such.  Sadly, my genset is too compact to fit anything additional except an external heat exchanger (which you should be able to plumb into almost anything water cooled).
I just wanted to seed that notion in everyone's head though.

(Edited to elaborate)...
Let me explain just a little further...
One could go to the junkyard and pull say... a GMC Safari minivan A/C system (or whatever) and if there was room, fabricate a means to install the compressor to their generator and build a box for the cooling unit into a cabinet or something....etc.
Pre-made systems can often be found on tractors and heavy equipment as well, which have roof or interior mounted cooling units (think about the road crew bulldozer in AZ...he's running one)..etc.
They even make 12/24vdc air conditioning for heavy equipment... looks pretty similar to our roof top units.  Draws a lot of DC amps, but so does that inverter when doing the same thing.   Cheers!   

    Yeah, that's like what I mentioned above.  Of course, you could always run a suitably-sized compressor off the bus engine but then you'd only have the "mechanical" air conditioning when the engine was running. 
    One of the companies that makes the kind of air conditioning equipment you're talking about (tractors and heavy equipment) is Red Dot.  Their components are supposed to be very high quality but they're breath-takingly expensive.

     If you wanted to get super tricky, you could have an engine mounted compressor and an evap unit, then have your aux unit compressor plumbed to an additional evap unit stacked on top of the first -- a single blower (or set of blowers) would pull air through the combined stack.  You'd get cold from the engine evaporator going down the road and cold from the aux unit evaporator parked.  And to really throw lots of $$$ at it, you could add a couple of rooftoppers to run off shore power.  Cool whenever you wanted, any way you wanted.
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)
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« Reply #53 on: June 26, 2014, 09:36:23 AM »

The bus I bought is an '03 low-floor Gillig, ASC 8.3, B400R, "highway" rear end.  Everything from the rear tires to the belt pulley on the end of the engine is on a "subframe" and it looks like that subframe will fit right onto my chassis....

Bruce, I'm so happy for you that I'm almost tearing up. Congratulations! Are you doing the work in Charlotte? I'd love to volunteer a day helping with that install. Seriously. Let me know when you need another set of hands.

And the rest of you guys, keep the great info coming. I love hearing how others have set up their electrics, and I love the fact that several of you are interested in solar. (Not you, Bruce, you don't even have room for stick-on panels.)

Jim in NC
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Jim Huskins
Marion, NC
1999 Gillig H2000LF
Yes Virginia,
You CAN convert a low floor.
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« Reply #54 on: June 26, 2014, 09:44:29 AM »

    Yeah, that's like what I mentioned above.  Of course, you could always run a suitably-sized compressor off the bus engine but then you'd only have the "mechanical" air conditioning when the engine was running. 
    One of the companies that makes the kind of air conditioning equipment you're talking about (tractors and heavy equipment) is Red Dot.  Their components are supposed to be very high quality but they're breath-takingly expensive.

     If you wanted to get super tricky, you could have an engine mounted compressor and an evap unit, then have your aux unit compressor plumbed to an additional evap unit stacked on top of the first -- a single blower (or set of blowers) would pull air through the combined stack.  You'd get cold from the engine evaporator going down the road and cold from the aux unit evaporator parked.  And to really throw lots of $$$ at it, you could add a couple of rooftoppers to run off shore power.  Cool whenever you wanted, any way you wanted.


I have pondered this setup that you speak of myself, but in my head it was plumbing the additional compressor from a generator or APU directly inline with the coach engine's compressor.  I don't know if you can "series" compressors, but the idea would be to have your auxiliary unit run the factory air with the prime mover off.

Red Dot... ah yes... that's the idea.
All of this stuff is prohibitively expensive for most of us.  It becomes a used bargain hunt.

Here's another to take a lot at the #'s:

http://www.dcairco.com/index.php/products/trucks/dc-13000
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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #55 on: June 26, 2014, 01:37:57 PM »

  I have pondered this setup that you speak of myself, but in my head it was plumbing the additional compressor from a generator or APU directly inline with the coach engine's compressor. ...


    I asked that question of Mr. L. Welch of Welsh vehicle air conditioning ( http://www.welchindustries.com/ ) in Georgia.  He told me no, that the "stacked" evaporator layout was about the only usable way to provide multi-source air conditioning.  What compressor is on your truck?  On buses, there is a HUGE, I mean Big Honkin, air conditioning compressor.  Charter (or Greyhound or???) buses want to be able to take a bus that's sat in the Texas sun all day and make it comfortable in just a few moments; plus, you'll have nearly 60 sweaty people on board and they put out lots of heat.  So, Lamar told me that a smart way to go -- if you want to go an engine driven compressor -- is to put a reasonably sized car-type compressor on the engine and use that.  It will have way less capacity than OEM bus systems but for a dash system or a single point in the living quarters, it should be sufficient.  Of course, if you wanted to go that way, you could also install a big enough alternator but you're talking a large capacity alternator (if one isn't already on your engine).
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)
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« Reply #56 on: June 26, 2014, 06:03:14 PM »

    I asked that question of Mr. L. Welch of Welsh vehicle air conditioning ( http://www.welchindustries.com/ ) in Georgia.  He told me no, that the "stacked" evaporator layout was about the only usable way to provide multi-source air conditioning.  What compressor is on your truck?  On buses, there is a HUGE, I mean Big Honkin, air conditioning compressor.  Charter (or Greyhound or???) buses want to be able to take a bus that's sat in the Texas sun all day and make it comfortable in just a few moments; plus, you'll have nearly 60 sweaty people on board and they put out lots of heat.  So, Lamar told me that a smart way to go -- if you want to go an engine driven compressor -- is to put a reasonably sized car-type compressor on the engine and use that.  It will have way less capacity than OEM bus systems but for a dash system or a single point in the living quarters, it should be sufficient.  Of course, if you wanted to go that way, you could also install a big enough alternator but you're talking a large capacity alternator (if one isn't already on your engine).


Well my truck (if you've seen it) is a whole 'nuther ball of wax.  It was designed to carry a large generator *and* tow an even larger generator at the same time.  We'll talking about running in the 40+kw range at least.
For this reason, two large HVAC's hang off the back end (3ph 240 @ 30amp each), plus a 120 roof model.  The cab was originally separated from the work area, so it just has a small engine compressor and what I would call a "wall wart" blower unit.
It's because of this that I'm curious about busses... because I don't have one to look for the answers.
I would have thought it was just as you said... that they had enormous A/C capacity from the engine because of their intended duty.
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shelled
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« Reply #57 on: June 26, 2014, 10:27:52 PM »

Audiomaker,

I don't know how much capacity your engine driven "small" A/C has but normally automotive A/C units are sized for fast cool down and actually have enough cooling capacity to cool a small house -- the difference being the house has good insulation and cool down cycle from none is measured in hours not minutes.  How much insulation does your truck have now ?

edward
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Rampside/UltraVan/Excalibur/4104/4107/etc -- Dallas Tx
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« Reply #58 on: June 26, 2014, 11:04:35 PM »

Audiomaker,

I don't know how much capacity your engine driven "small" A/C has but normally automotive A/C units are sized for fast cool down and actually have enough cooling capacity to cool a small house -- the difference being the house has good insulation and cool down cycle from none is measured in hours not minutes.  How much insulation does your truck have now ?

edward


Hmmm... best guess... 2-3000lbs of lead.
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Debo
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« Reply #59 on: June 27, 2014, 04:11:57 AM »

Regarding solar... My plan is to immediately carry a couple of portable panels for charging while I'm parked somewhere, and eventually install some hard-mounted ones to the roof. Since I've been building from the ground up, I'm just trying to get the basic things functioning and will add extra goodies in the future. My bus still had seats in it when I got it. I probably should have designed it that way from the beginning, but it just wasn't where my head was at. I love the way technology for our needs is progressing. When I started my project 5 years ago LED's were hardly to the point of serious consideration. Now the technology has improved to the point where I can't imagine going any other way. The same with inverters and solar. It's a pretty cool time to be designing and building a house on wheels. BTW, If 5 years seems like a lot of time to be building, I suppose it is, but I have a full-time job and am doing everything by myself on an island where practically everything has to be special ordered and delivered. We've been taking it places and enjoying it along the way, so it hasn't been bad. As long as it's done by December 1, 2016 I'll be happy. That's my retirement date.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 04:13:34 AM by Debo » Logged

1981 MCI MC9
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