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Old 11-22-2017, 01:29 AM   #11
LifeByDesign
 
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Default Re: OFF GRID battery powered AC/Heat. Fully functional.

So having the electrical handled and the compressor installed with outside unit hanging from under vehicle that is all great but if you don’t have a delivery system in place to move the refrigerant liquid and gas then system is just dead weight. That is where the 1/4” and 3/8” copper piping was installed from rear garage area to the front cabin over the front seats. My cabinet design allowed me to run the insulated piping and have it all covered. This is soft copper designed for refrigeration and has a pretty durable insulation sheathing.
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:31 AM   #12
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Default Re: OFF GRID battery powered AC/Heat. Fully functional.

The evaporator/fan assembly is the key to the system. This is the area where the liquid and gas flows to and allows for flow of heat and cooling. This also is where the very elaborate filtration system is in place. When you travel with multiple dogs it sure is nice to have the cabin air cleaned. The fan can be independently operated so that allows me to turn this unit on while driving down the road to help circulate the air that is coming from vehicles ac/heat system. No more hot or cold spots in rear of van.
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:33 AM   #13
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Default Re: OFF GRID battery powered AC/Heat. Fully functional.

There is still more trim and finishing work to be done on bottom and backside of inside unit but what is accomplished is the continual use of the factory storage area above sunvisors and an additional shelf type unit will be installed on backside to maybe store things like windshield and side window reflectix covers.
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:45 AM   #14
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Default Re: OFF GRID battery powered AC/Heat. Fully functional.

While in Colorado we had the opportunity to check OFF GRID heat operation but not able to check AC operation. A quick trip to Austin Texas solved that issue. Texas heat was delivered and the testing began. What you normally get when you take a black van and park it in direct sun when it is 82F is a human and dog killing environment inside the vehicle if closed up tight. What I got was a interior temp of 64F when my heat pump was set to 65F. Once the initial phase of running at 100% load was finalized the system dropped down from about 1200w to a very reasonable 350w to maintain a 65-67F temp. I wanted to test the electrical system further when the compressor was at full duty cycle and also used the microwave which raised the total wattage to over 2,000. System performed flawlessly. Over the next couple months we will have more opportunities to test operation as we have trips scheduled from LA to Orlando planned with even some cold places like Vermont in January.
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Old 11-22-2017, 01:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: OFF GRID battery powered AC/Heat. Fully functional.

So a little update of cold weather performance now that we are back in Colorado. Stayed in Pueblo CO a few nights ago and temps were 22F. Heater was set for MINIMUM heat which is around 50F. Battery level was at 98% at 9pm and van interior was 54F at 5:30am and battery level was at 70%. That was also with an electric blanket running, fridge running and any of the other small loads like phone chargers etc. SUCCESS! This tells me that obtaining heat for 8 hours while sleeping is no issue for system.
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Old 11-22-2017, 02:06 AM   #16
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Default Re: OFF GRID battery powered AC/Heat. Fully functional.

I've been following this crazy project on IG. Nice to see it getting written up here. Seems like this forum is where the really pioneering ideas get shared...
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Old 11-22-2017, 02:16 AM   #17
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Default Re: OFF GRID battery powered AC/Heat. Fully functional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by highsierrabear View Post
I've been following this crazy project on IG. Nice to see it getting written up here. Seems like this forum is where the really pioneering ideas get shared...
haha, if this forum format wasn't so ancient (having to reduce file sizes down) I would actually go ahead and document the entire build here but I find it takes forever......
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Old 11-22-2017, 02:41 AM   #18
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Default Re: OFF GRID battery powered AC/Heat. Fully functional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LifeByDesign View Post
haha, if this forum format wasn't so ancient (having to reduce file sizes down) I would actually go ahead and document the entire build here but I find it takes forever......


Agreed on the forum format being ancient. Tap talk helps with file size handling. Highly recommended


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Old 11-22-2017, 08:16 AM   #19
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Default Re: OFF GRID battery powered AC/Heat. Fully functional.

Have you considered using a 12V->24V converter for charging from the vehicle alternator instead? Or you could even have installed a 24V secondary alternator?
Also, are you using any BMS on the Tesla batteries?
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Old 11-22-2017, 10:03 AM   #20
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Default Re: OFF GRID battery powered AC/Heat. Fully functional.

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Originally Posted by Fionn View Post
Have you considered using a 12V->24V converter for charging from the vehicle alternator instead? Or you could even have installed a 24V secondary alternator?
Also, are you using any BMS on the Tesla batteries?


I considered all of that and honestly it came down to simplicity and economics. The price to install a secondary 24V alternator and associated wiring to the back of the vehicle where the house battery is installed would have been probably close to $3k. I Also looked into the Sterling B2B systems and didn’t like the “loss of control” I would have relying on a regulator of sorts to control the amount of juice going back there and also it won’t deliver any more power than the system that I installed for a fraction of the price. My total cost was a little over $350 for the inverter, circuit breaker, and some 2 AWG wire. This also allowed me to supply power back to the inverter/charger assembly as a shore power and then have the controls that is set up in that system handle the charge function. The power delivered back is through a 12/3 extension cord (is is only 8-9amps at this point) but gives me 900W+ of charging. The truth is the system works and recharges the battery quite quickly and with the style of our camping we always have some sort of driving every day or so. IF I found down the road that I needed quicker charging I would look into a 24v alternator but at 10x the cost I will wait.


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