Tuesday, November 10, 2015

More thoughts

The cheapest way forward would be to use a small camping gas stove and a small gas cylinder. Thinking about where to put the stove, the easiest place would probably be the bathroom countertop. Its also the safest as there will be no flammible curtains in the bathroom. Instead, squares of shower curtain will hang over the windows, attached by Velcro.

Do I really need to have a 12v electricity supply? Can I get by with just solar panels leading to USB charger sockets? That would keep my phone and tablet charged during the day. Maybe even my D and AA cells too.

I think my big question is whether I really need 24x7 electricity. There's no way batteries can produce sufficient power to run any form of cooker. No cooker I've ever encountered uses less than 1,200 watts. The lowest power consumption fridge uses 138 watts which seems quite high compared to a 60W Peltier cooler. Indeed, using all 12v equipment means I can eliminate the need for an inverter and its associated power loss and cost. It just makes life simpler.

60w at 12v is 5A. 24 hours at 5A is 120AH. Given that solar panels should produce power for at least 6 hours, the amount used should not exceed 18 hours or 90ah. That means the battery should be at least 180AH.

Looking at batteries, lead acid batteries are available but they're about $300. Lithium batteries are around $1200. That's pretty disappointing! To be brutally honest, the thought of hanging 200lbs under my bus makes me nervous, particularly when its in front of the rear wheels. That's where lithium batteries sound good as they're lighter.

Having looked around, the best seems to be to get a pair of 105ah 12v deep cycle batteries at $85 each. They're 55lbs each.

This is, of course, the time I'd really like advice but there's just nobody to ask. At one point I was on Facebook and there was a group that claimed to be building their own bus conversions but when it got to anything remotely technical, they didn't seem to have any ideas. Similarly on forums, nobody had a clue when it got remotely technical. I rather suspect few were really doing their own bus conversions. The really interesting thing was that the one person who was at the point where he was going to register his bus as a motorhome never reported back as to his success or failure.

Onward and upward. I'm hoping to have the conversion completed by January. Only a year behind schedule!

No comments:

Post a Comment