Thursday, 28 November 2013

From the top down- Solar, Vent etc

It has been a while since last posting.

I've finally scraped up enough money to buy a thing or two for the bus.

We made a decision to start from the top and go downwards on the bus because that makes a bit of sense as far as internal lining and wiring is concerned. This means we hit an expensive bump. Solar power, solar hot water, sanding and respraying the roof, an awning and roof vent.

The solar hot water.

Doesn't look like much but I picked up this little 30l hot water service on eBay for about $275. It isn't built for buses or caravans (I don't think) so we may need to do something at a later date... we will see how we go. This eBay has more information:

Next I picked up this roof vent.

It is tinted plastic and I manged to pick it up for around $150. We decided against a 4 seasons hatch because I've never seen one which didn't break after a while and this one was cheaper and looks better (in my opinion).
The vent closed from the top (it still has the protective plastic on it).
Open. There is no option to 1/2 close it or part close it but as you will see in the next picture, there is a roll out heat/shade screen you could partially pull across if need be, although, it would not be waterproof.
At the bottom is the partially pulled across shade screen, at the top is the fly screen. They retract away when not in use.
I got this vent on eBay also. 
I have ordered the solar system (although we are yet to have it delivered).
We decided to get it from a retail outlet nearby so we had access to advice and a local warranty if we needed it. It is an expensive part of the bus (almost worth as much as the bus itself!) so we want to do it properly.
After doing research, I found Australian brand Redarc to be a reputable company which is built for our conditions. I found a local outlet and we have ordered a system.
The intention is to be totally self-sufficient (no 240 at all) but we will add a charger and an inlet on the bus later if we find we need it. We will only need not run: 2x 12v water pumps, LED lighting, small 12V TV/DVD, 60l (or a little larger) 12/24/240 fridge (3 way with gas has too much draw on power), and iPhone chargers. We might add one or two other little things but there is an upgrade option for that time.
I will not go into the part numbers or mini details of the equipment (each system is different so you probably wouldn't get much from it).
2x 150w panels (with upgrade option for two more),
Remote monitor (to check all the goodies to ensure they are working),
2x 120AH  12V batteries,
Smart Start 40A,
A bunch of connectors and wires and some mounts.
We still need to get internal wiring and ports, isolation switch panel and fuses.
Later, we may choose to upgrade by adding a pure sine wave inverter (just in case we need a drop of 240), a 240 charger (just in case the panels and bus can't keep up) and another 2 panels (this would be the maximum for the relays and regulator etc.
Next we need to get the awning (to attach before lining the roof as it will be much easier) and a sander/spray kit for respraying the roof.

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