A modified evaporative cooler for solar camping - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-19-2015, 11:20 PM   #15
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Seems like solar panels to recharge the battery(s) as they are harvesting energy while you are away or at least not needing the A/C. Not much point camping if you are sitting in the trailer most of the day.

Problem with running an a/c compressor in a camper is two fold. You need an inverter to get 120 vac and a system capable of handling the very short but very high starting current. I'd try to figure out how to drive the compressor with a 12 v dc motor to eliminate the big and expensive TSW inverter and incorporate a clutch so the motor could get up to speed before it takes the compressor load.

Here's a thought, Toyota Prius, at least since 2004 use an electric motor driven A/C compressor since you need A/C to work even when the gas engine shuts off. Maybe you could get the complete A/C system from a junk yard. You would need to do the numbers to see how much solar and battery capacity you'd need but this might be doable with a couple of hundred watts of solar and 2-300 aH of battery. Especially if you only needed to cool the camper from, say, 6 to 10 PM.



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Old 04-19-2015, 11:57 PM   #16
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Seems like solar panels to recharge the battery(s) as they are harvesting energy while you are away or at least not needing the A/C. Not much point camping if you are sitting in the trailer most of the day.

Problem with running an a/c compressor in a camper is two fold. You need an inverter to get 120 vac and a system capable of handling the very short but very high starting current. I'd try to figure out how to drive the compressor with a 12 v dc motor to eliminate the big and expensive TSW inverter and incorporate a clutch so the motor could get up to speed before it takes the compressor load.

Here's a thought, Toyota Prius, at least since 2004 use an electric motor driven A/C compressor since you need A/C to work even when the gas engine shuts off. Maybe you could get the complete A/C system from a junk yard. You would need to do the numbers to see how much solar and battery capacity you'd need but this might be doable with a couple of hundred watts of solar and 2-300 aH of battery. Especially if you only needed to cool the camper from, say, 6 to 10 PM.



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Denny I like your way of thinking! I found a site today Solar Air Conditioner | Affordable Solar Air Conditioning that has a solar powered window ac unit designed to run strictly off solar panels with a battery built into the ac unit, however the solar window unit costs almost $3 grand, that's more than we paid for our used fbrv
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:24 AM   #17
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The $2.9k unit weighs 200 lbs, has an 16,0000 BTU output and draws about 850 watts. Not much argument there vs using a standard home ac unit and a monster inverter that I can see. BTW: $2.9k price does not include the battery bank or the solar cells, it's the ac unit only, with a 48 volt compressor and a 20 a/h 48 volt battery that "might" power it for an hour.
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:20 AM   #18
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A modified evaporative cooler for solar camping

The little 5000 btu model that came in our Snoozy takes 515 watts so not remotely as efficient as the one cited above. I'm sure it was selected for its small size and low price.

515 watts is 43 amps at 12 V! If starting current is 5x, that's a surge of 215 amps!

Cheapest way to get remote A/C is with a gas powered generator.


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Old 04-20-2015, 09:25 AM   #19
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Scratch that Prius idea. It runs on 206 v 3phase ac current supplied by the same battery that drives the car. Lots of complicated electronic controls too.


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Old 04-20-2015, 06:40 PM   #20
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So maybe another avenue to investigate. What about the cooling system of a propane fridge or freezer paired with a fan. Your ac would then need just the fan to run off your 12v. Build it and I'll buy your plans!!

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Old 04-20-2015, 06:43 PM   #21
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Johnny, you might look at a Tesla coil, Be warned, I have no idea of the safety of the system, just friendly suggestions of things I have found interesting.

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Old 04-20-2015, 06:51 PM   #22
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Air conditioners are rated in BTU, (British Thermal Units) / hr. A BTU is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of a pound of water by one degree F. The BTU capacity for a 12VDC compressor fridge is high enough to cool a small well insulated box to near 40°F. Cooling the whole, barely insulated, trailer is a much bigger job. One that the small ~50 watt compressor in the fridge is just not up to. A small, (5000 BTU/hr) air conditioner uses ~500 watts, or ten times as much.

A propane fridge has an even lower BTU/hr value.
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:54 PM   #23
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Johnny, you might look at a Tesla coil, Be warned, I have no idea of the safety of the system, just friendly suggestions of things I have found interesting.

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Ummm.... a high frequency, VERY HIGH voltage coil? I am not sure how one would utilize this for cooling.
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:08 PM   #24
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My thought is to use the Tesla coil to boost the power from the solar panels up to the range of that needed for a small ac unit. Please remember, I'm sharing ideas, not expert information. I know these require research and maybe expert advice. Reply kindly, thanks.

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Old 04-20-2015, 08:16 PM   #25
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You can boost voltage or you can boost current, but you can't boost both. Power (watts) is power and there is no known way to increase that without using even more power in the process.


Tesla is the worlds unsung electrical genius, but even he couldn't do that.
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Old 04-22-2015, 01:22 AM   #26
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Looks like there is no free lunch,(,VDC vs Amps). I have a 12DC automobile radiator fan that someday, ya ya ya, I am looking to use for a trailer fan, maybe a fantastic fan look-a-like
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:15 AM   #27
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Just to save you some time.... That radiator cooling fan will sound and feel like a tornado when you turn it on and will draw 3-5 times the current of a Fantastic Fan. Might be best to opt for the real thing LOL
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:02 AM   #28
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FrankX, I have one of those fans in the garage attic that I plan to do the same thing with, it's been up there for over 30 years. Also, when not powered by DC and is turning by the wind, it generates electricity. if you want my fan, come and get it - it's free. (Provided I can find it)
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