It's been annoying and I'd prefer not to unsubscribe, even though the community section isn't very active these days. Can a delay be set up so that emails notifications of new community posts won't be sent for half a day, enough time for mods to delete the posts before notifications are sent?
I realize the community forums aren't very active and a several Rialta folks are moving on to other living arrangements, but surely someone will find this helpful. On the topic of summer heat, I realize I could’ve relocated to another climate, but I love the community in Austin and decided to put my time, money, and energy into improving my living space over relocation costs plus building a new community elsewhere. Big ups out to Dave R. for proving the possibilities of solar-powered air-conditioning, out to J. Donna for all the enthusiasm, help, friendship, free tow, and new tires, and of course out to Tynan for sharing all kinds of fantastic hacks and leading us to RV life. Tynan, I don’t know where I’d be without a marine fridge, great find!
PM me for an album of the build
Yes, the new array reliably runs both runs the 5kbtu air conditioner and charges my batteries simultaneously from 10AM-5PM. I only having 4 golf cart batteries, so I usually shut off the A.C. after 5pm because my panels are permanently mounted flat (not tiltable towards a sunset) and I simply don't have the battery capacity to run it at night. Yamaha's 1000W ultra quiet generator runs up to 9-10 hours per gallon, so that's a likely upgrade I'll add in the old generator compartment to run it at night, though I really wish it had an electric start so it can be programmed to come on only when needed (anyone know of a similar 1000W high-efficiency, ultra-quiet, electric-start model or a hack to modify the Yamaha?). The four SunPower 435W panels are 20% efficient and outperformed my expectations (in clear direct sunlight, two panels can often put out over 600W and I’ve seen them peak over 700W!) causing me to add an additional MidNite Classic 150 charge controller (which do need networked to each other btw, otherwise they get confused when trying to change charge stages). Though the controller is $620, it was still more cost efficient for me over wiring the bank to 24V, then adding a big (big to start generator occasionally, otherwise 12V loads are relatively small) 24V-12V step-down converter, 2kW 24V pure sine inverter, and a 120VAC->24VDC charger for emergencies. Keeping the bank at 12V allows me to still use the van's alternator to charge the bank in an emergency, which I've had to do once when it was left in a shop unexposed to sun for a week for maintenance and I forgot to turn off the marine fridge, otherwise the solenoid is always disconnected. I found the new panels for $300 each a couple hours away on Craigslist and knew this was my best shot at an air-conditioned summer. Austin, Texas has had a abnormally mild & rainy summer so far, so it hasn't been tested in 100F heat yet; I really need to add a heavy insulation blanket between the van & coach, as well as insulating the bubble skylight. I did already add insulation to most of the non-moving upper sections of the cabin windows plus the entire rear window; naturally it's coldest on the bed. Currently in the central desk/kitchen area, it’s really never cold, just cool enough to not drown in sweat, and I do run two directional fans inside 24/7 (not the roof vent fan while A.C. is on obviously). Sealing up door gaskets and vents could help too. I’ll also note that the microwave and stock electric water heater are used regularly too, but never all at the same time (I have a Prowatt 2000 inverter wired into the breaker panel). Not pictured in the photo album is the hole cut in shelf where the intake ducting is ported into the air conditioner's enclosure.