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What are you using the heater core for?

The luan will give you r-nearly nothing.... It's r1 per inch of wood. Luan is about 1/8".

Spray foam is good, I used it on my build as well.

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Discussion Starter #82
Heater core would be used in place of the exchanger that the L5 comes from the factory with. A few pics of the L5 innards, here. The pump I have matches the flow of the factory exchanger. I was looking for something with 3/4" inlet and outlet to flow more and match what the floor can flow. The Supra heater core is copper. Seems like a viable replacement.

I asked what people were using for ceiling covering and most said luan and that it works well with insulation. I'd say anything will work well over spray-in foam.
 

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Ah sorry I misunderstood, yes luan is great, I thought you were saying it would Insulate. Over spray foam it's great, I used 1/4 t&g cedar for my ceiling.

I see so the ecotemp heat exchanger sucks? God man, just gey the espar ;) I'm totally for diy projects, but that seems silly.

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Discussion Starter #84
Ah sorry I misunderstood, yes luan is great, I thought you were saying it would Insulate. Over spray foam it's great, I used 1/4 t&g cedar for my ceiling.

I see so the ecotemp heat exchanger sucks? God man, just gey the espar ;) I'm totally for diy projects, but that seems silly.

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Eccotemp heater is awesome, really. Mad awesome for a shower. Lacking a bit in gpm for a heated floor, but that I can remedy. Most of the complaints for them sound like they're coming from folks that just want stuff to work and aren't interested in fixing anything themselves. Most of the parts inside of it can be found individually or inside of an item that I can find at Ace Hardware for cheap. I find that attractive lol.

My goal for this build is to make each system that requires energy to use it as efficiently as possible. LP doesn't match the BTU of diesel, though it should work alright. Especially if I'm able to use the exhaust heat to keep the block warm. If I'm not mistaken, the Webasto and Espar heaters require a few amps to pump and preheat the fuel. At least that's what I understood in some videos a while back. The coolant pump requires power, too. Of course, so will mine since the "stack" effect ain't gonna work out on this. I may try it anyway, just to see what happens.
 

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From my FF engineer days....the washers creating ripples or turbulence is going to require a larger Pump than you might think... as when the flow is interrupted it requires higher volume to overcome that resistance ...when the pex system is used the pipe is all the same diameter with very few obstructions.....I'd just do the pex...as your going to do a ton of work.


Or build a very small scale one to see how it's going to pan out...like a 4x4 one first so your not to heavily invested in the plan if the volume is not there...

Either way nice start..and I'm subscribed :grinpimp:
 

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Discussion Starter #86
From my FF engineer days....the washers creating ripples or turbulence is going to require a larger Pump than you might think... as when the flow is interrupted it requires higher volume to overcome that resistance ...when the pex system is used the pipe is all the same diameter with very few obstructions.....I'd just do the pex...as your going to do a ton of work.


Or build a very small scale one to see how it's going to pan out...like a 4x4 one first so your not to heavily invested in the plan if the volume is not there...

Either way nice start..and I'm subscribed :grinpimp:
Good to know. The interruptions hadn't come to mind. I've been wanting to do a scale version to try out. Being a stay-at-home dad with no ride or income and a wife that works 12-hour days, I have a hell of a time getting to any store and being able to afford stuff myself then trying to build it in the house while my two boys are climbing all over me every chance they get. Anyway, that's why I brought it up here. All the input is appreciated. I have to run stuff across to other adults. Discussing this with a three-year-old only goes so far.
 

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I see the dc power requirement as a nonissue. We run 3 regular agm bats not even 6v golf cart bats and i have gone 2 days running the espar and the heater blower and controls without having to fire up the genny. If u r gonna boondock u will need a genny and having a ton more room u could put more bats and solar on top. This would easily take care of the load without a genny.

Still not trying to shit on your parade just sharing my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #88
I see the dc power requirement as a nonissue. We run 3 regular agm bats not even 6v golf cart bats and i have gone 2 days running the espar and the heater blower and controls without having to fire up the genny. If u r gonna boondock u will need a genny and having a ton more room u could put more bats and solar on top. This would easily take care of the load without a genny.

Still not trying to shit on your parade just sharing my experience.
Ah. Real numbers. What kind of rig are you heating? Noise level of your heater? I'm checking out the hydronic S3. Stuff is pricey, so justifying such a purchase will take some work.
 

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I'm very interested in this thread and also don't want to shit on you for thinking outside the box but you have a lot of considerations to make before charging ahead with your design. I think you know that. It seems like you have a fair bit of pride tried up on your brain child and want to see it succeed which is understandable but you're making all your critical thoughts from a biased perspective. One example: you say some heat Loss to the under bay is a positive aspect of your steel floor but you would need to insulate under the pex floor to stop heat Loss. Both should probably have insulation. This steel floor could work but it's going to be oodles of work and an absolute nightmare if it ever cracks or leaks. What if the 18ga warps where you welded circles in the middle of it and it pops up and down when you walk on it? What CAD program are you using? Provably couldn't run some simulations for heat transfer across that floor? Do you know someone who could do that on their lunch break at work?

I don't think going to thicker plate under your floor will reflect the heat upwards. The conductivity will be the same, just a greater thermal mass on the bottom of the floor versus the top which won't help you.
 

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Discussion Starter #90
I'm very interested in this thread and also don't want to shit on you for thinking outside the box but you have a lot of considerations to make before charging ahead with your design. I think you know that. It seems like you have a fair bit of pride tried up on your brain child and want to see it succeed which is understandable but you're making all your critical thoughts from a biased perspective. One example: you say some heat Loss to the under bay is a positive aspect of your steel floor but you would need to insulate under the pex floor to stop heat Loss. Both should probably have insulation. This steel floor could work but it's going to be oodles of work and an absolute nightmare if it ever cracks or leaks. What if the 18ga warps where you welded circles in the middle of it and it pops up and down when you walk on it? What CAD program are you using? Provably couldn't run some simulations for heat transfer across that floor? Do you know someone who could do that on their lunch break at work?

I don't think going to thicker plate under your floor will reflect the heat upwards. The conductivity will be the same, just a greater thermal mass on the bottom of the floor versus the top which won't help you.
You nailed it, sir. Either floor I build will be insulated underneath, though. I'd have to run the floor for a few days to figure out exactly how much heat loss through the bottom there would be and how much to insulate it and if I can use any of that heat loss to keep the bay temps warm enough to keep water from freezing.

The 18 gauge warping is a major concern. Didn't mention it because I figured it was obvious to all us that have run a welder. I used SketchUp for this, but I do also use Fusion360 which can simulate heat and stress. I don't mind all the work at all. Cracks will suck. If it happens, I can drain the floor and clean the crack enough to weld it up, though that's something certainly avoidable with a PEX system.

As far as going with PEX, I'd like to not use plywood. The ply in the bus is rotted in some places and I've hated ply for a long time. Every home I've been in and/or done work on has rotten plywood flooring or some in progress of rotting. Bring on the substitute material suggestions.
 

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We used aluminum.

I plan to float a floor over the top of Pex, once the side walls are trimmed out.
 

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Discussion Starter #92
We used aluminum.

I plan to float a floor over the top of Pex, once the side walls are trimmed out.
I priced out stainless and aluminum sheet for this a while ago. Far too costly for the square footage of a bus. Are you laying anything in between the bottom aluminum and floating floor? We'll be laying down a click-lock, floating vinyl floor over top of whatever the radiant floor ends up being built with.
 

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Discussion Starter #93 (Edited)
A few years I go, I was strolling through Home Depot and spotted sheets of thick, black HDPE sheeting. Menard's has it here - https://www.menards.com/main/building-materials/panel-products/specialty-panels/plastic/3-8-x-4-x-8-hdpe-panel/p-1444424094141-c-14048.htm?tid=-5474000205481818847&ipos=1

I'd go with this stuff over steel or plywood for many reasons. The biggest fault, though, is plastics having a ridiculous thermal expansion rate. Even HDPE this thick would likely "puff up" between anchor points as it was brought up to temp for a heated floor (85-110ish Fahrenheit). Thoughts? Maybe HDPE planking would be better?
 

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Alu good, the make plates you can out down to clip the pex into (they are thin aluminum), could be riveted down to the floor

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Discussion Starter #95 (Edited)
Alu good, the make plates you can out down to clip the pex into (they are thin aluminum), could be riveted down to the floor

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Alu would be cool. $300 per sheet for 0.125" 4x8s. Our space is 8' wide and the length takes 9 to 10 sheets.
 

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I would be tempted to do something like Warmboard stuff for houses. Router out channels in the foam board, place some heavy aluminum foil down and cap with Al sheet. No need to go 1/8", .040 would be plenty for heat distribution. The something with a low R value for the flooring. If you know your floor plan ahead of time you can place your runs accordingly and still be able to bolt shit down.

Mass is good for steady state heat, but it will take way longer to heat up.

Venting the boiler into the engine compartment sounds like a bad idea. I have a very large ice mound under the house heater vent currently. The new high efficiency heater puts out some water. I could see this coating the motor with ice unless the engine heat loop was constantly running also which would defeat the purpose of using the boiler exhaust to keep things warm. I don't know, maybe there would be enough heat in there to keep it from icing.

Also, what happens if your steel floor freezes?
 

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Discussion Starter #99
I would be tempted to do something like Warmboard stuff for houses. Router out channels in the foam board, place some heavy aluminum foil down and cap with Al sheet. No need to go 1/8", .040 would be plenty for heat distribution. The something with a low R value for the flooring. If you know your floor plan ahead of time you can place your runs accordingly and still be able to bolt shit down.

Mass is good for steady state heat, but it will take way longer to heat up.

Venting the boiler into the engine compartment sounds like a bad idea. I have a very large ice mound under the house heater vent currently. The new high efficiency heater puts out some water. I could see this coating the motor with ice unless the engine heat loop was constantly running also which would defeat the purpose of using the boiler exhaust to keep things warm. I don't know, maybe there would be enough heat in there to keep it from icing.

Also, what happens if your steel floor freezes?
I dig the Warmboard. If somebody in Pueblo or Springs carries it, we'll take a look. The 11 gauge was picked for structural stability. Didn't want thinner sheet to crack under stresses that a bus sees while driving.

If I tried the boiler exhaust on the block, it'd be running through it's own vent pipe, but mounted to the block to transfer some heat. Something I'd have to ponder since it's a small boiler and the engine is a 736 cubic inch, iron beast.

The floor will run engine coolant. Can't imagine the floor would see temps low enough to freeze. I'm assuming PEX can handle coolant mixes. Gotta look into that.
 

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Ah. Real numbers. What kind of rig are you heating? Noise level of your heater? I'm checking out the hydronic S3. Stuff is pricey, so justifying such a purchase will take some work.
We r just heating a peterbilt with a 9' sleeper. Its much smaller then a bus and we use a Proair heater and controls. I had to use an ag style sprayer pump selinod and a motorized selinod so it automatical shuts the fluid off to the sleeper heater core and bypasses it back through the system when the tstat is satisfied. i dont have a pic of the set up but here is the unit. Its what is used in an ambulance. Once the coolant is hot it brought thd temp from 34 to 74 in less then 10 min.

The noise is basically a light buzz from the fluid pump. U cant hear it over the blower in the interior. Im sure u would not hear it in the bus.

 
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