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Old 01-05-2010, 01:04 PM   #29
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Update on XT two stage hum

Greetings,

I just talked to a design engineer in SLC for Atwood. He was very helpful, and agreed the behavior is not normal.

He thought this annoying hum might be a harmonic/electronic thing, due
to a unique combination of variation in specs between components.

The tech support people previously replaced the motor and fan eboard,
but did not replace the ignition eboard. The engineer suggested
replacing that too. He is sending me one.

I will report on that when I install and test.
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:52 PM   #30
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Came across an interesting DIY hot water furnace utilizing the water heater, so, could work on propane or electricity. Probably posted before (motorhomes have had these):

http://www.solarhaven.org/HPArticle.htm
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:30 PM   #31
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That site wouldn't open for me, so I am guessing that it's a system that has small radiators throughout the coach, supplied by a central gas-fired boiler.

I like that idea except that it would be slow to warm up, add a lot of weight to the TT, and require some fancy installation.

Other than that though, it's great.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:46 PM   #32
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Wood heat...

Here is the necessary link to the marine style small wood stoves asked about earlier in this thread. Check out:

Traditional Cast Iron Marine Stoves by Navigator Stove Works,Inc.

The Sardine model is the smallest unit and probably big enough for most Airstreams. I noticed that it said it was 86% efficient. There is an photo of an installation in an Airstream on their site. There are also some people here in the forum that have installed them. They are not inexpensive however.

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Old 01-06-2010, 03:02 PM   #33
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(Sorry, Aage, should have included the title

RETROFITTING AN RV WITH
A HOT-WATER HEATING SYSTEM


Uses the water heater -- plus a solar-powered pump -- as a retrofit to provide off-grid heat.
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:30 PM   #34
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Hot water heat...

I was able to access the site listed above about retrofitting an RV with hot-water heat. It shows a very simple installation using hot water from the already installed 6 gallon RV water heater, a water pump, a heating coil from a core and a fan. This type of hot-water heating still uses the movement of air to heat the space. This type of heating would then be classified as hot-water convection heating. It is by the way possible to buy radiator/fan units that are specifically for use in RVs. Evidently many of the high end motor homes use hot-water heating of this type. Precision Temp sells RV water heaters some of which along with their heating coil/ fan units.

PrecisionTemp.com: For Recreational Vehicles and Boats

Here is one place that sells radiator/ran units.

DickinsonMarine.com - Alternative Heating <-- bottom of page
http://www.boatownersworld.com/heaters.htm <-- cheaper prices

The above site also has marine propane and wood fireplaces by the way. I have not looked that hard for radiator/fan units but I know there are other places that sell them. Precision Temp could not doubt recommend some places.

Instead of using convection heating I have been looking into various approaches for using hot-water radiant heating in my 1973 31' remodel. Radiant heating differs from convection heating in that heat is normally transferred to the people by direct radiation rather than by warm air movement. From what I can tell this type of heat transfer is considered to be one of the most efficient ways to heat people. Most hot-water radiant heating systems have tubing in the floor that heat the floor.

I have the advantage (if you can call it that) that my interior is a complete from scratch rebuild. This means I can potentially install whatever makes reasonable sense. I have intended for a long time now to install PEX tubing in my floor under my new finish flooring. I am anticipating using 1/2" PEX and am thinking about putting it at about 6" on center. Normal household radiant heating systems would likely have the tubing at about 12"+ on center but they are also usually better insulated. This will add about 3/4" to the height of my floor. Of course this means that the floor is that much closer to the ceiling but I think I can spare the space. I have also considered installing an array of tubing on my ceiling instead since there is more ceiling space that is not obstructed by other things than there is floor area. I will probably stick with installing the PEX tubing in the floor though.

I have purchased a 12 volt hot water pump which is in transit now. Here is the unit that I bought:

Hot Water Circulating Pumps, March, Hartell and Ivan EL SID

The exact unit I bought is the IVN-13014. These folks seem to have the best price on this particular pump by the way. The pump is very compact and the motor is brush less and should run very quietly. You can actually replace the electric motor without disconnecting the pump itself. It looks like a pretty nice unit.

I am going to install reflective foil insulation on top of my sub-floor an then install the PEX tubing on top of that. I will also install 1x1 strips of wood in between the PEX tubing runs to which I will attach a new sub-floor. Since the 1x1 will be at something like 6" on center I am contemplating using 1/4" underlayment plywood. I intend to install floating vinyl flooring on top.

The big dilemma for me has been what type of water heater to use. I have been leaning in favor of using a tank-less one but would prefer not to spend the kind of money that the RV-500 or especially the TwinTemp Junior go for. I was interest to note that the author of the article on the hot water conversion was able to get enough heat out of his standard 6 gallon RV tank type heater. To read some discussion on tank-less water heaters refer to the following threads:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f445...ter-53003.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f445...ter-37769.html

I intend to plumb my hot water system in a so-called open loop hot water heating system. I intend to follow the guidelines of the diagram shown at the following website:

Radiant Heat From Radiant Floor Company - Sytem Types - Open System

I anticipate needing just one heating zone - hence just one pump. I need to find the right type of thermostat that will turn on my hot-water pump when needed.

I would suppose that it would be possible to add radiant heating elements on top of an existing floor if you would be willing to tolerate the height change. I suppose that you could also install radiant tubing in other places such as on the ceiling like I was considering.

Malcolm
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:46 PM   #35
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Great Topic

Working in energy efficiency I have seen thousands of home energy bills. In the end it does not matter what kind of system a home uses. Their final bill is only effected by the efficiency of the heating system.

For instance: Two identical homes, one has an electric furnace and the other has hydronic floor heat connected to an electric boiler. Both systems will use EXACTLY the same amount of electricity each month. Happens every time. I do concede that comfort may be different between the two homes, depending on how they were designed, but their bills are the same.

So whether you use your propane water heater or your propane furnace to heat the space, the only thing that will effect your propane use is the efficiency of the two heaters. If the propane furnace is around 60% and your water heater the same, there will be no savings if you switch.

I know that in homes, ducts are notoriously leaky. Sometimes leaking as much as 40% of the air into the crawl space. Along those lines the only concern I would have with running the fan when the furnace is not running, is that if the ducts are leaking to the exterior you will be losing more heat than if you only ran your fan when the furnace was running. However, with all that extra air from the exterior it might help with those notorious moisture issues .
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:35 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthews View Post
Working in energy efficiency I have seen thousands of home energy bills. In the end it does not matter what kind of system a home uses. Their final bill is only effected by the efficiency of the heating system.

For instance: Two identical homes, one has an electric furnace and the other has hydronic floor heat connected to an electric boiler. Both systems will use EXACTLY the same amount of electricity each month. Happens every time. I do concede that comfort may be different between the two homes, depending on how they were designed, but their bills are the same.

So whether you use your propane water heater or your propane furnace to heat the space, the only thing that will effect your propane use is the efficiency of the two heaters. If the propane furnace is around 60% and your water heater the same, there will be no savings if you switch.

I know that in homes, ducts are notoriously leaky. Sometimes leaking as much as 40% of the air into the crawl space. Along those lines the only concern I would have with running the fan when the furnace is not running, is that if the ducts are leaking to the exterior you will be losing more heat than if you only ran your fan when the furnace was running. However, with all that extra air from the exterior it might help with those notorious moisture issues .
Wouldn't there be efficiency factors associated with delivering the heat from the heater to the people that would need to be accounted for too? You mention heat loss due to leaky ducts for example. Also wouldn't the perceived comfort of a given heating system type have some impact on the thermostat setting that is used and therefore on the amount of energy consumed by the heat source?

Malcolm
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:53 PM   #37
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Rednax: This is an excellent idea no matter what the efficiency is. Just having that loud, irritating furnace blower NOT coming on in order to heat our Airstream would be outstanding! I am putting that on my AS To Do list immediately.....
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:51 AM   #38
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Air temperature + infrared radiation from the surroundings = the warmth you feel.

Warmth that you feel inside of a house (or an Airstream) have 2 components: Conduction from the warm air, and the infrared radiation from the surroundings (floor, walls, etc).

During the winter, the floor and the walls are cold to touch (especially the aluminium shell of AS!); they are not radiating much. But during the summer, they are hot to touch; they are radiating way too much heat.

Say, your body like to be comfortable at 72F surroundings.

In winter with furnace on, the air temp @ 72F: You feel the comfort from the 72F air only. No warmth from the infrared radiation from the surroundings, because not much is emitted.

In summer, with air-conditioner on, the air temp @ 72F: You feel the comfort from the 72F air, plus you are also receiving additional warmth from the radiation from the hot aluminum walls. It feels much hotter than in winter, even though the thermostat shows the same air temp.

The same confort I can achieve with 72F thermostat settings in the winter, I find that I can achieve in spring with about 65F thermostat settings.

A thermostat can only measure the air temperature, the warm air that you feel when in contact. But we don't have an practical way of measuring the radiation warmth that a person feels. Thus we have to adjust the thermostat with the change of the seasons to account for the fluctuating infrared radiation to achieve the same comfort.

Quote:
Wouldn't there be efficiency factors associated with delivering the heat from the heater to the people that would need to be accounted for too...
Electric heating is 100% efficient -- meaning 100% of the energy content transforms into the usable heat IN the house. The most efficient of the fuel furnaces or stoves achieve about 75% ~ 85% efficiency these days, meaning 15% or so of its energy content is wasted as the hot exhaust air to the outside.
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:24 PM   #39
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Radiation, etc.

Let me expand a little on the issue of radiation and heat transfer...

The laws of thermal dynamics state that heat flows from a warmer body to a colder body. If the walls and other surfaces around us are colder than we are then heat radiates from our body to the colder surfaces. In the case of a heated floor heat radiates in our direction because it is warmer than we are. Most any type of heating system works partly by heating the surfaces around us. A forced air system does transfer heat to our bodies from the warm air. It also transfers heat to the surfaces around us which has the effect of reducing the heat loss by radiation from out bodies to these surfaces. I suppose that ideally I should pump hot water through all the surfaces of my Airstream.

Something else that comes to mind is that when our feet are in contact with a warm floor there is some heat transfer by conduction directly to our feet. A lot of blood flows through our feet so heating our feet can have a huge impact on how the rest of our body feels. Years ago my father told me about a man that he knew that was in special forces with some branch of the military. This guys training and and direct experience was that if he was out in the weather with minimal clothing that his first priority was to keep his feet warm.

Malcolm
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:28 PM   #40
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Update on the two stage...

The engineer in SLC sent me all the boards. I installed them. It was easy.
However, it made no difference .

I then stuck a screwdriver in between the metal plates separating the blower from the burner, and the sound changed. I reported this to the engineer. He suggested getting an entire new furnace, as it might be harmonics of that particular installation combined with the particulars of the trailer structure.

Not wanting to bring the trailer again to the RV dealer, I decided to visit Atwood on our next trip in March, because we go through SLC. He said they would be happy to fix it there right away, regardless of the problem. I think they are interested in it from a problem-solving point of view. I agreed to that. So no more reports until then...

I would hesitate to buy one unless they can fix it.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:25 PM   #41
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Thanks very much for the update, Hank. I guess that this is a new model for the Atwood folks, so thank goodness they have engineers that care if it works.

Too bad they are using the clients to debug it though. Someone there must have trained at Microsoft!

Looking forward to hearing about how things work out in your March trip to them. Sorry, I don't know where SLC is...?
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:41 PM   #42
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