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Old 11-12-2006, 11:33 AM   #1
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LP Powered Air Conditioning

I just saw an item in another thread that mentioned LP AC as a viable alternative for boondocking.. I did not want to hijack that thread, so I started this one.

I would like to know more about the viability, cost, and dependability of LP Air conditioning. I would greatly appreciate imput from the group.
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:45 AM   #2
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As in "liquid propane" powered? While it could be, and might be done, it does not strike me as a viable alternative as refrigeration via a heat source (ammonia absorption) is usually done on a small scale like with a fridge.

Offhand I would SWAG that it would take less propane to power a generator to run a standard air conditioner than an ammonia absportion model. But keep in mind that I have never seen a working example of your thread's topic.

Which thread did you see this mentioned?

Tom
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:50 AM   #3
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the propane powered airconditioners i worked with on the railroad had a 4 cyl engine that was direct coupled to the compressor.

they were usually fueled by 6 100 lb tanks.

i imagine someone has made a smaller unit for rv's.

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Old 11-12-2006, 11:51 AM   #4
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I'd like to see it also, being in the ammonia refrigerator business. I never heard of a LP air conditioner. I know some ice skating rings still use ammonia systems. Although I heard of house air conditioners back in the 30's using ammonia. Story goes they would leak and kill people...thus were banned.
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:52 AM   #5
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on edit,

i had a buddy look at a 60's airstream, he said it had a lp airconditioner.

i never saw it to verify this.

i would venture to guess it is not absorbtion, but rather a propane internal combustion motor that powers it.

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Old 11-12-2006, 11:56 AM   #6
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I saw this item mentioned on one of the responses to the current thread, "My ideal 23' Safari...".
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:32 PM   #7
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I saw a natural gas powered heat pump at a home show several years ago. It had an 4 cyl Honda (I think) motor to drive the compressor. Much too big for an RV. And, they said it wouldn't run on lp. It was supposed to be less expensive to run than electric powered units.

Doesn't seem that it would be all that hard to downsize the idea and adapt it to lp and rv use.

Neal
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Old 11-12-2006, 12:45 PM   #8
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Anything's possbile, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by uncleneal
...Doesn't seem that it would be all that hard to downsize the idea and adapt it to lp and rv use.
I agree other than a self-contained unit that runs on LP might be a bit heavy to sit on the roof.

At face value, I would think that same unit would be a bit loud, what with it's own engine & everything. It would probably do a good job running the coons off at night, though.

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Old 11-12-2006, 01:01 PM   #9
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The idea:

Take a power unit==== the honda 2000eu motor.
Couple that to a compressor sized for that motor, approx 11-13,000 BTU

Make it a split unit, compressor and heat side coils outside, below the battery box or some place on the tounge. Cool side could still be in the roof but would be fine under the front sofa.

Noise and heat outside, cool and quiet inside.

A Honda 2000 allmost runs a 13K AC when using electric.
So, the same 100cc powerplant "SHOULD" run the compressor direct.

The only time you need max power is when the AC is running, everything else is propane or 12V. And for fun, bleed off 4-6 amps 12V for batt charge when compressor is not loading the motor.
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Old 11-12-2006, 02:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Druupy
The idea:

Take a power unit==== the honda 2000eu motor.
Couple that to a compressor sized for that motor, approx 11-13,000 BTU

Make it a split unit, compressor and heat side coils outside, below the battery box or some place on the tounge. Cool side could still be in the roof but would be fine under the front sofa.

Noise and heat outside, cool and quiet inside.

A Honda 2000 allmost runs a 13K AC when using electric.
So, the same 100cc powerplant "SHOULD" run the compressor direct.

The only time you need max power is when the AC is running, everything else is propane or 12V. And for fun, bleed off 4-6 amps 12V for batt charge when compressor is not loading the motor.
I played around with this idea this summer and had a lot of success. I built a small split system with the evap unit inside and a very small condensor outside. The system worked very well and was almost silent. I powered it off of a 2000I Honda. At 650 watts the Honda is only at a fast idle.
What most of us need even in larger trailers is only about 6k to 8k btu. These smaller units run well on the Honda inverter generators and only consume a couple gallons of fuel a day. Also by sizing your ac down, the compressor runs most of the time and the trailer stays dry. You could also convert your Honda to propane.
My 7k btu unit cooled my 22 feet toy hauler all summer even in 103 deg temps. as long as it was in the shade. I could always crank up my big roof shaker if I needed to deal with full sun.

ANSWER, Tiny AC and generator Nites and Shade, Big Ugly Wastefull AC when it is really hot and full sun.

Steve
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Old 11-12-2006, 02:25 PM   #11
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Diesel Powered Air Conditioning

Druupy:

I’m installing a LG “Art Cool” split system in my ARGOSY.

The compressor will be mounted on the tongue, were the LP tanks once were. (I’ve switched to diesel for heating and cooking. My fridge is a 9 cubic foot LG model, 110v.)

The inside cooling unit is 22” square by 5” deep and weights only 15 pounds. It will mount on the wall that divides the bath from the mid ship space.

When I don’t have access to shore power I intend to use the 200-amp alternator on my SPRINTER to charge an AGM battery/inverter combination in a possum belly on the truck.

Steve, firefly 007, has pointed out that the LG Art Cool uses modern inverter technology, superior to RV type a/c and very quiet and efficient.

There’s been a discussion of it here:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...c-24009-3.html


Sergei


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Old 11-12-2006, 03:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Druupy
Take a power unit==== the honda 2000eu motor.
Couple that to a compressor sized for that motor, approx 11-13,000 BTU

Make it a split unit, compressor and heat side coils outside, below the battery box or some place on the tounge. Cool side could still be in the roof but would be fine under the front sofa.

Noise and heat outside, cool and quiet inside.
It's always been said that the Honda eu2000i doesn't produce enough amperage to start up the A/C compressor. Running two in parallel is supposed to be necessary to prevent compressor burnout -- same issue as using anything less than a 30A plugin to run the A/C (what is startup amperage -- about 22-23?).
Quote:
Originally Posted by firefly007
I played around with this idea this summer and had a lot of success. I built a small split system with the evap unit inside and a very small condensor outside. The system worked very well and was almost silent. I powered it off of a 2000I Honda. At 650 watts the Honda is only at a fast idle.
I think it was in the VAP episode 28 they spoke about using a split system -- they use those in Iraq for tent barracks.

My personal experience with the eu2000i is that, when running the convection microwave, demand on the system will really rev up the engine, with resulting great noise. And people say such nice things about quiet Hondas ... I'll now think twice about my neighbors and surroundings when I plan on that one again.
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Old 11-12-2006, 06:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
It's always been said that the Honda eu2000i doesn't produce enough amperage to start up the A/C compressor. Running two in parallel is supposed to be necessary to prevent compressor burnout -- same issue as using anything less than a 30A plugin to run the A/C (what is startup amperage -- about 22-23?).I think it was in the VAP episode 28 they spoke about using a split system -- they use those in Iraq for tent barracks.

My personal experience with the eu2000i is that, when running the convection microwave, demand on the system will really rev up the engine, with resulting great noise. And people say such nice things about quiet Hondas ... I'll now think twice about my neighbors and surroundings when I plan on that one again.
The Key here is to reduce the size of the compressor. The system I m talking about here is only about 650 watts at compressor start up. AC systems are very wasteful on start up. Starting the compressor is one thing but getting the whole freon cycle going is an added waste. a small compressor running most of the time wins out over a big one starting and stopping.
My suggestion is to shut off the
ac during the day and go fishing or sight seeing. Turn on a small quiet AC at night and sleep well in cool cheap comfort.

Steve
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