Hybrid Solar Electric/Collector Hot Water Heater System Design X42.w.1

Here is a preliminary sketch involving the parts for my two-in-one hybrid hot water generator for our bus, Leauxie. Water is heated in two ways, through a continuous circulation solar collector (driven by a 12v circulation pump powered by the solar electric system) and a straight driven 12v to 24v electric hot water heating element. The tank itself will actually act as a third – passive heating opportunity by default. Not pictured are the input and output from the supply tank (a float valve will refill the 5 gallon tank as needed from the 42 gallon on board storage tank as hot water is used from the sink or shower). Actual reality manifesting photos and documentation to follow shortly.

Hybrid hot water system parts are coming in!

I’ve gotten some of the parts in for the hybrid (but fully sun-powered) 5 gallon solar hot water heater system we are installing in Leauxie.

The big Shurflo pump is our main pump for water to the shower and sink in the system. There is a secondary (lower flow) pump that will deliver water from the hot water side of the system. The small tan pump is a circulation pump that will pump water continuously in a loop through a copper coil solar collector. The water heater element pictured is a 24 volt element driven off of a 12v to 24v step up converter (30A – 750w) that will be powered from the 12v end of our charge controller on the 1kW solar panel array which can be used at night or on more cloudy days where the solar collector is not as efficient. This will all be used in a 5 gallon black steel drum which I will have to install all the bulkheads in to get the water in and out that will be mounted on the mezzanine on top of the bus. The tank itself will act as a solar collector in this case while in the sun. I haven’t seen a system quite like this that utilizes differing systems in one but I truely believe we will have some nice hot water – continually heated by the sun, one way or another. We’re going to take the day off for Father’s Day today but… have no fear – parts will be going together and updates coming out as progress happens!

Happy Camping!

In the skoolie today…

Today was another productive day working on our Leauxie.  Most of the kitchenette framing went in and we’re really liking the way it is falling together.  The stove and spice rack will start right behind the driver’s seat.  I built the counters a little deeper than usual to provide for a bit of outer space behind the appliances – above the counter and below.  Behind the stove will be an approximate 10″ stone/tile surface able to accept hot pans without burning the surface.  Next to the stove is an elevated cutting/prep station which will house our refrigerator below.  There is about 12″ of space under the counter and behind the fridge that will house systems and equipment such as on demand water heating equipment/electrical and/or water filtration.  Next to the fridge, between the sink, will be a three drawer storage area for silverware, utensils, rags and various items as such and a larger drawer on bottom for more bulky items.  Each drawer is getting 2 ball bearing slides capable of holding 130lbs and that extend a total of 22 inches.  The sink is next, lowered to window height and will drain into a 30 gallon grey tank under the bus.


A little fun was added as well with a 32″ Samsung Smart TV complete with Blu-Ray player, Apple TV and an HDTV broadcast antenna, so I can have some entertainment going while building this thing out (also, we’re putting a LOT of science into this thing with addressable LED strip lighting, networking capabilities, solar power and power conversion systems so I need to get a lot of wiring into the walls while they are open).


Check out the Skoolie.net forum for more info!

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