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Thread: New owner of Vintage Bus 1980

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Bothell
    Posts
    42

    Default DIY Hydronic system first run, good stuff

    Making progress of my DIY hydronic system and was able to run a test on Sunday and will first post what worked!

    I filled it slowly with water today from a low point and it has 20 gallons of storage and topped out somewhere around 23 gallons which seems right.

    Absolutely none of the PEX connections that I put together using the expansion tool leaked!!!



    Fired up my diesel heater and observed the following behavior:

    1. It sat there for a bit of time while I think it did its startup sequence of warming up the glow plug, testing water flow and fan speed.
    2. It started clicking the pump loudly which muted down as the pump filled with fuel.
    3. Exhaust pipe output a little bit of white diesel smoke.
    4. Internal fan speed ramped up and the exhaust started to roar and the output fluid pipe was about 170 degrees (no muffler at this time).
    5. When turned off it went through a shutdown and cool down cycle for about 3-5 minutes before fully shutting down.

    So I believe that the diesel boiler is functional.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Bothell
    Posts
    42

    Default First run of DIY hydronic system, not so good stuff

    1. Some of the manual connections that i made had slow drips during the water testing phase.
    2. The air purge valve didn't seem to work at all, might have had it adjusted wrong.
    3. I think there was problems with the check valves that I used in my design, maybe not enough flow rate to fully close.
    4. The diesel heater cycled up and down in heat output which might be:

    a. Maybe it was programmed with non-standard settings because it was used warm a generator in an arctic settings and hey if the cold coolant is 80 degrees, job is done. I do have a diagnostic kit that I have to figure out how to use with this heater.
    b. Check valve was more and likely not fully closing and allowing re-circulation between the input and output to the diesel heater. Maybe I should do a standalone test with a tank of water. Dang, I gave away a rain barrel last month that I could have used for this...
    c. Replace check valve for diesel heater with a automatically closing valve as soon as the heater is commanded to start; forcing all flow to pass through the remote diesel boiler.

    5. Circulation/stir pump seems to keep loosing prime as I mounted it too high up.


    Anyway I was able to bring the storage up to about 110 degrees though the target was 160 degrees, but hey it was a first run!!!

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Arlington
    Posts
    133

    Default

    Thanks for keeping us posted. Good luck!
    Mark and Debbie Fratto
    1998 Country Coach

  4. #34
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    AUGUSTA
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by freds View Post
    1. Some of the manual connections that i made had slow drips during the water testing phase.
    2. The air purge valve didn't seem to work at all, might have had it adjusted wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by freds View Post
    1. Some of the manual connections that i made had slow drips during the water testing phase.
    2. The air purge valve didn't seem to work at all, might have had it adjusted wrong.
    Fred, by air purge valve do you mean a bus air source to blow out water lines i.e. for winterization? If so please keep that air source valved out reliably (i.e. a manual valve) since there's quite a history of electro-mechanical air/water valves failing (BB) and flooding brakes/suspension full of water.
    --
    Chip Lamb
    Augusta, GA USA
    1997 Prevost XL40 Liberty
    1987 BB WL35SB
    804-357-4926 / chip@collectorsco.com
    Appraiser/Broker/Dealer/Inspector

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    2,972

    Default

    I have never seen a prevo with fresh water in the air system or ever heard of it. I'd be amazed if that's the function of the purge. It's for flow not winterizing.
    1990 Peterbuilt 377
    3406 B Caterpillar
    13 Speed Roadranger
    No Norgrens
    708 243 7871

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Bothell
    Posts
    42

    Default

    The air purge valve is for removing air from the coolant. Using water right now until I am confident that the system is functioning correctly and then will make 50/50 with food grade glycol for freeze protection.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Bothell
    Posts
    42

    Default DIY Hydronic system automation controller

    The last day and half have been a big wiring project for the DIY hydronic heating system that I have been working on.

    Anyway, hereís the layout that I came up with, bit more of a ratís nest then I originally planned, but hey working on getting it wrapped up and done!!!



    Also, I am running out of bay wall space. So, I pre-wired everything up on a one-foot square board with extra-long wiring leads and mounted it to the ceiling of the plumbing/electrical bay.

    Your basic Raspberry Pi driving two eight channel relay boards. I went with a left over SSD drive for long term reliability; as the typical SDCard can wear out in 2-3 years or sooner depending on the write cycle frequency. Plus the SSD drive is faster...

    The functions that it is currently controlling is:


    • Bedroom heater zone pump.
    • Bathroom heater zone pump.
    • Kitchen heater zone pump.
    • Living room heater zone pump.
    • Front bays freeze protection pump.
    • Rear bays freeze protection pump.
    • Stir/circulation pump.
    • Pump for Engine preheating and thermosiphon heat recovery.
    • Pump for Generator preheating and thermosiphon heat recovery.
    • Diesel Boiler remote on/off.
    • Electric ball valve to force flow through the diesel boiler when it is on, bypass when off.
    • Temperature sensor for hydronic tank output.
    • Temperature sensor for Engine coolant, thermosiphon heat recovery monitoring.
    • Temperature sensor for generator coolant, thermosiphon heat recovery monitoring.


    I still have four relays left over and could add another eight-channel relay board for $10.00 before I max out the Raspberry Pi. All told this could be duplicated for around $120.00

    Once all the hardware is installed then itís software time!!! Something I do everyday in my day job.

    Starting with a simple manual over-ride web page with simple touch buttons for each relay function.

    Software wise in the long term will be smart scheduling and Alexa voice control integration. Which is easy to do with Internet of Things Node Red software.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Beverly Hills
    Posts
    3,682

    Default

    Nice work!


    Gil and Durlene
    2003 H-3 Hoffman Conversion

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