Question on cooling

StdyhandStdyhand Solar Expert Posts: 33
I will be temporarily placing two travel trailers on a piece of remote property in Arizona while we build.

I need to figure out how to cool these two travel trailers. I will be building an array just for powering the A/C during the day light hours. The rest of the time the generator will do it, but at least I can take advantage of the sun during the day and save some generator fuel. I like the efficiency of the mini-split but I don't think it will work too well since I need to cool two travel trailers. Both campers will be parked with one right next to the other. If it would work I can use the mini split on the house once it is completed.

Assuming the mini-split system can be used with two heads, one could be placed in each camper but how does using two heads affect the power requirements?

Unless I figure out something different my only option at this time is to power a small window unit just during the day but this will only cool one travel trailer. I don't want to do a 2nd array just to power a window unit. In that case I would just run the second A/C on a Honda 2000 since it is only needed for 3-4 weeks during the summer.

Is it possible to do this with the mini split until the house is built or should I just stick to a window unit?

Comments

  • AuricTechAuricTech Solar Expert Posts: 140 ✭✭
    Re: Question on cooling

    One thing you might want to look at is installing evaporative coolers on both travel trailers. One I've found that's designed for RV use is the TurboKOOL unit, which fits on a standard RV vent opening. According to their Web site, it draws 4.6 amps of 12VDC current.

    I don't know if this would be a complete solution, but it might be worthwhile to look into.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Question on cooling

    also if you place the pvs right you can shade the trailers with the pvs.
  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,266 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Question on cooling

    I would insulate them with rigid foam and put them side by side to eliminate the heat loss from one wall. Consider orienting them east/west with a roof overhang on the south side to reduce expose to the sun.

    Also make sure they are well air sealed, although that may create the need for an ERV for ventilation air.

    A dual-head inverter mini-split makes sense.

    I am available for custom hardware/firmware development

  • StdyhandStdyhand Solar Expert Posts: 33
    Re: Question on cooling
    jonr wrote: »
    I would insulate them with rigid foam and put them side by side to eliminate the heat loss from one wall. Consider orienting them east/west with a roof overhang on the south side to reduce expose to the sun.

    Also make sure they are well air sealed, although that may create the need for an ERV for ventilation air.

    A dual-head inverter mini-split makes sense.

    Do you know how the dual head would effect power consumption vs. using a single? I've read they can use minimal power on low but I'm assuming that is when using a single unit.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,443 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Question on cooling
    Stdyhand wrote: »
    Do you know how the dual head would effect power consumption vs. using a single? I've read they can use minimal power on low but I'm assuming that is when using a single unit.

    They will react according to the thermostat settings. The one with the higher differential will control power consumption basically .Part of the concept of using a mini split offgrid is not using more BTU's than the solar can easily provide with early and late day arrays. You need alot of shade to do this also. In Arizona there is a company that makes an excellent DC based evaporative cooler. The only problem in parts of the state is when the monsoon is going and humidity is high for a month.The evap would be easy to power, the split will be a challenge if it is not done right.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • jonrjonr Solar Expert Posts: 1,266 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Question on cooling

    If these are trailers that you don't want to modify, then you might want to build a simple roof over them to block radiant heat. For example, corrugated steel roofing plus an inch of foam.

    Peak power draw is based on the system size (unless it has a control limiting it to "low" only) and average power use is based on the number of btu you need moved. Also consider efficiency.

    I've wondered about the practicality of a sprinkler on a timer to keep a building wet and thereby cooled by evaporative cooling. It has been done.

    I am available for custom hardware/firmware development

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