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Old 30th April 2009, 08:19   #1
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Default Electrical AC for van/MUV?

How feasible is it to mount an electrical AC wired up to an inverter battery instead of the regular car AC?

I need to be able to run the AC in the van for extended periods with the main engine switched off.

A friend was telling me about propane powered AC's which are available in the US for the same purpose. Any idea on the availability/suitability in India?
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Old 30th April 2009, 12:51   #2
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For starters, you'll need alot of inverter batteries

Your moto home will get even heaiver for that lethargic engine to do any real highway cruising.
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Old 30th April 2009, 13:14   #3
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Default Generator, not Inverter

From what I can guess, your van(s?) are going to do what Vodafone Mobile Stores or Blood collection vans (run by various NGOs) usually do - stand at offbeat locations where there is no fixed collection point.

Please note that all these vans carry a small generator which is integrated on top of the main cab. The air-conditioning unit is designed to draw power from the main engine as long as it is running. Once switched off, the generator becomes the backup power source. Your only cost is the diesel used to run the generator.

There are a few companies making soundless generator sets specifically for this purpose. Try to find out. I know one, Supernova Gensets of Ahmedabad, which makes small gensets running 2.5KV Mahindra engines, adaptable for the purpose at hand.

Trying to run on inverter batteries is expensive (cost of batteries) and takes up a lot of storage space. Besides, unless the van runs a lot between stoppages, the inverters wont get charged up enough to run the ac again. So not suggested.

Mods, I dont know whether disclosing a specific company name is an offence. Was just trying to provide help to the guy, and is in no commercial interest to me whatsoever. Please delete the name if you find it out of rules.
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Old 30th April 2009, 14:54   #4
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What would be the consumption of a 0.5 ton capacity AC? Just as a theoretical exercise, How big would the battery have to be for a backup of 6 hours or so?

The van is going to be parked for upto 7/8 hours at a time deep in a forest where diesel vehicles are a no no, so a noisy generator is totally out of the question. I was considering a solar panel that would provide additional juice for the charging while the van is parked.

If an AC is not possible, i might have to settle for a quiet attic fan kind of solution: that wont require too much juice from the inverter batteries!
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Old 30th April 2009, 15:39   #5
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@ Cougar - You would note I mentioned soundless generators. These are small gensets packed in a totally sound proof enclosure. Seen the genset units attached to mobile phone towers? Go next to them and you will still hear practically nothing. Or go to a Vodafone mobile van and try to hear the generator. That is a soundless generator for you.

Anyway, a 0.5 ton AC consumes about 6 MMBTUs (1.7 Kw) of energy per hour. So for 6 hours your battery would require 10.2 Kw of power. No idea about what size of battery would be required though.
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Old 30th April 2009, 15:46   #6
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Saw a couple of gensets running on bullet engine.the AVL350 versions. They are petrol based but really doubt their power rating given their engine specs.

You should look at Genset companies, invertor route is expensive.
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Old 1st May 2009, 12:09   #7
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Well, theoritically speaking a 1400 w inverter would work fine with a .75 ton A/C .

I must say that a minimum of .75 ton is needed as it helps cool the area much faster and then cut off .

A 1400 w inverter needs 24 v for operation and it can deliver 980w that is 70 % of its efficiency .

The A/c might typically need around 800 w in operation and there is no need for a voltage stabiliser as well .

A 24 v solar panel can be integrated , there are inverters which can take solar panel as well for charging ,but the cost would be really prohibitive .
Cheaper alternative would be to get a 24 v alternator and mate it to the engine or you can get a silent 4 stroke engine and mate it to a 24 v alternator . you can get 2 sets of 24 v batteries ,so that even if 1 bank is getting charged , you can still use the other bank .

eBay.com.sg: 2 WAY ALTERNATOR SPLIT CHARGE RELAY KIT- 6-24V - 20A (item 110378232940 end time Apr 20, 2009 16:36:48 SGT)
You might need something like this for charging 2 banks of batteries .


Series 25 Alternators

Alternators of that type should help for a fast charge . But , if you require the local types then lucas has a good alternator lineup ,but the alternators deliver only 30 AMP . If you can get hold of an alternator that can deliver a minimum of 100 AMPS , you might be able to use the A/C while the batteries are being charged also . .
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Old 1st May 2009, 12:40   #8
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hold on - you were talking about a diesel vehicle - the one u mentioned doesnt come in petrol!!
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Old 1st May 2009, 17:24   #9
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Please note that solar panels also will NOT be effective deep in the forest or you might have to climb the trees and mount the panels at the tree tops
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