Heating AND cooling...in one 'box'?

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JT646

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Obviously one would need a large solar+battery setup, but this mini heat-pump idea might work for some vandwellers.
Also, I believe heat-pumps offer a 3/1 advantage for heating...put in 1 unit of power and get 3 units out as heat. YMMV

 
I am impressed with my power station (Delta 2) but they are expensive, the Wave 2 even more so. The biggest problem I see is you still need to charge them. EcoFlow does offer a great solution but again at a price. You can spend thousands of dollars buying everything thing you need in one place, which if you have the cash is great but there are alternatives if you are poor that need to be considered if you are poor.
 
I am impressed with my power station (Delta 2) but they are expensive, the Wave 2 even more so. The biggest problem I see is you still need to charge them. EcoFlow does offer a great solution but again at a price. You can spend thousands of dollars buying everything thing you need in one place, which if you have the cash is great but there are alternatives if you are poor that need to be considered if you are poor.
Yup - such as moving to where you like the weather better.
 
Yep as this site has expanded to include the many people with more resources it has to keep its former main focus group in mind. For the cost of a complete system that may last you can travel many miles to a better climate and save a lot of precious living space and money. Cheap travel requires more compromises and usually less convenience.
 
Heating and cooling in one device is of dubious value. Heating with electricity is extremely inefficient. To do so while boondocking would be ridiculous. But even with hookups there are better and cheaper options.

The Wave 2 may be a viable solution if two elements are in place. One, you are already in (or will commit to) the EcoFlow ecosystem. Two, you have a simple or modular build. Otherwise, it's not worth the price.

While the Wave 2 has its own battery, its not large enough for many use cases. Solar can only be used to charge the battery, it cannot run the Wave 2. So a EcoFlow power station is basically essential.

Portable power ACs are not as effective or convenient as rooftop ACs. Unless there's a compelling reason for having a removable unit, it doesn't make sense. Even for use cases where hookups are readily available, there are cheaper options for both heating and cooling that will perform just as well as the Wave 2.

I have a simple, modular build and a Delta Pro and I'm not sure the Wave 2 is worth the price even for me. I think EcoFlow products are great, but I'm not sure who the target audience is for the Wave 2.
 
In my opinion it is for those who may not want to or can not install a window AC unit in the summer or deal with diesel or propane vented or unvented heaters in the winter. Again in my opinion if you use electric AC or heat you will need to use their or someone else’s generator or access to grid power to make it work. The new battery technology and now more affordable power station is competing with do it yourself charging and battery storage systems quite well. It has worked for me in a boondocking situation in cutting down generator run time to a point it may even pay for itself if it lasts as long as advertised. Bottom line is in my opinion you aren’t gonna get as good results as you would with grid power without input on your part of dealing with a generator unless you have a massive solar system/generator or are willing to make compromises. You are spending a lot of money to make fewer compromises in my opinion. We usually workcamp summers in hot climates to have access to grid power AC instead of going to higher elevations and deal with a generator/propane in the warmest climates we can get to in the winter boondocking.
 
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Also, I believe heat-pumps offer a 3/1 advantage for heating...put in 1 unit of power and get 3 units out as heat. YMMV
Looks like heating power in his test (at 44F ambient?) was 6100 BTU/hr or 1800W at 390W input, or a 4.6x ratio.

Max cooling (83F ambient?)... 5100 BTU or 1500W cooling, with 450W input, or a 3.3x ratio.

The efficiency will drop as the ambient heating temperature decreases and the ambient cooling temperature increases, but those look like great numbers to me. I did a heating test on my camper and it steadied out to 13W/F. For instance, I could keep it 40F warmer than the outside with 520W of heating, which if the ratio was 4 to 1 would only be 130W of electricity. That doesn't seem bad. If run all day though that's over 3,000 W-hr. Similar deal on the cooling side if you are in a hot climate.

Seems pretty viable for someone who has lots of solar and wants an all electric camper. I like that it's portable so you can leave it in storage or home when you don't need it.
 
In my opinion it is for those who may not want to or can not install a window AC unit in the summer or deal with diesel or propane vented or unvented heaters in the winter. Again in my opinion if you use electric AC or heat you will need to use their or someone else’s generator or access to grid power to make it work. The new battery technology and now more affordable power station is competing with do it yourself charging and battery storage systems quite well. It has worked for me in a boondocking situation in cutting down generator run time to a point it may even pay for itself if it lasts as long as advertised. Bottom line is in my opinion you aren’t gonna get as good results as you would with grid power without input on your part of dealing with a generator unless you have a massive solar system/generator or are willing to make compromises. You are spending a lot of money to make fewer compromises in my opinion. We usually workcamp summers in hot climates to have access to grid power AC instead of going to higher elevations and deal with a generator/propane in the warmest climates we can get to in the winter boondocking.
Opinions on just about anything will vary.

I often go where there is no AC. I do not like diesel smell or generator noise. So I am interested in any other alternatives anyone may discover. As you say, technology is constantly improving. I think I will probably keep on looking until I am either beyond caring or I find a better solution, In the meantime, I know a bit of heat in the summer or cold in the winter is unlikely to do much more than make me uncomfortable. Anytime it gets too bad, I'll pull up stakes and move on down the line.
 
Seems pretty viable for someone who has lots of solar and wants an all electric camper. I like that it's portable so you can leave it in storage or home when you don't need it.
Solar panels generate electricity but they don't store it. The Wave can't run off solar, it needs a 12v (or 110v) source. So a large battery bank is still needed. In broad daylight, it may be possible to have enough panels to compensate for the energy the AC is using, but the concept is inherently flawed. Maximizing solar generation requires being in direct sun, this is in direct conflict to parking in the shade being the lowest hanging fruit to keeping a vehicle cool. RVs are metal boxes and cooling using solar electricity is never going to be efficient use of power.

While the Wave may be more energy efficient than a traditional electric space heater, it's still a lot less efficient than propane, petrol, or diesel. The Wave is expensive, for that kind of money there are better options. For vehicles with gas engines, the Webasto petrol heater is half the cost to buy and uses very little electricity (and gas). Unless plugged into free shore power, electrical heating doesn't make sense.

Portable is nice in theory, but my experience using a portable diesel heater leads me to think real world use would be disappointing. These units are not small, and they have to be put into position somewhere (I built a stand that hung on the inside of the passenger window). The hoses have to be ducted somewhere depending on it's carrying: water, hot air, fresh air (or in my case, exhaust). The power source and cord has to be managed (in my case routed so it wasn't a trip hazard). The bottom line for me was the simplicity and portability wasn't worth the hassle and inconvenience. I disassembled my all in one diesel heater and permanently mounted it. I suspect I'd reach the same conclusion with a portable AC.
 
When I lived in North Carolina I saw a number of window A/C units that had heating built into them. They aren't as common further north.
The first one I saw in operation amused the owner at my reaction. I'd never seen a window A/C unit that could heat too. But I was told that it rarely got so cold in that area that a furnace was required for heating.
These were used for smaller spaces like an office or studio apartment.
 
Solar panels generate electricity but they don't store it. The Wave can't run off solar, it needs a 12v (or 110v) source. So a large battery bank is still needed.
Yes I know, that's why I mentioned W-hr. When I say "lots of solar" I'm referring to the whole system.

I'm certainly not a candidate for one, as I've never had heating or cooling of any sort... beyond a couple candles. I'm fine moving with the seasons and I prefer being outside anyway. If I have to travel through or stay in a hot zone or cold (temporarily), I can deal.

The $$$ available and use cases do vary quite a bit. Some people like to camp in hot humid areas, like southern beaches in summer... and spending $200k on a rig doesn't phase them. I generally advise against AC because of the crazy amount of solar you need if you use it a lot... but, there are solar all-electric rigs with AC, and the owners seem to love them. Here is one that comes standard that way: https://aeonrv.com/ They use mini-split systems that are permanently mounted. I thought one of these portable ones might be viable for someone with a smaller system, due to the ability to easily not carry it when it isn't needed. As you said there are better ways to heat, but not really better ways to cool. Shade helps for sure, but a white and and well insulated rig can sit in the sun with little penalty.

BTW, I looked up Webasto petrol heaters and they are $1400. Is that what you were thinking?
 
Electricity-driven heat pumps do seem to be the wave of the future for sticks and bricks. I wonder if anyone has systematically worked out all the angles on what would need to happen to make that work for vehicles.

Obviously, you guys have figured out a lot of individual practical details, which vary depending on the rig, but I wonder if anyone has tried to work out the engineering, marketing, etc. of applying this tech to vehicles. There is a big tax break starting in 2023 for installing heat pumps in houses (btw the current ones can heat as efficiently as cool -- I survived a conventional heater breakdown + install of heat pump this winter and the heat pump was heaven when it finally got here), I wonder if anything in that law might also apply to vehicles (probably just high-end RVs would be my guess).

If it's a quieter way to power cooling there'd probably be a lot of happy people in campgrounds.
 
Heat pumps can both heat and cool, basically it's an air conditioner that can run in reverse. I installed one in my S&B 2009, there now models that are efficient at even lower temperatures.

I am not aware of a specific model for mobile use, but people have tried it.

The power needs are still quite considerable. If I was installing AC, and similar for a heat pump, I'd design my system to be able to run off of straight solar during daylight hours and NOT require battery useage. Being able to run for a short time into the evening off a battery would be a plus. Batteries are hopefully getting cheaper.

Those design considerations don't apply so much to a heatpump, unless you stay in bed until the sun starts shining!
 
A neighbor of my Grand-folks had a "Blue Star" home which was built in the early 60's. (these were nearly all gas using homes) This home used a natural gas kitchen stove, absorption refrigerator, hot water tank, and both the heat and AC worked on gas. Electric was mostly used for the domestic appliance fan motors and lighting.

A lot of these places were later retrofitted with electric heat pumps or other domestic appliances, as the technicians who serviced these installations were all retired and parts houses were no longer stocking replacement items for them. The gas furnace was conventional but the AC was a surprisingly simple small gas fired component. It was housed in a large metal box about 18 inches wide, 36 inches long and 30 inches tall. (an more than twice the size need to house the working components)

I've always wondered why if they could build and use propane absorption refrigerators in RV's, then why couldn't they design a propane gas heat & absorption AC system to climate control the inside of an RV ?
 
I've always wondered why if they could build and use propane absorption refrigerators in RV's, then why couldn't they design a propane gas heat & absorption AC system to climate control the inside of an RV ?
It can certainly be done. I got some hits on the internet, but they are not in wide use anywhere, even in houses. Probably a good reason for that.
 
They're called 'chillers'. They are made for large commercial installations. I have looked for a while for one that would be small enough to fit into a camper; no luck.
One could probably make one out of a 20 - 30 cu.ft. home absorption refrigerator but they are hard to find in first world countries and expensive new.
 
I was looking at an electric home use ice cream making machine the other day. It has a powerful compressor built in it so it doesn't use ice and salt to make the ice cream. The little compressor is stated as commercial grade and capable of quite low temps.

Now if they can make something like this in such a small box, why can't they configure it as a heat pump suitable for a Vans rear window. It's 110 ac, 16.73 x 12 x 9.33 inches which is the size of this laptop I'm typing on with the screen up. The rear window in my rig is 20 1//2 inches wide and 18 inches high, so I would think a heat pump could be built out of this ice cream maker platform. (given the space for the can the ice cream is made in would be available for a larger compressor)

Quisinart Ice-100 Ice Cream Machine
 
BTW, I looked up Webasto petrol heaters and they are $1400. Is that what you were thinking?
Yep. It is not cheap. But neither is the Wave. I value the convenience and safety of using the vehicle tank as the heater's fuel source. I have a diesel heater because my vehicle uses diesel. If I had a Promaster or Transit, I would go with the Webasto.
 
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