I'm trying to design an all terrain/all weather RV for some extreme camping and I'm wondering if it's possible to have a multiple fuel source heating/cooling/refrigeration system. I want to be able to heat and cool with wood/pellets, coal, #2 oil/K1/diesel, LPG/LNG. I'm thinking I can build a multiple fuel firebox (with only one fuel running at a time) and use an ammonia based system for the cooling (like my propane fridge upta camp has). Thoughts, ideas, things I should research/consider? I'm expecting the living space of the vehicle to be roughly 30'×8'×8' = ≈2K ft³.
- I'm planning a hull design cabin such as big orange or the Globecruiser.
- Here is a cutout image of a firebox, for reference. Other cutout images I've seen call it a combustion chamber.
- I'm planning on having the furnace part on the exterior of the vehicle with no direct access to the inside. I was thinking of building a heat exchanger that will pump water through the firebox/combustion chamber into some ½" PEX tubing in the floor and walls of the vehicle that will be sandwiched between two layers of metal and fill poured with a castable refractory cement.
- Once I get my camper built, I'll be on a very limited retiree budget - so I don't want to buy propane or heating fuel any more than I have to. I prefer to run mostly wood (chunk or pellet) or coal whenever possible.
- Air conditioning is not a matter of living fancy, it's a matter of breathing with my lung issues. I'm expecting to go all kinds of places across north and south America and I might even make my way across the ice bridge in northern Alaska to hit Asia, Europe and Africa. So, I will need both heat for the cold locations and air conditioning for the 120°F day in the shade places.
- I do plan on having a couple different electric generation sources including solar, but I didn't want to have to build it to a size that would be required for air conditioning.
- An absorption refrigerator is a refrigerator that uses a heat source (e.g., solar energy, a fossil-fueled flame, waste heat from factories, or district heating systems) to provide the energy needed to drive the cooling process. The system uses two coolants, the first of which performs evaporative cooling and is then absorbed into the second coolant; heat is needed to reset the two coolants to their initial states. The principle can also be used to air-condition buildings using the waste heat from a gas turbine or water heater. Using waste heat from a gas turbine makes the turbine very efficient because it first produces electricity, then hot water, and finally, air-conditioning—trigeneration. Absorption refrigerators are commonly used in recreational vehicles (RVs), campers, and caravans because they can be powered with propane fuel, rather than electricity. Unlike more common vapor-compression refrigeration systems, an absorption refrigerator can be produced with no moving parts other than the coolants.