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Skoolie (bus) build


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Hey there, I've been on/off active in the YouTube comments section for a while, I have a school bus conversion I use solar with, and the mobile use case has quite a few i/nteresting design concerns aside from the obvious ones of size and weight. For a charge controller we chose a Victron Energy 250/100 MPPT, which handles 3000W (soon 6000W) of PV. It charges a pair of Tesla batteries in series for a 12S bank, although I hope to build a 14S LiFePO4 bank in the near future. For a BMS I use a pair of electrodacus' SBMS0 units.

Inverter- started with a PJ 8000W 24V when my battery bank was 24V, now a PJ 8000W 48V, and soon to be a GS 6000W 36V when the preorder arrives. The 36V GS inverter will better handle my 12S bank as it is lower voltage than the 48V lead acid range- as it is the PJ can only use around 60% of my bank's capacity.

A software developer by trade, I have spent time and effort on automation in the bus build- all appliances are computer controlled, MPPT/BMS data is collected and stored for query in a local database and I hope to use machine learning algorithms down the road to improve how I leverage solar, and part of that is writing software to integrate the GS inverter into my build.

I have a build page on skoolie.net that chronicles the bus build:


I look forward to the conversations to be had here!

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39 minutes ago, kazetsukai said:

and part of that is writing software to integrate the GS inverter into my build

We will be happy to do what we can in order to help you realize your goal!  At least as of right now, there is no physical external communications interface on the GS inverters, though that will be forthcoming as soon as I can get enough other more pressing items off my plate.  However, you can access most inverter stats via the MQTT protocol over WiFi; obviously, there are lot of possibilities there (seriously considering MODBUS over TCP, though I need to research the feasibility of that a little more).  Hoping to get a physical isolated RS-485 MODBUS port available before too long. 

There's nothing quite like the feeling of getting equipment that you can make do exactly what you want/need.  That is what we're hoping to do with the GS inverters.

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55 minutes ago, Sean Genetry Solar said:

Welcome to the forums. I went to the build page but seems thr pictures aren't working. See if you can post a few here.

Sorry about that, you have to be a member over there for images to load.  Here's a few.


Last winter:


Side view from a trip up north NH:


Tesla bank with old BMSes:


Electrodacus BMSes:


Automation control wiring:


My 3000W of solar:



Our road trip from NH to KY, our van with solar also in the pic:


A tree falling on our bus in the middle of the night:


RIP solar panel from that:


How I cool my PJ inverter:


Gee, I just noticed I don't have many good up to date shots of the inside... Just a few. Office:




Kitchen is hard to show without a wide angle lens.




There's just so much content over on the skoolie forum I can't even scratch the surface. Much of it are projects WIP.  Now the bus is a cozy little home with a high efficiency heat pump/mini split (really wanted solar heat!) although after this brutal winter weather I conceded and installed a cheap diesel heater.

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7 hours ago, Sid Genetry Solar said:

Ha, I couldn't miss the turbocharger on the Power Jack inverter 🤣.  Gotta love it.

It overheats without it at about 2000W on either leg after around 5-10 minutes. One of the reasons I was so impressed with your 6kW demo!  


31 minutes ago, Sean Genetry Solar said:

very impressive bus indeed. I am curious how much time you spent on it overall/?

Working a 9-5, I spent about three years on the build, taking a 4-5 month hiatus each winter. I want to do a build on an MCI chassis, and I think it would take me less than a year having done all of the requisite systems in the past.

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14 minutes ago, kazetsukai said:

It overheats without it at about 2000W on either leg after around 5-10 minutes. One of the reasons I was so impressed with your 6kW demo! 

You should be able to sustain 6kw total (3kw per leg, POSSIBLY 4.5kw one leg/0kw the other leg) with a sustained transformer temperature of ~130F at an ambient temperature under 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  Amazing what happens when the transformer is actually specced for the listed power 😎.

And if you want 6kw @ 120v, the inverter can be configured (before shipping!) for that.  Transformer has to be wired different internally, and the inverter programmed for it--but it is completely possible.

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Wow nice bus

I have a eagle with the Detroit Diesel turbocharged and supercharged Allison 6-speed automatic

It is 40 foot space frame all aluminum skin and basement deck

I really like what you have done with yours 

I know why you chose a school instead of regular motor home 

The wife and I was considering a school bus mci prevost or eagle for the same reasons 

We just happened to find a really good deal on the eagle 

I no the amount of work that you put into your custom coach but you now have something that will keep your family safe and last a life time

It can't be compared to a regular factory motor home

it is so much better in all the ways that count the most

Just wanted to say you done a great looking job 


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