[–] [deleted] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago  (edited ago)

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[–] clockwise 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

This is correct. The better your insulation is, the lower the heat/cool requirements are. It's also way more comfortable. You should probably consider a small solar setup with an autostart generator attached. It 's the best of both worlds. While it may not be financially possible at the start, knowing the end goal will ensure you get the proper items along the way.
As far as wall covering, it's really a personal choice but 1/8 hardboard or 1/4 plywood work well. Drywall is generally the cheapest option.

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[–] TeranNotTerran [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

That is definitely a fair point. I have the feeling I may mess it up (maybe moisture will get to it in a year) and less invested is more saved in that regard.

I will lose another inch per wall in the already cramped space by going with R10, however.

Just went to the Home Depot in Fort Collins. They had the insulation aisle closed off but from a distance the foam board looked about like what I had expected. I couldn't find all of the plywood I was familiar with, but it was clear that plywood varies greatly in quality. I would see some stacks badly warped and others quite straight. I think I should pick the plywood when I get to the particular store to make sure it's from a good batch. Also think that 1/2" will be adequately strong.

Edit: I do plan on caulking all of the edges I can. Shouldn't take me long and I think it will pay off soon after.

[–] [deleted] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

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[–] MaFishTacosDaBombBro 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

This might be a dumb question, but why not put the insulation on the outside? Then, perhaps cover it with a waterproof sealer, maybe a plastic, and white paint to reflect the sunlight.. It would save an inch inside, but it might be more expensive, and maybe too much hassle.

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[–] NamelessCrewmember 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Good thought process, but it's not likely to work. StandRd ac units are reasonable enough when running, but every time the compressor starts ( constantly while maintaining temps) in its on off fashion it pulls mad amps. My 12k btu unit pulls 63.5 amps for about half a second. That's hard on generators and death to inverters, requiring 7500 watt units or more to safely run it. Also, generators are like 11% efficient on fuel to power use so it's going to be pricey.

The foam is great, I can't say which is best until you tell me your location and climate which I personally wouldn't post publicly.

Also gererators suck, they are loud, require maintenance, refilling at the worst times, get damaged when they die to to brown out overloading... did I say loud?

There's a way to run cooling and heating off solar panels, it requires a mini split heat pump/ac unit that is inverter based. Runs a D.C. Motor and starts from zero amps and spins up to load rather than full on off like conventional. At 70% load they pull like 400-500 watts for about 9k btu cooling loads. Also. They do it near dead silent, a far cry from a conventional one.

So at a 500 watt running load estimate which those are pretty steady, 4 x 200 watt solar panels will cover the load and you only need smaller inverter. I always recommend a full sine wave inverter too, less problems.

Dead silent, no fuel, comfortable insides, no need to ever turn it off year round.

Off grid doesn't have to be wanting, people always see it that way, but I enjoy it fairly luxuriously.

Also, shipping containers are neat, I've penciled out a few home designs using them over the years. my fav uses three with one spanning the other two and includes covered parking and a shaded Spanish style courtyard. If you get a refridgerated unit it comes insulated with 3" of foam between steel walls. Better insulation is almost always worth it, a perfectly insulated home can be vented better with acceptable heat loss rather than sealed an closing heat to conduction and suffering an indoor air quality issue.

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[–] TeranNotTerran [S] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Wow, I knew they were hard starters but didn't realize the amperage could get so high. I wonder what a 4-5 amp normally air conditioner would pull, maybe 20 amps at start?

General location is already public. Near Van Horn, Texas. High desert.

Not too familiar with those inverter A/C units. I guess I've seen them in some newer places. Why aren't they more common? Sounds like they still need AC power but they pull high amperage at start. I wonder if they make any models that take DC directly.

Would you recommend something like this? http://www.homedepot.com/p/GREE-High-Efficiency-9-000-BTU-3-4-Ton-Ductless-Mini-Split-Air-Conditioner-with-Heat-Inverter-and-Remote-115V-60Hz-RIO09HP115V1A/205825733

Really not that expensive. Amazing if I can get linear output with it and not have the amperage spikes.

That seems like it would be perfect for a container. Initially, I was leaning towards 20' containers. I think that makes sense if you plan on moving them. But 40' containers are not much more and I can insulate and frame out the very back of it, build a wall with a door, and move forward as I have funds. But perhaps I should cap it at 30' and have a 10' area to keep the heat exchange side of the unit, park a motorcycle, and hold a few tools. It would be very protected in there from the elements.

I know gas generators are very inefficient but I am thinking I can have a 5,000 BTU A/C unit powered for 2-3 gallons of gas a day, at most. Maybe using a Honda EU1000i with an extended run system. Still, solar down the road would be ideal and probably save money in the long run.

Good point on indoor air quality. I suppose if the temperature is just right I can try to ventilate the space at least once a day before closing it back up.

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[–] NamelessCrewmember 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

  1. A half ton unit probably still pulls 30 amp on compressor start, enough that it will stall out small generators and cause hondas with their electronic over current protection to disconnect every time it run standard ac.

  2. 110 or 230 (more typical). There is not any realistic D.C. Air con except for the specialized units for tractor cabs, pricey. The gree is fine, I would get the 12k btu for sure, you can always run it lower... they do start at zero amps and spin up without slam loads, totally nice.

  3. If you put it inside the end of container, you must cut big holes (24") in two spots to let it vent through for the outdoor unit. It's outside the installation instructions, but with two expanded metal vents and some sheet metal to duct hole to unit to other hole it will work fine, I have don installs like this.

4.the 1000 watt won't run it most likely, tat damn spike load. Also, 3 gallons of gas, that's 9$ a day plus your trouble, times 6 months you're at $1800$ for a single year. I can get you an inverter, used panels, and some still good golf cart batteries for that. Now you are off grid, with 24/7 electricity that will run led lights and a stereo and your laptop/phone charger. Break even is about one year. Oops, add a grand for the generator, gets even more tilting towards solar.

5 . Indoor air quality is really a keep it moving in a tiny controlled way game. Everything outgasses, even you, and its best to keep it all moving. Humidity is another colncern, from outdoors, you, cooking, a random leak... a 4" computer fan, strategically placed, with proper material choices inside will ryield excellent air quality. I have a wicked crazy powerful nose, a blessing and a curse, I've had to sort this out.

Also, avoid 'new' materials. New carpet, pad, osb, insulation... everything outagsses for years, I'm sensitive to it all, some of it shortens life spans. Also, if you spray foam the outside (can be added later) and waterproof paint it (roof paint or this weird stuff made from cactus...) you get a better use of yours rather r value as the mass is inside the temp controlled space and the night to day temps are more even.