Early in 2019, the City of Hamilton Street and Rail HSR was looking to repurpose a retired bus from 2004. Typically, HSR buses have a life expectancy of 12 years and the HSR wanted to take this bus out to a public setting to educate and promote their services, thus bringing to life the HSR’s Consultation Bus!
The project started with just adding air conditioning, but soon after it became clear that the bus would need a complete power management system to operate their equipment remotely. This was an interesting project due to the magnitude of the energy required to sit at a venue all day to power loads and maintain the climate while keeping the bus’s engine off.
It started by adding two Dometic Air Conditioning units to the roof for air conditioning and heating. To operate all the loads, 10 - 480 Ahr batteries were added. Each of the batteries was equivalent to 5X the energy of a standard car battery (similar to 50 car batteries!). In order to charge these batteries, a 2000-watt solar array was added on the roof of the bus as well as a shore power connector. The shore power connection allowed the loads to run off of a building if possible and allowed for the batteries to charge between events.
As a backup, Simplicity Air added an Onan 6000-watt generator that was also tied into the Magnum inverter. The generator would start if the power could not be maintained by the batteries and solar.
It wasn’t always smooth sailing; the challenge here was that this had never been done before by Simplicity Air or anyone at HSR. After some trial and error, it became known that the main function of the HSR bus would involve keeping its doors open and the heating just wasn’t enough. Simplicity Air then installed an Eberspaecher D8 Air Heater to provide a better heating source for the HSR bus. This addition has since been effective in keeping the heat in while the bus doors are open.
This was an electrical venture like no other for Simplicity Air and the company was pleased to have played a role in this project. Today the HSR bus is being repurposed once again to provide Covid-19 vaccinations across the City of Hamilton.