NaSA PoD Project Update #2

28 Feb

Since our last update we have made some good progress on the conversion from camper to mobile outreach classroom.

We installed some custom cut and painted paneling – THANK YOU JIM! – inside the future solar-electronics cabinet (the old refrigerator space) and then cut two holes for the ventilation fans that will serve to keep everything cool. Note: all is unfinished so everything will look rough around the edges.

The first cooling fan in place – a perfect fit!

Looking at the exhaust side of the fan from the kitchenette side of the solar-electronics cabinet.

Looking at the inside of the lower fan from inside the SE cabinet.

The next photo is the intake side of the lower cooling fan. It is in the NaSA PoD’s entry way directly across from the air conditioner so on very hot, sunny, days when the A/C is running – this fan will serve to pull cool air in from the A/C unit only 2 feet away, thereby keeping the electronics cool and efficient which will in turn keep all of the PoD’s occupants – animal and human – comfortable and safe.

After getting the paneling and fans in place Jim and I temporarily mounted some of the solar-electronic gear. Below are the two Victron solar charge controllers in their future locations below the upper cooling fan. The cardboard structure to their right is the carboard crafted inverter/charger analogue…

…which will soon be replaced with the recently arrived Victron Inverter/Charger unit such as the one pictured below.

We then temporarily installed the Victron Battery Management System (BMS) and Lynx Distributors as in the photo below. Note: It looks crooked but that is an optical illusion created by the curvature of the RV’s shell. Second Note: this device is “naked” in that its pretty blue coverings have been removed. When complete it will have all its coverings in place.

After drilling all the holes to facilitate the future mounting of the electronics we removed the old, soggy, flooring of the soon to be an electronics cabinet revealing perfectly intact marine-grade fiberglass underneath…well, except for two holes which we will patch with marine-grade sealant.

We then fabricated a new floor covered by a nice piece of aluminum diamond plate. None of this is bolted in place just yet but will be very soon. The ugly yellow-brown fiberglass parts of the walls will also be sanded and painted to make the space far more presentable when we are teaching programs on renewable energy and/or attending festivals and events.

I then removed the fiberglass structures that support the sleeping area…

…exposing the hot water heater (the white device on the right) and the fresh water tank on the left. The stack of red tool boxes will become habitat pods that will house our reptilian education animals while presenting outreach programs. Each habitat pod will provide security and climate control for their sensitive scaly occupants.

This is the fresh water tank in its original location. I opted to move it to a new location to shift some of the weight from the “passenger side” to the “drivers” side of the RV to offset some of the weight from all the new solar-electronics gear going in place soon. The new location is directly across the room in the spot where the old 12volt battery once resided beside the hot water heater (the white thing under the old 12 volt battery. The water tank is not bolted in place just yet…

…in fact, it has yet again been removed and is just taking up space with all manner of other tools and parts as I work to modify the RV to begin service as an outreach education classroom.

I have also decided to remove all the Casita’s power management systems since they will no longer be needed – the Victron components will do all they could do – but far better and safer. The old electronics were originally located just to the right of center where the spaghetti-like pile of wires are now. Don’t worry, I know where all of them go 🙂

While waiting for some parts to come in the mail I removed the door latch and discovered it was really rusty and had an eroded area on its mechanism – this was why the door could not be locked.

I received the new unit – the one on the right below – and will be installing it very soon.

We also installed the new countertop and induction cooktop – THANK YOU JIM for your expertise and creativity in making this nice new countertop and THANK YOU BOB for the suggestion on the cooktop – we have tried it and it works perfectly!

That is where we are in the build at the moment and we hope to have much warmer weather soon – so hopefully, many more modifications will happen much faster.

Currently, we are still waiting for word from the welder and sheet metal fabricator. Once they work their magic we will be able to install the solar modules and continue with the installation of further components. Warmer weather in the early spring will be most helpful and much will happen fast so please subscribe and follow this blog for more updates on this unique project!

We hope to have the ENP NaSA PoD in service on or before Earth Day 2022!

Stay tuned – there is much more to come.

Please subscribe and follow this blog for more updates.

This is an amazing project that will serve to educate and inspire all the curiosity seekers it meets. But to do this thing right – we do still need your support. If you choose to assist us in making this project a reality, this unique mobile classroom will greatly benefit the nature and wildlife conservation, science, and renewable energy awareness education of all of our outreach program participants in the WNC region as well as our wonderful students at Trails Carolina and Trails Momentum who will all greatly benefit from the wonders it will contain while they are in the field on expedition. 

 Please consider supporting this project via the donate link on our website or our GoFundMe page:   www.gofundme.com/lets-build-a-mobile-outreach-classroom

The construction and use of this unique mobile classroom will be documented on this blog, our end-of-year newsletter, and soon on our YouTube channel.  

 The ENP NaSA PoD and the Mighty Bolt EV (our primary outreach vehicle) are owned by ENP and used primarily as the ENP company outreach vehicle and mobile outreach classroom.  They will be charged and fueled primarily with cleanly generated electricity provided by the ENP/Trails student-built classroom solar array and NaSA PoD’s rooftop solar array. They will serve as outstanding teaching tools for our Trails students, ENP outreach program participants, and everyone we meet via our outreach programs.

Please note: any/all ads that appear below this post are not provided or endorsed by ENP nor are we supported in any way by these ads – they are an automated feature of WordPress.com.

I leave you with a cute photo of Orville our education Opossum snoozing in his new plush bed – he sure does have it made!

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