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Old 10-22-2008, 08:33 PM   #1
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Battery Bank!!! HELPPPPP

im goood with wiring recepticles, lights and fans..but this whole battery bank is new to me....

the websites ive dont seem to have what im looking for.....
i just dont know what all is needed to builda battery bank,,,,,ive already got lights and outlets installed...as well as a breaker box....but NO power source.
someone please help.
i dont know how to wire a battery bank wither!!!!!
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:53 PM   #2
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Re: Battery Bank!!! HELPPPPP

Battery banks are easy. Seriously! But first we need to know what type and how many batteries you are going to use in your bank. I'm going to assume you are using a 12 volt inverter as this is the most common though 24 volt systems do exist. For 24 volts you would just double everything.


The first example is a pair of standard 12 volt deep cycles in parallel. Assuming your batteries are of the 105 amp hour variety (common Group 27 rating) you will have 12 volts and 210 amp hours available to you when wired in parallel as follows.



The next example is a pair of standard 6 volt deep cycle such as golf cart batteries. These will have a typical rating of 225 amp hours in a GC2 footprint. These are wired in series resulting in 12 volts and 225 amp hours of available power.



The last example will be if you want a higher capacity using 6 volt batteries. If you wanted higher capacity with 12 volt batteries you would simply continue to wire them in parallel as in the first picture and you would simple add the amp hour capacities together to get a total. The example below is of four of those 225 amp hour 6 volts wired in series-parallel. The output will be 12 volts and 450 available amp hours as we are simply putting two groups of batteries in series into parallel with each other.




If that doesn't answer your question I would be happy to offer more input if you can get more specific.
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:06 PM   #3
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Re: Battery Bank!!! HELPPPPP

well see i just dont understand how you wire them together plus the wire from the breaker box....
id assume i should go 12 volt....im not going to be dry camping for to often....but would like to have power on the road.
and the whole inverter thing confuses me cause when i go to websites, they have all this other stuff in there banks so i ant tell whats needed as far as the bank goes.
i know i need at least 3000 wats
thanks for you time man
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:36 PM   #4
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Re: Battery Bank!!! HELPPPPP

The power going to the breaker will be 120 volts AC. I don't care if this is from a generator, a shore power connection, or coming out of the inverter. You have two sides to your wiring, the 12 volt DC side and the 120 volt AC side. They are both completely separate and the only common junction will be the inverter or, if you choose to go this route, a converter/inverter/charger combination unit.

So...you need to build your bank as I posted. The bank will connect to the inverter using heavy cables. The inverter will take the 12 volts DC and turn it into 120 volts AC. It will have an output (usually just a simple outlet) that you can then use to supply the separate (and already existing in your case) 120 volt AC system.

I guess I'm not really sure where you're stuck at.
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:43 PM   #5
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Re: Battery Bank!!! HELPPPPP

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
The power going to the breaker will be 120 volts AC. I don't care if this is from a generator, a shore power connection, or coming out of the inverter. You have two sides to your wiring, the 12 volt DC side and the 120 volt AC side. They are both completely separate and the only common junction will be the inverter or, if you choose to go this route, a converter/inverter/charger combination unit.

So...you need to build your bank as I posted. The bank will connect to the inverter using heavy cables. The inverter will take the 12 volts DC and turn it into 120 volts AC. It will have an output (usually just a simple outlet) that you can then use to supply the separate (and already existing in your case) 120 volt AC system.

I guess I'm not really sure where you're stuck at.
soo....would a bank be cheaper to build....or would it be better to just buy a genney?
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:52 PM   #6
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Re: Battery Bank!!! HELPPPPP

It all depends on your intended use. Battery banks require maintenance, have a definite life expectancy of only a few years, will require some fabrication, and will cost some money. Generators, on the other hand, have a pretty high initial expense and continued operating costs (gas, oil), but will likely hold some value whereas a depreciated battery bank is...well...lead scrap.

Here's the thing though. Without an inverter system you won't be able to run 120 volt appliances without the generator running or shore power hooked up. Period. I can't imagine doing that. When I go to a campground I pay the extra couple bucks for electrical hookups. However, going down the road I run on my batteries utilizing the alternator to keep things charged. When I stop for a short period of time I use my batteries to keep my fridge going. When it's late at night and I'm boondocking out in the woods or where ever I run off my batteries. It would be a serious pain to have to leave the generator running all night. On the other hand, I don't like stumbling around trying to get out to take a 4:00 am pee.

Only you can decide what to do, but realistically I think a battery bank would be the first thing I would set up if funding was tight. There is always shorepower at campgrounds. I also have a generator for 120 volt AC power, but I rarely use it. Heck, I use battery power and my mowernator to recharge the batteries far more frequently than the generator if I don't have shore power available. But you also have to balance out your load requirements as well. Your 3000 watt estimate seems high to me, but is well within the realm of possibility. Are you trying to run AC off battery power? Is there anywhere you can cut back? Life on the road requires some adjustments from what we're used to at home.
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Old 10-22-2008, 11:33 PM   #7
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Re: Battery Bank!!! HELPPPPP

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
It all depends on your intended use. Battery banks require maintenance, have a definite life expectancy of only a few years, will require some fabrication, and will cost some money. Generators, on the other hand, have a pretty high initial expense and continued operating costs (gas, oil), but will likely hold some value whereas a depreciated battery bank is...well...lead scrap.

Here's the thing though. Without an inverter system you won't be able to run 120 volt appliances without the generator running or shore power hooked up. Period. I can't imagine doing that. When I go to a campground I pay the extra couple bucks for electrical hookups. However, going down the road I run on my batteries utilizing the alternator to keep things charged. When I stop for a short period of time I use my batteries to keep my fridge going. When it's late at night and I'm boondocking out in the woods or where ever I run off my batteries. It would be a serious pain to have to leave the generator running all night. On the other hand, I don't like stumbling around trying to get out to take a 4:00 am pee.

Only you can decide what to do, but realistically I think a battery bank would be the first thing I would set up if funding was tight. There is always shorepower at campgrounds. I also have a generator for 120 volt AC power, but I rarely use it. Heck, I use battery power and my mowernator to recharge the batteries far more frequently than the generator if I don't have shore power available. But you also have to balance out your load requirements as well. Your 3000 watt estimate seems high to me, but is well within the realm of possibility. Are you trying to run AC off battery power? Is there anywhere you can cut back? Life on the road requires some adjustments from what we're used to at home.
i dig ya....i was saying that in terms of the generator i was looking at/..... id prolly only use 1000-1700 at most with benefit of the doubt.
i see what your saying.... yeah i plan on using hookups where available....but when ridin of dry campin it....id use the genny...mab a bank will come sooner or later ?
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Old 10-23-2008, 01:52 PM   #8
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Re: Battery Bank!!! HELPPPPP

There is a LOT of good info on batteries on the page linked below, and at the end of it some good basics on the rest of the system:

http://www.phrannie.org/battery.html

Likewise, a lot of good information about inverters (although the pricing comments are soemwhat out of date) here:

http://www.phrannie.org/invert.html

Note: On the second link, keep in mind that inverter power and waveform technologies have improved and prices on quality units have come down since that page was written. But the knowledge of how they work and installation is still fully valid.
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