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Old 05-26-2019, 04:15 PM   #1
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Prius, Volt, Tesla, etc setup for solar bank?

Anyone take the components from an electric car and use it for their bus solar setup? If so can you list cost, complexity, design, positives and negatives, etc.
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:43 PM   #2
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A few have, it's expensive, complex, and need a separate charging system I believe.
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Old 05-26-2019, 04:49 PM   #3
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I reasearched this same topic pretty heavily when I redid my battery bank. in the end, I concluded that in straight $ for AH comparison, lead acid is very much the king. the downsides to lead acid are primarily weight and volume, in an EV/hybrid car - that counts, maybe not so much in a skoolie though I went with dual purpose lead acids, 3 of em fit in the stock battery box so that's how many I got plus they charge off the alternator but have higher AH capacity than starting batteries
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Old 05-26-2019, 05:33 PM   #4
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Good advice above......

A battery pack salvaged from a hybrid or electric car will require a sophisticated battery management system (BMS).

Some of them are also liquid cooled. Not sure how to approach that.

FLA will give you the best value of A/H vs. cost vs. lifespan.
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:07 PM   #5
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Lithium Ion batteries pack a nice punch but do require much more care than Lead acid or AGM style..



if you are going to run them down much id go with AGM deep cycl;e batteries as standard Lead acids dont like to be run dead and recharged too many times..



everyone has their own ideas about the best way to charge batteries and science supports there are proper ways to charge battery banks back up...



the House batteries in my DEV bus are AGM and i just charge them with the alternator as I dont have solar
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Old 05-26-2019, 06:34 PM   #6
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Article I read was LiPo is the best option, yes, they are pricey up front, but being able to drain them near 100%, unlike a FLA battery at 50%. After the recommended numbers of charging on the FLAs renders them useless before the LiPo. The only thing keeping me from LiPo is the heavy up front cost. I'd rather replace $100 batteries every 5 years than the up front cost of LiPo.
It reminds me of when solar residential first came popular and the bragging of how much money you would save. I calculated what a decent house system cost and determined you would see a ROI in about 15-20 years.
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Old 05-26-2019, 07:13 PM   #7
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dangerous without solid engineering skills

LFP much safer
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:56 PM   #8
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Thanks to all, good info! I didn’t know if it was as simple as pulling all the parts and wiring, controllers, management system, etc from the car and setting them up in the bus with some mods to use for that purpose. Sounds like it could be done but would take some serious Engineering and such to make sure it worked correctly, and no benefit unless you happen to have a free car to gut.
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Old 05-28-2019, 02:14 PM   #9
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I have and here is a few pictures of what I did.
volt battery costs as follows:
battery 1200.00
labor to reconfigure was about 20 hrs
misc wiring 300.00
17kw of power that can be taken down to 30% of that
Love the set up however with the volt I could upgrade a special balancing charger for 2500.00 and still might. if I just take it to 40% discharge the battery should stay in balance. And I check it every few weeks as I am still in testing mode.
Neg:
1.much cheaper to use Nissan leaf battery as there are much easy to get a balance charger. ( viltron )
2. taking the battery from 360v to 48v is highly dangerous
3. fear of not being a engineer and it catching fire.

If I did it all over I would have spent 10k on lipo set up from a company so its safer in my option and has safe guard built in.
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Old 05-28-2019, 03:31 PM   #10
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Again, not LiPo. LFP for fire safety.
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Old 05-28-2019, 05:16 PM   #11
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50crown..


Did you mean chevy volt is easier to balance or nissan leaf.

Is that balancing for a 48 volt pack?
Are you planning to move your balancer from one 48 volt module to the next?



Thanks Johan
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Old 05-28-2019, 06:52 PM   #12
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leaf is easier as it has larger capacity per pouch and less of them , and has threaded posts vs foil tabs, balancing is done per cell. so the volt has 96 cells to individually balance. ( well my 1 complete volt pack has 96 cells )
the system I am looking at has to be installed on all 96 cells with solider
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Old 05-28-2019, 07:09 PM   #13
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Thank you, The chevy modules you are showing are 48 volt. The individual cells can be accessed by the connector on top.Why do you need to solder them to the tabs?
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:21 AM   #14
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Each pouch inside the 48v block is 12 3.6volts nominal cells that to get a perfect balance would all individually need to be monitored. Thanks the way they are balanced when in the car.
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 50 crown View Post
Each pouch inside the 48v block is 12 3.6volts nominal cells that to get a perfect balance would all individually need to be monitored. Thanks the way they are balanced when in the car.
Is that 12 in parallel or a serial string?
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Old 05-30-2019, 12:43 AM   #16
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Thats in series.
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:25 PM   #17
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I have a 24v Tesla battery (444 Panasonic cells, 6s) in my conversion. In my research, I have yet to find something with the same capacity for the price. I charge it using a Victron 250V/100A solar charge controller, which allows for complete customization of the float/bulk/absorption voltages.



For downsides, its on the "lower" side of the typical "24V spectrum". Lead acid "24V" in series ranges from 21V-28.9V, this battery's range is 19V-25.2V, which means most chargers will overcharge your battery, and most appliances will freak out too early warning about low voltage. For example, the 24V inverter I have has a charger built in, which unfortunately I cannot use (at least yet) because I'm not sure it can be configured not to overcharge the battery.



Another downside is, you cannot charge the battery if it gets below freezing temperatures, it will ruin it. This is pretty easy to mitigate- there are 24V heated desk mats on Amazon for cheap that are around the same size, just sandwich the batteries with those and put them on a thermostat. I saw another guy with a bunch of packs in his RV heat it using the water cooling loop.



Bottom line: I'd do it again in a heartbeat. The battery performs amazingly. They can discharge 250A without even being cooled, and you can hook up cheap PC water cooling loops to them and be pushing 1000A from what I've heard. Since most of my loads are obviously well, well under that, and I keep the battery very much in its comfort zone, there's very little wear on it. I plan to have 4-5 of them wired in parallel for the "complete" setup.


As for cell balancing, I just hooked up a cheap cell balancer to the pack when I got it. It took a few days to bring the pack into balance, but it will alarm if the pack drifts too far so I'm not worried about it failing to keep up.
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:17 PM   #18
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kazetsukai..


Why do you not add one more cell to the 6s and make it a 7s.
I have similar problems with nissan leaf cells and can not use 7s since i also need a tap at 12 volt. 7 cells are hard to divide by 2 .


J
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Old 06-04-2019, 09:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
Why do you not add one more cell to the 6s and make it a 7s.
The pack comes in a 24V 6S configuration.
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Old 06-05-2019, 05:17 PM   #20
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There is a guy on YouTube, DIY solar power with Will Prowse and he covers the topic of solar power for RV and Buses very well. He has a couple of videos about Tesla batteries that explain the issues. It is well worth checking him out and he has a $9.95 book he wrote on his website that explains the various options and the price per kilowatt of the various systems.

I am planning to use lithium iron sulfide batteries on my bus project. As I will be installing the batteries within my bus, not worried about the only real drawback which is low temperature. Guess they canít be charged without harming the batteries at temps below 0įC.

Good luck.
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