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Old 05-30-2016, 06:34 PM   #1
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Smile Batteries ?! What kind ?

Hi,


Just bought a bus on Friday

youtube/carytowncat
i will post daily vids there.

I invite your experience and guidance as to which batteries would work well for my application.


I am searching for batteries to use (with an inverter) to power about 500 watts worth of technology (tv 180w , dvd 25w, and a few other misc chargers for laptop, phone, etc, and some lights and a fan)

Can i get by with 2 for now? but then once i get the four 160w solar panels i will add 2 more. Am i on the right track here?

For now i plan to park my car next to the bus and run an inverter from my $500 car.
(Car will be a pretty decent water cooled, quiet generator
Will two golf cart batteries work to charge up a few hours a day and then shut off the car and run the inverter off just the batteries?

I am considering the harbor freight inverters.

Thanks
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:00 PM   #2
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Modified sine wave inverters are hard on electronics. Pure Sine inverters may be a bit more expensive, but they are worth it.
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Old 05-30-2016, 07:30 PM   #3
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You want to spend the extra $$$ for a pure sine wave invertor.

The modified sine wave invertors are okay for things like power tools. But anything with a circuit board or transistor is not going to like anything except for a pure sine wave invertor.

As far as batteries are concerned, two golf cart batteries would be a great place to start.

As far as using your $500.00 car to charge them up, I doubt it will work. For one thing, the alternator on a car is not very large. You would need to devise a way in which to run the engine at a high enough RPM that the alternator was putting out full amperage. This could lead to overheating of the car's engine on a moderately warm day. For another, you are going to need at least 0 or 00 wire to carry enough amps to be able to do any good. A set of jumper cables won't cut the mustard. And lastly, you are going to be using a lot of gas to operate a relatively small alternator.

What would work better would be to mount the batteries in the trunk of the car and then put them on a good charger overnight while you are at home.

Four 160 watt solar collectors is a good place to start but won't be enough to keep up if you are using power tools. Remember those collectors are rated at peak performance. A little cloud cover or a little rain will cut that performance back a lot.

Have you thought instead about using cordless power tools? The batteries in cordless tools have advanced a long way and can power through a lot of work.
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Old 05-30-2016, 09:46 PM   #4
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Actually most cars can produce over 40 amps (approx 480 watts) at an idle, especially a fuel injected car as it will adjust engine speed as necessary. Most car in the last 20 years or so come with 100+ alternators. Also depends on how far down you run your batteries. Doesn't matter what speed you run your alternator at, it will only produce the amperage that your batteries will take. I would take my car to local shop and have them do a load test while car is running to give you an idea how it charging at an idle.
Just my 2c
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Old 05-30-2016, 10:45 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies, and suggestions to spend the extra and get pure sine inverter After some research i suspect i will go with either a 1500w or 1000w inverter. I will not be running any power tools other than a dremel and soldering iron.

Any experience with Batteries for solar or just a battery bank?

Thanks.
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Old 05-31-2016, 06:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timelord View Post
Modified sine wave inverters are hard on electronics. Pure Sine inverters may be a bit more expensive, but they are worth it.
nonsence, ive been runing my electronics for 15 years on modified inverters. tv , computer, fridge, you name it, never had a problem. https://www.altestore.com/store/inve...rcharger-p743/ this model or the sine wave model is what you need. if you have a good size battery bank you need a charger that can handle it. this is what they put in rvs. when you plug in the ac loads get transfered to shore power and the inverter becomes a converter/ charger. depending on the incoming voltage it will charge your batteries at a rate up to 100 amps.
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:28 AM   #7
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OPure sine wave inverter is the best, However if your electronics are manufactured in the last few years tyey will run on about anything..

modern electronics like laptops, DVD's, TV's, phone chargers, and the like are designed for use in areas with less than optimal power.. international designs for 3rd world countries where power quality is terrible.. the power supplies eat it..

also people are charging their items using plug in and OEM cheap truck stop inverters all the time... so the manufacturers got tired of blown power bricks on devices and made them to take the cheapie power..

YES id buy the sine wave if your bidget supports.. if not you'll likely be fine..

im thinking you might be better off to find a used cheapie generator on craigslist or something the like to charge your batteries rather than your car...

or even build something... a lawn mower engine with an alternator hooked up...

-Christopher
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:21 AM   #8
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What Caddilac said. I've been using generators to power all my electronics every winter when the power goes out for as much as 11 days at a time. Luckily the refrigerator does not require power during that frozen time of the year.
Back to the subject. I haven't had any problems with running electronics, and I never knew what pure sine wave was until six months ago. Yes you see pure sine wave advertised on most inverters/converters and newer generators.
I agree with Caddilac because I've traveled overseas with my electronics for years in third world countries, which are usually 220v, without any electronics problems ever. I'm talking about nearly 30 years ago. Not trying to argue with anyone. Just saying...
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Old 06-01-2016, 11:05 PM   #9
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well ...
At Home Depot and see a CAT (Caterpillar brand) inverter. 1000W for $99.
Great thing about buying from there is that i know i can return it if it goes wonky.

Used it to charge my brand new laptop and Galaxy phone

I am delighted. I really don't see me using a lot of power. I rarely listen to music outside my truck. I prefer watching videos on youtube as opposed to regular tv because i don't have to sit through medication commercials with horrific side effect dialogue. I will use a small Coleman burner to cook eggs every once in awhile.
I mostly eat sardines on rice crackers, or almonds with dried currants, none of which needs to be refridgerated. I will miss my butter, but i can buy a bag of ice if i miss it that much, and as for winter heat- i am set there because my friend is giving me a beautiful wood stove, and it is large! I will be sitting around in my boxers with the windows open trying to cool off! lol and as for AC in the summer, i have a nice fairly shaded place to park, and i will be hot this summer. Sort of like like intended me to be. Now don't get me wrong- if i end up anywhere with an outlet, i do have a nice large window AC that will come into play.
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Old 06-02-2016, 06:48 AM   #10
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is it acceptable to mount a battery Inside the bus?

I would Like to install an 8D sized Battery isolated from my starting bank (except to charge).. but have no provisions under the bus or in the existing battery Box..

so I want to install it in one of the cabinets im building inside the bus.. just wondering if there are safety considerations with installing a standard battery inside the cab?

(obviously, mounting it down well, fusing / circuit breakering all connections from it etc are understood).

-Christopher
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Old 06-02-2016, 06:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
is it acceptable to mount a battery Inside the bus?

I would Like to install an 8D sized Battery isolated from my starting bank (except to charge).. but have no provisions under the bus or in the existing battery Box..

so I want to install it in one of the cabinets im building inside the bus.. just wondering if there are safety considerations with installing a standard battery inside the cab?

(obviously, mounting it down well, fusing / circuit breakering all connections from it etc are understood).

-Christopher
You'll need to vent the heck out of it.
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Old 06-02-2016, 07:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
just wondering if there are safety considerations with installing a standard battery inside the cab
As long as you completely seal it off from the living compartment and adequately vent to the outside you should be ok. The compartment should not have anything that could produce a spark. Batteries off gas while being charged and normally it isn't a problem, but if overcharged will produce quite a bit of gas that can be explosive (hydrogen) also on a normal charge with a bad cell. Besides a charging battery stinks.

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Old 06-02-2016, 09:30 AM   #13
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My house batteries are all going indoors, but they will be in a vented, sealed compartment and are the non-gassing, fully sealed AGM type.
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:51 AM   #14
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My house batteries are all going indoors, but they will be in a vented, sealed compartment and are the non-gassing, fully sealed AGM type.
I'll be going the AGM route as well with my batteries. No maintenance and no gas to worry about.
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:57 AM   #15
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Another nice thing about having them indoors is that they remain at a more appropriate and stable temperature. Big swings can pull their available power down quickly.

Still trying to find a place to bring my start batt indoors as well.
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:58 AM   #16
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My two 6V golf cart batteries are inside one of my closets in a plywood box. I coated the inside of the box with fiberglass resin to resist the acid fumes and used closed-cell foam weatherstrip to seal the lid. Got a through-the-body vent from Dyers RV and vented the box through the top and out the side of the bus. And, yes, that's a part of a sink P trap coming out the top of the box.

You definitely want your box well sealed so the acid fumes don't eat your electronics. It's also nice to have the box easy to access so you can top off the cells easily.

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Old 06-02-2016, 03:40 PM   #17
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Google "hydrocaps" for batteries.

These gadgets recombine much of the hydrogen and oxygen liberated during charge back into water and put back into the cell. They make for much longer watering intervals and also do a darned decent job of keeping electolyte fumes out of the air.

You still need to vent your battery box, but curing the problem at the source like this is cheap and effective insurance.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:36 PM   #18
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so really if I want to put batteries indoors I just need to get AGM and im good to go? trying not to have to drill massive holes in the bus that I then have to seal up inside somehow for water, air, heat, etc.. or if these arent it.. are there batteries I can use indoors without drilling nasty holes in the side of the bus?

-Christopher
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:17 PM   #19
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Batteries give off acid fumes? " I was not aware of that Dude. "
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:32 PM   #20
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Batteries give off acid fumes? " I was not aware of that Dude. "
Yup. Hydrogen sulfide gas.

AGM batteries don't vent unless overcharged, but it's still best to provide a good vented enclosure.
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