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Old 10-05-2019, 02:01 PM   #1
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Dual battery setup in car 1800 watts

Hi, this is not about a bus, hence the title, so I guess it's safe to post it under "everything else".

I've been wanting to do this for a while and hope I can get some guidance and help. Basically like the title reads.. what all do I need. Obviously a second battery and a inverter but what else? I have a 18 Kia Optima and am completely clueless on the subject so if possible keep it simple like you're talking to a 10 year old

Thanks
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Old 10-05-2019, 02:31 PM   #2
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Inverter is not obvious, what makes you think you need one?

And we need to know how much energy you will consume, in Ah per day.

What does that 1800W refer to, running a hair drier? Then yes, will want an inverter the DC ones are underpowered.

Are you living out of the car fulltime?

Are you driving many hours per day?

Willing to put solar panels out?

Have daily access to mains power?

Assume no room for a genset. . .
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Old 10-05-2019, 02:32 PM   #3
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Budget $200 or $2000?
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Old 10-05-2019, 02:46 PM   #4
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What was the question?
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Budget $200 or $2000?
Actually, I should have mentioned I was looking to see what the estimate cost would be for such set up. Basically no budget. Just say I wanna spend as much as I need to for a setup that works safely
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Old 10-05-2019, 04:54 PM   #6
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Safety is no issue.

But if you don't precisely define & spell out your needs you'll either spend more than you need to, or not accomplish your goals.

And an $800 setup may last a very long time, while a $400 one that is "good enough" may only last a couple years.

Lotsa variables, and a fair bit of learning just to be able to make decent choices.
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:30 PM   #7
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I've read this thread like 4 times and I still have no idea what you're actually trying to do.
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:34 PM   #8
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I've read this thread like 4 times and I still have no idea what you're actually trying to do.

I thought I was the only one
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:27 PM   #9
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If they answer my Qs we'll have a start anyway
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Old 10-06-2019, 03:29 AM   #10
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If they answer my Qs we'll have a start anyway
True dat!!
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Old 10-08-2019, 05:40 AM   #11
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Sorry for the late response guys and thanks for replying


Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post

Inverter is not obvious, what makes you think you need one?

And we need to know how much energy you will consume, in Ah per day.

What does that 1800W refer to, running a hair drier? Then yes, will want an inverter the DC ones are underpowered.
Because of what I wanna power. I'm not sure about Ah. I wanna be able to run a blender and maybe an air fryer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post

Are you living out of the car fulltime?
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post

Are you driving many hours per day?
Yes. I actually deliver packages in this car and it idles a lot for heater and cooling in the winter and summer

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post

Willing to put solar panels out?
No, no solar. although, it would be nice to have

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post

Have daily access to mains power?
No, not daily


Thanks!
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:12 AM   #12
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This all depends highly on what you intend to do with it.


For starters besides the second battery and inverter... you'll need some 2/0 cable and lugs (and heat shrink).. battery mount for the 2nd battery... fusing for the inverter and main power runs... possibly a bigger alternator depending on what you are trying to power.. etc.


So... what exactly are you trying to do?


I'm a fan of the Xantrex Prosine inverters. Prices are reasonable and a well known brand. I have one of their 2kw units.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:22 PM   #13
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A powerful blender, and **certainly** an air fryer use a very high wattage while running, I suggest you keep the car running at decent rpm while you're using such high loads, otherwise voltage sag may cause your inverter LVC to cut out.

You will need a fair bit of battery capacity. No fridge?

The best battery value by far is Duracell (actually Deka/East Penn) FLA deep cycle golf cart batteries, 2x6V, around $200 per 200+AH @12V pair from BatteriesPlus or Sam's Club. Deka labeled same batts also sold at Lowes. If you find Trojan T-105s locally for close to the same price per Ah, jump on that instead.

Store in the trunk if possible, if you get bothered by the fumes while charging just ventilate, or if really sensitive you need to go AGM - Northstar, Odyssey or Lifeline. Lots more expensive and won't last as long, but no messing with topping up distilled water or getting acid on your clothes.

LFP will be lots more compact and charges faster, but costs over 7x those Dekas and requires advanced knowledge and specialized gear to care for.

Get a decent SoC% battery monitor, I reco Victron BMV-712, or a Merlin SmartGauge combined with a cheap coulometer for measuring how many Ah you're taking out and putting in each day, see if another pair of GCs is required, should make that decision in the first 2-3 months.

You also need to check your voltage level while driving, if it doesn't get up to Full Absorb spec, might need a DCDC charger to get good lifespan from your bank.

Since you're "always driving", your system can go without solar, but soon as you stop, even for a day or two you may need to add it.

Meantime just use a simple IGN solenoid to keep your House circuits separated from your Starter battery so you're not left stranded:
https://expeditionportal.com/forum/t...-for-50.77503/

A shore power charger, at least 40A, will let you take advantage of mains plugs when you do have access.

Blue Sea sells great master switch and fuses, as well as combined distribution / fuse boxen.

Make sure to do the wiring right, proper crimping of terminals, heavy gauge and robust type fittings, marine quality is the way to go.

Your biggest limiting factor will be space, I recommend going up to a van.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr4btTahoe View Post
This all depends highly on what you intend to do with it.


For starters besides the second battery and inverter... you'll need some 2/0 cable and lugs (and heat shrink).. battery mount for the 2nd battery... fusing for the inverter and main power runs... possibly a bigger alternator depending on what you are trying to power.. etc.


So... what exactly are you trying to do?


I'm a fan of the Xantrex Prosine inverters. Prices are reasonable and a well known brand. I have one of their 2kw units.
I plan to use a blender and air fryer in the car almost every day if not every day. Not all day.. like for a smoothie and/ Never at the same time. The air fryer is 1760 watts and the blender is less. Think I really need a bigger alternator? Hope not

Thanks
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:24 PM   #15
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No, a bigger alt won't charge lead any faster.

You are driving around all day anyway.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:29 PM   #16
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Well.. at full tilt, a 2kw inverter pulls 150 amps at 13.5v. That doesn't include inrush.

So if you'll be using the air fryer for 5+ minutes at a time... It'll put a serious strain on most single OEM alternators.

Might be cheaper and easier to get one of the 2kw inverter generators from Harbor Freight and keep it in the trunk. They are small and sip fuel.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:43 PM   #17
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Just looked up the different models of your car. The biggest alternator offered from the factory is 150a. They do offer smaller.. which your car may have.


That means that any time you use the blender or fryer... you'll be maxing out the alternator (which is rated at peak amps... not continuous and not at idle rpm)


IF you stick with an inverter... You'll want to do the "Big 3 Mod" at minimum if not a bigger alternator that can handle the abuse.


I still vote for a small 2k inverter genny. Quiet.. small.. sip fuel... and likely cheaper in the long run.
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
A powerful blender, and **certainly** an air fryer use a very high wattage while running, I suggest you keep the car running at decent rpm while you're using such high loads, otherwise voltage sag may cause your inverter LVC to cut out.

You will need a fair bit of battery capacity. No fridge?

The best battery value by far is Duracell (actually Deka/East Penn) FLA deep cycle golf cart batteries, 2x6V, around $200 per 200+AH @12V pair from BatteriesPlus or Sam's Club. Deka labeled same batts also sold at Lowes. If you find Trojan T-105s locally for close to the same price per Ah, jump on that instead.

Store in the trunk if possible, if you get bothered by the fumes while charging just ventilate, or if really sensitive you need to go AGM - Northstar, Odyssey or Lifeline. Lots more expensive and won't last as long, but no messing with topping up distilled water or getting acid on your clothes.

LFP will be lots more compact and charges faster, but costs over 7x those Dekas and requires advanced knowledge and specialized gear to care for.

Get a decent SoC% battery monitor, I reco Victron BMV-712, or a Merlin SmartGauge combined with a cheap coulometer for measuring how many Ah you're taking out and putting in each day, see if another pair of GCs is required, should make that decision in the first 2-3 months.

You also need to check your voltage level while driving, if it doesn't get up to Full Absorb spec, might need a DCDC charger to get good lifespan from your bank.

Since you're "always driving", your system can go without solar, but soon as you stop, even for a day or two you may need to add it.

Meantime just use a simple IGN solenoid to keep your House circuits separated from your Starter battery so you're not left stranded:
https://expeditionportal.com/forum/t...-for-50.77503/

A shore power charger, at least 40A, will let you take advantage of mains plugs when you do have access.

Blue Sea sells great master switch and fuses, as well as combined distribution / fuse boxen.

Make sure to do the wiring right, proper crimping of terminals, heavy gauge and robust type fittings, marine quality is the way to go.

Your biggest limiting factor will be space, I recommend going up to a van.
Wow, thanks for this info. Time to do some research. I've come across some info online about some of the stuff you mentioned. What are GCs? Also, what's the estimate of all of this, like a complete setup. And are you saying I need 2 batteries?

Thanks a lot for taking the time to post this!
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Old 10-08-2019, 12:57 PM   #19
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GCs is a generic term for that size/type of true deep cycling batts, originally designed for Golf Cars. Very robust and long-lived, at least 6-8 years if well cared for.

6V each so per pair gives 12V.

I posted pricing, start assembling your list here, one step at a time. The inverter alone can cost more than all the rest for a top-notch one, but you should be able to stay under $3-400 otherwise, but devil is in the details innit
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