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Old 12-26-2018, 09:18 PM   #1
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House Conversion to Tesla Pack

Ever since Interblog converted to lithium, I've been waiting for something to come along within my technical comfort levels. Time may be getting close. I'm reaching the time when I need to replace batteries anyway so good time to consider a conversion. Phase 1 may be just a straight conversion of the existing battery system with a 5.2 Kwh Tesla pack. Phase 2 may be even more adventurous, with ditching the Genset entirely and replacing with 21KWH of Tesla packs. The later will be a bit more involved with liquid cooling/heating etc. but should be fun. Has anyone already done this on the Sprinter chassis?

My inspiration is coming from Tom and Cait Morton on Mortons on the move.

https://www.mortonsonthemove.com/tom...-tesla-battery

https://youtu.be/g_SRHiLPI5g
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Old 12-26-2018, 10:20 PM   #2
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That looks fun and dangerous. If you’re doing it yourself, count me in. I’m a good supervisor and know how to ice down beverages. I’m just on the other side of town so if you do this without me I’ll find you.

I’m not sure what I think of his charging system yet since I don’t see any cell level monitoring. Some folks don’t think it’s critical but given the potential for fires with that battery chemistry,I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t park it in an attached garage without cell monitoring. That said, cell level outputs are probably already on the battery packs so it wouldn’t take much work to hook up a proper Battery Managment System.

Here is an example of what happens when you overcharge one of those packs: (fast forward to the fiery stuff and ignore the blow-hard narrating the video).
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:04 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mcrider View Post
Ever since Interblog converted to lithium, I've been waiting for something to come along within my technical comfort levels. Time may be getting close. I'm reaching the time when I need to replace batteries anyway so good time to consider a conversion. Phase 1 may be just a straight conversion of the existing battery system with a 5.2 Kwh Tesla pack. Phase 2 may be even more adventurous, with ditching the Genset entirely and replacing with 21KWH of Tesla packs. The later will be a bit more involved with liquid cooling/heating etc. but should be fun. Has anyone already done this on the Sprinter chassis?

My inspiration is coming from Tom and Cait Morton on Mortons on the move.

https://www.mortonsonthemove.com/tom...-tesla-battery

https://youtu.be/g_SRHiLPI5g
MCRIDER - Can not wait for your conversion to work. I want the Tesla owners reaction to change from hysterical laughter (when I tried to charge my AI in a Tesla Supercharger Station) to utter amazement when I am actually able to plug in. And YES, that is my AI on the Supercharger Station lanes (confirmed by license plates)
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:49 AM   #4
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UPDATE - In case someone thought I was serious about plugging in my AI into a Tesla Supercharger - no I am not that dumb. This was a mockup pic taken with a friend who owns a Tesla. He was charging while we had lunch at restaurant next door and we could not resist the optics of such a photo. Not to mention pranking another Tesla owner who pulled in before I drove the AI out of those lanes
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Old 12-27-2018, 11:21 AM   #5
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LB3,

Yes I had seen that video (and a few others) which has put me off on attempting this. It appears however, that cell monitoring and BMS have moved on and become more accessible to the common person without me having to do a bunch of programming.

HSR Motors https://hsrmotors.com/products/battery_modules, sells the module and you can have them swap out the proprietary Tesla cell sense board with their converter board. They claim you can use these modules with nearly any lithium ion balancing charger or BMS without having to deal with modifying the wiring to sense each cell. They also offer the Tenergy 5-in-1 cell meter/balancer.

The module footprint will easily fit within the frame rails. My idea would be to build an aluminum container, include liquid heating and cooling. Need to get the design on paper before I go too far. Once I have the design, I'll reach out to ya and drive down for a peer review. Heading to Pedernales for a few days to hike, cycle and chill. Good down time to do some design thinking.

Alex, I think I'll pass on the DCFC. We have a Bolt so I have a J-1771 at home. If I venture to Phase 2 of the project, will certainly consider Level 2 charging capability. The Bolt has 57KWH battery pack. At 120V you are looking at 40 - 50 hours of charging from depletion. With the 32 amp L2 ~ 9 hours. I have a NEMA cord to J-1771 so I could use any campsite 50 Amp to get the job done rather quickly.

My hacking mind is buzzing.
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Old 12-27-2018, 12:47 PM   #6
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LB3,

Yes I had seen that video (and a few others) which has put me off on attempting this. It appears however, that cell monitoring and BMS have moved on and become more accessible to the common person without me having to do a bunch of programming.

HSR Motors https://hsrmotors.com/products/battery_modules, sells the module and you can have them swap out the proprietary Tesla cell sense board with their converter board. They claim you can use these modules with nearly any lithium ion balancing charger or BMS without having to deal with modifying the wiring to sense each cell. They also offer the Tenergy 5-in-1 cell meter/balancer.

The module footprint will easily fit within the frame rails. My idea would be to build an aluminum container, include liquid heating and cooling. Need to get the design on paper before I go too far. Once I have the design, I'll reach out to ya and drive down for a peer review. Heading to Pedernales for a few days to hike, cycle and chill. Good down time to do some design thinking.

Alex, I think I'll pass on the DCFC. We have a Bolt so I have a J-1771 at home. If I venture to Phase 2 of the project, will certainly consider Level 2 charging capability. The Bolt has 57KWH battery pack. At 120V you are looking at 40 - 50 hours of charging from depletion. With the 32 amp L2 ~ 9 hours. I have a NEMA cord to J-1771 so I could use any campsite 50 Amp to get the job done rather quickly.

My hacking mind is buzzing.
MCRIDER - I would love to be there from start to finish when you embark on this project. It is the kind of stuff engineers salivate about.

BTW - not meaning to hijack thread since this is still Tesla stuff - have you looked into the PowerWall? I realize it is still a residential unit. They are now on v3 and there are very real possibilities they will adapt it for rv use (though who knows how long that will take). The big improvement is that now they have made it lighter, shorter (45"), thinner, and mountable either wall/vertical or floor/horizontal. Reason I bring it up is pricing on the PowerWall3 (residential) as of Oct. this year is up. It has me thinking for residential, but the new improvements have my brain gerbels wanting it in an rv.

13.5kWh ‘Usable Capacity’
PowerWall3: $6,700 (originally $5,900)
Gateway: $1,100 (originally $700)
Installation: $1,000–3,000

From what I read on rv lithium conversion costs, that still rivals current rv lithium solution?

Since you have a Bolt, you can just tow it as your permanent 57kwh mobile PowerWall. Just get that 350v power converted to 12vdc Curious, the 57kwh you quoted, were you already taking into account some efficiency losses from the Bolt rated output? I thought they were over 65-70kwh?
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Old 12-27-2018, 05:54 PM   #7
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UPDATE - In case someone thought I was serious about plugging in my AI into a Tesla Supercharger - no I am not that dumb. This was a mockup pic taken with a friend who owns a Tesla. He was charging while we had lunch at restaurant next door and we could not resist the optics of such a photo. Not to mention pranking another Tesla owner who pulled in before I drove the AI out of those lanes
ALEX - You may not be serious about it - but there is a guy on the Sprinter forum who has built a Sprinter battery system that he can recharge at an EV Charging Station.

https://www.sprinter-source.com/foru...ad.php?t=72094

He has also designed a battery system using Tesla cells.

http://www.econeato.org/lithium.html

I find his whole approach rather strange.
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:15 PM   #8
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Good fresh thread for the New Year. Comes with amusement potential, too. Last night my husband was reviewing something about this technology online, and he was muttering anxiously about the designer of a certain system (whichever one he was looking at during that moment) only having an estimatable IQ of approximately 120, which is alarmingly insufficient for such a task. Not too many functional realms where 120 simply does not cut the mustard.

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Old 12-27-2018, 06:20 PM   #9
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ALEX - You may not be serious about it - but there is a guy on the Sprinter forum who has built a Sprinter battery system that he can recharge at an EV Charging Station.

https://www.sprinter-source.com/foru...ad.php?t=72094

He has also designed a battery system using Tesla cells.

http://www.econeato.org/lithium.html

I find his whole approach rather strange.
MIKE - really? Wow! I was not serious in that I knew I could not do it ... yet! But I do seriously think it may just be a matter of time. I will check those threads when I get home tonight. I wonder though what the legalities are behind him doing that, considering those Tesla stations (or the public ones) are supposedly to be used only by true EV's. He's probably not using the Tesla Superchargers as those require constant handshake & comm to the car ECU. I believe the ability to use them is pre-configured at purchase time? Just curious what enforcement issues would arise should lots of rv's start using the public EV stations. NV is heavily invested in solar energy now and EV stations are popping up all over, especially in the private sector (read - casinos). No need to respond, I don't want to sidetrack this thread. Just thinking out loud. Thanks for links
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:08 PM   #10
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LB3,
[...]HSR Motors https://hsrmotors.com/products/battery_modules, sells the module and you can have them swap out the proprietary Tesla cell sense board with their converter board. They claim you can use these modules with nearly any lithium ion balancing charger or BMS without having to deal with modifying the wiring to sense each cell. They also offer the Tenergy 5-in-1 cell meter/balancer.

The module footprint will easily fit within the frame rails. My idea would be to build an aluminum container, include liquid heating and cooling. Need to get the design on paper before I go too far. Once I have the design, I'll reach out to ya and drive down for a peer review. Heading to Pedernales for a few days to hike, cycle and chill. Good down time to do some design thinking.[...]

My hacking mind is buzzing.
I hadn’t done much research since finishing our conversion. It really looks like there is now quite a bit of support in the Tesla battery hobbyist community so it’s probably more a matter of system design than custom work. And let’s face it, all the fun is in the system design and all the pain is in reinventing the wheel.

If you go with a separate BMS, this board looks like it will get you the pack temps and cell string voltages: https://www.ebay.com/i/173673712941.
When you start noodling on your system design, make sure you ditch the Magnum inverter/charger and separate your charging and load circuits.

Given that it isn’t my money I’m spending, why not go with 8 battery modules?The size of the units at 27”x12”x3” could easily fit where your generator goes by placing them in two stacks of 4. That would give you a bit over 40kWH of power which probably translates to about 30 hours of A/C usage in case you get stuck in the desert. it would also weigh in at ~460# plus a custom case so nearly 500# (with custom battery case) .

But before you dismiss it out of hand, the labor is pretty much the same and the system design isn’t any more complicated so it’s probably only about $5k more in incremental costs. (~40% cost overrun?). The weight of 4 Lifeline gpl-4ct and the Onan generator is about 400# so it isn’t that much more weight either but the performance would keep you cool in case you ever break down in the desert and then your tow truck brakes down as well.
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:27 PM   #11
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Just curious what enforcement issues would arise should lots of rv's start using the public EV stations.
The Tesla "Destination Chargers" found at many hotels are just Level 2 chargers. If you have an adapter and get the Manager's approval, you are good to go. For the Super Chargers (DCFC), they will not work with any vehicle other than Tesla.

The Tesla Proprietary is quickly being over taken by the CCS (J-1771 + DCFC) and Chademo. This is largely due to Diesel-GATE. “Electrify America” is the result of VW/Audi Diesel-Gate settlement. VW was required to set up the company and spend $2Bln in the US installing fast chargers across the country. The real pisser is that the settlement calls for 1.2 Bln to be spent in CARB states and 800 mln elsewhere. Thank you VW/Audi/Porsche 😜.

LB3, Looked at †he Power Wall. Very interested. At the moment to expensive and over-kill. But just imagine the possibility!!!! I'm still convinced a conversion is practical.

You will see many references that the Bolt is 60 Kwh. It is 57 for sure. https://youtu.be/ssU2mjiNi_Q
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Old 12-27-2018, 08:38 PM   #12
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To understand how to achieve a 10 year battery life, watch this:

https://youtu.be/eWYtq0hxhQg
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Old 12-27-2018, 09:27 PM   #13
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MCRIDER - I would love to be there from start to finish when you embark on this project. It is the kind of stuff engineers salivate about.

BTW - not meaning to hijack thread since this is still Tesla stuff - have you looked into the PowerWall? I realize it is still a residential unit. They are now on v3 and there are very real possibilities they will adapt it for rv use (though who knows how long that will take). The big improvement is that now they have made it lighter, shorter (45"), thinner, and mountable either wall/vertical or floor/horizontal. Reason I bring it up is pricing on the PowerWall3 (residential) as of Oct. this year is up. It has me thinking for residential, but the new improvements have my brain gerbels wanting it in an rv.

13.5kWh ‘Usable Capacity’
PowerWall3: $6,700 (originally $5,900)
Gateway: $1,100 (originally $700)
Installation: $1,000–3,000

From what I read on rv lithium conversion costs, that still rivals current rv lithium solution?

Since you have a Bolt, you can just tow it as your permanent 57kwh mobile PowerWall. Just get that 350v power converted to 12vdc Curious, the 57kwh you quoted, were you already taking into account some efficiency losses from the Bolt rated output? I thought they were over 65-70kwh?
This is a timely thread. I was just telling my wife I was going to look into getting a salvage Tesla to mate to a sprinter chassis.

I was also looking into the power wall to see if it could be swapped into the AI in current form and get rid of the generator and house batteries that are already there.

I dont have anything useful to add but enthusiasm at this point but I hope you do this project.
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:26 PM   #14
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LB3, Looked at †he Power Wall. Very interested. At the moment to expensive and over-kill. But just imagine the possibility!!!! I'm still convinced a conversion is practical.
MCRIDER - Just to get some rough numbers on the table only for purposes of vaguely trying to understand the cost/comparisons. I can see myself going through this in 2 yrs. - If you were to go with your Phase3 21kwh conversion how much do you think it will cost right now (without allowing for the obvious cost overrun LB3 is factoring in?). I know it's apples vs. oranges comparison, and the apple is ready to go while the orange is not even ripe yet. But me thinks installation costs in an rv of a Powerwall RV ready unit can not possibly cost more to install than their residential estimates. It can't be too hard when everything is already sealed in one box. Rumor is even the next generation Gateway will be sealed in.

Just using today's pricing with 2x Powerwall3 (total 27kWh ‘Usable Capacity’ = $14,000), 1 Gateway ($1,100) and say non-DIY max Installation ($3,000). You are all in under $20k. Allowing 40% overrun, all in under $25k. At 265 lbs. per pack (=530 lbs), comes close to LB3 estimate of 500. And it is already in a bulletproof casing. So added cost would be just for mounting underchassis in place of genset. Factor in that it has it's built-in sealed cooling, sealed thermal controls, and sealed inverter = would the pricing come close? BTW - given their published degradation figure of holding 70% after 10 yrs., the 27kwh is down to 19kwh, so it helps to overbuild up front.

Anyone see the Tesla Tiny House project displayed in Melboune's Federation Square? This Tiny House is a TT. It is their vision, so I am hopeful the plug-&-play rv version is close by. This seemed like so long ago, coz I did not even have an rv, so such things as solar & battery capacity did not even register in my mind as something I should research.

https://www.tesla.com/teslatinyhouse
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