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Old 04-23-2016, 07:53 AM   #1
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Coach battery amp hours

With lithium batteries at the price they are, anyone have any idea what minimum amp hours required for Coach battery system?

Thanks, Derek
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:34 AM   #2
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All depends on what you want to do. We have 600 amps (6 X100 AH LFP batteries) but we live large electrically speaking when "off the grid." The smallest setup you could get would probably be a single 100 amp LFP battery.
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:28 AM   #3
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Looking at the Tesla Powerwall. It's kinda high at $3500, but thinking where I'm moving when I retire, if I want any electricity (completely off grid) I'm really going to need something reliable. Just thinking right now, in order to use Powerwall in motorhome, I'd need to install it under bed lol.

Thanks for the response, Derek
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Old 04-23-2016, 11:50 AM   #4
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My thoughts only!

You are probably going to retire where there is some sun?

Good old T 105's are cheap, compared to Lithium, and if you have 600+ watt of solar, and a small genset for backup, that should be adaquate for most light duty living.

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Looking at the Tesla Powerwall. It's kinda high at $3500, but thinking where I'm moving when I retire, if I want any electricity (completely off grid) I'm really going to need something reliable. Just thinking right now, in order to use Powerwall in motorhome, I'd need to install it under bed lol.

Thanks for the response, Derek
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:04 PM   #5
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masseyfarm, um NOPE, I'm not staying here in Florida after retirement, after 31 years, I'd love to leave NOW. I'm headed to my property in Ninilchik, AK. So, yes, I'll need more than plain ol batteries. Yes, my property is off-grid, so thinking whatever is in motorhome, may get pulled and used in new home there.

Of course, this is all planning stages for right now. Retirement isn't until April 2020, who knows what lithium batteries will cost then.....

Thanks, Derek
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:05 AM   #6
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From full-time living in Florida to full-time living in Alaska; that's like jumping from the frying pan into the fire, one extreme to another.

I hope you like bears with nails 5" long, black and horse flys that carry machetes and no sun for 3 months of the year. I hope you have a backup plan for winter.

Cheers
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:36 AM   #7
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Looking at the Tesla Powerwall. It's kinda high at $3500,
Thanks for the response, Derek
The Tesla Powerwall is the wrong voltage for RV use (it's 70 volts I think, and uses in inverter to get to 110 for residential use.) You want a 12 volt storage system.
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:47 AM   #8
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Unless a person had converted their RV to all 120 volt......




Superat stultitia.
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Old 04-24-2016, 10:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazeevw View Post
masseyfarm, um NOPE, I'm not staying here in Florida after retirement, after 31 years, I'd love to leave NOW. I'm headed to my property in Ninilchik, AK. So, yes, I'll need more than plain ol batteries. Yes, my property is off-grid, so thinking whatever is in motorhome, may get pulled and used in new home there.

Of course, this is all planning stages for right now. Retirement isn't until April 2020, who knows what lithium batteries will cost then.....

Thanks, Derek
Derek,

One issue you MUST deal with is the fact that all presently available lithium batteries CAN NOT BE CHARGED at temperatures below 0C (32F). This will certainly present a problem for you in AK.

There are ways to mitigate this which involve heat mats either under the lithiums or surrounding them and the use of a low temp cut-off mechanism like what Victron offers for their lithium battery systems.

The heat mat is the simplest and probably most cost effective, as you can still USE a lithium below freezing, usually down to -20C, just not charge them. You can use the residual available power in the battery to heat them above freezing and then charge them, either with you LP furnace or heat mat arrangement.

Just more to think about!

PS: the Powerwall, as with all lithium cells, are to be oriented in only one direction. The Powerwall MUST be mounted on a wall in the vertical position, akin to not being able to 'lay down' other types of lithium cells on their sides. It's always terminals UP! Unlike AGM cells that can be placed in any orientation except terminals down.
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:29 PM   #10
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Hi Derek--

My personal vote would be for a minimum of 220 amp hrs of USABLE storage as long as you couple it with a lot of solar acreage on the roof-- that would be 440 amp hrs at 50% with AGM's and 300 with 85% from lithiums. But if you're going year round in climates with low sun angles, you'll either need a TON of panel capacity on the roof, a much larger battery bank (for the many days that are overcast at low sun angles,) or (shudder) at least one generator. Realistically, I think it would be difficult to get enough solar on your roof to handle extended days (or weeks) of low angle sun combined with long term overcast.

So if Alaska year round is your dream, as much solar as you can squeeze onto your roof and 400 amps of usable storage (which means double that or 800 for AGM's and 500 for lithiums. You can greatly augment the effectiveness of your panel array by not making it fixed on your roof but rather set up on the ground so you can get the best angle to the sun by moving the panels a few times a day to point at the sun. If yiu want to deal with that.

But even with all that, I'm imagining you being socked in with week long overcast. So you'll need a generator if living in extreme climates.

Of course, 800 amps of AGM's are going to weigh almost 600 lbs. The lithiums will be much lighter--I'm guessing more like250 lbs-- but as Lew pointed out, you'll need the heating pads or some other solution for "mindless" use of the lithiums--one inadvertent charge at less than freezing can destroy them. And they are WAY pricier than the excellent Lifeline AGMs, especially with heating pads.

I would strongly suggest that you use Lew to help you figure this out, and hire him to install your system, whichever way you decide to go. He's always up to date on the latest technological changes in solar, his work is clean and meticulous, he has decades of experience with solar as well as all RV operating systems and therefore how they affect each other, and you won't have to worry about problems down the line with the system you design together. He works winters in Florida, and summers in the Northwest, so you could outfit your coach with him in either location.

Sometimes the old adage is true--you get what you pay for!
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:07 PM   #11
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Thanks for all of the advice concerning lithium batteries. I've got plenty of time to research all of this, but was unaware of the limited charging in cold extremes.

Yes, plan is to go from one extreme to another, but always have said, I LOVE snow, just hate driving to work in it. Retired means that won't happen. Plus, I work outside in the Florida HEAT, with no chance of AC from 10am until after 5pm. Plus, all of this is while walking with a satchel full of parcels, and armful and handful of mail. Yes, there are still places where mail men deliver door to door. Love my job, just ready for some peace and quiet, where I don't hear an ambulance siren every 10 minutes.

Property is located in what's termed "thermal" area in Kenai Peninsula. The Pacific Stream keeps area at or near 32 degrees in winters. No plans to live in Airstream during winters up there. I will be building a home.

Never knew about Powerwall orientation either, but do like idea of it for AK home power. With it being located inside of house, I'm guessing I won't need heat-mats??

Thanks for all of the advice, Derek
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