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Tesla Battery


oldjohnt

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I ran across this today on MSN discussing Tesla Batteries and found it interesting

 

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/new-tesla-battery-could-end-electricity-bills/ar-BBiU7fs?ocid=U146DHP

 

These type of discussions have been around before, but as an engineer they always attract my attention.

 

I'm ONLY the messenger, NOT wanting to start any argument over battery types and designs etc. just food for thought.

 

That being said, I'm getting to that stage in life when its time to sell the farm and big old house where we raised our family and downsize to a much more energy efficient (Solar, Geothermal etc.) smaller home with an RV Port. I know for sure I will install around a 5000 Watt or so fixed southerly Solar array and most likely start out Grid Tie. Then if battery technology evolves I may go off grid. For sure if I were young and just starting out in my first home, it would be Solar and Geothermal and Wind Power and anything else out there.

 

I attended a Busnuts rally in Arcadia Florida a few years ago where Technomads put on a seminar and explained their 500 Amp Hour Lithium Ion Battery (in their GMC 4104 Bus Conversion) storage bank and I think they were expanding it to 1000 Amp Hours. However I recall how the charging volts and amps and temperature was all so critical YIKES. But I'm sure things have improved since then. In the meantime I'm happy with my RV's flooded lead acid 460 Amp Hours (4 Golf Cart Batteries) which requires far less sensitive and far less expensive 4 stage Smart Solar or 120 VAC powered conventional charging.

 

John T

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John, Although I won't be adding solar to our home, I watch this with great interest. In my former life I was responsible for a very large 911 center and emergency ops center. One of the requirements was that the UPS system must have an uninterrupted power source capable of operating the center for 4 hours if commercial power failed and both of the Detroit Diesel generators failed to start. The 100 operator position 32000 sq feet facility was completely sealed with a scrubber system for the air to prevent a biohazard attack from entering the facility. The battery room was enormous. As I recall it was almost 2500 sq feet with rack upon rack of lead acid batteries. We used to buy distilled water in 55 gallon plastic drums to service the darn things. It would be awesome if he does come up with a battery to replace those 3' square monsters

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I am not certain where all of this is going. But, I am very excited about the future of new battery development. As I remember we did not embrace computers, wind, solar, and earth sheltered technology just a few years back. The creative mind(s) is such a wonderful thing. Go for it.

 

Safe Travels!

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Technomads put on a seminar and explained their 500 Amp Hour Lithium Ion Battery (in their GMC 4104 Bus Conversion) storage bank and I think they were expanding it to 1000 Amp Hours.

We visited with the Technomads about their system at Escapade and found it interesting and probably a good thing for someone such as they, partly because of the way the live and earn a living at the same time, but not very practical for most of us as yet. Of course we have a resident expert & promoter of Telsa on the financial forums who has been working hard to sell others on investing but I remain a skeptic. I am sure that battery technology will advance with time, but it will also remain very cost ineffective for most of us for the immediate future, in my opinion.

 

Business Insider has an interesting article about them also that I found of interest. Since today was supposed to be the day for the world changing announcement, it is interesting that as of 5 pm, central time there has been nothing on the news or internet yet??

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That might be because the announcement is to be at an event scheduled for 8 PM Pacific time tonight.

 

This has the potential to be a game changer. Whether it will actually be remains to be seen. Having spent my life in the tech industry, I've seen many things that I could never have imagined would happen over the last 30 years. I can see so many applications for this technology if it plays out the way people hope. I've learned not to underestimate the amazing ingenuity of humankind.

 

We're not investing in Tesla, but we are considering being early adopters of lithium ion batteries, especially if the Gigafactory does cause a significant drop in market prices. The easier operation, ability to discharge much lower giving greater capacity for the same size battery plant, the reduced weight, and longer life all are very close to making them a better choice at lower cost for full timers with reasonable solar capacity. We'll watch the developments for the next two years as we prepare to fulltime, but if things continue on the way they seem to be, when we hit the road that will be the way we'll be going. I'm watching the Technomadia experiment with great interest.

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Thanks for the article.

 

And yes, RV is a fan of Tesla, and all things Musk! But, I also feel he does thorough research and goes into great detail on all of his many interests, not just Tesla. I never considered him as trying sale Tesla, just sharing info and his own opinions.

 

I have owned tesla in the past, 2 to 3 times, and made good profits each time. I've also parked some funds in Tesla again, as well s Solar City. I respect what Mush has done. Yes, a showman for sure, but he puts his reputation on the line each time he says he and his companies will attempt to do something. His Space X has been just amazing, with some very public successes, as well as some failures with the landing of the rockets on a barge in the ocean. Hope they hit a home run next time.

 

We looked at lithium batteries for our coach. Read many posts, Technomadia's too, as well as a few from the boating community. This was now over 2 years + ago, and I decided to install solar system with components that cold be mostly converted to the usage of lithium in the future. Went with Lifeline AGM's this time around.

 

We're also going to make a decision this year, on which of the homes in CA we'll retain. We'll add solar to that home. And, if lithium, or some other storage capacity system (reading lots about flywheel type tech too) are close to being ready - we'll do that at that time as well.

 

Like the idea of more an more homes and businesses being on solar. Not to 'stick it to the power companies', as I feel America has had a relatively solid power grid for decades and decades, but more to help reduce the need for more power plants. Solar just seems like a good idea, and it's costs have dropped so much - why not?

 

Enjoy threads like these. As they show perspectives and ideas from all kinds of backgrounds.

 

Best to all,

Smitty

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The news is now out and it was about what I expected. They are moving ahead, but it isn't going to do much for the average person for at least several years. I do agree that they are doing some needed work and it might be a good thing if there were others in this country working on that same issue. I have read that it is happening in other parts of the world and changes will come, the big debate is when. Here are two stories about the announcement.

 

Business Insider

 

Washington Post

 

It remains interesting to watch and is no doubt a good thing, but for most of us it remains just an interesting story. I won't be moving any significant amount of funds to that investment anytime soon, as single stock investments are still a very poor plan for most typical investors building a retirement fund, but it is a very interesting company to watch for the future. If Telsa doesn't get this marked, someone will in time and if much younger I'd probably buy a small interest. My kids could do well with it.

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The price for 10 kW-hrs is about half of what we paid for the same amount of storage two years ago which got me excited; however, the height and voltage most assuredly put a crimp in the enthusiasm. 4' of height is possible on the back of 5th wheel but charging 480 V is a bit much for our solar system which comes off the roof at 90 V.

 

Were goofing off on travel in Ecuador and Peru for three months. Now back in New Mexico and getting our rig ready for travel to Labrador and Newfoundland. Probably be there in late July

Reed and Elaine

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I enjoyed Chris' article. While this particular setup isn't for suited for RV'ers. I view anything mainstreaming this battery technology as a big advance for Rver's not that many years down the road.

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  • 2 weeks later...

KIrk,

Sorry but if you were looking for the announcement time, and were unable to find it online, all you had to do was ask any "expert." Any one of us would have looked it up and helped in a New York Minute.

 

Folks I would bet that it will be 2017 when we see some real improvements in the technology of manufacturing the battery packs for all kinds of uses. It will be 2017 by my guess, since I believe that the Gigafactory needs to be up and running and innovating, on that large scale, for a year before we see the ripple down of prices by the economies of scale.

 

Tesla's Battery Gigafactory will be in production in 2016 and is under construction now. It is powered completely by solar and wind power and I'm sure the 10 store WalMart test of the battery packs that have been going on for the last half year or so of the prototypes for large enterprises, as well as the prototypes in residences that have been tested free by a bunch of Solar City Customers, have contributed to ongoing design improvement and yielded enough to announce them. Let's remember that Musk did not IPO Tesla until two years after his sold out Roadster was on the road.

 

And they paid off their loan from DOE in a year.

 

Now I'm sure, like last time, when they were doing serious CapEx building their Tesla factory, there will be the "skeptics" hoping he fails, and calling CapEx losses instead of CapEx like they did last time.

 

Also let's remember he debuted a luxury car in the middle of the "too big to fail" debacle of 2008/9, and not only survived but thrived. He is driven and has my support. Financially and in my prayers.

 

The future looks fun and cheaper for us all, perhaps healthier too. You can only fool some of the people, all of the time. ;)

 

 

Look for great changes in the next couple of years. My FIL is rattled by any technology and refuses to have a cell phone or a computer of any kind in his house. He is a skeptic too, and downright grumpy if you try to show him the way.

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I am not sure how to take the news that the Tesla battery is sold out until 2016.

 

On one hand that could be an indication of huge interest and pent-up market.

 

On the other hand it could just be that price point is too low and buyers hoping to reserve a place in line are going to make out like bandits.

 

Since I won't need one for my new apartment until 2017 I'm going to stand on the sidelines and see how this all shakes out. Once they ramp up production and we see how well Tesla can stay within their price-points we'll probably see where this is headed.

 

But with enough solar panels on my shop rooftop I should have no issues living within the capabilities of the unit; at least on the apartment side.

 

I was kinda hoping RV would be first to get one and let us know what he thinks. :D

 

WDR

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Sorry WD,

I can't stand power outages, and while I invest in Tesla, I can't justify paying to reserve new tech until I see how it shakes out. But more to the point I already bought a new whole house propane auto switching liquid cooled 4 cylinder genset. I already had the dedicated propane tank and we are just waiting to dry out enough to remove the old 15kw one I traded in, because it had difficulty with the large start up load of the four ton A/C. Then once the new house pad and concrete is done and the house done we will have it moved to its new concrete pad and hooked up to the propane it's a net 200 gallon tank, I think, I've slept since 2005 when we installed it. :D

 

We have village water, natural gas, cable and electric, and use NG to heat the house and cook with. The water heater in this one is electric but the new house gets a gas one. The dryer however is electric. The reason we did not go with NG for the Genset is that it has less bang to use (BTUs? :D just kidding) than propane such that the same genset is only 12.5 kw running NG but 15 kw running propane. I like the idea of a week of power if needed and more if we need it and can get propane delivered. It also protects from surges as it won't switch for 20 seconds on or after 20 seconds of stable power before it lets the grid back through.

 

In a few years I'll sell the Propane system and switch over. Then solar. But today I am doing all the CapEx here on my little five acres of Earth, and into my new to us RV I can handle for now. In a year we will have a lot of liquid assets built up again and go for it when it works for us, and can run our A/C. I will want at least 20kw. With solar I doubt I will ever have to buy generator fuel again for any reason. With solar added we'll see.

 

But unlike fossil fuel generators these are silent, and can be charged from the grid. And there are lots of wealthy folks living in expensive owned apartments all over the world as well as in yachts and remote villas. They will be in the market but think about this.

 

When there is a power outage for several days and you live in an apartment that does not have big diesel back up generators your food and comfort both get challenged. They can't safely use a gas or gasoline generator inside. They can use a Powerwall. No fumes, no noise, it can be in the closet of middle class city apartment dwellers.

 

Musk is aware of the market. But he has to build the gigafactory first. Then . . . y'all don't short Tesla unless you like losing big time. ;)

 

It's coming faster than even I ever expected. But I will be in like everyone else here when they have the price and product that fits, and I have recovered a bit from my expenditures in house, generator, and RV this year.

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It's coming faster than even I ever expected.

I've been waiting for this since the 1980s so it has seemed pretty slow to me... but the acceleration over the past 5 years has certainly been dramatic. And now it seems almost uncontrollable. The UK has actually begun to try to slow down the "solar farm" focus and re-focus on "rooftop solar".

 

The "trickle down" to RVs is already underway with Reed&Elaine's 48vdc system. Suddenly the phrase "you can't operate air conditioners on solar" is looking outdated; by golly it turns out that you *can* run a/c off your batteries if you've chosen the right batteries.

 

We actually don't have any emergency power for our house here because it turns out that we live in a relatively risk-free area when it comes to natural disasters. No earthquakes, no hurricanes, no tornadoes, no flooding... I can't remember a power outage that wasn't caused by a drunk in a pickup truck ramming a power pole. (One reason so many datacenters - including a new one run by Century Link - are located in this area.)

 

Of course, if Yellowstone blows then we'll eventually get nailed... but by the time it gets to us it will already have devastated the world to the east first. But short of that we'll ride most anything out in our motor home with solar and even be able to provide emergency communications via amateur radio in it.

 

WDR

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Reeds system is definitely bleeding edge - or was for sure when installed.

 

But you have been able to run air conditioners in limited sizes for awhile on battery/solar. The key is limited sizes. Things like trucks and RVs work OK. Larger does not tend to work out so well. Or is simply way more problematic.

 

My next build I will likely set up an LFP system specifically to run air conditioning....mostly just because I can - not that I really feel it necessary. But the additional size for moderate air conditioning will be a simple expansion.

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Jack,

Ever think about seeing if the Tesla Gigafactory team wants/needs an RV division consultant/developer? They're just gearing up now, and I doubt they are thinking RV space and weight considerations until the market is presented. With your solar and LFP experience you'd be a good choice to guide a small R&D effort.

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Yes you can run the air conditioning on normal batteries (glass mat). Did this inadvertently on old rig (a cheap but nice 28' Maxilite) about six years ago near Portland. We had to stay at an RV Park since we were visiting relatives in Hillsboro (there is a great state fair grounds where we had stayed before but it was in use). It was hot so we hooked into line power and I turned on the air conditioning. It ran for 20 minutes. I had not turned on the line power . Batteries did recover. Happily it was not terminal for the battery suite.

 

As noted earlier, we did get 7980 W-hr (according to TriStar remote meter) last weekend with a maximum rate of 1300+ W. We could put on another 2 or 3 x 235 W panels but cannot see the need. This would require reworking the wiring and probably move from a TriStar MPPT 45 to a TriStar MPPT 60. The only reason to do this would be air conditioning but we much prefer to go up in elevation or north to where it is cooler.

 

wa_desert_rat: Many data centers are set up near you because "..power outages are...caused by a drunk in a pickup truck ramming a power pole." LOL

 

Reed and Elaine

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wa_desert_rat: Many data centers are set up near you because "..power outages are...caused by a drunk in a pickup truck ramming a power pole." LOL

 

 

We have had snow and ice outages but none of those since about 1994. It is *always* someone taking down a power pole. Pathetic, I know. :P

 

WDR

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