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Tesla Battery


jpcoll01
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My friend just bought a battery out of a totaled Tesla Model S. Got it for around $15k and about $2k in other accessories and now has 85kwh battery bank in his entirely solar house.  I believe this would be about 7k AH @ 12v which would essentially mean charge up and run literally anything you want. I’m hoping they come down prior to us going full time in a couple years. One Tesla battery, a roof full of solar and a Yamaha 2000 for top offs would be amazing. Would post pics but it is pretty much impossible to do here. 

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     I have looked seriously at adding solar to our Phaeton.  Currently, we have 3, 8D, 12v AGM batteries working in conjunction with our 10k Onan generator. With this set-up we can run for months off the grid. The more substantial problem is obtaining and desposing of our water.  We have 90 gallons of fresh H2O and 70/50 gallons of grey and black H2O.  The pay-back for the cost of adding solar sufficient to meet our needs exceeds 15 years. The chief disadvantage to the current (no pun intended) set-up is noise. The noise with the generater running is not prohibitive for us, and any neighbor further than 20 feet away wouldn't know that our generator was running.  Unless air conditioning is required, we generally don't need to run the generator more than 2 hours a day.  I truly wish that we were using a more "earth friendly" system, but it is currently cost prohibitive.   If you do go with solar, make sure that your charge controller is adequate as with the wiring. Also,  go with a properly sized, pure sine wave inverter/charger.  You will NOT be able to run your coach's air conditioning while just on solar.  The fun is in the journey.  .  . so enjoy!

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1 hour ago, Orvil Hazelton said:

     I have looked seriously at adding solar to our Phaeton.  Currently, we have 3, 8D, 12v AGM batteries working in conjunction with our 10k Onan generator. With this set-up we can run for months off the grid. The more substantial problem is obtaining and desposing of our water.  We have 90 gallons of fresh H2O and 70/50 gallons of grey and black H2O.  The pay-back for the cost of adding solar sufficient to meet our needs exceeds 15 years. The chief disadvantage to the current (no pun intended) set-up is noise. The noise with the generater running is not prohibitive for us, and any neighbor further than 20 feet away wouldn't know that our generator was running.  Unless air conditioning is required, we generally don't need to run the generator more than 2 hours a day.  I truly wish that we were using a more "earth friendly" system, but it is currently cost prohibitive.   If you do go with solar, make sure that your charge controller is adequate as with the wiring. Also,  go with a properly sized, pure sine wave inverter/charger.  You will NOT be able to run your coach's air conditioning while just on solar.  The fun is in the journey.  .  . so enjoy!

I have one concern about your operation.  It is your statement: 

Quote

any neighbor further than 20 feet away wouldn't know that our generator was running. 

Unless someone is deaf, your generator can be hear much farther away than 20 feet. 

Please be considerate of your fellow boondockers and park at least 200 yards away from others who don't use a generator.  Your generator is at least as loud as a person talking in a strong voice.  The constant sound of the generator noise is not what we want to hear when we are sitting outside.

As far as generator use is concerned, if someone is happy boondocking for long periods using a generator to recharge their batteries, that is fine with me.  That is not the style of boondocking I would be happy with, but I am not here to dictate what others should do. 

 

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It's not that difficult to figure out a good climate to spend summer in and go there, then figure out where you want to winter, and go those places. For us it'll be the midwest in the summer and the southwest (Coyote Howls, baby!!!) in the winter, with visits to things we want to see on the way. The south on the way, farther north on the way bavk. I'm building a 500W 36V system that'll really charge the batteries 100 percent. That way we get the best of both worlds.

Edited by OldMan
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38 minutes ago, OldMan said:

It's not that difficult to figure out a good climate to spend summer in and go there, then figure out where you want to winter, and go those places.

That can work most of the time but the weather is fickle and sooner or later almost all of us get caught in unexpected heat and/or cold.  When you add family issues and requests to the mix, we found ourselves dealing with each of those more than a few times. 

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That would be a kick, but a little Yamaha 2000 generator would be nearly worthless. 85kWh would take just about a week running 24/7 to replace that kind of energy... providing no loads on while charging. A properly sized 240v could cut that time to just a fraction.. maybe... ~10hrs.

Reinforcing a storage area for half a ton of batteries would require a bit of work.. not to mention the size of generator required. I wouldn't even know HOW to work the weight balancing unless the rig was custom built around the power systems from the ground up.

I can certainly see the merit in some situations. The "cool" factor is there, but I don't know how practical it would be as a sustainable boondocking solution. Battery technology is rapidly progressing. Not as quickly as we would all like to see, but far faster than advances in solar production tech. As it stands we just aren't able to produce enough energy from the roof of an RV that could sustain a battery bank of that size.

Take the rig out and run it with supplemental solar for a 7-10 days before returning to the cord... sure!

The question always come up... can we run A/C on a battery bank? Absolutely! The issue is not "can" we... the issue is how sustainable our battery banks are.

Personally, I see no difference in running a genset hours on end to recharge my battery bank as opposed to just running the genset when I want Aircon. Granted... recharging a lithium bank from genset is much more efficient energy usage than running an AC off genset, but the energy loss is negligible when compared to the cost, weight, specialized equipment, genset size and solar array outlay for a battery bank that's probably a little too big for our britches.

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      AL: I have absolutely no respect for those who would judge me without being present. I say again: one would have to be listening VERY closely to be aware of my generator running from 20 feet or more.In all my years of full-time or part time RVing, no one has found it necessary to speak to me regarding my generator noise. Modern generators, with proper insulation are very quiet. Get your facts together, busybody.

Edited by Orvil Hazelton
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2 hours ago, Al F said:

Please be considerate of your fellow boondockers and park at least 200 yards away from others who don't use a generator.

That's an excellent rule of thumb... with the stress on "at least" and depending on your genset (if you're going to run a contractor type.. a 1/2 miles too close ;)) Also not often mentioned is an aircon. It also depends on the terrain you're in. It's also considerate to only operate gensets, in a boondocking situation, during non-obtrusive hours of the day. Ie., 8am-5pm whenever possible.

As to 20ft away... I've "never" met one that couldn't be readily heard that close. Not even when folks have specially constructed baffle boxes... and I've met a LOT of gensets. I could see where one may not be "readily" heard in different settings. Ie., in a CG with some amount of ambient noise, traffic, TV's, near conversations, fans/reefers/AC running nearby, children at play. They also seem to be better tolerated because it IS expected in that setting.

I'm not going to put words in Al's mouth, but it seemed to me he was talking about "boondocking". It's easy to ignore the mix of ambient noise where it's expected to the point it doesn't really "register". That doesn't mean it can't be heard.

In the still and quiet, it can be annoying as all get out.

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Guys,

If you want Tesla batteries it is much easier and cheaper to buy a Powerwall. Then charge it when plugged in, or keep a solar system charging it. 

  • Usable Capacity 13.5 kWh
  • Depth of Discharge 100%
  • Efficiency 90% round-trip
  • Power 7kW peak / 5kW continuous
  • Supported Applications Solar self-consumption Back-up power Time-of-use load shifting (coming soon) Off-grid capabilities (coming soon)
  • Warranty 10 years
  • Scalable Up to 10 Powerwalls
  • Operating Temperature -4°F to 122°F / -20°C to 50°C
  • Dimensions L x W x D: 44" x 29" x 5.5" (1150mm x 755mm x 155mm)
  • Weight 276 lbs / 125 kg
  • Installation Floor or wall mounted Indoor or outdoor
  • Certification North American and International Standards Grid code compliant
Order summary
$5,500 1 Powerwall
$700 Supporting hardware
   
   
$6,200 Total equipment cost
Or a two Powerwall system:
$11,000 2 Powerwalls
$700 Supporting hardware
   
   
$11,700 Total equipment cost
Your final design and pricing will be based on your electrical panel, home energy usage, number of Powerwalls, and where you’d like your Powerwall installed. Typical installation cost ranges from $800 to $2,000. This does not include solar installation, electrical upgrades (if necessary), taxes, permit fees, or any retailer / connection charges that may apply.
What's next?
Once you place your reservation, a Tesla energy specialist will reach out to discuss your project.

As you can see it doesn't take a ton or half ton of batteries. In fact the guy that bought and repurposed the Model S batteries has an ugly mess compared to the Powerwall. He could have gotten two Powerwall system for about the same price. Go here for pics and cutaway views of the PW system:

https://www.tesla.com/powerwall

I would think a 50 amp charging cable would be possible/practical.

I would see if it couldn't be mounted on the back outside wall of the fiver, MH, or trailer, since they are made for outdoor installs too. It's only five inches thick.

 

 

Edited by RV_
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I hate to use math or “facts” this early in the morning but to get the same capacity he got you would have to buy approximately $35k worth of powerwalls or roughly double the investment that he has in this “ugly mess”.  It’s usually the people who couldn’t do something anyway who jump to criticism. 

Have a great day. 

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Maybe I read it wrong but I took RV_'s post to mean that you can buy into a tesla NMC pack in a much smaller (RV friendl"ier") package at about half the weight and a 1/3 the cost of a used 85kWh model s pack. With the powerwall it would also be actually sustainable with alternate power sources most common in the RV community.

... not as the equivelant capacity of running an off-grid home off an auto pack (like your friends)... which isn't especially germaine to most of the folks that frequent the forum.

But I could be wrong. ;)

On edit: Personally... NMC's make me a touch nervous in mobile applications (if anyone has ever seen a puncture test on them). The size reduction is great, but at the expense of safety and longevity, IMHO.

Edited by Yarome
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12 hours ago, Orvil Hazelton said:

      AL: I have absolutely no respect for those who would judge me without being present. I say again: one would have to be listening VERY closely to be aware of my generator running from 20 feet or more.In all my years of full-time or part time RVing, no one has found it necessary to speak to me regarding my generator noise. Modern generators, with proper insulation are very quiet. Get your facts together, busybody.

I am not judging you as much as asking you to be considerate of others when boondocking and using your generator.  Most people boondocking out in the boonies would not welcome someone pulling up in their rig and parking about 50 yards away and using their generator, not  matter how quiet you believe it is. 

It is common courtesy to park well away from others when boondocking, especially if a person is going to run a generator when their neighbor isn't.  

Just because someone doesn't speak to you about pulling up next to them, doesn't mean they WELCOME  you to park close to them. 

Right now we are boondocking at Mittry Lake BLM free camping area just NE of Yuma, AZ.  This is a very popular place with a 10 day limit.  Some of the parking areas are pretty close together for a boondocking area.  In this close together area it would be difficult to park 100 or 200 yards away from your neighbor.   However there are several  parking areas scattered along the lake where one rig fits nicely with quite a bit of room.  However with that amount of room one could pull an 40' rig in about 30 feet away from someone who is already there. 

Orvil, from your comments, you seem to believe that because you have a quiet generator it is fine for you to pull up and park beside that other person.  It is NOT being considerate of you neighbor to pull in close just because there is a little room. 

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9 hours ago, RV_ said:

Guys,

If you want Tesla batteries it is much easier and cheaper to buy a Powerwall. Then charge it when plugged in, or keep a solar system charging it. 

  • Usable Capacity 13.5 kWh
  • Depth of Discharge 100%
  • Efficiency 90% round-trip
  • Power 7kW peak / 5kW continuous
  • Supported Applications Solar self-consumption Back-up power Time-of-use load shifting (coming soon) Off-grid capabilities (coming soon)
  • Warranty 10 years
  • Scalable Up to 10 Powerwalls
  • Operating Temperature -4°F to 122°F / -20°C to 50°C
  • Dimensions L x W x D: 44" x 29" x 5.5" (1150mm x 755mm x 155mm)
  • Weight 276 lbs / 125 kg
  • Installation Floor or wall mounted Indoor or outdoor
  • Certification North American and International Standards Grid code compliant
Order summary
$5,500 1 Powerwall
$700 Supporting hardware
   
   
$6,200 Total equipment cost
Or a two Powerwall system:
$11,000 2 Powerwalls
$700 Supporting hardware
   
   
$11,700 Total equipment cost
Your final design and pricing will be based on your electrical panel, home energy usage, number of Powerwalls, and where you’d like your Powerwall installed. Typical installation cost ranges from $800 to $2,000. This does not include solar installation, electrical upgrades (if necessary), taxes, permit fees, or any retailer / connection charges that may apply.
What's next?
Once you place your reservation, a Tesla energy specialist will reach out to discuss your project.

As you can see it doesn't take a ton or half ton of batteries. In fact the guy that bought and repurposed the Model S batteries has an ugly mess compared to the Powerwall. He could have gotten two Powerwall system for about the same price. Go here for pics and cutaway views of the PW system:

https://www.tesla.com/powerwall

I would think a 50 amp charging cable would be possible/practical.

I would see if it couldn't be mounted on the back outside wall of the fiver, MH, or trailer, since they are made for outdoor installs too. It's only five inches thick.

 

 

Converting the powerwall into AH's we typically use in RV systems I come up with 1125AH's.  That is a very nice chunk of battery for about $6200 if it can provide 12V without modification.

What is the voltage output from the Powerwall?   The majority of RV's (as I am sure you know) operate off of 12V DC.  If the powerwall is 48V or some other voltage than 12V we have to factor in the cost of converting to 12V or changing our rig to the voltage of the powerwall.  

Of course, I would imagine the electric auto batteries are something other than 12V, so those using them have already taken the voltage issue in stride.  

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All gennys are all very audible if they are running with good sized loads applied.  That said, I've not heard Honda 2K's running at a quiet close quarters campground within 20 feet when running on eco with almost no load.  If you run it from the bed of a truck the perceived sound is even less since it echos upwards.  Just some food for thought. 

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The Tesla batteries are silent. Guys, they are designed to take the place of gensets like my 25kw Nat Gas whole house generator that auto-switches whenever the grid power goes down. It supplies 110 just like a same wattage gas generator. It charges from the power pedestal or Solar depending on your setup.

Just like shore power the 110 goes through the 12v convertor to run the 12v side of things. The battery setup is designed to run for a week using one or two Powerwall modules depending on your current current use currently.

Edited by RV_
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On 1/15/2018 at 6:36 PM, RV_ said:

The Tesla batteries are silent. Guys, they are designed to take the place of gensets like my 25kw Nat Gas whole house generator that auto-switches whenever the grid power goes down. It supplies 110 just like a same wattage gas generator. It charges from the power pedestal or Solar depending on your setup.

Just like shore power the 110 goes through the 12v convertor to run the 12v side of things. The battery setup is designed to run for a week using one or two Powerwall modules depending on your current current use currently.

OK.  That makes sense, the Powerwall is an all in one setup designed to only supply 120V power, the inverter included in the package.  Then running the 12V devices off of the converter.  I guess that info would have been the specs for the Powerwall, if I had read it.

This would mean it would be convenient to run your air conditioner for a few hours with a properly set up solar system to recharge/keep the Powerwall charged.  Not that you will run the a/c all night, but for a few hours in the afternoon would work. 

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It's not a bad setup... for it's intended purpose. For an RV'r it would require reconfiguring our current power systems focus from a 12v system to a 120v priority system. Ie., solar feeding an inverter controller when "cordless". The weight loss and extended capacities might actually be worth it, but heck... what if there was ever an issue with it on the road? Since solar production is quite finite for us what would be the production losses going that route?

A definite "re-thinking" would have to be done. It's an interesting idea.

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1 hour ago, Al F said:

This would mean it would be convenient to run your air conditioner for a few hours with a properly set up solar system to recharge/keep the Powerwall charged.  Not that you will run the a/c all night, but for a few hours in the afternoon would work. 

I can do that with a Relion Lithium 48v 100ah pack.

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