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Joe (SoCal)
08-25-2016, 02:30 PM
Ok I'm going to pose a question to the best minds I know, the WBF :D

Here's the deal Renee's grooming van's equipment runs off an inverter and 4 - 6 volt deep lead acid batteries run in parallel. When she was back east she rented a spot with a 110 V outlet that she charged the batteries overnight every night. The batteries also got some charge from driving the van.

Since we've moved to an apartment complex we have not found a suitable or allowed place to plug in at night. We figured the extra driving we were doing and using the van as advertising would have kept the batteries sufficiently charged. That is not the case, add to the fact that the batteries are starting to get to the end of their 5-8 year life. New batteries are $300 each. The battery specs are
US Battery US L16HC XC 6V Deep Cycle Battery ‑ 420AH


http://www.batteriesonline.co.za/images/6voltUSL16.jpg

US L16HC XC 6V Deep Cycle Battery - 420AH US Battery US L16HC XC 6V Deep Cycle Battery - 420AH US Battery "Xtreme Capacity" battery is manufactured with a high concentration of synthetic tetrabasic lead sulfate (TTBLS) in the uniformed plate material crystal structure. This synthetic TTBLS crystal structure produces a strong active material in the formed plates to achive the long cycle life needed in deep cycle battery applications



https://static.wixstatic.com/media/8028f7_75530ba609db44ff97338175fb5896ab.jpg/v1/fill/w_576,h_768,al_c,lg_1,q_90/8028f7_75530ba609db44ff97338175fb5896ab.jpg

Moving forward she will probably have to get new batteries. We would still have the charging issue.

So here is an ideas I'm tossing around. I like is getting one of those super compact, quite Honda portable generators and running it at night It will fit in the back and there are roof air vents. I would run a cord through the open roof vent and across the roof and plug into the shoreline power outlet on the back of the van. They aren't cheap $1,000

http://www.diy-experts.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/man-carrying-portable-eu2000i.jpg

Do any of you see a problem with this portable generator be of issue. Or if you have any other charging options ?

paulf
08-25-2016, 02:40 PM
Joe are you expecting to run it inside the van? with roof vents?

I would not opt for that option without complete exhaust removal from the space.

How about solar? We ran a large instrumented buoy in the Potomac river for several years with solar and wind, 24/7.

Joe (SoCal)
08-25-2016, 02:44 PM
Joe are you expecting to run it inside the van? with roof vents?

I would not opt for that option without complete exhaust removal from the space.

How about solar? We ran a large instrumented buoy in the Potomac river for several years with solar and wind, 24/7.

There are exhaust fan at the vents that you can set to pull out and one with no fan that you can run the cord through. Solar was my first option but it doesn't give enough power to do the job for long enough time at optimum angle. The math just doesnt work :( Also the whole roof in solar would be $$$

Paul Pless
08-25-2016, 02:45 PM
Are there no electric vehicle charging stations in your apartment complex? :D

Paul Pless
08-25-2016, 02:46 PM
More seriously, find a business nearby that is closed during the evening that would be willing to rent you a parking spot with access to an ac outlet.

Steve McMahon
08-25-2016, 02:50 PM
Do you have good fire insurance on the van? :eek:
No - do not run the generator inside the van, even with vents open and no one inside. Bad bad idea. Why not just run the generator outside while doing the grooming?
Alternatively, go to an RV place and get a quote on them doing a proper under slung generator installation. They make them quite compact now.

Joe (SoCal)
08-25-2016, 02:50 PM
Are there no electric vehicle charging stations in your apartment complex? :D

Actually there are. But I'm concerned about the mechanics of changing the outlet to a EV outlet and all the electrical math involved. I told Renee it seems like it would be like trying to put a dog heart in a human. But I could be wrong.

Joe (SoCal)
08-25-2016, 02:53 PM
Do you have good fire insurance on the van? :eek:
No - do not run the generator inside the van, even with vents open and no one inside. Bad bad idea. Why not just run the generator outside while doing the grooming?
Alternatively, go to an RV place and get a quote on them doing a proper under slung generator installation. They make them quite compact now.

We just need it to charge overnight it does not work when operating.

Steve McMahon
08-25-2016, 02:56 PM
We just need it to charge overnight it does not work when operating.

I think you should be able to run off the batteries and charge them with the shore power cord at the same time.

Tom Wilkinson
08-25-2016, 03:09 PM
What is the ev power outlet rating? That should be a simple solution if she was charging at 110v before.

switters
08-25-2016, 03:47 PM
a pig tail from ev charger to plug to inverter plug, possibly new inverter but maybe not since we dont what the inverter is doing, the battery listed is also used in RV applications, no surprise there.

RV store probably has something off the shelf, still less than the generator minus the smell, noise and angry neighbors.

I know how "quiet" the honda generators are, since my father got raynaud's he started running a gen outside the camper all night when we are up in the mountains. Hate that thing.

Bob Adams
08-25-2016, 03:52 PM
Joe I just bought that very same generator to run the reefer in my boat until I can get the main genny back in. A quiet gas sipper, I love it. I tried to save a few bucks and bought a Ryobi who's specs look better only to return it and trade up to the Honda as soon as I returned from the first trip (hard to start, other problems) Wonderful little machine!

Garret
08-25-2016, 03:58 PM
Absolutely do not run the genset in the van without the exhaust piped outside - no matter how many vents you have.

How much driving do you do? Adding a high amperage alternator for charging the batteries (just as many of us do on boats) might be an option. Also note that if you do that, the voltage regulator that you'd buy with it should be a real one, designed for deep cycle batteries. Charging deep cycle batteries from a regular automotive alternator with built in regulator will not charge the batteries properly & will shorten their life expectancy significantly.

Garret
08-25-2016, 04:00 PM
Joe I just bought that very same generator to run the reefer in my boat until I can get the main genny back in. A quiet gas sipper, I love it. I tried to save a few bucks and bought a Ryobi who's specs look better only to return it and trade up to the Honda as soon as I returned from the first trip (hard to start, other problems) Wonderful little machine!

Honda generators are superior to just about anything out there - huge difference in quality. I had one stolen (that I'd probably still be using) that had way over 3,000 hours on it. The 2 B&S powered ones before it didn't make it to 500 hours - one not much past 100 hours.

Dan McCosh
08-25-2016, 04:03 PM
Why do you need to charge batteries--why not just run the generator when you need 110v. power?

LeeG
08-25-2016, 04:58 PM
Seems to be a waste to not take advantage of that vehicles engine with an appropriate alternator and charger. Probably would cost as much as the Honda generator. Don't know if high current charging driving around is as good as 12v hrs overnight plugged into AC.

wudzgud
08-25-2016, 05:32 PM
Seems to me, if you're running a generator, you don't need batteries and, you only need to run the generator when working, not all night charging. A small mount on the tongue should be all you need.

Joe (SoCal)
08-25-2016, 05:43 PM
OK thank you for all the advice. I just spent 2 exhausting :rolleyes: hours on the phone with the engineer and upfitter to Renee's van.

Here's the outcome. The batteries are fine and with the Mercedes bluetec diesel's alternator charging them they should last another 5-7 years, properly maintained. Which we maintain them perfectly. The way the inverter battery indicator lights ( Green ) ( Yellow ) ( Red ) works is not truly indicative of battery life. He has since changed the control panel because he was tired of people stressing when the light turned RED.

Here is how he explained the battery curve on this configuration. It's Green when its 99%-100% Yellow when it drops below 98% and Red for 90% of its life. He said its like a big pyramid where the Green light is like one grain of sand on the top. As long as we have all the connections set correctly and the alternator is giving juice the batteries are fine.

Thanks again for all your help

wudzgud
08-25-2016, 06:05 PM
Another thought, it may be more economical to run a small generator than putting all the hours on the van engine.

Joe (SoCal)
08-25-2016, 06:10 PM
Another thought, it may be more economical to run a small generator than putting all the hours on the van engine.

Thats already a system on a older competing gas van system. LOTS AND LOTS of problems with that system. Basically its a 2 system set up. Notoriously the genny's give up the ghost and cost is WAY more than a bank of batteries. The MB Bluetec Diesel system with battery bank and inverter is significantly cheaper and more efficient. These MB Sprinter vans dealer maintained practically last forever and we have the extended 10 year warranty.

BrianW
08-25-2016, 06:19 PM
Our helicopter service trailer has two generators, one 6500watt (something, loud) and one of those Honda EU2000i generators. Neither is permanently mounted, the big one is on wheels. When we set up, the big genset gets pulled out and chained and locked to the trailer tongue for security and to get it out of the way, the Honda gets fired up and plugged in. So far it has run the small microwave, and the coffee pot (not at the same time) and the interior lights along with about a dozen cell phone and iPad chargers.

The only reason we need the large genset is to run an air compressor every now and then. We used to have a air compressor with a gas engine, which I don't know what happened to it. If we can get that back, we could ditch the big genset entirely.

Anyhow, It might be a good idea (as mentioned) to have the Honda generator standing by, or simply use it during the day when grooming dogs in case the batteries go flat (as our Brit friends like to say.) During the daytime hours, around a slightly busy street, the Honda noise would not be noticeable.

goodbasil
08-26-2016, 12:46 AM
Your in California, must be a Walmart parking lot nearby.

Stiletto
08-26-2016, 03:18 AM
I'm surprised that the batteries run in parallel. I thought It would be normal to have each pair in series to give 12V, and the 12V to be in parallel with each other.